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Computers are a strange proposition for those wanting to learn how to better use them on a daily basis. On the one hand, the experience is rewarding (as my “Building the Perfect PC" series will tell you). On the other hand, the daily usage of a computer that suddenly reboots or tries to destroy itself is a mind-numbing experience. Usually, it’s best to stop trying to fix something when you have the mouse raised to the screen and are yelling in your loudest outside voice.
How do you remedy these issues? First, you take proactive steps. Remove the junkware that comes packaged with laptops, remove superfluous windows programs, be careful online, the usual tips and tricks that I recommend to you in every other article on here. However, what happens if even those steps take you nowhere? Enter Reimage, the one-stop solution to pesky computer slowdowns.
The user interface is almost exclusively online, unless you choose to use the Boot CD feature available through the website. The UI on the disc is pretty good and straightforward. The CD boasts no-frills and ease of use for the everyman, and that claim is reaffirmed by my tests. Thankfully, I have a brother who lacks some computer savvy and gets his HP laptop into perpetual trouble, so it was an easy test to perform. The graphics are well-displayed and easily found, and the CD is stress-free from the very first time it’s booted up.
Does it Work?
So far so good, the GUI is clever, easy to use and makes booting from the CD rather easy. However, when we hit the age old “does it actually work?" question, we get to a speedbump. The website boldly claims that 30 minutes is all it takes for the CD to go about its business. Clocking in at a little over an hour, I was pretty surprised – that’s almost twice as much as the claim on the website! I was determined to press on though, after all, if it takes an hour, but it works 100%, wouldn’t that be worth it? Sure enough, the computer, which was rebooting constantly and blue-screening continually started working again. However, the loading times were ridiculous. Trying to boot up my brother’s copy of Thunderbird took 2 to 3 times as much as it normally would, and I was eventually forced into a repartition and reinstall scenario. Overall, the product has a sound premise, but the execution is severely flawed – after all, this is an HP laptop that’s fairly common “in the wild" and the problems weren’t SO severe.
Price and Value
Considering the above paragraph, it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that I find this product severely overpriced. Even though I scorn Geek Squad and Firedog (RIP), ultimately, if your PC is that messed up, it would be a worthwhile investment to have a real “expert" look at it if you can’t do anything on your own. However, this to me is something that is only a last-ditch effort. I’d rather reformat my computer than put it in the hands of some amateur trying to make his $10 an hour. At $149 for 50 computers, the price isn’t so outrageous, but let’s face it, aside from some businesses, who has 50 computers? At $79, the 3-user price is ridiculous, and that’s PER MONTH! That’s $25 more than I pay for my Antivirus PER YEAR. Needless to say, they want you to buy the product for a company, but with it working only on some computers, who would make such a foolhardy investment? The price for a good in-house IT and computer specialist is more expensive, but he works 100% of the time.
While it shows some promise, it’s still underpowered and over-priced. This software still needs a lot of revision before it can be accepted as a viable alternative to hours of manual labor or sending it to your local, trusted computer specialist. Give it some time and the product may very well surprise you.
Company website: http://www.reimage.com/index.php