Computer or Smartphone? What to Grab?

Geeks hotel desk

The capabilities of smartphones have grown astronomically over the past few years, to the point they are full handheld mobile computers. Phones can access the web, interact with social networks, check the news and even function as GPS navigation devices. These little gadgets can do almost everything one could want. This is a good thing, but every time I am heading out the door for an appointment, I need to ask myself if this is good enough, or should I bring a computer with me?

This is not always easy to answer, as I have long brought a computer with me on every trip out the door. I am a firm believer in having the right tool in hand should the need arise, and that’s a hard habit to break. I am fortunate in that I often have all sorts of computers at hand to take on short outings. There are always little laptops, UMPCs, slates, well you get the picture. I can usually grab a small, light package to take with me.

The fact of the matter is — today’s smartphones are almost always capable enough to meet the challenges of these outings. I am finding that more and more I bring a computer in the bag, but the phone is what gets used. I can do everything I need, with the exception of blogging, and that’s where my dilemma lies. If I don’t bring a computer, and find myself stuck with a bunch of free time, then I can’t get any “real” work done. Sure, I can surf the web, tweet to the masses, check my RSS feeds and just about everything else. But it’s that inability to blog that leaves me wishing I had a computer.

How about you? Do you always bring a computer with you for short outings, or is the phone enough? If you just bring the phone with you, do you ever regret not having the computer? Maybe it’s just me, but I’d like to hear if others have the same dilemma when heading out the door.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Does Connectivity Have Us Diverging From Convergence?

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