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Tablet vs laptop

Last updated 12:02 27/09/2012

I have iPad envy. The symptoms began some time ago. The excessive "just-trying-out" sessions on other people's tablets, constant popping into Apple stores to see if I can buy one for $50 or less (surprisingly, no), and the growing resentment toward my own, 3G-incapable, Macbook Pro 13".

Things got worse when we started on the Busabout tour around Europe, and every other person on the buses was doing sudoku, playing that Shopping Cart Hero game app (it is amazing), or watching movies on their iPads while we drove from country to country.

On the ride from Madrid to San Sebastian the Busabout guide instigated a boys-against-girls quiz, and you could see all those iPad users using their 3G advantage to look up answers. I strongly disapprove of cheating when I can't do it.

I found a carnival in Paris where you could win an iPad on a skill tester machine, but apparently I am not skilful (or the machines are rigged), so that didn't happen either. Now I have become the lurker who creepily stares at other people's iPads through the cracks between bus seats.

Six months ago, this issue was among the most pressing pre-travel debates Nathan and I had: tablet or laptop?

The tablet was an appealing option mostly because of its space-saving advantages, the fact that it was lighter, and that it had the easy 3G option.

Despite those strengths, in the end we went for the laptop, figuring the amount of typing and photo editing we would be doing made it necessary, and because the hard drive space for storing photos was essential.

Other options were also tossed up, including getting a separate keyboard for a tablet, but we thought that would have defeated the purpose of space saving.

We considered getting both, but that also negated the space thing. Plus we needed the money and no one seemed to be offering to buy us one.

Though I mentioned my growing resentment of the laptop, the truth is Macbook has not let me down (touch wood). It has been great for work, as well as being a good size for watching movies on. Its only real failings have been its weight, which has added to an already substantial lugging-around load, and its size, which makes it difficult to use comfortably on a bus.

Either way, I think laptop was the way to go. However, I can only judge one side of this argument. Can anyone offer travel experience that suggests tablets are the way to go?

Remember to like All These Places on Facebook - come on, I don't just write this for fun. I really do want you to like us (sad face). Oh, and you can also hear more about our travels on Twitter.

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