One Year. One Island. One Internet Device.

Some History

Way back in 1994, I wrote an article for a then-ISP called “West Coast Online”.  It was  ”TV or the Internet?”.  I proposed the scenario, way back then, of being stranded on a deserted island with a great TV + Whatever Channels, or, a great Computer with Internet Access.  Remember, this was 1994.  For me, it was an obvious choice… I would have taken the Net.  This was before Hulu and Netflix and Amazon Video and so on…  My point, way back then, was that I would prefer to be interactive.

So, it is nearly 2013.  Let’s update the question!

The Scenario

Let’s say you are going to be stranded By Yourself on some Tropical Island for all of 2013.  It doesn’t matter what you write, or video, or what you do through any communication means.  You are Really Stuck There.  It’s a Hypothetical.  Revel in it!

Aside from all the basics (like food…), you get a choice of Just One Internet Device.  Let’s say that power is no problem, and your Net Connectivity all over the island is perfect.  Storage is not an immediate issue, as you can always offload to the Cloud…

…But, you only get One Device.  Let’s assume you don’t break it :)

What To Choose?

I think this is a deceptively simple question.  A friend of mine said she’d pick her iPhone.  She can do everything on it… but I think the small screen would drive her crazy in a week.  But, I could be wrong.. let’s dive in, shall we?  In all cases, you have a webcam, and doing photos and video is no problem.

  • Phone – an iPhone or Android phone.  Ok, cool.. you can take it in a pocket as you hike all over the island.  You can do great photos and movies.  Perhaps you realize after a week that the small screen is driving you batty.  But hey!  You can take it everywhere!
  • Tablet – this is a muddled one.  You could have an iPad mini, or an iPad, or some Android Tablet.  Heck, perhaps you want a Kindle.  Now we get into an interesting space: you cant take the Tablet quite so easily all over the island, but you can more easily get some things done (such as writing and video and pics), and you have a much better web experience. Do you leave it behind a lot, when you would have taken the phone?  No cheating with adding a keyboard to the tablet.
  • Laptop – Not so portable as a Tablet, but what a difference!  More flexibility, but not so much fun to lug around.  Even more screen space to watch movies…  No cheating with adding an external monitor to the laptop ;)
  • Desktop – We’re not going anywhere on the island with this beast!  This is more about making the best of things when you are back in your tropical hut.  You have a huge 30″ screen and a webcam, and can get any computing task done.   Games rock.   It’s your ultimate desktop.  You just cant take it outside.

Not So Easy, Is It?

For me, it’s not an easy choice.  I waver between Tablet and Laptop.  A phone is ridiculously small to do much with writing, video, and photos.  A full-on desktop is a perfect choice if it’s going to rain every day for a year.

So here is my question to you:  which would you pick?  Let me know in the comments.

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