10 gizmos for the road2 min read . Updated: 31 Mar 2009, 10:38 AM IST
10 gizmos for the road
Gurgaon: SanDisk Ultra Backup USB
Price: 8GB (Rs1,499), 16GB (Rs2,499)
Even if you intend to use someone else’s laptop to get work done when travelling, carry a pen drive with the PortableApps Suite on it. It is replete with Web browser, email programme, calendar, tasks, antivirus, IM client, PDF reader, password manager, media player and a complete office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, drawing software, presentation and database tool). It is available in light (46MB) and standard (124MB) versions.
Also see: How to travel without a laptop
Prepaid Local SIM
Price: Varies from country to country
Staying or travelling in a foreign country for more than two days? Buy a prepaid local SIM card and SMS the number to your important contacts. It’s inexpensive, and you can get free incoming calls and SMS, lower-priced outgoing and international calls and messaging, excellent coverage, avoid unnecessary calls and often a bundled deal of GPRS freebies. So it also makes sense to carry along a second mobile handset. Or rent one. To avoid language problems while setting up the SIM, ask the person in the store to help. You might want to keep your passport handy for identification purposes.
Price: $8 (around Rs400)
If your laptop happens to have a PC card slot, you can use this low-cost, low-tech StashCard as a secret storage compartment. Pop it out whenever required and use it to stash away everything from memory cards, cash, credit cards, keys, important little notes, photos and more. It’ll all be tucked away safely from prying eyes.
Travel Adaptor Plugs
If you intend to travel to several countries, buy a single multi-country travel adaptor. This will let you plug your laptop/chargers into electrical sockets in different places. Some even have USB ports.
An alternative is to buy country-specific units that are sturdier than multi-country devices. It is best to buy one before leaving India as it is often cheaper here and you will arrive prepared. Check your local shops for one.
Last, and zero-cost option: Ask the hotel reception for one.
Seagate FreeAgent Go
Also see:Travel Wise
Other than a few top-end models, no laptop comes with a reading light. And ever so often—in a car, bus, train, or while waiting at the airport, station or restaurant—you need better than ambient lighting. It could be for the keyboard or to peruse a document. Apart from being inexpensive, a flexible USB-powered lamp is an extremely sturdy, lightweight solution you can throw into your laptop bag without a thought. Check out the local computer vendor.
Price: Rs14,000 upwards
Also see: And they shrunk the laptop
BlackBerry Global Roaming
To save on GPRS/EDGE roaming costs for your email while abroad with your BlackBerry, check with your provider on available international roaming plans and switch to one before leaving. Revert to your original plan on return, and you’ll only pay pro rata charges on this plan for the days you were abroad, not monthly. Specifically, note your carrier’s international network partner (for GPRS) in the country you’re visiting and switch to it manually. Else savings may be negated.