Taking a Laptop vs Tablet on our Trip

We are currently trying to work out what electrical devices to take along with us. It’s a hard one and we’re always changing our minds. We would like to take one or two iPhones, as well as a Kindle or two aswell… but that might be excessive! Argh!

Do we

a. Take a small laptop (Apple Macbook Air 11″, Asus eeePc)
b. Take a tablet (eg. iPad or Galaxy Tab)
c. None of the above

What are the main things we will we use it for?

Uploading and editing photos for the internet
Making awesome videos
Writing diary entries and blog posts
Posting stuff on the site

A size comparison between the two shows that there is not much between them!


+ Will do everything we want it to and often in a manner better than a what a tablet is capable of
+ Can have current files from home on a computer with us

– Relatively large size and weight (iPad 500g lighter and 6cm narrower)
– Quite valuable (more than twice the cost of a tablet)
– Will need to take a HDD for backup (additional weight of 228g)
– More fragile than tablet
– Protective case alone will weigh ~300g
– Charger weighs 194g and will take up considerable space
– Comparatively short battery life (5 hours)

Total additional weight over an iPad:
480g+228g+300g+194g = 1.2kg (a bit over 1kg once the iPad is protected well)
We would save another 250g by using an iPad instead of a second Kindle
So all together a 1.0-1.5kg difference and a considerable increase in bag space required


+ Relatively small size and weight
+ Editing photos and movies is simple
+ Able to be charged via dynamo hub
+ Long battery life (10 hours)
+ Can double as an e-reader
+ Takes a SIM card (albeit micro-sim)

– Multitasking, copy and paste, dragging and editing writing is a pain. (So is the auto-correct on iPad).
– Harder to transfer files to USB or another computer
– Updating the device is difficult with no computer
– No opportunity for backup of device
– Easier for issues to occur and information to be lost
– Typing takes twice as long as on an iPad
– Website editing not as easy – in fact we’d probably want to do it in an internet cafe
– App reliability inconsistent
– Cannot stick a blue network cable into the side

Take nothing

+ Saving of 1-2kg
+ Can type in internet cafes easily enough
+ Posting on the site will be not a worry in an internet cafe

– Uploading and editing photos will suck
– Paying for internet cafes will suck
– Making movies will suck
– Could be hard to find good internet cafes when we need them – time wasting and frustration will suck!

I’m sure this will take another few months to sort out. We are currently liking the lighter weight, smaller and more resistant tablet option, however, we are struggling to know if we can live without a computer! (Too Gen-Y by far!)

  1. I find typing on the iPad almost as fast as a PC in landscape mode, once you get used to it, and you can do backups to the cloud so no need to connect to a computer.  I have both a pc and an ipad in front of me at the moment and I would choose the iPad for a tour as it’s lighter and more robust.

    Get in touch once you’ve decided your route in Europe, if you’re passing through Switzerland then I know a couple of places you could stay if you ask nicely!


  2. Thanks Neil.

    I wasn’t sure how slow/fast backups to a cloud would be. I’m imagining some pretty shady internet about the traps! I guess some backups are better than no backups…

    Last night I found a device called the Maxell Airstash A02. It creates a wireless signal to send information across to computers and the ipad. It has a built in SD card reader so we will be able to upload and transfer photos/videos from camera to iPad. The information can go the other way too, so a document can be written in pages – exported to .doc – sent to the airstash – uploaded to a computer via the USB port. We are also able to fill SD cards with videos and stream directly to the iPad. This should be good for countries with limited wireless connections!

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