March 23, 2006
 

SUBSCRIBE
ABOUT US
CONTACT US
ADVERTISE
MEDIA KIT
'06 EDIT CALENDAR
REQUIREMENTS
SUBMISSIONS


EVENTS
CUSTOM PUBLISHING
MOBILE KNOWLEDGE
PRODUCT REVIEWS
CORP PROFILES
ROI CASE STUDIES
ME OUTLOOK
ADVISORY TEAM








Posted: 06.04

Weighty Technology

Though manufacturers have successfully reduced the weight of their laptops, the combined weight of technology can be a drag.
Email this article
Print this article

By Tim Bajarin




The first time I lugged my early Compaq transportable onto an airplane in 1984, I vowed to convince portable computer makers to create lighter and, well, more portable products. Back then, portability meant carrying a 35-pound computer and trying to make it fit in the overhead bin of a Boeing 707. Today, laptops indeed have come down in weight and size, and taking a computer with me on the road is now second nature. But I continue to push vendors to create laptops that are still lighter, yet include all of the bells and whistles.

Ironically, while I try to carry the lightest laptop I can, by the time I pack various other support items, my shoulder bag still often tips the scales at around 12 pounds. Being the consummate road warrior, I should have this weight thing down to a science. But the truth is, while laptops have become smaller and lighter, many require you to carry extra ‘stuff’ on the side. For example, the Dell X300 by itself is a great ultraportable. But, like most ultraportables, it does not include an optical drive, so you also need to carry a MediaDock, which is roughly the same size as the laptop but about an inch thick and just over a pound— bringing the X300 back over four pounds.

While I try to travel light, I do carry some extra items to help me be more productive. I use a single power supply from iGO called the
Juice, which provides me with separate tips for each of my laptops and can be plugged into a wall or, with an adaptor, the power supply on a plane. I also carry a portable battery from N Charge, which weighs about a pound and provides an additional four hours of battery life.

Next, I make sure I have three USB memory devices with me. The main one is the DigitalWay MPIO storage drive, which has the 1.5 GB Cornice HD in it. On this USB drive I carry very large files and presentations for emergency purposes. It can also be used for transferring files between laptops. I also carry a product called the MIGO, which is a USB drive with software that can sync my Outlook files between my computer and any other computer without leaving a trace of my data. And finally, I carry the Stealth-Surfer, a USB drive that lets me surf the Internet on any computer without leaving a trail of my surfing. This is especially important if I am on the road and need to get private banking data or credit info from a public computer.

I also always carry the Sprint CDMA 1XRTT wireless card, in case I’m not near a Wi-Fi hot spot. I even use this in hotels instead of dial-up service. However, since Verizon is about to launch their new EV-DO services, I plan to jump over to their higher-speed network once it becomes more broadly available. EV-DO promises wireless speeds up to 1.5 Mbps, which could eventually make this the only way I connect when traveling, unless I am in a Wi-Fi hot spot with truly higher speeds.

I also carry a TREO 600, which does double duty as my PDA and my cell phone.

These are the main tech tools that are a must when I travel, but I also toss in my Apple iPod, the Sony MDR-NC11 noise-canceling earbuds, at least 12 movies in my CD/DVD case, an assortment of books, glasses and extra alkaline batteries. That is how I eventually wind up with a 12-pound shoulder bag.

Though I’ll continue to encourage vendors to create lighter laptops, in the end, I’m afraid I am doomed to lug a bag twice the weight of my laptop, just to make sure I always have what I need when traveling. •

Tim Bajarin is president of Creative Strategies
(www.creativestrategies.com), a Calif.-based consultancy.
WHITE PAPERS
NEW!
Click here to download






Home |  Current Issue |  Mobile Professional |  Mobile Campus |  Mobile Sales |  Mobile Service |  Q + A |  Newsletter