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The beautiful thing about working on the internet & living the dot com lifestyle is the true freedom of location it provides.
It doesn’t matter if your sat in a coffee shop in Amsterdam or hanging out on the beaches of Costa Rica – as long as you have a laptop and internet connection, the world is your office.
Over the past couple of years I have built up my ‘work on the road’ kit by learning the hard way.
For example I never used to carry a network cable, now I do because LAN connections are usually free in hotels/airports where they charge for WiFi which not only saves me money, but gives me a much more stable connection.
Not so long ago I was dealing with a critical issue and only had my phone with me, then the battery died. So now I carry a pocket sized roll up solar charger with it’s own built in battery.
When you work and travel abroad you really need to be ready for anything, but at the heart of all that is the most important piece of kit of all – the laptop.
Your laptop is the heart and soul of your business when you are traveling – it provides the pulse to your business and without it, you are in trouble.
But choosing a laptop for work & travel is very different than choosing a laptop for working at home.
What A Dot Com Lifestyle Laptop Must Have…
When choosing the best laptop to work and travel on the road there are a few things that you need to consider-
- Size – Quite often I travel only with hand luggage so its important the laptop is small enough to fit in a backpack
- Weight – Equally airlines have weight limits and who likes lugging around extra weight? The laptop must be lightweight
- Power – It needs to be quick, you don’t want to waste time waiting for things to load or videos to render
Honestly those 3 factors combined really narrow the choices down. Finding something compact, lightweight and powerful is a tough cookie.
Even though my old laptop was compact and lightweight, it lacked in the power department and I would find myself waiting for things like Word to open even with a clean install.
So when a Dell brand ambassador got in touch with me to reveal their new ultra portable Alienware 13 laptop, the timing couldn’t have been any better.
The Ultimate Laptop – My Alienware 13 Review
The Alienware 13 laptop was released a couple of months ago and I have had it since launch. Let me tell you now, this thing is an absolute beast!
It is easily the best laptop I have ever owned for a number of reasons.
It has already traveled with me across the UK, Amsterdam, Las Vegas & Costa Rica and I even dropped it off a table – not a scratch in sight.
Plus look at the pretty colours-
Weirdly everyone that has seen it has been impressed with the lighting effects, even though it doesn’t actually add any function to the laptop at all.
With that said it’s just as light and portable as my old laptop, except it has 4 times the power-
My Alienware 13 Specs
- Intel i5-420U 2.7Ghz Processor
- 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M
- 8GB ram
- 512 GB SSD
- 13.3 Inch QHD Display
The addition of an SSD drive makes a huge difference. I upgraded my main computer to full SSD a couple of years ago and I forgot just how much of a difference that makes.
If you haven’t experienced the performance increase of having Windows, programs and documents on an SSD drive you are seriously missing out and are spending more time working than you need to.
Pushing The Limits
What some of you might not know about me is I have always being building computers and laptops from a young age.
I worked as a PC Technician for a couple of years fixing problems, building machines – you know the sort. That led on to me managing a PC Repair shop and dealing with local businesses and so forth.
So when it comes to computer hardware, I know my stuff.
Naturally I have pushed the laptop to the limits and was surprised to see it chugging along fine with Firefox running Adblock Plus (huge CPU hog) and 10+ tabs open, Adobe After Effects rendering an animation, Camtasia Studio rendering a tutorial & uploading a file via FTP.
While all of that was going on I was in Photoshop editing and manipulating images and the Alienware 13 handled it like a champ.
That is pretty incredible, especially when rendering 2 videos at the same time that are constantly reading and writing to the same hard drive.
The Only Problem…
The only problem I have found with the Alienware 13 is the black rubbery surface that is around the keyboard.
While its very tactile, grippy and nice to touch – it does leave behind huge greasy trails like a slug has crawled across the laptop.
Perhaps I’m just overly sweaty or something and hate cleaning but it does need wiping down quite a lot.
My previous laptop had an ‘aluminium effect’ inside which rarely picked up smudges, but did scratch easily – so it’s hard to judge.
However I did drop the Alienware 13 off a table by accident onto a hard tiled floor and it didn’t pick up a scratch, just hit the deck and carried on working away.
The only other laptop I have ever dropped was also a Dell (who own Alienware) which cartwheeled down a full flight of carpeted stairs with the lid open and survived to tell the tale!
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it – if you want the perfect laptop to work, live and travel on the road remember it must be-
The Alienware 13 more than checks all of those boxes for me and tomorrow I start a crazy 6 week travel schedule taking me through America, Amsterdam, UK, Greece, Spain & Romania.
So if everything goes wrong in the next 6 weeks you know it’s the laptops fault and not mine because I forgot to pack the charger or something.
But honestly, I think I have found the ultimate laptop to live the dot com lifestyle with the Alienware 13.