I noticed that the very loud fan was running a lot faster and more frequently than it should. I checked the power settings and minimum processor state was 100%. I changed it to a more reasonable number and all was good. But 10-15 minutes later the fan would come back on full blast because that setting has been reverted back to 100%! Every time I reset it, some time later it go back to 100%.
I'm not one to leave something like that alone and after a lot of searching the internet and applying updates I found that someone else had discovered the cause. The stock trackpad driver was responsible for constantly changing that power setting!! I found a different version for another laptop and that fixed it.
But just imagine how many people that own this exact laptop and it's always hot and gets terrible battery life. All that power management technology and passive cooling completely wasted because of one driver.
Quick Google brought me here: http://forum.notebookreview.com/asus/761664-asus-support-why...
It seems like the root of the problem is that their software stack is so inefficient that they have to set the CPU speed all the way to max in order to scroll without any lag... yet another point of evidence that the faster the hardware gets, the more inefficient the majority of software becomes.
I recognize the quality in Apple's devices but I believe the price point is way higher than the extra quality found in their products.
I've even recommended a MacBook to someone recently. Mainly for 2 reasons; their needs aligned with what the MacBook Pro would provide them with and they weren't the one paying for it.
I've used a 2010 MBA running OS X and Win 7 for the last 4 years. I max'ed out its specs back then and paid about $2k, including an Apple Care warranty which has since expired unused. I've had at least half a dozen Thinkpads before this, and none of them ever came close to surviving this long. My first Thinkpad was a 600, followed by a T20, etc. My last Thinkpad, a T410s, lasted less than 13 months before the LCD failed, same as a dozen others just like it around the office purchased around the same time. That's when I bought the MBA on my own dime.
Part of it is this MBA hit a sweet spot in the upgrade cycle where SSD/CPU/RAM has proven good enough to keep for 4 years, and really shows little signs of slowing for most workloads, and could keep going strong for several years longer.
But the physical hardware has held up astonishingly well. It's the most stable PC running Windows I've ever had. Thinking back on it... I don't think it has EVER blue screened, and I never reboot it except for critical updates.
The only gripe I have with the hardware is the Windows BootCamp driver for the combined mic/headphone jack doesn't switch the mic on when you plug in a proper headset, so it's stuck using the internal mic. But the built-in mic is so good, I've never bothered buying the $20 USB mic to workaround the issue.
It would be hard to tally the number of hours saved on NOT having to upgrade hardware, NOT having to replaced failed components, and NOT struggling with general driver instability and blue screens the last 4 years. This laptop has paid for itself many, many times over. Given the success I've had with the MBA, personally, when I do finally break down and buy another machine, it would be another MBA without a moments hesitation over Apple's 40% gross margin.
My desktop machine runs linux - currently it's ubuntu, but it over the last ~6 years it's also been centos, debian, and arch. I love linux.
Two weeks ago a started a new job and got a macbook pro. I love it - and am completely surprised by it.
I have not run into a single thing that I could do on linux I can't do on osx.
The first weeks are fine. But in time, you will find little things, that will annoy you. You will find things, that are fine in Linux or Windows, but not in OSX. (Like X apps not working, apps that assume some Linux-specific capability or API not available, differently behaving linker - if you are developer, etc.)
And I hope you don't live in Eastern Europe. The Apple service there is attrocious, even little things like exchanging your power supply can take 3 or 4 weeks. Try using your computer without one...
This, obviously, needed a proper position from those who believe that Apple is not superior.
This whole "Apple is perfect" versus "Apple is for idiots" is pointless, as the majority here already knows. But some people insist in degrading a perfectly fine thread just to reproduce it here.
Grow up, guys.
BTW, I'm curious why people are allowed to talk about Google with the same adoration others talk of Apple but receive no counter arguments. Is Hacker News audience biased towards Google or Google is just consensus?
The problem with your argument is that you're doing a comparison of vastly different hardware and target markets. Lumping all Windows manufacturers and their laptop series into the same basket causes disenginous argument which is sadly perpetuated by Apple marketing.
Doing a relevant comparison like Apple 13" MacBooks with Lenovo's comparable ThinkPad series usually shows very comparable quality hardware and software wise.
Hardware is worthless without the software driving it, and in my experience the hunt/hacking of the problematic drivers comes back at every new major version of windows/linux you'll install on the box. In this respect, superb value hardware with crappy software is only worth it if you are willing to be tinkering on a regular basis.
I'm definitely willing to tinker, and it was certainly frustrating to get right, but now it's one my favorite devices. But if you're not a little tech-savvy it wouldn't be a good purchase.
I find myself trawling through these posts for help pretty regularly.
And of course, forums like are from comprehensive. The most recent issue with my MBP in fact doesn't show up on any of these forums: it involved the keyboard and trackpad being totally irresponsive when my MBP woke from sleep. After many wild goose chases such as “reset the SMC”, I stumbled onto the fix by luck. Turns out it kept looking for a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse on waking up, totally ignoring the peripherals integrated into the notebook itself. The solution? Turning off Bluetooth. Sure, simple enough to fix, but “turn off Bluetooth” is not far from “you're holding it wrong”.
