Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The R2H and Asus Repair Again

On April 15th, I wrote a rather gushy post about my experience with Asus tech support and the repair job they did on my R2H. Since I dove into Vista almost immediately after getting the UMPC back, and since I was fighting--and not always winning--with Vista drivers, it took me about four days to realize that my customer service saga wasn't over.

You see, my primary concern was being able to use my UMPC at work. This meant that my priorities lay in the areas of connectivity (wired, wireless and VPN), performance, readability and input. It look me four days to give up battling with tuning those areas and to try to watch an online video. Watching it was no problem, but hearing it was. So was hearing any music in Media Player, though Vista's Device Manager showed no errors, and WMP looked like it was playing the song. I checked everywhere in Vista I knew to check before checking the BIOS, then booting back into Windows XP Tablet Edition, which had been loaded by Asus repair (I had wiped the drive before shipping it off). My heart sank as I realized there was no Windows startup sound, and I felt even worse when I dredged up a set of headphones and plugged them in... because there was my sound.

I, who have wanted the dogs to stop barking, asked my husband to turn the TV down, and unsuccessfully willed the neighbor to stop mowing at 9 am, suddenly found silence depressing. Sitting-in-your-car-staring-at-it-instead-of-driving-home depressing. I didn't even have the heart to play with Bluetooth.

I called Asus repair again. We talked. The next day, an RMA and instructions for shipping arrived in my email. I procrastinated as usual, until Vista crashed and would boot no longer, and for all of five minutes, I felt I couldn't get the R2H away from me fast enough. Around the sixth minute, I was already missing it. I shipped the computer Monday, April 30th. This time, I put in the note that they did not have to call me for permission to reinstall the operating system; I wanted no delay, as I was starting a week-long on-call rotation the following weekend and would need all the help I could get. On May 7th, a week after I dropped it off at FedEx, my baby was back in my hands.

Traditionally, I have disliked the Windows startup sounds, but the joy I felt when I heard the little one log me in was, well, indecently excessive.

There's a little voice in my head telling me to check. eveything. out. now! but I want to get back to Vista. Hey, I know wireless, graphics, touchscreen, USB, SD slot and audio work (haven't tried cam, GPS, LAN and Bluetooth).

So, do Asus tech support still make my grade? Sure. They lost points for the sound issue, but gained them for fixing cosmetic issues I didn't ask them to fix and for other steps in the process toward making it right. Plus, I can't afford to point any fingers, as many times as I've closed up laptops and PCs with drives or input devices disconnected, or with cables pinched or parts forgotten.



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