This is a brilliant laptop with a huge hard drive. I have all the files and photos from an XP desktop and a Vista laptop backed up on the 1Tb drive and I still have 700GB free space! The speed is good too and it boots up very quickly. I use this mainly for storing photos, internet and family tree research it is compatible with Family Tree Maker 2012 and Office 2007. Don't be put off by Windows 8.1, the desktop is still there and the Start button is back, along with the close and minimise button for programmes (apps). I work from the desktop and only use the Apps when I need to. I moved from a laptop running Vista to Windows 8.1 and found it to be very straightforward. I'm glad they included a USB 3 port as this makes data transfer very fast. I prefer to use a mouse so cannot comment on the tracker pad. The first time you turn it on allow plenty of time to go through the set up process - nothing scary, just a bit time consuming (probably the same for all new laptops). After that it is almost an instant start up. We were so impressed with this laptop that my husband bought one too.