How Many Screens to Pack on Kids Holidays? - Lenovo 900 laptop Vs Lenovo Yoga 2 tablet review

 

It's holiday season in Australia. Summer holidays have just finished, there are public holidays every other week and the long break over Easter is fast approaching. It's also school holidays (what again!)  and if you are like me, you are wondering what to do with the kids. I have two active young boys and we love being outdoors so this school holidays we are heading up to the mountains for four days over the break. I'm already thinking what to bring: bikes, food, clothes etc But also how do I keep the kids entertained at night? Sure we will play board games and cards, but sometimes you just want to chill or God forbid, catch up on some work. So do I pack my tablet, the laptop or both? What's the best all in one holiday screen for kids and myself?

 

Let me start by saying that we have a bunch of different types of screens at home, probably like most families:

  • My eldest has his own mini iPad, the youngest borrows his mum's tablet,
  • I have a work laptop and smart phone, 
  • At home we have a laptop for the kids (the Lenovo 900) and we have a home tablet (Lenovo Yoga 2).

I am lucky to be an ambassador for Lenovo so get to test out their cool new equipment when it comes out, however that makes packing even harder with more choice!

I also run my own business, Social Star, which specialises in creating and leveraging Personal Brands for individuals and businesses. Being a small business I often have to catch up one work whilst on holiday - I actually quite enjoy it (gasp all those who work for companies!). 

Therefore, over the trip I need a computer I can use for work (Google Apps, Xero, Squarespace), one that has enough entertainment for the kids (games, Netflix, YouTube etc) and communication (Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom) without carrying a whole IT store around. It's not just the devices it's all the cables and power supplies too. 

Some parents will tisk tisk about taking a screen at all. The purpose of the trip is to enjoy the outdoors, but let's be realistic a screen can be handy at times! Especially as a single parent. Plus the lodge we are staying in is shared rooms with no TV so if the kids and I want to relax together over a movie we need a solution. So the question is.

What devices do I take away on holidays?

Here is my thought process on what to take and what to leave behind. 

Phone: Of course you take your phone! How could you not. But when out all day hiking or mountain biking it's an important safety device for phone reception and maps so I don't want the battery drained with kids playing games before we leave. Sure that 'shouldn't happen' but with two crafty boys anything can happen! So something dedicated for the kids is required so keep my phone battery full.

Result = take away

Work laptop: I'm blessed to love my job, but I also want to spend quality time with the kids so don't want my work computer with me. It's an energy thing about leaving it at home that is quite freeing. That said, I do need something in case of emergencies or I get some amazing ideas I want to blog about. I can use my phone, but for website changes, blogs or LinkedIn updates I need a big screen.

Result = leave home

Kids iPad: Hudson loves having his own devise. He plays games, chats to his friends and takes pictures and videos. We have to limit the time he spends on it, but it's a useful tool. Plus he is learning important digital skills that are mandatory for the next generation. The issue is his brother doesn't have one, which can be the cause of tension. For the trip one family devise would be much better.

Result = leave home

Home laptop: This is where it get's tricky. The Lenovo Yoga 900 is an awesome machine. The thinnest and lightest PC/tablet on the market, touch screen and with the most techy hinge you have ever seen! The entire screen folds around to make an A frame movie devise or completely flat to make a tablet. I can work on it, kids can play games. Perfect! 

That said, kids are tough on equipment and with my youngest being only 6 and a history of dropping things, I'm a bit concerned with letting them have this important (and expensive to replace) device. It's great but best left at home for when I really need it. 

Result = leave home

Home tablet: Finally we get to the Yoga 2 tablet. It's a huge tablet compared to the kids one. It's purposefully large as the battery lasts all day and has one of the best features I have ever seen - a built in projector! Yes you heard me. Right in the spine is a mini Pico projector which displays the screen on the nearest wall at the touch of a button. Sure it has to be pretty dark for it to work, but that's expected in something so tiny. The sound is awesome and very user friendly. The kids use it to watch Netflix all the time.

For me, this is the clear winner. We can watch movies at night projected on the wall. The kids can play games and it's durable and big enough to share. It has the screen size that I can use it for work if required. Plus it has a cute kick-stand that folds flat into the device, which allows it to stand at any angle. You can even hang it from a hook! Great for the kitchen to keep it clean.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an all around workhorse for your next family trip you should check out the Lenovo Yoga Tablet range with the built in projectors. I know the smaller tablets are great personal devices, but that separates people rather than brings them together. 

Let's hope for sunshine and lots of outdoor time these holidays, we might not need any devices. However, fortune favours the prepared and if it rains, we have an injury or dad needs a break to cook dinner I will be very grateful I packed the Yoga 2 projector tablet!

 


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Andrew Ford

Social Star, Level 4, Suite 402, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.