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DirectPC LX-920 Laptop

Author:  Jason Jacobs
Date:  2005.03.07
Topic:  Miscellaneous
Provider:  DirectPC
Manufacturer:  DirectPC


A Word About Laptops

I have seen in the past 10 years all manner of portable computing devices from the Palm, Windows CE, and the ever so doomed Apple Newton. Each had its finer points and usefulness but at the end of the day I always needed a PC to get the real jobs done. Every business professional uses some sort of organizer or handheld PDA to record information and keep schedules, but once again at the end of the day even these professionals come back to the office or home and sync the device with full computer to retain the information and get the real work done.

Bottom line, the PC will never disappear. Professionals will always need a device capable of all the functionality that a desktop has and the ability to input data and get jobs done in a serious manner. Professionals don't want a device with 20 attachments to enhance its functionality or make it easier to use. Most of us want a computer that functions like a computer and not one with keys so small you have to poke with a nail or a stylus to input data. Professionals are constantly on the go and inputting information costs time that some people don't have in abundance.

Intro the laptop, a portable PC with all the functionality of a desktop. Finally a no compromise computer on the go right? . . . Wrong. Laptops can tend to be underpowered and usually have slightly less functionality than a full desktop. Additionally battery life can be an issue with some models.

We did some research on to see if they were reliable and helpful should you need service. To this end we "simulated" common problems and some complex problems to throw at their tech support. Our first observation in this pursuit was that unlike many online retailers we didn't have to look far for the tech support number. It was plainly listed on the front page. Secondly we found in big print "For Assistance Call Toll Free". Free tech support? We had the initial reaction that should it be free the tech support line is probably always filled. We made a list of problems and called the free number expecting a long hold. Our first call was answered without wait. The tech was extra friendly expressed that the problem was common and solved the problem within 2 minutes. Our second call had a wait time of about 30 seconds and again we reached a tech who was nice and solved the problem within a few minutes. At this point we decided to throw a curve ball at BuyDirectPC and simulate an OS failure that required a re-install. With no Wait time the tech took a minute to run us through some diagnostics trying Safe Mode and a few others with no success. After which he gave us a few options. We could either:

  • Have him walk us through an OS installation
  • Return the Laptop where they would re-install and return it to us (for a fee)
  • Select to Install the OS ourselves given some instructions

We selected the last choice to see the quality of the instructions. He gave us some simple to follow instructions that covered some things even we hadn't thought of. In all 5 calls were made and we were able to get through to tech support each time. Every time the tech was friendly and treated our caller with respect. Its good to see this level of service from an online retailer.

Now lets see how the LX-920 from BuyDirectPC fared in our tests.

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