Techuisite Digest

02.09.2024: My PKM progress, Asus Zenbook 14X, and my iPad-only journey update.

I have an appointment to try out the Apple Vision Pro this weekend. I wanted to share my thoughts on my next Digest but felt I should get this out now since we are almost in the second week of February. I will probably do a regular blog post about my experience.

This is going to be a Digest that is available to everyone who has subscribed to Techuisite, Free or Paid, but I am going to continue my schedule of releasing a paid-members-only next. I am still only doing two of these a month but may do them more recently if time permits.

Thanks for following and reading my work. I really do appreciate it.

My PKM progress

In my last Digest, I spoke about starting the my own PKM. So for it has been going good but slow. I am still in the beginning of the book Building a Second Brain by Tioga Forte, but I did listen to an old episode of Mac Power Users where they invited Nick Milo who is behind Linking Your Thinking.

I also have the Focused episode queued up that also has Nick as a guest. I knew my app of choice for a PKM was going to be Obsidian, and so far it has been a great app to just add stuff. It is going slow, but I am trying to be intentional in how I am adding and building my PKM, so I am okay with the pace.

Obsidian is a great app. And the cost of using Obsidian Sync is well worth it with my setup. Since Obsidian requires that you use iCloud on the iPhone, and since I now am managing two separate Apple IDs or iCloud accounts, using iCloud just doesn't work for me if I want to access Obsidian on my iPhone, iPad, and Windows.

So I signed up for Obisidan Sync and it has been a breeze. It is expensive, but for what I am planning on using it for, I feel like the cost is worth it. I plan to keep almost everything in my life in my PKM, so it makes sense to invest in a tool that I can trust and like to use.

I am still trying to figure out the structure of my PKM in Obsidian. I have been creating pages with links to new pages that I want to add too, so I am sort of building dashboards with prepared links, but I am hesitant to start using a ton of folders in Obsidian.

It isn't that I am opposed to folders, but I really want to utilize the linking that Obsidian offers and don't want to fall into my same routine of just organizing things in folders as I do in Finder and File Explorer. I really want to use Obsidian differently than just a file organizer, I want to treat it like a true second brain with data dumps that link together for me to look up later.

So my progress overall is going well. I added the Lyte theme to Obisidian my Nick Milo and I like it. It gives off a more fun and cyberpunk-like look to Obsidian, which keeps it fresh and fun for me as I slowly build up my PKM in it.

Asus Zenbook 14X

I am working on a full review right now, but I did want to share some early thoughts with those who are subscribed to get my Techuisite Digest. As the title of the section states, I am trying out a Windows laptop as a serious replacement for my iPad Pro, and not a Mac option, as my new main computer.

I have hinted that the iPad Pro 11-inch is something I do not feel fits what I need right now for a computer, and instead of just jumping into a Mac, I thought I would see what other options were out there. As I stated in my Pro Computer Guilt post if I had the choice of any computer it would be a three thousand-dollar MacBook Pro.

But I don't have that cash right now, and plan to start seriously saving for a computer in the future that I truly want. For now, I needed something that could meet my needs but also provided some features that I wanted and was affordable. As I was looking at various websites for deals on MacBook Airs, I stumbled on the Asus Zenbook 14X.

What really stood out to me with the 14X was the OLED display. I didn't realize Windows Laptops were offering laptops with OLED displays now, and was very intrigued. So I checked out the specs and for a decent price, under 1,000 dollars, you could get a decent configuration. Intel EVO i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD--not bad.

Then I saw that my local Best Buy was selling an open-box model for under 600 dollars. So I spent that day watching reviews and reading about the Zenbook and over time realized I had found something I truly wanted to try. So I bought the 14X and picked it up that evening and have been using it for almost a week since.

Not only is the laptop premium, but Windows 11 was surprisingly a joy to use. Coming from the vibrant macOS and iPadOS user interface, I was happy that this laptop came with the vibrant colored refresh of Windows for me to experience.

Again, I plan to post my full review shortly, but to say I am happy with this laptop would be an understatement. It is strange to be back on Windows for personal use, after being on the Mac or iPad for so long. But so far, I am not disappointed in the least.

My iPad-Only journey update

So you can imagine based on my praise of the Asus Zenbook 14X, that I am ending my iPad-only life. I will say that part of my transition was because of the iPad Mini. The iPad Mini played a big role in me realizing what I like about the iPad. It is the perfect tablet, and love the things that an iPad as a tablet provides.

Now that I am trying to build a PKM, working on my development tasks at my day job, and finding myself wanting a bigger display sometimes without having to use an external monitor, it made sense for me to transition away from the 11-inch iPad Pro.

iPadOS is great, and I look forward to what the new iPads bring this year, but I think what I need right now with the iPad is just a tablet. I use the iPad Mini for everything and have reduced the amount of time I spend on my iPhone substantially. And now that I am considering moving to a Windows laptop, I like to still be in the Apple ecosystem with the iPad Mini.

You can argue my iPhone keeps me in the ecosystem, but my iPhone has become a tool for me now that my iPad Mini is my everything else device. So it is nice to have an iPad Mini alongside my laptop and iPhone making my setup feel more diverse and complete.

This is all to say that, for now, my iPad-only journey has ended. The possibility of coming back is uncertain due to the rumors of what is coming with the iPad Pro line next. I don't have a desire to use a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard. Mostly because of the weight the whole package brings.

With rumors of that iPad Pro jumping to 14 inches or more, it definitely isn't something I am interested in. Especially if the Magic Keyboard doesn't get a redesign at all in terms of its weight. So we will see where the iPad Pro goes from here, but I think it is more likely that I will have saved up the money to get my coveted 14-inch Space Black MacBook Pro before I go back to the iPad-only again.

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Jamie Larson