I was all set to buy a regular-sized computer from PC Specialist until I saw that they sold these new tiny Intel NUC (New Unit of Computing) PCs. I'd read about them when they were announced but I wasn't interested in having to buy and add all the components myself so I was really excited when I realised that PC Specialist would do that for me. I set about specifying the features I required and found that the price was competitive too.
Because it's such a palaver to have to move everything from one computer to the next, when I'm buying a new one I try to buy one with enough "oomph" to last me a good few years. This time I chose a 3.1GHz i7 processor and 16GB RAM and am pretty certain it will still be comfortable running the latest software in 5 years time.
Because I was planning to store and manipulate a lot of photos on this machine I chose 1TB of storage on a hybrid drive which would allow fast boot as well as providing good value for money. I also had to make sure I could run more than one screen off the PC and it took a while to find out exactly what cables I needed to connect my 2 existing flat panel monitors. I noticed that it wasn't possible to specify a 5-in-1 card reader for the system so when I ordered the screen cables I spend a few pounds buying a USB-3 card reader too. I didn't have a choice of network cards but I made sure the wifi connection was the latest standard (802.11AC).
Now I've been using my computer for a while I can confirm that I really love it. The graphics on both my screens is really sharp and the networking is an order of magnitude better than my old PC. Sucking in pictures from the USB-3 card reader is no slower than using the integrated card-reader in my previous PC. I can really notice the difference in processor speed when I'm running programs and it's nice not to always be worrying about how much disk space is available. Compared to my old floor-standing PC it's really quiet and that was a really pleasant surprise.
I realise now that all that's happened is that Intel have built this desktop PC out of tiny little laptop components. It's just as powerful and flexible as a regular sized PC but just..... tiny!
The whole experience with PC Specialist was great from order to delivery. The Customer service via live chat was extremely helpful and it meant that I could request anything that I wanted specific to my computer. I felt that I was kept upto date through email and the order tracking online. The product came excellently packaged. Probably the biggest package I have ever had delivered. There was packaging in both the interior and the exterior of the PC. The PC itself was built excellently, with tidy cable management. It was obvious that it wasn't rushed and it seems like the company really take pride in building the devices. All drivers and software came in a neatly packed box. The PC came pre installed with Windows and to my satisfaction Windows 7 was installed opposed to automatically upgrading it to 10. I found that the delivery was fast and once again I was kept well updated. The whole process did take longer than expected but that will be the case sometimes I think the company are on a busy spell at the moment. The website itself was easy to use and gave plenty of information about each part. I would say that it would be good if there were more options in terms of perifferals. I found the mouse that I was looking for however they didn't stick the corsair k70 rob mechanical keyboard that I was looking for but its not a big deal. The price worked out around the same is it would have been to build it myself which is great as I got a 3 year warranty with it. This gave me great piece of mind.
Excellent service, excellent PC's
The site was very easy to use and was great as it allowed me to design the laptop with the specifications that I required. The communications from pcspecialist were very helpful and kept me up to date with the progress of my laptop as it was being manufactured. I would definitely recommend the use of this site to a friend.
As a family we have now had four laptops from PCS. I think that speaks for itself. My only criticism is that they were unprepared for a large number of orders in September 2015 and this resulted in delays.
I wanted to buy a computer that would last me at least 5 years, and spent a lot of time comparing the different options online. PC Specialist came out as THE winner in terms of value for money and ease of use of the website.
The ordering process was very smooth, the website makes it very easy to configure your dream computer and even gives you advise so that you do not choose incompatible components.
The communication about the advancement of the building process was also very much appreciated as the different steps were clear and well explained. The only issue I had is that my computer got "stuck" for almost two weeks in the "testing" phase, which was strange but also sounded like a bad omen, as if my computer had some problems...
The shipping and delivery was extremely smooth, nothing to say about that.
Finally, the product itself was very well assembled, neat, and very well packed. It turned on perfectly and is running like a charm at the moment of writing (I am using this computer to write the review).
My build is: Asus X99-S motherboard, i7 5820K processor, 32 GB of DDR4 Ram, a Kingston M2 SSD as main hard drive (500gb), a 1 GB Samsung EVO 850 as secondary hard drive for my audio samples (I compose classical music on FL Studio), 2x3GB hard drives in RAID 0 and an AMD R9 390 as graphics card.
