My Thinkpad T400 had a good long run, but it finally had to be retired due to a hardware failure that wouldn’t have been very cost effective to repair. That system was certainly showing its age, but it was still usable for day-to-day tasks, albeit a bit sluggishly depending on what you were doing. After it died there was a period of a few months where my mobile computing was limited to what I could do on my phone or tablet, toward the end of which I was given an older single-core laptop to act as a stop-gap. Using a single core system with 3GB of memory in late-2016 isn’t ideal to say the least, and while it was frustrating to use I was no less appreciative of having something to hold me over until I could find a suitable replacement.

Now, I’m not exactly swimming around in a Scrooge McDuck money vault over here—my budget for a laptop is around the $350 mark, which leaves me with precious few options that meet my needs. After a bit of research I decided that the Asus F555LA-AB31 would be my best bet, being one of the only systems in my price range that meet nearly all of my needs, one of the most important and hardest to find being a 1080p display. A combination of procrastination and financial constraints led to me putting off the purchase for a while until a better option eventually showed up.

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