Getting out of my car at the Ft. Lauderdale airport Friday morning, I realized I left my iPad on my bedside table. Rush hour was picking up, and I didn’t really have the time to go back and get it.

During my flights and airport waits on Friday, I worked on my work computer: my coworker wanted help for a workshop on Saturday’s Erlang DC conference, and I hadn’t yet learned the material myself. For shorter waits (waiting at the gate, post-boarding wait, checking in while taxiing) my phone was just fine, and I made sure to keep that charged both while plugged in at the lounge and, on arrival in Virginia, in the car I rented (2013 Ford Taurus: a big four-door with a hateful turn signal stalk).

Saturday, I spent the day at Erlang DC, and used the laptop all day. I charged the phone enough during this to have it be usable into the evening at the work-sponsored happy hour.

Staying with my brother and his wife, I didn’t really compute much at their house. Sunday morning, before anyone else was up, I programmed a bit, but didn’t have the omnipresent iPad to distract me later.

On the trip home Sunday afternoon, I followed much the same pattern as Friday: work computer for waits of more than a few minutes, phone for less than that. By the time I got back to my car, the phone was still around 25%, when on an iPad trip it’d have been closer to 75%.

Would I do it again? Maybe. The biggest things that the iPad gets me is less battery use on my phone & computer, it works better than a 15" laptop in a cramped coach seat, and the internet access on it simply works (I have the LTE version). In terms of how much I carry, it’s not that much of a burden, much lighter than my computer or empty briefcase. Going without the iPad wasn’t too bad, but I’m more likely to go without a computer and only bring the iPad.