If your old notebooks are hampering productivity when you’re on the road, then it’s time to upgrade. New notebook models come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to weigh up your options.
All notebooks aim to balance power and weight against screen size and battery life, so you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s important to consider where you’ll mostly use your new notebook, the tasks you’ll need to perform on the road, and how much time the notebook will spend in a bag on your shoulder.
Plenty of grunt
Sluggish notebooks can really sap your productivity. They need to boot quickly so you can take advantage of every opportunity to get things done, whether you’re meeting with a client, sitting in a coffee shop or waiting for a flight.
You also need a decent processor and plenty of RAM to ensure your new notebook doesn’t grind to a halt when you push it. Intel’s Core m3 processors might cut it for basic Office tasks, but most business users would benefit from stepping up to at least an Intel Core i5/m5 processor with a minimum 4GB of RAM.
Look for long battery life
Keep in mind that a more powerful processor chews through your battery more quickly. Although, you can extend this by tweaking the power saving options.
If you never stray too far from a power socket then you might be able to get away with a 3-hour battery life. However, that probably won’t cut it for road warriors. This is especially true if you tend to work on long-haul flights. Thankfully, some travel-friendly notebooks offer all-day battery life to ensure you’re not left in the lurch.
Keep the weight down
Weight is an important factor if you regularly carry your notebook around on your shoulder all day. If that’s the case, you should also invest in a sturdy carry bag to protect your notebook against the rough and tumble of life on the road.
You might not care so much about weight if you just need to carry your notebook to and from the car, or if it travels in carry-on luggage with wheels.
Keep in mind that a slender, lightweight design doesn’t leave room for a large battery. Although, this is becoming less of an issue as the new generation of processors become more energy-efficient.
Evaluate the screen size and keyboard
It’s not just the processor that chews through the power. A large, bright, super-sharp display also puts a drain on your battery. Be prepared to compromise on screen size and resolution as you balance portability against usability.
Remember, a small screen means a small keyboard. A tiny screen and cramped keys can really hamper productivity if you spend your days typing. Pay close attention to the quality of the keyboard and trackpad when choosing the best notebook for the road.
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