* Prices may differ from that shown
i bought my tiny amd athlon pc 8 years ago and it still performs great, sure it has had some problems but nothing than cant be fixed i paid £899 for it it now needs a new screen as it has started to " bleed" a bit, i may also add some more ram.
Let me introduce you to my Tiny baby, George, the most powerful computer system I have owned, and at the time of purchase (about 5 months ago) just about the most powerful computer you could buy for under a thousand pounds. Now I can't tell you much about expandability, as I have never opened the case up, but I can you about the specifications and how it performs out of the box. Again I can't tell you how well all of the particular functions work (as I have no need for some of them), but I can tell you how well the functions I do use work, along with the improvements I've seen with the various different types of software I regularly use.
* Before I start, I should explain that I do NOT use this as a gaming system, but mainly for working with video files along with surfing the web and a little word processing.
As this is a complete system there's a lot more to it than just the computer, so I've decided that I'll start with the extras I got first before getting into the details of the base unit.
The system came with a silver 17" TFT monitor, which has integral speakers (this particular model is no longer supplied and you get a monitor and separate speakers). The monitor is of excellent quality and everything looks very sharp when using a resolution of 1024x768 pixels. I'd previously used a 15" monitor, and the difference in size is absolutely amazing. Sound is also fantastic, and I can hear different sounds coming out of each of the integral speakers, whether playing movies or music. I'm not saying it's home cinema quality, but it is certainly good enough for most purposes and better than the cheapo speakers on my previous system.
The system came with a wireless multimedia keyboard and mouse, which are both black. The mouse is of the optical variety and has five buttons (I'm not sure what the extra buttons are for), is fairly comfortable to use, but uses up batteries at an amazing rate. I've ended up using rechargeable batteries and they need to be replaced weekly. The only good thing about it is that it goes to "sleep" if it's not used for a certain amount of time and then has to be "woken up" by clicking a button. This was a little confusing to begin with, but seems a good idea now I've got used to it.
The Keyboard is wonderful and has more buttons than I could ever imagine using. There are a row of buttons at the top for controlling some internet functions such as refresh, home, back and forward. Another set for media player and yet another set that brings up my computer and the calculator. However, even with all these extra buttons, it's really only the volume ones that I use. The keyboards battery life is amazing and I'm still on my first of batteries after 5 months of use.
---The Base Unit---
The base unit looks very stylish and modern in black and silver, with a lovely row of blue lights on front (which I'll come to later). The question is however do the internal workings of the computer match up to the looks, well I'll tell you this, I'm personally very pleased with how it performs the pretty resource hungry tasks I set it.
So lets look at the separate parts :
The 5-3500 system comes with a Intel Pentium 4 530 LGA 775 HT Processor which runs at 3000Mhz. Now if you're like me this probably means nothing to you, but at the time it was one of the fastest processors you could buy, and it shows. I carry out a lot of video conversion, and the difference in speed over my previous computer (Athlon 2600+) is amazing, a conversion that used to take two hours now takes about one and a half. Basically you should always try to buy the fastest processor that you can afford, which is what I did. I can't tell you how it compares for games for the simple reason that this was not bought as a gaming computer and I don't use it to play many games with. I have however run Tomb Raider : Angel of Darkness and it seems perfectly satisfactory.
A fast processor is no good without a decent amount of RAM (Random Access Memory), and this system came with 1024MB of the stuff. RAM is where programs store little bits of information that they need to use while running, as it's quicker for the processor to access data that's stored in RAM than the hard drive, the more you've got the faster your programs will run. Actually this computer has the same amount of RAM as my previous one, so I can't actually say that it's responsible for any improvement in performance, but I do know from an even older computer that more is definitely better.
As I work with video files, I needed a computer with as large a hard drive as possible, and this came with two two-hundred GB drives. However, due to how the manufacturers work out size (they times by 1000 instead 1028) you don't actually get 400 GB, in fact after you take the operating system into account, you're looking at closer to 350GB, which is still plenty enough. There was however a problem with the way the drives were formatted, they were using the FAT32 system which doesn't allow for file sizes over 4GB so I had to re-format them which led to problems later when my OS was destroyed by a virus.
