Computer Hardware – Laptops

Nomad is and has been for 20+ years a technology/business geek among other things. While I’m not of the “I don’t talk to people and I abhor daylight” type of tech professional, I do like it when my gadgets and tech allow me to function with the least amount of hassle. Nothing burns me more as when things don’t work and I have to spend time fixing them before I can do what I need to do. That’s why I believe in having options if one tool does not work have another and be able to switch to that and continue with a minimum of downtime.

Since the “dawn of time” in tech parlance, I have used Macs and PC’s added to that Linux to some extent. Have not made the jump to Chromebooks but for some, these are pretty appealing in some cases as well. There are in my opinion no longer huge differences between the platforms any longer, but some people will have an affinity for one or the other and do not want to switch from what for them is “muscle memory” to do their tasks. I get it, I don’t judge so if you are used to Windows and like it, use that. If you are an Apple fanboy/girl and are comfortable with OS X, use that, if you are more hardcore you can use Linux, which these days is very similar to the Windows/OS X experience and a LOT cheaper.

If you travel a lot, size and weight are important, the less of either is a good thing and if you are not a power user the Macbook and the MacBook Air are both good choice. Both are small, light, the battery lasts a long time and for the most part can do most everything you may need to do: email, web browsing, website edits, etc. Where they may fall short is heavy-duty video/photo editing. If that is the case, the MacBook Pro is a logical albeit most costly option. This is what I carry for my personal and my current day job use, both 13” models. Would have not had issues moving to a similar size/power Windows model but the Macs are a bit more durable, less prone to issues, I’m used to them, and when home is within a few miles of the Apple HQ’s. Do realize that with the newer models you will have to account for USB-C ports and the various dongles and $$ accessories to do what you need them to do, Hence, I usually use my older 13” MacBook Pro that has USB2, and SSD slot, etc to reduce the extra stuff I need to carry. Don’t overlook this as if you are traveling and need to connect to something other than USB-C you may tear your hair out if you don’t have the adapter. You also may want to consider that while traveling a newer laptop makes you a target for theft. Not saying it will happen but it can happen. I’d rather lose a 2013 model than 2019, I can pick up another 2013 for under $500, if I need to get a 2019 model I’m out a minimum of $1500+ and if I was silly enough to travel with an “over the top” 15” MacBook Pro with all the bells and whistles about $6500.

If you want to use Windows, I have found the Lenovo X1 Carbon and the Dell XPS to be small and light and powerful, would have no issues recommending either of them. There are countless other models, some detach into tablets, some do other things that are cool when needed but detract from their long term reliability. If you don’t suspect you will have access to tech help when you need it, don’t carry a unit that may not work reliably for you, and may get lost or stolen. Carry a unit you can do all you need to do with and call it good. Technology moves at a good clip, what you are using now is likely not what you will use in a couple of years so prepare for that. Preparation is key when travelling. If your laptop/backpack/suitcase/phone is damaged or stolen what are your contingency plans? Where is your data? Where are the pictures of the trip you have been on for the last 6 months? On the camera or laptop or backup drive that was just stolen? You are then screwed. Plan for it, have a contingency plan, PLEASE.

Enough for now, this post has brought up a lot of subjects I want to cover:

Backups

Cloud

Linux

Office vs Libre

Apple refurb site

VPN – Virtual Private Network

If you see anything you want me to cover in more detail or to dive into other subjects, please reach out to nomad@retired-nomads.com

Take care!