Electronics - Computer
We could have done without carrying a computer. We could just use
internet cafes all the time, but we wanted to be able to write our blog
and web site whilst we were offline and then simply upload it to the web
server when we could get a connection to the internet. So we decided
that a small laptop was an essential piece of electronics for us.
After nearly four years of traveling we are now on our 5th laptop computer. Here is a brief history of the calamities that occurred and the different computers that we have used.
Acer Aspire One Notebook
Our first piece of computer electronics that we bought was an Acer Aspire One Pro. We chose it because it was light (1.17kg), compact and had a 64gb solid state disc drive so wouldn't suffer from being rattled about in our bag, or so we thought.
After a year it developed an intermittent fault on the
keyboard that also seemed to stop it from booting-up correctly. Despite
paying to have it fixed when we were in Monterey it never worked
properly after that. In Australia Steve broke the screen and we bit the
bullet, paying for a new replacement, an Acer Aspire One D255E which had a standard 250gb hard disc drive. It was a major improvement in performance and reliability over our first model.
It then worked fine until we got to Thailand and Karen broke the screen
(so our screen breakages score was one each). We tried to get it fixed in Bangkok but the Acer
service center didn't stock that model and couldn't offer a solution.
Arriving back in the UK we found an on line screen repair company. Their service was excellent. They collected the laptop from our
address, fixed it and delivered it back again within two days. It has
worked perfectly ever since.
Throughout our travels we found that there were frequently times when we
both wanted to be working on our web site and so we decided to get a
second computer. We went for the same again, but bought a secondhand one
from Laptops Direct. This one was the slightly lower spec D255
version. It was a "bad 'un" from the start. After weeks of slow or non
existent starts and crashes, we sent it back for a refund. Karen continues to use the one that we bought in Australia and it has served us very well.
Hewlett Packard Pavilion DM1
Having got a refund on the defective Acer Aspire, Steve decided he wanted a more powerful laptop. He chose an HP Pavilion dm1
from PC World. This has a bigger screen (13.1") bigger memory and more
powerful processor. The build quality felt better also. It was
easier for doing a lot of image manipulation and web design work, so it
better suited to our needs although it is a couple of hundred grams
He liked his new computer and everything went well until until one day pitching our tent at a Belgium camp site. We had just got the tent up and the heavens opened. We dived for cover leaving one pannier outside. The one with the computer in and the pannier top happened to be open. Computers don't like having a river flowing through them and for some strange reason it wouldn't work at all after that. Despite trying to dry it out and having it looked at by a PC shop it was pronounced beyond repair. We last saw it lying in a skip at a camp site in Luxembourg.
Toshiba Satellite Z930-13N Ultrabook
Forthe whole of the year following the demise of the HP, we managed with the Australian Acer Aspire laptop, but there were frequently times when one or other of us were working and the other wanted to also. So on our return to the UK in March 2013 we decided to buy another. I know - more money than sense I hear you cry. But hey ho.
Steve got the technology bug again and pawed over the different specs and glossy pictures. Things have moved on and for a bit more money he chose the Toshiba Satellite Z930-13N Ultrabook. He had a merry dance trying to get one on line at the lowest price. After abortive attempts through first PC World and then Amazon he managed to get one through Pixmania (also happens to be part of PC World).
It is a seriously good piece of electronics. It looks great being slim and light. It has the latest Intel i5 processor
The specification is as follows:
- Windows 8 64-bit (pre-installed)
- 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i5-3317U Processor for Ultrabook™ with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
- Toshiba HD non-reflective High Brightness display with 16 : 9 aspect ratio and LED backlighting
- 128 GB
- Steel grey metallic, magnesium chassis, matt black keyboard
- 6,144 (2,048 onboard + 4,096) MB
- DDR3 RAM (1,600 MHz)
- Intel® HD Graphics 4000
- maximum life : up to 8h00min (Mobile Mark™ 2007)
- weight : starting at 1.12 kg
- W x D x H : 316.0 x 227.0 x 8.3 (front) / 15.9 (rear) mm
So now once again we are a two laptop family with all the complexities that that entails.