Thursday, September 6, 2007

NOT buying a Laptop

So nice to visit the stores this morning without two teenagers - it was so quick.

I've been pondering buying a laptop for quite sometime. With the kids going back to school they'll need the computer more for projects, research, presentations,etc. For some reason they're always working on Power Point presentations. Whatever happened to Bristol Board and a marker?

I usually write each chapter in long hand but decided I could get a lot more writing done if I had a laptop to take to the coffee shop. Can you sense the very lame justifications for buying an expensive new toy? I've been checking online and eagerly awaiting the Staples and Future Shop flyers for a good deal and this week Staples had some good deals.

Off I went to double check a few more stores in person to make sure I was getting the best buy on the type of computer I wanted.

I arrived at Staples with the flyer in my hand and the tech guy discourages me from buying the less expensive model - about a 20% return in the first nine months because of problems. The computer must be sent back to the manufacturer to be fixed. There were a few more problems he mentioned but that was okay - the Toshiba was the one I really wanted and it was only $100 more expensive. It was a nicer model with more features and a larger hard drive. He was telling me what I wanted to hear.

But wait!

There's a $150Staples maintenance contract that will extend the warranty for another 2 years and I really need that. The Toshiba has a 1 in 8 chance of coming back in for maintenance in the first nine months. And it might have to be sent back to the manufacturer, but that's fine because Staple's pays for it. But no guarantee when they'll ship it back fixed. They might even service it on sight but he couldn't say for sure. (Why not? isn't that important?)

I'm almost ready to commit (because I really, really want it) when I ask about the battery. Chances are the battery won't last more than 18 months. With the new Duo Processors and Vista etc., the laptops run REALLY HOT and the batteries burn out quickly. Costs about $300 to replace it. Under their extended warranty this would be covered. And then he starts talking about all the problems people have come in with lately. Suddenly, I'm not feeling so enthusiastic.

What if the computer is crap and I want to return it? 14 days. That's it. After that the warranty kicks in. So, I could have problems within a month and wouldn't be able to return it. I'd have to have it shipped off to be fixed (maybe, because sometimes they fix them there, maybe...)

As he's giving me all this bad news I'm looking at the price of the bags and the mouse and a few other things which will add more to the cost.

I thanked him and came home empty handed.

Pulled out my $5 jumbo notebook and my blue gel pen (1.99 for 5) and wrote long hand.


julia said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Glad your inner skeptic kicked in. I love jumbo notebooks.

annette said...

That's quite the sales pitch he gave you! Although it's good that he informed you about potential problems.

What about a good refurbished one? But it's hard to take a chance on something like that too, I guess.

Anyway, as long as the jumbo notebooks and pens work for you, yay!! They're certainly a lot cheaper!

Annie Mac said...

I think the guy was trying to sell me on the maintenance agreement - which I agree is a good thing to have. But in the process he scared me off buying it. I couldn't wrap my brain around buying something that would have a major component burn out in a short time.

Christine d'Abo said...

Man, that's crazy. My husband bought me a Compaq from Future Shop three years ago. Except for a problem with the keyboard that happened in the first six months, I haven't had a single issue. Sure my battery only gives me about two hours of life now, but I usually plug it in when I go anywhere.

That said, you can never go wrong with a notebook and a pen. :)

Annie Mac said...

Christine, my desk top is Compaq and I've had it for several years, so far, no problems. The computer I had before that was custom built and it lasted for about 8 yrs. So when he said 18months for the battery I couldn't wrap my brain around it.

Kelly said...

I think you made the right decision. And there's always the Alphie! I like the big Jumbo notebooks.