To give some perspective to just how much room there is on the hard drives, when I create a DVD the folder is normally about 4GB, which means that I could (in theory) store over 85 complete DVDs, not that it would actually be a good idea to actually do this, as I need the hard drive space for temporary files while converting and for the actual "raw" files. In fact I've found the more empty space on the drives the better for the sort of work I do. Or I could store 38,000 MP3 tracks on one drive alone, so as you can imagine there is plenty of space to do whatever I want. One thing I will say is that it's also true that you can never have a big enough hard drive, I have already found I have to be pretty ruthless about which files I keep.
I find moving files between drives is a quick and easy process, and I don't hear any strange noises coming from the drives even after extended use.
The supplied graphics card is a 256MB ATi X600 Pro PCI Express which is in the Radeon range, provides crystal clear graphics and handles video playback extremely well. I find DVD (and AVI) playback is smooth, glitch free and looks better than ever. I can't really say any more about how it performs, because as I said this is NOT used as a gaming machine.
There are two optical drives, a basic DVD-ROM drive, which works perfectly well and reads DVDs and CD-ROMs without difficulty. But the extra special drive is the 16x DL Sony DVD Rewriter, that can write to both + and - formats of DVD-R (along with their re-writer equivalents) at speeds of up to 16x (depending on the disc). I personally only have DVD-R discs that are rated as 4x and it can write them in 15 minutes, which is a fast improvement on my previous drive that could only manage 1x and would take an hour to do the same disc. But all is not good with the drive, as it is unable to read the DVD-RAM discs I use in my DVD-recorder, which is a disappointment.
Remember I told you about the blue lights on the front of the case, well actually they're a monitoring system and consist of little dials that tell you how hot it is inside the case and a couple of other things that seem pretty useless. There's no real function for these, except that they look pretty.
There are countless connection options with this computer, so many in fact that there's no way I'd ever use them all. For connection to the internet there is a 10/100 NIC card, along with wireless LAN and a telephone modem. At the moment I'm only using the NIC card, but I can see myself using the wireless option in the near future, to allow a notebook to access the internet.
As well as the standard serial and PS/2 ports there are a total of six USB ports (four on the back and two on the front) along with a handy firewire port. I have so far been unable to fill all six USB ports, and find the two on the front especially handy for temporarily attaching cameras and camcorders.
The final extra special touch is the multi format memory card reader on the front of the base unit, which I find extremely handy for not only reading camera memory cards, but also as a method of transferring data between computers.
--Extras (I've not used yet)--
Also included is a PC-TV system that allows you to record TV much as a PVR, but unfortunately I've been unable to use this due to the fact I have terrible reception and use a Sky+ box. I have looked at the program and supplied remote control though and it does look very fancy.
Software is included to allow you to carry out the basic functions of the computer. These include, Windows XP/SP1 (the operating system), Power DVD (for watching DVDs), PowerDVD To Go (DVD burning software), Office 2003 60 day trial and Works 7. I found all the included software too basic for my needs and just installed my favourite programs instead, but I would say that they would be suitable for the less advanced user.
The system was actually very simple to set up, although I must say here that I do have quite a lot of experience in setting computers up. Everything was colour coded, and I can't imagine anyone having any real difficulty putting the right plugs in the right holes (and there weren't that many connections really).
This computer is remarkably quiet when running, even when it's been on for a long time doing processor intensive work. The fans can only be heard when there is absolute silence in the room, which is actually a big improvement on my previous computer.
Well Tiny by name definitely means Tiny by nature as far as support goes. They do not provide a restore disc free of charge, so if you're OS gets corrupted you're going to have to pay through the nose, and their help pages on the web are somewhat scarce to say the least, and consists of a list of premium rate telephone numbers and a few drivers. Not what I'd call comprehensive, would you?
I've had one major problem with my system and a couple of minor niggles. I'll start with the minor ones which are that I could not open Internet explorer until I had registered with their ISP of choice, which I was not going to do. You see I didn't even plug the modem in as I already have a perfectly good broadband supplier. The other minor niggle was the fact that a registration pop-up appeared every time I switched the computer on.
