If a policy is wrongheaded feckless and corrupt I take it personally and consider it a moral obligation to sound off and not shut up until it’s fixed. – David H. Hackworth
So, I ordered an ASUS ZenBook Pro on January 5th, and it’s one of the most disappointing experiences in recent memory. It arrived on the 9th and I was impressed as soon as I opened up the box.
First off, the thing is absolutely gorgeous. The entire thing is aluminum with a brushed circular texture that looks and feels great. The display is beautiful and the NanoEdge Touchscreen has an extremely thin bezel. The whole effect is stunning.
The keyboard and touchpad both feel great, too.
The specs are off the charts for a laptop this size:
- Intel Core i7-7700Q CPU
- 16GB RAM
- 512GB PCIe x4 SSD
- GTX 1050 Ti GPU (4GB GDDR5)
Total size & weight – 14.4″W x 9.9″D x .74″W, 3.97 lbs.
Price – $1,699.00
I ran benchmarks on this and compared it to an HP Omen and an HP Spectre x360. It blew away the Spectre, but didn’t compare that well to the Omen (but that was a full-on gaming rig with an NVidia GTX 1080 in it).
The end result was I was super thrilled with the laptop and looking forward to having it for a few productive years. Once I buy a laptop, my first general step is to purchase a second AC adapter for it; I keep one under my desk and one in my backpack.
Try finding an extra power brick online. I dare you. Don’t bother asking ASUS either… they just tell you to check with online retailers. The part number is ubiquitous with a couple of different variations, and finding one with the correct plug on it is pretty much impossible.
I attempted to reinstall Windows so I could use my own Windows 10 Pro license. Booting into the BIOS utility is a challenge and when I did, getting the BIOS to boot from the USB drive was impossible without some help from ASUS support. The instructions were nowhere to be found otherwise. I did an online chat with ASUS support and, to their credit, they were online within a few seconds and gave me the instructions I needed. I’ve documented this process in case you need it.
Unfortunately, this led to….
When you attempt to reinstall Windows, the keyboard mappings are non-standard. It ends up that the ‘0’ key, for example inputs an asterisk (*) and the ‘p’ key inputs a forward slash ‘/’. (I may have those backwards).
For this, ASUS support could only suggest updating the chipset drivers and installing another of their drivers. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help when one is in the setup program and can’t change the drive partition size to the value one wants because the zero key produces an ‘invalid input’ error. ASUS support recommended I send it in for repairs. Instead, I RMA’d it to Newegg who cross-shipped me a new laptop.
This laptop had the exact same issue with keys not mapping correctly.
Once I saw that was the case, I booted back to the pre-installed OS and updated the chipset drivers and other ASUS driver before I did anything else. At that point, Windows Update could no longer finish an update it downloaded and the laptop basically went through that attempt and failed every single time you shut it down.
After a day, it would no longer even shut down; only reboot. If the power key was held down until the power was off, it would start again as soon as the power key was released. If a shutdown was attempted through Windows, it would just reboot.
So, with a ton of regret, I decided to return the second defective laptop.
Guess what? I was out of my return window.
Newegg screwed me over.
Newegg’s clock for my 30 day return policy apparently started ticking the moment I hit the “Submit” button on the order, and not when I actually received the laptop.
Here’s the timeline:
January 5 – Ordered the laptop with ShopRunner 2 Business Day shipping
January 9 – Laptop arrives
January 24 – RMA for defective laptop
January 25- Replacement laptop ships
January 30 – Replacement laptop arrives
February 6 – I’m told I can’t return the second laptop because I’m 2 days past the return window
1. The first four days of the return window, the laptop was in transit.
2. Worst case, my return window should have started January 9th, when I received it.
3. The first laptop was defective.
4. The replacement laptop was shipped on January 25th.
5. The replacement laptop arrived on January 30th… five more days of shipping
6. The return window wasn’t reset when the replacement arrived
If I had not asked for a replacement, I would have gotten a full refund. I could have then ordered a new one and gotten a new 30 day return window.
WHAT’S THE FREAKIN’ DIFFERENCE?
I guess I won’t be buying big ticket items on Newegg any longer. That sucks… I’ve been a customer of their’s for years.