I have a non-bag question, although it definitely has a strong travel component. I know a lot of you are also Apple computer fans--well I need to get a new computer and am curious to hear your thoughts and advice.
I am pretty sure that I want to get either the 13" MacBook Pro (MBP) or the 13" MacBook Air (MBA). The MBA is clearly the better travel computer from the perspective of weight and space. It doesn't have an Ethernet cable connector though, and I sometimes see hotels overseas that don't have wi-fi in the room, only Ethernet. However, I could get a $30 adaptor for this type of occasion. I travel internationally for work around 7-8 weeks a year, so portability, adaptability and weight are definitely important considerations.
When I'm not traveling, this would not only be my main home computer, but is likely to also be my main work computer. If all goes to plan, I will be relocating to Ecuador this Fall, where I will continue to work for my current employer, but in a largely virtual and also regional capacity, overseeing projects in other parts of Latin America. In practice this will mainly mean working from a home office. Im wondering if the MBP might be a better "every day computer" than the MBA? Bigger hard drive, more ports, etc. In terms of usage, I'm mainly doing the basics--internet, email, spreadsheets, word processing. Not interested in gaming, nor do I do much in the way of video or photos. I will need to do virtual office type stuff though-- VOIP calling, video chat, Citrix/VPN.
Beyond the MBA vs MBP question, I'm a little nervous about whether working every day on a 13" screen will be difficult. The logical answer might be to just get an external screen but there is no way I can see myself dropping an additional $1000 on this. Has anyone tried connecting a Mac up to a cheaper generic external screen? Or do you regularly work on this size laptop and find it works just fine for you?
One final query: do any of you have experience traveling in the developing world with a computer that obviously looks expensive? Am a bit paranoid about this...
Would love to hear any thoughts or advice you may have.