IntroductionI start writing this article sat on a bench in Aberdeen train station, freezing, as I make my way back home to Sheffield. I've been up here for a few days visiting my Dad in hospital (get well soon you old git!) and the concept of the virtual office has me firmly in its grasp. Being a journalist, a large chunk of my job is writing articles like this, and since all I really need for this part are working keys and a screen to see the key presses, having a laptop lets me get work done while I'm on the move.
The funny part is I don't have a laptop of my own. Whenever I need to do the road warrior thing, I pick up the megaphone and aim a blast of expletives in the general direction of the HEXUS.high-ups, hoping they'll sort one out. That complicated process involving the swearing is cool, though, since it results in a different laptop each time. Also, the nature of the game means that when I ask for a loan laptop for some out-of-office work, I usually end up with something fairly decent with which to tap out my prose.
I enjoy the process, too. I get to test drive a bunch of different notebooks outside of the bounds of the official review process, over a longer period of time than I'd have with a review sample, in more of the ways that most people use their notebooks. It's not that we don't use the notebooks we review as they were intended - far from it - but we generally don't lug them them around as much as we'd ideally like. Time pressure is a cruel mistress at times.
So it was with honest enthusiasm that I had the pleasure of taking an ASUS V6-V with me to Scotland for my little trip in recent days. ASUS were also kind enough to loan me the same V6-V when I made the trip to Ibiza recently to cover the ATI Radeon X1K launch event for HEXUS.core, so to get it back for the Scotland thing would let me cement the impressions I had of it the first time.
Awesomely, I also had a Pakuma Akara K1 to haul the V6-V in. A laptop bag that doesn't look like one, the Akara K1 is designed to take notebooks up to 15.4 inches in size in relative obscurity, the point of the design being that it doesn't advertise you're carrying something expensive and worth stealing.
What follows are my first-hand impressions of the notebook and Pakuma bag in mini review styleé. No tedious benchmark analysis, no comparison platforms, just "is this stuff any good, doing what I need it to do?", answered from my point of view.