We all need to bring our music with us when we travel. The best travel speaker needs to blast out some anthems for an impromptu mini-beach party and provide some volume when you review a YouTube clip on your mobile.
In recent years electronics manufacturers have really upped their game when it comes to portable speakers, and now the market is saturated with top quality devices. While that is great news for choice, it’s now harder to choose a pair.
Having great travel speakers can make a big difference to small group holidays as they help provide the party. But of course everyone’s needs are different, so let’s get some reviewed and look at all of the options that are available.
“Sorry, can’t chat, battery’s about to run o…” I can’t count the amount of times I’ve uttered those words and still not bought a portable battery pack. Despite the continuous stream of new gadgets and technical innovations we’ve been wowed with over the past few years, battery-life still manages to let us down.
This January, when planning a once in a lifetime trip to Antarctica, I was determined not to let my batteries beat me and to get the Veho Pebble reviewed properly. I’d be spending three weeks cruising around the Antarctic Peninsula, but getting to the port was the initial challenge: from front door to icebreaker, I faced three separate flights and more than two days of solid travel. And, travelling solo, it would be a real-world test of this vital piece of technical back-up.
Well, last year it was the dawn of the tablets. But what changes are afoot in the growing market for travel laptops in 2012? Basic requirements remain largely unchanged: long battery life, light weight, portability, ruggedness, connectivity etc.
Really, it’s all about the ultrabooks this year. And with faster chips and strengthened build, they are proving ultra-light and ultra-capable.
In our Top 10 Travel Laptops for 2010 and last year’s Best Travel Laptops 2011 we had small, light and useful; this year you can add powerful and pricey. We’re seeing a a no-compromise approach, where super-svelte (commonly silver) ultrabooks deliver everything you’d expect from much larger machines. And some even cram in a DVD-drive. How retro!
If the MacBook Air started this category, it’s now got a stream of competitors eager to get your custom. We’ve got you the basics here, and a couple of heavyweights to finish for the die-hard adventurers out there.
I’m A Celebrity Get Me A Wet Wipe! Yes, any TV show that puts celeb contestants in ‘extreme’ environments is usually a farce – punctuated with weeping, flirting and general faffing around with maggots: Until now.
That’s because The Discovery Channel is about to air Alone in the Wild a programme that is, as far as I can see, pretty much the real thing.
Eight celebs dumped off for six days and six nights to fend for themselves, with only what they could carry and a digital camera for company.
Travelling can be done on a shoestring: you can rough it in Rio or doss on a bench in Buenos Aires; we’ve lost count the number of times we ended up crashed on a beach somewhere – but, given the choice, there’s at least ten gadgets we’d have packed in our travel bag.
Camera manufacturers have woken up! We need ruggedized models, and we need ones that take both pictures and HD movies – and can do it anytime, anyplace, and anywhere. But make sure you have enough ink cartridges handy to print out all of the wonderful photos this camera can do.
This year a raft of new models has landed on the shelves. We’ve tried the Panasonic HX-WA10 and can vouch for its ease of use and reliability.
SunnyCam Video Glasses
Always an odd choice, but for capturing the POV action without spending a small fortune, there’s no other totally hands-free solution. This model SunnyCam glasses served us well on some downhill mountain bike sections. While the quality can’t compare with the HD camcorders, it still uses a 3 MP webcam, running 30 frames per second. There are also interchangeable lenses and a decent 3-hr memory on offer.
Portability, networkability, and connectivity: with the latest laptops, it’s definitely about ability. Although, when it comes to travelling, there is still more to consider. Airlines are strict on weight limits and some of their baggage charges are stratospheric: so weight is also a factor. And there’s survivability, too. Not all the machines in this list are designed to survive the wildest of windstorms, still we have included a couple of purpose-built mud-pluggers for the explorers out there. As well as laptops, we feature three netbooks – diminutive, web-ready, micro-machines that have ditched their CD drives but are still packed with power- three laptops, a pair of custom heavyweights and of course, a ringer.
So if you can’t face being without Facebook and a larger screen, and your mobile just doesn’t have the processing power, look no further than our top ten travel laptops. read more
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