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Recommended hardware for day trading digital nomads

Recommended hardware for mobile trading

As the well-prepared day trading digital nomad that you are (going to be), you firstly want to make sure that the hardware is up to the task. Secondly, in todays age of ever-changing size and weight restrictions on hand luggage by airlines it also pays off to travel light and compact without sacrificing performance.

So without further ado, here’s a few suggestions for setting up your mobile trading rig including a budget option that shouldn’t exceed $500 (by too much).

Digital Nomad Trading Laptops

Huge screen but lightweight for under $2000:

Check current price: LG Gram 17
  • 17” WQXGA 16:10 (2560 x 1600) IPS LCD Screen
  • 13th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1360P CPU
  • 32GB LPDDR4X 4266MHz RAM
  • 1TB NVMe™ SSD
  • Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201 and Bluetooth 5.1
  • Weight 1350 g (2,99 lb)

Powerful and ultra-portable for under $1000:

Check current price: DELL XPS 13
  • 13.4” FHD+ 16:10 (1920 x 1200) IPS LCD Screen
  • 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1250U CPU
  • 16GB LPDDR5 5200MHz RAM
  • 512 GB NVMe™ SSD
  • Killer™ Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2 x 2) and Bluetooth 5.2
  • Weight 1150 g (2,59 lb)
  • 12 hour battery life

On a budget? Go renewed/refurbished for less than $250

I’m personallly still using my DELL Latitude 7300, which is perfectly fine for any trader on the road in my humble opinion.

Check current price: DELL Latitude 7300
  • 13.3” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS LCD Screen
  • 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8665U CPU
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256 GB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 5 AC 9560 and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Weight 1250 g (2,75 lb)
  • 10 hour battery life

Portable Full HD monitors

This is a selected choice for the ultimate laptop companion: Experience dual or triple-screen productivity anywhere with these ultralight, ultrathin 14” FHD portable monitors, weighing less than a pound and a half and less than a quarter-inch thick at its slimmest. These business grade quality portable monitors from industry leaders Dell or Lenovo can be had for less than $200:

Check current price: DELL P1424H
Check current price: Lenovo ThinkVision M14
Lenovo ThinkVision M14d portable monitor for digital nomad trader with 16:10 aspect ratio and 2240 x 1400 pixel resolution

Efficient plug and play: Easily set up your monitor(s) with a single USB-C® cable transmitting both video and power for efficient plug and play.

Versatile design: Conveniently set up your monitor to the left, right or behind your laptop; the dual USB-C ports on each side allow for versatility and better portability.

Power pass through: Work without disruption with power pass through functionality.

Easy and modular: Enjoy the convenience of USB-C connectivity and its efficiency in connecting to Dell USB-C systems and devices.

Specs: 14″Full HD 16:9 (1080p) 1920 x 1080, 2xUSB-C, DisplayPort 1.2, weight 590 g (1.30 lb)

How many monitors should I get?

Clearly presented information is key for successful trading. If you’re trading one particular futures contract one external monitor is probably enough but to actively track US stocks I’d strongly recommend two external monitors. Both of the above monitors can be connected via the available USB-C ports for total of 3 displays incl. the laptop screen.

Must-have accessories for day trading digital nomads

USB-C Mobile Adapter

Check current price: DELL DA 310

Featuring the widest variety of ports available, the compact 7-in-1 Dell USB-C Mobile Adapter – DA310 offers video, network, data connectivity for wired Internet via LAN, and up to 90W power pass-through for your laptop.

Weight 80 g (0,18 b)

Its downstream USB-C port supports power pass through and is ideal when your laptop does not have any more USB-C charging ports.

Widest variety of ports: Featuring the widest range of ports available that includes 2 USB-A ports, 1 USB-C, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 VGA and 1 RJ-45 port. The mobile adapter offers seamless connectivity to various devices like monitorsi, projectors, headsets, keyboard, mouse, flash drives and other accessories.

Multi-functional USB-C port: With a USB-C downstream port that supports power pass through, video and data, you can connect to a monitor at up to 4K resolution at 30Hz, get up to SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps data transfer and 90W power pass throughi to your laptop.

Neither breaking our back nor the bank

Overall, the total weight for this professional traveling trading setup consisting of the (2-in-1) laptop plus two external portable monitors and accessories would be less than 2,5 kilograms!

In the cheapest configuration, we should manage to stay under $1500 for a mobile trading rig that will definitely do for a couple of years.

Travel accommodation and high quality co-working spaces

Forget those images of “successful” traders trading from the hotel swimming pool or sitting under palm trees with a laptop. Same goes for a quick trading session from your hotel room still in your underwear. 

Real traders take this profession serious and make sure that they have a conducive and reliable environment to optimize trading performance when on the road.

On top of that, internet connections in hotels can be finnicky and sitting in a coffee shop is maybe not the best place to focus on your streamlined work processes in preparation for a trading session.

So what are we to do here?

Flexible workspace solutions for digital nomad traders

Sky Cafe at JustCo's Samyan Mitrtown location in Bangkok, Thailand

Wework’s All-Access program is a godsend for any digital nomad trader who seeks a truly global solution.

At the point of this writing, Wework has 749 opened locations in 121 cities around the world. Check out the currently available locations here.

Of course there are also local or regional co-working office providers that are worth a look if you plan on staying for an extended period in one location such as Singapore-based JustCo, which also has multiple locations in Bangkok, Jakarta or Tokyo.

Hotel or Airbnb?

My personal tip is to pick a hotel or Airbnb that is close enough to your desired co-working office to maximize the benefits of social interaction during your voluntary commute but not too far to become a hassle.

Also, if you’re staying for longer than a month, Airbnb hosts often give you a significant monthly discount. In such a case, you could make the apartment your hub for exploring other parts of the country on your trading-free weekends without the constant nuisance of check-in/out. 

Now that you have a good idea what you need to prepare for a digital nomad trader lifestyle, get out there and explore the world on your own terms.

January 16, 2024

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