Monday, March 04, 2013

(mobility beyond the laptop)

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.

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