My next notebook computer

My PC is almost six years old. It’s time to get another, and I had been waiting for PC’s with Windows 8, which is just out. It supports touch screens, which I am so used to now, after using smart phones and tablets a lot. Sometimes I almost jab at my notebook screen, but stop myself before I do, as realisation hits that it is not indeed a touchscreen.

At present I am considering the following specification:
CPU:                             Intel® Core™ i7 or i5
RAM:                            6GB minimum
Ethernet card:            10, 100, 1000mbps
WLAN card:                802.11 b/g/n
Hard Disk or SSD:     500GB +
Touch screen
Graphics card
Good screen resolution
USB3 ports
HDMI port
SD Card reader
DVD writer or Blue Ray writer
Reasonable sound
Windows 8 operating system
2 year + warranty


The Asus N56VZ series is pretty close, and I like Asus, but doesn’t entirely match my specs.  Perhaps I can ask for slight modifications.



  1. I’d love to try talking you into getting a Mac. Apple is the most reliable brand in any comparison you can find, their designs are beautiful (that Acer looks like a ripoff of a MacBook Pro), there are no viruses, Windows 8 looks like it’s going to be a train wreck, and you can run Windows on a Mac natively if you need to. There is no compelling reason left to buy a PC.

    1. Hi Rod. I have gone and looked at them, but: 1. They are far more expensive 2. They don’t even have Ethernet connections so one must use wireless 3. Apple seems to treat its workers in China very poorly – perhaps the other manufacturers do too, but I am not sure 4. I like touchscreens, and I believe Macs don’t have them 5. Not directly relevant, but I’ve also avoided iPads because they refuse to allow expandable storage such as SD cards. So, after reconsidering this the idea of getting a Mac goes onto the backburner again. This same process of consideration occurs every time I must replace a PC.

  2. 2. They don’t even have Ethernet connections so one must use wireless
    Use a Thunderbolt to ethernet adaptor.

    3. Apple seems to treat its workers in China very poorly
    Apple subcontracts entirely to Foxconn, a Taiwanese firm which manufactures for many companies.

    4. I like touchscreens, and I believe Macs don’t have them
    You won’t love touchscreens after using one in a laptop format – gorilla arm.

    5. … iPads … refuse to allow expandable storage such as SD cards.
    iPad leaves a lot more space available for storage than other tablets. Also, use iCloud.

    1. Yesterday I looked at some Macs, but the price is at least 50% more, without adding necessities like Ethernet, adding more RAM, and buying an external Blu Ray writer. And I still like touchscreens – my tablet is an Asus Slider, which has a physical keyboard and touchscreen, and it’s really nice to use.

      So what is so nice about Mac’s that could overrride such considerations?

      About 5., I download podcasts on the PC, and then transfer to my phone’s or tablet’s SD card. It’s fast and easy. The network is much slower, and Bluetooth a joke. So both phone and tablet must have an SD or micro SD card slot. The MacBook Air does seem to have an SD slot.

      And where in the product lifecycle are Macs? I prefer to buy a product relatively soon after it comes out, and then I have the latest product for the longest time. Doesn’t work with phones, but does with cars, PC’s, etc.

  3. Nothing else comes close to Apple’s quality and attention to detail.
    • MacBooks are carved out of a solid chunk of aluminium using high-pressure jets of water; this allows the designers ultimate control over wall thickness anywhere in the case, so they can optimise strength as well as weight.

    • Apple is in control of hardware, OS and may applications. An Apple Store is a one-stop shop if something goes wrong. Also, the Genius Bar gives free technical support. I’m an IT Manager in a school; my experience is that with PCs, the vendor looks for every chance to blame Microsoft, who are virtually unapproachable, so nobody wants to take responsibility for things going wrong.

    • As mentioned previously, the virtual absence of malware on Macs.

    • One example among many of the attention to detail – the MagSafe power connection: if you trip over the cord, it parts company gracefully from the socket. Done it may times.

    As for transferring podcasts and the like between devices, iCloud does so automatically in the background – there’s no need for your transfer via SD card. See

    My experience with computer generations is that you’re much better off with the second iteration of any new model. By the time it comes out, the bugs will have been ironed out, the early adopters will have paid their premium and operated as beta testers.

    The same goes for cars; I know a lot about VWs. They have great attention to detail as well, but some problems take a couple of years to show up, even after the warranty period expires.

    Hard to answer your question specifically about Macs, as different models have staggered life cycles. The MacBook Pro with retina screen and SSD (expensive, I know) is the newest, but the case is virtually unchanged from before. MacBook Air: The current case is about two years into the cycle, but major revisions took place this year, so by my reckoning it’s a good time to opt in.

    1. Thanks for the information and your comments, Rod. Now I find I use the PC for the grunt work, and the tablet and phone for other things. So, as I use it less, I feel it is less important to be a wonderful experience, and more important that it just gets the job done. I am in no particular hurry, unless my present PC suddenly breaks down, so it might take a few months to decide, but the searching and deciding process is fun.

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