My husband will be leaving for Iraq in just a few months and he will be gone for 8 months. Our dilemma is that we are trying to find some sort of all-in-one technology or a combination of technology that ISN'T going to break the bank, but will allow him and us to do the following: Talk using some sort of video chat, have access to the internet, have access to PDF files so he can study his manuals (rather than lug the big things along with him), and lastly, be able to read books (some sort of E-reader). Does anyone have any suggestions? What has worked for you? After looking at all our options we THINK that it would work best for me to get an Apple i-phone and for him to get an Apple i-pad. That way we can have "face time" and talk, he can use apple's i-reader, he will have internet access, can dowload an app to translate pdf files, and can use skype to call family and friends who don't have the i-phone. This unfortunately is expensive...does anyone have any cheaper ideas?


Evelyn, Sounds like you are on the right track. My only thought is if he will have wired internet vs. wireless. If he has wired internet, then a macbook (or laptop) would be a better option. If you are looking to save some money, you can use any video conferencing software, not just Facetime on an iPhone. In terms of an e-reader. if he goes the iPad route he can download Kindle for iPad. I would also have him talk with the person he is relieving and ask how they stayed connected with loved ones and see if they offer any tips specific to the location. Hope this info helps!!
Hi, Not to be a stick in the mud.....but you might check with his Command, to see what is allowed.....and for suggestions....If he is forward deployed, his options are greatly reduced...both by Command and location. Cell phones or anything that transmits a signal, can be followed back to the source....Check with his Command, before you invest in comms.... Good Luck....
a laptop can do all of what you are looking for... i bought the laptop i am using right now right before i left for under $400. it allows me to skype with my wife and for your husband's PDF files hewould just have to download Adobe online... all the apple stuff is great (my wife uses a macbook) but for a deployment you may want to consider something cheaper that you can afford to lose/break/etc. if you are willing to let go of the fancy stuff, i would go with the laptop. i got a Toshiba - Satellite by the way. hasn't failed me yet. good luck to you.
I agree with the person who mentioned not going with the most expensive option, because the dust ends up ruining most technology devices, or at least shortening their useful lives. ;) My husband is just about to return from his 4th deployment, and learned to buy something as cheap as possible for deployments after his first experience in the desert. We got a cheap ($400ish?) PC laptop for him to take this last time, even though we are Mac users at home. It has done everything we wanted to do- use the Internet, skype/google chat. GOD bless and Merry Christmas.
Some other great communication choices besides Skype for those overseas are the use of Google chat through Gmail, or the Tango app. My husband and I have used his smart phone several times to chat via the Tango app. Just remember to turn off data services and use a standard wireless connection or this could run your cell bill sky high. Another free choice is ooVoo. Also you can use Google chat to call standard landlines for free or cell phone lines for just pennies per minute. Blessings and safety to you and your loved one.