What will you buy next: Tablet, phablet, laptop, or convertible?

You know you've been eyeballing the latest and greatest screen-powered tech. The question is, what will you buy and why?

The Lenovo Yoga 13 combines laptop and tablet, but maybe CES will reveal even better convertibles.
The Lenovo Yoga 13 combines laptop and tablet, but maybe CES will reveal even better convertibles. Lenovo

I'm about to start packing for CES, which kicks off next week in Las Vegas, and I'm having a devil of a time deciding what tech to bring.

My phone, sure, but what else? Do I go laptop or tablet? If I choose laptop, am I better off with a convertible? If I choose tablet, do I want something as large as an iPad, or would I be happier with something more pocket-friendly -- a phablet, perhaps?

These are common questions nowadays as the lines between mobile devices grow ever blurrier. We want a screen, obviously, but what size should it be? What OS should drive it? And should there be a keyboard attached?

Obviously there's no one-device-fits-all solution, but I'll tell you where I stand -- for now, anyway. My trip to CES will involve two 4-hour flights, some blogging work, various opportunities to capture photos and video, and occasional moments of down time.

In other words, I want to be loaded for work and play. Writing and reading. Watching movies and recording them. There's no question my iPad 3 would be ideal for all those tasks, provided I paired it with a comfortable keyboard . Just one problem: my blogging activities require several proprietary content-management systems (i.e. blog tools), and most of them won't work in iOS Safari.

What's more, I need to be able to create and edit screenshots I can insert into those blog posts, and that's way more difficult in the confines of iOS than it is in, say, Windows.

Speaking of which, a Microsoft Surface tablet might be better suited to the kind of work I need to do, especially since I can plug in a mouse for finer graphics stuff, but obviously the apps just aren't there yet, and I'm no fan of Windows RT.

In other words, I need a laptop. But should I consider a convertible? Danny Sullivan laid out many of the latest options in "My hunt for the perfect Windows 8 convertible laptop," but I must admit I'm not wild about shelling out a minimum of $1,000 when I already own a laptop and a tablet.

On the other hand, I'm also not wild about bringing along two separate devices with their two separate chargers and all the other extras. Maybe at CES I'll discover the ultimate laptop/tablet combo for my needs -- with a price that's more palatable.

In the meantime, I'll probably go "full nerd" and bring my laptop, iPad, and phone, just so all my bases are covered. It's not ideal, but it's where I'm at for the moment.

What about you? What screen-machine are you eyeing for your next purchase? Tablet? Phablet? Laptop? Or convertible? Hit the comments and tell me what's motivating your decision.

 

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