In short, you've picked what even Apple sites and enthusiasts claim is their worst choice.
Why is this even a thing? Why is the trackpad not simply a compliant USB HID device that can be recognized by the standard OS install? What the hell are PC manufacturers doing?
(Windows 7 was the first Windows OS that was fully installable from a downloaded or USB-stick copy.)
I guess i could easily get a key from lenovos support but i really don't care much anyway, win 7 works great. I just find the whole experience a great example of how badly pc manufacturers consider the "whole package" experience of their products.
There have been updates to fix early problems, which were already pre-installed on mine. I'm so happy with it, I don't think I'm buying an Android tablet so soon (having great multitasking alone is worth it). Another thing that surprised me, was that there wasn't any OEM bloatware.
Say what you will about Microsoft (and I usually say very bad things, and will keep saying), but it seems they really got Windows 8.1 right on tablets (the problem is desktops).
If an unknown brand can make a device with the same specs as the mentioned Asus, for a lower price, and still have the device work much, much better, why can't Asus? The "underpowered"/"underpriced" justification some people give here in the comments doesn't quite make it... I have had Windows 8 running on single-core 512 MB RAM VMs just fine, and these devices have four times the RAM and cores.
(The stories of them arriving with malware are likely from someone further down the chain of distribution installing it, and not the OEM itself.)
Either way, the proper course of action would be to return it to the store right away, especially when it refuses touch input.
Get the latest updates and now the computer is running like a Swiss watch.
But whenever I buy a laptop, there's always something wrong with the way the OS was installed. Weird stuff like the wifi adapter drops every 10 minutes, or the left side of the trackpad doesn't work.
Sure enough, I'll just nuke whatever the system came with and install the OS from scratch and it'll work like a charm. It's almost like the manufacturers are trying to fuck up the out of the box experience.
It would be better for them 95% of the time just to put together the hardware and install the shipped OS and put it out the door.
It comes with the territory: OS and hardware may not always play nice, and how well they play nice out-of-the-box or after upgrade depends on a lot of factors.
This is not an incident, this is business as usual.
You like Windows, you should be prepared to deal with. You don't want to deal with this kind of thing, don't use Windows.
The only way to avoid this is to use "official" devices. Nexus for Android, Surface for Windows, everything Apple for OSX. Some niche products for certain Linux distro's even.
Everything else is rolling the dice, if not at your initial purchase then definitely when you want to upgrade.
After so many decades, bitching about it is like bitching about the weather.
I was so confused. It was difficult to work out how to open apps. I also got stuck in the full screen start menu replacement (whatever that's called) and I had to ask for help to get back to the desktop.
Give me XP over 8 any day. Security issues aside, that was a gem of an OS.
Seems like the Microsoft OS team hit the panic button soon after iOS & Android gained traction and have been clawing for innovation without considering actual use cases
Yeah, security issues aside...
Windows 7 is when Microsoft finally got a consumer OS really 'right'.
XP is more hackable (in both senses of the word), but it also gives more freedom.to the user.
The final station I stopped at in the store was the HP Sprout PC which uses a digital projector mounted on top of the monitor to project a virtual touch screen input device where the keyboard would normally be. So it can appear as a piano, a drawing surface, etc. Once again I said "this is cool!". I've never even heard of this thing.
I used it for 5 minutes before I somehow put it into a buggy state where it stopped responding to input on the virtual touch screen.
And how much do you want to bet that they just can't figure out why the Apple Store across the corridor is packed from open to close and theirs is a relative ghost town.
So my general rule of thumb with Asus is: stay the hell away unless you can take the time to return/exchange it 2 or 3 times to get one that works. And never let Asus repair it because they break other things in the process, and they take so long that you can't even return it by the time you get it back.
Now we have a Win8 Dell. And every-time I hear about a problem, I've repeatedly said "Take it back, and get the money back." Too late now. Too bad, stop telling me about your problems with Windows. I am done with this years ago after going through the process of performing clean installs at least every six months.
If I really need to run Windows, and I don't, I use Wine. If Wine doesn't work I fire up Win7 in VirtualBox, get it in, do what I need to do and get out.
I hear that Win10 is going to be better. I certainly hope so.
It blows my mind such devices are sold, excepting the consumer to finish the installation and polishing that should have been the manufacturer's job in the first place.
Most people won't be able to because it's not their hobby. It's a huge problem, and Windows reputation is really bad because of this, people get awful experiences because of buggy drivers and manufacturers not finishing their jobs.
Also, I think having so many manufacturers makes things worse. Other than hardware specs, there really is veryt little to differentiate feature-wise between different PCs. Android is starting to run into this problem as well. The "customizations" and "improvements" aka bloated buggy shit layered on top of the vanilla OS completely messes up the user experience.
