You can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to choosing a notebook. They all aim to balance power and weight against screen size and battery life to meet your specific needs. Consider where you’ll need to take it and the tasks you’ll need to perform when choosing the best notebook for the job.
Lots of grunt
You don’t have time to sit around and wait for your notebook to catch up. It needs to boot quickly and run smoothly so you can take advantage of every opportunity to get things done when you’re out on the road.
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.
Long battery life
The trade-off is that powerful processors demand more of your battery. Thankfully, today’s notebooks tend to offer extensive power-saving options that you can tweak to extend the battery life.
A three-hour battery life might cut it if you’re never far from a power socket, but road warriors will demand more, especially when spending the day on the road or working on long-haul flights. Thankfully, all-day battery life is becoming more common in travel-friendly notebooks, to ensure you’re not left carrying an expensive paperweight late in the day.
The trade-off is that large batteries are heavy and bulky. A slender travel-friendly 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.
You might not be too concerned about weight if you only ever carry your notebook to the car, or if you lug it around in a carry-on bag with wheels. It’s more of a factor if you regularly carry your notebook around on your shoulder.
Usable screen size and keyboard
The trade-off for a slender design is that you can be left with a small screen and cramped keyboard. A small screen also helps extend your battery life, as a large, bright, super-sharp display chews through a lot of juice.
While you might be able to live with a small screen, remember this means a small keyboard. If you spend your days typing, a tiny screen and cramped keys might be a major productivity killer. Pay close attention to these features when choosing the best notebook for the road. Be prepared to compromise on screen size and resolution as you balance portability against usability.
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