Internet connectivity is central to the nomadic experience for many people, and mobile devices are how they use the net.
Because of their pocketability, low power consumption, and omnipresence phones are often the main mobile device.
Pro: portability, battery life, availability of apps, connected by wifi or wireless data, charge from USB.
Con: small screen, no keyboard, no pointing device, limited internal storage, limited RAM. Some (iPhone?) are picky about chargers. Easy to drop and break.
Smartphones (and tablets – next section) can be pressed into service as netbook work-a-likes by the addition of:
Note: the keyboards mentioned above are normal keyboards, although usually sized smaller. There are also mini wireless keyboards used for “lean-back” experiences with devices but they are not for touch typing. If you hunt-and-peck anyhow one of these phone-sized keyboards with integrated touchpad might work fine for you. They come in bluetooth and 2.4G wireless.
Although the metaphor breaks down, tablets can be thought of as large phones without built-in voice/data services. The majority are wifi-only.
Pro: bigger screen, more space for larger battery, easier to read ebooks on,
Con: heavier, usually not pocketable.
These are effectively computers that can be used away from the home/office or off grid.
Laptop and notebook are often used interchangeably and the difference between them may be lost. Historically, a laptop was a PC replacement and a notebook was a light (6lbs or less) device for geared for mobile work and entertainment. Chromebooks are Google products that have minimal “hard drive” and are intended mainly as always-connected cloud devices. Netbooks are very small notebooks that can often be carried in a cargo pocket.
Pro: physical keyboards and touchpads, relatively powerful, built-in networking.
Con: usually limited battery life, size, weight, expense.