What laptop, phone & other gear do you use?


(Renée Van Holsteijn) #1

Last years I’ve been working on my company’s laptop. But I’m leaving, so time for a new laptop and a new phone. I’m starting as a freelancer, so need to work from home and at coworking spaces.

Are you all Mac freaks? Or are there Chromebookers in here as well? What laptop do you use for your work as a community manager? In addition: do you do a lot of work from your smartphone? Any recommendations?


(Mohammed Rafy) #2
  1. I use a Lenovo G40, 14-inch laptop. It’s easy to carry and can get things done easily. Added extra RAM, though.
  2. Yes. I do work with a smartphone, LeMax 6.33 inch smartphone which is good for multitasking.

(Shreyas) #3

Hi @reneevh,

I’ve been using a Macbook Air for all my work. Light weight and easy to carry around. If you’re used to the Apple ecosystem, it’s hard to use others.

Tip- Try to use the same OS for work & personal stuff. Otherwise things can get really confusing. I have a friend who used Mac at work and Linux at work- went on for about 2 weeks and then decided to buy a Mac.

I don’t work on my phone. I’m usually connected on my laptop. Phone’s are for all the personal stuff. Super distracting because of notifications. I don’t even have Slack and Trello installed :grin:

If you’re also managing social media and do some media editing work, which requires photoshop or video editing softwares, I’d definitely suggest a Mac. Otherwise, it’s just all on the web.

Pro-tip- If you’re planning on getting a new device, it might be a good idea to work on the same OS as that you were previously working on. Reduces the time taken for transition. :relaxed:


(Sarah Hawk) #4

I’m also a fan of the Macbook Air. Packs a high power–weight ratio. It’s also got enough guts to act as a dev machine when necessary.

I try not to work on my phone, outside of responding to messages on Slack if I’m on the run and someone needs me.


(Gear Buzz) #5

12" Macbook
iPhone 7 plus & loopy case
Bose C30 blutooth headphones

I do 30-40% of my work on my phone.
My vari-focal glasses are custom made to give me more “Reading edge” at the bottom

(I only ever access this forum via phone btw)


(Kristen Gastaldo) #6

I have a work-issued MacBook Air as well, but all our devices are Apple around here. I try not to work on my phone as well, but the Jive app isn’t so bad, when you need it. Plus our team operates quite a bit on Skype still (moving to Zoom as a company).


(Frank Field) #7

The company I work for gave me a Dell Latitude E7240. It’s fine. I like the touchscreen. But the size of that screen is a little small. At home, I have a 2012 Macbook Pro that I upgraded with more memory and a SSD. Hums along really well. When it craps out, I’m actually considering a Surface Pro. Some folks around the office have them, and I have to admit that they’re pretty nice. Again, touchscreen… If not that, I will likely go Macbook Air for the reasons stated above.
My phone is a Moto X 2nd gen. It was made when Google owned Motorola, and that is probably key to my experience with it. I love it for the MotoVoice features. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. I can tell my phone to post to social media, send emails and texts and it just does. I had nothing but iPhones from 2007 onward, but Siri just doesn’t hold a candle to MotoVoice (or OK Google, as I guess it’s called now on Pixel). My phone will soon be replaced. I’m going to give iPhone a shot when they announce the new hardware this summer/fall. If it doesn’t blow me away, I’m either going Google Pixel or OnePlus 4. Probably Pixel. It JUST WORKS, and I like stuff that just works.

I use Jive for my community and Jive has an app (iOS and Android) that allows me to moderate content and post to the community. I only use it for moderation and the occasional reply. It’s great to moderate content via the phone for the sole reason that it makes me appear to ALWAYS be working, which the community members clearly appreciate. But it’s not hard to swipe a couple of times and be done with it.
I HIGHLY recommend the Google phone. Can’t say enough how it reminds me of the joy of using the first iPhone. I can use my community on any laptop. I hate the build quality of my Dell, but it functions. I would love a Mac with a touchscreen, however. Not a fan of TouchBar.


(Sarah Hawk) #8

That’s a really interesting point. Is that something important to you as a community member?


