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Best Technology For Long-Distance Travel? 257

Posted by kdawson
from the unbeaten-path-warrior dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Over the past year I have traveled across the globe for work but I can't seem to find the right balance of technology to take with me. After reading a CNET article about tech for traveling, I'm still slightly undecided about what hardware suits me best. On the work side of things I need a laptop, nothing fancy but it can't be too heavy or slow. I also need a smart phone that can receive emails across the world and if possible a satellite navigation device, as I need to get to less-traveled locations on a regular basis. From a personal perspective I need my music but I don't care about video, so I'm looking for something with high-quality audio and great battery life. A compact camera wouldn't go amiss but dSLRs are too heavy for my needs and carrying strength, so something I can tuck in a pocket would be perfect. Any suggestions greatly appreciated."
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Best Technology For Long-Distance Travel?

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  • by KaptainKrunch (1226500) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:10AM (#22532162)
    The best technology for Long-Distance Travel is high speed aircraft.
    • by calebt3 (1098475) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:19AM (#22532218)
      I'm partial to warp drive or wormholes (for really long-distance travel)
      • Scramjets are the best for long-distance travel around the world, because they will save the most time.
        • Stepping disks [wikipedia.org] will take you around the world in just a few steps..
        • by AJWM (19027)
          Actually ballistic beats out scramjets. Forty minutes or less to anywhere on the planet. Well, plus a few minutes to slow down for a more reasonable landing.
    • Re:Hmm... I think (Score:5, Informative)

      by Brian Gordon (987471) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:31AM (#22532272)
      In any case, we already know [slashdot.org] the Best Laptop for Going Around the World.
      • best camera (Score:5, Informative)

        by Ruie (30480) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:53AM (#22533022) Homepage
        And best camera is easy to figure out as well:

        • Digital is an easy choice - just from the point of view of durability of media and ease of acquiring lots of pictures
        • 4-5 megapixels is the minimum to take a full 1:1 picture of a page and be able to read indices in formulas (this was you can use your camera instead of Xerox).
        • Anything with more than 5 megapixels needs digital image stabilization - otherwise your extra resolution will be smeared out by natural shaking of your hands (or even your tripod - but this takes effect later).
        • Similarly large "tele" zoom is useless - if you zoomed in 10x closer to your subject you have 10 times the effect of shaking (and thus need a good tripod or very short exposure time).
        • Good wideangle on the other hand is great - not only you can get more of the scene in a small room but it also reduces the effect of shaking.

        Thus you want a camera with digital image stabilization, as good wideangle as possible and at least 5 megapixels. Last time I did the round up (a few months ago) there were surprisingly few cameras that met these conditions - mostly because most of what is on the shelves in "Best Buy" (not best for at least several years) does not have any wideangle whatsoever.

        My purchase was Panasonic Lumix LX-2 [dpreview.com] which, at the time, was not available in any store in Boston so I had to order it from Vahns. I was not disappointed and even found the movie mode to be useful - it has a higher resolution than my camcorder (which is NTSC like) and, best of all, the movie files are mpeg4 encoded and play readily on my Kubuntu systems.

        • I'll chime in here on the digital camera portion. I was looking for a highly compact camera that offered full manual operation (as I'm a photographer as well as designer) and I'll tell you what--the Samsung NV10 I got has been fantastic. Excellent, excellent device in all ways and has a very innovative, fast and functional interface. For the price I honestly don't think it can be beat. I highly recommend it all around.
        • by houghi (78078)

          Anything with more than 5 megapixels needs digital image stabilization - otherwise your extra resolution will be smeared out by natural shaking of your hands (or even your tripod - but this takes effect later).

          A solution for the traveler is explained here [metacafe.com] You can also make a bipod or a trypod as explained in this image [travelvice.com]

        • Re: Anything with more than 5 megapixels needs digital image stabilization - otherwise your extra resolution will be smeared out by natural shaking of your hands (or even your tripod - but this takes effect later). I would like to say this is absolute bull. How on earth does the image resolution have anything to do with sharpness etc of the image? IMHO, nothing at all.

          I use 12Mp Nikon D2x and on sort focal lengths, all my lenses are of the non Images Stabilised type and I get perfectly sharp images with

          • Re:Come Again? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Ruie (30480) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @07:04AM (#22533850) Homepage

            I would like to say this is absolute bull. How on earth does the image resolution have anything to do with sharpness etc of the image? IMHO, nothing at all. I use 12Mp Nikon D2x and on sort focal lengths, all my lenses are of the non Images Stabilised type and I get perfectly sharp images with it handheld.

            It is really quite simple - when you tilt camera by a certain angle the image would shift by 1 pixel. For two cameras covering the same scene the one with more pixels will have the smaller angle. Thus for the extra pixels to actually make a difference you need the camera to move less than that angle during the exposure.

            To test this put a thin black hair on a letter or A4 size piece of paper and take an image. Ideally it should be 1 pixel wide, but 3 antialiased pixels is probably to be expected with todays cameras. If you see more than 5 pixels the camera was shaking too much relative to the object and the same quality could be achieved with a sensor of 1/2 resolution (and thus 1/4 of megapixels).

