Travel Gadgets: Do you need a smartphone and a tablet?

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Over the past few weeks, we have been pondering the best use of the devices we utilize to keep us flowing as mobile professionals.  The question of need has risen over and over.  Currently, we all have smartphones to carry on business while traveling and away from our desk in addition to MacBooks.

However, with the introduction of the tablet our need for a smartphone seemed to have diminished in some respects… or at least we thought.  Truth be told, we only purchased a smartphone because a laptop was not efficient enough to use on a moments notice while on the go.  That being said, we cannot stand the tiny screens of the smartphone for prolonged use.  So the tablet was like a dream come true for us.  The original idea being we would go back to regular ole cell phones, purchase a WiFi tablet with a MiFi device and have our laptop for more prolonged, serious work.

Oh how that idea has surely been muddied with the coslty plans on most MiFi devices… kind of defeats our purpose of lowering cost while staying hyper-efficient.  So we sat out to locate pay-as-you-go MiFi devices.  Low and behold, we found two:

Smartphone and a Tablet?

  • The TruConnect MiFi by Novatel Wireless – For a $99 purchase, $4.99 access fee only the month you use it and $3.9 cents per MB, this plan sounds like a dream come true.  You can use WiFi when available and on those rear cases you have to pay for WiFi or WiFi access is not available, then you turn to your MiFi for 3.9 cents a MB and $4.99 for the month you access it.   Essentially, you would be able to surf for say 5 hours for appr $3.90 plus a monthly access fee of $4.99.  Still cheaper than a $30 monthly data package.

Smartphone and a tablet?

  • Virgin Mobiles MiFi 2200 – For a $129.99 purchase you can have 3G Internet on the go.  And Virgin mobile offers a little more variety in their plans such as the following:
    • $10 for 10 days up to 100MB of data which equates to appr 5 hrs of web surfing or 10,000 emails without attachments OR
    • $20/month up to 500 MB of data which equates to 24 hours of web browsing or 50,000 emails without attachments.
    • They have a $50/month plan that allows up to 2.5 GB of data as well.

After all of the research, we took one last look:  Do we need a smartphone?  No.  We only use it for voice, text, the occasional web-surf when necessary and check emails.  Oh wait!  We do.  We have one app on the smartphone that tablets cannot yet do… looks like we are back to square one.

Smartphone with hotspot access >>>> WiFi Tablet for on the go>>>>Forego the MiFi for now>>>> MacBook for heavy use.

What about you?  Have you been grappling with what devices are necesary or not for you?  Or if getting rid of a costly data package is a “can-do” or not?  Share with us.  We wanna know…

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Abundant Journeys

Maria writes as well as handle guest post articles for Abundant Journeys blog. Abundant Journeys, an independent travel agency affiliated with MTravel CST# California: 1018299-10, blogs about wellness travel for the discerning travelier in three different life stages: Couples, Travel with Kids and Girlfriend Getaways focusing on Moms. We also enjoy blogging about fine foods and great gifts. Live Life. Must Travel. Start your journey today. Find our stories on in the travel section.

  1. What I really need is something that allows internet service ANYWHERE. Sort of like mobile broadband I guess. Or like an aircard. I noticed that most trains offer free wifi on board which is nice.

    1. @ChristiVetti Good luck finding the anywhere service. We find one particular service provider is better internationally speaking and another is better domestically. I wonder if anyone else has experienced the same thing…

  2. For me personally, I like all the electronics I can get my hands on. I really want that new clear windows phone though ;). Finally a product that Windows made better than Mac :)

  3. My iPhone 4G is simply enough. I use an iPad at work and to be honest, it’s really hard to type on. I like the iPhone better. That’s just one opinion though. Anyone else?

    1. @EGLMRGRL Thanks for the input. We were curious how well people are able to do things such as typing on an ipad. We are thinking maybe a tablet is beneficial for say – realtors when showing homes or people like us – vacation planners in showing e-brochures, etc. What do you think?

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