May, 2014

Independent Girl's Backpacker Diaries - Traveling Light with LIVA

I am usually busy with online auctions in the south so when I eventually managed to take some time off for a backpacking tour of Taipei, I wanted to travel light while staying "connected". I poked around the shops and the Mini PC seemed to be the answer.


After shopping around, I eventually settled on the LIVA from ECS because it was compact and affordable – It cost less than NT$5,000, this was a deal too good to be missed. When I got home and opened the box, I found that the LIVA was quite easy to assemble and took up no space. Once it was hooked up to the TV I could surf the net and do word processing just as if was a normal PC. My online auctions could now move out of my room and into the comforts offered by the spacious lounge room and large TV ^^


The LIVA came in a quite colorful packaging ^^


Going on a Trip - Independent Girl's Backpacker Diaries

Instead of the bulky notebook, I decided to take my new LIVA with me to do all the value-adding on my backpacker trip.


After confirming with the hotel that they have Internet access and their TV has an HDMI port, I stuffed the LIVA, HDMI cable, keyboard and mouse into a small bag. Once the bag and my spare clothes were in my side backpack, it was time to set off.




The LIVA is light, portable and can be packed into a single side backpack along with other items.


It was past 9AM when I reached Taipei so I planned an itinerary with sights that could be reached by UBike and the MRT and then got started. First, I visited Tamsui Old Street to catch the cool sea breeze and get something to eat. I wondered around until 2PM then headed over to Taipei 101. Looking up from the foot of Taipei 101 was an awe-inspiring experience. Next, I went shopping in the East District to enjoy the fun of "splurging out" XD. My last stop before heading back to the bed & breakfast was the Shilin Night Market (how can you visit Taipei without touring a night market?). Since the bed & breakfast was near the night market, it was really convenient. There were a lot of people but being a food lover, I had no trouble eating and drinking to my heart's content.


Riding the UBike made me feel even more like a backpacker


Eating and drinking in and around Shilin Night Market


After eating, I returned content to the bed & breakfast to call it a night. The bed & breakfast was quite reasonably priced for Taipei. It had a resort-like ambience and even the bathroom had a special design, giving it a really high CP-ratio.



After inspecting my room, I took out the LIVA with much excitement in order to upload all the pretty photos I took today to Google Drive and post a few on Facebook to show-off.
There was just one problem - the hotel's power socket was too far away from the TV. I had an idea though - I took out my power bank and tried to power up with that and it actually worked. The LIVA consumes just 15W of power so it is really energy-saving.


I quickly hooked LIVA up to the peripherals (it took less than 3 minutes) and voila, I basically had a compact PC on my hands.



Powering up with a power bank


I was immediately truck by how quickly LIVA booted up because I was at the Windows interface in a flash. As LIVA supports 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi cards, surfing the Internet and file transfers were all really easy because Wi-Fi is used so extensively in Taipei. The LIVA has 32GB of internal memory that I use to store frequently used information/multimedia. I use Google Drive to store all of my other random stuff because you receive 15GB of cloud storage space when you apply for a Google account. Uploading your data to Google Drive seems like a good choice to make the most of LIVA's memory. After sorting through the photos, I started uploading.


I don't like extra hassles so I didn't bring my external HDD or USB drive on this trip. You may want to bring them if you need more space. Remember to connect external HDD or USB drives that support USB 3.0 to the USB 3.0 port (blue color) on the LIVA because this will speed up the transfer~!


Uploading photos to Google Drive


After uploading my photos, I had nothing to do so I used it to watch online videos. The videos loaded very smoothly and there was absolutely no lag. Everything went perfectly except for the fact that I didn't buy any midnight snacks!


Snapshot of Youtube video


After kicking back and watching an episode of TV, I was beginning to feel a little sleepy. I was about to hit the bed when I remembered that I forgot to check my auctions . I immediately rushed through the customer feedback and confirmed a few orders. Hey, what can I say? The ability to make money away from home is what independent girls are good at. Good night zzZ~


I wrote this post to share my insights so I won't link back to my personal auctions here. If you are really interested though, check out the "Cosmetics" category~


This backpacker trip was a great success. LIVA was of really helpful to a Net addict like me. Being able to work away from home and costing less than NT$5,000 makes it a great bargain. I am already looking forward to planning my next trip and the LIVA will naturally be top of the list when deciding what devices to take with me next time.


PS. The LIVA's peripherals include a really cute speaker. If you want one for free, remember to follow the ECS website at (I am told there will be a lucky draw so stay tuned. I am already plotting to get my hands on one for my next trip ^^)


Light, compact and cute speaker

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