I used to travel with two laptops, one as a backup, however lately I’ve switched to taking the iPad and a laptop. The iPad doesn’t double as a backup, but it does let me do things like take notes at events or conferences with an extremely long battery life. My laptop only gets 2-2.5 hours, and when you’re on the go for 10 hours, you need something else. I also use the iPad for demos of SQL Monitor, from Red Gate, using http://monitor.red-gate.com/
However I’ve been tempted to get a real second machine, something that is truly a backup. I read Brent Ozar’s post on his MacBook Air, and it’s really tempting to get one of those, especially as I use VMware, which works agree both Mac and PCs.
Seth Godin as another interesting argument for a second machine. Use one for pleasure, or distractions, and one for work. That’s not bad, but I kind of do that with my phone. I read on it and listen to music, as a break from the laptop (or sometimes in conjunction with it).
I’m a practical guy, and don’t want to get (too many) gadgets for fun, especially laptops. I went through that last year, going from a Win 7 tablet to the iPad, which was a good move for me. At least my daughter thinks so.
For now I think I’ll stick with just the iPad and my Lenovo. However when I look for a new laptop, I have to say that the MBP will be high on my list, just to try something new.