I would definitely recommend PC Specialist to a friend!
Good product and a great price. Delivery was a little delayed (I had to chase) as there was some human error in progressing the order, but this was resolved after I phoned. This is certainly a good way to get the spec you want at a price well under that of a pre built machine from a well known manufacturer (and the parts are all the same anyway!)
Massive choice of components and their prices. Delivery was quite quick even though I had to wait for mine a bit longer because a component I ordered was out of stock. Updates on delivery were frequent and very clear. Could do with some information when the product is delivered ie manual and instructions on how to use/set the shortcut keys. Apart from that very happy
Even though I had to wait because one of my components was 'out of stock' when I had ordered it, delivery was quite quick with plenty of updates. The choice of components and their price are extremely well documented. Happy with everything I've got, however it would be nice to get some kind of documentation with it. There's no manual and no instructions whatsoever to use the shortcut keys.
My service by PC specialists was spectacular, the interactive tracking, customisable laptop selection and great bang for buck really stood out for me. Although after the buy, it takes a while for you to get an update on the progress of the build, the rest of the time you are kept 100% in the loop, so even though it takes a long time to arrive you feel safe, secure and in control.
The real strength of PCSpecialists lies in the ability to choose your own components. Although it takes some knowledge about what all the numbers and jargon means, once you overcome that small hurdle you are given the reigns to really take control over.what you want. Furthermore, although building your own desktop is easy and doesn't really need others to help - the laptop service is above and beyond what I expected! Really powerful laptops, with great features and very competitive prices.
Of course it isn't all sunshine and rainbows, I feel like the build time is a little unreasonable (from experience it takes 1/2hrs to build a desktop and apparently a laptop is faster for PCSPECIALISTS so I'm unsure why the build takes so long - however to be fair there is a large number of permutations that their very customisable selections offer.
I would strongly recommend PC specialists to anyone looking to avoid the cost inefficient and poorly optimised computer build provided by the industry as a whole.
For anyone on the fence, I suggest you dive in!
Not disappointing at all, exactly what I wanted. Perfect!
I have had my laptot about 4 days ago, I set it up and now I am really happy to be able to exploit its great features. It totally complies with the technical specifications I applied for.
I remember that building my laptop has required 14 working days, which is prefectly on average for laptops. During this time, I have absolutely enjoyed the traceability service. Thanks to this, I could easily understand the reason why the order was in any of the declared states and also the reason why it was not ready to be dispatched. I have noticed that the longest step is pre-production and I guess it is due to suppliers. This means that, once suppliers have delivered all laptop parts, the subsequently building and testing processes have been extremely quick, extremely performant.
Along with the quick, super organized service offered by PCSpecialist, I also have appreciated the quality of the received product, which is exactly as I expected.
While I was waiting for my laptop, I was required to provide some personal information. Since I had a little problem related to this, I asked PCSpecialist staff for support. They immediately replied to me and solved my issue by email, being both efficient and kind.
I strongly recommend PCSpecialist because hereafter it becomes synonym of quality, efficiency, kindness, good organization, reliability.
For sure, I will use again this opportunity to build other computers and I will suggest it to anyone who has the same needs, because I really do not find any disadvantages.
I've had my gaming laptop almost 2 weeks now and I absolutely love it. The laptop runs like a dream. The only fault if you can call it a fault, is that it was shipped with windows 10 and driver disks but it doesn't have a dvd drive.
An excellent product delivered on time. This was the 1st time I had used PCS, but it wont be the last - in the past I have used high street sellers and the manufacturers direct for building custom designed computers. I hope to have many years of use with this purchased system (my main uses being office work and general computing.)
One disadvantage - My new system required the use of dual monitor setup (I now know, many new motherboards allow this) but not being entirely clear on the website, I purchased a separate graphics card that would allow this feature only to find when the PC was delivered that the motherboard alone would have been enough (I have to take some blame for not reading/understanding the specs - but I am not a tech guru) but despite emails back and forth - the replies were not clear, hence purchasing an item i possibly did not require = more cost.
Third time using PCS and again they dont disappoint. Really must recommend their forums when you are building a PC with them as well