Tablet vs. Netbook vs. Laptop. Which do you prefer and why?
Pros: lightweight, cheap (so I wasn't overly worried about possible theft), worked fine for web browsing and light photo editing with picasa, allowed me to use free wifi everywhere rather than having to hunt down internet cafes
Cons: really really slow (although it's not as though I had anything pressing to do, being an unemployed backpacker at the time), would not have been able to cope with larger sized photos from a DSLR, my phone's wifi broke along the way so it was only useful as a backup way to make really expensive calls home in an emergency (but it did make my mum feel better knowing she could call me if she had to), low quality photos
This year I'm planning on taking my MacBook Air, DSLR and iPhone 5. I am planning on travelling for a month or two and then hopefully settling somewhere and finding a job. If I was just travelling I don't think I'd want to take the expensive technology but I'm planning on living abroad for at least a year and doing some part-time online study so I want better technology. I also really regretted not taking my DSLR on my last trip so I'm looking for a setup that lets me edit larger photos.
Pros: MacBook Air is lightweight, everything runs faster, I'll be able to do more with this setup (study online, edit large photo files etc.), way better photos, iPhone 5 will work for wifi and half decent snapshots if I don't want to take the other stuff out with me, I've been shamelessly sucked-in to the Apple cult and this will allow me to keep up my membership
Cons: more expensive so theft is a bigger concern (although I will be insuring everything and not moving around that much), my DSLR is ridiculously heavy, risk of wasting too much time plugged in when I should be out appreciating where I am etc.
Ideologically I'd love to be completely unplugged and take nothing. Realistically I have concerned parents, an interest in photography, an online teaching degree I need to get through and a cliched gen-y addiction to social media.
Everyone has different needs depending on what they want to do. If you only want to write emails and update facebook I think you'd be fine with just a netbook, tablet or smartphone. If you have more complex stuff to do online and/or an interest in photography then you might want to look at something more than that.
T. Sar, you should have a look at some of the micro four thirds cameras that are out there now. My Olympus OM-D E-M5 is taking some outrageous shots and it's minuscule compared to some of the DSLRs...
Great post, thanks for the chuckles.
I think I'm just going to suck it up and carry my DSLR around this time though. I'd hardly call myself a photographer but I like taking pictures and I know my way around film and digital SLRs. I think I'd be able to improve my skills if I gave travel photography a go as a hobby. That and I kind of feel like I owe it to my Canon 50D to use it for something other than taking a million pictures of my cat
For extended stays though, I need my laptop, but that's only because it's got a bigger screen and more power and flexible to deal with photo processing, web development and blog work. If you don't need to do that then tablets are the way to go!
If you have a DSLR you can even buy lightning to SD card adapters. They are fast becoming the future
Large cameras with lenses, think twice, apart from them being heavy and bulky there is the security issue.
I take a cannon camera with built in zoom with viewfinder which slips into my pocket.
The netbook I take is small and light and I can pack it into my small backpack. I use it for research, e-mail, and storing photographs, I also take a memory stick for for back up as well for photos.
Some people on a long trip would burn photos to disc and send home 2 copies I did this on my round the world trip but found it to be very expensive.
Ive also done the buying sim cards for the different countries and this also works out more expensive than using Skype.
When the screen on it died the second time, I upgraded to a Toshiba Ultrabook. It weighs practically nothing, and is infinitely faster than my netbook, but still slower than a typical laptop. I can render HD videos in Adobe Premiere, so that keeps me happy.
I was worried about carrying around a more expensive laptop, but in the time I've been travelling, I haven't had any problems with theft. I have a laptop cable lock that I use in dorms that don't have a locker, otherwise I keep it secure in other ways. So my worries have faded away. Even so, I do keep everything backed up online, just in case...
It rolls up quite small in my backpack, but it's big enough to easily handle my laptop, camera body and lenses, external hard drives and all my other important stuff. It's built well enough that it will easily stop all normal crimes of opportunity so it gives good peace of mind in hotel/hostel rooms...
With a tablet, you can connect to the internet, communicate with your family and take and upload photos. It's really great for mobility.
A lot of a tablet's functionalities can also be found in a netbook. But with a tablet, you can do more especially if you need to work while traveling. But if you just want to enjoy your vacation and leave all the work behind, I thin tablet would be the better choice...
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