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Samsung pulls a fast one on Q1 Ultra customers

It's not too often that I hear of true "bait and switch" cases in the computer industry, but Samsung has proven me wrong.

When Samsung first announced its Q1 Ultra in early May, it promised a price tag of $799 for the entry-level Q1U-EL model. The Q1U-EL was supposed to have a 600MHz Intel A100 processor, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and WiFi. Unlike its more expensive siblings, the Q1U-EL was supposed to lack the dual cameras, fingerprint reader and a Secure Digital slot.

The first signs of worry for the Q1U-EL came in early June. Retailers began to change the specs for the Q1U-EL before the units started shipping -- the 600MHz A100 processor was tossed in favor of the faster 800MHz A110. The additional 200MHz was a welcome addition for running Windows Vista Home Premium, but the processor switch resulted in a $100 price increase for the device -- even after retailers had taken pre-orders.

Buy.com had offered the Q1U-EL for pre-order at a price tag of $775.99 before a 7% off storewide coupon that many jumped on. Once the spec change was noted, Buy.com cancelled orders for those that managed to score a Q1U-EL for as little as $722.

It now appears that Samsung skimped out on a few more areas with the Q1U-EL and forgot to tell retailers and consumers. Now that the Q1U-EL models have begun to ship, people are starting to get them in their hands and have noticed other shortcomings.

Reports are that not only has the 800MHz processor been added along with $100 to the price of the device, Samsung also ditched the four touch-sensitive keys along the top of the device, the protective case and most importantly Bluetooth. All of this was done without notifying retailers, notifying customers or even modifying its own product page.

Not surprisingly, customers who purchased the Q1U-EL are quite disappointed with the lack of Bluetooth and user-defined keys that were supposed to be included -- not to mention the $100 price increase.

According to a Gottabemobile forum member who purchased the Q1U-EL, the company sent out a memo to their employees and is in the process of updating the specifications for the Q1U-EL. Those words may ring a little hollow for customers who've already purchase the device.

As of today, Buy.com, PC Connection, and Best Buy list the Q1U-EL as having Bluetooth. Bottom Line Telecommunications, however, has added this note to its Q1U-EL product page: “Samsung's website specifications are incorrect for this model.  It does not include Bluetooth capabilities.  For Bluetooth enabled NP-Q1 Ultra models, see Samsung part numbers NP-Q1UA000 and NP-Q1U/000.”





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