The appeal of ultra-portable computers is kinda self-explanatory: they’re ultra portable! Or that’s the idea, at least – the combination of light weight and low profile means you can take them just about anywhere. Anywhere? Well, let’s see. In conjunction with our friends at Samsung, we’ve equipped one of our intrepid editors – specifically, Music Editor and general man-about-Flavorpill Tom Hawking – with the new Samsung Series 9 laptop and sent him off on a trip likely to really put the machine through its paces: a journey through Africa for three weeks! He started off in Cairo, and after an epic journey down through Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Mozambique, he’s arrived at his final destination: Cape Town.
As my plane touches down in Cape Town, the captain gets on the PA to go above and beyond the call of his landing-announcin’ duties and wax lyrical about the city in which we’ve just arrived. “Welcome,” he gushes, “to the most beautiful city in the world.”
It’s late at night by the time I arrive, and all that’s really to be seen from the taxi into the hotel is a whole lot of swanky-looking restaurants and a whopping great football stadium that my driver tells me was refurbished for the 2010 World Cup. I’m staying in the beachside suburb of Green Point, and since all the swanky-looking restaurants are closed by the time I venture out, I only brave a short walk and then go back and crash.
This means that it’s not until the morning that I see what Mr Pilot was talking about: Cape Town is gorgeous. Green Point is a five minute walk from the Atlantic, which crashes into the sea wall alongside a park where happy, healthy residents jog and push prams and stop for their morning coffee. The streets are green and spacious and idyllic, the air is clean, and the scenery is stunning, with Table Mountain a constant dramatic presence beyond the city’s skyline. It’s only the electric fences that are a constant presence along the top of the high brick walls that surround people’s houses, and the signs proclaiming the presence of sophisticated alarm systems and armed response teams, that suggest that maybe not everything is quite as rosy as it seems.