Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sign of the End of the World?

At least that's what some have said when they saw me with this computer. Yes, I picked up a Windows 8 laptop. Actually, it is also a tablet as the screen pops off with a push of a button but the "killer feature" is the battery life. It has two batteries, one in the screen and another in the keyboard and combined, the claim is up to 15 hours of battery life though 7 may be more accurate. Still, that's most of a day. Not too shabby. Almost enough to put up with Windows 8. You can also turn the screen around so the back faces the keyboard if you are using it as a tablet. Very well made, reasonably fast Intel dual core 1.8GHz I5 but only 4GB RAM and 150 GB SSD.  Actually, tt is one of the computers for the Barrow based technician to use but I couldn't resist opening the box to play with it. There are many times we need to see how a particular service appears under Windows and a Mac VM just isn't the same.

So not the end of the world as I haven't gone to the Windows camp from OS X. But, Windows 8.1 isn't as "bad" as I was led to believe. One tap and it looks similar to the Windows 7 though I think that having a touch screen and a stylus as well as a regular keyboard helps. All of these features make this more than a decent computer but too heavy as a tablet. BTW, it is a Lenovo Helix ThinkPad. An older model that was heavily discounted on Amazon.Here is a picture of the screen without the keyboard.

We have been getting a record amount of rain lately but it looks promising later in the week. I heard that this has been the wettest June with most of the rain falling during the last couple of weeks. The Roadcrafter is proving itself to be rain proof as the rig has been my only vehicle for quite a while. My youngest son finally has a reliable car so the truck is once again available for my use. The sidecar rig is a much more reasonable vehicle for commuting than a 1-ton diesel truck.

10 comments:

Bluekat said...

I have windows 8 on a laptop, but I spend most of my time on the ipad. I've heard a lot of hate for windows, but I'm indifferent.

Agreed. A sidecar rig is much better than a big truck in so many ways!! Happy commuting.

RichardM said...

I have seen and heard so much negative press about Windows 8 that I just had to see for myself. Last fall at a conference, I saw the Lenovo Helix and I thought that it was a good concept and seemed durable and well made. When the need for a Windows portable came up, I remembered being impressed by it. I don't know what the hub-bub was about as it seems close enough to Windows. I'm also somewhat indifferent and run Win7, W2K8 server, OS X desktop and server, and Linux servers. Just pick the best tool for the task at hand.

The only problem with commuting is that one end is at work...

VStar Lady said...

Couldn't agree more - what ever does the job, comfortably for you. I've a new Dell XPS12 ultra book with windows 8. I've a touch screen (don't much like touch - but it's quick to start and navigate through aps.) But with this ultrabook I've a full keyboard for everything else. Love it.

Unknown said...

Richard:

I also have a Win 8.1 Ultrabook. Battery life is supposed to be around 9 hours but i think it is closer to 7 but that's double what I had before. Mine is an i5 with hybrid drives. a small 24gig for fast bootup and a larger mechanical one, touchscreen which I like. If you hit the desktop button it looks like Win 7.

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

David Masse said...

Sometime in the future computers will cease finding ways to waste our precious time and just work. Apple is pretty good, but certainly not perfect. My new work laptop is the worst yet. Just when you think Windows had reached a new stable low... think again.

I always liked Thinkpads.

RichardM said...

The new ultra-books are pretty nice computers especially those with a touch screen. I really like that the screen on this model can be removed from the keyboard and it can be used as a tablet.

Trobairitz said...

I don't even know if I could navigate a Windows computer anymore. I haven't used one in 13 years.

We finally warmed up. After 55 and rain on the weekend we were in the 90's yesterday. At one point in time the thermometer on our deck said 107. I even took a picture I was so surprised. Back down into the low 80's today thank goodness.

Hope your rain dries up soon.

RichardM said...

You probably wanted a much larger drive than this. The specs say 128 GB but when I look at the drive properties, it says 140GB. Maybe they are allowing for remapping of sectors as they wear out.

I don't use the touchscreen much but I find that after using the iPad for so long, I frequently touch the screen on my laptop (Macbook Air and Macbook Pro) but it doesn't do anything. The Helix meets expectations and does what's expected.

RichardM said...

Boy, you're an optimist! Just work? Apple still is pretty good about that. I haven't had a Mac system crash in years. I should add that even though this new Helix is fairly light with great battery life, it still pales when compared to my Macbook Air with 9 hours of battery and 30% less weight and 4x larger SSD. Though the Helix has a larger screen and the hinge mechanism for allowing the screen to come off adds to the weight.

RichardM said...

I've been watching the Corvallis weather and you hit 94°F yesterday at least according to the Weather Channel! And sunny through the weekend. This morning it was still pouring rain so I got to ride through lots of large puddles on the road. The ground is so saturated that most of the rain is running off headed towards the river.

I have been using Macs as my preferred desktop since OS X came out for the laptops in Spring of 2001. But have almost always had a Windows something or other around for compatibility testing. But this is the first Windows laptop since 1998.