For the longest time I’ve wanted a laptop to travel with so I could write while on the go. Work, breaks, hotels at cons, anything so I didn’t have to stop writing because we were away from home. But laptops seemed pricy, and easy to steal, break, or generally mess up. Plus the laptop we did have was pretty heavy, though I liked the larger screen.
What isn’t heavy, ultra expensive, and doesn’t take up much room? A tablet.
I found a kindle fire for as low as $30 right now for Christmas discounts. Add a folding blue tooth keyboard for $30 and you have a basic computer for $60. There are word processors available on the store, it’s wifi capable, and you’ll even find lots of free games on amazon.
The set up I have was a little more. My keyboard came with a case that folds into a stand. There are also several kindle fires available, some have ads, some don’t, and storage size is different (but remember they take memory cards). You can choose which is best for you. And you may want to purchase or subscribe to a writing program that backs everything up online for easy transfer of files. There is a way to load Google play onto a kindle, that way you can get drop box, but it does take a little work.
If you get an iPad or Android tablet you can possibly avoid the side loading process. Buyer beware though, there are copycat tablets out there that run Android but don’t have Google play, and the one I purchased couldn’t load many websites because it was missing drivers. Then I couldn’t update anything because it wasn’t Google ready.
The word processor I’m using isn’t as great as scrivener, but it gets the job done. In fact I’ve found it’s easier to turn off my internal editor because it isn’t constantly underlining my miss spelled words. Maybe someone will make a scrivener style app for kindle someday. (Hint to any developers out there. I’d pay for it!)
Here is my set up.
The keyboard is smaller so I wouldn’t recommend it for long writing sessions, but it’s perfect for short sessions, or writing down scenes when you are away from home. If you want a better set up there are full size blue tooth keyboards that you can get. They will also work with the kindle.
My set up when it’s ready to go. Light, compact, and flips open. Only thing I’m missing is screen protector.
If you’re a savvy eBay buyer (if you aren’t, hit me up for the short coarse) you can buy a comparatively nice laptop for around $100 and there are several version of Linux you can install to turn it into a safe, affordable writing-machine. Scrivener isn’t available on Linux but there are some other alternatives (if LibreOffice isn’t adequate for your needs). https://alternativeto.net/software/scrivener/?platform=linux
The easiest way to make the transition from Windows (or Mac) to Linux is by having a nerd on tap who can help you over any hurdles that arise. Check to see if there’s a Linux User Group in your region and get on their email group if they have one or attend a meeting and see if you hit it off with someone knowledgeable. If that doesn’t work for you, feel free to hit me up. I’ve been helping people transition from Windows to Linux since 2006.
That’s not a bad idea, but I have to admit I like the plug and play effort of windows, so I’ll be sticking to my android tablet for now.