Moving to an Ultrabook

Ultrabook_aspectsI typically upgrade my computer around every two years. I always buy laptops (I can’t even remember the last time I owned a desktop) and when I’m at home, I use a desktop monitor, extending the screen onto my laptop.

My husband and I like the RV lifestyle, and I’m used to taking my writing on the road. Have laptop, will travel! With this in mind, when I upgraded a couple of years ago, I opted for a big gaming laptop with a 17″ screen and 1.5 terabytes of storage. It was fast and it was power-hungry. So power-hungry, in fact, that we were not able to charge it from an off-road power pack. Furthermore, it weighed a ton: it was not comfortable on a lap, and was a chore to lug around if I wanted to take it to a cafe.

The battery life for this monster was only around an hour and a half, and it took forever to power up and power down.

With a longish trip coming up later this year, I decided to go completely in the other direction and bought a super lightweight UltraBook, weighing less than 1.2 kg. It has 256 GB of solid-state storage, of which 6 GB is allocated to RAM. It is ready for work 6 seconds after I press the ‘start’ button; powers down in around 4 seconds, and the battery lasts four times longer than my previous laptop.

It’s so light that when I’m sitting with it on my lap, I tend to forget that it’s there!

I’m delighted with it. I did buy an external optical drive so I can read or burn content to DVDs, but judging on the use the optical drive got in my last laptop, it will rarely be used. I also bought a pocket drive with 1.5 GB of storage, and I’ll keep all my old files (and iTunes) on that. Not to mention movies, photos, etc etc.

Buy external drives for storage, CDs and DVDs.

Buy external drives for storage, CDs and DVDs.

I did contemplate buying a laptop that had a touch screen, but decided against it for this round. The technology is still quite new (for laptops) and I’d rather wait until it’s tried and tested. 

Finally, I bought a small, lightweight backpack to tote around the Ultrabook and external drives when we travel. This is perfect; easy to store, and just big enough for the ‘extras’.

A small backpack to store everything for travel.

A small backpack to store everything for travel.

If you’re in the market for a new laptop, it’s worth taking a look at the UltraBooks – especially if you carry your computer around with you a lot. Team it with a desktop monitor when you’re at home, and you’ll find it a pleasure to use.

Team your ultra lightweight laptop with a desktop monitor

Team your ultra lightweight laptop with a desktop monitor


Moving to an Ultrabook — 8 Comments

  1. I’m currently using a seven-year-old MAC Book Pro. I really need to get a new laptop because my MAC is quite heavy (aluminium case) and I have arthritis in my wrists and elbows, which makes it painful to move it around. Mind you, anyone without osteoarthritis wouldn’t have a problem. I also have a 3 year old Toshiba satellite laptop, which I can’t use without a wireless mouse because the touchpad goes spacko and jumps around in a document when you type an ‘e’, an ‘i’ or an ‘o’, so you end up typing a whole lot of rubbish. I think I need to upgrade after 7 years, but while ever it keeps working…
    Lyn Churchyard recently posted…Friday Fictioneers – There Be Monsters HereMy Profile

    • Lyn, you’re very patient. I’d be driven crazy by having the document do weird things when I typed certain letters!
      If you have arthritis, then that’s all the more reason to get a lightweight computer. If you like Macs, the MacBook Air is another lightweight.

  2. Lyn, I have had this trouble. What you do is plug an external mouse into one of your USB ports and then turn the touch pad off. I was told what I was doing was leaning on the touchpad while I was typing and causing problems. Someone fixed this for me, but I suspect if you google how to do it, it will come up with instructions. Since then I’ve had no problems at all.

    • I have a little button just above the touchpad on my Toshiba Ultrabook – it toggles the touchpad on and off. Most laptops have this somewhere in the settings. Google your model and see if you can turn it off.

  3. Hi Marge
    I have used a note book for the past two years. I would not go back to a desk top /laptop for anything now. 4hours battery ,easy to take with me and a keyboard.(I like to type and the feel of the keys, cant be doing with a touch keyboard).

    • I’m with you, Jenny – can’t imagine returning to anything heavy now! But like you, I do like a responsive keyboard. I’ve tried some of those flexible keyboards and don’t like the feel of them at all.

  4. Hi Marg,
    thank you for this valuable info. I am way overdue for an update and wasn’t sure of which way to go. I don’t like working in a cafe and rather like my office but in the summer its nice to sit outside in the garden and work.

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