Those who know me know that I buy any new piece of electronic gear. It doesn’t really matter if I need it or not – it is my equivalent of other peoples’ music or shoe collection.
Imagine my giddiness then when I laid my eyes on the new Samsung Series 9 Laptop. Finally, a PC that looked like it could take the lusty Macbook Air in both performance, weight, style, and battery life. Even the trackpad looked good!
Off I traipsed around the world, seeing MBAirs become the ubiquitous hipster accessory happy in my knowledge that at some point, my Sammy would begin shipping and I would be able to pound said hipsters with my new Duralumin case (they make fighter jets out of this stuff! Shove your aluminum, hipster!). Full disclosure, I do own a MBAir 13”. I am just not a hipster.
Finally, release day comes. Mar16. Or at least that’s when Samsung announces they are available. Sort of. http://blog.laptopmag.com/samsung-series-9-release
So what do I do? I attempt to go and buy one. Guess how that works out? Best Buy’s site doesn’t even have the part. Amazon.com? Nada.
Now maybe Ive been lulled into the Jobsian notion of ‘when I release a product, either its in the channel or I’ll give you a date when you can line up and buy one.’ With Samsung, it’s more like “we’re going to say it’s available and then make you go on a fucking scavenger hunt to see if it’s really released or if we just go a little bad kimchi and hit publish too soon.”
So I go to the Samsung USA site. A bunch of online retailers apparently have it. But none do. Ok.
So I go to NYC on the 25th. Hit up the flagship Samsung Store (like an Apple store on crack) in Time Warner. I walk in and immediately ask one of the blue-shirts where I can get the Series 9. First he sends me back to the TV section. Uh – no laptop, sir. Then he shows me the three they have locked down in the front of the store. There they are! I can touch one, smell one, caress the lovely lines of my precious. “So can I buy one here?”
You see, at the Samsung Experience Store in NYC located in some of the priciest real estate in the city, you can’t actually buy anything. You can wave thousand dollar bills in their face. You can offer to buy them lunch at Per Se. Nothing works – you literally can’t buy anything. Never in my life have I been so flabbergasted. So I ask the blue shirt, “Hey, ok. So where can I buy one?” He gives me his card and says try the Best Buy down the street on 61st. And we’re off.
This time, at least Best Buy had one on display. But the salesperson said they sold the only one they had. And there were none at any other Manhattan location.
I will call my buddy from the Samsung Experience Store. I tell him no love at Best Buy. He responds back with a few options which, I quickly realize, he simply found by going to the same terrible Samsung USA website and looking at the inaccurate stock information. Which I had been doing for weeks. Thank you, Mr. Unhelpful.
Finally I appear on Amazon.com on Mar28. Boom! I buy it. Of course, Amazon doesn’t have any idea when they are going to get it. But that’s ok – I’m off on a business trip across four continents and three weeks, so at this point I just figure it will be there when I get home. Would be nice to have while I’m all over the world talking to press, bloggers, and influential peeps to have their flagship device, but oh well. No one can buy one, anyway.
While I’m on the trip, the F5 key gets a workout on Amazon to see if there is a ship date. From Apr2-Apr24, nada.
Didn’t this thing ‘release’ on Mar16? Oh and lets not forget the tragic Samsung site that continued to list a ton of shady online retailers with the device “In Stock” that would only be accurate in a very meta sense.
Finally, Apr22 I can’t take it anymore. I cancel the Amazon order and place an order from one of the Jersey electronics shops. I pay more, get the overnight shipping, the whole shebang. At this point I just don’t care how much it costs.
You can guess where this is going.
After the weekend (Apr 26, to be exact), I get a mail from NJ seller telling me that ‘psych! We didn’t really have it in stock. But we think we will in 3-5 days.”
Fool me once, shame on you…
So I place another order from another Jersey Shore electronics boutique. Same thing – more money and even higher shipping. At this point its just the principle. Low and behold – after only a day delay it actually manages to arrive last Friday. Halle-fricking-lugh.
Apparently there are two versions of this laptop. I probably should have known this after reading all the reviews. But see, because of the absolute shit Samsung site, th crazy ass variable pricing on the retailers websites, and the general lack of any technical details (or knowledge from the peeps in the Samsung Experience Store), I didn’t really catch the subtle nuance. Namely –in the version I bought, there is no TPM chip.
You may be saying to yourself, “Stefan, who the fuck cares?!”.
I care. Because without a TPM chip, I can’t use this little beast with my corporate network. This, despite the fact that multiple reviews have talked about it having one. This, despite that little piece of knowledge (that there are actually two models!) never appears anywhere on the Samsung site.
Sure enough. One little letter. I need the NP900X3A-A02US, not the NP900X3A-A03US that I bought. Really.
Go on – try and find that little piece of knowledge on the web. Sure, now you probably can if you dig hard enough, but here is the crux of my problem: WHY THE FUCK SHOULD I HAVE TO?
I’m trying to buy a really expensive (frankly overpriced) laptop. I’m trying to be a great brand evangelist for PC for you. I’m trying to argue the case for the PC over the Mac. And you’re NOT helping me.
And because I bought it from Jersey Shore, I can’t return it. So my option is to try and sell this one and buy the new one (if I can ever find it) or just live with this one and the issues no TPM raise.
Samsung. Please, please get your act together. This is embarrassing.