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Laptop Bags for Women. Who’d Have Thought That!

That most dreaded time of year is just around the corner.  And the pressure is on to ensure that you buy the perfect present for the woman in your life.   Make the wrong decision and you’re paying for it for the rest of the year!

If you’ve decided that your special lady deserves a laptop, you might be thinking that picking the best laptop spec for your budget will be the hardest part.  Wrong.  You’ve got to make sure you have the right accessories.  The most popular laptop accessory we sell is the humble laptop bag.  A bag is there to protect your laptop;  store pens, papers, chargers etc and express a little part of who you are.  Actually scrub that last part.  The market is awash with functional, black, boring laptop cases that say nothing.  Fortunately, laptop manufacturers have realised that woman use laptops too (crazy, I know!) and that they want to look good whilst transporting their precious tech around with them.

I asked a few bag manufacturers for bags that they think women will love – and luckily for you – they came through.

I’ve picked a few of my favourites for review, and I hope these will help guide you in your decision (and maybe even earn you some brownie points).

First up is the Belkin Sleeve for Ultrabook – Quicklinx: 90HP

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This is slim and sleek – ideal for popping into another bag, or covering your laptop whilst it’s in a drawer.  The laptop fits into the sleeve with a bit of wiggling.  This is just down to it being new.  However, no amount of wiggling could get a 13.3″ MacBook Air into it. The magnetic flap that closes the sleeve adds to the sleek design.  The interior is brushed to ensure that the laptop chassis stays scratch free.

Next up is the Port Designs Adelaide – Quicklinx 8RFD for 14″ – 15″ or Quicklinx: 8RFF for 15.6″.

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This bag has plenty of pockets and compartments.  Really, it’s like a handbag that has room for a laptop. It feels like a quality sturdy bag that will last (at least until red and black go out of fashion). I particularly like the red contrast handles and the red interior lining.  The front pocket is great for keys, and my work pass and my purse can fit in the inside.

Another Port Designs bag is the Firenze – Quicklinx: 940M for 13″ – 14″ or Quicklinx: 940N for 15.6″

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This is more like a laptop bag than the Adelaide, but it is still quite feminie and retains a stylish edge.  It feels like a well – built quality bag.  It isn’t as roomy as the Adelaide – it doesn’t have the additional front pockets.  But there’s enough room to store your phone, a slim purse, a few keys and some documents.  This is a good one for a lady who wants to look professional and fashionable.

The final bag I’m going to review is the Techair Portrait Case – Quicklinx: 8HJM

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To be honest, this isn’t a ladies’ bag as such, it’ll do for anyone.  But it’s nice enough for a girly girl to own!  It’s a cross body style bag, with a red lining to the front compartment.  The larger compartment has a faux fur lining, ensuring that your Ultrabook is nice and snug.  There’s not much room for anything else – I couldn’t find my sandwiches in it, or a big purse – but other than that I like the simplicity and cross-body styling of this bag.

Just in case you’re wondering (no pun intended), the sexy piece of kit trying out the bags is the Acer S7.

 

 

The Dabs Diamond Awards 2012!

It was that time of year again as the great and the good of the technology industry gathered at the Midland Hotel in Manchester for the prestigious Diamond Awards 2012. With representatives from the biggest names in technology there, everyone waited with anticipation to see who would be the lucky winners.

Also present was plenty of glitz and glamour with a 1950’s Hollywood themed evening complete with Marilyn Monroe, the Rat Pack and…erm… Bungle out of Rainbow.  As the dinner was served and the free wine quaffed, the lovely Marilyn began to announce the winners whilst the audience were poised on the edge of their seats.

The winners were chosen by you, the customer so thank you very much for voting and giving these brands the recognition they deserve.

Best computing vendor: Samsung

Best print vendor: HP

Best networking vendor: Netgear

Best storage vendor: Western Digital

Best components vendor: Intel

Best memory vendor: Corsair

And the best of all, the lucky winner of the dabs voucher is Francine Costello! We will send you a voucher worth £50 to your email address!

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PCTV Systems New Broadway 2T

In the box are the unit itself, with antennae attached, a small mains transformer (with two different attachable adapters for use abroad), a CAT 5 cable and a small DVB-T aerial.  I also found a couple of IR emitters labelled “For Future Use”

PCTV Broadway unbox

Setup was a no-brainer, connect CAT 5 cable to unit and my switch, connect aerial cable to aerial socket and connect mains adapter to mains socket on the rear.

PCTV Broadway Rear

The LED on the front flashed for a few seconds, and then stayed on, I assumed it was ready to rock, so I picked up my iPad, ran Safari browser and entered distan.tv in the address bar. 

After entering the default password, I went into setup and hit “Scan Channels”.  About 3 minutes later I had my full complement of freeview channels displayed. 

Changing the settings to stream at the highest bitrate, the video quality was more than acceptable and suffered no glitches, dropouts or freezing. 

I then decided to add an external video source, in the form of my BT Vision box, via the S-Video connector on the back and after a few seconds of buffering, this also produced an acceptable picture.  I did think about the IR emitters in the box and assumed this to be for a future version of the software to allow full control of external set top boxes. 

I also had an iPod touch handy, so I ran Safari browser and again went to distan.tv, just as with the iPad, there were no issues.

All in all, a great device, purpose built for devices where it is impossible to add a USB tuner.  The additional facility of having video inputs on the rear for things like set-top boxes and security cameras, just adds to the flexibility of the device.

