Going lightweight has always been a passion of mine. How light can I be? It’s not just a comfort thing, although comfort is nice. But when you have fewer physical things, there are fewer things to worry about. Or said another way, when you have everything you need and your expectations of what said needs are is set low enough, you are not inconvenienced by anything.
First, let’s talk about comfort. My main laptop is very light (I say main laptop because I have a half a dozen of them – most out of commission). It’s a Windows Surface Book and it’s amazing. Lots of great features, plenty fast, great battery life, and can act as a tablet or a full computing environment. That’s great, but it’s also heavy, or at least compared to a smart phone. It’s heavy enough that if I were able to shrink it down to handheld weight I wouldn’t want it as my phone. The aspect that I like about the phone is it’s convenient because I have it, and I have it because it’s small, light and does a lot of things relatively well.
Comfort means two things, comfort to carry said device on your person and comfort to carry it as you travel. I find that the modern cell phone is light enough I don’t actually notice when I’m carrying it. And it’s also light enough that it’s a shoe-in for long travel where poundage matters to the total ability to travel without being inconvenienced by the addition weight.
Second is the burden of traveling with the device. There is a large mental consequence to worrying about your possessions. Since carrying a laptop with you everywhere is unlikely, if you care about your equipment you need to trust nothing will happen when you leave your bag under the table at the restaurant while you’re in the bathroom, worry about it but do nothing, or be the nut job who carries their laptop to the bathroom.
I personally think enough of my brainpower is spent worrying about the physical whereabouts of my computer equipment that I’m less effective at socializing and moving around from place to place. If I can avoid worrying as much because my equipment is with me at all times, I can dedicate the mental resources to the business I’m there to attend to. It’s a huge burden lifted.
I have traveled Internationally with just a burner phone and no laptops for years. I can say it feels a bit naked but also extremely liberating to be traveling with everything on your person and knowing if any of it is lost there’s very little financial damage done.