Back in February, in what was pretty much the best early birthday present ever, my mother-in-law gave me money to buy a new laptop. I did my research, hunted around and ended up picking out this lovely ASUS Transformer Flip, which I decided on at least in part because of my experiences with the smaller ASUS Transformer T100 Intel has sent me earlier in the year (It’s official, I am now a sucker for touch screens).
I was so excited when I got my new laptop. I think the last time I was this excited over a purchase it involved buying a house, I was seriously jump around, dance in the street excited. Much like buying a house, it felt like a life changing moment for me. I was sick of constantly bickering with my husband over using our desktop PC. My husband likes to walk in the door after work and head straight to the internet. Which is fine. It’s really no different from the time my dad used to spend lounging in front of the TV when he got home in the evenings. The problem lies more within me, and the fact that I also want to be online. It’s like we were constantly arguing over the remote, only in this case the gadget in question was our desktop PC.
We have tech in this house out the wazoo; iPods and tablets and netbooks, oh my. Except not one of them did all of the things I wanted to be able to do, plug into our scanner, print things, do heavy photo editing, leave dozens of browser tabs open, let me open forty-two copies of Microsoft Paint, and also make notes to myself and not have someone else close the file without saving it. So I carefully picked out this laptop gift, and it has been perfect. It’s everything I dreamed of. It gives me all the versatility of being able to follow the kids around and work in any room of our home, without having to sacrifice any of the things I used to only be able to do at the coveted desktop.
Heck, I was so smitten with this darn machine that I even named it. Fred. Fred Focus. The name was supposed to be Ford Focus; sort of a mixed homage to Douglas Adams’ Ford Prefect character and the fact that I wanted to keep myself focused on work whenever I sat down with it. However the kids misheard me and starting calling it Fred. This led to the kids regularly saying things like, “Mommy needs to spend quiet time with Fred.” and “You can’t bug mom, she’s busy with Fred.” Both my mother-in-law and my husband were left wondering who the heck Fred was, and I blushed hotly when I had to admit to them that I named my new computer,
If you’re curious, the laptop I picked out is an ASUS Transformer Flip Book (TP550L). I picked this one because I liked all the various ports it had, leaving me plenty of spots to hook in my scanner, wireless mouse and more. I like that it has a touch screen, and I like the way it flips so it basically just looks like a monitor. I’ve set up a desk area in the front room / play room and when I know I’ll be leaving it set in the same place for a bit, I like using it in the “flipped to just a screen” configuration with a wireless mouse and keyboard (I have a strong preference for a mouse over a touchpad, and find a regular keyboard more comfortable when typing for long periods in one go — hello blog writing.)
However all of that is secondary to the Intel Core i7 which keeps this thing ticking. In the many months I’ve been using it Fred has been incredibly well behaved, and has only hung up on me a handful of times. I love how fast my machine boots, and how smoothly it deals with my perchance for leaving six, or sixteen, browser tabs open at any given time.
The big thing for me is photo editing. Forget about the fact I blog, even just as a mom I am responsible for taking photos and then getting them online to share with family. After uploading everything off of the camera I like to go through and pick out all of the photos that are worth editing. I swipe through the pictures quickly in Windows Photo Viewer and anything that looks promising I right click and open with Paint. Then I go into Paint and tackle each photo. 90% of the time all that is needed is a quick crop, resize, save. If they need a bit more work, like when I need to fool around with the colour balance, lighting or whatever, I save them to later open in my photo editing weapon of choice, Corel Paint Shop Pro.
The problem here is twofold. First I often end up opening twenty or thirty potential photos to edit, which means I am opening twenty or thirty copies of Microsoft Paint. Now for some reason my desktop PC doesn’t like this, not one bit, and will often hang up. I have to try and remember to limit myself to opening only eight or so photos at once, or else it’s time to reboot and start over from step one. The other problem is I like to use Corel Paint Shop Pro for my more serious photo editing, and apparently it is a system hog. On my old desktop Paint Shop would work about half of the time, the rest of the time I would need to reboot just to get the program to open. While opening multiple projects in Paint Shop was almost guaranteed to make the system crash.
Fred on the other hand likes photo editing. Or perhaps rather I should say it’s processor does. My shiny new laptop, with it’s Intel Core i7, doesn’t choke up if I open two dozen instances of Microsoft Paint, and it doesn’t hang up if I run Paint Shop Pro. I can even open multiple projects within Paint Shop and things keep humming along smoothly.
So basically, this thing isn’t just a mobile replacement for my desktop, my Intel 2in1 is actually better than our desktop PC (shhh… don’t tell my husband). Which means I am now solely using Fred to get online and do all those other computerish things I need to do, leaving the desktop as just for hubby to use. Less fights, less stress, no squabbling over the remote, as it were, a.k.a. best purchase ever.
Disclosure: Intel did not provide me with a shiny new laptop, that was all thanks to my incredibly awesome mother-in-law. My purchasing decision was definitely influenced by the ASUS Transformer Intel sent me for review last year. While Intel didn’t ask me to write this post I am an Intel Ambassador, and as such I’m required to disclose a relationship between my site and Intel. As always my word and opinions, and my genuine love for all things with “Intel Inside”, are all my own.