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Battlefield 3

Just a quick post from me today. I’ve been seeing a lot of chat about Battlefield 3 recently, so I’ve spent some time today just soaking up the latest videos and screens. I am seriously looking forward to this game. If, for some reason, you haven’t seen it yet, take a look:

So, with the launch of Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Battlefield 3 towards the end of summer, looks like I’ll be getting that big upgrade soon. Consoles just won’t be able to do these two titles justice.

Here’s one more picture, just to finish the post off.

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Customer update – 17th March

Update: Wednesday 16th March

We’re really sorry if you’ve waited longer than usual for us to process your return. Your patience has been very much appreciated and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience the wait may have caused you.

We’re pleased to confirm that we’re now right up to date with processing returns, so unless your return is very recent, it will now have been processed.

  • If you paid by credit/debit card, we have now processed your refund to the card originally used to pay for your goods. If the refund transaction failed, we will have contacted you separately to advise you of this. If you haven’t heard from us, then your refund is complete and will appear on your card statement in a few days.
  • If you paid by PayPal, a member of our team will contact you by phone to arrange your refund. Due to a change in the payment types we accept, we’re no longer able to process PayPal transactions so instead, we’ll ask you to choose to have your refund paid to either a credit/debit card, or directly into your bank account by same day transfer. **Please don’t email us with credit/debit card details as this is potentially insecure**.

Once again, many apologies for your wait.


Update: Monday 14th March

Following a busy working weekend here at Dabs, we’re pleased to report that good progress has been made in returning to our usual levels of service.

As reported on 9th March, we’re now right up to date with shipping orders for in-stock items.  In cases where goods were out of stock at the time of placing your order, the stock has been ordered to fulfil it and in many cases, has already been dispatched to you.  Unless there’s a general UK-wide shortage of the item you ordered, we’re expecting the balance of stock to fulfil outstanding orders today/tomorrow, which means goods should arrive with you by Wednesday if not earlier.

Whilst things are quickly returning to normal, we’re still experiencing higher than usual levels of enquiries into our Customer Services team.  We do appreciate your patience if you experience a wait – we will respond to your specific enquiry as soon as we possibly can.

We’re really grateful for your understanding and patience and sincerely apologise once again for any inconvenience caused.


Update: Monday  9th March

Many thanks for your patience whilst our team have been clearing the backlog of orders we told you about in our earlier posts.

As reported on Monday, we planned to dispatch the remaining backlog of orders early this week and anticipated that most customers would take delivery of their goods on or before today. Whilst we did dispatch the lion’s share of the backlog on Monday and Tuesday, a few orders have only left our warehouse today, which means you should take receipt tomorrow.

To prevent customers from waiting any longer than necessary, we’ve now shipped all order lines for items that are in stock (provided of course your payment has cleared). This may mean that part of your order is still outstanding. Please check your delivery note for full details.

If your order has been partially dispatched, there’s no need to contact us. Unless there’s a general UK-wide shortage of the specific product(s) you ordered, we’re expecting the stock imminently and should be able to dispatch the remaining lines of your order before the end of the week. We won’t make any charges for delivery when we do this.

A number of customers have asked us about the status of their return. We’re pleased to report that we’re also now catching up in this department and expect that returns received in the last 48 hours should be processed by the end of Friday. We’ll email you with details of your specific return as it’s dealt with.

Once again, sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused and thanks for waiting.


Update: Friday 6th March

In our blog post on Friday we told you about slow running processes which caused delays to some customer orders following our migration to a new integrated ERP system over the weekend of 26th & 27th February.

We’re pleased to report that the work we’ve done to improve this from Friday 4th March was successful in addressing these issues, and arrangements are now in place to clear the backlog of orders.  Many orders were processed this weekend, and we anticipate we’ll dispatch the rest early this week.  So, if all the lines on your order are in-stock and your payment has cleared, your goods should arrive on or before Wednesday.

Thank you once again for your patience whilst we return our service levels to normal and sincere apologies for the inconvenience this issue may have caused


Update: Friday 25th February

As many of you are aware, we took dabs.com offline over the weekend of 26th & 27th February whilst we migrated to a new integrated ERP system.  Whilst the majority of the transition went well, some of our processes have since been running more slowly than we expected.  This has caused a backlog affecting a small number of customer orders and has highlighted the need to change some of our processes to run faster.

Most of these are now being resolved, whilst a performance upgrade due to roll out tonight will allow us to start clearing the remaining outstanding orders over the weekend.

Because of this, our customer service team has been dealing with a higher volume of queries than usual which means you may experience a delay in receiving a response from us. But we will respond to you. We appreciate your patience and understanding in the meantime and apologise to everyone who’s been inconvenienced by this.

In the meantime, additional customer services staff have been made available to help respond to customer enquiries, whilst our warehouse and delivery staff will be working this weekend to help clear the backlog.  A few specific points to mention:

  • If you paid for next-day delivery and we weren’t able to meet this, we will refund you the next day charge
  • If you’ve emailed us, we will definitely respond to you
  • If you’re unhappy with our response, please tell us. We will aim to fix it

Migrating an IT system as large and as complex as ours was never going to be easy (dabs.com processes thousands of orders a day!) and while we tested for all eventualities, there’s always the odd challenge that will only show itself once the system is live and being used.

We’re confident we’ll catch up and respond to your outstanding queries soon, and that in the long-term you’ll see the improvements our new system will provide to our overall service. If you’re experiencing any problems, be sure to drop us an email on assistance@dabs.com.

Thanks for your patience while we work through this.