            As for your shots, yes I can easily believe that with large wideangle (corresponding to 0.5 zoom) you can make use of 10 MP without stabilization. However, none of pocket sized cameras have lenses that can do that - and I find the ability to have the camera always with me quite useful.

        • Re:best camera (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rolfwind (528248) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @06:17AM (#22533718)
          You forgot:

          Something that takes normal AA or AAA batteries.

          Spare yourself from taking a million adapters that may or may not work, plus it's less devices to plug in once in the hotel.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by jools33 (252092)
          Compact cameras still have quite a way to go to catch up with the image quality on offer by even the cheapest DSLR and a cheap prime lens IMHO.
          This is mostly a result of the small sensor size and restrictions on the optic size which forces compromise on image quality that is possible for a compact camera.
          Also be wary of maxing out on the megapixels and on the zoom range of the lens - as the negative effects of a small poor quality lens will be far more apparent the more megapixels you place behind it.
          Small
        • by Teun (17872)

          Anything with more than 5 megapixels needs digital image stabilization - otherwise your extra resolution will be smeared out by natural shaking of your hands (or even your tripod - but this takes effect later).

          Although image stabilisation is great and desirable it has nothing to do with the number of pixels.

          Similarly large "tele" zoom is useless - if you zoomed in 10x closer to your subject you have 10 times the effect of shaking (and thus need a good tripod or very short exposure time).

          A large telezoom is very desirable and indeed is increasing the chances of 'shake'.
          But just because it's available on your camera doesn't mean you have to use it even in adverse light, after all it's a zoom...

          Good wideangle on the other hand is great - not only you can get more of the scene in a small room but it also reduces the effect of shaking.

          A valuable advice.
          The majority of cameras have a 35 mm (equivalent) wide angel setting but 28 mm. would be much better for indoor and landscape photography.
          One of the compact cameras with a good len

        • Well,

          olympus makes the stylus 770 sw...

          not perfect but:

          SHOCKPROOF (5FT).
          WATERPROOF (33FT).
          FREEZEPROOF (-10C/14F).
          CRUSHPROOF (220LBF).
          2.5" HYPERCRYSTAL LCD.
          DIGITAL IMAGE STABILIZATION.
          MANOMETER.
          Resolution: 7.10 Megapixels
          ISO: 80-1600
          Shutter: 4-1/1000
          Max Aperture: 3.5
          Lens: 3.00x zoom (38-114mm eff)

          The thing I like the best is the waterproof.

          http://openphoto.net/gallery/index.html?user_id=178 [openphoto.net]

          And not just for underwater. It makes for a nice experience walking around shooting pics on a d
        • by richlv (778496)
          there was once a camera line that was compact, had a strong lens cover that slided in front of it, that even had raw and other goodies like all manual controls.
          unfortunately, the company screwed it up by removing raw from the last model in that line and they also haven't released a new model for a long time.
          canon, i'm talking about you. give us back the s series we knew and loved :)
        • by wirefarm (18470)
          If I were to take such a trip (aside from the fact that I'm sort of on an extended version of such a trip for the past ten years) I'd grab a mechanical Leica, probably my M2, a dozen rolls of B&W film, a good, sturdy notebook and a nice pencil.

          Yes, I'm taking the luddite stance, but take it from experience, the more you slow down and digest your experiences, the better you will present them later. I get more from my paper notebooks than I do from my Flickr, Twitter and blog postings.

          You'll also spend f
          • Addendum (Score:5, Interesting)

            by wirefarm (18470) <jim.mmdc@net> on Sunday February 24, 2008 @10:14AM (#22534662) Homepage
            To be fair and tip my hat to this century, on my last trip to China, aside from the above, I also brought an aging iBook, one of the first white ones I think, a G3, a laptop that I didn't care in the least if I lost.

            First, I wiped it clean. Next I set up two accounts, on that I would use, the other set to be the default, no password login, in case customs wanted to see what I was up to. Browsing was done through an SSH tunnel to my home proxy server (mainly because my own blog was on China's great firewall) and any files I wanted to keep were SCP'd back home.

            Web mail is better than a POP app, as long as you avoid Nigerian net cafés and use your own laptop. Skype seems fine everywhere.

            Take a pocket digital too. The one you have from a few years ago. Use that for all of the crap photos you will inevitably take and save your film for the good stuff. Upload all of the digital junk to Flickr or whatever from your hotel every day, so you won't worry about losing it.

            For the real pictures, use film and take your time to enjoy it. Slow down and write down your impressions of the place and give it some real thought.

            Enjoy your trip.
    • The Garmin Nuvi Phone should be available in a few months:
          Here's a Review [cnet.com]
          Garmin's Site [garmin.com]

      I'd like to get one a these, although I don't travel as much.
    • by tknd (979052)

      The ideal solution is to simply find a job that allows you to stay in your basement. I hear that people that have mastered this art seem to have congregated at some website that combines the '/' and '.' characters.

      *ducks*

  • A towel and a copy of your HHGTTG,

    And maybe a hammer to whack Marvin with. If he's going to be so depressed all the time, might as well give him a reason to be.

