There are more and more people who need different kinds of mobile setups in order to get stuff done. While not everyone needs to lug around a full-on laptop, here are some of the different types hardware that we found work well together. They also include some ideas on what you can have at home, so that you've got everything set up right.
No one wants to carry around a heavy load, especially when you can easily get rid of a lot of that excess weight by simply analyzing your mobile needs. While there are people who need a powerful laptop to do their work, most of us can get by by using a combination of lighter devices.
Tablet + Smartphone
It's a given that a lot of people already carry around their smartphones. Depending on their computer usage, it's possible that simply adding a handy tablet, with a Bluetooth keyboard, might be enough. If you use the tethering function of your phone (which creates a mobile hotspot), then you don't need to get a 3G tablet, although we have to say that they are convenient. The whole experience of using a tablet anytime, anywhere, without having to do anything is quite different than always checking for WiFi networks. The tablet could be replaced by an ebook reader.
At home, you'll probably need a laptop or a desktop of some sort. We like small form factors, so the Mac Mini is definitely an option. Alternatively, a large all-in-one, like the iMac, could work well.
We're currently test-running this setup and leaving a heavier MacBook Pro 17 at home. This is down to the fact that we don't always need the processing power of this laptop on the road. Most of the time, we just need to consult ebooks and surf the net. This has significantly dropped down the overall load that we carry most days. This is particularly effective for students, who can easily find most of their textbooks in ebook format.
Light Laptop or Netbook + Smartphone
If a tablet hasn't got enough power for you, adding a netbook or a light laptop like a MacBook Air might definitely allow you to get more stuff done. Once you tether your laptop, you can have access to the Internet almost anywhere, which is a boon in places where there aren't any free WiFi networks handy.
We'd definitely couple a light laptop with a more functional computer at home. The options you could consider are similar to the ones mentioned in the previous case.
Laptop + Smartphone
People who need to work with powerful apps need performing computers. In this case, you're road machine will be able to suit all of your needs, whether it's at home or at work. However, in order to make working on a laptop for long hours bearable, a display coupled with a mouse and keyboard, allowing you to dock your laptop at home, might work well and get you comfortable once you arrive home.
(Images: Flickr member Shiftstigma licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member Niklas Jakobsen licensed for use under Creative Commons and Flickr member Jemimus licensed for use under Creative Commons)