I’m fascinated by all the laptop computer alternatives available these days. I’ve already contemplated using a tablet instead of a laptop computer, but the issues are always how powerful it is, how long the battery lasts and the price point. I think a mini PC or micro computer would suit me much better.
You can find mini PCs in several places. There’s a slew of them on Amazon.com, and there are obviously more sources. I would prefer a mini PC with Linux preinstalled, but one that’s Windows-ready should work just as well. The main issue I have is price. I paid about $280 each for two different HP laptops, a year apart. The least expensive mini PC seems to cost more than that.
It really doesn’t matter at this point. I simply refuse to consider anything that doesn’t have USB4 USB-C ports. If I have to wait a year or more, then so be it. I also have micro computers to consider.
Micro computers like the Raspberry Pi fascinate me more than the mini PCs. Again, I refuse to consider anything that doesn’t have USB4 USB-C ports. The Raspberry Pi 4 isn’t there yet, but it’s close. I sincerely hope version 5 includes the things I want. I want more than 4 gigabytes of RAM, preferably 8. Web browsers tend to eat memory like candy. Even the Brave Browser I use can’t seem to keep memory usage low enough to avoid swapping.
Stick computers, like the Intel Compute Stick, don’t excite me much. They plug into TV HDMI ports, much like the Google Chromecast and the Amazon Fire Stick, both of which I use frequently. I don’t think I like the idea of keeping my computer stationary and a TV practically requires it.
I’ve viewed many versions of both over the past couple of days. None of them are updated enough at the price point I want yet. Luckily, I have nothing but time to wait these days.
I’m fortunate that I have a retirement routine that allows me to travel from the Philippines to the United States and back again (or vice-versa, depending on your perspective) every year or so. Buying a computer item like a mini PC in the Philippines is far more expensive than buying it in the United States.
I’m not averse to using a tablet for working at home, but good tablets tend to be just as expensive (and in some cases, even more so) as the other laptop computer alternatives.
Until I find something that I like better, I guess I’m stuck using laptop computers to do the things I do every day. I absolutely can’t stand using a cell phone for doing research. I’d much rather someone poke me in the eye with a big stick or something than subject myself to that kind of punishment.