So I'll be appearing in Las Vegas next week at the CCCC conference. The most notable thing about the trip is that, for the first time in over a decade, I won't be bringing a laptop.
Here's the problem with laptops: Flying. Every time I go through airport security, I have to pull my laptop out of my luggage, place it in a separate container, and run it through the X-ray machine. Then I have to retrieve it afterwards. Meanwhile, I'm trying to juggle my shoes, my other luggage, my personal effects, and who knows what else. It's stressful, but I have dealt with it because I need to be able to work on papers, browse, etc. when I travel.
But when I flew back from Germany last November, re-entering domestic security, I heard one of the TSA employees tell the crowd: you can leave your iPads in your luggage. Only laptops need to be separated.
Shortly afterwards, I bought a Nexus 10. It was mostly for reading and annotating PDFs, but it does most of what I need for travel purposes as well. It's lighter even than my Macbook Air. It allows me to edit and comment on Google Docs. And it turns out to be a great tool for scheduling and project management—functions that I have traditionally performed on planes anyway.
So, for this upcoming trip, I have decided to leave the Air at home and use smaller, always-on devices: my Galaxy Nexus, my Nexus 10, and—because I prefer to read e-ink and because it's not very heavy—my Kindle Touch. No laptop. No physical keyboard. And, I hope, no stress when going through airport security.
I'll let you know how it goes.