Over the last few weeks, I’ve been on a personal quest to find myself a new toy – a brand new gaming notebook, to serve as my portable gaming minion with the same amount of power (if not greater) than my current desktop machine. The main reason for doing this is financially related, but the secondary reason is that my desktop machine is too big to carry to LAN parties, which lead me to consider a portable solution.
I now have my new toy all picked out, customized and ready to order, but I think we should start at the beginning of this adventure.
The quest for the new beast started with Alienware. Yes, I was willing to fork out a decent amount of cash for an Alienware notebook, despite many objections from friends, workmates and other individuals, which I would add, was purely for the look. I would have gone through with the purchase too, as I had everything picked out and customized on the DELL website – that is until I noticed a large difference between the Australian and United States regional websites.
The two largest differences between the two sites was the price (approximately $500.00 dearer in Australia) as well as the lack of customization options available. Some examples of this are the Alienware M14x, which starts at $999.00 in the United States and starts at $1499.00 in Australia, we well as less component and accessory options such as specialized bags.
So I took my concerns to DELL. When I asked a DELL ‘Sales Expert’ why there was a disparity between the two stores, I was provided with a set of scripted answers that showed no signs of product knowledge. Suffice to say, my experience with their ‘experts’ was nowhere near satisfactory.
After pushing for answers on why Australia is not offered the same options as the United States, the sales representative claimed the reason there are a lack of component options in Australia is due to that the components offered in Australia ‘spec higher’ than their U.S. counterparts. I instinctively called bullshit, and requested to see some evidence to support the claim, such as benchmarks and the like.
By this point, I had been talking with the sales representative for just under an hour, and as soon as I asked for benchmarks to support the claims of higher spec in Australian components (which are manufactured, installed and shipped directly from China by the way), the sales rep immediately tried to shirk me off, repeatedly stating that if I have a problem with the customer service, that I should file an official complaint through proper channels.
But at no point did I mention that I wanted to complain about it – I merely wanted answers, as to why Australia gets the short end of the stick for the increased cost. With warranty issues aside, I also wanted justification as to why I should buy from the Australian store over the United States, and why I should fork over my cash for such a product. But, the cycle continued, and the sales rep continued to shirk me. The conversation ended by the hand of the sales representative, stating they could not help me and they closed communications.
It was at this point that I decided against all Alienware and DELL products, because of the poor customer service.
This set me back to square one in terms of having a laptop picked out. Having mentioned my experience with DELL to a friend, he recommended Logical Blue One, an online custom notebook builder from Queensland, Australia. After browsing their website for a time, and talking with the company representative ‘Jack’, my decision to purchase a custom-made notebook from LBO was solidified.
After playing around with their laptop customization options and changing my chosen build several times, I’ve finally settled on a build that I’m extremely happy with.
It’s called the Horize P150EM Clevo Notebook, which is a completely customizable and upgradable notebook, and the specs I’ve chosen are as follows.
Intel Ivy Bridge i7-3630QM 2.4-3.4Ghz Turbo
Crucial M4 128GB SSD mSATA 500/175 Mbs Read/Write
AMD 7970M 2GB Graphics Card GDDR5
IC Diamond 24 Carat on CPU+GPU
8GB 1600Mhz RAM
750GB 7200rpm Hard Disk Drive
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
3 Year RTB Warranty + 90 Day 100% Pixel Guarantee
The total cost of this is $2005.00, inclusive of the Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the $30.00 flat shipping cost. I must say, I’m incredibly impressed with it, and all that’s needed now is for me to actually purchase it.
Anyway, that about rounds up my quest so far for a new gaming notebook. Once it is delivered, you can be sure I’ll be benchmarking like a motherfucker, and perhaps I’ll write a post about the results.