The major problem that I had however, cost me an awful lot of money. You see the computer came supplied with the hard drives formatted in the FAT32 system, which meant that I couldn't use files above 4GB. As I do a lot of work with video files, I needed to go above this limit, so I re-formatted both drives using the NFTS system. But them disaster struck and a particularly nasty virus hit my OS and rendered it unusable, I tried the recovery disc to find that my computer was no longer recognised as being suitable to restore. This meant I had to go out and buy a new copy of Windows XP at a very high cost. Saying that at least I got rid of that annoying registration message.
A slight variation of my system is presently on sale at Tiny.com for just under a thousand pounds plus delivery. The only difference is that you now get separate speakers (although it does say that the amount of memory and hard drive space is a special offer and will soon be reduced by half).
I love my computer and he is my baby, I've even given him a name "George", he's fast, quiet and other than the problem I had with a virus, extremely reliable. As I've already said I use this computer mainly for video processing and create a lot of my own DVDs, and I've found that I can carry out these tasks using the same software as on my previous machine, but in only 2/3rds of the time. I also love the speed of the DVD burner, that seems very compatible (I've only had one dud in over 100 discs), so all in all I'd say this is the computer for me. I do, of course, also use the computer for surfing the web and writing reviews, which it also does perfectly well. I know you can get computers with an even higher specification for a similar price, but this does every thing that I actually need.
Now, before recommending this, I should perhaps warn that I had severe issues with the time it took for Tiny to deliver, but that is a completely different review, this focuses on the actual computer not the shop, so I haven't taken any stars off for that. I have however taken a star off for the lack of after care (unless you're willing to pay through the nose).
So am I recommending this computer? You bet !! I find it ideal for working with video, and basic functions, and, from what I can tell, it's of high enough specification to be able to handle almost anything that games will throw at it (if games is your thing). It's also a reasonable price (my first computer was 700MHz, 40GB HDD, 128MB RAM and cost more) for what you are getting. I know there are much cheaper computers out there, but they just will not perform as well.
So I'm recommending this for the power user, who needs the higher and faster specifications in order to deal with vast amounts of data.
I HAVE RECENTLY PURCHASED A PC FROM TINY VIA ONE OF THE PRESS ADVERTS AND A TELEPHONE NUMBER.THE WHOLE PROCESS TOOK ABOUT (15)MINS FROM START TO FINISH,INCLUDING GETTING APPROVED FOR CREDIT. THE SALESMAN WAS VERY FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL AND SEEMED TO KNOW THE PRODUCTS WELL.I ASKED FOR SEVERAL UPGRADE ITEMS AND HE WAS EVEN HONEST ENOUGH TO TELL ME ABOUT PRICE REDUCTIONS WHICH ARE NOT PUBLISHED ELSEWHERE. THE PAPERWORK TOOK LONGER TO ARRIVE THAN STATED ALTHOUGH I SUSPECT THAT THE ROYAL MAIL HAD A HAND IN THAT.TINY EVEN RANG ME WHEN THEY HAD NOT RECEIVED THE FORMS BACK PROMPTLY TO CHECK THAT I HAD RECEIVED THEM AND SENT A SECOND SET. I WAS QUOTED 7 TO 10 WORKING DAYS FOR DELIVERY HOWEVER THE COURIER CONTACTED ME WITHIN 3 DAYS TO ARRANGE DELIVERY THE NEXT DAY. I AM QUITE TECHNICAL SO HAD LITTLE TROUBLE ASSEMBLING AND CONFIGURING EVERYTHING,HOWEVER I AM OF THE OPINION THAT A TOTAL TECNOFOBE WOULD BE OK AS THE LITERATURE SUPPLIED WITH EVERYTHING WAS EXCELLENT. IT MAKES A CHANGE TO RECEIVE SUCH PROMPT EFFICIENT SERVICE THESE DAYS,PARTICULARLY FROM A LARGE COMPANY. WELL WORTH A TRY.
Watch out their still about!!! - Advantages: Low cost, Good specifications - Disadvantages: warranty is worthless., helpline costs a packet., They will change their name and leave you hi and dry.
