Tablets: An ideal vacation companion

REDMOND, Wash. — May 16, 2013 — Packing for summer vacation used to be quite a chore, but today a new travel companion is removing a lot of the guesswork and lightening the load. Travel guides? Check. Books? A whole library. Movies, music and games for the kids? Got ‘em. Map, compass, calculator, and even Office 2013 so you can get a little work done? Of course.

The best part is that it all comes in one small package. Sleeker, lighter and with more battery life, today’s tablet PCs are the perfect way to navigate new cities, stay entertained on the train, and keep connected to the office while you’re on the road. A tablet paired with a keyboard (or a convertible with a keyboard built in) can help travelers both work and play while away from home.

Paired with a growing number of Windows 8 apps, tablets can also tap into a variety of Web services to offer insight and information. With built-in GPS, Windows 8 tablets are able to suggest nearby restaurants and help locate fun family activities. Office 2013 provides familiar tools to be productive whether you’re connected or not — keeping a journal, writing a blog, or just sending emails to make your friends and colleagues jealous of your vacation getaway. You can even upload pictures from your camera or Windows Phone to SkyDrive for safekeeping and then access them on your tablet so you can edit them before posting them in a status update. After traveling with a Windows 8 tablet, it can be hard to believe we ever lived without them.

Click through the slideshow below to check out some of the top tablets and convertibles available, with a variety of features like HD displays, built-in keyboards and more. Each one is perfect to take along on your next travel adventure and will easily fit into your carryon.