  • Asus eee pc (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yamamushi (903955) <<yamamushi> <at> <gmail.com>> on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:18AM (#22532210) Homepage
    I'd recommend an eee pc from Asus. I've got mine running a slim version of windows XP, a 16gb sdhc card pops the free disk space to about 19gb, 2gb of ram, and with a bit of patching, you can even run oblivion on it (albeit at extremely low settings). I swiped this one off craigslist for 100 bucks a few days ago, so they're pretty cheap if you know where to look.
    • Come on dude. Ubuntu is much nicer than XP for day to day stuff. But if the guy is working and typing a lot the keyboard is rough on the eeePC. A regular laptop at 4-5 pounds is reasonable. How about we give this person some practical advice...like buying a laptop bag with wheels. If going someplace that can't handle rolling wheels, hire a pack animal when you get there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drfrog (145882)
      id second this

      love my epc as well light powerful its all good
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by plierhead (570797)

      Second this. I got one of these after getting sick of carting my full size laptop around in a backpack for emergency work. Its tiny, light, comes with a nice distro of Xandros which just works (tm), and I plug it straight into my 3G phone for internet anywhere. Great battery life. Goes up to 1024 x 768 so great for web-based demos through client projectors. Starts up in 20 seconds. Open Office for document work (though personally I use google docs).

      Best of all its cheap, and I don't keep any data on it (s

      • by pimpimpim (811140)
        It goes up even further, I use 1152x862 or something of that kind on my CRT, it should even be able to up to anything lower than 2048x2048, but there seem to be sme issues with the intel driver that makes some resolutions impossible, especially for widescreen lcds. I am truly impressed with Xandros, even though Xandros can be considered evil due to their business practices ("patent" deal with MS, activation schemes for Linux...).

        And it truly is a "lap"top, "knee"top even, as I'm typing this on my eee in m

    • Re:Asus eee pc (Score:4, Informative)

      by Quino (613400) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @06:42AM (#22533788)
      It seems that there's a group of us fan-boys, but the first thing I thought about is the eee pc that I'm writing this comment on :).

      I've only had it a few days, but the keyboard already feels completely usable, and the ridiculous boot times and portability (and cost) can't be beat IMHO.

      The touchpad is as usable as the touchpad on my thinkpad (though I am a fan of the IBM nipple pointing device when you have to make do without a mouse), but it does work well (I guess if touchpads fundamentally sucked Macintosh laptops wouldn't ship with them).

      I'm not sure about installing XP personally, unless there's a compelling reason to do so, when you can get Ubuntu with that 3D visual bling that seems to run great on this little machine based on youtube videos floating around. I'm holding out to the base software mostly because boot times would suffer with anything else, and it comes with just about anything you would actually need to get work done with a portable computer. Firefox, flash, MS Office Docs, and multimedia all just work with less (zero) tweaking than with a windows computer ...

      I was impressed with the OQO (had a chance to play with one extensively) for portable computing, but the price difference makes it a no-brainer for me. In fact, work would have paid for either of the two, but I'm a Linux (GNU OS really?) fan, so a workable command line meant that my job will refund me 400 bucks instead of a couple of grand ...

      If your work is mostly Photoshop (or Gimp) then a tablet might make more sense .... as for me, my 15 inch Thinkpad already feels ridiculously enormous in comparison ... (yeah, I know, weird - I wasn't ready for how small and usable this little computer is despite extensively reading reviews and watching videos of it in in action before buying).

      YMMV, of course, but I'm happy as a clam with the eee pc ... for transcoding or ripping/burning video or the occasional Windows game, the fire-breathing massive and noisy Ubuntu/XP desktop is still there ... mostly unused 5 feet away, but it's still there ...
    • by H8X55 (650339)
      $100?
      Seems difficult to find on craigslist...
      Where else do you look?
      eBay doesn't return any sub $300 listings.
  • Dupe! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Z80xxc! (1111479)
    OK, how many times are we going to get asked what to bring on our trip around the world? I swear this exact same question has been asked at least twice just this year already, and the year is young! It's getting old. (tagged: gettingold)
    • by misleb (129952)
      I think people just like to brag about their "awesome" jobs that allow them to travel the world.

      Imagine this Ask Slashdot:

      "So, I got this new job in the sewers of New York. I need a laptop that is waterproof and can emit ultrasonic noise to scare the rats away while I do my surveying..."

      Oh, wait, that might actually be interesting (the laptop selection, not the job).

