I am in the market for a new gaming laptop. I travel for work, not crazy amounts (about 7 days per month) and after I have tucked in my three year old over the phone and assured my wife I love her, I sit in a hotel room twiddling thumbs. A lot of the time I just do more work. I don’t really watch TV, except for sports and a few non-cable shows. Away from family and in strange towns I just want to be able to game in my jammy-jams and forget about work for awhile. I could passably play WoW on my old laptop but it finally died. MMO’s don’t work on my iPhone. So I am in the market.
The laptop I will still need to use for work so I can’t have flames, or skulls, or aliens all over it. Clean and nice is what I want. I also want one with significant gaming power – my last 2 laptops combined lasted me about 10 years, so I figure if I spend and get good components hopefully this one will too. I try to avoid paying for brand names. I have a budged of $3500. Research ensues.
I learn that CLEVO is a pretty good guts and bolts company for laptops and find a rediculously powerful one tricked out well within my budget. Here are the ‘stats’.
– Display: 17″ Wide Viewing Angles WSXGA+ LCD with Super Glossy Surface (1680 x 1050)
– Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Processor Q9550 / 12MB L2 Cache, 2.83GHz, 1333MHz FSB[+$150.00]
– Video & Graphics Card: Single Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTX Graphics with 1GB DDR3 Video Memory
– Operating System: Genuine MS Windows® VISTA ULTIMATE 32/64-Bit Edition[+$80.00]
– Memory: 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz – 2 X 2048MB[+$55.00]
– RAID Storage Options: RAID-0 Storage ( Data Strip – Requires 2nd Hard Disk Drive or both 2nd & 3rd Hard Disk Drives )
– Primary Hard Disk Drive: 200GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Hard Drive[+$45.00]
– 2nd Hard Disk Drive: 200GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Secondary Hard Disk Drive in RAID configuration[+$100.00]
– Optical Drive: 8X DVD±R/RW/4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software
– Wireless Network Card: Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300AGN – 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module
– Bluetooth: Internal Bluetooth Module
– Primary Battery: Smart Li-ION Battery Pack
– Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office Ready with Free 60-Day Trial
– Warranty: 1 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty with Three-Day Shipping Both Ways Paid
– Carrying Bag: Standard Carrying Bag
For an extra $95 bucks I can upgrade to a 1900 x 1200 screen, which I decide I want to do. Upon further research, there are about 7 companies that carry the exact same notebook for pretty much the exact same price (+/- $50). I do further research about service and customer experiences. I narrow it down to three different companies that I feel comfortable with. How do I decide, when all are the same price, have the same product, and are all comparable service levels? I choose time. I email all three with the following blurb.
“Hi, I love the product listed above and am ready to buy. I see that there are other companies who carry the same product. I would like to balance my decision between the companies on a couple things – Firstly, how long will it take your company to asssemble and ship the unit? Secondly, are their any special merits within your company that should make me choose you? My current laptop is no longer functional and while I see that you promise a 24 hour response time on sales inquiries I have a business trip this weekend so would appreciate a timely response. I need this laptop for gaming and business use! Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.”
I figured showing them how ‘eager’ I was would make for a quick response. I mean, I am a big fat fish nibbling the worm on your hook – all you have to do is set it and reel it in. Most salespeople would drool over a quick and easy sales prospect like me.
Day four and not ONE, not ONE single company has contacted me on my sales request. Despite all of them having a 24 hour contact guarantee. Despite a very easy sale. Despite the market and competition not one has responded to my inquiry. I check my email account to make sure there isn’t an email bounce. I am, to be honest, flabberghasted. I have now lost a bit of confidence in the product line I am looking at – are they hiding something? Why won’t they take my money?
Who do they think they are, an MMO company?