Fitness delayed: New ASUS laptop computer to learn animation!

I have been trying to hold myself accountable for the diet, but I wanted to learn animation as a hobby and got stuck with a lot of extra projects at work and have had to take on extra hours. What does that mean? I’ve slacked on the exercise and diet. I have chosen convenience foods, which are higher in calories, and haven’t exercised in a while.

The animation thing required a new computer. Up until a few days ago, I used Linux operating systems and had no Windows computer. I could have turned an old computer into a Windows machine but I did not want to spend $100 on a license for a machine that was already at the end of its usefulness. Instead, I looked to buy a cheap laptop. Did some research and I read a review about an inexpensive ASUS laptop then bit the bullet and bought one.

I know a little bit about computers. I built a few a couple years ago, but I don’t know a lot about current technology. Back in the day when I messed with them, 8x AGP cards with 512MB were the thing for graphics. Those graphics cards are obsolete.

Like I said, I bought an inexpensive laptop for using Pivot and Flash animator. After messing with the computer for a while, I concluded that this article about ASUS being a good brand for computers.

So far, I tried installing Ubuntu on it and all systems go. The laptop is a ASUS X551M. Everything worked out of the box, and I use the Windows side for animation and a few other Windows-only pieces of software.

With Ubuntu, it’s fairly peppy and can run multiple programs on different desktops fairly easily. With Windows 8.1, it works fine.

Sure, it could use more than the 4 GB of RAM it has and a faster processor but for the price and my use it was a no-brainer. This thing’s a good budget laptop there’s no doubt about it.

One complaint I have is battery life. It sucks. It lasts less than 3 hours but when I looked at the Amazon description for the newer model it advertises 5 hours. (Mine is a slightly different model because it is an “M” rather than an “MA”.) It looks like the battery life has been improved.

I use it mainly with Pivot Animator at the moment. It is plenty fast for that purpose. Once I learn Pivot, I plan to move into Flash. Then, we’ll be able to see how the processing speed and memory do.

It does not have touchscreen but that was ok with me. (One less thing to go wrong.)

The keyboard has a good size to it. I did end up putting a wireless keyboard and mouse on it because of the setup I use. The laptop is stationary on my desk next to my desktop so I don’t have to change positions much to toggle between desktop and laptop. (I wanted to learn Flash during the downtime when I was waiting for the other computer to process data. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency.)

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