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iphone or ipad?

Posted by asiatravel2012 on 27/3/2012 at 12:31


Im travelling to SEA for seven months and hoping to cover north thai, laos, vietnam, cambodia, south thai, malaysia and singapore. I'm confused as to which would be the best means of technology.

I would use it mainly for facebook, skype video call, online bookings and a little for ebooks and music. I currently dont have either but am looking to purchase one or the other. For the internet i would turn off data roaming and just use the wifi. I like the fact with the iphone i could buy a local sim for each country to make calls however i have heard you are unable to take the sim out of iphones so would this be impossible?

Has anyone had any experiences with either an ipad or iphone? Im not particularly good with technology!

Thanks in advance

#1 asiatravel2012 has been a member since 27/3/2012. Posts: 4

Posted by bedu on 29/3/2012 at 05:13

First of all, do you really want to be travelling with such an expensive piece of kit?

Second, you can take the SIM out of an iPhone (or so can any phone shop in Bangkok, or major centre).

Third, most wi-fi out here isn't free, so you would have to pay for that.

Fourth, internet cafes are everywhere here, and they're cheap.

Lastly, a simple brand new mobile phone can be bought cheaply out here, as can a simple basic netbook.

#2 bedu has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 58

Posted by busylizzy on 29/3/2012 at 14:16

It's a minor point, but I'd disagree with the comment about most wi-fi not being free. I found it plenty of places, although I would hunt out accom that offered it for times when I knew I would be wanting it.

Yes, there lots of internet cafes, but personally I loathe them. The connections are often slow, you're limited to go on-line at a time that doesn't always suit, and there are always security issues, especially when making bookings that involve credit card payments.

With respect to a phone or iPad for the OP? I don't have either as I prefer a netbook when travelling (to back up photos, for the keyboard, and for the other applications that I use when travelling (Office, Picasa, etc).

Personally, I loathe using my mobile phone for doing web-things and reading - the screens to small and I hate the keypads. But the advantage of the phone is that it's much easier to carry around with you.

However, out of the two options you present, I would lean towards the iPad (or similar tablet). I believe you can get keyboard cover/docking station that turns it into a netbook format. If you were to do lots of reading, I would suggest a Kindle over a tablet as the screens are much easier on your eyes. But if you're not doing a lot of reading, than the tablet would be OK.

For me, I will continue to use my netbook for web-stuff, my Kindle for reading. I've carried an iPod on previous trips and very rarely used it. I'll leave it home next time.

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152

Posted by asiatravel2012 on 29/3/2012 at 17:10

Hi, thanks for the replies.

I will be taking out travel insurance which will cover an expensive item although im usually pretty careful with my things anyway. I guess the main thing i want it for is to make video calls home and research my next destination but the added extras (music/ebook etc) is a bonus. Ive travelled to thailand 3x before and relied on internet cafes and dont really want to do so for a trip as long as this one. Ive always found wi-fi to be readily available and free at least in thailand and laos.

After reading your reply busylizzy I am leaning slightly towards the tablet as the bigger screen is a bonus for web based stuff and with an iphone ive got the feeling it will be too easy for people to contact me from back home when all i want to do is check in every now and again to say im ok! If i find i do need to make local calls then a cheap mobile will do the trick. The only bonus i can see of a netbook over a tablet is the ability to back up photos as i dont really use office or any of those programmes unless ive missed something?

Thanks again for the replies

#4 asiatravel2012 has been a member since 27/3/2012. Posts: 4

Posted by DLuek on 30/3/2012 at 00:03 TF writer


I've never used an iPad but love having an iPhone here in Thailand, although I would find it pretty pointless if you weren't paying the little extra to use the 3G data network. I pay about US $15 per month for data (prepaid) plus another $5-10 for phone calls within the country. I've never used skype on the iPhone but it works fine for everything else you mention. I assume it works okay for skype as long as there's a strong WiFi signal, but a laptop or tablet might be better for specifically for skype just because of the bigger screen for video.

But for me the huge selling point of the iPhone is the GPS, which uses google maps. I've yet to try it in the other countries but it has rarely failed me in Thailand, even in backwater little towns. You really can't get lost with that - you just drop a pin on the map where your hotel is located and wander off anywhere, then when you want to go back you just look on the map and find your way back. It also usually gives good step by step walking or driving directions to destinations, and it's usually only necessary to type in the name of a hotel, restaurant or attraction rather than the whole address. I assume the iPad can do the same thing but you'd need to be connected to the data network, and I personally wouldn't want to be whipping out my iPad everywhere on the streets. iPhone, on the other hand, is pretty discreet.

I do some writing work out here so for me it's necessary to carry a computer too, and I've found the 11' Macbook Air + iPhone 4 to be a dynamic duo for traveling (albeit a pricey one).

#5 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,344

Posted by rengi091 on 25/4/2012 at 07:02

Hi there!

As an IT student, I could suggest you to just buy a netbook...
Its a way lot better than using just an iPhone or iPad on video calls..
Netbook computers are smaller versions of laptops that is intended for internet surfing, but you can also use this for other purposes like MS Office applications and more..
You dont have to worry about bringing this kind of gadget since its really portable..

The disadvantage of using iPhones and iPads are that first, their applications for it are limited unlike the netbook where you can install different kinds of applications and maybe even computer games... The second would be that compared to a netbook, the screen or display would be alot smaller but I guess iPads are almost the same as it.. The last disadvantage is that Touch screen gadgets are way too sensitive..

I hope I'd help you out.. :)

#6 rengi091 has been a member since 25/4/2012. Posts: 5

Posted by morgen on 25/12/2013 at 01:57

iPhone and the iPad will require completely different experiences. When the iPad was first announced, one of Apple's big selling points was that it already had a full library of software ready to go -- any iPhone app could and would easily run on the iPad.

#7 morgen has been a member since 25/12/2013. Posts: 5

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