This month our Mystery Shopper checks out the latest range of all-in-one desktop PCs online from some of the UK’s biggest online tech etailers. This is how they got on with £1,000 to spend…
A large image carousel was the first thing that caught my eye on Ebuyer.com’s site, which displays different deals on offer. I was looking for an all-in-one so I headed over to the navigation icons and selected computing, to which I was greeted with different options including laptops, computers and monitors. Below the desktops option was what I was looking for.
After selecting all-in-ones, at the top of the page a selection of ‘Top Products’ was shown along with images and pricing. I decided to pick HP as my brand of choice thanks to Ebuyer.com’s navigation options and I picked HP’s Beats Special Edition 23 AIO Desktop for £879.99, well in my price range.
A few specs were also listed alongside the product. Starting the checkout process was very simple, plus I had the option to pay with PayPal, Visa and MasterCard. I was also able to add in a two or three-year warranty, which I thought was helpful, although I felt the £12.76 standard delivery charge was far too expensive.
I found Amazon’s site a little cluttered with many different adverts dotted around the right-hand side. I went to the top of the site where I was able to scroll through a range of departments. After choosing computers and accessories, I proceeded to type ‘all-in-ones’ into the navigation bar.
Lenovo seemed to be the popular choice online, but I was able to select from a range of brands within the navigation on the side. I chose Samsung and found the ATIV One 5 21.5-inch Touchscreen all-in-one PC. I was impressed with the free delivery option and the range of images that were displayed, which I could scroll through.
There were three variants to choose, and I chose the i3 as that was the only one within my price range at £734.19. A range of specs were also listed and the amount of models left in stock. I also had the option of choosing a two or three year warranty at the checkout process, which I thought would be beneficial for such an expensive device.
Known for its large range of electronic goodies, I was excited to enter the online world of Maplin. As I hovered over the computing and office navigation section, no all-in-ones were to be seen. I decided to click on ‘desktop PCs’ and again there was no option to select all-in-ones.
I decided to try and type in all-in-one PCs within the navigation toolbar, to no prevail. I had to scroll through the selection I was presented with and I could only find all-in-ones from MSI. There was an MSI product within my price range for £801.70, which also had a 23.6-inch display.
Unfortunately there was only one image of the MSI, so I couldn’t tell what the back or the side of the product was like, whilst zero reviews didn’t help me make my decision any easier. Maplin did try to make up for this with an extensive specs list and the option of home delivery or click and collect, but the best feature was the fact that I could proceed with my payment as a guest rather than sign up and make an account.
John Lewis 9/10 – Star Site
With its navigation toolbar along the top of the homepage, it was very easy to find the desktops within the electrical section. There was a good range available online and I could pick which brand I preferred from Acer to LG. I opted for LG’s Chromebase all-in-one Desktop Computer for £279.95.
There were a few images of the product for me to flick through, which showed the front, sides and back of the device. There was also two reviews that I could read through. John Lewis also included a detailed spec list and product information which I found helpful, plus, a small paragraph concerning the company’s returns policy was also very useful.
Before heading to the checkout I noticed that a two-year guarantee was already included within the price, and I was also given free delivery. The usual payment options were included, such as PayPal, Visa and MasterCard and I didn’t have to create an account to purchase the item, which was an added bonus.
A Christmas theme and a range of ‘Hot Deals’ first caught my eye on Dabs’ homepage. The simple navigation page was a welcome feature for me as I could find the desktops and monitors section easily. After being directed to the next page I selected all-in-one PCs. I felt the layout of products was a little squashed so I appreciated the fact that I could choose a particular operating system, price point, and brand to start my search. I decided to see whether there were any Apple all-in-ones within my price range and there were two I could choose from. The Apple iMac 21.5-inch 1.4GHz Dual Core 8GB 500GB for £853.64 was within my price range, plus a list of specs and bundle deals were displayed. Dabs also included a drop down option where I could choose a few similar specs for another product if I wasn’t satisfied with Apple’s option. PayPal, Visa and MasterCard were included in the payment options and I could sign up as either a home or business user.
PC World 7/10
‘Make your Christmas special with our best technology deals’ was the slogan which greeted me on PC World’s site, so I couldn’t wait to see what products the firm had online. The navigation toolbar was spread out across the top of the page and I had no trouble finding the all-in-ones via the desktops option.
I was a little disappointed by the small selection on offer form the likes of Lenovo and Asus, however, I was able to find a product within my price range. The Acer Aspire Z3-615 23-inch Touchscreen All-in-One PC, priced at £799.99, featured Windows 8.1 with a 2TB hard drive.
There was also an option to see the device via video with a 360 degree view, which I felt was helpful. Plus, a detailed list of specs was displayed underneath the product which I felt was much more beneficial compared to the brief product descriptions you get in-store. I made my way through the checkout process, and free delivery was offered. A questionnaire then popped up on screen.
The World wide web seemed like a promising place to try and find an all-in-one, but I was very disappointed with Maplin’s online offering, as there were minimal products to choose from. Equally, I felt PC World didn’t have a large selection to choose from.
However, the navigation and prices were very pleasing. Dabs and Amazon had a great selection I could sift through, but I disliked the layout of both of their websites as unnecessary ads cluttered up the homepage on Aamzon while Dabs’ selection felt squashed.
Ebuyer.com and John Lewis were very similar in their offerings and I felt the product descriptions and specs that were included were very helpful, but it was Ebuyer.com’s expensive £12.76 delivery charge that swayed my decision. John Lewis was my star site this month thanks to its simple navigation, competitive prices and free delivery. Although there was no customer service assistant, I felt I could easily navigate around the website without any hesitation.