I left work and heading home feeling giddy like a happy little girl, super excited that it was my 16th birthday or the night of the prom and that I had put on only my best attire, ever, and had spent all that day beautifying and accessorizing myself. Well, except that I'm not a girl nor am I into cross dressing. I had received an email from FedEx a couple of hours earlier, and then a txt from my wife saying it had arrived, and I felt butterflies, parasitic worms, really, in my stomach. Even before the wheels had stopped rolling as I pulled into my driveway, I shifted into neutral and turned off the engine. Heck, who cares about having to repair the transmission later anyway? The only thing on my mind was that box that has just come in.
Like a little boy rushing madly to the Christmas tree to find and open his presents on Christmas morning, I jumped right through the door and almost smacked into the unopened side of the two-sided French door of our house. I about tripped on the stairs trying to climb up the split level, expecting to see the box there. But there was nothing there.
"Where is it?" I cried out.
"Oh, you're home?" my wife answered from the sofa recliner. "I think I put it over there somewhere." She pointed towards the sliding glass door in the dining area.
I hopped over some toys and almost skidded to a stop on the hardwood flooring when my eyes caught sight of the box.
"Wow!" I exclaimed. "It's a Toshiba box."
"Yeah, isn't that what you ordered?" my wife asked.
"Heck yeah. But I didn't think it would be a Toshiba box. I was half expecting some generic brown box or something," I answered, already halfway through trying to rip the tape off. Except, the tape wouldn't break. It was the heavy duty variety.
I looked around for something hard, something sharp, to pierce the tape and rip it open. Eying my daughter's metal toy spatula, I grabbed that and poked at the tape in futility. The adhesive film held back its sturdy self and laughed silently at my feeble attempts to put a tear into it.
"You got something I can use?" I asked my wife. She gave me a puzzled look, but then nodded after I pointed to the box.
"Well, I can get you the scissors or something, but don't you have your keys?" she answered.
Oh, yeah, I had forgotten about that. I always use my keys to tear and break off packaging tape. That was odd that I didn't remember this. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the keyring, jingling with anticipation for the gratuitous murder it was about to commit on the poor, innocent packaging tape. "Thanks, honey."
"Hello to you too," she sighed and rolled her eyes.
"Sorry, hi honey," I apologized, trying to feign some sort of damage control. "How was your day? I missed you." Funny though, because I said it without even looking up. Already, the tape was being slaughtered by the sharp points of my saw-like house key.
"I see you're not going to be much of a conversationalist today, so I'll be in the living room. Let me know when the wedding will be and I'll decide if I want to come," she said with an obvious hint of disgust before disappearing out of my view.
I finally got the contents out of the box. It was well wrapped, sealed in a clear plastic bag of shrink wrap sorts, and pristine. I did a quick examination for obvious wear and tear, damage, or other evidence of usage, but all I could find after removing the screen protector sheet was a slight smear from the sheet itself and a small sprinkling of dust near the display panel's hinge that the factory refurbisher had failed to clean. Other than that, everything looked brand new. Even the printed keys on the keyboard and the fans and vents.
I spent the rest of the night removing Toshiba, Symantec, and other expected bloatware and replaced it with Avast and a few other things I preferred. I also ran Windows Update and allowed it to come up to speed in an ever changing world of bothersome malware and adware. Overall, I finished installing my favorite browsers, tweaking configuration options, setting up my encrypted Wifi connection, and installing LibreOffice 4.1 by the time I had to go to bed, including a fifteen minute rush-dinner. I ran a quick Windows Experience Index test and the score came out to 5.9, with the 5400 RPM hard drive being the chokepoint. Everything else scored in the upper 6 and 7 range, so I made a mental note to upgrade the hard drive to a solid state drive in a year or two when larger, cheaper drives were available.
I plopped down in bed around ten o'clock, just in time to sleep. It couldn't have been a more perfect purchase. Other than my initial struggle getting the stupid tape off the external packaging, everything extremely smooth. Everything was newer than I had expected and near perfect condition, with the only evidence of use being that small area of dusty that hadn't been wiped. Every indication, including the original Toshiba box, suggested it was refurbished by none other than the manufacturer itself. I was impressed with this purchase and would recommend this laptop if anyone should chance to see it on Woot again, perhaps, for an even better price.