Thursday, June 28, 2012

Asus Zenbook Review & Updates

Yesterday afternoon I received my brand new Zenbook by Asus, and with the reckless abandon usually reserved for excited children on Christmas morning I tore into it. I've been wanting a laptop for some time now, but until I saw the Zenbook none had tickled my fancy. I figured I'd preface my usual boring updates with my first impressions.

The Zenbook is sleek, light, and incredibly sexy. The 1920x1080 resolution on the 13.3" screen means I can cram a lot of information into one space, but at the cost of very tiny text. While I usually prefer glossy screens, the matte finish on this laptop looks really sharp, and the colors look great. The key's have great responsiveness and have slightly more of a rubbery finish than the Macbook Pros have, which is a plus for me. The trackpad works great, especially in comparison to other Windows-based models I've had the misfortune of using in the past.
As for the performance, I wasn't sure what to expect out of such a little package. I am very impressed. I opted to get the cheaper model (without dedicated graphics and other small upgrades) so I was pleasantly surprised to find it ran League of Legends at 40fps on Low settings, with Minecraft exhibiting similar results. I haven't stress tested it yet, but the performance seems perfect for what I intend to use it for: working away from home.

Speaking of which, I just submitted my first article to EBSCO for approval. As much as I'd love to share it, I can't due to the terms of the contract. But I think its all right to share the topic, which was an overview on the Halo franchise, and its impact on the North Americas. Not only was it a fun experience, I practiced my objective-style writing AND it's a paying contract! I have four more lined up with a final deadline of September, but hopefully I'll be able to snag a few more along the way.

Last bit of news is I visited the family farm this weekend for my father's wedding. I added a few more HDR photos to my album (it was a beautiful weekend). More importantly, I had my brother and his girlfriend play my prototype of HeroCraft. While it definitely had less merit than a cold test, both of them gave positive reviews, including that "it wasn't that hard to learn, especially once you got going". This give me some hope because I designed the game to be more accessible to people who don't usually play hardcore RPG board games, while still satisfying the hardcore crowd. There's still a lot of playtesting to be done, but I'm hoping to have all of the kinks out and a really solid set of mechanics by this winter.

I lied. Last last bit: my friend Pralie makes cool retro art. Check out her store here.

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