I had this silly notion that I would buy a PC as my laptop was lovely but not sufficiently robust to run all the applications I wanted to use. I noticed a new computer store, The Computer World, and went in, took a brochure home, looked over various prices and systems and settled on a model I felt was sufficient. It was a Tiny Home Studio XP1800+ with an Athlon 1800 processor, 40GB hard drive, 256MB RAM, Windows XP, 17” monitor, etc. A nice little package deal for £799, including an Epson colour printer and digital camera. Tiny had had a good reputation for quality and service in my native North America. Perhaps I should have investigated their UK reputation instead. The salesman must have been delighted to have such an easy job as he didn’t need even to begin his sales pitch. He explained they were a brand new store just trying to compete with all these big High Street shops. They were keeping prices as low as possible, shipping systems directly to the customer from the warehouse rather than having to pay for extra storage space in the store. It sounded good to me and I was liked the though of helping out “the little guy”. I added a few extras to the package, such as a basic scanner and a USB hub. I enquired about the need for a printer cable but he assured me one was included with the package. I handed over my Switch card. (Big mistake: if I had paid by credit card I could have asked the credit card company to stop payment.) He began his pitch for the extended warranty option: just another £500 for three years of premium service. The entire package, including delivery, was £901 and he was asking for an additional £500? He advised me that without the warranty I had to ring a premium rate number for service: 50p per minute for anything in the first 30 days and £1.50 per minute for any service after that. While I wanted to think nothing could go wrong with a new system (and please don’t
think this is really elementary foreshadowing: you can tell from the rating of this review that things are not going to wind up all sunshine and roses for me), I know electronics can fail and can be very expensive to repair. But £500 on top of the purchase price? I declined. My Switch card was swiped through the machine and my money debited before I had time to change my mind. I left the store in a good mood – no buyer’s remorse for me that day – and began to anticipate the arrival of my new PC. That was Tuesday 27th August 2002. That night I went to Tesco and found exactly the same model, including all the same software, printer, digital camera, etc., for £100 less than I had paid at The Computer World. I was marginally annoyed but reminded myself I had wanted to buy from a new little store which was out trying to compete with the big places like Tesco. My PC arrived unexpectedly on Thursday 5th September as I was on my way out the door to work. I was delighted: I hadn’t expected it for another week or so! I didn’t have time to set it up then and there as I had a bus to catch, so I signed the delivery slip and went to work. I bragged about it to my co-workers, two of whom were looking at buying new systems themselves and were quite impressed with the service I had received from The Computer World. That night I came home and unpacked my machine and noticed I was missing my speakers, the USB hub, the printer cable and the digital camera. Everything else checked off against my receipt. There was even a nice little note inside from Tiny saying that they had run out of the case for model I had ordered, so had upgraded my case and power supply at no charge! I carried the items upstairs and set them all up on my new desk in my new computer room. I connected all the components (except the printer since I didn’t have a cable), plugged it all in to my new surge protecting power bar, turned
on the power and… Nothing happened. The monitor was on and giving me a message that it did not have a signal. The printer, though unconnected to the computer, was on and flashing its “out of paper” light at me. But the PC was just sitting there. No welcoming whirr of the fan, no beeps to greet me, just the silent beigeness of the unworking PC. I unplugged everything and tried plugging the PC into a different point on the power bar. Nothing. I tried plugging it directly into the wall. Nothing. I tried the same exercise with the printer. Each time the printer worked, but the PC didn’t. I swapped the power cable from the PC with the power cable from the printer since I knew the printer worked, but the PC just sat there. The next day I returned to The Computer World and explained my situation to the salesperson. He said I needed to call the 50p/minute technical support line because he couldn’t help me. He did, however, ask me if I were sure I plugged it in correctly. I had to ask how one could plug something in incorrectly. He offered to call technical support for me and I was grateful. The technician immediately asked me if I were sure I plugged it in correctly. I asked again how I could make that mistake. He didn’t respond but proceeded to ask not once but five more times if perhaps I had not plugged the machine in. I detailed the entire process from the previous night and he said he was unable to help and I would need to call back on the 50p/minute line. I asked the salesperson if I may have had better service from Tesco if I had bought the same machine there and pointed out it was £100 less. He chose to argue with me and said it was obviously a different machine, but I pulled out the flyer I had taken from Tesco and he read it, described it as a co-incidence, then said, “Besides, it’s not like I can keep track of what other stores sell.”
