The Perfect Travel Laptop? (which doesn't break your wallet)
Recently, my fellow blogger Lukasz discussed how his Surface Book was his perfect travel laptop.
I have to respectfully disagree. Not because he’s wrong, (because its a fantastic device) but because its so eye-wateringly expensive. £1500! Not on my salary!
But, I found a hidden gem for a third of the price…the Lenovo Miix 510, and in the process, I may have stumbled upon my perfect travelling computer.
During a particular post whilst a junior doctor, I was doing a lot of teaching. This involved lots of presentations and the like. It was then that I realised that my 15in 3kg Laptop which I had in my rented flat as a desktop replacement, wasnt exactly that mobile. I was in need of a laptop that was actually portable.
I like the idea of convergent devices, and was fascinated by the Microsoft Surface line. Unfortunately they were always a bit out of my price range, at least if I wanted a decent spec. Plus keyboard covers and stylus pens had to be purchased seperately adding to the cost. The increrased cost also leads to questions of safety. Carrying around £1000+ laptop in my bag which is travelling to lectures and then back into operating theatres on my clinical days just didnt sound very sensible. (And to think we’ve now got to £1000+ phones, its a muggers paradise out there)
It was during this time, that I came across the Lenovo Miix 510. It can be best described as a surface clone. It is a tablet with a hinge and it has a keyboard and stylus INCLUDED. £500 all in.
The specification I got wasnt groundbreaking, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Core i3. However it was (till this year) the latest 7th gen Intel chipset. Looking at a few benchmarks (yes I know they can be inaccurate), I could see that the i3-7100 in the device was easily equivalent to a 6th gen i5, maybe even a 5th gen i7 (which the 2015 Dell XPS had). This was going to a be a portable device, I was never going to do massively intensive work like video-editing, or playing games. So this was plenty horsepower for me.
To my genuine surprise….this has been brilliant. My search for the perfect laptop had been on for 3 years, and i went through multiple devices (see my other post) all of which had a “deal-breakerr” problem. But this has lasted the longest. It does everything I want it to do, its stylus is very useful, (even Lenovos apps are pretty decent with the stylus). The keyboard is decent (though not the best) and its really good for watching NetFlix etc with loud sterospeakers and a 1080p screen. Battery life is average, but bearable and not a deal breaker.
Now that the device is 1+ years old and new versions (the 530 for example) have come out, its price drops make it even better value.
If you want the best, get a Surface Book 2. If you want to still have some money for food and shelter I’d say buy a Lenovo Miis 510