Not long after releasing its new Series 3 Chromebook, Samsung has announced a new version of its Series 3 Chromebox desktop computer powered by Google’s Chrome OS. While the new Chromebox has an all-new plastic shell, the hardware is identical to the previous iteration, with the same 1.9GHz Intel Celeron CPU, 4GB RAM, 16GB solid state storage and wide array of USB ports. While online Chrome OS retailers such as Currys PC World and Amazon do not appear to be stocking the device at the time of writing, a Chrome Story reader claims he was able to buy one from PC World in Bristol at the same £279 price tag as the earlier iteration, suggesting that widespread availability for cloud-loving desktop users is not too far off.
Let’s face it. We all buy technology of one form or another. Many of us buy our gadgets online for savings and sheer convenience, but sometimes you need to actually try something before you buy. High street stores are everywhere these days, complete with friendly and ‘knowledgable’ salespeople to guide you to the right products and decisions, but not all is as it seems.
Circulating around Digixav are numerous stories of employees at leading British retailers not having a clue about the products and services that they are trying to sell to the public. Here I have compiled a list of some of the worst of our experiences for your entertainment and warning. Remember that all of these stories are true and have been witnessed by the Digixav team.
- A hand scribbled description note for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc in a Carphone Warehouse store stated that the phone was sporting an ‘8.1 mega pixle’ rear camera.
- Advertising material in a Carphone Warehouse store shows BlackBerry Curve specifications with a dummy model of an HTC Salsa, thus confusing two smartphones that could hardly be more different.
- After his chain had been featured in an advert for the new Motorola RAZR, a Phones4U employee had no knowledge of the device other than its name despite the fact that people had come in requesting it.
- A label for a Lenovo desktop PC in Currys states that its 2nd generation Intel Core i3 CPU is 2.7x faster than your old PC. This is very misleading as the i3 chip is in fact slower than many processors that have been available for a number of years.
- The entire sales team of one Currys store had no idea of how the Kindle 4 lighted covers worked as the contact points had changed from those of the Kindle Keyboard. How can they try and sell a case for £50 if they have no idea how it works?
- A dummy Samsung Wave II is on display in the Carphone Warehouse with no explanation as to what it was.
- A Currys employee was left confused as he had no knowledge of what a flash drive was. He had to be reminded that it was the correct term for a memory stick.
- Another upside-down price tag in Currys. I see these whenever I visit my local branch.
- In December 2011, a Carphone Warehouse employee said that he did not expect the Lumia 900 to launch in the UK as, in his words, ‘it has been out in America for ages’. I played along with this, and he stated that it was just the 800 with a ‘4G’ LTE radio inside and at the exact same size of 3.7″. This is clearly incorrect as Nokia and AT&T are set to unveil this device at CES at Las Vegas on Monday. Another Carphone Warehouse employee since informed us that the database confirmed an 8MP rear shooter, a 4.3″ screen and 512MB RAM, but we cannot be certain if these specifications are genuine.
In conclusion, don’t believe everything you hear in tech shops. If you are in such an emporium and you hear an incompetent buffoon misleading a fellow consumer, don’t be afraid to butt in and steer them on the right path. Not all salespeople are terrible but the retail industry lacks people with a passion for technology and this is a sorry state for it.
If you have your own high street tale of woe, leave it in the comments or email it to us here.
The Dell Streak 7 was recently discontinued and, like a certain other tablet, this action is a cue for price cuts. It has now hit the low low price of £99.97 at PC World which will get you a Tegra 2 powered slab with an 800 x 480 resolution and, while sporting Froyo out of the box, an official update to Android 3.2 ie. Honeycomb is available over the air. It is unlikely that you will ever see Ice Cream Sandwich officially on this but, at this price, you may as well give it a go. The deal is in store only so head on over to your local PC World to grab this bargain.