Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Laptops? We Don't Need No Stinking Laptops!

More thoughts about our LA trip...

We decided to not take any computers with us except for our iPhones. We were only there for a weekend and neither of us had any official work to do. It seemed like a safe option.

What an experience!

First, going through security is much easier when you don't need to open up your bag to take out a laptop.

Second, I don't think I would need a laptop if all I did was consumption and basic creation (i.e. didn't need to create professional work). For example: I was able to check/reply to emails, check/make Facebook/Twitter/Google+ updates, and read news. I was also able to do quick info look-ups (Just how much are Disney tickets? Can we get a discount?)

Third, I was still able to do all the things I normally do on my phone: listen to my audiobook, check in to places, make calls, send texts, play games, etc. We used our phones a bunch for directions - we literally did zero travel planning and relied 100% on our phones. We also listened to Muppet songs while driving around with the kids since none of the local stations really interested us.

Fourth, and a surprise, other people started relying on our phone. Here are 3 examples:
1) While at dinner one of the girls wanted to watch a show. Her dad said he didn't have his computer so she couldn't. I pulled out my phone, set Netflix to "kids/family" and let her choose one. She watched Toy Story 3 the rest of the time in the restaurant.
2) Before that, I bought a last minute plane ticket for another family member using Hipmunk. That was actually my first non-app purchase on a phone.
3) Jessi got a couple calls asking for directions since they were lost. She put them on speaker phone, pulled up directions (AT&T does have one perk over Verizon), and got them to their destination.

Fifth, I was impressed with the battery life. We brought one wall charger and one car charger. We charged one at night and the other while getting ready in the morning. Then we switched off charging whenever in the car. Only once did I get down to 15% at the end of the day.

Sixth, we also decided to not bring our Canon Rebel camera. Our iPhones worked really well! The iPhone's camera still struggles with quick movement and darkness (see the cropped top picture), but the pictures themselves are good. I also really like having all the location data embedded and everything instantly streamed to my computer when I get home. I'm still probably going to bring the Rebel on "big" trips, but I can definitely see a time when I won't need to.

I really didn't miss my computer at all. If I didn't need to do professional content creation while visiting my family next week, I wouldn't bring my laptop then either.

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