SITEX is over, and I never stepped foot there, but nevertheless I bought a Dell PC for Aunt Linda, thanks to online shopping. It's probably not the best system, but it certainly ain't the worst.
In my research, I found that PCs under $900 uses either the old Pentium Hyperthreading single-core chip or the old AMD single-core Athlon processor (sorry for getting too technical again, folks). And PCs above $1500 uses the latest Intel Core 2 Duo duo-core processors. My price range is $1200, and within this range, Dell seems to offer the best deals. Yes, there are controversies at this sensitive time of PC-frenzy sales, but there is more than just price and specs. I would love to get PC of other brands, but they don't seem to offer the price range that I want. HP focuses on Media-PC and prices above $1500. Lenovo PC looks cool, and the laptops offer fantastic warranty services, but for PC I don't get the same kind of product information coverage and after-sales assurance that I want (simple question: where is the Lenovo service centre?). Acer's PC is overpriced online, which does not reflect latest promotions, which led me to wonder if I have missed any offers somewhere that I am not aware of.
In contrast, Dell publishes and updates their offers online, and you can get the same roadshow offer without contending with crowds at roadshows. This transparency offers assurance to the purchaser that there is no sneaky better-offer somewhere that he is unaware of (apart from market-focused pricing like students, corporates). Apple used to have this assurance, until resellers started to stock the products leading to some price competition, which means Shop A could sell at a lower price than Shop B, which means you will worry that you are not getting the cheapest deal for the same product. Spare me! I'm more than happy to accept product-controlled pricing, coz that means I can instantly decide whether I should put my buck on this certain brand product, or to look elsewhere. Of course, this is almost impossible unless the distributor controls the retailers, as in the case for service providers.
Either way, consumers win. The lazy consumers will find the brand that offers the best-assured price, while the savvy consumers will scour the island to save every cent to get the cheapest.