1) I heard issues regarding about the video drivers and w 8.1. I guess don't update them until there are some stability. You can switch over screens in w 8 to look windows 7. I replace my hdd to a ssd (samsung 840 evo 250gb) and install win 7. I need to switch back to hdd to create a recovery disk to load win 8 to ssd if I chose to in the future. 2)This is one my issue stated above in this thread...if you are comfort in 802.1 g/n environment then, you are good. But I run 802.1 ac at home...hence I would want to change the wireless card to ac. 3) You can try to reduce power...the video card can be disable to use the intel graphics chip.. 4) weight wise...17.3 is a little heavier. 5) nope. 6) not too sure here...but I don't think so, like that...hdmi stands alone..probably good on the other two. Hope this helps.