Best Travel Laptop and Netbook Models: 4 Reviews

Featured, Travel Products & Services — By on June 9, 2010 at 11:50 am

by Brooke Schoenman
LG Tech and Gear Editor

One of the most underrated stresses of planning for travel is simply planning what to pack. This, of course, brings many a traveler to the question, “What kind of laptop should I bring?”

Stress no more, fellow Lost Girls, as deciding which laptop to take is as easy as classifying your traveler type. I have listed the most common of those types below, along with a corresponding laptop or netbook suggestion, so all you have to do now is simply find your match.

Type I: Tech-loving, Documentary Style Flashpacker

You’re the gal that wants to preserve every moment of travel in clean, clear and precise photos and videos. In that regard, you don’t mess around; you resort to carrying your bulky DSLR, a video camera, a travel tripod and all the little bits in between. You’re willing to forgo comfort in the name of function, and you need a laptop that simply measures up to the challenge.

Suggested Model: MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro may be a bit on the bulky and heavy side for travelers, but it has the power to make your travel documentary a reality. With a screen size ranging from 13-15 inches, top video cards and professional video editing capabilities with Final Cut Pro, there is no task this laptop cannot take on. And, let’s not forget the 7 hour battery life capabilities; that’s perfect for those working on the move. Did I mention that the First Ascent team used one while documenting their climb to the Mount Everest summit?

Type II: Slow Traveler / Location Independent Worker / Business Traveler

If you are a slow traveler, or someone that travels for work, you will more than likely set up a home base in whatever fun location you find yourself. For you, the laptop becomes your main source of entertainment or income, meaning you need one large enough for comfort, yet light enough for ultra portability when you do move around.

Suggested Model: Lenovo Thinkpad X200

The battery life of up to 9 hours alone is reason enough for road warriors to jump at the Lenova Thinkpad X200. Not only this, but the 12.1″ display and full size keyboard make this model a comfortable home-style laptop in a tough, traveler’s package. For ultra portability, the Thinkpad X200 also weighs in at less than 3 pounds, making it no worse than packing a pair of good hiking boots.

Type III: Budget Backpacker

You’re the most common Lost Girl out there. Traipsing around the world and spending lots of time in hostels, you’re trying to do it all on a budget… and with it all on your back. For you, cost and size are the two most important factors when choosing a travel computer.

Suggested Model: Dell Mini

That’s right, girl! You need something smaller, lighter and cheaper than a typical laptop; you need a netbook! How about the Dell Mini? It features a 10″ screen, Windows XP, a 1.6GH processor and 160 GB of hard drive space for storing all your photos – all for the starting price of $250. A rule of thumb for any traveler is if you can’t afford to lose it or have it stolen, then don’t take it. Luckily, this little guy is cheap enough to lessen that financial burden (if it should become an issue) and light enough (only 2.5 pounds) to keep your pack from weighing you down.

Type IV: Ultra-Light, Experiential Traveler

You’re not the girl for holding onto “things”. In fact, you’d rather not let technology get in the way of your cultural immersion opportunities in the least (i.e. web surfing and blogging when you should be out exploring). However, you do see the benefits of being able to send quick emails and tweets on the go, check flight statuses, find accommodation and check bank accounts from your own device, especially when you stumble upon free Wi-Fi.

Suggested Model: Viliv X70 EX UMPC

This device was voted by UMPCPortal as the best UMPC (ulta mobile personal computer) for 2009, and rightfully so. The Viliv X70 EX features a 7″ touch screen, Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities, a web cam for chatting up on Skype, built-in GPS, Windows XP and more. Better yet, the battery life lasts for over 5 hours on a full charge. It’s tiny enough to make its presence un-burdensome, yet powerful enough to get your on-the-road tasks done.

So, here we have four great laptops or netbooks for four different travel types. Which travel type are you? Did we miss one we should add to our list?

And, of course, there’s also the new iPad to talk about, but we think that deserves another post later on…

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