Friday, December 19, 2014

Carpe Blogiem: The Laptop the Internet Gave Me

As promised - an unboxing video - also a few pictures, but before that I'd like to jaw a bit. First, I didn't put down any names for those of you who helped me get this magnificent machine that I'm typing on right now. It was brought to my attention that some of you folks might not WANT it to be known for what you did. I'll respect that - however, anyone who does want their name out there for that did, I'll edit this post later and toss it up there. Just so you know though, I've decorated my new laptop with the names of every person who did donate as a reminder to myself and anyone else of the good turn I was done. 
          Second, I got a crazy awesome machine thanks to Cyber Monday sale plus -10% off coupon for customized laptop plus -$70 coupon for Toshiba laptops. I ended up saving something like $600 off $1,400 machine and a ton of free hardware I didn't order. Apparently, it was a mistake from the factory, and they've refused to charge me. Yay! A few pictures:

Some specs below for those who want to know:

Toshiba Satellite S70-BBT2N23 Laptop (Customized)

Windows 8.1 (After getting Start8 from Stardock...well, I rather like Windows 8 - something I thought I'd never say)
1 month trial for new Office 365 customers (I ditched this for my copy of Office 2007, but I was given a copy of Profession Office 2013 by one of you guys)
Norton Internet Security™ 2013 (30-day trial subscription) (I just ditched this - I hate Norton)

4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4710HQ Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.50GHz)with)Intel®ITurbo Boost Technologyn2.0gy 2.0
Intel HD Integrated Graphics 4600 2 GB onboard memory
8GB DDR3L 1600MHz (4GB + 4GB)
1TB (5400rpm, Serial ATA)
17.3" HD+ TruBrite® LED Backlit display (1600x900) with touchscreen
DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive (I actually got a blu-ray drive, for some reason - looks like they gave it to me free - it was not on my order sheet!)
Premium Raised Tile Keyboard LED Backlit with 10-key (black)
Wi-Fi® Wireless networking (802.11b/g/n) + Bluetooth 4.0

1 Year Standard Limited Warranty (1 Year on Battery)

Third, as I said I would, I got some peripherals (stuff I needed): a new gel mouse pad, a new set of headphones, and a teensy-weensy app purchase (Start8). Leftover funds paid some of my bills this month.
          After I got everything mostly set up, I'm still organizing things - it'll probably be a few more days until I'm fully ready to go - I was able to dish out around 3k words in under an hour. Finally, I can type at my full speed and not slow down for the buffer! It was amazing. The touchscreen interface is pretty mandatory for Windows 8, but I fiddled with a few things and bent it to work the way I needed it to. Having a full terabyte hard drive is so weird because I can fit just about all of my often-used media on a single drive. As a side bonus, the media buttons are very easily accessible, and I can see their placement increasing my speed when I'm transcribing videos for Doug (and any other bloggers who want to make use of my services). The speakers are also damn nice and the laptop itself has an audio bar running along the top. The camera/internal mike is pretty decent too and after a bit of tweaking, it works great. Also, USB 3.0...I have tasted the power of the gods, and USB 2.0 seems so puny now. 
          Not to mention I can get FOUR working screens now (laptop, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, and 1 iDisplay) - I'll never need to shutter windows again. When doing things like transcription or working on technical pieces (which GURPS qualifies for) with multiple windows, they're a godsend. One thing that was pretty awesome was how quickly the laptop found, installed, and started up my docking station (I just have an old Kensington - but it still works). With other computers, it took hours to get it working right. Some stuff I don't like so much (not that I'm complaining!): a) to upgrade the laptop later on requires taking the entire thing apart to get to the ram and the hard drive. I watched a video, and it was very involved. Still, that's many years down the line (I like to plan ahead when I can). b) the sheer edges of Win8 boxes throw me off. I was used to the bevals of Windows 7, and it is taking some getting used to. c) The screen is BRIGHT. That's taking a bit of getting used to. The lines are nice, crisp, and clean. This is probably something that will go away when I get new glasses. And that's it. This thing is awesome, something to be with me for quite a while. Again, thank you all. You've given this poor boy a wonderful gift. Now, to the unboxing video!


  1. My lenovo came with a start button replacement, but I never use it. I put the programs I use 98% of the time on the task bar. That's it. Most of the time, I can forget about the Win8 part of Win8. And, OpenOffice does almost all I need, as far as that goes.

    1. Open Office eats style menus in saved files and they've yet to fix the glitch and they are integral to my work. I bashed it into something highly workable for me - in fact it's the best machine I've ever had to date. Being able to fully multitask and write at full speed (I clock around 180 wpm when I'm "charged up") without have to wait for the buffer to recognize the keystrokes is so awesome I'm still kind of wondering if I'm dreaming.