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Mohandiseen, Cairo, Egypt.
Compu Me: Cairo's Technology Outlet
A veritable gadget geek’s paradise, Compu Me has something for the techie in everyone. The Mohandiseen location is two floors of computers, televisions, speakers and so much more, all neatly displayed on seemingly endless shelves.
The first floor is dedicated primarily to Apple products closely guarded by the customer service desks. The section is small, consisting mostly of a few models of the Macbook Pro (one was priced at 14,999LE). Although we didn’t see the iPad on display, Compu Me’s website is asking 6,299LE for the trendy device.
Disappointingly, Compu Me doesn’t have a wide selection of accessories. While the cordless magic mouse (500LE) was available, computer chargers were not. The rest of the first floor showcases the newest models of big screen LCD televisions; the asking price of the Hisense 46” LED TV was 8,799LE.
Not all of Compu Me’s televisions and other equipment come with such a hefty price tag. The second floor holds a much larger stock of merchandise at various price points. Since Compu Me is constantly updating its stock to carry newer technology, older models of everything from laptops to scanners to speakers become less expensive. Models of the Dell Inspiron were seen at 4099LE, but the price drops depending on the year and amount of storage available. Canon printers range from 299LE to 2299LE and Hewlett Packard photo printers start at around 2000LE, while the D1665 with all the bells and whistles were priced at 7000LE. Televisions on this floor included models such as the Hisense 40” LCD for 4290LE and the LG 50” plasma for 6180LE.
A variety of headphones range between 20LE and 755LE for a high quality make by Creative. Netbook and laptop cases are available to suit almost any style, from brief cases with wheels to soft cases by Built.
Anything else you could possibly need to make your equipment more enjoyable or to keep it protected is available at Compu Me: printer ink, security software and camera cases, to name but a few.
The game section is surprisingly slim, but is quite family friendly and well priced. PS2 games were spotted for 35LE and include a great selection of kids’ games featuring characters like Shrek and Hannah Montana as well as sporting games like FIFA. PC games were priced at around 50LE and included a number of volumes from the Sims series as well as some strategy games. By far the most expensive games seem were for Nintendo DC, priced at 299LE a pop. For such a large store, we were expecting to see a greater selection of games, but as far as variety in gadgets goes, Compu Me’s selection doesn’t disappoint.
It isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a shop to restrict itself to just one brand. Although there’s no product option here, the Yamaha showroom in Heliopolis makes up for this by offering Yamaha models of various instruments in all shapes and sizes.
There are plenty of guitars in this store, both acoustic and electric, but the price begins high at around 950LE. As you progress along the wall-rack, they become steadily more attractive, expensive, and pleasant to play and listen to; the most expensive are beautiful models with all the frills, which will set you back around 4900LE. A bass or two hides among them, but of these there’s limited choice. Prices between 2300-3200LE
Like many music shops in Cairo, keyboards and pianos seem to take precedent. Again the price starts high, at around 1900LE, but like the guitars, even the cheapest is a solid model. These may not have weighted keys or sound incredible, but they will be more than enough for your everyday needs; and if you’re looking for something more upmarket, you need only walk a little further into the store where top of the range keyboards (up to 9100LE) share space with magnificent standing pianos. Bring your cheque-book, however, as these cost between 15000-35000LE
In the back of the shop you’ll find a room packed to the ceiling with amplifiers to suit any need, from personal portables to gigging monsters. Quality-wise you can choose anything from a fairly cheap, functional model to an extravagant one. This showroom apparently caters for producers and technicians as well as independent musicians, since along with PAs one or two mixing decks of intimidating size and complexity lurk in the far corners of scary prices such as 160000LE.
A lonely Roland DTX-500 electric drum-kit (11000LE) sits in a corner next to a cabinet well-stocked with sticks of various sizes, guitar and bass strings (acoustic, electric or nylon), sax reeds (although no saxophones are sold in-store), amp leads, and so on; all the standard instrument accessories, all reasonably priced. There are few technical accessories, however, so think of this as an instrument rather than a musical supply store.
If you don’t mind being restricted, Yamaha is a safe brand with a reputation for quality and durability. Despite the limited options, you can find what you need in this show room, and trust that it won’t fall apart after a few jams.