I started looking for a new laptop to replace my soon 6 year old one, which has been kept alive by a hdd->ssd transplant, a battery replacement and an OS upgrade. I’ve read up on what components are available now, but I’m not sure what I want except something with a better display and cpu than my current (ancient) machine. Preferably with a Skylake CPU, a PCIe SSD and 8GB of ram. A back-lit keyboard would also be nice.

I’ve been going back and forth between “sleek, light, portable, with good battery life, but underpowered” and “larger, high performance machine with no battery life”. And then back to “bah, just keep on (not) using the old one”.

I’ll most likely use it at home in the couch most of the time and I won’t be gaming on it, except I want to be able to run some strategy games, so it can’t be too underpowered. The most taxing thing I’ll use it for would probably be photo and graphics editing and software development, if I ever start another hobby project.

Someone at work mentioned the Microsoft Surface Pro, which I wasn’t even considering. Apparently a new version was just released so I went to check one out at a store today. They hadn’t gotten the new keyboards yet, so it was just a touch screen with a stylus and as I was fiddling with it I realised I had completely forgotten about a feature that I absolutely love on my smart phone: virtual keyboard input in other languages (Korean). I had specifically been looking at laptops without a touch screen, since I figured it’d be a waste of money, but now I found a big selling point for me. The one I tested didn’t have the full language pack installed from what I could tell, so I don’t know if or how the auto complete and hand writing input would work in Korean. It only had the virtual keyboard and nothing else.

The Surface Pro 4 actually ticks off many of the boxes when it comes to what I was looking for despite being more of a tablet than a laptop. The downside is that it’s kind of pricey and I have yet to try using it in my lap (although my colleague tells me it works fine like that). The battery life isn’t the best either, but it’s pretty elegant looking. I’ll have to check it out again later when I can try the new keyboard.

Or perhaps I can just keep using my old laptop. It still works fine… kind of :) .