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Electronics for long-term travel?
Old 06-30-2019, 03:12 PM   #1
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Electronics for long-term travel?

I am planning an 18+ month globetrot, which will probably consist of a couple of 3 or 4-month stays in the UK, as well as wandering the rest of the world.

My plan is to travel carry-on with a suitcase/duffle/backpack of about 45L and a daypack of about 25L.

My question is about electronics -- specifically tablets and laptops. I have an iPad which I use quite a bit for financial aps, e-books, and NetFlix downloads, as well as web-surfing. I have used bank and CC aps on the iPad but prefer doing banking (and trip planning) on a laptop.

Could I get by without a laptop for 18 months? Yes, grudgingly, but .... I do my taxes with TurboTax, and you can't do that on an iPad. And they are a bit too complicated to do online.

So, it seems either carry the iPad (~1.25lbs) and my Dell XPS13 laptop (~4lbs with charger, etc) everywhere. That's quite a bit when one is trying to stay under 12kg.

Or, I suppose I could substitute a Microsoft Surface Pro which allegedly works in both tablet and laptop modes, but I have no experience with them and am concerned that it is a hybrid of the worst of both worlds.

What do other long term travellers do?
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BarbWire View Post
I am planning an 18+ month globetrot, which will probably consist of a couple of 3 or 4-month stays in the UK, as well as wandering the rest of the world.

My plan is to travel carry-on with a suitcase/duffle/backpack of about 45L and a daypack of about 25L.

My question is about electronics -- specifically tablets and laptops. I have an iPad which I use quite a bit for financial aps, e-books, and NetFlix downloads, as well as web-surfing. I have used bank and CC aps on the iPad but prefer doing banking (and trip planning) on a laptop.

Could I get by without a laptop for 18 months? Yes, grudgingly, but .... I do my taxes with TurboTax, and you can't do that on an iPad. And they are a bit too complicated to do online.

So, it seems either carry the iPad (~1.25lbs) and my Dell XPS13 laptop (~4lbs with charger, etc) everywhere. That's quite a bit when one is trying to stay under 12kg.

Or, I suppose I could substitute a Microsoft Surface Pro which allegedly works in both tablet and laptop modes, but I have no experience with them and am concerned that it is a hybrid of the worst of both worlds.

What do other long term travellers do?

DW bought me a folding Bluetooth keyboard. The box it comes in is 6 X 5 X 1. and weighs 10 oz. I have it paired with my Kindle and my smartphone.
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:41 PM   #3
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iPad Pro + keyboard + mouse (with iOS 13)

https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/7/18...specs-features

Get an extension for your taxes. Hire a tax preparer (I pay $300 USD) and communicate via email.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:23 PM   #4
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It sounds like your choice is iPad only, iPad & laptop, or new Surface that you know nothing about.

If I were you, I would start practicing banking and trip planning on iPad only before your trip. If you get comfortable with banking and trip planning on it - then go with only the iPad and have someone do your taxes.

Otherwise bring both the laptop and iPad.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:25 PM   #5
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My wife used to use a Microsoft Surface tablet computer. It worked pretty well for what it did. However, like many notebook or tablet computers, it is not the same as having a fully functional laptop. Tablet computers don't always run all the software that a laptop can run, and she found this frustrating.

Before considering your trip with a tablet computer, I would be doubly sure that you are comfortable using the tablet while you are at home with every application you will want to use while you are traveling. This way, you will know firsthand how well or how poorly it works for the things you will be using it for. There is no substitute for checking this out yourself. Other people's experiences may not help your decision.

For example, you already know that TurboTax won't work on your IPad. Is there a workaround you would be satisfied with? Perhaps using an online version of TurboTax if one exists, or using different software that would be compatible with the iPad? Are there any other applications with similar limitations?

I travel a lot with a full-sized laptop computer, with a screen that is 17 inches along the diagonal, because I work while I travel. I prefer the larger screen sizes because I typically have three or four windows open simultaneously while I am working because I am using all of them. Yes, a full-sized laptop computer is heavier than a tablet, but I am willing to lug around the extra weight. For the most part, I am carrying it between cities, but within a particular city I don't carry it much at all.

Of course, your mileage may vary. : )
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:48 PM   #6
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I travel a lot with my iPad and a Mophie charger. I have no problem doing anything with it.
The only other device I would add to your travel gear are good noise cancelling headphones.
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:00 PM   #7
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DW & are traveling vagabonds and have been wandering about the planet for the past 3 years. She carries an iPad mini. I carry a 13" MacBook Pro @2kg (including charger) in my 25L daypack. I see that you will have a 45L backpack/duffle plus a 25L daypack. Is it the daypack you are trying to keep under 12 kilos? I have stuffed my daypack to the gills and including my MacBook, have never come close to it weighing 12K.
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:22 PM   #8
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As long as you make sure you are overpaid on your taxes, you don’t even have to file them until you get back. The penalty for late filing is a percentage of the underpayment and as long as there is none, there is no penalty. So, throw some money at the irs and your state and forget about taxes until you get back. Should be able to do that before you leave for the current tax year and for the next tax year, you should be able to pay estimates on line with your iPad. If not, leave a few checks made out to the appropriate taxing authority and have a friend drop them in the mail at the necessary time.
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:35 PM   #9
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.... I do my taxes with TurboTax, and you can't do that on an iPad. And they are a bit too complicated to do online...
Are you sure you can't do them online? The online versions of TurboTax include everything the desktop software does except returns for estates, trusts, partnerships and corporations.

