Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A! May Tinh Bang

A! May Tinh Bang's website
I was recently in the market for an inexpensive android tablet to compliment my Galaxy Nexus.  I wanted it mainly to use it as an e-reader, gaming and internet browsing device.  After doing some research I settled on the Ainol Novo 7 Aurora.  The spec sheet was great and the price fit.  So when it came time to finally buy it I faced a choice.  I could a) buy it online and have it shipped to my home in California where I then had to have it shipped to Vietnam or b) buy it here in Vietnam.  Total approximate cost going with the former is $180-190 and a wait time of about a month or $180 and immediate satisfaction with the latter.  So I decided to just purchase it here.  Again, after doing some research I came upon A! May Tinh Bang who had it in stock (according to their webpage) and was located here in HCMC.

So we called A! May Tinh Bang and told them we were interested in the Aurora.  They informed us that they didn't have any in stock but to come down anyways to see if there was something else we might like.  So I figured I had nothing to lose by just checking out the store and as a somewhat tech geek wanted to check it out.  Turns out they are located just a short 5-10 minute drive from District 1.  Which turns to a 20 minute drive from my home in Phu Nhuan district.

Anyways, early Sunday afternoon when we get to the store and I was actually kinda impressed.  I figured it was just going to be a hole in the wall place but instead they had a nice display area and a table where you could check out their gadgets.  Unfortunately, their store was awfully cramped.  I could barely get through the 3-4 motobikes parked out front (I had to park in the street which is a big no no unless you want to get your motobike stolen) which seemed odd because there was only 1 other customer there at the time but luckily the side street the store is on isn't very heavily trafficked.  We then told them we were the ones who called about the Aurora, they informed us again that they don't have it but they should get new stock in about a week and handed us other tablets to check out (but we already knew we wanted the Aurora).  After a few minutes of handling other tablets we told them we still were only interested in buying the Aurora.  During all of this the sales person or owner (a heavy set man) seemed nice and friendly which I appreciated.  We settled on a price as it was Woman's Day and agreed to put down 500K VND and pay the rest when the tablet came into stock which would be about a week or two, I figured they would just order from a Chinese website and have it shipped to Vietnam.  We also informed them that we would like the tablet untouched, meaning do not open the package and do not install software or handle the tablet in any way, basically I wanted it the same way they get it.

Stock photo clearly shows an OTG and HDMI cable
Surprisingly about two days later we received a phone call from A! May Tinh Bang informing us that our Aurora had arrived and to go pick it up, I thought it was kinda odd that they had stock so quickly after telling us it would take a week or two (used tablet?).  Anyways, I go pick it up during the evening on my way to work.  When I get to the store the place was packed.  Again, I had to park on the street and wrestle my way through the motobikes.  I talked to the same salesman and he brought out the Aurora.  I inspected the tablet to make sure it turns on or whatever you know just a quick power on test.  Then I looked at the contents of the box.  The box looked old and like its been opened numerous times.  Then I noticed there was two cables missing, an OTG and HDMI cable.  I informed them about it but in their broken English said something about "no no... no".  Again, I told them that it should have came with an OTG and HDMI cable but again they just dismissed it.  This time it was another employee who seemed to speak English better (an older skinnier man).  If you check out unboxing videos on youtube it definitely shows an OTG and HDMI cable.

I figured since the tablet seems to work fine and everything else was there and they already had 500K of my money I should just take the tablet home after all they did give us a warranty.  I was still upset about the cables though.  Anyways, after I came home after working that evening I decided to check out the tablet in more detail and this is what I gathered.
  • They installed all kinds of software on it (not a big deal since I can flash/restore but I specifically asked them not to which is another reason I think it's used)
  • They removed contents from the box (OTG and HDMI cables, used?)
  • The tablet had noticeable scratches on the backside (used?)
This was after telling them not to open or do anything with the tablet.  I wanted to get it in my hands as they get it from their supplier.  Which also leads me to believe the tablet was used. I am familiar with buying products from China, DealExtreme, FocalPrice, etc., so I knew the box wasn't going to be sealed or in the best shape but I at least expected them to do what we asked and not touch anything other than to check, if necessary, that the tablet powers on and works.  Anyways, the tablet works fine after some tweaking (thank you feiyu and Android-kun) and I am happy overall with it (which is another topic) but I probably wouldn't buy from A! May Tinh Bang again.  Simply based on the fact that they steal content from the box and/or sell used products and their prices aren't as competitive as other Vietnamese retailers online but they "had it in stock".  I guess I should stick to the big box retailers like Phan Khang and Nguyen Kim.  The problem is they don't sell the cheaper, inexpensive stuff...

Nice storefront for a small home business
Friendly enough employees
Nice selection of hardware on their website
Good location not too far from D1

Contents missing from box (big con!)
Product looked used
Prices not as competitive
English speaking staff/website would be nice
Should have more stuff in stock
Parking is bad even when there is nobody there

1 comment:

  1. Very informative review. I really appreciate how ways were laid. Very interesting.

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