Laptop or tablet: which one is better for world travel?
It sounds like an easy choice, but it gets more complicated if you plan to travel for a long time. Well, we can say we traveled with both a laptop and a tablet, on separate trips, and we will write about the pros and cons for each one.
So, what should you consider when you choose between a laptop and a tablet to take on your travels?
Size and weight
A very important aspect to consider is the size and weight because you will be carrying this around most of the time. Therefore the lightest laptops weigh on average 1 to 1.5 kg, whereas tablets can get as light as 300 g.
One of the most important things to consider when you choose between a laptop and a tablet is what you will use it for. If you only plan on watching movies on airplanes and browsing your favorite social media networks, then a tablet is the right choice. However, if you plan to work or edit photos, a laptop is the obvious choice. Anyway, a laptop can do everything a tablet can, and much more.
By user-friendliness, we refer to how easy it is to navigate and use either of the two gadgets. From our research and experience, it is handier to have a keyboard and maybe even a mouse than just a touchscreen. A keyboard makes it easier to fill in all the check-in forms and documents needed for travel, but also helps work easier on files and documents. However, there are plenty of Bluetooth keyboards on the market that you can connect to your tablet.
In terms of apps and websites though, sometimes mobile apps and websites are not necessarily fit for tablet devices. Therefore you may find unresponsive websites where you cannot see the buttons to click on on a tablet.
Price/cost of damage
Another aspect of huge importance is the value of your laptop or tablet. The reasons here are two-fold, on the one hand, if your laptop is quite expensive you may need special insurance for it. On the other hand, if you don't plan to get the insurance you may suffer more if you damage or lose a more expensive item.
Another thing you can consider is the fact that for a laptop you will need an extra charger, while most tablets can be charged with your phone charger.
So, a laptop or a tablet?
In the end, it all comes down to what you will use it for. We managed a 5-month round-the-world trip with only an iPad but now as we also work on our projects, we carry our laptops. The iPad was more useful than I believed and it was a great help for reading books, watching movies, or browsing the Internet. However, now we couldn't only use an iPad because we are working on our blog and apps which are easier to do on a laptop.
Therefore we recommend you take a tablet with you unless you plan to work during your travels.