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/ch...nload/00/26738
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:52 PM   #10
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Buy a MacBook. It weighs 2 pounds (0.92 kg). Ditch the iPad. Best of both worlds
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:04 PM   #11
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Taxes might be easy: File an extension. I haven't filed our 2018 taxes yet and won't file until October. But if you are getting a refund, the IRS won't care anyways.

I have a Macbook, but I found my phone does everything I need when traveling, so I don't take it with me.

I thought this was going to about Anker Powercore bricks.

I'd try to stay under 5 kg in a backpack.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BarbWire View Post
I am planning an 18+ month globetrot, which will probably consist of a couple of 3 or 4-month stays in the UK, as well as wandering the rest of the world.

My plan is to travel carry-on with a suitcase/duffle/backpack of about 45L and a daypack of about 25L.

My question is about electronics -- specifically tablets and laptops. I have an iPad which I use quite a bit for financial aps, e-books, and NetFlix downloads, as well as web-surfing. I have used bank and CC aps on the iPad but prefer doing banking (and trip planning) on a laptop.

Could I get by without a laptop for 18 months? Yes, grudgingly, but .... I do my taxes with TurboTax, and you can't do that on an iPad. And they are a bit too complicated to do online.

So, it seems either carry the iPad (~1.25lbs) and my Dell XPS13 laptop (~4lbs with charger, etc) everywhere. That's quite a bit when one is trying to stay under 12kg.

Or, I suppose I could substitute a Microsoft Surface Pro which allegedly works in both tablet and laptop modes, but I have no experience with them and am concerned that it is a hybrid of the worst of both worlds.

What do other long term travellers do?
I’ve done my taxes on Turbo via iPad for years.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:16 PM   #13
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Taxes might be easy: File an extension. I haven't filed our 2018 taxes yet and won't file until October. But if you are getting a refund, the IRS won't care anyways.

I'd try to stay under 5 kg in a backpack.
You cannot just file an extension, you must pay your estimated taxes. From the IRS:

More time to file is not more time to pay. Requesting an extension to file provides taxpayers an additional six months (until Oct. 16) to prepare and file taxes. However, it does not provide additional time to pay taxes owed. Taxpayers should estimate and pay any owed taxes by April 18 to avoid a potential late-filing penalty. To avoid penalties and interest, pay the full amount owed by the original due date
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:25 PM   #14
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My wife and I now travel with iPads. For the very few things that need Windows, I leave a Windows PC with a relative and use remote desktop to access it. (The interface may become even easier with a mouse.) I leave it with a relative to ensure that I can have the PC rebooted if necessary.

The most difficult parts of this are setting the router (port mapping) to allow remote access to the PC and subscribing to a dynamic DNS provider such as noip.com (to keep the IP address updated).
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:34 PM   #15
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DW & are traveling vagabonds and have been wandering about the planet for the past 3 years. She carries an iPad mini. I carry a 13" MacBook Pro @2kg (including charger) in my 25L daypack. I see that you will have a 45L backpack/duffle plus a 25L daypack. Is it the daypack you are trying to keep under 12 kilos? I have stuffed my daypack to the gills and including my MacBook, have never come close to it weighing 12K.
Trying to keep everything under 12kg, as on some occasions I will need to combine backpack and daypack to a single item. Otherwise I would look for an 8kg / 4kg split .....
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:39 PM   #16
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I’ve done my taxes on Turbo via iPad for years.
Are they relatively simple? I import data from Vanguard, Schwab etc and have 1099-R forms as well the infamous Foreign Taxes Paid form, the number of which I cannot recall....
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:28 PM   #17
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oK .... suppose I just go with an iPad and figure out how to do my taxes on one or on a tablet. My 2013 iPad has a dying battery so I need to replace it.

(1). IPad or iPad Pro? For. “Non-creative” types whose primary usage would be spreadsheets and taxes, which would be less frustrating?

(2). My complaint about iPads has been file management and getting files off the iPad, given the lack of a USB drive. Not having Mouse connectivity is another issue as I do not do well with touch screens for editing. Can I get around these issues to make an iPad my laptop replacement? Bluetooth mouse?
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:59 PM   #18
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My laptop is pretty much unused these days, I haven't travelled with it in years. The iPad has supplanted it. I suspect OS13 will just lock that in.

For taxes, if Intuit does not deliver an iPad solution with OS13, hire it done (as suggested).
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:47 AM   #19
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oK .... suppose I just go with an iPad and figure out how to do my taxes on one or on a tablet. My 2013 iPad has a dying battery so I need to replace it.

(1). IPad or iPad Pro? For. “Non-creative” types whose primary usage would be spreadsheets and taxes, which would be less frustrating?

(2). My complaint about iPads has been file management and getting files off the iPad, given the lack of a USB drive. Not having Mouse connectivity is another issue as I do not do well with touch screens for editing. Can I get around these issues to make an iPad my laptop replacement? Bluetooth mouse?
Some of those issues plus the need for a couple of Windows apps is leading me to consider a Surface tablet for travel with a keyboard cover and BT mouse. I like the iPad but can't stand the inaccessible file system although I suspect with enough effort one could learn to get at them.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:19 AM   #20
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We carry a 12 inch MacBook - super compact and light, even more than Macbook Air - as well as my iPad mini when we travel. MacBook provides the full function we need - Quicken etc. I have to keep up with my banking on long trips plus store images and video. You also have and option for backups using an external drive. Generally 2 months is our travel limit.

The laptop can fit in my larger carry on purse.

The iPad mini is great too - so much more compact and lighter than full size. I first got it for travel, then ended up using it all the time. Sold the full size iPad.
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