So, I thought I would write a series of posts about the technology, apps, and accessories that I use or consistently have with me. Just to make it clear, this idea came from the other “What I use” blog posts/videos that people like Paul Thurrott (www.thurrott.com) and Lisa Gage (www.mobiletechreview.com) have posted before.
So… Let me first start off with my main workhorse laptop, an ASUS Transformer Book T100TA-H1-GR.
This laptop is fairly new, as I bought it slightly less than a year ago. At the time, it was to replace the Lenovo Ideapad U550, a heavier and bigger laptop that had given out after just over four years.
In deciding on a new laptop, I took several things into account:
1. Size – Ideally, I was looking for a laptop that wouldn’t be too big, something that was more portable and wouldn’t take up too much space in my backpack. After having laptops for the past few years that were 15″ screens, I wanted to try something smaller. At the same time, I didn’t want there too be that much of a learning curve if I chose something with a screen that made things hard to read. (My target was a 13-14″ screen, I settled for 10″)
2. Price – My budget was somewhere around $300-$400. The Transformer Book T100TA fit the bill nicely, as it was $379 and came with a full Office 2013 Home & Student suite already installed (not the Office 365 suites that are more prevalent today). That meant that on top of the $379 I was paying, I also got around a $100 value. Not bad…
Also, seeing as my Lenovo Ideapad laptop had stopped working after just 4 years, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a laptop that I might need to replace after a similar amount of time.
3. Weight – My Lenovo Ideapad U550 “ultraportable” was both “thin” at 0.9″ ~ 1.2″ and “light” at 5.29lbs for its time. This is compared to the Transformer Book T100TA, which is 0.93″ thick and 2.4lbs. What a difference five years makes!
4. OEM – I previously bought a Lenovo Ideapad and the support experience was subpar. Although support was nice enough to replace parts of my laptop that were broken or malfunctioning, they wouldn’t fix it if you didn’t report it. My laptop would also still have problems, even after they returned it to me from servicing.
Part of the reason that I went with ASUS was because of their support and how easy it was to contact them (you can either call them or email them through an online form requesting service), their openness and detail (I had a customer service rep tell me why there was less space on my boot drive, and how I could remove the recovery partition if needed.), and knowledge of problems that had already come up.
5. Form Factor – Even though a lot of people don’t like Windows 8, I like it purely because its ease of use (social media sharing is included…and I share a lot!) and it’s tablet orientation. As Windows 8 was oriented more and works better with a touch screen, I wanted a laptop with a touch screen so that I could take full advantage of touch. Add to this the fact that any laptop I got had to work in both desktop and touch/tablet forms to take advantage of the two interfaces that Windows 8 presented, and I felt I also needed to have a 2-in-1 laptop of some sort.