I said I was not satisfied and wanted to return my system for a full refund. He said I couldn’t because it had been custom-made (remember, it was only sheer co-incidence that Tesco had exactly the same system). I said I would bring it back to the store and he said they would simply refuse to serve me and unless they actually signed something accepting the product being brought to their store, it would remain my responsibility. I also asked about the missing parts of my order and was told that Head Office would have to be informed because they weighed all the packages before shipping and would have noticed if something were missing. I asked how weighing the packages was an accurate measure if each system were custom-made. He replied that it was my word against theirs that I didn’t receive items. I asked if he was accusing me of lying or of theft and he walked away. Frustrated, I went home early to call tech support, and I spoke to a very nice representative who gave me both his name and extension number and offered to call me back to save me money. When he did call me immediately after I hung up, he confirmed that I had done everything possible and that the PC was dead on arrival and he would arrange for someone to collect it for repairs. Repairs? I asked why a replacement wasn’t being sent. It seems replacements are only provided to customers who have paid the £500 for the additional warranty. He said it would be a quick repair and be back good as new within 30 days from the date of collection. That was a quick repair? In order to show me how sincere he was, he offered an upgrade on my sound card, free of charge. I accepted. He also said I would not need Head Office involved in the search for my missing equipment and offered to send them out immediately. The courier picked up my PC on 12th September. On Friday 27th September I returned home from work to find a courier parcel pushed through my door. Inside
was my new sound card. There wasn’t any note of explanation, nor even drivers or installation instructions, not that I had anything into which to install it. The next day – Saturday – I tried to ring technical support on the 50p/minute hotline, only to discover their hours were Monday to Friday between 9 and 6! I left work early on Monday and rang technical support to enquire about the status of my repair, seeing as I had not had an update nor any communication whatsoever, and what I was supposed to do with the sound card. I had read the small print on the back of my receipt and knew any hardware installations I did invalidated my warranty. Rather than help, the person at the technical support centre said he was not going to speak to me because I had purchased my PC over 30 days ago and needed to ring the £1.50/minute hotline for support. When I protested I had not yet had a functioning PC since the date of purchase, he disconnected the call. The next day their customer care centre called to enquire how I was enjoying my new PC and whether or not I would like to buy any additional warranty. I explained my situation and the person said he was unable to help me as I needed to ring technical support, gave me the premium rate number and hung up. On Monday 7th October my missing speakers and digital camera arrived. I never did receive my USB hub. On Monday 14th October it was now over 30 days since the collection of my PC for repair and I had spent the intervening weeks learning a little about consumer rights. I went home early and rang the hotline and mentioned Trading Standards and all the fun I had been having and asked to speak to a manager. No one was available. I said I would like my refund now and that I would be available for a courier to collect the remaining components on Thursday 17th October. I was told that no one was available who could authorise this, there was no guarantee of a re
fund, even if a courier came I could still be liable for freight charges… I was finally promised a callback the next day. The phone call actually cost me £45 as I was so frequently put on hold (“Bear with me...” he kept saying) for long stretches of time whenever I asked a question. When I had my callback I was informed the problem with my PC had been fixed but the unit could not be returned because they were still awaiting the new sound card. I explained it had been shipped to me and described what had happened when I called to find out what to do with it. He then suggested that I could send it to them by courier (at my expense) and they would install it and return my PC. I requested the collection of the remaining components and full refund of my money. He offered to have a new sound card shipped to the repair centre and installed and I could return my sound card when the PC was delivered, and again I refused and asked for a refund. He then said it wasn’t their fault: they had no idea where the sound card went. I pointed out it had been sent by courier so they must have had a shipping receipt and tracking number. It seemingly took forever but I finally had them agree to collect the remaining components and refund my money in full. Everything was collected on Wednesday 16th October and I sat back to await my refund cheque; I had been informed it would take a day or two to ensure they had received all the components. I was at home on Friday 25th October when customer care called me again to see how I was enjoying my new PC and whether or not I wanted to buy an extended warranty yet. I explained the PC had been collected nine days ago and I was awaiting a full refund, then asked for the number for accounts. It was not a premium rate line! I rang to find out where my refund went and was informed it was credited to my Visa earlier in the week. I said that was odd as I hadn’t paid by Visa and the girl
