19 Oct Choosing a Travel Laptop
Once upon a time, a traveller’s backpack wasn’t made up of expensive gadgets and shiny technological tools – or so I hear. Truth is, I can’t remember how I used to get through daily life without my phone or laptop, so imagining travelling the world without them is a pretty difficult task.
However, part of the reason we’re going travelling is to get away from this kind of westernised, commercialised lifestyle – shouldn’t that include stripping away the gadgets? Well, not if I want to keep up this blog, for a start. As much as we’re trying to limit the amount of gadgets that make it into our backpacks, we’ve accepted that there are some things we can’t go without – that includes a new travel laptop.
Choosing a Travel Laptop
So, how to choose a laptop? As with choosing our travel camera, we decided the best travel laptop would have to meet set criteria.
What to look for in a laptop:
- Size and weight – we chose relatively small backpacks on purpose, to limit the amount of stuff we take with us and the amount of weight we carry on our backs. So, taking our old 17 ½ inch Dell laptop with us was out of the question. After testing out a few options, we decided an 11 inch laptop would be small and light enough to carry, but still big enough to work on.
- Power – we need a laptop powerful enough to run the blog, use basic photo and video editing programs and communicate with people back home. So, on that basis we decided we needed something more powerful than a notebook (more than 1GB RAM), but we didn’t need Macbook level power (although that would be nice!).
- Memory – we need enough memory to store all our videos, pictures and documents we create while we’re on the road.
- Battery life – when travelling we know we might not always be able to charge our gadgets regularly, so we want a laptop that isn’t going to conk out after an hour’s use.
- Price – we set ourselves a £400 budget for our travel laptop.
So, what Laptop did we go for?
After much deliberation and a lot of testing we chose the Acer Aspire V5-171. It’s a great, compact laptop that meets all our set criteria – here are his vital stats:
- Screen size – 11.1 inches
- Weight – 1.3 kilos
- Processor – Intel Core i3
- Memory – 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive
- Battery life – up to five hours
- Other features – three USB ports including a USB 3.0 port, two in one memory card reader to suit our camera, 1.3 MP HD webcam
- Price – £369.99 from PC World, however, we managed to get a discounted price of £300
So, what kind of laptop do you travel with? Or perhaps you’re one of those rare beasts who manages to travel without one?
*Update: once we started travelling we realised that one laptop just wasn’t enough between two of us so we got a second laptop in Jakarta – here’s what we chose.