I’ve been hunting for a new laptop basically since I moved in November. My current laptop is more than acceptable in what it can do, however at 8lbs with a 15.4″ widescreen it’s hardly portable. It’s a desktop replacement and that’s why I originally bought it. But now with the amount of running around I seem to be doing in the Bay, I needed something portable. I couldn’t find an Averatec 1150 (smaller than a piece of paper and <3lbs!), and wasn't able to find a laptop that had everything I needed. There always was a catch, either missing an important feature, or way too expensive with things I didn't need. Saturday I was checking my emails and Fry's "spammish" email about the current specials caught my eye with a Toshiba Satellite U205-S5057 for $1199.99, limit 1 per household. I know, their advertising totally worked... at first. This laptop had just about everything I wanted and then a bit more. 1.6ghz core2 duo? Check
120GB drive? Check, plus 40gb extra
DVD burner? Check
Media Card reader? Check
Under 5lbs? Check, just over 4lbs
Acceptable battery life? Check, 4.5hrs they say
Under $1200? Meh, almost before tax
Extras? fingerprint scanner, extra durable case and spill-resistant keyboard, plus a license for Vista Home Premium (fwiw)
The website said check for availability, so I called the Fry’s down in Palo Alto.
“Do you guys have the Satellite U205 in stock?”
“We sure do.”
“For the $1200 price?”
“Thanks, I’ll be down in a bit”
So Heather and I hopped in the car to race down to Fry’s to grab my new laptop. We were rushed, because we had to be back up by the Ferry Building in time for the Sweet Cheat Gone. We got down there, got lost in the terribly unorganized building, and finally found the laptops (on the other side of the building from the rest of the computer stuff?).
The price posted on the laptop there was $1299. I asked a woman to check on the price, she confirmed this. I asked about the website and was told that I would have to order it online. I asked if they price match their website, she said no. I turned around and walked out, frustrated that I had been misled and had wasted an hour and a half of my time. Apparently Frys.com is separate from the Fry’s stores. Maybe this is common knowledge to long term Bay Area residents, but news to me and doesn’t make much sense. We won’t start on the guy that “confirmed” they had it for $1200.
I grudgingly started to accept the fact that even though this company had rubbed me the wrong way, their price was still better than anyone else. Heather suggested I check around though, just to be sure before I hit the Submit order button. I jumped on Amazon.com and found the same model, free shipping, no tax, for $1299.99, instead of the $1301 that Frys.com wanted. Score! I saved a buck and my peace of mind.
So, anyways, my new “ultra-portable” laptop should be here before March 1st. This will be the 4th Toshiba I’ve owned in a row. The old ones that are still kicking around:
Toshiba Portege 3015CT – busted LCD, missing keys
Toshiba Portege 7010CT – won’t charge batteries past 14%
Toshiba Satellite A75-S2762 – still kicking, but too heavy and too hot to carry around
The Porteges are by far my favorites as they are incredibly small, light, and useful. But they’re from back in the day when processors were measured in mHz.
Anyways, the summary of this post?
– Frys/Outpost sucks
– I should have a new laptop by March 1st. 🙂
UPDATE: Minutes after posting this, I received an email from Amazon saying my laptop had shipped. Eta, 4 days! 🙂