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Why Your Next Laptop Should be Japanese, And How to Buy It

I'm the kind of guy who's so dependent on his laptop that it makes sense to always have the best one for my needs. I'm willing to go to extraordinary lengths for a good laptop, because it's probably the one item I own that directly impacts my productivity.

I've had my trusty Sony Vaio Z12 for two years now, which is a personal record for laptop longevity. Until very recently, no other laptop existed that was so powerful and light that also had a full 1920x1080 high-gamut panel (for non-nerds, that's a really amazing screen). However, ever since Asus announced their UX31A and UX21A, I've been ready to switch. The UX31A is similar to what I have now, but slightly less powerful and way thinner. The UX21A is a lot more exciting to me because it's an 11.6" screen model, which means that it's 15% lighter than what I have now, half the thickness, and can be kept in my backpack when I go through airport security.

The only problem? Asus is taking their sweet time releasing the UX21A in the US. The UX31A has been out for a month, but no word on it's smaller sibling.

The solution: buy the Japanese version. You may not know that Japan tends to get laptops before the US gets them, and for some reason, they tend to have better specifications. For example, in the US the UX21A has a 1.7gHz processor, but in Japan it has a 1.9gHz processor. Eleven percent faster. It also comes with a matte screen, which I prefer to the glossy ones sold in the US.

The Paycheck Paradox

On Rusty Lemon

I sat in a room once, and the speaker asked us all if we wanted financial independence. Everyone put their hand up, but it was explained, most don't value saving and understanding their money, it’s just a vision in the back of their mind. Everyone wants to live off interest, delegate away uninspiring tasks, and maybe have a red car, capable of driving high speeds..

I’m just a student, but I learned a powerful lesson when I lost my last job that was less demanding and stressful than my current one. It also payed much more, so from a financial perspective, I was doing better. Working harder for less? (Nobody wants that!)

But in some kind of bizarre paradox, I find myself with more money than I had before, and I’m more conscious of my savings and goals. I didn’t love my job, so I was excited about what I’d have for lunch, what I’d buy with my paycheck. As a result I had large amounts of stuff, most of which I ended up selling for a tenth of the price.. Because I didn’t really need it all anyway..

I thought the best jobs were sinecures, where I could leave at 5pm with no concern or care, and collect a decent cheque. Now I'm glad to have activity in my job, and more to think about. When people work hard together, there's a sense of spirit and humour, you can’t buy a one-day seminar and attempt to create that culture. The people I work with are one of the most important things about my job, I guess this is a bit like russian roulette; you have no idea what that cute girl is going to be like to work with.

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