I went back and forth between bringing a tablet PC, laptop/netbook or smart phone. Here are the questions i asked myself once I came up with my budget.
- Do i want a traditional keyboard or a touchscreen? If I’m blogging or journaling, which is easiest?
- How much extra weight am i willing to carry around?
- What dimensions will easily fit in my day-bag?
- What is the smallest size screen am I OK with?
- How important is battery life?
- Do I want a hard case to protect my laptop. I just have a waterproof bag i keep my laptop in, just in case it rains.
- How many Gigabytes do i need? Will i be uploading my pictures to my computer, an external hard-drive, or strait to the Internet?
- Don’t forget about internet security if you end up with an PC. I use Avast! and love it.
The deciding factor for me was the keyboard. I realize I could purchase a traditional keyboard for a tablet, but the weight of the keyboard with the tablet came out to be similar to the HP Mini, which I decided to purchase in the end. I paid $150 for my HP Mini, which i think was a very reasonable price. Ive been using this Mini for two months with no issues and love how light, durable and fast it is. AND if something does happen to it, at least I’m not out several hundred or a thousand dollars if i brought an expensive computer.
Another service if you decided to travel without a computer, but want to be able to connect directly with your home computer, is GoToMyPC.com. It allows you to log-in directly to your desktop at home and work with all your files, just as if you were working at home.
If you didn’t want to carry around a device of any kind, the vast majority of hostels have computers with interment access for typically little to no charge.