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I first bought a personal computer from PC Specialist in January 2008 and this laptop is my fourth purchase. Each time my decision has been based on their ability to supply a specifically configured machine at a price well below any competitior. That is to say they offer the best of both worlds: bespoke tailoring at bargain prices!
Over the years there have been two problems: a hard disk drive failed in a laptop and the GPU in a video card burned out in a desktop machine. On each occasion the RMA process was simple to invoke and executed promptly, within the terms of their warranties and so without any cost to me.
So I am satisfied that they present themselves well, make it very easy to specify a configuration, build their machines well and stand behind their products with a first class after-sales service. All of that and great value pricing!
This latest laptop was to replace an aging IBM (yes, pre-Lenovo) ThinkPad R50 which had started to fall apart after seven year's service. This is what I chose:
Chassis & Display Enigma III 540: 15.6" Glossy FHD LED (1920x1080) Processor (CPU) Intel® Core™i7 Quad Core Mobile Processor i7-2670QM (2.20GHz) 6MB Memory (RAM) 8GB SAMSUNG 1333MHz SODIMM DDR3 MEMORY (2 x 4GB) Graphics Card nVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M - 2GB DDR3 Video RAM - DirectX® 11 Memory - Hard Disk Drive 500GB SEAGATE MOMENTUS XT HYBRID, SATA 3 Gb/s, 32MB CACHE (7200 rpm) Optical Drive 8x SATA DVD±R/RW/Dual Layer (+ 24x CD-RW) Memory Card Reader Integrated 3 in 1 Memory Card Reader (SD, MMC, MS) Sound Card Intel 2 Channel High Definition Audio + MIC/Headphone Jack Network Facilities GIGABIT LAN & KILLER™ 1102 WIRELESS GAMING 802.11N NETWORK CARD USB Options 1 x USB 3.0 PORT + 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS Battery Enigma III Series 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (5,100/5,200 mAh) Power Lead & Adaptor 1 x UK Power Lead & 120W AC Adaptor Operating System Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
I was confident that it would be good but it's real life performance exceeded my expectations from the start. Literally, because it booted-up in less than 30 seconds and I was used to heading off to make a cup of coffee after switching on my ThinkPad. Credit for this performance probably should be shared by a number of components but I believe the Seagate hybrid HDD plays the biggest part.
One feature I required was a 5 GHz wireless adapter and the Killer 1102 has proved to be excellent, in my opinion outperforming the Intel 6300N installed in my company laptop (a Lenovo ThinkPad). At least in my house with my router!
Having a separate numeric pad is very useful because I do a lot of number crunching but it's a pity that the 'Home', 'End', 'Page Up' and 'Page Down' keys are not discrete. My only other concern is with the touchpad: it's so large and sensitive that I think it will take some time to get used to it.
In summary, PC Specialist is a reliable and honest company which offers a service that isn't easy to beat and represents very good value for money. They do accept payment by credit card (albeit with a 2% surcharge) or Google Checkout or debit card or bank transfer or even those good old fashioned cheques. They also offer interest free credit terms.