Recently, father appointed me with the task of buying a new laptop for him. Considering the tech enthusiast person I am, he (and me too) considered this to be an easy task. As I do for almost all major purchases, did a thorough study online for the new laptop. In spite of being very comfortable, researching online for my purchases, I am yet not comfortable in buying a major item like a laptop online. So, armed with a good understanding (at least I thought so) of the kind of laptop I was looking out for (price range, preferred brands, configuration - RAM, hard disk, processor, etc.), and my two cousins (one of them is a hard core techie), I set out on the journey to Nehru Place (the IT hardware hub of Asia - located in Delhi). Extremely over confident of our tech knowledge, we planned this to be a max two hour activity and even made evening plans (yes..we can be that foolish). And then we stepped into Nehru Place - a market which breathes, sleeps, eats IT hardware and started moving from shop to shop enquiring about laptops. Going to just the first two shops introduced us to the life reality that this was not going to be an easy task. Here are some of the things/facts/invaluable knowledge we learned/noticed/observed on our single trip to buy a laptop:
- More you know about tech, harder it is for you to buy a laptop (Ironical eh :) )
- The timespan between your research (either online or in a real market place) and the actual date of purchase has to be less than a week, else everything changes and you have to start from scratch again
- What you see online and what you find in the market place is poles apart
- For, a pre-decided price range and strict configuration, you have at least 200 laptops to choose from with the most subtle differences and you are expected to understand all of these :)
- Companies have incorporated it in their missions and visions to have the most difficult and mind boggling model code numbers for their laptops. They are generally eight to ten characters long, alpha- numeric, with mandatory special characters, and what not. Misplace one character, and you reach an entirely different laptop.
- Visited one shop previous month too in Nehru Place and that day every salesman was trying to sell a particular brand's laptop, going gaga over its features. This week, this brand's laptops were present in the back most display and we were transferred from one salesman to another for the same. And yes, this time a new brand was the store's favourite ... some loyalty.
- We enquired about a particular model (we had the exact 10 digit complex code with us from internet) which we had found on the official site of the brand and salesman had the most awesome response - "Woh toh discontinue ho gaya hai". We told him that we had seen it on the official website and was also available in some online stores. His response - "Online toh kuch bhi updated nahi hota, only we have the latest information". Major facepalm situation
- When enquiring about the same model, we got another response - "even if it is available online, why do you want to buy it, yeh toh last month discontinue ho gaya tha. Discontinued model ke aapko parts nahi milenge." We countered him by saying that even if it is discontinued, our warranty would start from the day of purchase and also asked him when does he expect the model which he is trying to sell us to be discontinued, he replies - "Yeh toh abhi ek-do mahine rahega". Major major facepalm situation
- Try asking for the best price of a laptop (some major bargaining happens in this market), the salesman would do some quick calcualtions on the calculator with an extremely serious look, and would quote you a price with an additional warning - "Yeh price sirf aapke liye hai. Kisi aur shop mein mat batana, otherwise I wont be able to give you the laptop at this price". Almost felt like smacking the salesman.
P.S.: In case, this blog post has aroused your curosity and want to know which laptop did we finally buy, it is a Sony T series Ultrabook. Love it :)