On the Subject of Gear Acquisition Syndrome

So yeah, I’ve got the wandering envious eye for a new laptop again.

As I’ve said before, I’m not a hardcore “tech guy.” My interest in gadgets is mainly rooted in their ability to make lives (read: my life) easier, more convenient and productive. That said, just because I can’t root a phone doesn’t mean I’m immune to the siren song of really cool new shit simply for really cool new shit’s sake. But at the end of the day, I just want my tech to suit my needs and my aesthetic.

I’ve bitched about my Dell Mini 12 before, but most of my complaints have more to do with the fact that I have to run Windows XP to get maximum productivity than with the form factor, age, etc. I hate Microsoft out of some vague anti-establishment and anti-monopoly sentiments, and Dell put a crappy graphics processor into the stupid oversized netbook to keep costs down, and very few Linux distros are optimized for the setup … it’s a long list of inconveniences that ultimately lead to me whining about a bunch of peripheral bullshit, really.

Actually, that’s not true. The battery life, glossy screen and outdated aspect ratio are all infuriating, as well.

You know what I like about my Dell Mini 12? The size, and Microsoft Word.

You know what I hate about it? Everything else.

So now, all these OEMs are making ultrabooks with the form factor I love, but I think the prices are just fucking ridiculous. I’m not paying a grand for a laptop computer. And I don’t need a MacBook Air. I don’t need a full-on desktop replacement. I write, and I dick around with minor image manipulation, and I watch videos.

Basically, what I need is a Chromebook with a little more juice and functionality.

I want to be able to write and save docs, with or without a wifi signal. I want to be able to spend most of my time in the cloud, but still store a few photos and songs and presentations locally. I want a quick boot time and long battery life. I don’t need to be able to run video editing software and Photoshop at the same time–but I don’t want a toy, either.

I’ve been loving Samsung products lately, from my Nexus S to their gorgeous Series 9 laptops. And I think the Samsung version of the Google Chromebook is just a few notches short of genius. Give it a decent processor and offline functionality for word processing and a few other applications, and I’m in.

Somebody make that shit–a middle-of-the-road machine that’s somewhere between a tablet with a keyboard and a desktop replacement–for the current Chromebook price point, and everybody that doesn’t need to turn tech into a dick-measuring contest will win.

In the meantime, this stupid thing still works, so I have no excuse to spend too much money on either too much or too little, anyway.

(We’ll talk about the apparent inability of both commercial software manufacturers and open-source jockeys to even approach Microsoft Word in terms of quality later–I’m looking at you, OpenOffice.)

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