New Travelling Companion Needed

My travelling companion for the past four years is slowing down. Sluggish in the mornings and quick to tire in the afternoons, my Sony Vaio is not the machine it was. Not even a new battery has put a spring in its step. So it’s time to find a new laptop. I want a 13.3in screen, a good battery life and an optical drive.  I don’t need much. No bells or whistles. I’ll only be using it for word processing, surfing, organising contacts and storing music. Netbooks are too small – but I like their stripped-down functionality.

Any ideas on a decent machine that will withstand a bit of bumping around (I know the optical drive will pack up after a while – but they are useful when you are on the road and someone has a disc of pics etc) and costs less than £500?

7 thoughts on “New Travelling Companion Needed

  1. I can recommend the Dell XPS M1330. It costs about 600 quid, but it’s the right size, lightweight, works very well, more than enough features. Haven’t travelled with it far and wide, but so far mine has survived my 2-year old dropping it, drawing on it, breaking the disk drive (which I fixed) and generally giving it a good pounding. So far, it has not objected to Khartoum either.

  2. Not sure if you need a new machine if you’re only doing a bit word processing and web browsing. You’ll probably get by with a daily defrag and some more memory – both of which would certainly help to improve its performance. With luck, you might be able to get 2GB of memory, you’ll find the scanner here:

    Otherwise, I’d go for an ACER or ASUS if you really fancy a new machine. Best to get a protective rubber case too though, try: or similar. Have fun.

    Best wishes


    1. Cheers. Well something in the battery (or possibly a new power cable) is messing with everything else. Optical drive broke down a long time ago. A friend cleaned up the harddrive and stuck in extra RAM last year, which made it seem as good as new. But now it just seems to be on brink of major meltdown. Doesn’t seem to tolerate Google Chrome at all. Been looking at Acer timelines. They seem to do what I want them to do

  3. Second that. I had one for work and it was just perfect. Very lightweight and fast; proven to travel well in dust and grime, too.

  4. Thanks Steve, was very keen on the Dell Vostro v13 – moderately specced, but light, small though not too small etc. Sadly would have arrived after I was due to leave the country. Bit shoddy by Dell I thought – almost a month to deliver, and even that wasn’t guaranteed. Anyway the 3810TZ looks good.

  5. Aren’t Dell supposed to be relocating to Czech republic or somewhere? Or maybe, they have supply problems!? Anyway, I thought you were going off to Pakistan or somewhere similar?

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