I have a trip planned for this weekend (to Furry Fiesta) and as I begin to pack, I ask myself the same question that I do every trip:
Do I bring my laptop along for the ride?
I have a smartphone and a tablet and while they both do a decent enough job at keeping me connected to my precious data out in the cloud, I always find myself going back to Ye Olde Laptop. I always need to have it with me whether I’m going to visit my folks or I’m at a convention or yes, even camping.
The most obvious advantage to the laptop over mobile devices is the screen size. My smartphone has a 4-inch screen and I have no desire to get a huge phone (or ‘phablet’ as self-important tech writers call them). The iPad mini is okay at 7.9 inches, but even then, a good chuck of that gets eaten away by the on-screen keyboard, and I have no desire to upgrade to a full-sized iPad or fork out a c-note for a decent keyboard accessory. Speaking of keyboards…
The second obvious advantage of a laptop is the presence of a full-sized keyboard. More importantly, especially to me, as a writer, the laptop keyboard actually has all of the keys. I’ll never forget how flabbergasted I was when I was merrily typing away on my iPad mini’s Microsoft Office program and discovered that there was NO TAB KEY. WHAT. THE. FRAK.
Speaking of ‘having everything,’ the most important benefit of having a laptop is that it has Windows. While iOS and Windows Phone can do lots of stuff, neither one can do everything. Even the Microsoft Office app on Windows Phone feels kind of half-assed (no tab key there, either *sob*) so if I need to do Serious Things I need to have Windows.
Finally, for all my tech knowledge and willingness to try new technologies, I tend to stick to old habits to a certain degree. I still use a desktop, rarely watch video on mobile devices, prefer to get media on physical discs and still have a checkbook. Based on that, it looks as if I’m stuck lugging around my old faithful 14″ Toshiba for the near future.
Or maybe not, I see there are Windows 8.1 tablets out now. Hmm… 😉