TL;DR – Sometimes the smallest laptop isn’t the best option for a traveler. If you live on one machine then maybe sucking up the weight for power isn’t a bad idea. If you have a tablet then there is no question
My apologies to my blog readers for two things:
- That my blog has not been updated in N+1 more months than it should have
- That it has taken a very travel oriented slant as of late
I blame both on starting an international engineering firm, but it has forced me to change my habits (what do you mean I don’t have time to blog on only 4 hours of sleep!?!) and learn to get smarter with my travel.
In my list of essential travel technology I had listed the iPad and 11″ MacBook Air as the perfect travel setup and I hold to this assertion for those of you in extreme travel situations. For me though, the 11″ MacBook Air is getting REALLY old when stuck in a hotel room dialed into a bridge trying to present a spreadsheet (scroll…scroll….scroll…) or realizing your neck is killing you. It’s just not a great machine to be stationary with.
For some reason my eyes are getting worse with age and not improving like a good bottle of Scotch. I have begun to reevaluate the setup and took note of my travel habits. It breaks down to this:
- Arrive at airport. Go through security and find the lounge.
- Sit down and work until the last possible minute and then head over to the gate.
- Get on the plane and use my iPad to hunt-and-peck type quick replies for the landing.
- Walk to rental car or towncar and ride to hotel.
I began to think back to when I had done serious work on my tray table with the Air I couldn’t have completed with a bluetooth keyboard and the iPad. Tough realization was that other than some Virtual Machine and coding work (which was more related to boredom than need at 35,000 feet) I had entirely lived on my iPad and iPhone on the plane. It is a royal pain in the arse to pull the laptop out and connect the power adapter between the seats up. The iPad battery life is phenomenal for this and it has become my goto for travel.
So the Air saves me one thing and that’s weight running through an airport. The lack of horsepower at home with coding and Virtual Machines (4GB OF MEMORY ONLY?!!?) is making my pipe dream of a single travel/home machine less realistic.
It sounds like I am dogging the MacBook Air and its truly not the case. I have owned every 11″ model since Steve Jobs released them and if I was backpacking around Asia or something I wouldn’t think twice about buying this new model, but for life now its just not a good fit. As a great blog writer put it “buy the computer that fits your needs today, not tomorrow.”
I punch this blog post out from 35,000 feet along with a volley of emails (hi team! I am flying so I am catching up on notes!) on the Zagg portfolio case. It’s not perfect, but it would be helluva lot better if I knew I was going to my heavy lifting on a screen later that wasn’t the same size.
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- Nick Schmidt lives passionately in the digital world advising and advancing technology everywhere he goes. He has served in the US Air Force, been a self-employed consultant, a senior manager and chief engineer at Boeing, and now co-founding and running Spec Ops Technology. Decorated in his military and professional career you can find his work in the nations networks and across the web.