Last week, I wrote about how I was very successful in working on a $100 laptop. I admit it was a bit of a sensationalistic title. The laptop actually retails for $200... the Black Friday $100 pricing isn't readily available.
I was surprised to learn that even at the $200 retail price (or the $150 often discounted price), the Asus X205TA is a very useful
engine computer. (Thomas the Tank Engine rubs off on you when you have a 1 and 2 year old.)
I had always assumed that a computer that cheap was just good for a half hour here or there if you didn't have a better option. However, if you have an efficient workflow and don't require too many processor sensitive applications (most people don't) you can get by.
I used this computer as my insurance policy while I ordered my next full-time computer. Without it, I would have had to buy whatever was available, which wouldn't have necessarily been a good deal nor would it have been what I'd necessary want.
It was time to look for a new computer. I quickly narrowed it to computers, the new Dell XPS 13. When it came out in January, I had to highlight it as a way to save money on your next premium windows laptop. Specifically, I wrote, "It took two years, but finally there's an increase in portability, battery life, and performance, at less money."
Can you tell I was excited for the computer? The only problem was that my current computer was working well. That's usually the case until it isn't.
The competing computer was the ASUS Zenbook UX305FA.
Before I get into the pros and cons of each, I have to give a shout out to the Microsoft Store. They have a $100 off with coupon code "PCGRAD15." I couldn't find anyone else discounting either of the machines, making it an exceptional deal right now. In addition, computers from the Microsoft Store come without all the annoying crapware apps that you never use which simply clogs up the system.
I was happy to buy from the Microsoft Store, except their physical store near me was a mall kiosk. It only had 3 or 4 computers available to purchase and neither of these two which should be the most popular options. Where have you gone
Joe DiMaggaio Circuit City?
Fortunately, Microsoft's online store offers extremely cheap shipping options ranging from $16 for next day to free if you can wait 4-5 days. I felt like I could afford the $16 for a few days with extra productivity.
I'll leave it to the big technology sites to compare and contrast the Dell XPS 13 and the Asus Zenbook UX305FA, but the general consensus of review on both is that they should be on your short-list. The Dell XPS 13 is very customizable, but alas is limited to 4GB of memory at the Microsoft store (unless you want to pay hundreds more for options that you might not want). It comes with 128GB of hard drive space, which for many people is very little. (I off-load most of my data to external hard drives.) Its strengths is that is has an extremely powerful processor and is extremely small due to the design. With the promotion at the Microsoft store, you can get it for $800, plus tax and shipping.
Alternatively, The Zenbook has a slower processor, but 8GB of memory and 256GB of hard drive space. It's not exactly the same space-saving design, but it is still far above average and weighs about the same. With the same promotion, you can get it for only $600, plus tax and shipping.
I went with the Dell XPS 13.
This is where I flash back to what I wrote about last week about getting by on a cheap computer. Here I am saying how computers are fast enough and you should save money, but I went out and did the exact opposite. I passed on a computer that could have been a better fit with more memory while saving me money.
It's not a big deal. The Dell XPS 13 is awesome and I am more than happy with it. If I didn't run a website that focused on these kinds of buying decisions, I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought. It was only when I thought about writing about the purchase did it occur to me that I might have made the wrong decision.
Also, it was a good excuse to write about a great technology deal and how the quality of technology keeps coming up as the price is coming down.
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