I’m typing this on my wife’s new Lenovo IdeaPad (S205). Lovely little machine. OK it’s on spesh offer at PC World in Stockport. Now normally I hate dealing with PC World but it’s a good deal and damn it she wanted it. So we’d looked at the netbooks and I think it’s the best deal and she’d really fallen for it. So we find one of their twonks and say we’ll take that one. So he disappears out back and there are none in stock. OK suggest I, we’ll take the display model (angling for a discount). So he looks at the price tag and shock horreurs it’s white, not yellow so we can’t have it. Yes, you read that right they wouldn’t sell the demo model of a computer they didn’t have in stock and had no idea when they might get some more in. So I say, “can we order one?” And he looks at me like I’ve requested a mermaid riding a unicorn. He then stands around like a tick-bet presumably hoping we’d go for the neighbouring Acer. So we go next door to Currys (yes, I know they’re both DSG so why have two in the same location?) and there’s a useful guy there who looks up on the computer about availability of the machine. There are two in the North West of England. Well, I say on the computer but I mean he tries but the till computer internet is down. So it’s the phone. OK, there is one in Warrington and one in Liverpool. So we get Warrington (this is not store policy!) to hold it. At Warrington it’s a combined Curry’s/PC World. the transaction there almost doesn’t go through because they’ve lost till ‘net too so they can’t process payment. Well they sort that… eventually.
Meanwhile I look at some top-end desktop cases. The bloke tells me they probably aren’t in stock but he can look… I tell him not to bother. I’ll get something at Aria Tech in Manchester where they know what the fuck they are doing. At the till the kid (he looks like Justin Bieber) who processes the buy does the usual of selling “extras”. The old extended warranty routine. He also tells my wife a cock and bull story about how MS Office 2000/2003 won’t work on Win 7. Absolute hogglewash. Outlook doesn’t remember passwords but that’s it. Outlook Express works fine. He’s trying to scoop 70 extra quid for Office 2010 which is utter shite. You see staff at DSG are on basic plus commission and that’s largely aimed not at actual items but the little extras which is where the real mark-up is.
So we left with just the computer. I like it. It’s a cracker. But Jeez was that an ordeal! Like I said a reasonable price but hell’s teeth PC World couldn’t get a fuck in a monkey whorehouse with a sack-full of bananas. Oh, and we’re flying to Poland the next day.
But it doesn’t stop there. I subsequently look-up the reviews. And they are are a mixed bag of assorted fruits. Every review that calls it a “net-book” is highly praising and every review that treats it against the likes of the MacBook Air (at 4 times the price!) criticises it for things it doesn’t even pretend to have. If I may make so bold nobody would buy that computer as anything other than a satellite to another “proper” computer. I really like it (the pad is too small – but then I’m a tit-fancier myself anyway) but it’s so dinky for a pretty neat deck with a dual core CPU and 3GB of RAM*, separate graphics, top-notch screen, good keyboard, great battery life, and a 320GB HD.
*A lot of similarly priced net-books shipped with 1GB of RAM which is deeply pathetic for Win 7.