Not sure that is possible (1), let alone it would help much (2).
(1) From all OS'es installable on a whole range of hardware devices and usable by hordes of different types of users I don't think I have ever met one that hasn't had a single problem.
(2) Even if there were 1 billion cases in which everything was ok, the one case where there was a fail would still be spread out all over the media. Like this one.
I would've taken into the store and returned it. MS costs a lot in wasted productivity.
These devices then sometimes sit in the channel waiting to be sold (sometimes for quite some time, depreciating in value) but if the device flops then the seller writes it off as a loss and they go to the clearance rack.
That's why you can have amazing numbers for 'sales' and then 3 months later the thing is a well-known dud. Device manufacturers that sell directly to consumers tend to report sales when it's been shipped to the final buyer.
This also reminds me of when I got world of warcraft CDs and had to spend almost 48 hours just to patch up to the most recent version.
For starters, the price. Although having had it for a while now, and feeling that this is the best tech I've bought in a while, it is pricey. Between the tablet itself, plus warranty, plus the keyboard cover (a must. I love pen and touch, but too many things I use the keyboard for still), it gets pricey quickly.
Usability issues, there is this nasty driver bug with it's wifi card, where you get BSOD after waking up from sleep. Don't know if it happens to everyone, but when it happened to me, I searched and found PLENTY people with the issue. The fix is 'easy enough'.
Turn off a setting to not keep wifi on while sleeping. This however means, when waking up, I have disconnect and reconnect to my wifi. The fix was very easy to google for too, but not sure if someone non-tech savy would even know what to google for.
Also, my first surface had it's touch screen die out on the top half within a month. Apparently also common, but one support ticket to Microsoft and I got a brand new one.
Having said that, I will never buy any other laptop other than surface laptops. I am extremely happy with it. I am usually a Linux user, but haven't really missed it much (although I still have it on my desktop for any Linux specific stuff). I use it for developing, occasional drawings, writing notes, diagrams, reading ebooks, browsing in bed. It really is an all in one device, and worth every penny.
How the heck is Microsoft still in business selling garbage like that in their own store which is supposed to curate the "Microsoft experience"?
As an aside, my own Surface displayed a very minor issue with the pen tap location being off by about a millimeter at the top edge of the screen when I first got it. Windows Update fixed it right away. It hasn't shown any issues since then, at all. From what I hear from people I know that also own one, this is more typical than situations with serious problems.
Have you installed the latest Surface Pro 3 firmware update ? It fixes several Wi-Fi related issues, including:
* Intel(R) 8 Series PCI Express Root Port #3 - 9C14 update (v2.0.1151.0) addresses cases when the Wi-Fi adapter is not available upon resuming the system from sleep.
* Wireless Network Controller and Bluetooth driver update (v15.68.3059.117) improves Wi-Fi throughput, especially after rebooting with Bluetooth devices that are paired, enhances power consumption situations, and addresses instances of system instability.
You shouldn't need to disconnect and reconnect your Wi-Fi once the drivers have been updated.
My parents, very basic knowledge of computers, bought a cheap $300 laptop recently. I'm across the country from them now and it's agonizing trying to give step by step directions over the phone. The computer wouldn't connect to certain routers and slow on other routers. Most things were fixed after an update to the OS, but that's kind of hard when the thing has trouble connecting to the internet in the first place.
But, still, by that time I was a kid, and thus it felt like a magical experience...
It's not Microsoft's fault that Asus decided to sell a cheap, untested, poorly-built device. It's your fault, as a tech-savvy customer, to buy it.
>as such MS certainly has a responsibility for allowing these hardware specs onto the street
And then get sued by the DoJ and split up by a court. Thanks to the antitrust ruling, MS cannot force anything on the OEMs. If you can install Windows on a 512MB RAM machine and sell it, MS can't do shit to stop you.
In addition to the "Signature" branding, OP bought it in a Microsoft Store. There is really no excuse for being so terrible at taking care of their own ecosystem.
Your solution is effectively "Don't sell non-Microsoft products at your store."
Yes, I know that Apple has managed to do exactly that, build a retail store where there's an expectation that anything you buy there will be at the brand level of quality. Apple can do a lot of things other companies can't. It has the best designers, the best technology platforms, the best infrastructure. Apple's remarkable consistency is the product of the company Jobs built.
Microsoft has to struggle very hard to come up with one half-decent product.
I don't care what it costs - it should work.
>It's not Microsoft's fault that Asus decided to sell a cheap, untested, poorly-built device.
Microsoft probably wouldn't be able to prevent Asus from selling it outright, but it could refuse to sell it through MS Store or giving it a 'signature device' branding.
> it should work
> refuse to sell it through MS Store
> It works.
> MS is probably bound by some partnership agreements so it cannot refuse
What I got out of this instead is that MS guarantees a "Signature Device" to just be free of any bloatware. I was also deceived by the devices in-store working perfectly well, but having been already fixed by store employees before customers could get to them.
Guess I know better for the next time, eh?