Ordering a Zonbu appears to be relatively straight-forward. Typical e-commerce stuff via their website.
The one frustrating thing is that they don’t list a phone number anywhere on the site. At least not anywhere I could find. I actually had a question that wasn’t answered and I couldn’t ask it. I spent about 20 minutes looking and gave up. For a company that is aiming to be “plug and play” it would be helpful to allow at least some kind of pre-sales communication with real live people versus the ubiquitious web form and wait for a response model. Even an interactive IM session with someone would have solved my issue.
Now, if you’re read anything else about the Zonbu, you’ve no doubt seen the countless comments about how you have to pay a subscription fee for the online storage. Yes, you do. In my case, I opted for the 1 year plan, with 25GB of storage. I expect I can easily upgrade to more space or a 2 year commitment if I want to down the road.
A word about the storage. People really need to stop whining about the pricing. It’s a great deal, frankly, and they subsidize the hardware cost so it works out. The online storage is provided in the Amazon S3 cloud, and helps ensure that you won’t lose your personal photos/videos/music etc., should something untoward happen to your Zonbu box. How much load it puts on your broadband connection and how that affects your perception of overall performance is something we’ll be exploring in more detail once the unit arrives.
If you don’t like subscriptions you can buy the unit outright for around $250 with no subscription fee. But that would defeat the purpose – what they’re offering is a turn-key, regularly updated system. For the system to make sense. you need to be in the loop. Whether their business model will allow them to continue delivering it indefinitely is certainly one reason I only popped for a one year subscription. We all want to see where this goes.
My total order came in below $350 (I think it was about $315 before shipping). I don’t have the paperwork here, I’ll dig it out and update this in the future.
I did get a confirmation e-mail but don’t recall seeing any tracking information. I’ll double check, or perhaps I’ll receive that Monday morning, we’ll see. I certainly hope there is tracking info, you know how type-A us Internet users are.