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My New Device Continuum

Last month I was on a plane flight when the person next to me spilled an entire glass of wine on my Dell Precision M4500. I was told the cost of repairs would be too high – about 1/2 what it would cost to by the new machine I ended up buying  Before my new machine arrived I ended up with two other devices – a Microsoft Surface RT (ARM based), and an upgrade from the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone to the Nokia Lumia 920 – very nice.

The new laptop I got was the lenovo X1 Carbon – a 2.99 pound machine (I guess 3 pounds with the SD card in it right now) with 8GB RAM, 256 GB Solid State Drive, and an Intel i5 3427U CPU. I decided to step down from my previous i7, but this new generation still seems faster. I was making the tradeoff so that I could have longer battery life.

So here are the devices – lenovo X1 Carbon, Microsoft Surface, and Lumis 920 from left to right:

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And here they are open

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The Lenovo

So I mentioned the “sacrifice” of lower CPU for better battery life, yet the overall performance seems better. Here are the PassMark ratings (great program I purchased) that compare the Dell that died of alcohol poisoning with the new lenovo.

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I don’t do much with 3D… The real highlights are the disk performance. With 12% lower CPU the 40% improvement in disk performance outweighs that giving me overall better performance. So now I understand why this isn’t feeling much like a sacrifice.

So what do I like about my X1 Carbon?

  • Weight
  • Size (takes up hardly any room in my computer bag)
  • Excellent performance

So at this point, the same should be said about the Mac Air – so why the lenovo? In a word – Green. Apple might have changed, but I found MANY quotes such as this when researching: “Additionally, although battery runtimes have increased to the point that many may no longer need to swap batteries, those who value this ability highly most likely would prefer to purchase a notebook from a company other than Apple.” There’s even a warranty plan that includes a battery change.

Microsoft Surface

So now the Microsoft Surface…. What do I like about it? There are tons of reviews on this, but I’ll just hit what I like… The size and the keyboard. I was able to be productive on a plane again. Let’s face it… the days of being able to pull out a normal laptop when in coach are long gone. I don’t see that being reversed. So what’s the solution? You’ll need to have a smaller device that will fit in the very limited space the airlines give you. As usual, the person in front of me on a recent flight felt the only way to get your seat to go back is to do a full body slam against the seat (drives me nuts). Missed my surface by almost 2 inches – yet I was typing comfortably.

So my likes:

  • Size – I can type comfortably on an airplane
  • Multi-user – my wife has an account too
  • Sync with various other sources – with OneNote and SkyDrive there is a great deal of device independence
  • The battery life. My lenovo is pretty good, but the Surface is even better.

Nokia Lumia 920

There were lots of nice changes to Windows Phone 8 and that’s what’s on my Lumia 920. There are plenty of reviews in this as well, so I won’t say much here – just that I’m really enjoying the phone.

Summary

So, with all these devices I always have information at my fingertips. I typed in my neighbors name in OneNote when I got back (I’m so bad with names) into my notebook. I can easily read it on my phone… or my surface. It is really quite a nice experience. All the devices run some form of Windows 8… So the biggest down side at this point is for the lenovo – with Windows 8 (and after using my Surface) I keep wanting to touch the screen (at the time I place my order I couldn’t find any good machines with touch screens… now they’re starting to hit the market.)

Dell Sidebar

One site that leads here is JoyOfExcellence.com. So I try to point to excellence more than to the lack there of. However Dell dropped the ball many, many times over the past 6 months and the repair fiasco was the final straw. It has been more than 14 years since I purchased a personal notebook other than Dell. But now I’m with lenovo and so far see why all the lenovo user’s I’ve encountered are so loyal.  Farewell Dell.

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