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!