Working on a 13-inch laptop
Thread poster: Maciej Szemiel

Maciej Szemiel
Local time: 17:26
Polish to English
+ ...
Aug 1, 2015


in my work I have been using a 15-inch laptop. Since I move a lot around the city its weight started to bother me... I'm thinking of purchasing a 13-inch laptop but I have no experiance in working with this size. Maybe you can share some of your experiences? Is it comportable?




Egidijus Slepetys  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:26
German to Lithuanian
Yes, it is comportable Aug 2, 2015

I even moved from 13,3" to 12,5", resolution - 1366x768. Eyes get used to this size very quickly, don't get afraid, if you feel weird for the first couple of days.


Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Screen Aug 3, 2015

I presume you use a separate screen(s) when you are home/in the office.

I have 17" laptop and when I work outside home (very seldom, indeed), I still find it's small (especially when editing documents, where you need both files side by side). This is the reason I have a large screen on my desk.

Just how can one edit a file, with source and target text side by side, on a 13" screen?


2nl (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:26
That's hardly possible Aug 3, 2015

Merab Dekano wrote:

Just how can one edit a file, with source and target text side by side, on a 13" screen?

That's hardly possible. If at all.

Light stuff, in an ergonomically designed CAT tool (that doesn't waste screen real estate) is very well possible on a 12" or 13" screen.

All the heavy stuff (regarding visual requirements) has to be done on an external monitor, connected to the light weight laptop.

For instance:


(But it doesn't have to be a Mac, of course)


Kieran Sheehan  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:26
Member (2008)
German to English
Use an additional USB monitor Aug 3, 2015

When working on my laptap I use an additional compact USB monitor such as Lenovo's thinkvision.


Bo Wang  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:26
Member (2014)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I have a 14-inch Aug 3, 2015

I use a 14-inch laptop both at home and outside. It is light enough for me to carry around. I can't see any size smaller than 14 is enough for our work. 15-inch screen is a good balance between size and weight. Even with 14-inch, I consider buying a large monitor for some work at home. In my opinion, Do not torture your eyes by using a 13-inch laptop.


Georgie Scott  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:26
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
I really regret getting mine Aug 3, 2015

I wish I'd gone for the 15-inch. But maybe then I would have complained about the weight and size when carrying it around.

I work with a second screen at home but it still annoys me on a daily basis.


Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:26
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Small laptops/netbooks Aug 3, 2015

I have two laptops. The one I work on at home is a 14.5" (something like that, all I remember is that it's slightly smaller than the 15"). For the same reason as you have posted, I bought a 11" to work on while travelling. To be frank, it's meant to be a last resort as it's really not comfortable working with such a small screen, and the hardware is already not performing as well as I'd hoped. That being said, for the price I paid (about USD 380, came with a full suite of Microsoft Office), so long as I can get 2 years or so of work out of it, I'm happy, since that feeling of being able to carry a workable 11" around in comparison to a 14" is simply astounding. I also have issues with my shoulders, so yes, I am more inclined to buying these small netbooks which will do the trick when it comes to word processing and simple browsing.


Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:26
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
small Aug 4, 2015

My backup notebook is 12" 16:9. Sounds small, but is has flmost real-size keyboard (95%) due to wide (16:9) body. And it is light. The next size, 13", is really bigger and 13" PC-cases is the next size of cases.


Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:26
English to Spanish
My everyday computer is a 13.3\" laptop... Aug 8, 2015

... and has been for the past 3 years. I\'ve never been uncomfortable working on it.

My backup computer is an 11\" laptop, and I use it as a last resource only.


Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:26
Member (2008)
Italian to English
POint Aug 8, 2015

The whole point of a laptop is that it should be small and lightweight. If you can\'t fit it into one of those little flip-down airline seats with the turned-up sides, it\'s too big. A laptop should never be the translator\'s main computer. To work properly you should either have another desktop computer, or the laptop should be able to run in clamshell mode (with the lid shut) and drive a large external monitor that\'s wide enough to display two A4 pages side by side.

And BTW (off topic) why can\'t this website display apostrophes correctly?

[Edited at 2015-08-08 20:46 GMT]


Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:26
Finnish to French
Laptop as main computer can be just fine Aug 17, 2015

Tom in London wrote:
The whole point of a laptop is that it should be small and lightweight.

Mine is: 1.3 kg, yet has a 14.0" display (2560x1440), an i7 CPU and a 500 GB SSD.
Tom in London wrote:
A laptop should never be the translator’s main computer.

That’s a peremptory claim. My laptop is my main working computer and all my other computers are laptops as well (I’ve been desktop-free since 1999), and I’m a happy camper.
Tom in London wrote:
And BTW (off topic) why can’t this website display apostrophes correctly?

If you’re using Windows, you’d want to have a look at this blog post of mine on how to get nice curly apostrophes icon_wink.gif


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