If connecting your laptop to your cell phone seems complicated, there are other alternatives to consider. You can buy a mid-range phone capable of surfing WAP sites and checking your email. Or get a full-fledged smart phone with full Internet support, including HTML, instant messaging, email, and so on. Smart phones are convenient because you don't have to lug around your laptop, but the small screen size and often-cumbersome data-input techniques may make this option impractical for some uses.
You can also skip the cell phone altogether and spring for a cellular card for your laptop, such as the Sierra Wireless AirCard. These credit-card sized devices plug directly into your laptop's PC Card (PCMCIA) slot and give you access to a cellular service provider's data network without the need for a separate cell phone.