said she would look into it and ring me back. On Friday 1st November I called again to find out where my refund was and this time the girl said it was actually being processed as we spoke. She assured me it would show up on my Visa within 24 hours. I explained again I had not paid by Visa and she offered to write a letter to the accounts department to ask what was going to happen. On Tuesday 5th November I still hadn’t received any money and called again and was informed that my refund was being processed as we spoke. I said I had heard that story already and asked for a new one. But this time it was true and the refund was being made to my Switch card. I asked what had taken so long and she said that they do not process refunds until the beginning of each month, so if I had returned my PC on the 2nd, I would not have seen my refund until early the following month. It’s easy to see why: they were getting as much interest off my money as they possibly could. The end result is that my refund was showing up in my bank by 6th November, some 71 days after I first spent it on a PC which never worked. At no time have I ever heard an apology from any representative from the company, whether the in-store sales staff, technical support, customer services or accounts department. For each stage of the process it had been my responsibility to set everything up and keep in contact with them to find out what was happening. The refund I received was exactly what I had spent but did not take into account the time off work, the cost of phone calls, nor the interest they received from my money. In the weeks since this began, I cannot begin to tell you how many people have rolled their eyes when I mention Tiny / Time / The Computer World. It seems a failed power supply, which is all that was wrong in the first place, is not uncommon in these machines and their return rate must be staggering. To top it all off, The Comp
uter World is not a brand-new little store but a huge nation-wide chain owned by Tiny and Time Computers. The shop where I bought my computer just had a grand opening sale and their new slogan is plastered all over the windows: “You’re in safe hands”. Sure. Unless something goes wrong.
I’ve had my tiny PC since Christmas of 01 and up until recently I haven’t had any problems with it. This was, however up until about a month ago when it crashed and refused to come back on. It was a normal sunny day and I was writing away on dooyoo on one op or the other when all of a sudden Microsoft Windows ME decided to crash leaving everything I’d wrote in a pile of uninterpretable 0s and 1s. Well at first I didn’t worry. I tried to restart the computer but nothing happened. I was staring into a black screen with a small flashing cursor getting no reply. I tried again, same result. I became a little distressed, I say a little I mean a lot, and a hell of a lot. With exams readily approaching my computer is my whole study aid and this was upsetting. The worst was loosing my entire collection of MP3’s. 1600 to be precise. I’m cringing at the thought of the time I spent gathering them. Back to the problem in hand…I thought that there must be some kind of restore pack floating around with the documentation that came with the PC but alas there wasn’t. Tiny mustn’t have felt like I deserved one. So I phoned them on their premium technical help line. Now here’s where my distress quickly evolved into blatant anger. They don’t call it premium because it’s the best, oh no, they call it premium because it costs 60p a minute and the technician I spoke to was finger friendly with the hold button. I’m yet waiting for the bill. Well, they were of no help. They told me the best thing I could do was to order a restore pack and in the mean time format the drive and install windows 98. The CD was along time coming, 30 days to be exact. And what’s more the nice people at Tiny didn’t charge me the normal £20 that very one else got charged. Oh no, they took £999. They’re excuse, “Oh sorry, we got the product codes mixed up. We thought you wanted a n
ew PC.” But did they send me a new PC, no. Did they send me the restore CD, no. Well not the right one anyway. I phoned up, back to the 60p a minute line and was told that they’d sent the wrong one. I had to phone six times, each call lasting about 5 minutes before they could tell me that and I’m still waiting. My advice, get a gateway.
