I recently (a little over a month ago) got a Sony Vaio SVE14A35CXH laptop from ebay to replace my 3 year old HP Elitebook 8440p (core i5 first gen, 8 GB ram, SSD). This Vaio has core i5 3rd gen 3230m, 6GB ram, and a standard 5400rpm hard drive. I don't have the money to get an SSD until next week or so. It has a fresh installed version of Win 8.1 and it's ok. I don't run a whole bunch of things but I would think a newer laptop like this would be able to handle things fine. I had a web browser open and of course some things in my start menu, but no video or photoshop or anything intense. I use it for internet browsing with firefox and such. But last night I started a new business with an program pinger. It's a simple text messaging app, and the thing was lagging like a mother. I would be typing and every time a message would come in, would stop and lag and was pissing me off to no end. After clicking around between messages it would pause, gray out for a short moment and say "(Not responding)" then come back to life. I have used this app on my last HP Elitebook and it handled it no problem. This app cannot be that intense. I know the biggest thing that's holding me back is my crappy 5400RPM hard drive. But I would think that this computer being last years model versus my old HP which was like 4 years old would at least be okay performance. I read some reviews on Amazon and while most people praise it, a few do say it's slow. Do SSD's make THAT big of a difference? This laptop had 1 extra feature I wanted that my elitebook lacked, otherwise I would have picked up another.