Technology To Become a Better Business Traveler
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The right technology will help you be more productive on the road with less backache. Even if you’re not a technophile, your business travels will benefit when you take advantage of the latest trends in electronics. New tablet-style computers and eReaders might be just what you need to shed some weight in your luggage and stay connected. And when you stay at a Country Inns & Suites By Carlson hotel, you’ll be able to take advantage of free high-speed Internet access!
It’s not hard to see why tablet computers are surging in popularity. With easy-to-use touch screens and advanced technology, tablets offer the same functionality of laptops in a lighter package. Tablets are different from laptops and their netbook counterparts because they don’t have a keyboard. Instead, you operate a tablet using your fingers or a stylus and an onscreen keyboard.
The best-known and most popular tablet is the Apple iPad. Now in its second generation, the iPad has set the standard for tablets with its intuitive design and handy apps. Connect to your hotel’s Wi-Fi and create documents in Microsoft Office or join a virtual meeting. Other popular tablets to recently hit the market include the BlackBerry PlayBook, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Dell Streak 7 and Motorola Xoom.
The weight and bulk of books can add up fast when travelling. EReaders are lightweight and slim, making them ideal for reading on the go. These devices hold thousands of books, magazines and newspapers and can connect to the Internet to download through an online bookstore. Because they are optimized for reading (unlike a tablet), eReaders can go days without being charged.
The two most popular eReaders are the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook. Both devices use new technology to make reading easier on the eyes, even in sunlight. Consider the Kindle if you travel internationally (it’s currently the only device that will automatically connect with Wi-Fi overseas). If you don’t want to miss the full-color photos in books or magazines, the Nook Color may be a good choice.
Any Wi-Fi–enabled eReader will be able to connect easily using your hotel’s free high-speed Internet so you can browse for a new novel or download your hometown newspaper.
Keeping Them Juiced
I won’t soon forget the hour I spent in a department store in Chicago where I was borrowing a wall outlet to charge my phone. I had just bought a new charger from the store after an off-brand charger I bought that same morning failed. Keeping your electronics going can be a headache, and all device chargers are not created equal.
The Chargepod is a multi-device charger that can charge up to six devices using one outlet. It’s light and portable, and charges most phones, iPods and GPS devices. For charging small devices without a wall outlet, the iGo Charge Anywhere is a good bet. It’s a wall charger/battery combo that can recharge your phone and other devices even if you’re not in your hotel room.