So, I ordered myself a Voodoo laptop today. After a frustrating website experience, I decided to write up a series on how my Voodoo weathers the next few years. Seeing as I just ordered it, and therefore cannot write about the machine itself, I decided to make this an introduction/rant about the website.
As soon as I get it (which, given that I’m going to be in Miami for the next two months, better be a month after it arrives), I’m going to write a First Impressions post on it, and then I’ll update things whenever a new problem crops up. Because you know problems are gonna come up.
I. Why Voodoo?
Ringing in at a whopping 4186.96 USD, my Voodoo Envy 732 qualifies as the most expensive computer I’ve ever bought. It’s a few hundred dollars shy of being more expensive than my current desktop (hand built, mid-line for its time) and laptop (light weight, best bang for buck) combined. I knew there was a reason why I never told Dad what I wanted for a birthday present last July. Happy birthday to me. If I didn’t have to rely on it for my computing and gaming needs for the next 3-5 years, there’s no way I would have spent that much, so the darn thing better be worth it.
Let me give some of a back story: I had known I needed a new laptop to be my desktop replacement when I go to Japan in April for over a year, but I had decided to put it off until the last possible moment so as to get the best hardware I could. I was still annoyed about what happened with my Toshiba laptop – three months after I bought mine my sister got the same model with significantly better hardware. Although her software is even more screwy than mine, which has caused a bunch of problems for her.
I chose Voodoo not because I think that they’re the bestest laptop makers ever, but because my research didn’t turn up any major problems (except that they’re spotty with customer service, which I tend not to make use of anyway) and because I know from experience that whatever laptop I get will have problems that no one on the internet seemed to talk about. Like Toshiba with their massive overheating problems (mine is small, so it’s not terrible, but the larger model that my cousin and friend have get really hot really fast) and their odd software problems (both my and my sister have issues with our internet connections that have no discernible reason that I can find).
I also chose the company, I admit, because I liked the idea of having a decent degree of customization that they offered. My laptop style probably won’t be the only one like it in the world, but my guess is that it’ll be the only one like it at my school. And that’s cool. What’s not cool, however, is gendered designs.
Yes, you heard me, there are “boy” styles (read: tribal) and “girl” styles (read: animals). To their credit, the cost is the same for both. Some people may think it’s cool to do things this way, but I find it 1) annoying and 2) limiting. Annoying because what if a guy wanted the Phoenix design? I know some guys who would avoid it simply because it was labelled as a “girl” design, even if they liked it. Even if the phoenix had a special meaning to them. Limiting because breaking it into descriptive sections would make it easier to branch out into several other kinds of designs. I’d like to see celtic, or logos, etc. I ended up going with the Wheel of Time because I didn’t like any of the other tribals and I liked it better than the Phoenix animal.
They don’t gender their colours, which I like. I ended up with pink because it was the only colour I really liked. The red wasn’t awful, but it just didn’t look right for some reason. The green was a nasty shade. They call it “monza OLIVE” but it’s more of a forest olive. And an unattractive one at that. My ideal colour would have been a lime green, like my car. Oh well.
II. Have You People Even Heard of W3C?
Now, I had enlisted my mother’s partner as my sounding board for the purchase because something as significant as my only computer for the next 3-5 years of my life is not a purchase to make alone. He knows pretty much what I do about the hardware (which was not much about the specific devices, but a decent amount of the companies involved) and, aside from a fateful Gateway purchase back in the 90s, he has been pretty sensible about what computer he buys. My mom relies on him to do the initial footwork because she’s too lazy – I mean “busy” – to look stuff up on her own.
I went to the website and logged into my account. It was loading a lot slower on this connection than it had for me when I had been on my laptop in Vancouver, which was an annoyance but not necessarily the fault of Voodoo. I went to the laptop page and the first thing he said was that he wanted to see a comparison of the Middleweights (the style of laptop I wanted). Yeah, me too, buddy, me too.
Eventually I got fed up, clicked the back button, then the forward button, then tried the Technical button again and it worked. Thankfully. So, yes, indeed there was a comparison chart that we then clicked.
III. My Journey Has Just Begun
“Your customized Voodoopc Machine has a 30 day ETA,” they say. We’ll see, Voodoo. We’ll see.