Right now is the WORST time to buy a new laptop

I’m currently typing this up on my Dell XPS 1530. It’s been a great computer and has served me well for the past 3 years, but it’s starting to show its age. Despite my desire to upgrade today, I’m holding out until the end of 2012. Why? Because laptops are about to get a hell-of-a-lot better.

Although I’m still undecided between the new, DVD-less, Macbook Pro that will inevitably come out in a few months or the amazing hybrids that will emerge running Windows 8, I do know both will be unbelievably better than current offerings. The two offer different approaches to solving the same problem: laptops just aren’t portable enough right now.

If you’re lucky enough to have picked up a new Macbook Air recently then you know all too well what I mean. Switching from a 2 year old laptop to the new, 8 hours of battery, solid state drive rockin’, instant-on, machine is a revolutionary experience. As an aspiring IT professional, I need a little more power than the Air currently offers, but I’m confident the tech industry will be answering my prayers before 2013. The question is whether Microsoft will be able to pull off the revolutionary leap they are advertising with Windows 8.

I’m not expecting an iPad experience out of my Windows 8 laptop. I don’t expect 8 hours of battery life. I don’t expect INSTANT wakeup from sleep. I don’t expect the same level of simplicity. What I do expect is a device that perfectly balances the attributes of a work intensive laptop with the casual comforts of consuming content on a tablet. I want my Windows 8 laptop to comfortably last 4 hours. I want it to warm up minimally and operate without the aid of an overly obnoxious cooling fan. I want a device that can go from sleep to fully functional at a reasonable time, perhaps 4-5 seconds tops. And most importantly, I want the new Metro UX to be as amazing as its UI.

If Microsoft can pull that off, they will have a 2 year lead on Apple’s ecosystem and the Cupertino headquarters will be scrambling to play catch-up. If not, that shiny new Macbook Pro will seem mighty enticing…