Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Media Centred

It was all the rage when I bought it, but now all I do is rage at it. It is broken again: the Toshiba Qosmio F10 Media Centre laptop that I picked up nearly two years ago. What's more it appears to be the same fault. This was supposed to be the future: the PC comes of age and we all cluster round it rather than the Cathode Ray Tube in the corner of the room.

The TV, as it is better known is still going strong, but the poor graphics card in the laptop doesn't really deserve the name, as it rarely displays anything now. So it will be another journey back to the repair centre, for the box not me, and the inevitable big bill. For it seems that Toshiba have a sneaking suspicion that their kit has built in obsolescence, the one feature that they don't make a song and dance about, when they set the warranty period for repairs at a measly three months.

The Moodier Centre as it will henceforth be called will be recalled to its maker where it may the latest and greatest graphics card added, as it was the last time. Only on this occasion, I hope that the manufacturer remembers what the humble customer bought it for in the first place, using it as a handy bedroom TV/DVD/CD player with wireless internet access. All of this takes time and you might expect that the display would take a hammering. It all makes me wonder how long this particular product spent in soak test. What do you mean, we're soak testing it for Toshiba?

As for the concept of the Media Centre itself, I think it's an idea whose time has passed. You do need somewere to store all of your media, but the method of accessing it needs to be more armchair friendly, something you would be happy to share your lounge with. Let's hope Steve Jobs has the answer this time, with his iTV, although he may want to think about the name if he doesn't want a call from Michael Grade. Don't Apple try the simple precaution of typing their product names into Google these days?

Anyway I feel a battle coming on: that of Clueless Consumer versus Titanic Corporation. Some day the little guy will win.

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