So i have a new job. I was interviewed over the phone, and the interviewer said i should bring a laptop to training. My heart kind of sunk and soared at the same time. I knew that my netbook would not be sufficient to the task, as it freezes when i try to type on it, crashes when i listen to music or watch YouTube. So i’ve been wanting a new laptop for a while, in earnest over the past couple of months. I really need one for my second job, teaching, as well as a projector, but that’s another issue.
The night after my interview i came home and started to research what Walmart and BestBuy have in the way of laptops. I was trying to be good, aiming for something with 4GB of RAM, but i really wanted something that could play WoW on it. The graphics on my desktop PC are glitching when i raid, and the computer is 5 years old and starting to sound strange sometimes. I just knew that i needed to keep whatever i bought under $1k. So i was pretty psyched that it looked like there were some 4GB ASUS laptops on sell for $250. I thought that would be sufficient.
The day after my interview i headed over to BestBuy and all that went out the window. I’m not sure if they had any of these reduced laptops in stock or if they were sold out, i didn’t see them either way. I sawa laptop with 8GB of RAM that was Dell or Toshiba, i don’t remember which, and cost about $650. At that moment i just felt like i might as well go for it, if i’m going to buy a laptop i want it to do everything i need a computer for, all in one, instead of being half-assed like last time and buying a gaming PCand a netbook that could barely handle me listening to music and writing a college essay at the same time. I was never completely happy with my netbook, even as i loved it for its color, the portability, and its price. I used it consistently to finish college, but since my Bell’s Palsy haven’t written as much. It never had enough RAM, it needed 2GB but only came with 1GB. And my “gaming PC” originally had a graphic card that overheated like crazy and never could handle 25-man raids in Cata. I eventually added a fan and a new card, but it never quite lived up to what was promised, either. Both of those were BestBuy purchases, and perhaps i should have learned that they don’t really provide a quality computer for the price that i want to pay, i don’t know. But i mentioned that i play WoW and allowed the guy who asked if i needed help to steer me to the 8GB RAM, 1 TB memory, Nvidia GeForce 840M, ASUS that my heart really desired. The only drawback was that it comes with Windows 8, or so i thought.
So i brought the laptop home gleefully and started to download WoW and the software i would need for training at my new job. The first thing i noticed was that the screen would dim and brighten incessantly and for no discernible reason. I didn’t know that this is a feature, Adaptive Brightness. Well basically it dims when i play WoW, which makes it really hard to see graphics and the like. When i’m typing on a white screen, such as in this text editor, or OpenOffice, or my new work software, it is constantly brightening and dimming, in succession, while i’m remaining on the same screen. I would say that it happens at least once a minute, but i haven’t timed it. I think that i have finally fixed it, in the advanced settings, but yesterday it was still doing it while i had it disabled in my current power plan but enabled in the other two power plans. I don’t want to keep this laptop if this is going to be a constant issue. I’m not entirely sure that it’s not what’s responsible for the headaches i’ve had over the past week.
And lastly, Windows 8 doesn’t really do what my work software needs it to do, most specifically the sound card and headset they provided just won’t behave. I need to have the audio that i’m recording go through one and the audio that i’m editing go through the other. Apparently this sort of functionality came straight out of the box with Windows XP, and Windows 7 could be coaxed into doing it, but Windows 8 flat out won’t. My last practice job i got it to do what it was supposed to do but the feedback was so bad that the audio wasn’t all that great and it took me extra time to edit. Last night while i was leveling and PvPing with friends the game audio would be going through my speakers while i was plugged in, TeamSpeak through my headset. If i unplugged or unplugged my microphone would be muted in TS. While unplugged, the game audio and TS would both be in my headset. A couple of nights ago, all audio crashed while i was playing, fortunately it was right when i was about to get off.
So, to sum up, i cannot edit with an Adaptive Brightness screen, the sound systems are completely inadequate to my work needs, and WoW barely plays better on this brand new computer than it does on my PC that’s five years old! ASUS has really let me down this time. I think i’m going to have to return the laptop and give up entirely. I just need to try editing on my PC and see how that works before i decide for sure. But i think that it’s best to return and possibly buy a different laptop now before my new job is in full swing. I’m so disappointed. But at the same time, i felt a bit like he was scamming me, or at the very least upselling me, when i bought it. This has the same stats as that other laptop i was looking at but was selling for $300 more, which came to over a $1k with taxes. But i may just have to wait until there are laptops without Windows 8 on them, for Windows 10 to finally drop, since i think all of these problems are at least partially caused in Win8. /sigh
ETA: I forgot to mention that my text-editing software started to lag even with 8GB of RAM and then crashed. On both of my jobs it has messed up like this on me. The first time i thought i had been saving but had neglected to Save As the first ime. I lost about 1/3 of my work. The second time i was more wise to the issue and saved right when things seemed to be going south. So it was slow, and made editing take forever, but none of my work was lost.
ETA2: The WiFi modem is crap and won’t connect half the time and disconnects at random times.