Most helpful positive review
196 of 199 people found the following review helpful
Everything I want and need for a great price
on April 18, 2013
This is a review of the Asus laptop, not Windows 8. I'm a retired computer professional and I've had over a dozen different laptops over the years, from economy models to the top-of-the-line (so I have a large frame of reference). I'm really pleased with this laptop -- it's a great value and I really don't need any more power or features for what I do these days. I use it mostly for web browsing, Office apps (Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint), Photoshop, iTunes management of a huge music library, and email. I'm "on my computer" over 8 hours a day. For those purposes, this laptop is serving me well at a great price. I looked at a lot of others in the same price range and decided on this one for these reasons: a good processor (I don't think I saw any faster ones in this price range), 500GB disk drive (I really don't need more space and I have larger external USB drives if I ever do), a decent integrated graphics adapter, 3 USB ports including USB 3.0, an HDMI port, VGA output for non-digital TVs and monitors (not found on many current laptops but it's still useful), DVD burner, a pretty long battery life, and a 1-year warranty on accidental drops and spills.
When I first started using the laptop, I was very impressed by the feel and the action of the keyboard and the brightness and clarity of the 15.6" screen. I was also pleased that it wasn't pre-loaded with a bunch of free-trial crap software (all I got rid of was the 30-day(?) free-trial McAfee anti-virus, which I replaced with AVG free edition). I added 4GB of Kingston memory for a total of 8GB RAM and so far I have no complaints about performance. (
Some buyers may want to know that the disk drive is formatted with C and D partitions, 186 GB and 258 GB in size, respectively. That's smart, but I wonder if non-technical users will ever even access and use the large D partition since all user files (My Documents, etc.), by default, are put on the C partition. On the D drive, I put all my music files, my thousands of digital photos, and other large data collections which I don't need to frequently access via the convenient user folders (My Documents, My Pictures, etc.). I think there's an additional recovery partition, but it doesn't appear in the file manager.
I have only a couple complaints. The left/right buttons at the bottom of the touchpad take a lot of pressure to make them click (probably intentional to avoid accidental clicking) and I don't like the feel of their action. I thought maybe I'd stop using a mouse and switch to using the touchpad only, but the feel of those buttons caused me to go back to my mouse within a few hours of use. The other complaint is that there's no LED indicator when Caps Lock or Numeric Lock is enabled on the keyboard, but that's a pretty minor issue. (UPDATE: I just discovered there *are* LEDs for Caps and Numeric lock -- they are small green LEDs on the front left edge, next to some other LEDs like the disk activity LED).
So, I'm very pleased with this laptop and I think it's a tremendous value in its price range. No regrets on this purchase! Windows 8 is a different story and I'm not crazy about it, but I'm learning to adjust. I would prefer to have Windows 7 which was the best Windows OS to date. Windows 8 is not nearly as bad as many reviewers would have you believe. By creating my user account as a 'local user', ignoring the Start Screen that looks like a smart phone and only using the Windows desktop, it's very much like using Windows 7. You just have to find where they hid some things like the Start Menu (use Windows key + X combination). And so far, all the software I have (some of which is pretty old, like Office 2003), has installed without compatibility problems. I almost paid much more to get a laptop with Windows 7 instead of 8, based on all the negative comments, but I'm glad I didn't do that. The negative comments are overblown.