On the road – our 11 top travel gadgets
by Keris Lahiff
Travel can be exhausting – from the endless lines at customs to the wasted time sitting in Aisle Seat 34C. To maximise your time in transit, invest in some staple travel gadgets.
What a lightweight!
A portable, and energy-efficient, laptop is a must for the frequent traveler. When deciding which to purchase, consider how long you’ll need it for between recharges, what you’ll be using it for and how strong those arm muscles are – energy-efficiency, functionality and weight are all important considerations to make.
The Samsung N220 is a great example of a functional, portable laptop. With a battery life of 8.3 hours between charges and weighing only 1.32kg, it’s a worthwhile investment for the frequent traveller. Or, for those long stretches of travel, the Nokia Booklet 3G offers 12 hours of battery life, with the added benefit of built-in 3G and Wi-Fi. Other notable units include the Toshiba Mini NB305 and Asus EEE PC 1000.
Working on the go
Just because you’re 30,000 feet in the air doesn’t mean your productivity should go out the window.
The Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard, a Bluetooth-enabled device projects a keyboard onto any flat surface, and will make typing mid-travel easy and convenient.
It is compatible with many smartphones, allowing you to take advantage of the note-taking function of most.
To recreate your desktop environment, attach a portable mouse to your notebook. Microsoft’s Mobile Memory Mouse 8000, for example, effectively doubles as a wireless mouse and a USB memory stick (with 1GB data storage).
Cure the boredom
Rather than being at the whim of the airline’s movie choices, invest in entertainment technology to ease the pain of long haul flights.
Apple’s new release iPod Nano should kill some time – specifically, up to 24 hours worth without recharging. And with the either 8GB or 16GB capacities and multi-touch technology, it’s a reliable addition to your carry-on luggage.
Or settle in with a book or 20, with the Sony Reader Touch or Amazon’s Kindle, both highly portable and capable e-readers.
Finally, slated for early 2011 release, the Nintendo 3DS will whittle away hours while you release your inner child. Weighing in at only 226 grams, it will take up little space while offering hours of entertainment.
Got the energy?
For the frequent traveler, having to worry about chargers and power adapters for multiple gadgets needn’t take up your time any longer. Invest in the Powermat Wireless Charger, a skateboard-shaped charging station, the length of a ruler and about 11cm wide. Even better, it can charge three devices simultaneously.
Similarly, the Freeloader Pico Solar Charger is a lightweight charger harnessing the sun’s rays to charge any device with a USB port.
And, while it may not recharge your gadgets, for the jetlagged and weary, jump in the hotel shower and use Shower Shock Caffeine Soap, the soap bar with 200mg of caffeine per wash. Word of warning, it’s not for eating – the caffeine is absorbed through the skin.
Published on: Tuesday, February 08, 2011