The Next Best Thing

I was cruisin' in the mall last night, turned the corner past the kids with their brand new custom teddy bears and their cheap plastic Sanrio goodies, and there it was. A little kiosk. But it wasn't your typical kiosk with little trinkets or watches or hairpieces or cellphones or imitation jewellery, or even those wind-up helicopters that fly up 20ft and then return to the high-school part-time saleskid.

lookit me, lookit me!No, this one had the good stuff. It was an ASUS kiosk, with their newest line of portable computing devices (mainly notebooks and PDAs). And there I saw their flagship notebook computer in all its glory, shining under the sparkling kiosk spotlight: the Asus W1N. This is the machine I would have bought, if I hadn't gotten my Powerbook. It's the only thing in the Windows world that has even come close to the Powerbook's elegance, in terms of presentation -- and even then, it has a fair ways to go before it matches Apple.

I measured my outspread hand diagonally across the screen.

"15 inch widescreen."
"Actually, it's 15.4."

No sh!t, Sherlock -- practically all widescreens in the 15" range are 15.4", save the 15.2" Powerbook. As if that 0.4" would be the tipping point between considering the purchase and dumping my money on the table to get it immediately.

I started playing with the machine, running my fingers over her chassis and examining the design of it all. And then, the fun part. He started touting features, listing acronyms like they were going out of style, trying to sound real important. I don't know why the saleskid bothered to do that. I mean, what was this, Future Shop or Best Buy or something?? Sure, it's great to rattle geektalk off like that, but you're not the only one who knows that. Could he not tell, by the way I was oggling the details, that I might already have a clue?? (I'm no expert, but I know a thing or two.) Ignoring him, I turned my attention to the various ports on the side.
"Oh, it has Firewire," I noticed.
"Yes, IEEE 1394 or Firewire."
"400 or 800?"

He drew a blank. I'll bet the thought had crossed his mind to repeat "1394" again, but it was good he didn't.
"And wow, it has an audio line-out too? And optical out! Very nice," as I fawned over the marvel.
"What's this port here? I've never seen that before."

Still nothing. He just smiled and handed me a pamphlet of the W1N and said I could see all the specs on that. Not even 30 seconds, and he threw in the towel already. Sometimes, it's better to say nothing at all. Especially if opening your mouth shows you know nearly nothing about the products you're selling, beyond what you just memorized.

(By the way, it's a really nice machine, but at $2400, I have no regrets about getting my Powerbook. Asus notebooks are only available through their distributors Central Computers at the moment.)


hougee said...

nice computer.. :)
i miss valley fair :(

hougee said...

btw.. i passed by the mac store the other day.. the g5 imac is out!! it's NICE! and very reasonably priced!

Kevin said...

A very select group of people could sum this up in the acronym "K.B.I.A.E."