  • by Itninja (937614) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:27AM (#22532250) Homepage

    but dSLRs are too heavy for my needs and carrying strength
    Can you buff out your carrying strength with some kind action? You know, like weights or something? Or maybe just put it in your bag of holding.
    • DSLR vs. compact (Score:4, Informative)

      by durdur (252098) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:40AM (#22532330)
      Seriously, compact digital cameras have gotten a lot better lately. I got my wife a Canon PowerShot SD600 a little while ago, which is purse-sized, and takes very acceptable photos. The main differences between this and a DSLR are: first, the DSLR has a much faster shutter speed so can take much better action photos; second, the SD600 has a small non-replaceable lens with a limited zoom, so it is not much good for wildlife or sports where you can't get up close. But for landscapes, it is hard to distinguish its photos from those made with a high-end camera.
    • by MrNaz (730548)
      The best minicam that I'm aware of is the Casio Exilim EX-Sxxx series. I've had every model in the series up to and including the EX-S880. The newly released EX-S10 is smaller than the others, and I'm about to buy it in the next few days. Great sensor quality, great optics, easy to use, fast startup times, absolutely tiny and easy to use. Although make sure you get the ones coming from Casio's Japan assembly plant [mrnaz.com], as the ones from the Chinese assembly plant are slightly inferior in subtle but noticeable wa
    • by joe 155 (937621)
      its good to see other people have got that nethack-takes-over-life thing as well, although to he fair a bag of holding is a good idea. Have you had that thing where when you're reading you keep looking at the letters as potential things to kill?
  • by Erpo (237853) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:27AM (#22532254)
    If you strive for the perfect setup, you'll be miserable. Just try to find a combination that's good enough.

    Someday, we'll all be wearing digital clothes and contacts like in Rainbows End and it will meet all your needs. Until then, you're going to have to choose between carrying a few different gadgets and giving up capabilities.

    P.S.
    Does the "the government can revoke your certificate and kick you off the net" idea freak anyone else out? It sounds like Vernor Vinge understands trusted computing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kalidasa (577403)
      Vinge is a retired CS/Math professor and he's involved with the Free Software Foundation (often on their awards committees). He definitely understands trusted computing.
  • HTC TYTNII (Score:4, Funny)

    by ForestGrump (644805) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:29AM (#22532260) Homepage Journal
    HTC TYTNII
    Quad band GSM, 3.5G data, bluetooth, wifi, 3.0 MP camera w/autofocus (no flash)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTC_Kaiser [wikipedia.org]

    As for music, I have a 2 gig micro sd card (You need more than 2 gig b/c typ nav prog and maps run 1-1.5 gig) and have it loaded up with phil hendrie (I love ted's of beverly hills steak house) and some music. Helped me get through many 70 hour weeks in the office. Use BTaudio to toggle audio redirection to the bluetooth headset if you don't have something that does a2dp.

    Built in GPS great. You don't plan on getting lost, you just do. Having a GPS always in your pocket has saved me many times.

    I must warn you though, many users are royally 3.14ssed about the video performance due to "missing drivers". see http://htcclassaction.org/ [htcclassaction.org] and http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=469774&from=badge [slashdot.org] for more info.

    Grump
  • Used HP Laptop (Score:3, Informative)

    by The_Dougster (308194) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:30AM (#22532264) Homepage

    I got myself a used HP nc4010 [hp.com] for cheap. I maxed out its RAM, put a big HDD in it, installed the 802.11g wireless board, and got the optional travel battery. To cap it off I got a mini bluetooth mouse, and its been great. I can dual boot it to windows or gentoo and it runs just dandy. It can even play WoW at about 7fps. Total investment was about $500. Its small and light even with the extra battery.

    You could probably do as well with something similar, I've read that the IBM ultra-portables are pretty nice also.

  • Hong Kong Lineup (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jomama717 (779243) * <jomama717@gmail.com> on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:33AM (#22532294) Journal
    I was pretty pleased with the lineup I brought along last year on my flight to Hong Kong (15 hours):
    1. Thinkpad P42 Work Laptop
    2. 80Gb Video iPod
    3. Nintendo DS
    4. Standard (non-noise cancellation) over-ear headhones
    Never used the laptop - slept ~6 hours, watched/listened to iPod with no battery concerns for ~6 hours (Family Guy, Harvey Birdman, Original Star Trek, History Channel), played DS for ~2 hours (tetris) and did crosswords the rest of the time - had a great flight. Of course, I should mention that I was in business class - I've had 2 hour flights in coach that I wouldn't have traded for this 15 hour one.

    For post-flight I'm not much help, I'm happy to concede cell-phone and mobile email when overseas.
    • Yeah headphones are a must. I just used my laptop and my Zaurus SL-5500 to listen to music with. I have a set of Roland RH25 headphones that I use at work and for travel. They fold flat, are pretty compact, cheap, and sound decent. Your cell phone probably has a reasonably good camera. What else do you need? The more crap you tote along the more you have to worry about. A couple paperback novels are always a good idea too though.
  • by 404 Clue Not Found (763556) * on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:36AM (#22532302)
    This question has been asked a million times and the answers are simple and obvious. Why not just Google around a bit or browse through C|Net, PCMag, etc.?

    Want a small laptop? Eee for price, ThinkPad/Macbook Air if you have an unlimited budget, or Toughbook and such, etc. Global Smartphone? Blackberry on quad-band GSM. Music? iPod Nano or Shuffle for battery life. Compact camera? Just go out and get one. Dpreview.com and dcresource.com are both good sites, and they're all compact, portable, and great for traveling. Look for ruggedized and/or waterpoof models if that's an issue to you, or look for models with manual controls if that matters to you; otherwise they're all pretty similar these days.

    Don't know about sat nav.