Tiny and Time... avoid them like the plague, quite frankly. I bought my old computer from them about a year and a half ago, an Athlon 1.2GHz system, 40GB HD, DVD-ROM, TNT2 card for around £1100. Which was actually quite a good price, considering that the Athlon 1.2 was the fastest chip about at the time... After about 8 months, the monitor went. The actual service was not bad, to be honest, they replaced it in a few days. However, the REAL problems started just out of warranty... First, the computer locked up, and resetting had no effect at all. After opening the case, it appeared that something nasty had happened to the inbuilt modem, which, to cut a long story short, had caused other components to fry, including the motherboard, processor and power unit. So, first things first, I contacted Tiny, who told me that they could take it away and repair it, but as it was out of warranty, it'd cost an arm and a leg, possibly two legs. I needed to do it myself, then. Trouble is, Tiny generally use a mini-ATX case, and motherboards for this type of case are not exactly easy to come by. So... I needed a new case. OK. Bought a new case, motherboard, processor and PSU (Power Supply Unit). More trouble when I went to transfer the parts from the old case to the new one. It appears that its not only the motherboard thats non-standard, the modem and graphics cards are too.. even though the graphics card was a TNT2, it wasn't a standard version. Same with the modem. So on top of the other items, I also needed a new modem and graphics card... Rightyo, went out again and bought the new card and modem, started transferring everything to the new case again. MORE trouble when it came to putting the dvd, floppy and hard drives in, as Tiny had decided to actually GLUE them in place! I managed to get around this by using a scalpel to cut the glue off (er, wouldn't recommend you do this, btw, its kinda dangerous). It appears that Tiny
9;s philosophy is to keep the user coming back to them for all their repairs and upgrades, which is something I don't agree with at all. The customer should be able to choose if they want to upgrade their system themselves or allow Tiny to replace parts. But resorting to tactics like using non-standard parts (without telling the customer) and glueing components in place is just underhand. Most PC components can be replaced by a user with very little experience of electronics, and having to pay to send it to Tiny for repairs is often not a justifiable cost considering the ease with which parts can be replaced/upgraded. So, in summary... if you're a newcomer to computers, Tiny can offer some decent-priced systems if you buy them in the sales. But be warned that if you ARE new, get the extended warranty, or you're looking at some serious costs if anything goes wrong. Better still buy your PC from a local electronics or computer shop, who will often be able to custom-build a system for you for less money. They will also be much more willing to give you fair advice regarding upgrades and repairs, without making you send your computer away and pay for a technician to diagnose or fix problems. In the long run, you'll have much less hassle, believe me.
Tiny Computers have been going for a while (up untill recently that is). They are renouned for their poor after sales service. They seem to snatch your money from you as soon as possible, but once they have it, they don't seem to care anymore. Now they have been brought by Time, and have become Computer World (which, understandably PC World are not happy with the new name) will the service be any better?? We will have to wait and see. Only (time) can tell :D But lets forget about the joining of time and tiny, but about tiny themselves. Their warranty scheme was not thought about properly, and customers with extended warranties were left high and dry when the company went bust. Their showrooms look nice enough, and the staff are happy to help, and sell you thet extra warranty (It was uncovered that they get £50 bonus for each extended warranty they sell!) But, do their staff know what the customer wants, or what they want the customer to have??? Probably not, my friend was asking about a computer in our local showroom, and was being talked into buying a computer that same day (even though he was only 16 then!) besides which, the computer did not match his requirments. Hopefully computer world will do a little better. But I see they still use stupidly small cases that you can't put anything else in.
