Being an interior designer, balancing practicalities with aesthetics is not just my work, but a way of life. While my work is about creating interiors that look as beautiful as they are practical, this concept extends to my own home and even to all the little things that make day to day life and work easier. From a lamp to a coffee machine, a cushion to a laptop, if it’s going to be in my life, it needs to look as good as it’s functional.
As I work in a creative field, the perfect home office for me is a bright, peaceful and comfortable space which allows inspiration to flow, and which has sufficient storage to avoid clutter while at the same time having plenty of desk space to spread out plans, samples and moodboards alongside my laptop. So storage, desk space and comfort are all key considerations, however it goes without saying that the most essential aspect is technology that supports my working requirements. It’s also important for me that this fits in with the aesthetic of my workspace.
There was a time when choosing a laptop would mean sacrificing high performance for portability, but now I can do pretty much anything with a laptop that I can do with a desktop. For me, there are very few limitations of using a laptop over a desktop and in fact the advantages are enormous. While the majority of my work is done at home, I regularly visit clients at their homes or oversee the work on their building projects. I need to be able to discuss the work on site, so being able to take my laptop to client visits is very helpful. Not only does it save me having to print off lots of things on paper, but I can also make any required changes to the work straight away, saving me time.
When working at home, I also love the flexibility of being able to change the scenery if the mood strikes, and work on the kitchen island or on the sofa (or in my garden on a warm sunny day!).
The only slight disadvantage is that a laptop screen is smaller than a desktop monitor so there is a lot of scrolling when I am working on detailed drawings. I could resolve this by having a larger screen and keyboard to dock my laptop into in my office, but it’s not enough of an issue to bother me at present.
It makes a huge difference to my work to have a laptop that I can easily carry around with me, as I often need to show my clients what I am working on for them. On client visits I also carry survey equipment which can be a bit weighty, so it helps if the laptop isn’t adding too much weight to my carry load and is easy to pack away and take out when needed.
In my work, I am trusted with a lot of personal and proprietary information and can’t risk any of that falling into the wrong hands, so the security features are incredibly helpful.
The fingerprint reader is fantastic. Whenever I’m away from my laptop, particularly if there are other people around, I lock my screen and it is reassuring to know that the information on my laptop is protected as only my fingerprint can be used for access. At home, it is helpful to know that my young kids can’t get up to mischief on my laptop when I am not around! A quick fingerprint read is all that is required for me to sign in, so I no longer need to remember obscure login passwords.
I use the privacy filter whenever I have to set up a temporary workstation on a client site. It works very well, making the screen visible only to me when I am sat at the laptop. It appears dark and unreadable to anyone else in the vicinity. I will probably be using this filter at home too for Christmas or birthday shopping!
I have got into the habit of keeping the camera shutter closed unless I am on a video call. It is reassuring to know that this prevents unwanted capture of images whether accidental or if any malware ever gets through the laptop’s security system.
Battery life is a key consideration for me, as I’ll often have to spend several hours away from home at a client’s home or building site, and I don’t want to have to take a charger with me, particularly as building sites may not have a working socket where I need one. This laptop has a great battery life and I’ve not yet had to shut it down while away from the office. It does depend on what work I’m doing, though. Tasks such as image processing or renderings can make the laptop work quite hard and use up the battery quicker.
The faster the storage speed and performance is, the less you notice it. Thanks to the SSD, the laptop boots up quickly, applications respond quickly and waiting for files to save or copy is almost a thing of the past. It’s only if I am dealing with really large files that I even see the file-copy dialogue box.
Besides the features discussed above, the quality of the screen is a high priority for me, as I deal with colours and detail. A comfortable keyboard and a responsive trackpad also matter a lot, and crisp speakers are nice to have. Overall elegant looks also go a long way for me personally. This laptop ticks all those boxes.