John Moltz recently purchased a gaming laptop for his son and documented the experience. I’ve never actually purchased a PC myself — when I was using PCs they were either purchased by my parents, provided by my school, or I built them myself. But, that was nearly a decade ago and based on John’s experience it looks like things have only gotten worse.
What I don’t understand is why there’s no PC OEM that takes the user experience as seriously as Apple does. Why isn’t there one with a rationalized product lineup, aimed at a broad swath of customers (Razer’s is rationalized, but only focuses on high-end gaming), that all come with a clean Windows install?
Every few years I’ll get questions from a friend or family member about what computer I think they should buy. And after doing a little research on my own I always end up giving them the same advice: I have no idea what PC you should buy, but if you think you want to switch to OS X, I recommend a MacBook Air or an iMac.
I don’t give them this advice because I don’t think they should buy a PC, in fact I’d rather they buy a PC because it’s what they’re most comfortable with and it’ll prevent me from become their lifeline when something goes wrong (as I expect I’d be if they bought a mac, since I’m the “mac guy”). The reason I don’t know what PC to recommend is because the whole market looks like a sea of poorly built hardware filled with bloatware and bad user experiences.
Like John, I’ll never understand why there isn’t one PC OEM that actually seems to care about the customer. Not one with a simple product line, with limited options in order to prevent their customers from being overwhelmed. Whenever I take a look at the PC market it feels like every OEM is trying to dump all the components that Intel and AMD couldn’t convince Apple to put in their latest MacBook Air. It’s not good at all.