July 13, 2024

Travel Gear That Works

Travel Laptop Computer

Apple MacBook Pro with Task Bar - Image by Apple
Apple MacBook Pro with Task Bar – Image by Apple

I’ve done a fair bit of traveling and I’ve used a variety of travel laptop computers on my journeys over the years – laptops that I’ve used for my photography editing, writings and postings.

iPad Air 2 – Apple image

Several years ago I actually moved to using iPads, most recently an iPad Air 2. It was, of course, very lightweight and great for travel.  It worked out really well for simple tasks such as e-mails and social media postings. Coupled with a great keyboard / case combination from Zagg it was protected and really very nice for typing.

zagg ipad air case
Zagg Folio Case for iPad Air 2 – Image by Amazon

I was able to make the combination work for most tasks on my journeys through China, India, and Southeastern Asia. But more challenging and demanding tasks  frequently involved finding various “work around” ways of doing things.   As I said, I could make it work, but it required some fiddling and less -than -ideal compromises.  Some of the largest short comings were the iPad’s limited storage and also the compromises involved in using “app” versions of software.   When I travel, I do lots of photography and need ways to quickly store, back up and then fully process images (Photoshop is my software of choice.)  These demands have only increased as I find myself shooting more video with both cameras and aerial drone.  Finally I admitted, the iPad was just not getting it done the way I needed.  It was time for me to search for a better solution.

In pursuit of the “perfect travel laptop” I searched high and low. (By the way, I should say I strongly recommend that a person select a laptop according to their own personal needs.  What works for me may very well not be the laptop for you.) Prior to starting my search I put together a list of what I wanted / needed in my new laptop. The criteria were rather demanding.  I wanted: 1) Lightweight for travel, 2) Small and easy to transport/pack, 3) Powerful processor to handle image and video editing, 4) Ample RAM to handle multiple, demanding tasks, 5) Large hard drive / storage capacity,  6) Ample ports for connections to external devices (camera, hard drive, flash drive, iPhone, etc.) 7) Good responsive keyboard for extended typing, 8) High resolution screen for photo editing, 9) Touch screen, 10) Ease of sharing with my various Apple devices, 10) Long battery life, and 11) Reasonable cost.  Admittedly that’s quite a list – and also rather unrealistic to some degree.  But in my examination of various laptops I felt that the more of those boxes I checked off, the more satisfied I would be with the laptop I selected.  I tried a lot of laptops.  Believe me, there are lots and lots of laptops out there.  I actually purchased two, trying them out for several days before returning them, having decided they wouldn’t really work for me.

I’m pleased to say that I am now writing this article on my new Travel Laptop.  What is it?   It’s a 2017 model MacBook Pro with task bar.  I selected the 13 inch model for travel size and boosted the RAM to 16 GB and the SSD hard drive to 1TB. With that configuration it “ticked” off many of my  criteria boxes.  But no, of course it’s still not “perfect”.   It has no touch screen. It only has the new USB-Type C ports (4 of them) so to use older devices you need an adapter. And as with all things Apple, it was a bit pricey. Still, on balance it seemed like the best for my needs.  So far I am very pleased.  I feel that for me and my purposes – it’s Travel Gear That Works.


What laptop or writing/photo editing tool(s) do you use on your travels?  Love to have your comments and thoughts.


Use Travel Gear That Works……..And Enjoy The Journey!


Travel Photography by Bruce W Bean


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