Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Rewards of Persistence and Smart Buying

My brother once commented that when it comes to buying gadgets I am very hard to please. This is, of course, with very good reason. I buy gadgets based on a need and it must meet a certain criteria. You have no idea how frustrating this compulsion can be.

My last 3 gadgets were chosen with so much scrutiny that even a few days after purchasing them I still suffered from buyer's remorse.

These were the following gadgets I acquired during my stay here by order of acquisition:

Toshiba Satellite M200-E431

I can honestly say I committed the one cardinal sin of not researching on the Internet about this but it was educational and a little too late. Being a PC enthusiast, I have never dreamed or planned on owning a laptop in my life. Remembering the days of my manipulative employers back in Cebu, owning one of those was career slavery. It would be just their excuse for me to work from home when I should be doing something else - like having a social life. I decided that I still needed one for my boring life here in Manila. It was literally a whole new scene for me. I needed no reminder that although a laptop and a PC were both computers they were completely different in their own right and choosing a laptop threw away all my EXPERT knowledge on the subject on PCs.

I was lucky enough to chance upon a laptop installment promo for the month of March. This was where my meticulous habit of choosing gadgets started kicking in. I place my decision solely on how much I wanted to pay in a month. Given the prices in the store, I settled for a maximum of 5,000 pesos per month for twelve months. Defining the budget then enabled me to decide on the product. Given the less than satisfactory after sales services for electronics here in the Philippines and coupled with the pathetic specifications available for sale I was already frustrated. It took me at least two hours to choose a laptop and that was AFTER I spent the night browsing through their catalogue. Honestly, at the prices laptops were sold in the Philippines I can get one in the States at twice the speed and half the price. If you were to choose the same lappy here it would cost twice as much and half the services, priveleges and perks.

Anyway, given the features I need and don't need I was able to make a sensible decision on the Toshiba Satellite. The only thing I wished it had was a matte finish. Given my clumsy nature and oily fingers the thing would be a mess.

A touch of style for my vanity; A touch of power for my programming and graphics uses; A good screen that's not a strain for long usage; A comfortable keyboard; And, all the capabilities for wireless convenience. Of course, I'd wanted a PC card slot so I can use my landlord's Internet card. How, oh, how could I ever download my beloved porn if I don't have Internet?! ;)

This unit fit perfectly into my needs. heheh...

My rule is simple:

1) A fixed price

2) Specs to fit for the price with only minor trade offs to live without.

Playstation Portable

This gadget was spawned from my initial decision to buy an iPod with one of those JBL speakers. A majority of my friends have suggested a PSP instead due to its gaming capabilities. Being a PC gamer the PSP wasn't exactly at par with my taste in games but in the end I found myself buying one and found the games quite addicting. They were very useful in passing away the time. On top of that, it can double as a media player for my MP3s and movies that I don't have time to watch at home. Did someone say porn? :D

Creative SE2300 Bluetooth earphones

I always thought if you wanted to buy a gadget it should be universally useful for its intended use. It was hard to find a cheap bluetooth headphone let alone one that doesn't have a microphone. The requirements were simple:

1) Bluetooth headset

2) No mic

3) Not gadget dependent (exclusive for iPod or other shit like that)

The day I started hunting one down at SM Megamall I was nearly suckered into buying a JBL Bluetooth headphone for 13k. The oblivious saleman who claims to have previously owned a psp confidently claimed that a PSP had BT capabilities. What the fuck?! The PSP specs does not mention of a Bluetooth capability I don't usually argue about these things because I really hate being right about bad things. I hate being right. For some strange coincidence I saw a small stall for Creative Labs in the trade hall. I asked them if they had the BT headphones they had in their site. Sadly, they didn't have it but they did refer me to their other stall in the lower ground level. There it was, a small cabinet as well. But what really shocked me was just on the lower shelf and obscured from view was the SE2300. I couldn't believe my eyes! It was like seeing a Ferrari being parked in a shady province! This was after the saleman said they don't have BT headphones. I admit I nearly gave up that day and I originally didn't want to go to their lower stall. I didn't give another blink about buying it. You can't find shit like that anywhere else - even with the rare brands I listed down and found on the gadgets floor! My search ended.

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