Laptops are no brainier when it comes to portability. Down the line, various companies have released ultraportable models that are not only small in size but also slim and very light.
With the modern compact-size notebooks, you can be sure of working normally even in the middle of a desert without so much worry.
However, choosing out of the right laptop size as a digital nomad may not be an easy task. It isn’t just about whether the laptop fits into your backpack or not.
This ultimate guide will take you through the best laptop size, key merits to choosing your laptop size and everything you need to know about travelling with a laptop.
What is the Best Size for a Travel Laptop?
Before landing any laptop, one question should ring in the mind. What type of digital nomad are you? Are you a student looking for something that can easily fit inside your school bag for your normal classes, or are you an online editor, writer, videogamer or a graphic designer?
The choice of laptop you choose greatly compromises its GPU and its general functionality.
A laptop size is not like any other key metric such as RAM or ROM. Once you have chosen a specific size, you will not be able to change it. That is why you must be keen on the suitability and efficiency of the size you opt for before leaving the store.
Laptop sizes range from 11.6 inches to 17.3 inches. A 15-inch laptop is the standard size found. However, a 15-inch laptop may not suit you well since it hardly fits well into most backpacks and also feels slightly large for a digital nomad.
On the other hand, 11.6 inch fits best in almost every backpack. It also weighs less. However, it features a low processing power that may leave you staring at the screen for decades more so when browsing on a weak network.
The only fit-it-all size for a digital nomad like you is the 13-inch model. Generally, these models are portable and weigh between 1 to 1.5 kg (2-3 pounds). However, a 13-inch laptop may not support the advanced graphic cards or Core i7 CPUs.
Meaning, if you are a graphic designer, you may need to go for the size of at least 15 inches. The same applies to video editing. Otherwise, normal tasks such as surfing, editing and writing can easily be done using a 13-inch laptop without any strain.
How to Choose a Travel Laptop?
Choosing the best travel laptop is nowhere easier. However, once you have landed the best size, everything becomes quite easy to go by. Here are key factors to help you with the remaining phases of this process.
Some jobs are highly demanding. You can spend even half of your day staring at your screen. Meaning, if you don’t get something quality, you may end up having vision impairments in the long run.
The first thing to consider is whether you want a touch screen or not. These screens are highly efficient hence minimizing the overall time spent scrolling or trolling across websites. The only disadvantage of the touch screen is their glossiness that leads to reflection that comes with negative effects when gaming or editing.
Secondly, look at the resolutions of the screen. Some laptops come with adjustable screen resolutions while others do not. For videographers or gamers, a 4K resolution with high-end display channels and excellent color accuracy is the best option to go for.
Most laptops come in either Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7. Core i3 is generally entry-level netbooks that can be used for surfing. On the other hand, Core i5 is prominent in most mainstream computers. The CPU determines the overall performance of your computing device. At this time of the year, you have no excuse of going for a Core i7 computer since they are the fastest in the market.
Your computer’s Random Access Memory is one fundamental part of the computer that makes it work efficiently. The RAM stores and access information and instructions at high speed.
When choosing your travel laptop, pay close attention to:
- The RAM interface and whether it has a DDR slot for a RAM stick
- The RAM frequency–The frequency should augur with what the computer’s motherboard supports
- The Amount of RAM–For multitasking job, you will need something larger.
- Ram Channels–Double channel RAMS are more efficient than single-channel variants. You can install two memory modules to the laptop and run them at the same time.
Laptop keyboards are not ergonomic. Unless you are going for an Apple iMac, you may need to use a USB Keyboard for jobs that demand full-time typing or editing. When choosing a keyboard, make sure that it suits your personal needs.
For example, there is a USB gaming keyboard in the market made purposefully for video gamers. ON the other hand, if you work with numbers, make sure to go for a keyboard with numeric keys.
A digital nomad travels a lot. Oftentimes, you will find yourself in places without stable power connection or plug. Therefore, whatever you choose should come with long-lasting battery life. Look for something with at least 8 eight hours of battery life.
First whatever you go for should be according to your means. Don’t go for something fancy that will hurt your pockets in the long run. Rather, go for something promising enough as far as your type of job is concerned.
Which is the Best Laptop for a Digital Nomad?
If you follow all the criteria above, then there is a high likelihood that whatever you are going to choose is not only efficient but also nomad-friendly. Generally, an ideal laptop for digital nomad should be compact sized to fit into the backpack with ease. It should also come with a fantastic battery life that is perfect when working even in the wilderness without power sockets.
A Chromebook can be an added advantage more so when your security is at a stake. It automatically sends any working data into the cloud. So in case of theft, all you need is to log into the accounts and access the information from where you stopped.
The only downside of a Chromebook is the limited 16GB space that may not allow for storage of items such as photos, and large-sized documents.
If you are looking for something that is incredibly versatile then DELL XPS 139380 gets you covered. This state-of-the-art computing device is not only beautiful, but it is also powerful, easy to use and durable. Its built-in HDR webcam, enhanced wireless speed and 12-hours battery life makes it digital nomads priority in the market
How to Travel with a Laptop?
Whether you will get the value for your money or not directly depends on how you care for your laptop. When you travel, there are a lot of external forces that can scrape, dent, crack or break down your laptop.
And, since you may not be able to get access to a good working desk, more often, you will need to place your computing device on your lap. That tells you the level of cautiousness you need to invest to keep the device safe.
However, how do you travel with a laptop? First, have a backpack or laptop bag with you. An ideal bag has partitioning for the laptop and charger separate. It also should include a soft fabric that acts as a casing for the soft absorber. Place the computing device into the pocket or the fabric and insert it into the bag.
Sometimes, you may be forced to use your laptop when travelling. However, it is wise to keep the computer inside your bag to avoid cases of theft.
Secondly, when you travel more so on the bus, there is a slight commotion that may disturb the stability of your computing device when placed on the lap. If you are not keen enough, it can fall easily hence resulting in unforeseen damages.
A basic FHD of about 13 inches in size is a better option when it comes to choosing an ideal laptop for the digital nomad lifestyle. On the other hand, 4K resolutions and touchscreens, though very efficient, can easily drain your battery.
Otherwise, the role of choosing narrows down to your tastes and preferences. This article and the featured key merits should only serve as an eye-opener to landing the best device.