Early this week I did something I’ve never done before: I bought a laptop. And while this may seem like no big deal to most of you, I’ve always taken a bit of a hard-line stance against these machines – mainly because the cost to benefit ratio seemed positively ridiculous to me. But in the wake of stories like these, paired with the fact that my wonderful wife wanted one for some classes she’s taking, I figured now was as good a time as any to take the proverbial leap into 2005.
And of course, I bought the laptop right before I read the aforementioned article.
Such is my life.
But all in all, I’d say I’m happy with the purchase so far. We ended up going with a Toshiba Satellite something or other that was a steal according to the online reviews I looked up prior to (insert link to consumer reports post from a few weeks ago). The laptop was only $299! And in a rare stroke of good fortune, I checked a few days after I bought it and the same model went up to $369. Nice.
After looking at a couple different places, I bought the laptop at Best Buy. I would say my experience was good overall. I knew what I wanted before getting there, told the kid in the laptop section what I wanted and that I was in a hurry, he tried to sell me an extended warranty and the services of Geek Squad (two minutes tops), I declined, paid and was on my way.
The only hiccup was that I was paying in cash, which is apparently a new concept there. The kid ringing me out had to have a manager confirm that he counted my $316 correctly – and of course it took five minutes or so for a manager to make her way over to us. Really? You’ll let this kid sell high-tech equipment, talk about warranties and finance options but he can’t count less than $500? Lame.
And another question – I looked online for awhile the other day and I just can’t figure it out: When you buy a new computer from Best Buy, what EXACTLY does Geek Squad do? Last night I spent an hour or two setting our preferences, uninstalling the useless pre-set programs and favorites (who chooses that stuff anyways?), installing the anti-virus and networking the laptop to my wireless connection. Is that really worth $129 or whatever it costs? The only thing I haven’t done yet is create a Recover disk, and I’m sure Windows 7 will walk me through it pretty simply.
But I digress. There are obviously millions of people who would rather not spend the two hours setting it up, so Geek Squad, I suppose you win. Although I’m actually considering buying stock in the company just so I can get a peek at what they actually do. I picture this back room full of nerds playing cards and looking at Playboys from the mid 90’s, laughing at all the people who pay to give them their computers to work on for 15 minutes then sit on a shelf for a day and half.
Final question: Anyone know where I can get a cheap copy of Microsoft Office? Just kidding! I really don’t need Bill Gates’ legal team tracking me down.
See you at 4 p.m.., friends. Ride Ride Ride.