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Why Your Next Laptop Should be Japanese, And How to Buy It

I'm the kind of guy who's so dependent on his laptop that it makes sense to always have the best one for my needs. I'm willing to go to extraordinary lengths for a good laptop, because it's probably the one item I own that directly impacts my productivity.

I've had my trusty Sony Vaio Z12 for two years now, which is a personal record for laptop longevity. Until very recently, no other laptop existed that was so powerful and light that also had a full 1920x1080 high-gamut panel (for non-nerds, that's a really amazing screen). However, ever since Asus announced their UX31A and UX21A, I've been ready to switch. The UX31A is similar to what I have now, but slightly less powerful and way thinner. The UX21A is a lot more exciting to me because it's an 11.6" screen model, which means that it's 15% lighter than what I have now, half the thickness, and can be kept in my backpack when I go through airport security.

The only problem? Asus is taking their sweet time releasing the UX21A in the US. The UX31A has been out for a month, but no word on it's smaller sibling.

The solution: buy the Japanese version. You may not know that Japan tends to get laptops before the US gets them, and for some reason, they tend to have better specifications. For example, in the US the UX21A has a 1.7gHz processor, but in Japan it has a 1.9gHz processor. Eleven percent faster. It also comes with a matte screen, which I prefer to the glossy ones sold in the US.

Our two-year journey choosing a pop-up camper

On LifeWeTravel

My wife Sue and I have spent the past two years visiting many types of camper facilities in our quest to find the perfect camper for our needs. We’ve toured the factories at Sportsmobile, Four Wheel Camper, XP Camper, EarthRoamer, Hallmark, Outfitter, and Phoenix, and we visited the Overland Expo last year.

In the process, we’ve documented and written up each of those experiences in separate posts to provide you with an insider’s guide to purchasing a camper. Our goal was to do the hard legwork ourselves so you wouldn’t have to, and to document what we saw with honesty and transparency. In this post, I’m summarizing what we’ve learned in this two year journey. Hopefully, you’ll find this guide a useful tool in your decision making process.

First, a bit about us and our priorities:

We have been looking for a camper we can live in for an extended period of time (6+ months) while also having a vehicle we can still use as a daily driver. We’re looking for a camper that we can easily take on weekend or week-long trips, as well as a vehicle that we can take offroad on medium-difficulty trails (like that hard-to-reach deserted beach).

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