    Your question is so vague it's worthless. Who doesn't travel or use electronics on the go these days? Simple, basic answers are all you're gonna get unless you can be more specific with your requirements. What's your total budget, and how much do you want to spend on each device? Which countries are you going to be traveling to? Japan, Europe, Africa, Antarctica -- they all present different situations and challenges. Which sorts of environments -- standard business, outdoors, high-mobility? And how much weight are you planning on carrying? If a DSLR is too heavy, do you really want to lug around a bunch of gadgets everywhere you go?
    • by F34nor (321515) * on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:55AM (#22533028)
      I don't think cnet is going to tell you anyting other than who is paying the highest price for advertising this month.

      From what he said I think I know what he needs. A Nokia e90. My wife has the e61 and it does 90% of the computing tasks I need. Wi-Fi, 3G, phone, office documents, acrobat, web browsing with Opera, Blackberry support, exchange, & Skype. The e90 is big enough to do any office task on and small enough to take with you. It has 2 cameras (one 3m with flash) and is a great MP3 player. If you don't believe me read Maddox's review of the iPhone vs. e70 titled "The iPhone is a piece of shit, and so is your face." [thebestpag...iverse.net]. Granted the e90 is a little different than the e70 but who is going to notice that the e90's balls are made out of tungsten instead of steel with kicking them? Plus it runs on Sybian, a great OS with lots of support and not a bitch of M$ or a BSD rip off with flashing colored baubles.

      You know it is a great product because the US cell phone companies will only sell a crippled piece of shit version (e62) in the US.
  • Does the submitter need a phone that can RECEIVE emails or a phone that can READ emails? There's an important difference.

    I read all my emails on my phone by logging in to gmail via http. But I don't download my email to my phone.
  • Portals (Score:2, Redundant)

    by slimjim8094 (941042)
    'Nuff said. Just go somewhere high and aim well, then jump off the tower (or whatever, it really doesn't matter - cliffs work fine) and you're good.

    On a clear day, you can get to Asia like this. Then it's just a matter of endurance to get anywhere else.

    Just remember to bring your own cake.
  • I recommend the Cowon iAudio 7. It has great sound output and comes with decent headphones, and the battery can easily last for two days straight. I have never seen the battery meter below three bars. It also receives FM radio. Small but not too small. It supports MP3, WMA, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC, which was important to me and may be a value add for you. Newegg has the 4 GB version for $114 and the 16 GB version for $199, Amazon has the 8 GB version for $125. The interface is a little sensitive and may t
  • I have one of these and it's brilliant once you've loaded your chosen playlist. Adding/deleting individual songs is not so painful, but en masse, it is very horrible. Other than that, the noise cancelling works great and it's really cool how charging for 3-5 minutes gives you 3-5 hours of play at normal volume. Charge it for an hour and you've got 50 hours :)

    I bought it off woot.com for $50 which was a great value.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/mp3-players/sony-nw-s705f-noise/4505-6490_7-32111531.html [cnet.com]

    Cheers!
    --
    Vig
  • MacBook Air (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @12:58AM (#22532432)
    2GB RAM, 80GB HDD, OS X, decent screen... not too darned bad. Fits (it really does!) in an 8.5 x 11 manilla envelope. And if you really need a few Windows apps, VMWare Fusion will let you run Windows under OS X, and it works great! (I run XP in a dual-boot configuration on my MacBook, which is the best of both worlds... I can run Windows in VMWare if I just need to use a Windows app for a little while, or I can boot it up straight into Windows if I absolutely need the native Windows-to-hardware performance.)

    As long as you aren't burning CDs or anything, the Air is a very good solution. If you really need to burn CDs, there is an external drive available.
  • I thought this would be a neat thread about next generation interstellar engines.
  • - LAPTOP: Get one of the small Vaio.

    - PHONE: Get a Nokia e61i/SonyE P1, they have a real keyboard and gsm, grps, edge, 3g, wifi, should get your mail mostly everywhere. I also have a crackberry subscription with intl roaming works on both phone with some added software and I use the gmail phone app when I need to search through my old emails. (it also work with exchange push mail, depending on what your company is using.)

    - GPS: Get a real GPS. I suggest the Garmin 60Csx. It has a lot of memory, a s
  • You don't say what kind of work you do, but if you can get away with a smaller screen there are plenty of 12" notebooks with very good battery life. That's my favorite screen size since I can still use it in cramped coach airline seats, especially if I can hook it up to a larger display (ideally 20" or better, but even 17" helps) when I get to my destination or home. (Unfortunately there isn't a new Mac laptop w/ a 12" screen available any longer, but Lenovo has a decent one.) If you need the screen real
  • Laptop: whatever fits your size and your price. if you don't need a speed demon, then those are likely to be your key points -- that and battery life. Nothing you can buy today is likely to be to slow for most work -- unless you get it with Vista. Linux, Windows XP or a Mac are your better choices in terms of OS.

    cell phone: Don't ask me. Find someone who really cares about the different models. You'd probably be best with a combined phone/GPS rather than having two separate units.

    Camera: If you tend

  • Do you really need to go?

