One day after the damp computer

So, I’ve got my novel back, thank heavens. I use both dropbox and an external harddrive so didn’t lose any data except what I wrote on the train yesterday morning. I’m having the harddrive looked at today and will probably be able to recover that since I had Scrivener set to save every two seconds. Okay… that might be a slight exaggeration, but the point is that I probably haven’t lost any work.

The consensus, however, is that the laptop is probably thoroughly fried because it was nose down in an inch of water while powered on. We’re going to let it sit for a week but I’m likely in the market for a new computer.

One day into using my ASUS Transformer Prime, here are the things that I love.

1. It is light and small.
2. I adore the touch screen. Clear, responsive, and intuitive
3. The keyboard is very comfortable.
4. The battery life is great. Haven’t run out of charge yet.
5. The docking station is easy to use.
6. It runs Android and I’m comfortable with that from my phone.

Things I am not keen on.
1. The trackpad was so hyper-responsive that I had to turn it off or I wound up typing in random places on the screen.
2. No way to turn of the tap feature of the trackpad. It’s all on or all off.
3. If you accidentally side-swipe a document program closed in the list of windows, you do not get a warning that files are unsaved. It just closes the program.
4. It is top heavy. If you have the screen open too wide, it will fall over if your hands are not on the keyboard.
5. It runs Android and will often default to portrait view because the program assumes I am using a phone.

So far I’m trying Documents-to-Go and OfficeSuitePro to see which one works better for my needs. As far as just straight ahead writing, both are comfortable to use with a slight edge to Documents-to-Go for having track changes.  Neither of them will allow you to have more than one file open at a time and since my writing process usually involves having two files open, this is a little awkward. I might keep both programs in order to trick my machine into conforming to my needs.

All in all, it’s a solid little thing and will be good for the around town machine, but I’m a little spoiled in my needs for a full time writing machine. I’m open to suggestions on a replacement for the damp laptop. I was using a Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet X61. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the weight.

Here’s my list of wants.

1. Less than four pounds
2. Touchscreen
3. Docking station that can connect to a large screen
4. Windows
5. Built-in camera
6. Full keyboard
7. I’m not a gamer, so don’t need that sort of power.
8. Less than $1500

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13 thoughts on “One day after the damp computer”

  1. I’m really considering an ipad with one of those cases that has a bluetooth keyboard in it. Smaller than most laptops and wanting just a tool for writing in. So sad that kindle fire I have doesn’t support a keyboard without replacing the OS with android. I just need something for writing that I can use that doesn’t have the rest of the things I run on my system (work, learning, entertainment, etc).
    And for Randy Tayler… yeah, I’m writing this from a mac because it is better. *smirk*

  2. Annalee Flower Horne

    I’m using a Lenovo IdeaPad u260. I like its size and weight–fits in my purse without sacrificing the full keyboard–but its battery life is total pants (about 2.5 hrs of charge, and after only a few months, it’s now refusing to charge past 79%), and it has the oversensitive touchpad problem you mentioned.

    My office ended up choosing it for me over a Zenbook or a Macbook Air because of the price, but I’d suggest checking out a Zenbook. It’s basically Asus’s answer to the Macbook Air. Zenbooks ship with Windows 7, and some of the newer models have touch screens.

      1. Annalee Flower Horne

        I know it shouldn’t really be a factor in choosing a laptop, but damn if they’re not pretty.

  3. I’m getting a new Ultrabook towards the end of the year – light, thin, and touch screen. It sounds as though some of the brands (several companies will be selling them – all based on Intel chipsets) will start in the $600 range (but with some/many much, much higher). They’re laptop-ish so have full keyboards. I’m not sure about camera or docking station.

  4. My only suggestion would be to check out the stores microcenter and/or Fry’s rather than other chain stores that you might be more familiar with. I’m a microcenter fan personally (on Elston between Damen and Diversey) but both are great for knowledgeable employees and good products.

  5. Hi Mary. Based on a review by Cory Doctorow and that they are a US based company using Tiawanese manufacturers to make their laptops Zareason is someone to look into. I like the fact that they could easily answer my place if origin questions, the hardware lookes pretty good. They use linux varients as their OS so that could be an issue…..

    Ive also been looking at the asus transformor since im unhappy with apples business practices and lack if goid pay for their employees. Once i have a regular job ill probably be sinking cash into ibe ir the other…

    1. After spending the rest of the day with the Transformer, I am no longer so in love with it. Multiple crashes and lost data. I might just have a buggy one, but proceed with caution.

  6. I own one of the first generations of Transformers, and I’ve found that the simpler the program, the less crashy it is. It’s not so pretty, but I suggest either Jota Text Editor or Writer. Jota is stable as a rock and always saves when you switch to another app or close it, but doesn’t have formatting. (I’ve gotten used to using _underscores_ now rather than bother with fancier suites.)

    Writer looks prettier and has a better interface for multiple files, uses markdown, but it’s not quite what you want.

    I use Scrivener as well, and I sync with SimpleNote between my Transformer and my Mac.

  7. We just started rolling out the new lightweight Dell Lattitude for high volume travelers at work. Unfortunately, the model we’re just rolling is brand new and likely just over your price range. (Well, not for us, but we’re a big corporation) But you can save some by going for the weakest processor. Something like the Lattitude E6320. The weight is largely dependent upon which battery size you want, starting around 3 1/2 lbs, for the smallest 3 cell battery, and going up from there. I’ve personally had good luck with Dell. They have plenty of other models available too, like the Inspirion, or Vostro, that are more consumer class. One thing I often mention to people that use a laptop for business, consider getting a better warranty. If you’d been working for my office and this happened to your laptop, it would have been covered. (I checked.) You’d have a replacement either in your hands by now, or on its way. If you check out the above link, the prices don’t automatically include the Pro warranty (an extra $236 for three year coverage) or the Accidental Damage coverage ($119 for three years, and would explicitly have covered your issue) Of course, that’s a good $355 towards a replacement otherwise. So that depends upon your philosophy on the benefits of warranties. Laptops….one of the few places I think they have some value, unless you plan on going very cheap. Just because they seem far more prone to trouble than desktops.

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