The program includes 2-in-1s and ultrabooks, and loaner periods are 24-48 hours. The Loaner Program is available at the New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles Intel Retail Stores.
Intel isn’t the only company pushing the paradigm of letting people actually experience in person the products they’re about to spend hundred of dollars on. Google’s Winter Wonderlabs pop-up stores are appearing in shopping malls, and of course Microsoft and Apple have retail spaces, too.
This is a terrific development in the world of PC buying. If you think about it, it’s downright bizarre that there are so many computers that we buy online without ever using them or seeing them in person. As reviewers of hardware (it’s kind of our thing), we can say with certainty that having a device in your hand gives you a much better picture of a given item.
Further, the absence of a strong retail presence for PCs takes away that feeling of seeing something and just kind of falling in love with it. Sure, there are a few rows of PCs in stores like Best Buy, but there’s nothing quite like walking into a dedicated showroom full of nice-looking hardware and being able to pepper the salesperson with questions.
Major tech companies that have massive online presences are figuring out that people want to see their gear in person, and now they’re competing for our dollars on the street. Long live competition.