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PC World

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.

13 Comments

  1. Ian B says:

    Outlook Express doesn’t work fine on Win 7, in fact it doesn’t work at all, unless you want to run it in the virtual XP thing. In fact, I’ve got OE running on my old machine networked, and using it via remote desktop. Unless there’s some kind of kludge to make it install and work on Win 7 that I didn’t find in my copious googling.

    You get this thing called Windows Live Mail, which is a bit like OE with the best bits taken out, and an interface apparently designed by a six year old with ADD and a big pack of crayons, called “the ribbon”.

    I was actually thinking that if I could still program these days, which I can’t, except a bit of crappy not-really-programming like JavaScript, I’d write a 64 bit OE clone and get a ticker-tape parade through the Big Apple as hordes of grateful OE users cheer me from the sidewalks, kind of thing. But since my l33t programming skillz0r are stuck in around 1992, I won’t be doing that, sadly.

    Oh, and Win7′s networking is the biggest pile of suck since- since something very very sucky I can’t think of right now- but that’s something for a proper post. It can’t do intranets. Appallingly bad.

  2. John Galt says:

    @NickM:

    Just one question – To use the vernacular “Ow Mutch Loike?”

  3. Lynne says:

    At least you got what you were after – eventually. Dosen’t say much for the service though. Sounds like a common ploy though. Advertise a good deal that mysteriously becomes unavailable when you take them up on it. But hey, we have that latest model in stock – twice as much as the one you want but you won’t have to wait eight weeks for new stock to arrive.

  4. Sam Duncan says:

    Yep. I don’t go near DSG unless I know exactly what I want, and they’ve got the best price. They’ve always been the same. I remember a letter in Pop. Comp. Weekly back in the ’80s from some poor sap who’d been told not to buy a C64 because Commodore had gone bust. Which, to be fair, it did. About ten years later.

    The final straw was when I bought a telly and there was a receipt in the bottom of the box. From six months earlier. Actually, I just kept it to avoid any hassle and it lasted for years. But the nerve of the fuckers…

  5. Barman says:

    I’m running (Office 2003) Outlook on three Win 7 systems here and it works fine…

    I don’t live in the UK any more but when I am there PC World is a useful drop-in when you need something urgently. All the staff are utter useless cunts tho…

  6. NickM says:

    John, £300 – which I think is OK. I am typing on it now. Ian, I honestly don’t think the same way. Win 7 is OK. It’s not great but it’s OK. Anyway, I love this lovely piece of magic out of China. Barman, you’re telling me! Utter cunts the lot of them.

  7. Ian B says:

    Win 7 in general is okay, except for a few bad things. Firstly, the networking is a disaster area I’ve been meaning to blog about for a week. Secondly, the new Start Menu is a fucking disaster. And thirdly, so is the new sound mixer, for some people who do audio anyway, which fortunately for me isn’t me these days, but I fully sympathise with their misery. And fourthly the Outlook Express thing.

    But like I said, I’ll do a blog post.

  8. RAB says:

    But… But… Gary Glitter used to swear by PC World! (or was that at them?) :-)

  9. View from the Solent says:

    Netbook? Pah! I want one of these https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/spherical-flying-machine/
    And like Chiefio, one that’s big enough to sit in.

  10. Umbongo says:

    For IanB

    If you want Windows Mail which is OE under another name (rather than Windows Live Mail – which is shi*te under another name) this registry hack http://www.sevenforums.com/533107-post317.html might assist. Best to upgrade to SP1 before the hack.

  11. Jeremy Poynton says:

    You don’t want to use those morons. Try eBuyer, overclockers, aria and such like, you’ll find far better deals and often people who know what they are talking about.

  12. Jeremy Poynton says:

    ps. Aria are right by Belle Vue, so just up the road from you.

  13. Eddie says:

    PC World didn’t have one in Farnborough either. Eventually I tracked one down at a web retailer, and got the super version with 4 Gb RAM and 500 Gb hard drive – and the big battery. There are a lot of different specs for S205s. You also get the 64 bit version of Win7.

    Oddities with it include the USB ports not being very deep. Good ideas include the software that puts a popup on screen when caps lock is set. It isn’t just the additional size, but also the extra pixels, relative to a 10″ netbook that make it very usable. The power brick is also very small.

    I find it adequately fast for everything I’ve used it for with no incompatibilities. Excellent value.

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