(Frank Field) #9

HAHA! It’s almost 9pm and I’m going to bed and you are keeping me sucked in here AGAIN, @HAWK! hAHAHAH!
No, I don’t really care personally, but I AM impressed by it.
I’m going to bed! Ha! Good night!


(Jay Pfaffman) #10

I really like the reviews from The Wire Cutter. Here is there what laptop should I buy post, which I think does a good job of helping people understand the trade-offs, even me, and I’ve been a computer educator for a couple decades.

EDIT: The other good way to decide what laptop to buy is to go to a wholesale club like Costco and buy the one that you find most appealing visually and to your wallet. They don’t have many to choose from, and it’s a good bet that none of them are horrible choices.

It seems that Apple is mostly abandoning the much-loved Air series. If I were to buy a new laptop today at any price, it’d probably be a Dell ultrabook, but mostly because I’d be running Ubuntu Linux rather than Windows and don’t care what cruft Dell puts on it. I’d get my wife a Mac, as I don’t ever want to support anyone using Windows ever again if I can make that happen. If money were an issue, I’d be more likely to buy something like a cheap (< US$700) asus or Acer.

I mostly work at home on my desktop, which I built out of components selected individually. (Actually, my wife built it while I mostly watched.) There was a long time when one couldn’t save any or much money building ones own computer, but it seems like you can save a little money if you don’t mind not having support.


(Sarah Hawk) #11

Oh no! Really? Did you read that somewhere – (I didn’t see it referenced in the article you linked to)? That would be very disappointing.[quote=“Jay_Pfaffman, post:10, topic:4972”]
as I don’t ever want to support anyone using Windows ever again if I can make that happen.
[/quote]

Amen to that.


(Jay Pfaffman) #12

Indeed. And they’ve already abandoned the 11", so even if I wanted an old slow laptop, they still won’t sell me the one I want.

From http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/which-macbook-should-i-buy/

I was recently in an Apple store seeking help for an intermittent wifi problem. It seemed far-fetched that there would be any help for my out-of-warranty Macbook Air, but I had time to kill in the area. I was totally impressed with the “Genius”, who cleared some setting and Lo! The wifi problem has not reappeared since. All that to say, I talked to him about how it seemed that the 11" Air was gone. He didn’t think that was right, and then we went and looked at the offerings there was no 11" to be had.

What I want is a fast desktop with lots and lots of screen real estate (when I double my old professor salary I’m getting two 4K displays) and a small-as-possible laptop so that when I go out I don’t have to think “Geez, should I carry my laptop? I probably won’t need it, and I hate having it in my bag. But what if I need it?”

TL;DR, get a MacBook Pro 13", or an older Early 2015 MacBook Pro if you really, really want USB 2 ports.

The MacBook Pro is now almost as small as the Air, but it’s still bigger.


(Renée Van Holsteijn) #13

Thanks for your 2 big cents, @Jay_Pfaffman. http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/what-laptop-should-i-buy-the-best-laptops-for-every-need/ looks good, I’ll dive into this one.

Do you recommend a refurbished Mac? I’m on a budget, want to spend between €400-€650. Problem is: don’t know for sure what I’m going to do on it. Mostly Wordpress and community work, but since I’ll be travelling, it could be that I’m going to vlog during my trip (oh yeah, the hype).
So my laptop doesn’t have to be top notch, but just good enough.


(Jay Pfaffman) #14

It depends on who’s doing the refurbishing and what their warranty is like. If you trust them, then, sure go for it. I’ve bought numerous refurbed products over the years and don’t remember getting burned.

If all you’re doing is a little web browsing, then the specs mostly don’t matter. If you’re travelling, like real, full-time traveling, you want the lightest thing available, you might even consider a netbook. You could almost consider something like a tablet with an external keyboardhttp://amzn.to/2jxkv5H). The only rub with a tiny computer is that you need more space to back up your photos. When I was living in a van I had a netbook that I’d carry plus a bigger computer that would stay in the van that would backup the photos (and there was a backup hard drive).