I am currently writing my second novel and find myself in need of a new laptop on which to do the work. My previous machine, an aged Acer Aspire One, struggled through the first book but has now given up the ghost and gone to the great laptop skip in the sky.
So, here is what I need:
-I have a budget of £400 and I need a machine that is sturdy and able to put up with constant use. While my first book may have ended up being some 180,000 words, I would estimate that I wrote about twice that in the long run when all corrections, rewrites and edits are considered.
-I would prefer a 10”-ish machine as I simply like the form-factor and – even though I have huge, piano-playing hands – really find the smaller keyboards comfortable. This is far from a deal breaker though.
- Battery life is a nice thing to have as I travel a lot and like to write on trains but again, not vital.
- I need it to have enough horsepower to be able to comfortably have a 400+ page document open, with track changes running, without hiccupping or choking. I know this does not sound much and you may think that office use is office use, but writing books is a lot more processor/cache/ram intensive and you stand to a lose a lot more if things fall over.
- Everything else is candy. Storage, HD shininess, optical drives, bells, whistles and gizmos are nice enough and if they can be folded into the mix with no great increase in outlay then so be it.
Why am I asking here rather than trolling through review sites, you may ask? Well the issue is that a lot of review sites review stuff that I am unable to actually buy. For example I got very excited about the Lenovo ThinkPad X121e after reading several reviews. It is tough, sturdy (it’s a ThinkPad!) and well priced: sounded great. Damn thing cannot be found anywhere though so I am still looking.
A note about OSs: I am a highly experienced systems engineer and am comfortable in Windows, Linux or (if I must) MacOs and equally as comfortable changing the supplied OS if needed/possible. The only thing that worries me is that Android is starting to appear as a Netbook/tablet OS and I am yet to be convinced that any of the available Office packages for said platform are up to the task that a writer will set it.
A few items I have considered to set you thinking:
Lenovo ThinkPad X121e
HP Pavilion g6-1325ea ( as I can get it cheap here
Acer Transformer Pad (the newer one (not the 1080 one) as it can be grabbed for about £300 in some places)