My international mobile phone setup has been solid — a combination of GoSIM international roaming and Republic Wireless WiFi service. I’m starting to rethink my travel laptop though. I’ve got a Google Chromebook, the Acer C720. I really like it, but the Asus T100 seems like a smarter pick for “real” work more and more. Here’s why.
One Less Charger
The Asus T100 uses a USB charger … just like both my phones. So I’d only have to carry one charger. That’s awesome. The Chromebook uses a dedicated charger — only the HP model charges via USB.
More Options with Windows
The Asus T100 runs normal Windows. Not weirdo Windows RT, regular old Windows. That’s great if your office uses things like programs. With the Chromebook, everything needs to be online, which is both a strength and a weakness.
The battery life on my Chromebook is amazing — 8.5 hours. The only thing better? 10 hours for the Asus. That’s insane.
I’d lose about a quarter pound switching to the Asus. Add the battery charger into the equation and it’s even lighter.
Definitely Fits in a Pelican 1075CC Case
I want this Pelican Case for my laptop. The Acer C720 seems like it’ll just about fit. It’ll be close. I don’t really want to size up to the next-biggest case. The Asus will definitely fit. And given what my bags have been going through, I’d appreciate the protection Pelican Cases offer.
What’s not to like?
Well, the Asus only has one full-sized USB port. The Chromebook has two USB ports and has a full-sized SD card reader, which is nice when traveling with a real camera (the Asus accepts micro SD). The Chromebook is also really easy to share and comes pre-configured to be secure. I’d have to encrypt the Asus and probably slow it down in the process, which is less of a factor if the new, higher-speed model makes it to the US. And the Asus is about 50% more expensive. Still less than an iPad Air, though.
The Best Mobile Office Setup?
I’m starting to think it’s this:
- Republic Wireless phone for all US-based calls (get the Moto G ($150) + the flip shell ($20) for the most bombproof option).
- GoSIM ($20) + unlocked dumb phone ($40) for emergencies and world-wide connectivity. (Note: Dumb phones have amazing battery life, so that’s why you want one of those.)
- Asus T100 2-in-1 laptop/tablet ($350), preferably the one with the faster new processor.
- Pelican 1075CC case for the Asus ($40).
- A Bluetooth mouse ($35) so you don’t hog the single USB port.
- Optional: US business travelers might want to add a prepaid mobile hotspot ($99), like this one from Virgin.
The all-in price for everything on this list? Just under $760. Not bad for an office remodel.