As may be obvious by now, there's no hard-and-fast rule for determining what to pack for a given trip. For me, at least, the details of my travel plans strongly influence which gadgets I take.
For my trip to Ireland, then, I'm packing the iPad mini, a keyboard, and a Kindle. That makes sense for this trip because I don't expect to work and because I'm also packing an actual suitcase. If I were traveling, as I often do, with no checked baggage, the available space and cumulative weight in my carry-on would be critical factors; and I might have to give up the keyboard, the Kindle, or both. But if I were working--or traveling for a longer time--I would likely have brought a laptop along for the ride.
The question of which of my pricey gadgets to take with me on a trip is perhaps a rarefied one. But as we juggle more devices, it becomes increasingly apparent that everything is a compromise. Presented with situations like this one, you realize that maybe consumers would like a toaster-fridge--if Apple made a really good toaster-fridge. Macs are big and powerful; iPads are light but limiting. A hypothetical hybrid device that offered the best of both would be awesome. At home, it's no big deal: I have my Mac and my iPad when I need them. But when it's time to travel, the weaknesses of each device weigh in the balance just as heavily as their advantages.
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