When big road shows come to Spokane, I work with the stagehands union to bring in the gear and set up the cameras, projectors and video walls. For the most part the multi-tattooed roadies who sleep and live out of a coffin sized bus bunks and hotel rooms many of whom carry a backpack that holds a NET-BOOK rather than a NOTEBOOK computer. These Net Books are equally "tatted up" with paintings, cartoons and stickers from the road. These small sometimes under a few hundred dollars NET-BOOKS are making life better for the roadies as they travel so far away from home.
I have built many computers over the years, some very zippy (a few years ago) to do video editing on, when I ran a TV studio. I am comfortable dealing with a computer sales person. I tell people I know not to take what a sales person at the Big Box Computer, stores want to sell you. I want them to understand what they need first. If your goal is to just surf the net, send and receive email or just watch a movie on the net then a Net Book will do the job and is an even greater value. Many Net-books are under or just over $200. bucks.
One draw back people point out is that Net-books do not have a CD-Rom or DVD drive. If you need a CD player/recorder or a DVD player/recorder you can take one out of your old machine, go to a thrift store, find one on Craig's List or eBay and then place it in a $20 external case that you can plug into the net book with a USB cable.
I have a larger Laptop, I travel with and will be getting a new NET-BOOK, to extend my travel reach and help me drop a few LBS on the road. So do what the Rock N Roll Roadies do, use a net-book, save money and stay connected where ever you travel.
I do not have a tablet or used one yet.....I have looked at them and watched people use them and I would like one and will at some point maybe get one.....but for me the type-ability (if that is a word)the screen pad is not up to my requirements and preference needs. I do not want to mess around with a screen type pad. I need the keys under my touch. More when I try one out.
Cell Smart Phones, I have a Nokia E71 Smart phone with WiFi and 3G AT&T data connection. I can tether my Net Book or lap top to the internet with it. It works great and my service is with Walmart's Straight Talk Phone Service and I pay a FRUGAL $45. a month. For this connectivity and service you can not do better. I do not think anyway. Would you tell me if you could find a better plan than this I want to hear from you.