What an experience !
At the end of it, I still have not bought a simple new laptop !!
The experience started off like this – my daughter wanted a new, fast laptop because she found that the very old laptop at home (5 years old) was struggling to open even a simple Microsoft Word document. My own second laptop is more than 6 years old and I use it only for browsing and posting my blog posts – it is virtually unusable for any other application.
So, I started looking to buy a new, fast laptop. Obviously, the first source is google search on laptop prices and reviews (India). Tons of info’ from various sites and lots of confusion. I thought I was reasonably technology-savvy, but found that the plethora of info’ overwhelmed my senses completely. For instance, I was challenged to select a CPU (processor), and I was flummoxed to choose between the Intel Dual Core and the latest i3/i5-kind of processors. I was also forced to look at the AMD processor options, which produced more confusion. I wanted to select something reasonably priced, and did not wish to pay for something not yet proven but comes with a lot of marketing hype.
Then, I went to Dell site.
Dell has been the saviour for many-a-shopper who is confused about computer shopping since it provides a simple way to select a system and configure it. I always used to wonder why other manufacturers are not doing this – of course, they want to sell only thro’ their dealers and not help the end customer in a direct, simplified manner. Dell was hugely successful in the direct selling model for many years – except that in the last few years they yielded their PC leadership to HP due to HP’s aggressive and savvy marketing I guess.
After browsing thro’ various models at Dell site, I configured couple of laptops which I liked. But the prices troubled me – how come laptops cost more than INR 40,000 when they keep claiming that computer prices keep falling and are now in the affordable range of USD 500 at the maximum for normal usage ? I looked at U.S. web sites and found decently configured systems at USD 350 !
My conclusion was that India is not getting access to those kinds of systems, except if one tries to build his/her own laptop ! Amazon.com does not seem to be a workable proposition !!
After thorough brain-washing, I decided to take a look at the laptops in the Tata Croma and E-Zone shops in a nearby mall – I thought that if we are going to anyway buy a new laptop, it is better to “feel” the same. Spent 30 minutes at each shop (Croma was better) and saw how particular brands were getting pushed – HP and Toshiba were actively being pushed at Croma, while Acer and Lenovo at E-Zone. Acer was prominent in both shops of course, given their continuing ambition to become the world’s top PC brand.
Well, then I got back home and did a bit more research and finally slept with a confused mind – what I thought should be a quick decision made within an hour at the most has taken a full day and not decided upon as yet.
Now, I decided to place the order via the Dell site because it is the easiest to process what one wants – may not be the best brand though. For other brands like Sony, one got to go somewhere in the city to their own shop – no time ! Why can’t life be made simpler to order virtually anything on the net ? When will sites like Amazon India come into being when we don’t have to grapple with import issues ?
Well, the experience of buying a simple laptop for everyday use could not have been more complex !
18th Sep 2010