Lock and load
Portable computer sales have been growing faster than those of desktop machines for a number of years. According to one recent report by market researcher IDC, laptops, notebooks and Tablet PCs will make up more than half of all US PC unit sales and 40 per cent of worldwide PC sales by 2007. In other words, by the time your current hardware is obsolete, there’s a 50:50 chance you’ll replace it with something that can be carried around.
And why wouldn’t you? There are three very good reasons why portable computing continues to grab market share. First, being able to take your computer to where you want to use it is extremely convenient. If you need your computer for work or study, having instant access to all the programs, files and other digital things you need, can make you much more efficient.
Second, the price and hardware specifications of desktop and laptop computers are on a collision course. A few years ago you could expect to pay between two and three times the price of a desktop PC for a similarly configured portable, albeit with a smaller screen. Today the price difference is closer to 50 per cent on top of the price of a desktop machine with a conventional cathode ray tube (CRT) screen. Consumers and business desktop users are increasingly switching to flat, laptop style, LCD displays which, in some cases, reduces the premium paid for a true portable machine to small change.
Third, wireless networking makes portable computers much more practical. Thanks to Wi Fi you can now get online quickly while you’re on the move. We should also mention that the modern notebooks built around Intel’s Centrino chips have massively improved battery life, which further improves mobility.
Sooner or later, anyone who is serious about mobile computing is going to need some kind of computer bag. There’s a huge choice these days, from affordable backpacks to spiffy custom made leather briefcases. To some extent what you spend depends on your personal taste and budget. If you have the money you c Pandora Bracelets ould spend hundreds on dollars on something that really looks the part when it’s time to take the keyboard on a first class trip across the Pacific.
When choosing a bag, you need to look for something that is practical, comfortable and provides adequate physical protection for your hardware. It should also have enough room for all your additional computing bits and pieces though thanks to Wi Fi and increased battery life this is less of an issue than it once was.
You also may need some extra space for non computer stuff.
All of the bags reviewed here are waterproof to a degree they’ll get your machine home safely in the case of a shower.
Start by thinking about exactly what you plan to do with your computer, what physical hardware needs to be carted about, what else needs to be accommodated, how you intend to travel between locations and the nature of the places you intend to travel to. These issues will point you in Pandora Bracelets the general direction of the type of bag you need to buy.
The next Pandora Bracelets step is to consider your comfort. Sensible portable computers start at about one kilogram but more commonly weigh nearer two kilos. Depending on what other hardware you need to carry, the total weight of your system could reach more than 4 kg bags typically add a further 2 kg. A total of 6 kg is not much to lug from your car to your desk, but it can be a problem over longer distances.
Backpacks can ease the burden by spreading the weight over two shoulders and, as a rule, they are more ergonomic than single strap bags. Choosing a backpack can also help disguise the fact that you’re carrying an expensive laptop computer. This may be especially attractive for students. That said, none of the bags reviewed here advertise what they are used for.
Pick a bag that matches the size of your laptop if your own a cutdown notebook then you may be able to choose more compact carry ware.
If you prefer a more elegant alternative, choose a bag with as wide a shoulder strap as possible. Look for easy to open zippers and extra flaps to keep out water or dust.
Belkin NE TL Standard Top Loading CaseWith a total of 22 separate compartments and pockets in various sizes, some with zips, some with Velcro fasteners and some with neither, you should find room for plenty of phones, MP3 players, pens, bus passes and discs. A padded, suspended pouch protects your notebook. STM’s Loop Backpack is designed for people who need a lot of carrying capacity. The bag doesn’t have a suspended pouch, but there’s a removable false bottom as well as front and back padding to protect against shocks. There are only 11 compartments and pockets, but the bag is roomy enough to accommodate plenty of accessories.
If you aspire to business class, then spend the extra on the luxurious Targus Premier Leather Case. It will carry your notebook and show the world you mean business at the same time. Belkin’s Top Loading Case might not have the same cachet, but it will do pretty much the same job Pandora Bracelets at an affordable price. Students might prefer the two STM models.
When packing a laptop bag, distribute the weight as evenly as possible. This reduces the stresses on the bag, which will help it last longer. More importantly, if the contents are well distributed, the bag will be more comfortable to carry.