While I love being unplugged and going off the grid, and I have a slight obsession with the nostalgia of paper and pen, there’s a huge part of me that really enjoys all the electronic gadgets we have to play with these days. And let’s face it, these devices play a huge role in the life of the modern traveler.
APPLE PLAYS WELL
I have to admit, I am an Apple fanboy. I wasn’t always, but Apple has made life for the adventure traveler so damn sexy. And their products just work so well together. Take, for instance, my ideal mobile setup:
iPhone – The ideal on-the-go device for documenting your journies. Snap pictures, record audio and video, get directions, and keep up with email, all from the palm of your hand. Granted, all smartphones do that, but the iPhone plays great with Apple’s other devices, like…
iPad – I use my iPad everywhere, mostly for blogging and email. In fact, I’m typing this post on my iPad in a coffee shop. A small wireless keyboard and the Smart Cover to prop it up, and I have both a super portable “laptop” computer, and a convenient tablet. You can also try the newly announced iPad mini. But sometimes, you need a bit more power…
MacBook Air/MacBook Pro – If you’re just editing photos, browsing the internet, and blogging, the MacBook Air will handle the job. Thin and light, it packs a portable punch with a powerful processor, crisp display, and solid state hard drive, great for doing your thing on a plane or train. If you’re also producing videos on your trip, you’ll need to upgrade to a MacBook Pro, which has much more horsepower, but with a traditional spinning hard drive. Add in a small portable external media hard drive, and you’ve got your entire video editing suite wherever you go.
THE LITTLE ROBOT MAKES GOOD
Google Nexus 7 (affiliate link) – For around half the cost of an 11-inch iPad, you can get this 7-inch workhorse, made by search engine giant Google. The price is going to be comparable to the new iPad mini, but the real benefit is the Android operating system that comes baked onto the device. I own an Android based smartphone, and I love the freedom and flexibility that the Operating System gives you. iOS may be pretty, but if you need something more robust, Android is the way to go.
The Nexus 7 boasts a clean, lightweight body, althought a bit boring, with a form factor that is friendly to the traveler. It’s super fast and has a bright, beautiful screen. The screen size may be a bit small for blogging or watching videos, but you can certainly make it work.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD (affiliate link) – The device recently got a big upgrade, making its place among these competitors well-deserved. Running under an Amazon skinned version of Android, the Fire is great for the readers among us, as it provides a slick interface right to Amazon’s store, especially for Prime members. And the price, at around $200, is hard to beat. The Kindle Fire is more of a media consumption device than a media creation device, so keep that in mind when making your buying decisions.
I could keep going on devices all day, but these guys are the cream of the crop, and depending on your travel needs, will keep you happily creating and consuming content on all your adventures.
P.S., in case you’re wondering about my traditional writing preferences, This is my “blogging” kit that goes with me everywhere: