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System 76 or ZaReason

This year I was thinking about getting a netbook. I usually use my older laptop while sitting in my lazy boy. It seems like a netbook would be perfect for that kind of use.  I was nervous, however, of buying one and having this function or that feature not work.

@gomerx on status.net recommended ZaReason and System 76. I began looking very seriously at both of these companies. I was interested in the Starling at System 76, and Terra HD on ZaReason. I was leaning more toward Terra HD just because it was larger than 10.1. But, System 76’s Starling looked like a better machine and it came with 2 Gb of DDR 3 memory.

Maybe its the Wal-Martization or Amazonian nature of commerce, but I was curious about the cost of shipping. System 76 had a nice little script where I put in my zip and they estimated my shipping costs. It was $15, not free but acceptable.

ZaReason had no such script. In fact I had to register for an account and begin the purchase process in order to find out the shipping costs.  I was still in the process of deciding between ZaReason and System 76 so was unwilling to register at the time. I emailed ZaReason and was sent back an email explaining they are not putting energy into R&D but selling computers.  I was told someone would email me shipping costs.

This took me back a bit.   Shipping costs are part of the business transaction, and in the spirit of transparency ought to be revealed before registering for an account. Registering, at least for me, implies an intention to be a customer, I was not there yet. I was never emailed a quote and was not sure what was all included in this R&D – service, support?  In all honesty I felt rather blown off as a potential customer.

This interaction pushed me over to System 76. While I really liked how ZaReason installed multiple distros I was impressed with the service of System 76. The forums seemed much more active than ZaReason and I could also receive their status.net updates.  I emailed System 76 with a question and they were helpful. In addition they were transparent on what the shipping costs would be.

I was torn between a Starling and a Lemur. While the Lemur was certainly pulling me in its direction, I opted for the Starling because of the cheaper price.  I am patiently waiting for the Starling to arrive. Should arrive on the 13th, but maybe today, maybe today!

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3 responses to “System 76 or ZaReason

  1. Annie K.

    Well have fun with your new toy then, I never heard of any of that stuff O_o
    my current technological annoyance (and this is some high-level shit so I hope your brain doesn’t get tied up in knots over it) is that apparently the “Seasons” expansion pack for Sims 2 (the kid has Sims 3 which is great in a lot of ways but TOO damn buggy and I’m still on 2 and proud!) but Seasons is only available online for a physical copy and as direct download, meh
    Me want physical copy from store.
    Not want use card online. Me also sick of bouncing from Best Buy to WallyWorld to TargetHell to see if any Season EPs have magically appeared. Also annoying ~EA wants to move towards customers having their game crap to being kept on THEIR servers so you have no local shit on your own machine. Weird weird weird. Not so different from playing WoW online aside form the fact you ar not interactive with other ppl, but, why phase out PC gaming that’s actually really ON PCs? weird. So it’s you know whoop-de-doo “portable” and you can connect to the mothership from anywhere and pick up where your game left off but. . No thanks. EA sells you some stuff but then kinda just keeps it? also these folks have the buggiest crap ever when it comes to their latest developments, they rush the fruit to market before it’s really ripe :( Just how good will all that work in reality. and Lulz, what next? you buy a shirt but can only wear it at the store? everyone has a closet right at le Jacques Penney? Damn you EA! it’s my shirt and my Sims!!!

  2. lukas

    I bought a laptop from ZaReason and had a really good experience. They even had a follow up call a couple months after I purchased the laptop to ask how I liked it. I was confused cuz I thought for sure they were going to try and sell me something, but then they didn’t. Weird.

    Anyways, I’ve heard good things about System 76 too, although I’ve never purchased anything from them.

  3. If it wasn’t for the shipping thing I may very well have ended up ordering from them. My email to ZaReason was responded to quickly which is probably a good reflection of service. I just think the whole lack of transparency with shipping is a big mistake.

    One thing I noticed with forums of both companies is ZaReason seems much more of a family affair whereas System76 had more of a community support feel.

    I am sure ZaReason is a fine company, I just think blowing off running a simple script to show shipping prices is a big turn off, it was for me.

    Thanks for posting.

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