I'm trying to make a wise tech investment and believe I can get some good advice from members here. I'm a bit of a luddite so most of my stuff is quite outdated.
I'm paying a visit to a friend in Tokyo in a few months, and am looking at around 15 hours total flight time, each way. Even though it may be ok to read books or watch endless in-flight movies, I thought some kind of digital communication and entertainment device may be nice (email, internet forums, mp3, avi viewer, etc.) I'm debating whether I should get myself a tablet or a small laptop (or even a netbook). I know about typing issues on tablet, and limited power and possible obsolescence of netbook. The idea of a Mac Air appeals to me (I have an older Windows laptop at home and am due for an upgrade). I'd like to keep a photo record of the trip (though I don't want to lug a big kit and stick out like a tourist any more than I already will), as well as maybe a bit of a travelogue. Mind you, I could write in a paper notebook and transcribe later, sometimes low-tech is the best solution!
The other 2 things I need are (1) a better camera (my "old" 5megapixel doesn't give me great pics, let alone video), and also (2) better communication (I have a very cheap no frills cell-phone with pay-as-you-go package). I'm thinking a smart phone (Iphone, Samsung Galaxy, Nokia) could kill 2 birds with one stone (Nokia have very good cameras for stills and video, I hear). I've never owned a smart phone so it's a bit overwhelming figuring out the various offerings, options, features, etc. Not to mention the network provider packages... Smart phone apps would help for things like GPS, city maps, currency conversion, etc.
Ideally, would be nice to have one travelling device, but not sure a smart phone would foot the bill for 15 hour flight time.
I should add that beyond this Japan trip, I plan on making other long-distance N-A road trips in the future, in my truck with Alaskan camper, so whatever tech I choose for Japan would also serve me for those trips as well.
So: what would you recommend I go with
1. smart phone only (rely on books and in-flight entertainment)
2. smart phone with tablet
3. smart phone with laptop
4. regular phone with tablet and camera
5. regular phone with laptop and camera
Thanks a lot, and look forward to your thoughts/advice.