    I gave up plane travel years ago.

  • E-Ten Glofiish X500+ [etencorp.com] and an Eleksen roll-up bluetooth keyboard [eleksen.com].

    GSM quad band phone - communications and 3G connectivity. WiFi for non-cell 'net access. VGA screen so browsing is actually usable. MicroSD cards so you can have several 4 GB cards to store pretty much anything. Built-in camera. Windows Mobile Pro so you can read/edit Word docs, use PDF readers, etc. GPS so you don't get lost. And the keyboard for when you need to type for more than a few minutes.

    You'll get all the media player capabi

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's called "a book".
  • Well (Score:3, Informative)

    by kitsunewarlock (971818) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @01:36AM (#22532656) Journal
    If you buy a nintendo DS (or older PSP), you could just upload your music onto that device. The battery life isn't as good as an iPod, but it'll last most lengthy flights pretty well (assuming you don't want it on while you sleep).

    You just need the right hardware/software along with your DS, of course. Which isn't that hard to come by.

    Check The mod goDS at http://www.themodgods.com/ [themodgods.com] for more information and (best of all) links to more information sources beyond themselves. The basic "kits" will run about $100. Personally I just use my DS for playing a few games I own so I never bothered buying all the extras, but after seeing all my friend's things, I kinda regret buying an MP3 player...
  • No Laptop (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dracocat (554744) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @01:37AM (#22532664)
    First thing I would do is get away from the notion that you "need" your laptop. Taking that off your list will make you a LOT happier. There are Business Centers and Internet Cafe's all over the world. A gotomypc account and a USB drive should handle all of your situations. Seriously think about that one. Once you stop lugging that thing all around the world you will be so much happier.

    Sure you might want to work on the airplane while you fly over the ocean. Print it out, bring a pen.
    • Aside from the observation that one should treat EVERY publicly accessible computer as if it were packed to the gills with keystroke loggers and viruses (and that is, of course, why you recommended using your own external USB drive (flash or spinning), never accessing the suspect internal storage of the Internet Cafe's machine), there is also the problem that you are unlikely to find an Internet Cafe or Business Center located where you are meeting and have need of your data.

      So some sort of portable compute
  • by rufusdufus (450462) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @01:38AM (#22532666)
    This submission is a ridiculous shill. Put in my anonymous hmm? Could our theoretical traveller with vague needs be..oh I don't know..an editor of CNET?
  • The first priority is to minimize cords and chargers; pick devices that can share the same chargers as much as possible. Blackberrys and Motorola phones both charge from the same mini-usb charger or through the laptop. If I could find a camera that did the same, it would go a long way. Disposable or AA/AAA format rechargables might sound good, but they really are a pain in the ass.

    After you manage that feat, see if you can find a laptop that just needs 24V or 12V external power source that you can find a
    • If you're traveling with a GPS device much, you may want to look into a universal Solar Recharger. You can get several models that will charge any 3V-5.5V device, some have internal NiCd batteries so they can soak up the juice and then charge something later, and I've even seen models with a hand crank in addition to the battery. Mine has a super-bright LED as well that is a nice flashlight in a pinch. They come with all the standard cables for most PDA's, cell phones, mini USB, and iPods. The adapter c
  • This line has evolved to be waterproof (dive 33 feet deep), dustproof, crushproof, freezeproof. But is still small and light. Just feels a bit more solid than most. The latest model has 10 megapixels.

    I own the model from a couple years back (stylus 800, 8 megapixels). Not yet waterproof, but has survided a fall into the pool. Not yet crushproof, but has survived a 6ft fall onto concrete.

    Only minuses: takes proprietary Olympus (xD) memory cards, but adapters for miniSD are available. Also, picture delay is b
  • by The Famous Druid (89404) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:38AM (#22532954)
    Warp Drive.

  • For the laptop, I use a HP TX, AMD dual core tablet with 3h batterry, 4lbs, burner, sd/ms reader etc. for ±1k$, you can find driver for Xp and Linux
    For the music, you have plenty of choose
    Same for GSM phone with gps, I got the HTC, nice package
    For the camera, today, only one can have all the SLR function/benefice without the weight it's the canon G9. Hope this will help you.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @03:02AM (#22533052)
    You sound like you haven't traveled much.

    First, you don't need your music. You simply want it.

    Second, anything you return to the USA with may be taken at the border and searched, including computers and storage devices. Be aware of the information you're traveling with, and where it's backed up otherwise.

    Thirdly, don't take anything you can't afford to lose. The USA are not the only border guards you'll face, along with all the other predators out looking to take advantage of the richly equipped foreign traveler.

    • by mrboyd (1211932) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @06:47AM (#22533806)
      Mod the parent up.

      Everything you have when you travel can and will be lost (one day or another). I have had laptops, external hard-drives (including ipod), flash drives, cds seized without cause by customs official in some countries. Probably because they wanted to have it for themselves and there is NOTHING you can do about it unless you want to risk spending a couple of weeks in jail for a $100 HD. They might just be able to find some marijuana or cocaine on you if you won't let go and try to make a fuss.

