Monday, September 29, 2014

Clevo / Sager Laptops vs Mainstream Brands

So a long time ago when laptops were first becoming more abundant, I researched into getting one of these grey market laptops where a company in Taiwan would manufacture a certain model and many other 3rd party vendors would buy, rebrand, and support them. At the time I only researched and never purchased because there really wasn't a reason to go left when I always went right with a regular Asus or Lenovo brand, but fast forward 10 years later.

I first looked at these Sager / Clevo laptops because of the stats on one particular model. It had a very fast GPU...faster than all of my past desktop gaming rigs, it had a desktop-class i7 CPU, it had an 1080p IPS LCD, and it all came in a 13" package. There was no other laptop with those stats so I made the jump.

In a nutshell I won't ever be doing that again and the following reasons pretty much sum it up.
  1. Many of the 3rd party resellers try to market the laptops as being cheaper if you pay cash. I tried this out and it was a total fiasco. You pretty much have to wait close to 1 month from the day you snail mail them a check to when you get the laptop in your hands. This is because they don't actually have the laptops in stock, they themselves have to order it from the source manufacturer with your specialized configurations, and then they have to wait for your check to clear. The whole "cash only" payment method seemed nice when comparing it to paying tax if you order direct, but in the end nobody is going to wait a month for a laptop to arrive. 
  2. Throughout a whole year of ownership, the laptop's drivers were never updated...ever. I'm one who thinks that drivers and software should always be tweaked and retweaked until they rarely ever crash or have problems. Without the backing of any central company, the drivers for this laptop remained v1.0 and some components remained buggy until the bitter end.
  3. Any manufacturer defects were just that, a defect. Nothing would fix it and nobody would care. On this particular model, the hardware engineering was very screwy with the fan speeds such that it would jump from silent to a friggin' jet taking off in half-a-second. It reminds me of when a Dell PowerEdge server will make its fans go at 100% if a component went bad. So yeah this super loud fan issue was such a hassle and it really never made sense as to why it would spike up.
  4. Quality was very consumer-level. Everything was plasticy and quite reminiscent of an early 2000 Dell or HP.
  5. Resale value I knew would be a problem, but I didn't think it was going to be as bad as it was. For the stats the laptop had, it shoulda gone for a whole lot more money, but it didn't because it wasn't on anybody's radar screen. The eventual depreciation loss was not proportional to what it should've been, not by a long shot.
So what did I learn from all of this? Either buy something so cheap that you don't care about the depreciation at all...like a sub $300 system. Or just use your better judgement and get a regular Lenovo, use it like crazy, and then sell it for a pretty good price many years later. There is and will always be a market for a used Lenovo Thinkpad...that and an Apple. I'm glad that I experimented so now I know what the deal is with these laptops, but yeah totally not worth it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Denial email

The fuck?! So I've definitely had my fair share of receiving auto-denial emails from companies...but you know...I never received one of those emails while I was in the process of filling out their asinine SAP HR form. If that isn't a direct slap in the face I don't know what is. I wonder what algorithm they have running in the background to auto-deny you...was it my First Name? Last Name? State? Did they not like my phone number? I mean it's a pretty cool number, I put down all 10-digits just for them. I was in the process of filling out the employment and education areas when I got the email; how insulting! I don't think I've ever had any dealings with this company either, so I couldn't have been blacklisted already. Just to stick it to their automated system, I finished the whole process and sent them 2 PDFs of my wonderful transcripts. I hope your SAN takes a shit...fuck you company.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tis Not Juice

If you ever find yourself at a Costco and you see one of the vendors handing out this thing...don't drink it. On first glance you may think it's a yummy juice box, but if you're like me and don't finish reading things, you'll miss out on the 'vegetable' part of the description. Oh my...it had the oddest aftertaste I've ever experienced. It's like mixing a juice box in with a chemical mistake. Friggin' nasty. It was funny how many of these things were in the closest garbage can to the vendor; there's no way a person could've drank the whole thing in such a short distance.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines) by Marko Kloos (Book 2013)

I thought this book was fantastic. It was a space opera of sorts, but it totally followed around one character as he went through boot camp, training, and the start of his futuristic military life.

Why was it so good? Detail and pace. The author totally went into lots of detail with regards to the main character and his daily and weekly tribulations. Other books would've rushed through certain parts or take too much time explaining unnecessary aspects of the setting, but Mr. Kloos made the story flow. I totally felt like I was living the intro to a enlisted lifestyle.

Of course it was a bonus that the main character was fairly likable and the supporting characters were also good as well. But props totally goes out to this author...he can definitely write.
Rating - High