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Creator, Guide

How to Get Creative Work Done on a Train, a Plane, or in a Café

Aug.10 2022

Author: ASUS    Reading time: 7-8 min.

photographer sitting outdoors, editing photos on ASUS ProArt Studiobook laptop for content creators, with his camera and a cup of coffee near him

Aug.10 2022

Content creators, professional photographer or videographers, digital nomads, and influencers…many of these need to work on the go. Whether it's combining your snaps from the day into a summary montage at the end of an event, creating sports competition highlights, or publishing brand new travel content from your latest trip, you need to work anywhere — and fast! Working away from a desk (and the accompanying desktop PC) is becoming an everyday reality for many content creators and creatives.

If you find yourself doing quick edits while moving to the next shooting location, or have a bit of downtime between client visits, you may be wondering how to make your on-the-go creative work more efficient and effective. Here are some tips for you.

Get the Right Computer for the Task

Typically, desktops are preferred by professional creators as their performance tends to be superior to laptops, and setting up a multi-monitor workstation with dedicated peripherals is often the optimum way to edit or create designs. However, if the nature of your job doesn’t allow you to stay at that workstation all day, you're going to need a laptop.

Some creators select gaming laptops due to their impressive spec list. While being a great option, their aesthetics might not be to your taste. At times, you might want to pull out your laptop and show the client the results on the spot, or simply keep a low profile as you occupy a corner in a local café or co-working space. Having a minimalistic, professional-looking machine is the preferred way to go for many.

The great news is, modern laptops tailored for content creators allow you to recreate a lot of desktop-like workflows in a mobile setting, all in an elegant, professional device, and packing serious power ─ even on a par with their desktop counterparts! With the help of these machines, you can get top-notch creative work done wherever you are: be it on a train, a plane, or in a café!

Ensure Your Battery Lasts

The last thing you want is to miss a deadline because you ran out of battery, or not be able to show your client the results of your work as you show up for the meeting.

Solid battery life should be a big consideration when buying a laptop for on-the-go content creators and creatives. Make sure to take this parameter into account when choosing your next computer!

Some software will cause the laptop’s juice to run out faster than others ─ especially creative apps like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or After Effects.

The same holds true for phones as well. Fast WiFi everywhere is still not a given, unfortunately. Many times, you'll catch yourself sharing the internet from your phone so you can download some files from the cloud, check clients’ branding guidelines, or simply look for inspiration online. Opening a mobile hotspot drains the phone's battery quite quickly.

So, if you see a free electrical outlet, plug in! Simple as that. And it's best if you can charge both your laptop and phone whenever you get a chance.

Also, equipping yourself with a powerful power bank that can charge both a laptop and a phone (like the Zenpower Pro (PD) ) could be a good idea for long working hours in places without outlets. Working outdoors, perhaps?

Prepare to Work Offline

The reality is, you'll find yourself in places where no Wi-Fi is available, and your phone will have no signal. Whether it's while flying (if you’re like me and you’d rather not pay for the on-plane Wi-Fi) or while on a shoot in a remote location like a mountain top or an abandoned factory, you may be forced to live the internet-free life for a bit.

It's important to prepare to work offline. Before leaving your home, office, or studio, make sure to download all the files you might need later. If you’re a busy on-the-go creative, you may end up running out of storage at a surprising pace. Storage should be another consideration when choosing the next computer. Opt for SSDs over HDDs if you can ─ your files will load faster, saving your time (and nerves).

Create a checklist of what you absolutely need to get your work done, and make sure you have it all on your hard drive. The list may include client logo files and brand guidelines, photos you’re storing in the cloud, product sales kits, report templates, and more. List everything you might need and double-check whether it’s all available offline.

Enable Desktop-Like Creative Workflows While On the Go

If you’re currently working on a desktop PC, your setup likely looks more or less like this: PC tower, high-quality monitor (or a couple of them), a keyboard and a mouse, maybe a Wacom graphics tablet, an editing console or a special creative keyboard with a number of hotkeys and a dial, an SD and microSD card reader, an external SSD hard drive, a webcam, and a pair of headphones with a mic for online meetings. Plus a whole tangle of cables, too. You might even have a Pantone swatch lying around somewhere as well!

