Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Don’t sacrifice substance for style when buying a portable computer

Don’t sacrifice substance for style when buying a portable computer

Ultrabook

Slimline Ultrabooks and hybrid 2-in-1 tablets look great and are light on your shoulder, but make sure they still meet all your needs when you’re working on the road.

These days there’s more choice than ever if you’re looking for a portable computer and it’s easy to get swept up in the latest trends. If you’re looking for a productivity tool then you shouldn’t shop with an eye for fashion, instead you should look for the most practical device to meet your specific needs.

That said, there’s no shame in looking for a slender design if your previous notebooks have weighed you down. Just be sure to consider what you’re sacrificing in return. Think long and hard about exactly what you’ll need to do with your computer and what can wait until you get back to your desk.

If you’re on the road then your primary concern should be battery life, especially if you’ll need to get through an entire day on a single charge. You’ll need to trade battery life against weight and processing power. Many slimline devices shed weight by opting for a smaller battery. Meanwhile more powerful processors demand more juice, as do large, bright screens with high resolutions.

If you spend most of your time typing then you definitely want to assess the keyboard, preferably with some hands on time in a store rather than simply looking at photos online. Small computers tend to feature small, cramped keyboards which can slow you down – especially if some of the keys are in unusual locations. You should also consider the size and placement of the trackpad.

Thin devices don’t leave much room for “travel” in the keys, referring to how far they sink down when you press them. It might not sound like a big deal, but keys without much travel don’t tend to feel good under your fingertips. It’s even worse when typing on an onscreen virtual keyboard, where you’re bashing away at a slab of glass which doesn’t have any give.

At the other end of the spectrum, watch out for keyboards which have too much flex. Press down on the ‘h’ key and see if the entire keyboard sinks in the middle like a sponge. The keyboard cases which come with hybrid devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro can have a bit of bounce in them.

After the keyboard you’ll want to think about connectors, as they’re often shed in the pursuit of a slender design. Chances are your portable device won’t come with an optical drive, which probably won’t bother you, but you could also lose the Ethernet port, SD card slot, VGA port and full-sized HDMI port. You might also find yourself needing to make do with fewer USB ports.

These sacrifices might not be deal-breakers if you’re prepared to carry around a few dongles in your travel bag, but think about it upfront rather than discovering the hard way that your new computer is lacking a few features that you need on the road.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Recent News

8thgen

For decades now, if you were buying a PC, you essentially had two choices when it came to the processor that ran it. For the most part, Intel’s processors under various branding such as Pentium or Core were what you were most likely to hit, with rival AMD’s CPUs generally found in lower-cost machines, or… More 

spectremeltdown

Usually when you hear about large scale security problems, it’s because there’s been an obscure exploit of some incredibly complicated code that somebody’s worked out a way around, leading to the need for software patches, or an entirely human error where access was pilfered via purely social means. Hardware flaws that affect computer security aren’t… More 

password

2017 was a year of some very large security breaches across all sorts of companies, from smaller online merchants all the way up to bigger brands, such as the uber-leak that came out of, well, Uber, where a data leak saw the records of some 57 million users worldwide compromised. As such, you would think… More 

world

The ambition behind Google’s Street View was (originally) to provide a little more human context to people’s map searches. It’s all very good to say that a journey will take so many minutes, or that you need to make this sequence of turns in order to get to your destination, but it’s long been a… More