As most people now know Tiny Computers went into recievership. Time Computers Brought the name but have been known to say that they class the existing warranties a liability. This isnt much help to the people that brought a Tiny PC with extended Warranty. If you purchased a Tiny Computer with extended warranty and its still in warranty Time have said they will honour the warranty now, BUT.... this is on a Back to Base deal, meaning any problems you will have to pack your base unit up and send it to them.(not what you paid for). If paid by credit card, get onto your credit card company and try and get your money back for the warranty. if you paid by credit agreement, well prepare for a long wait to get your money back. Grant Thorntons are dealing with these and thier number is: 08709 912 994, they are telling customers though to call back in 6months time. I tell you this as I worked for the company that handeled the Tiny Technical Support, We were not part of Tiny but had to do what they wanted the way they wanted & any of you that have a Tiny computer will know from experience it didnt work. There is an alternative for all you people out there stuck with a Tiny System. I still work for the same company that handled the Tiny Warranties but we are dealing with Direct Debit customers now, anyone out of thier first year can become a Direct Debit customer and for just over 10.00 a month can be assured of a Onsite engineer visit if needed. Dont think that you will be dealing with those Tiny Technical Support people now, We are the same people but we are doing it OUR way now which works. If interested and you want more details call this number: 08712 24 24 25 its a national rate number not premium rate. This will ensure you have support for your computer. printers, scanners and all parts that are sent out before 3pm are almost guaranteed next day delivery. Its entirely up to you the Customer, but this does give you
another option. Please dont feel that you are stuck with no-one to turn to, I am not trying to get business in any way, Im just trying to help everyone with a Tiny PC out. I hope this helps anyone out there with a Tiny PC who has been left stranded due to the takeover.
Knowing nothing about PC's I went to a Tiny Store in York I bought a Tiny computer (about three years ago) It was about seventeen hundred pounds, with a scanner, printer digital camera, and a hundred pounds worth of software, so they said anyway. The salesperson tried all the techniques, flirting, joking, and generally quite obvoius. She told me I'd get all the software I need for my collage work, I didn't even tell her what course I did so how did she know it would be suitable. I asked her if there was any software to make music with, she said "yeh I'll Show you" she showed me a folder full of wav files(music files), she played one, I remember it was Jimi Hendrix Cross Town Traffic. She also said that with this program? i could sample from CD's and make Hip Hop beats( I think she guessed I was into Hip Hop by my baggy jeans etc). Wow I thought. After a bunch of lies I handed over the cash and went home to sunny Scarborough. I waited and waited and waited, three weeks later it arrived. I set it up no problem, and started it up, all was well. Nice introduction, no need to install drivers etc what more could I ask. Now It was time for me to become a 'Supa Fly DJ' I put in the CD Sampler, which was A CD?. It loaded up and presented me with a list of Demo games to play, no sign of any music program. The Salesperson had outright lied to my face and complete made it up to suit my needs. Also there was no Word or Excell which I needed for my collage work another lie!!! After a few days i kept getting that Blue screen and the sound would go into a one second loop, ever since it has crashed constantly, I can't go onto the internet without it freezing. My only fault was not ringing up about it, because now its out of warranty theres nothing i can do. Tiny will lie and decieve to sell you there products, do yourself a favour and go to an inderpendant computer shop and
get them to put a decent computer together for a decent price. Hoo Haaa
Tiny has taken a fall for the worst. When their computers first hit our shelves in the autumn of 1999, people flocked to buy what looked like a great company which showed a lot of potential. These people were wrong! Tiny computer systems are appalling. They have repeatable crashes and when asked for repair they say it will be back in a few days they really men you just lost your PC. I’ve had first hand experience with Tiny. I bought a computer which seemed Ok to begin with but then after a few months the inevitable happened. The computer became busted and I had the choice of buying another one or asking for a refund or getting rid of it by asking for a repair. I didn’t do that as my friend had already done it so I asked for a refund and I was rejected. I rang Tiny headquarters and issued a complaint. The following week I received a letter saying no refund was available. I tried for a long time but still no refund came. I was eventually told that it had outlived it’s guarantee. This meant I had to buy a new PC. I bought a Mesh which has a lot better performance rate and is not unreliable like any Tiny computer. I don’t know what their notebooks are like but if they are anything like their desktops I wouldn’t buy them. As an avid computer game player I like a fast computer which is why I invested in the Tiny computer. But just before the computer busted I realised that the computer was s**t as it took about 10 minutes to load a game which normally took 10-20secons to load. Tiny which is now part of Time which is even worse are very unreliable. The most used bit of vocabulary at Tiny is ‘O’ sorry forgot about your computer’ or ‘the guarantee has expired so I am afraid no refund or free repair is available. In conclusion I recommend that you do not buy a computer from Time and Tiny as they are very unreliable.