For me a major advantage of the MiFi device is, my laptop and tablet both can access it from about 30 or 40 feet away. Aside from occasional use in airports and the like, I primarily use the MiFi device when visiting friends or relatives who do not have broadband. So what I do is find a convenient spot in the house with an available outlet and good signal, plug the MiFi device into the charger, and leave it turned on for the duration of my visit. Then I can basically use the Internet just as I would at home.
For instance, a few weeks ago I was skiing with my parents and some family friends. We were all staying in a three-story timeshare condo that was supposed to have WiFi but it wasn't working. I just set up the MiFi device on the third floor near a skylight where it had good signal strength, and I was able to browse the web from everywhere in the unit.
Note: the manual for the MiFi device I have only mentions Windows and MacOs, but I had little difficulty setting it up from my Android tablet. For general web and email, I mostly use my tablet, I only start the laptop when I wanted to do some things that needed a full size computer.
Cool! Never have gotten the hang of the tablet - good for viewing, too clumsey for data entry on that big keyboard.
Now days I'm spending a couple hours a week in Scouting committee meetings away from WiFi hot spots, so I need that connectivity for the netbook, or the Mac, or the HP. But that lapdock is looking cool too... (gadgetitius!)
Dropbox was a good solution but now I've just moved everything to Google Docs - anywhere anytime access to everything I need.
It sounds like your a busy guy! I tutor college students in applied physics when I'm not at work, in addition to taking corresponance classes. For me, I rock the smartphone, tablet and a small light laptop. I use the laptop when I have desk/table space to accomidate it and the mouse. I'm subborn, I like a mouse. I use the tablet a lot, in meetings and tutoring, for changing appointments and other small changes, to pull up physics text books and to quickly look up information on the fly. That tablet is great in meeting situations because it doesn't breakup space with an obtrusive, upright screen between you and your colleagues.
I go back and forth about the cellphone hotspot. Most of my tutoring occurs at coffee shops, so they have wifi. I find if I really need internet on the fly, making changes on the phone is more than adequate.
oh and dropbox to keep all my docs in sync (along with google services like gmail, calendar, contacts, voice...)
Time has come to pass that I need always on internet access with a netbook. Several external committees I'm on that I'm taking notes, setting schedules and more. I've been getting by just fine so far with my Motorola Photon, but now I need more interactivity to take notes and schedule meetings, plus a bigger screen to view contacts.
I've got an armful of possible laptops already to use, but I need internet access while I'm at the various committees.
So, the question is - should I just light up the hotspot on the Photon?
Plus to that is less to carry; delta is killing the battery on my phone.
Or should I get a dedicated MiFi device for sharing my internet connection?
Or should I look at a Motorola Lapdock / Webtop for the Photon, giving me the screen and keyboard I need without the weight of a laptop?
What have you use successfully?