Your office in a backpack
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There’s some basic gear no mobile worker should be without:
- A small, light computer like the HP Mini. Its energy efficient Intel processor means it’ll last hours on a single charge. If you need more power, get a full-size notebook instead or a high-powered but ultra-portable HP EliteBook with Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 processors.
- A smartphone. Trade your five-year-old brick for a smartphone that lets you check email, view websites and even read and edit documents.
- Power essentials. Although clever power management in Microsoft Windows can extend battery life, it’s wise to take your charger, plus a socket doubler to avoid plug-jostling. Taking an extra battery or choosing a long-life battery for your notebook can keep you going all day.
To access the internet, you’ll either need a wireless network or – to get connected from nearly anywhere – a mobile broadbandconnection. Some HP notebooks have a slot for a SIM card so you can connect to mobile broadband without any extra equipment or you can buy a plug 3G modem.
Carefully chosen accessories will add minimal weight to your bag and can make you more productive:
- Noise-cancelling headphones. Loud cafe? Busy train? A good pair of headphones can give you peace and quiet. If you take lots of phone calls, consider a Bluetooth headset too.
- A mouse and wrist rest. Working on a laptop can be an ergonomic nightmare. Carry a portable mouse and – depending on your laptop – a wrist rest to stave off aches and pains.
- The right low tech. It’s not all about electronics. Stick a decent notepad and a few pens into your bag. If you tend to scribble notes on scraps of paper, organise them in a zip-up folder.
Mobile working poses some security risks. To stop people seeing what you’re working on in public, consider using a screen guard to block their view. And to avoid drawing attention to your kit when you’re in the street, don’t use an obvious laptop bag. Instead, use a padded laptop sleeve inside a nondescript bag. You can buy computer accessories from the main HP website.
If you need any help with your computer – your software, hardware or website – join us on Twitter (@BitsyTalk), between 11am and 12pm on Tuesdays, using the hashtag #TechTuesday. Find more advice, and let us know you’ve been helped, right here on our website, in the Tech Tuesday group.
Photo credit: abbilder