Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Ultrabook

OK… boring and nerdy post follows.  But first, I’ve read on nb Yarwood that we have a new blogger.  Lisa (nb What a Lark!) has taken the plunge and started her own blog.  You will find the link on our blog list down the right side of the screen.  Lisa and David are a lively couple and we look forward to reading about their adventures!
The old Asus laptop has been struggling for some time.  The most concerning problem has been the gradual failure of the three USB ports.  Transferring data to and from the laptop has proven to be very problematic. 
Late last year I started researching potential replacements.  When it comes to computers I have three essential criteria.
  1. Don’t buy the latest high end technology (expensive).  Buy something that has been on the market for 12-18 months.
  2. Don’t buy the latest wizz bang machine as it’s unlikely I will use all it’s functions.  Something 12 months old will have dropped in price.
  3. Upgradable.  I want to be able to do some upgrading to improve performance.
In the end I selected another Asus.  This time it was an Ultrabook. (model S400CA).  By delaying the purchase until January I was able to save a further 150GBP.  The machine came with 4GB of RAM but is upgradable to 8GB.  It has an i5 processor and a 500GB hard drive.
The first modification was to take the back off the pc and replace the standard wifi card with a more powerful intel card.  Then I added an additional 8GB of RAM to give a total of 12GB.  The machine specs said it would only recognise a total of 8GB, but they were wrong!   The old laptop only had 2GB of RAM so having 12 is a major advantage.  The last modification was to remove the 500GB hard drive and replace it with a solid state drive.  This has two advantages:
  1. No moving parts so less heat and less power used thereby extending battery life.
  2. The solid state drive is 6-8 times faster
The 500Gb hard drive that came in the Ultrabook has now been fitted into an external enclosure and is now a usb storage drive.  I’ll take the 500GB hard drive out of the old laptop and do the same.
What have these modifications done to the performance of the new Ultrabook?  It’s blisteringly fast and that’s without me doing further “tweeking”!  The machine is probably performing as well as the latest machines and it only cost 550GBP.  A significant saving!
Normal boating posts will resume tomorrow! Smile

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