      I have a synchronization software that run on my laptop and send every updated file back "Home" (over ssl) as soon as it detects an internet connection. So if my laptop gets "borrowed" I'll only lose the value of the hardware and not the actual work.

      Encrypted drive can be fun but might also get you into more trouble than they are worth. Last time a custom official asked for my windows account password I was in a locked room, he had stored my passport in his drawer and was carrying a gun. Again, not worth it. Just make sure that there is as little sensitive information on your laptop as possible.

      I travel in some rough countries, some of them under embargo by the US (I am not a US citizen), some of them on the "axis of evil", some of them just plainly plagued by corruption. (And some of them quite nice and relaxing but they aren't funny to talk about)

      If you do the same, keep some spare change for bribes (at least fifty $1 bill), convert part of your cash to traveler's check, keep you credit card separate from your wallet. Do not trust safe in hotel, even if you can "choose" the code, management has the master key anyway.

      Oh and don't go to the local brothel even if the taxi driver tells you his nice brother run the place. :)
      About taxi driver when you find a "good" one, always give him a large tip and keep his number that will create an strong incentive for him to come pick you up very quickly and to "protect" you during your stay (otherwise he'll lose his good tipper). But we're not talking about technology here so I guess I'm out of scope.
  • The best tech to take with you is a homebuilt mod (it's not that difficult to make) to let you run your PDA, phone, camera, or whatever using standard AA batteries that can be bought at any kiosk or supermarket. Trust me, when you travel, even if you carry 4-5 or more batteries for each device with you, at some point you will find yourself with no power for your device and no power socket to recharge it.

  • I could carefully analyze your requirements, survey the available tech, and propose a set of devices that might satisfy your needs... but I think some comparative empiricism would be quicker and less nerd-tastic. I'm based in the US, travel extensively & work in third-world/quasi-decrepit first-world locales, and like to travel light. I also like to buy all sorts of new doodads... so let me dig thru the backpack and describe the items that have not been tossed as useless, broken, or given away over th
  • charger! (Score:3, Informative)

    by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @04:18AM (#22533362) Homepage
    Here's a great little power brick [walmart.com] for travel. It is slim and light (59g according to my kitchen scale) to fit easily in your bag, and the prongs fold in for storage. It can charge two USB devices at once, and it is cheap. I had a long Amtrak trip last year (Seattle to Texas, and back a month later), and two of those kept my phone, two iPods, Nintendo DS, and Tomtom all happy on the train, and in my hotel room. And actually, one would have been enough.

    For the curious, the reason I had two iPods is that I took my 40 gigabyte hard-drive based model that has my complete library, for listening to music in the hotel, and my Nano for listening to audio books and podcasts in the hotel and on the go. The flash-based players are better for the latter, because they are more response if you miss something and need to skip back a few seconds.

    If I were doing that trip again now, I'd probably buy a Kindle. That would be perfect for a train trip.

  • Hire a sherpa, and take your desktop, Hi-Fi, portable darkroom and a satellite dish?
  • Apple Macbook (black, as it shows dirt and wear less, and not a Macbook pro as the non-pro is more durable)
    Nokia E90 phone (smartphone, email, quadband GSM, GPS, you can fit maps of the world on an SD card)
    iPod Classic 160GB (highest battery life of any MP3 player)
    Canon PowerShot SD950 (metal case)

  • Laptop:
    Refurbished Thinkpad T40/T41/T42/T43 (still IBM made, good price, light, workable)
    dont want to spend too much money, cause all the gear can be stolen

    Camera:
    Canon Powershot A540, A530, A560, A570
    If you can't get new ones anymore get a used one.
    6 MPixels are more than you will ever need, above the picture actually gets worse,
    Canon Powershots are the best. Better to get the A540 than the A560.
    Those work with standard AA batteries. So you can get cheap rechargables that last long and can replace them any
  • Here is my list... (Score:5, Informative)

    by bayankaran (446245) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @07:48AM (#22533998) Homepage
    ...after a few years of testing out many items. For easy traveling, your items should be flat and thin. 1. Thinkpad X series (had to wait 3 years for the price to drop around USD1200 after rebate/coupon), a bag where you can fit the laptop on its side (easy to carry around) and a PCMCIA modem card (many Asian countries you will get net access through cellphone service providers) 2. Canon TX1 3. Any quad band cellphone with an FM receiver and a bit of memory for storing any music 4. A small LED torch 5. Earplugs 6. flat/thin LED book light, a flat Swiss army card etc. All the above will fit in a thin laptop bag (Wilson has nice leather laptop bags - and they look like normal bags) and will not weigh more than 3.5 to 4 pounds.
  • If you are going to remote places, you should check out a Solio Charger [solio.com], which will charge your gadgets (at least, the phone, camera and other small stuff) using the sun.

    My mother-in-law got me one for Xmas, and it is quite cool.

  • http://www.pharosgps.com/gpsphone/ [pharosgps.com]

    It does most of what you want. Camera, quad band GSM, FM receiver, GPS, music player, bluetooth, wifi, etc.

    It's only deficiency is that it runs windows mobile, which means you need to reboot it from time to time or else it gets flaky. Oh, it can charge through the USB port on your laptop so you do not even need the charger.

