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The Counterargument: Laptops Are Better For Travel Than Tablets

Laptop vs tablet for travel

Today, 40Tech is pleased to present a guest post by Andris Piebalgs, a freelance writer from My Destination.

The answer to this question may seem like an obvious one. Many people feel that tablets are the clear superior gadgets for travelling since they are, after all, smaller and lighter than laptops and can service many of the basic needs that most traveling users desire. Who cares about the extra computing power that laptops provide since you rarely have use for them during your travels anyway? I, however, disagree with this viewpoint. With the electronic and technology industry booming in terms of innovation and creativity, laptops offer you the chance to truly realize the potential of travels by making use of the newest programs and technologies.  Let me explain with an example.

I went snowboarding in Norway, Hemsedal and had with me an iPad, an Android tablet and a relatively small laptop. The aim was to capture moments of dynamic action on the slopes and in the snow park through videos and pictures using the relatively new GoPro device. The ability to check my footage at the end of the day, to see what needed to be added and changed in terms of the lighting and camera angle, was essential in capturing the beauty of the sport. It was possible to do this only with the laptop, which made editing and displaying the footage easy and comfortable. The picture shows a still shot captured by the camera during a beautiful sunrise in the morning. Without a laptop to support the program, these feats would have been considerably more difficult. It is technology of this calibre that you should use to make your holiday worth remembering.

travel photo from laptop

Having said all this, I appreciate the entertainment a tablet can offer during one’€™s travels. Easy access to the internet via WiFi or 3G allows for the installation of many great apps ranging from magazine subscriptions to countless legendary games such as Angry Birds. This experience is all the more enhanced when you have a large, shiny touch screen to interact with, making any app all the more entertaining. One of the greatest attributes that tablets have is their quick start-up and performance as well the relative ease with which you can download both movies and music to your device. All this coupled with a light and compact design with a battery that can last several hours does in many ways make a tablet an ideal traveling partner.

Despite all this, I stick to my guns and advocate for the use of a laptop for travel as it offers everything a tablet offers and more. Laptops are continuously becoming smaller and more powerful. They are essential when you want to use technology to capture the beauty of wherever you are going or whatever you are doing be it sport, music or just being in another world. Furthermore, if you have a busy schedule, than a laptop is easier to work with to burn away the traveling hours. If you simply want a device for entertainment purposes and note taking, than I would agree that tablet might be better, and more stylishly suited to the job.

What do you think? Would you rather travel with a laptop or tablet?

Andris Piebalgs is currently studying Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London and is a keen traveller and amateur snowboarder, climber and tennis player. He is also a freelance travel writer for My Destination, your local travel guide to worldwide destinations.

 

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4 Responses to The Counterargument: Laptops Are Better For Travel Than Tablets

  1. I would lean toward taking a laptop over a tablet. I generally take both devices with me when I travel. As a tech guy I have a ton of troubleshooting tools on my laptop that I cannot get on my tablet. My tablet is a Kindle Fire. I love both of my devices including my Android phone. I have taken steps to “cloudify” my data, music and documents.

  2. I haven’t bought a tablet yet but I’m cautiously looking into some units for possible purchase. I might go with an Asus Transformer hybrid, you get the best of both worlds.

    I would use the laptop version for doing actual work done, while the tablet form factor is either for quick multimedia consumption, or as a “pacifier” for the kids.

    • I tend to agree with you, Dan. While others, like Harry McCracken, have made compelling arguments that the iPad is a content consumption device, by the time they’ve gotten it there (adding a keyboard), they have a laptop. I understand his point though – he does it for the battery life, and pretty much has conceded that is the main reason.

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