Choosing the best travel laptop doesn’t have to be a terrible or excruciating experience. You’re shouldn’t be looking for the best of the best laptop since really, that doesn’t exist in absolute terms. There is the right laptop out there for every traveler, and this website is your guide to finding it. We have used and tested countless laptops and have experience from a variety of fields to help you come to the right decision.
Selecting the right laptop isn’t a matter of picking a perfect laptop, because there isn’t such a thing. You’ve got to find the best laptop for your needs, travel style, and of course budget. Wed like to help guide you to break down this big decision, which can be complicated if you don’t know where to begin, so that you can find the right notebook for travel.
First of all, you’ll need to understand laptop hardware what it costs and what it does. Don’t over complicate this process, unless you’re working in graphic design or using your laptop for intensive calculations, you likely don’t need the fastest or biggest of everything. Approach the problem and spend your money on whats most important to you a fast processor, or small screen, what ever it might be.
Once you settle in on the right hardware, narrowing down your choices to about two laptops, you’ll want to zero in on the operating system. This piece of software, which controls all of the essential functions on your laptop, can have a significant effect on laptop price. Windows will tack on about $100-150 to the cost of any base laptop system whereas Mac OS X can add on much more since its tied to Apple hardware. You can weigh the differences between Windows vs. Mac and also consider the advantages of using Linux, a free variety of operating systems. Many people get stuck on this point of the selection process, remember function before price.
Once you get your very own laptop for travel, a useful and versatile digital companion, you should take a bit of time and follow our guide on how to protect your laptop when traveling. Many of those tips will not only secure you laptop physically and digitally when you’re away from home but are effective no matter whether you’re traveling or not. It is important to protect both the device itself and the important data (yours!) store on your disks. Fortunately most of these security precautions only require you to set them once and don’t need you to interact with them often. Once you’ve got them working, they continue securing your information quietly in the background.
Before you hit the road however, you want to make sure you’re digital office is complete since many electronics can be hard to come by in different countries, or can be more expensive not to mention the time it takes to actually find and purchase these items. To be prepared and fully functional, pick up these recommended travel laptop accessories, and always try to combine redundant cables and chargers which is where most people add extra weight to their laptop bags.
We hope we can make choosing the best laptops for travel and easy decision for you and guide you through the process. It doesn’t have to be a stressful quest or purchase, especially once you understand your options and what to look for.
How To Protect Your Laptop When Traveling
Once you decide on the perfect laptop for you and your travels, you’re going to need to protect it both physically and digitally. Both are fairly easily done and with a few simple modifications and good habits can keep your laptop out of trouble in most cases.
Protecting your laptop physically is the first part of any cyber-security plan. Invest in a good laptop lock, they aren’t very expensive and are compatible with just about any modern notebook made within the last few years. Wed recommend getting one with a combination lock so you don’t have to worry about losing any keys. Of course you should never leave your laptop unattended but a lock will give you added protection from simple grab-and-run thieves. In addition to protecting your laptop with a physical lock, you should always remember to lock your screen whenever you’re not directly in front of your machine.
Windows users can use Control + Alt + Delete at the same time and then select Lock my computer from the subsequent menu.
Mac users can click these 3 keys at the same time: Shift + Control + Eject button
When letting others use your computer (like hostel mates or co-workers) you should be sure to use guest accounts for them. This will prevent any access of your personal files either intended or not.
Physically protecting your laptop is only the first step in a security plan. You’ll also need to consider the data on your machine the best way to protect it is by using encryption. Fortunately there are a number of free and effective methods of achieving this. Mac users can use the built-in FileVault application which encrypts your entire home drive with your administrator password. There isn’t anything to do after setup, once the initial encryption is done (might take a few hours), your data will automatically be encrypted and decrypted without you noticing. Windows users should download the very capable and versatile TrueCrypt. This program can encrypt your entire hard drive with a password you select, create encrypted folders for only the things you want encrypted, and even create hidden encrypted folders that aren’t visible, even to educated cyber-thieves. TrueCrypt is open source and a free download.
Select Good Passwords
Forget about trying to create your own good passwords and managing all of them. Using a program like KeePassX, you can generate random and complex passwords (the most effective kind) and store user names. Youll only need to remember a single password for the application and can store countless other accounts there. KeePassX also allows you to share your password database with other computers you may have for backup.
Finally, when possible, you should use good browsing habits. You can make things a lot easier on yourself by using Firefox and downloading the Encrypt The Web plugin. This plugin, which is free, helps secure your online connections by automatically encrypting all of the ones it can for you. Its a good way to browse the Internet a bit more safely.
Recommended Accessories for Your Travel Laptop
You want to maintain your light load but still be as functional as ever and these recommended laptop accessories will help you do just that.
Many travelers forget about these items until they realize at 35,000 feet that the headphones they pass out on airplanes don’t insulate the engine noise or that a lock in a crowded hostel might be more than a good idea.
To avoid that situation pick up or order these items while youre getting your trip plans in order so you can have a great laptop for travel and be a fully prepared digital nomad.
1. Sound-Insulated Headphones Don’t skimp on good headphones just because you associate their small size with a tiny price tag. You want to get a pair, preferably ear buds, that will provide you some protection against outside noises like airplane engines and crying babies.
2. Laptop Lock This is one lesson you don’t want to learn first hand. Laptop locks are cheap and can save you a laptop but only if you have and use one.
3. Laptop Sleeve A full case for your laptop isn’t light or efficient and you’ll get better protection from a thick sleeve instead that can fit into your existing carry on luggage. Good laptop sleeves have memory foam that absorbs impacts and dents, before quickly returning to their original shape.
4. USB Flash Drive How else are you going to load portable Linux one of the biggest advantages of using Linux. Storage space on USB drives is ridiculously cheap and aside from portable drives, they make great backups for your most important files, data, and pictures.
5. A Microphone and Webcam They will make it much easier to use Skype. When picking out a laptop, try to find one that has these two things integrated but if not there are plenty of high quality web-cams that have great resolution and microphones that will really pick up your voice.
6. USB Squid Turns one USB port into 4 and makes charging all of your various gadgets that much easier.
7. All In One Power Adapter You can charge your laptop, even if there are plentiful outlets in the airport without the right converter for your charger. Rather than buying a specific converter for each type of plug type you might encounter, go with an all-in-one. Theyre small and take up less overall space than individual converters and have conversions between all of the major outlet configurations.
8. USB Rechargeable Double AA Batteries Unfortunately not everything can be recharged using USB directly and you may still need old-fashioned AA batteries for digital cameras and other equipment. These batteries can be recharged using your USB port and will work anywhere AA will.
These 7 recommended travel laptop accessories will make your digital tool belt extremely versatile and give you many options on the road. They will also save you money since you can be much more self-reliant with them.