Friday, July 1, 2011

Selecting a Laptop and External Hard Drive to bring to the Peace Corps

Having a computing background, I have become the automatic technical support to family and friends. This is a blessing and a curse. This helpful guide has been created in order to assist current and future volunteers who are considering purchasing a new laptop or external hard drive.

Helpful General Advice:
While I have my own biases on electronics, I would recommend bringing a device that you are comfortable using. Make sure to test out the product prior to packing it away. It may be necessary to go to your local electronics store to check out their products, and compare their prices with online companies in or to guarantee that your getting the best price. 

Assessing your needs:
Before looking at the various products that are available, you should do a basic assessment concerning your needs and the environment you will be encountering. Ask yourself these questions to get a general idea of what you should be looking for in products.

  • What will be your main purpose for your computer?
  • Besides the main purpose you are getting the computer, what else will you be using the computer for?
  • Will you be carrying your computer around?
  • How long do you think you will be using the computer?
  • Will you be encountering any extreme temperatures?
  • Do you have an preference in color, size, or company?
  • Will anyone else be using your computer? If so, please answer the questions concerning the second person?
  • Do you have any weight restrictions for the product?
  • Do you drop items easily?
External Hard Drive
  • What will you be storing on the hard drive?
  • What are the top 3 things you will be storing on your hard drive?
  • Will you be traveling with your hard drive?
  • What other items will you most likely be bringing when you travel with your hard drive?
  • Will you have a consistent source of electricity when using your hard drive?
  • Will you be encountering any extreme temperatures?
  • Do you have any weight restrictions for the product?
  • Do you drop items easily?
Based on the questions above you should get a good idea of how much space you will need, your ideal battery life for the electronic, the size, color, etc.

Selecting a Brand to buy:
In terms of brands, I would suggest pick a brand your familiar with, ask around, or research. In the end you want a product that you feel comfortable with and are able to use.

Additional Items to Consider:
In addition to considering a laptop and/or an external hard drive, consider buying a computer lock, computer case, a computer bag, an additional battery, a laptop fan, etc. Accessories may save you in terms on ensuring that your electronic device is secure and long lasting. 

Most importantly, inhale and exhale, selecting a laptop and a external hard drive is really not that bad.

Useful Links:
I have listed below some sites that have great deals: 



iogburu said...

Additionally, please be mindful if electricty will be an issue. If this is the case, I would recommend looking for a computer with a good battery or buying a second battery for your computer. Additionally, if electricity is an issue, I would invest in an external hard drive that does not rely on electricity.


Brandon Hudson said...

Nice post with awesome points! Can’t wait for the next one.

Acer - 14" Touch-Screen Laptop - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive - Silky Silver (V5-471P-6605)

Acer - 11.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - 4GB Memory - 128GB Solid State Drive (S7-191-6447)

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