Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Popcornhour A-110 Review #1 - A Bad First Impression turns out to be OK


The Popcornhour A-110 provides almost the identical functions and features list as the HDX 1000. I will focus on the unique things I discovered on the A-110 and run through a comparison between the A-110 and the HDX 1000. If you are interested in the A-110’s basic functions / storage options / web services information, you can click on the listed hyperlinks. The links will point you to the related review sections of the HDX 1000. As I mentioned at the beginning, they work almost identical in these areas.

Popcornhour A-110 Front View

Waiting Period for my Popcornhour A-110

I placed my order at the Popcornhour website around October 30th. How soon did I receive my A-110? In about two and a half weeks. Compared to the ridiculous waiting period it took to get the previous version: A-100, the order fulfillment speed was actually very impressive at this time.

Popcornhour A-110 Rear View

Many Networked Media Tank sellers, including Popcornhour and iStarHD, have a bad reputation of charging customers’ credit cards first and delivering machines a month later. One reason that I know for this to happen is they don’t have enough capital to buy materials up front. If you are lucky to place the order at the time when they have already gathered enough orders / money to do a production run, you might be able to get your NMT player soon. Otherwise, you might need to wait. The other reason is those Asian sellers are more like “a manufacturer equipped with an e-commerce website” than a true marketing entity. Sometimes, they are not accustomed to demand forecasting. Sometimes, they simply don’t want to produce enough machines to meet the forecast because of the risk involved to keep a large quantity of stock on hand.

This is where AmperorDirect.com can help. Before NMT can get popular enough to be carried by BestBuy or Amazon, we want to become the place to stock enough inventory and be able ship units within 24 Hrs after receiving orders. We also have a phone number for customers to call to ask questions and will establish ourselves as the RMA and repair center if something within the unit goes wrong.

A Bad First Impression Turns out to be OK

I was not very impressed when I first received my Popcornhour A-110. It arrived by DHL , in a thin plastic bag similar to the below picture. It makes me wonder how my unit survived the international shipment.

DHL Plastic Bag

Inside the plastic bag, there was a box wrapped by a big black nylon-like cover. Usually, this kind of the cover is used on an idling device to keep dust away, not for protection purposes.

The big black nylon-like cover

Sure enough, when I pulled out the package, I noticed a dent on the box. My worries about receiving a damaged A-110 has climbed up to a sky high level.

This is the Condition of the Box I Received

Dents on the corners

When I opened the box, I finally realized the reason behind only using the DHL thin plastic bag for packaging. In the following picture you can see the built-in protection in the box (the white buffering section). Popcornhour must believe the box by itself is strong enough to survive international transportation.

Popcornhour A-110 in the Retail Box w White Buffering Section

I’m not here to complain. My A-110 did arrive without being damaged. However, it is just so different from the now-a-day standard online shopping experience. Pretend you are currently opening a delivery from Amazon.com. No matter how strong the product package is, you can expect to find it sitting securely inside another brown shipping box surrounded by bubble wrap. We customers have been educated so well by this scene that our brain can immediately release an anxiety relaxing signal after seeing it. Although we still have not physically finished tearing up the box, we can now switch our mind set in planning how to enjoy the product.

Shipping Method

Besides, the package itself is a part of the product. If I want to give this out as a gift, I would prefer not to see any dent on package.

Click Here to Read the #2 of the Popcornhour A-110 Review


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