ASUS creator-dedicated laptops pack the whole creative toolbox in a portable form factor. Designed and optimized specifically for unique creator needs, these powerful machines enable fast render times and smooth operation of even the most demanding software.

Many ASUS creator laptops come with dedicated creative tools. ProArt Studiobook and new Vivobook Pro come with an ASUS Dial (either physical in the former, or the virtual ASUS DialPad in the latter's touchpad). Compatible with Adobe creative apps and many Microsoft apps, Dial gives you full control of parameters and workflows, all conveniently and accurately. The tool allows you to quickly move through timelines while editing videos, control zoom, volume, brightness, switch between layers, and change brush size…these are just a few of the functions of Dial. See the video below to learn more!

Discover What You Can Do with ASUS Dial

The unique Zenbook Pro Duo comes with not one, but two screens! The unique design of ScreenPad Plus not only extends your viewing space and allows multitasking, but also gives you even more control over your creative apps. Control Panel in the Zenbook Pro Duo packs preset layouts for After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and Lightroom Classic. It can also be customized to fit perfectly into your needs.

ScreenPad Plus is an accurate touchscreen. With the ASUS pen, you can go ahead and start creating digital art by hand, just like you would on a graphics tablet.

All ASUS creator laptops come with a color-accurate OLED screen that not only provides an amazing viewing experience, with full DPI-P3 color gamut coverage, deep blacks, high contrast and up to a 120 Hz refresh rate. It also helps save your eyes from damaging blue light! The wide viewing angles let you show your work to multiple clients or colleagues at the same time, right on the screen. And with the Pantone Validated certification, you don’t need to worry about the color accuracy either! And if you need to customize the color gamut to suit different needs of your projects, ASUS Splendid technology makes it possible – easily!

Attending online meetings using these laptops is also bliss. A 1080p FHD camera and a built-in array microphone with AI noise cancelation means everyone can see and hear you very clearly, even if you’re working from a not-so-quiet space. Most models come with Harman Kardon-certified audio systems that produce surprisingly high-quality sound for a laptop speaker.

If you wish to plug in your headphones or connect other peripherals, that’s also possible ─ there are plenty of I/O ports for you to choose from. You can easily connect your headset via the audio combo jack, download files directly from your SD or microSD card via built-in slot, connect an external monitor via HDMI or Thunderbolt 4, or download the files from a traditional USB Type-A portable drive. The creator laptops come with virtually every port or connection you might need.

And if you need to multitask on the go, or set up another screen to see the reference as you’re working, you can use your mobile device as a screen extension of your computer. Whether you have a tablet or smartphone, you can just download the GlideX app, and connect your device to your ASUS laptop, then via the app interface select Extend. Your device will become an external monitor. Try it!

Choose the Right Backpack

Depending on what your profession is, you might need different backpacks. But whatever you need to carry, your next bag should have a couple of characteristics.

A dedicated, secure laptop partition is a must. Plenty of pockets, including a tablet sleeve will also help better organize all you need to bring with you. And since you’re an “on-the-go” creator, getting something weatherproof is also a good idea! You may also want to go for the professional look.

If you’re a graphic designer or editor, and your only working tool is your computer and its peripherals, a good laptop backpack will do. Something like the ASUS Triton backpack combines style, storage space, functionality, and weather-proofing to make sure you’re good to go at all times.

If you’re working with a DSLR camera, you have two choices: either get a dedicated photographer's backpack (and make sure it also has a well-protected laptop sleeve) or a regular one that can fit your camera case of choice. The dedicated camera backpack would be more optimal, however, because they’re built with shock protection in mind, so your camera is safe, and there is space for additional lenses, tripod, flashes, and so on.

Adventurous content creators like travel bloggers will need something sturdy and waterproof. Many such creators just go with an adventure camera, so dedicated space isn’t as much of a concern as with a DSLR.

Good to Go!

Whether you're a photographer, a videographer, an audio content creator, a travel influencer, or a 'digital nomad' graphic designer, setting up a mobile workstation just with what you can fit into your backpack is now possible.

In my opinion, buying a dedicated creator laptop will be a pound-for-pound No. 1 game-changer for you when trying to become more efficient while mobile. If you follow the tips in this article, you should feel okay about leaving your desktop PC behind and taking on some cases which you thought to be impossible, without driving a van containing your full desktop setup to the shooting site!

Check out the ASUS creator laptop lineup!