Thursday, August 22, 2013

My new writing machine

With the help of my ever-supportive husband, I just got a new laptop: a 11.6" Sony Vaio with a touchscreen, running Windows 8.  This is a huge jump for me -- I've been writing mainly on my Averatec 1020 for the past 8 years, with a short stint on an Asus Eee netbook.

I just got the computer tonight and am still getting it set up, but so far there is a ton to like:

* Faster processor speed: Since most of what I do is writing, you wouldn't think this would make a difference, but in actuality Scrivener seems to slow down my older computer quite a bit.  I haven't installed the program yet, but based on how fast the computer already runs, I am very much looking forward to using Scrivener on this machine!

* Faster wifi speed: For writing, this isn't strictly necessary, but for research (quite a bit of which I do online) it sure is nice.  Plus, my Dropbox backups of my novel should upload much faster now.  Score!

* Ridiculously lightweight: Seriously.  Under 2 pounds.  My Averatec was just over 3, so you wouldn't think this would make that much of a difference, but I am amazed every time I pick up the Vaio.  I am very much looking forward to toting it around with me -- but it's so thin, I think I'll want to make sure I have a really good case to keep it safe!

* Longer battery life: We will see how long it lasts in actuality, but it's rated at 6.5 hours on battery saving mode.  In my experience batteries rarely ever last as long as the manufacturer says, no matter what you do to try to conserve power, but hey -- I'll be happy with 5 hours, honestly, as I've only been getting 2 or 2.5 with my Averatec -- and that's not much writing time!

* Touchscreen: Okay, this is totally unnecessary, I'll admit it -- but holy technology, it is SO nice.  Several times in typing this blog post, I've wanted to go up and change something in a previous paragraph, and to get there all I had to do was tap the screen.  No arrow buttons, no fussing with the mouse or touch pad.

* Solid state drive: I am actually not sure why I am putting this here, instead of toward the top of the list.  I love the SSD.  Love it.  I am very much looking forward to playing with the settings to see how fast it will come out of hibernation.  As an added bonus, it's a bigger drive than my old Averatec -- but considering that's an 8-year-old computer, I guess it isn't that hard to beat!  I could have gotten a much bigger hard drive if I had bought a laptop without a SSD, but I would rather have the lighter weight and fewer moving parts than the bigger hard drive, honestly.

* Comfortable keyboard for fast typing: I probably have a different standard than most people for what's comfortable to type on -- I prefer smaller keys that are closer together, which this definitely has.  I almost got a Samsung Series 9 (a 2011 model) instead (it turned out it didn't work, so I returned it), and the bigger and more widely spaced keys were actually a disappointment for me, rather than a benefit.

For now, I think that's about all I can think of to mention -- I'm sure I'll come up with more things as I start using it.  I especially look forward to finding out how Scrivener looks and runs!  Writers, never underestimate the value of a lightweight, easily portable machine to write on!

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