    With that and a 15" Macbook Pro (dual boot with XP just in case), I have traveled around the world happily.

    strike
  • > Best Technology For Long-Distance Travel?

    Jet aircraft are very popular.
  • by H8X55 (650339) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (samoht.r.nosaj)> on Sunday February 24, 2008 @10:18AM (#22534690) Homepage Journal
    I travel for work about 20 times per year, about seven days per trip. All travel is domestic. I spend 10-15 hours per day in hotel ballrooms or convention centers. The rest of the time is spent in bars and my hotel room.

    One thing that needs to be addressed, what to carry all your gear? I've always used a backpack to carry my stuff (14 in. laptop, mp3 player, digital camera, disk case, PSP, assorted cables and chargers, and a couple magazines and/or paperbacks) as the messenger bags tend to get too bulky. I'm currently carrying The Crumpler Sinking Barge backpack [photo.net] as I've been traveling with my Canon DSLR and two or three small lenses and this bag was designed to carry the camera stuff and a laptop. The Crumpler brand is well known in the photog arena for their capacities, durability, and funny names.
  • by Builder (103701) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @10:32AM (#22534774)
    Some of what you want can't be done - there's no such thing as a smartphone that works across the world. I spent 5 months in north and west africa last year, and it's often the case that there are no roaming agreements for european or US networks, so your phone won't work at all. And even if you get a local sim card, you'll still be stuck with no data in many places.

    The rest - well, it depends on whether you are going to a hospitable or hostile environment. If you're going to a hostile place, make sure you take something to keep yourself amused. A portable game device and LOTS of reading or tv shows and books are essential.
  • by goldcd (587052)
    Not too hard a problem. Grab a Nokia N95 for your GPS, Music, 5Mp camera (which actually takes decent pictures) and GSM 3G access.
    For your laptop just grab whatever you actually need as long as it has Bluetooth to plug into the phone.
    Although you've not mentioned it, the bit that you really need is a GSM SIM with reasonable roaming data charges. Your options are to work out where you're going to be going and to pick up a SIM that offers the best roaming over all regions, or to pick up a PAYG SIM in each a
  • by Thumper_SVX (239525) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @11:32AM (#22535130) Homepage
    My advice? Take the minimum you need for your flight and ship the rest. Yes, that includes your laptop.

    Last time I went on an international business trip, I took one carry-on with my clothes packed in vacuum-sealed bags. As far as electronic items, I took my 60Gb iPod and my HTC TyTN... oh, and a set of noise-canceling headphones. Not to mention an eye-mask and ear plugs (so I could sleep). That's it... nothing else.

    I had packaged up my laptop and other business-related paraphernalia in a secured box and shipped using an insured carrier the day before I departed. Yes, that meant I was "sans laptop" for a day... but really... with my TyTN able to get my email and web browsing I didn't miss it. The laptop and stuff arrived the day after I did and was quite secure... I didn't have to run the rigmarole of dealing with the TSA or their foreign counterparts with my laptop, and I had the security of knowing all my luggage was in the overhead during the entire flight and wasn't getting lost somewhere in the depths of Newark's baggage handling facility (those who've gone through Newark know this pain).

    Sure, the shipping wasn't cheap but I was able to write it off as a business expense since all I was shipping were business items. I treat either carry-on or checked bags as an insecure location to store critical information. Yes, there's a risk that a loss may occur with a carrier like Fedex or UPS as well, but if it's insured then you can claim it back. Oh, and make sure the data on the drive is encrypted if you're really feeling paranoid.

    So what if I'd wanted to work the day I arrived? Yes, that would be a catch. However, the first day after you arrive internationally, you're almost never going to be functional. You're going to want to sleep. However, just on the off-chance I had a bug up my butt to actually do some work that day, I put critical information (critical to the project at hand plus a few other minor items) onto the hard drive of the iPod, and a copy on a 2Gb USB stick... both encrypted of course. That way, I'm pretty much covered.

    Did the same on the way home and couldn't have been happier. There's little reason to take a laptop onto a trans-oceanic flight these days... most of the airlines do in-flight movies. Even if not you can put movies on your iPod or iPhone or (insert media player of choice here). I have considered in the past getting one of the nice portable media centers to carry on international flights, but to-date I have never needed them. Plus, I make a point of getting red-eyes (overnight flights) so that I'm almost forced into a position where I get a few hours of sleep. That makes the travel much more bearable.

    Think about your priorities and make a decision from there what you need to bring... but bear in mind a laptop is LOW priority if you're sensible about your other technologies. Laptops are also a risk, and when I travel the only places I like to carry my laptop are between the hotel and the office... and then ship it to my next port of call. I find travel a LOT less stressful since I started this because it means you have a minimum of stuff to keep a track of, and so long as you make sensible use of encryption your data is as secure as reasonable.
  • Laptops (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lunartik (94926) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @11:33AM (#22535144) Homepage Journal
    If you regularly travel internationally on business, it is a good idea to use a laptop which does not carry personal information and just contains non-confidential materials related to the purpose of your trip.

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