After over two months, I’m finally sitting here typing on my brand new laptop. I’ve been spending the past few days migrating my stuff over from my old laptop and desktop and I’m not quite done yet. Am I happy it’s here? Hell yeah. Do I like it so far? Sure. Would I recommend this company to someone else? Probably not.
The main reason why I don’t think I would recommend this company again is because of the sheer aggravation I went through to get this thing. Another is that you can get a comparable machines for a lower price, although VoodooPC offers some peripherals that Sager does not (including the paint job and tatoo, which I rather like). If this machine turns out to be the best thing since baked bread, however, I may give people a qualified endorsement. But, onto my retelling of the Delay Saga and the first impressions of Rouge (my computer, named after the Sonic Adventure 2 character, of course) when I first got her.
I. The Dreaded Delays
Rewind, if you will, to January 2, 2006 (22 days after I placed my order). Jess Williamson, a member of VoodooPC’s Web Team, sends out a (presumably form) e-mail to update me on my computer.
I just wanted to let you know your computer has been gathered and in about 10-15 days it should be complete. Let me know if you need anything.
46 days after that (68 days after I placed my order), I get another (presumably form) e-mail from VoodooPC. This time it’s from Jodie Salvador:
I was just emailing you to let you know that your computer has finished testing and will be sent out to you in the next few days. Thank you again for your order.
I was not pleased to learn that they hadn’t even sent it yet, so I fired off this e-mail in return:
First of all, I would like to thank you and VoodooPC for keeping me up to date on the progress of my laptop. I must say, though, that I am highly disappointed in the turnaround time.
When I purchased the machine back in December (68 days ago), my confirmation page told me that my laptop would be ready and shipped in approximately 30 days. The previous e-mail, from Jess Williamson, I received 46 days ago said that my laptop would be complete in 10-15 days.
I had expected that the 30 days would be give or take a week or two, but this is bordering on ridiculous.
I didn’t receive a reply after that, but an hour later I got an e-mail informing me that my order had been shipped. I checked my tracking number and discovered that the shipping had been expedited, and therefore would arrive at my dad’s house in Miami in two business days. I’m not sure if the shipping I paid for was expedited shipping, or if they expedited it because I complained. Neither my invoice nor my website specifies what “North America” shipping entails.
The arrival date, mind you, was right in time for me to be up in West Palm Beach in preparation for my returning to Washington with my mom. Long story short, much aggravation led to my dad bringing it up to Boca (where my grandpa lives) and us having dinner, me getting the package, then flying up with two laptops. Quite an experience, let me tell you.
II. First Impressions
My very first impression of Rouge was a mixed one. I was impressed that I was given all relevant discs, including the Windows XP install (which, if I remember correctly, Toshiba did not give me). I was interested to see that I had to go through the final part of the installation myself. I was not, however, happy that the laptop lacked a hardware volume control. The one that it uses is dependent on Windows being fully booted, so the only way I could stop from waking up my nieces sleeping next door was to put my earphones into the plug. I’ve had a few other embarassing experiences with the volume being up too high since then.
My only other complaint is that the software that I have discs for requires that I enter the CD key the first time I use them, which isn’t bad except that I haven’t done it for everything yet and I don’t have the discs on me when I travel. The fans can be noisy sometimes, but they keep the laptop nice and cool. The bottom has little grates for the air to come out, which seems like a stroke of genius to me given the bad design of other laptops I’ve seen.
Other than that, I have been pretty happy so far. I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring the different features, and playing with my webcam (I think I need to install better software for it). There’s a bar on the bottom with (among other things) controls for a CD player. I doubt I’ll ever use it for that function, but it works with all of my AV programs so I can go to the previous/next tracks, stop, and play my files without having to use my mouse. That is totally cool in my book.
I’m allowing myself to hope that the worst of this experience is over. It was a pain in the butt waiting so long for my laptop, especially given what I paid for it, but the machine itself seems to be pretty quality. I haven’t played any games on it yet, and I don’t know how it will hold up against the rough handling I tend to put my electronics through, but I suppose that’s a blog post for another day.
The saga of Rogue is far from over.