Review: A New Laptop for this Geek

About two years ago, when my second laptop died in 4 years of business, I decided a desktop computer just might make more sense. It seemed like my line of work was a laptop killer and my budget at the time told me that a dead laptop every two years wasn’t a wise business decision.  For the most part I’ve been extremely happy with my choice.  The desktop has handled everything I’ve dished out with ease.  I see many more years of service for the HP workhorse.  But… having enjoyed the freedom of mobility from the start of my business, being tied to a desk was hard to swallow for me.

My answer was to purchase a tiny netbook about 6 months after buying the desktop. It worked for awhile, allowing me to do a bit of writing from the coffee shop or access my desktop remotely during trips to Maine.  Although I made it work, it was a frustrating experience, especially as my WordPress web design services began to become more and more popular.  The netbook itself began to complain about the hoops I was making it jump through and by December 2012 it was obvious I had mortally wounded it with the software and tasks I was asking it to deal with.  I also knew that within a year I’d be making a trip back to Maine that would involve an extended stay of approximately a month.  There was no way I’d be able to conduct business from the netbook this time.  I had effectively killed it for pretty much anything but writing.

I needed a laptop. I toyed with the idea of finally giving in and buying Apple. After all, I love my iPhone and my iPod.  I knew from talking to others that an iPad would never cut it, if I was going to go Apple it would have to be a Macbook Pro.   Yet the more I looked, not only did the cost make me cringe, but the fact that I’d have to purchase Mac versions of my most used software made the price positively painful.

Plus, at the risk of having my geek card taken away, I don’t hate PC’s.  So I began 5 months of research looking for a laptop that was portable, powerful and durable.  The same name kept popping up.


In June, I finally made a decision.  I chose the ASUS VivoBook.  Although not as lightweight as an Ultrabook, it’s much thinner than previous laptops I’ve owned and the brushed aluminum finish makes me happy.  It also has a touch screen, so those times when it’s a little awkward to use the keyboard (like airports) I can use it like a tablet right down to the on-screen keyboard.

And I love the smart gesture mousepad, and this is coming from a girl who hates mousepads.  So much so that I have turned them off in the past and strictly used a little wireless mini mouse.  This ones different.  The smart gesture features are great, and it’s so much easier to remember two fingers for scrolling, one finger for navigating and clicking.  My mini mouse may just get lonely.

The screen size gives me plenty of room to create WordPress websites with the Headway theme without having to do a ton of scrolling to see everything in the visual editor and there is plenty of power to run my graphics program at the same time as Word or PowerPoint.  So far I’m loving my new laptop, and even more, I’m loving the ability to be mobile again.  Knowing that if I wanted to work pool side for a few hours that I could without missing a beat makes me happy.

I know there will be folks out there that hate ASUS, Ultrabooks; that the Vivobook gets dismal battery life or will just tell me that I should have bitten the bullet and shelled out the money for the MacBook.   I don’t regret the decision to remain ‘a PC’. I know I can make my trip to Maine for the holidays confident in the fact that my new laptop will allow me to provide the same high quality services to my clients that they are used to, and that’s what’s important.

Coming soon: The purchase of my new laptop prompted a search for cloud storage.  I’ll share my experience and what service(s) I ended up going with in my next post.

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Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.


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