The guys from Home Tech Podcast show #117 hang around post-show to help me, Rich O’Neil, figure out what to buy as a replacement for my 2 1/2-year old $199 Acer Aspire 5251-1317 laptop. The cheap little laptop has been holding its own, especially since I had I installed an SSD in it, but the screen is beginning to die and I don’t know if I’m going to replace it. Besides, it really doesn’t have enough power to run virtual machines well, something I occasionally require for testing and  schoolwork.

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The guys and I talk about hardware and choice of OS – Windows 7 or Windows 8. If I’m going with W8,  they recommend getting the touchscreen so I can experience Windows 8 in all it’s glory. I agree. I also like the fact that W8’s Hyper-V feature makes working with virtual machines fairly easy. It’s nice to have a decent alternative to VirtualBox. As far as when to pull the trigger on a purchase, Michael Martis suggests waiting until Haswell, Intel’s newest CPU series, arrives next month on June 3rd or 4th. It’s a good idea and I think I’ll wait. The decreased power consumption by itself is reason enough – Intel is claiming at least 20x power consumption improvement over Ivy Bridge. But Intel is also claiming up to a 2x boost in graphics performance with support for 4k video. Whoa! I guess it’s a tough time right now to be in the market for a new laptop.

Having said that, Martis recommends the ASUS VivoBook X202E-DH31T 11.6” Touch Laptop he recently picked up from his local Best Buy, and Jim Collison snaps up one of these from Amazon after the show. For $399, it’s a really nice, tight little laptop with touchscreen included. But I cannot deal with an 11.9-inch screen. Ultrabooks with SSD caching and a 15.6” touchscreen are an interesting thought. Maybe I’ll look for a Haswell proc in one of those? Anyway, thanks to the guys for giving me good stuff to think about and letting me bounce some of my thoughts off them.


Rich’s RPG is a podcast hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil in Google+ Hangout. We talk tech with like-minded folks, covering stuff that’s interesting to us. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. And we welcome newcomers. Got your headset and a bit of free time? Join us on the show by contacting us

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