How to select a good laptop for the road

How to select a good laptop for the road

While preparing the idea popped to mind to buy myself a new laptop. Since I’m a gadget freak I like the idea of bigger, faster and better. My son recently bought himself a brand new Macbook Pro and I remembered the days before my Macbook Air……I loved my Macbook Pro. Maybe I should…….

Size Matters

O yes, ladies and gentlemen, the ugly truth is out, Size does matter! When it comes to work and laptop. And with size I mean: measurements, internal power and weight. How to select a good laptopt that meets your needs:

Doubting about the Macbook Air replacement I had to strictly look at my digital needs:

  • work (writing, and more writing, uploading and downloading)
  • storage (photos, music, series and movies, etc)
  • keeping in touch (Skype, email, Messenger, Social Media)
  • video editing and photoshopping a bit and some small design jobs
  • carry it around a lot
  • battery time span

When you define your purchase this way you will narrow it down to what you need when it comes to weight, power, speed, internal memory.

Maybe you only bring a laptop for the sake of bringing a laptop, and use it for occasional stuff. You might be happy with an iPad and keyboard, or one of those 9 inch laptops.

Battery

What about battery use? I can work over 10 hours on a battery! That means less search for electricity and seldom I take my adaptor with me when working remote. High performance laptops usually need a lot of power. 

Storage

If you are into testing websites, lots of photoshopping and need zillion bites of storage you need to look at processing speed. Taking a lot of pictures you might want to look at storage. But that does not always mean you need more volume. You might want to add a SSD to your office equipment and store some of your stuff on your backup disk. Or like me, add a Nifty Minidrive into an unused card slot and add a lot of extra disk space.

And for those lovers of the Cloud, you can store a lot in the Cloud. But for me that’s not an option. I like to keep my stuff to myself, and do not want to depend on third parties for storage. Since I will not always have access to the internet. I do have Dropbox to share with clients and store some documents, but all my material is either on my laptop, my Nifty Minidrive or my SSD (Solid State Drive)

Weight and size

Size does not always reflect on weight, make sure you buy a laptop that fits your daily schedule. When I was having slightly jealous glances at my sons new Macbook Pro I hadn’t lifted it yet. Once I did I remembered the downside of that powerful laptop: weight. I carry my laptop around a lot and I want a light, slim, yet powerful laptop with lots of storage. That’s why I bought a Macbook Air.

 

Define Your Budget and Stick to It

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I’m on a very tight budget. Unlike my travel companion I cannot spent tons of money and I need to prioritize.
When buying a new laptop for your Digital Nomad life you might want to look at your own budget. Once set, it will help you narrow down your search.
But  naturally, if you need a faster computer with better performances, you have to deal with bigger costs.

List your needs and price-range accordingly and forget everything outside of it. That also means you should disregard cheap laptops, low quality and budget items.  Don;t rush into buying one. take your time, look into different offers, discounts and compare prices and read reviews.

If you take a long time to prepare for your life changing event like I did, you might want to wait till special sales when new models are introduced and older models get on discount.

But always remember: the purpose has to match the quality.

How does it feel, look, sound?

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Do not underestimate the design of your laptop. You should feel comfortable with your equipment. Make sure the new keyboard, touchpad and trackpad are not driving you crazy! It really took a long time before I was used to not having a numeric pad anymore. Not that I use it a lot, but The size of my keyboard also changed drastically.

For my latest job I had the privilege of working with this huge, heavy laptop, I had to hammer down the keys to get some typing done and I hated the damn thing. It took ages for it to start or shut down, it was black and shiny , the touchpad was a disaster and the screen was far from vivid and only slightly adjustable.

I felt like a fool walking around with that thing. Only the adaptor weighted more than my Macbook Air. And yet it ran out of battery within 2 hours of email and typing.  It was a good reminder of what I did not want for wanted in a laptop. And a good slick design was one of those things.

I don’t  like hearing the fan of my laptop blowing to cool it down, it sounds like I’m working nearby a jet preparing for take off. To me that  is a distracting and alarming sound. I want my laptop to be as silent as possible and speaking of sound: I want a good set of speakers for optimal sound effects as well.
I am no computer expert by all means. I just use my common sense when it comes to purchasing a laptop. And like ai said: I’m a gadget freak on a tight budget,, Making these kind of  considerations before diving into the purchase of a new laptop helps me to stick to my budget and buy what I need, without losing that good feel.

 

 

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