The Best Mobile Internet Access – Which Device is Right?

Mobile broadband is everywhere, literally and can be accessed on Main Street, or in the mountains, from the office or your bed.

If you’re new to mobile broadband and wonder what the best device to use is, you currently have three options: laptop with dongle, smartphone and tablet.


Laptops are everywhere, on the morning commute, on college campuses and in schools. Adding a small modem the size of a USB stick called a ‘dongle’ will give you the internet in the majority of the country and allow you to keep using all the offline applications necessary for work, school or college. It’s a great solution and if you sign a contract you are eligible for a free laptop. Some deals can be great value for money if you need a new machine. They can also be a rip-off if you’re going for the latest model. Look at the cost of the laptop if purchased independently to help decide if the deal is good value.

The downside is signal can be patchy in places and the dongle itself is so small that losing it is easier than you think.


Smartphones have come to define our generation.

What makes them different from other phones is Apps: a single-function program that is downloaded and promises to make life easier or more interesting. If you want games, a virtual fitness coach, up-to-the-minute news, sports scores there’s an app for that and more. This coupled with their size and portability has made smartphones as necessary to modern life as the biro and the sofa.

Their asset is also their downfall when it comes to data-heavy tasks. There are apps for the likes of Microsoft Word, but the size of the on screen keyboard may see you tearing your hair out.


If you’re ready to switch to tablet technology bear in mind that tablets haven’t fulfilled their prophesized takeover of the consumer PC market – yet. As we near the mid-point of 2011, many of the tablets on the market don’t offer comprehensive functionality in the same way laptops do. Basic functions like the onscreen keyboard are difficult to use, or hidden away in the interface.

Many models are web and media driven machines that by-pass the need for the offline applications the general public are still using. One or two don’t even display the web very well. With that said they will definitely improve as the demand grows and if the smartphone market is anything to go by, both quality and demand will certainly get better and the prophecy will be fulfilled.

So which device is best?


Well, that depends entirely on what you are going to be doing on a day-to-day basis. If you are always trying to work on the train, then a laptop is probably the way forward, as it allows you easier access to everything you might need, and is the best at handling big documents and spreadsheets.

Failing that, the tablet is the ‘middle man’, allowing you a large screen and smarter functioning to carry out some pretty nifty tasks on the move.

Lastly, the smartphone lets you gain quick, easy and convenient access to the web, so if you are just checking in to Facebook, tweeting or checking a few quick emails, this is the one for you!

About Joe Linford

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  1. It would be difficult to say which one is the best but I’ll go for Smartphone.

  2. I prefer laptop and smartphone over tablets….

  3. Hmm.. I’d say, at home or office, Laptops FTW… If your working on the go, such as trains or planes, Tablets wins the cake.. Smartphones, well its always in your pocket all the time.. haha.. Hope one day they all merge so that we just need to carry one device..

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