MadTECH Computers
Managed I.C.T Services Queensland

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How to keep online when travelling long haul

For busy travellers, it’s important to manage your devices properly so they remain online.  We all know the pain of running out of battery life.  These are the steps I have taken to make sure my devices always have enough battery left for nine or ten hours of travel in one day.

Surface 3 Tablet.

The first thing I did was downgrade from a Surface 3 Pro to a Surface 3.  The reason behind this was portability, charging sockets and battery life.  The Surface 3 pro had a proprietary Microsoft power socket, so you could only use the Microsoft cable to charge the tablet.  Now with the Surface 3, charging is done via a micro USB socket, so I can charge from my seat whilst flying with Virgin.  And I can also charge from a Powerbank. The Surface 3 is more portable than the Surface Pro, being 2 inches smaller, and can truly be used like a tablet.  When used inside tablet case, it is very easy to take to meetings, being so small and light.  It is easy to pull out and start using straight away, and not too big.  If you need to use it for desktop use, I just use an external Keyboard and a Microsoft Bluetooth Arc Mouse.

The other advantage of using the Surface as a tablet is passing airport security.  If you are transporting a laptop, you have to pull it out separately, to get it scanned, as they ask if you have a laptop at security.  With a tablet, you can leave it in your satchel or cabin luggage and let it scan through.  And the tablet is a laptop anyway really when you use it with an Arc Mouse and Surface optional keyboard.  And on some planes, they ask to put away large electronic devices, but this doesn’t include 10” tablets.  You can keep sitting there, enjoying your movie while the plane takes off.

My software configuration of the Surface is kept to a minimum because of the limited hard drive space.  It is possible to install an XD card to expand to another 64GB on the Surface 3 or 128 on the Surface Pro 4.  For light use on the Surface 3, and for travelling, I just recommend the bare essentials being installed on there.  With 2GB RAM, you can’t have too much running on there at any one time.  Normally have Microsoft Office installed, and ESET anti-virus.  Emails are normally read and replied through the browser window, unless I need to sort emails into folders then I use Outlook which I have installed alongside Office 2016.  I normally have Word open which I use for creating website content and MadTECH documentation.

In my browser I normally have the following tabs open: Gmail, Website Backend and Business Social Media accounts for marketing purposes (Twitter and Facebook).  I try to keep only a few tabs open to lessen the load on system resources.   I have a messaging program installed; Viber, which is the best for non-Apple devices and is better than Skype for Video chat.

Cygnett Powerbank

The Powerbank I recommend is the Cygnett ChargeUp Pro Powerbank Model CY1457PBCHE. It has a battery indicator, 11000 mAh capacity, and 1.5 and 2.5V outlets.  It charges via Micro USB as well, and takes about 10 hours to charge from flat.  It comes fully charged, and costs $80 from JB Hi Fi.  There were more expensive models available at the time of purchase, but none had the 11000 mAh capacity, only more bells and whistles. It can only charge devices with MICRO USB charging, something the Pro’s don’t have.

 

Surface Type Cover (Black $179.99)

Just add Surface 3 Type Cover to your Surface 3 to turn it into a highly versatile laptop. One of the thinnest mechanical keyboards out there, Surface 3 Type Cover features everything you need from a keyboard. It’s also super stable, making it great for typing on your lap—or any surface really. And it’s incredibly easy to slip on and take off.

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition $94.95

Inspired by Surface, this special edition Arc Touch Mouse is perfectly designed for life on the go. With reliable wireless freedom, you get a clutter free experience that works from up to 10 meters away. Use it even on a rough wood surface or carpet, with BlueTrack Technology.1 And, it comes with native integration of Bluetooth 4.0.

The touch strip on the Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition responds precisely to the speed of your finger movement, using haptic feedback to scroll vertically.

Experience comfort and elegant design in a portable mouse. Designed to match Surface, Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition has the dark titanium finish of Surface devices.

Shaped to match the natural curve of your hand, Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition provides a comfortable, precise way to navigate your Surface. When you’re on the go, just flatten and slip into your pocket or purse.

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