Well unlike Godot, my StarLite V Linux Laptop/Tablet is finally on its way having left Godalming in the tender care of Royal Mail. It's been a long long wait, but at least StarLabs provided some (unitentional) humour in the final month.


So I placed my order last September, just before the pre-order deadline closed. I was looking to replace my then 4 year old StarLite MkII whose second battery had died (the first one lasted less than a year) and whose keyboard had annoying intermittent faults (not all caused by biscuit crumbs getting in!) plus I was out of disc space and the bluetooth had never worked with a mouse so I had a mouse dongle permanently occupying one USB port...etc.etc. Anyway the V sounded like a cool idea so being well pleased with the Mk II (apart from the battery) I went for it.

In September they were hoping to get the shipment of the first batch in before Christmas. At the end of August the Support site had reported "Production is now underway! ". 

By mid October the screens had passed QC and the processors arrived - looking good. But in early November everything slipped and we were told "The total delay is anticipated to be around 6 weeks for the tablets themselves, so please allow for this time on top of the estimated lead time that was quoted on your order." so now we are looking at early Feb.

However things seemed to pick up and as a Christmas present we were told "The StarLite's are expected to arrive in the new year. We are targeting mid-January to dispatch these and kick start the year on a positive note!". Great I thought, I can live with that.

Then there was a Christmas holiday period which caused a delay to be announced in mid-Jan. Then the big surprise - the Chinese have a New Year holiday in Jan/Feb - who'd have thought it. What a surprise. A further delay, and now the Red Sea is closed to shipping.

So they are going to put them on an aeroplane, but that causes delays too because the batteries have to be checked so they don't catch fire in the aeroplane hold - 5-7 days more but they should be here by 13th March.

But then we hear on the 15th March they are going on a flight on 25th March - another 2 week delay from the last estimate. But then there'll be customs delays, so lets say 2nd April.

Whoops - now we've got an Easter holiday. Never mind, on 4th April they arrive in Godalming. Yay! Won't be long now....

...or will it.

Having not really thought about it, and guided by earlier statements about taking a couple of weeks to get them out I though perhaps late April it would be in my hands? Ho ho ho, no.

April 12th the support site boldly announces "Based on our current operational pace, we anticipate dispatching all Lite orders within the next four weeks." Oh bugger. By 8th May then.

Now it gets really screwy as Godalming starts messing with our heads:

Support went silent for the rest of April and all of May. Then on 27th May a personalised email arrives stating that they have 696 units to ship before mine (they are doing them in order date which is fair enough - I was quite late making up my mind to place a pre-order) and they expect to ship mine on 6th June. OK that sounds like concrete information, thanks you.

Next day another update - they now have 673 to ship before mine, so they estimate 7th June. ???Hang On - you've shipped 23 units since yesterday and have 673 to go. At that rate 26th June looks more likely.

Now the updates come daily for a while, with varying numbers of units shipped (between 21 and 45) and dates gradually creeping out - 11 June, 12 June, 13 June, 18 June, 19 June, 14 June - then they start missing days and the date sticks at 20th June.

On 21st June a final (it turned out) email declares 113 left and we'll be shipping yours on 24th June. Oh Yeah! I reckon 26th.

All the way through this period from 27th May I have been calculating my own projection which has remained pretty stable at 27th June plus or minus 2 days. So what the feck are they playing at. Do they think we are eejits? What a load of God(alming)forsaken w**k**s.




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