We sent our Mystery Shopper out to buy an all-in-one PC. We knew that Apple already had a range of hardware, however, we also wanted to compare this against options from other manufacturers. She visited a range of stores included departmental, national and an independent, to get a feeling of what was available in the market.
I grabbed the attention of a manager, who offered to get someone to help. I took the time whilst waiting to look over the product range.
A sales assistant approached and asked how she could help. First she recommended the HP TouchSmart IQ510 UK with a 22-inch screen for £979.97. The store had a pay-monthly option which meant I could trade in my new purchase for the latest model after two years, negating the need to upgrade.
Then, moving onto Apple, she told me the Mac had a different operating system and that I'd have to shell out more money to transfer documents. We looked at two iMacs, priced £781.98 and £938.78. Office for Mac software was £116.
I was greeted by an assistant, who asked what I was looking for as I approached. I said I wanted an all-in-one Windows or Apple machine.
The store didn't stock Apple products, I was told, but there was a HP PC available. However, a quick look at it highlighted that this was not an all-in-one product.
I reminded him that I was looking for a product with everything in the screen and he responded by saying they didn't stock anything like that there. He suggested it might be better to look on the website.
We both stood in silence for a while, and I left to search elsewhere when I realised that I wasn't going to get any further information.
A large sign pointed me in the direction of the all-in-one PCs and I found a salesman called Chris to help me with them.
Without hesitation he went straight over to the Apple iMac 2.4GHz 20-inch product, priced £749. For a little faster speed, he said, I could get the 2.66GHz 20-inch version for £949. The latter also had 2GB memory, 320GB hard drive and an Nvidia graphics card.
He also pointed out the Sony VGC-LN2M, priced £1,199.99, adding: "We only put this out today; it's basically the same spec and has a Blu-ray player and touch screen." I asked Him for some literature, but he could only print off specifications from the website.