{22/04/2012}   Buying a new laptop

Having spent two days in car showrooms and another two days on the phone to car people, you would think I’d be steering well clear of showrooms and salesmen.  Yet within the week, I’ve now spent a long afternoon talking laptops in five different stores.  I now have snippets of car knowledge and a far broader understanding of what to look for in a laptop.
Unlike the car buying enterprise, where I found out what I wanted (an alpine white BMW 118i sport with sunroof) but decided to keep my car patched up for at least another year (I am not ready to embrace the concept of a car loan), I am now in possession of a new laptop.  I am also salesmanned out and fed up of big, bright showrooms.
I went to two Currys (I am very unsure about the apostrophes for Currys), two Comet stores and one PC World.  I would have liked to have bought my laptop off the very knowledgeable and totally unpushy bloke at Currys number one.  But by virtue of both geography (I moved from Folkestone to Ashford) and stock, I ended up buying it from Comet number two, from  a man I perceived to be a stereotypical salesman.  Admittedly, he was pleasant and helpful and didn’t try to push me towards the more expensive laptops.  He went round all laptops with my list of requirements, pointed out which would suit and checked availability of all.  But he did make me feel I would have to buy one!  I left the store before I did decide and I did go out of my way to find him to complete the sale.  I was then offered Office, Norton, cleaning gels and cloths, an array of service packs, a laptop case and then discounts when I said no to all bar the first two.  I don’t like feeling ever so slightly bullied.
Every time I buy a new laptop, desktop, netbook or iPad (of which I have all, completely unneccessarily and ridiculously), it amazes me the extent to which technology advances in the intervening years.  I was poised to get USB 3 ports (they are USB ports with a stripe of blue), thus making transfer of files, for example, up to ten times faster.  But then I found out that they are only effective when you use USB 3 compatible USBs.  I couldn’t even find a USB 3 compatible stick and none of my work equipment is USB 3 compatible.  I now know how to identify i5 first generation and, far superior, i5 second generation.  the former has a yellow/gold corner on the sticker, the latter has the same colour but a horizontal line with a sort of tick at one end.  My i5 is turbo charged, an i7 is pretty much supersonic.  My Comet number one advisor was a hardcore gamer, he described laptops in terms of how good they were for [game name that went straight over my head].  I could relate to that, strangely.
I am starting to grow tired of IT things now so I shall end here.  But at least it was a successful afternoon in terms of a purchase being made!  I’m not going to go into detail about the strops I had trying to set it all up though!


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