After waiting for two and a half weeks for my laptop to arrive (not to mention that I had to pay 140 euros in import taxes), it finally came! In fact, I’m happily typing this post using this laptop and I can continue to keep posting things that I never got a chance to (like the trips that I went on during this time). The laptop is an Asus U33JC with the following specs:
- Intel Core i3-370M Processor (2.4 GHz)
- Nvidia G310M Graphics Engine with 1 GB DDR3 Dedicated VRAM and Optimus Technology
- 4 GB of DDR3 1066MHz DRAM (2 GB x 2 slots)
- Intel Wireless 802.11 b/g/n + WiDi
- 500 GB Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
- Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) Operating System (which I upgraded to Pro)
- 13.3-Inch HD (1366×768) LED Display
- HDMI Port
- USB 3.0 port
- 8 cell 5600 mAh battery
The one thing it doesn’t have that I realized just now is that the computer doesn’t have an optical drive. I didn’t know that before. I guess I assumed that all computers except for netbooks have them. It’s not really a big deal though.
Here are some photos (thanks to Engadget for being better than I am at photography):
What I also never looked at when buying the computer was its look. From the screenshots, I saw glimpses of the computer like the keyboard and the overall shape. What I didn’t see was the surface finish that looks like really nice wood. It’s got a dark brown colour and one can see the texture of the wood grains along its surface even though it’s not actually made out of wood. When it’s dark, it’s not even noticeable. I gotta say though that this came as a surprise, not necessarily a good or bad one, but just a surprise. I didn’t know they made laptops like that. I have to admit though that I don’t do a lot of laptop browsing so I know next to nothing about buying a laptop.
The only things I really looked at when buying the laptop was to see its specs, weight, and how comfortable the keyboard looked, whether or not it could run CAD, and price. I pretty much overlooked everything else.
Since my laptop kind of died on me earlier, there weren’t many things I could do to solve the problem. I pretty much only had three options: get my laptop repaired, buy/borrow a monitor for the duration of my stay, or buy a new laptop.
Repairing my laptop was definitely the first thing I tried. I researched on how to fix it, but I couldn’t even get the screws out to even peek at the insides. Right now, I still think that the problem inside the computer is just a loose connection. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm that. I could let Dell fix the computer, but my warranty expired a long time ago. I also bought the computer from Canada and would have to go through lots of red tape just to get it repaired by Dell Europe.
The next thing I tried was to find someone who had an extra monitor I could borrow. Since all my friends in Germany are all interns or thesis students, they all had only a laptop and not an extra display. Although, I did manage to borrow one for like a week until I had to return it. I could have bought a new monitor, but then it would have been really been difficult to bring home a 20 something inch screen (if I’m buying a monitor to keep then I wouldn’t buy anything smaller). I didn’t feel like buying a cheap one and just leaving it behind when I leave Germany either.
In the end, I ended up buying a new laptop (with much financial assistance from my parents). I figure my old laptop is getting old anyways (2007), and for the past year and a half it had been failing to keep up with my intense computer usage habits. When I return to Vancouver, I’ll get this laptop repaired and then my parents could use it (or my brother if he decides that he needs to bring a laptop somewhere).