For many bloggers, especially full-time ones, travel is a necessary part of life. What sounds on the surface to be a perfect profession for homebodies can be anything but. A professional blogger will likely find themselves leaving the comfort of their home office quite often, especially if they work in a field where events and meetups take place at frequency.
There are plenty of reasons a blogger or content creator would need to venture out of your house now and then. Conferences and other industry events are a prime example, and occur in virtually every industry of interest.
Meetings with sponsors, clients, and PR teams occur quite often. You might even find yourself simply wanting to get out of the home office now and then to stretch your legs and work in a new environment.
This doesn't mean you should have to lug around your desk on your back. You can actually get quite a lot done with a relatively small set of essentials. Your smartphone, for example, can work in a pinch as a camera, audio recording device, and of course communications.
Unfortunately, you wouldn't want to write a long-form article on your smartphone.
Let's get one thing out of the way. You may work from a desktop at home, even a small one like a Mac mini, but you will need to have a laptop at your disposal if you wish to get work done on the road.
Not just any laptop will work, either. A giant 17.3-inch desktop replacement sounds great on paper, but will give you more than a backache during travel. In fact, the vast majority of good laptop bags and accessories out there are made for laptops around 15-15.4 inches or less.
A laptop with poor battery life, or an inferior keyboard will also make being productive on the road difficult. You need to find a good solution with plenty of power, battery life, and a set of essentials that meets your needs.
One very popular laptop choice for bloggers right now is the MacBook Air. It is thin, light, and equipped with enough battery life to last throughout that long flight, or day at the coffee shop. It's also remarkably peppy, with a decent processor and SSD storage standard.
The MacBook Air is a well-rounded option with enough power to get the job done. It runs Mac OS X like a champ, despite not having the quad-core processors or retina display featured in the Pro line.
At less than 3 lbs., even the 13-inch version feels as light as a feather in a bag.
If you do a lot of video editing, or need something with greater RAM capacity, the MacBook Pro may well be a better choice for you.
For folks that prefer non-Apple Windows machines, there is an upcoming contender which has a lot of the same design pizazz as the MacBook Air, but with enterprise-class hardware and impressive connectivity options to boot.
The HP EliteBook Folio 1020 is fitted with a lightweight body consisting of magnesium-lithium alloy and carbon fiber (carbon fiber available in the special edition) and a spill-resistant keyboard that is incredibly easy to type on.
The advantage of this particular solution is that you're getting a machine that isn't just made with business-class hardware, but it has business-class security software baked right in. This includes HP SureStart, HP BIOSphere, and HP Touchpoint Manager. The optional thumb scanner is a nice touch you won't find in most consumer solutions.
The EliteBook Folio comes with an Intel Core M-5Y51 or M-5Y71 processor, each based on Broadwell technology at an energy-sipping 4.5w.
You also get the advantage of a microSD slot which you can use to expand your storage a bit, beyond the included 128-256GB SSD storage.
The EliteBook Folio 1020 is coming soon.
When it comes to laptop and tablet combos, few options are as appealing as the Surface Pro 3.
As a PC, it has excellent hardware including 4th generation Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 dual-core processor options, up to 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage.
With the touch or type cover, it becomes a 12-inch laptop fit for the mobile professional. You might not want to use it on your lap as it really requires a solid, hard surface to be comfortable to type with, but it is more than capable of holding its own against similarly-priced laptops.
As a tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is exceptional. It isn't the thinnest or lightest option out there, but it looks and feels great in the hand. Its sturdy construction and bright screen make it one of the more business-friendly solutions in the convertible space.
The Toshiba Chromebook 2 is a great choice, if the only thing you really need your laptop for is logging in to your blog and typing up a post on the road. It is light, compact, and perfect for light work on the Web.
The Chrome OS has become a lot more than just a glorified browser. It has expanded its offline capabilities considerably, giving you the ability to write blog posts, create and edit Google docs, and other basic processes between Wi-Fi hotspots.
At about $250, the price is hard to beat. The 13.3-inch screen and excellent battery life makes it an easy choice for a blogger on a budget. You may not have all the benefits of a full-fledge operating environment, but for a mobile blogger, it will work in a pinch.
Keep in mind that you will run into obstacles if you use the Chromebook as your primary work machine. Photo editing can be done using Web-based tools, but you will not be able to run full, native copies of your favorite software as you would on Windows, OS X, or more complete Linux-based operating systems.
Lenovo makes one of the most popular convertible options on the market today. The Yoga 3 Pro is thin, light, and capable of being used in a variety of position. The Yoga branding is taken quite literally by Lenovo, as this laptop can be bent and used as a standard laptop, a tablet, a stand, or in a tent position making it easy to do things like read recipes or watch movies while you work.
It comes with the Intel Core M-70 processor, a mobile version of its latest-generation architecture that allows for low-powered, fanless design. The downside here is that they are underpowered when compared to Core i3, i5, and i7 processors.
If you're using the laptop to bang out some blog posts from the road, you will likely not notice a slowdown at all. If, however, you are using the laptop to edit HD video, you might be better served by a more powerful machine.
Where the Lenovo Yoga has its maximum appeal is in its flexibility. It works just as well as a tablet as it does as a laptop. You don't need to attach or detach accessories to make the conversion. Just flip the screen around and go about your work.
If you are looking for more great laptop options, or simply a list of things to look for, we have penned a guide for finding the perfect laptop for Web development in a previous blog post. While Web developers have a slightly different set of software requirements, the same basic list of needs are pretty much the same.
Whatever your choice, remember that your laptop is simply a tool. It is up to you to find a workflow and process that works best for you. Blogging professionally means being able to quickly and accurately relay information.