Question: What electronics are needed for business travel?
For business travel, essential electronics can be all tied up in one nice package in a good all around smart phone. You can do everything you could need to do from GPS navigation, email, surf the web, watch movies, listen to music, blog, tweet and compose docs or spreadsheets and more. As nice as it is to be able to do all of these things with such a small device, the smart phone is a jack of all trades but master of none.
If you can handle more baggage, an iPad is a very capable and versatile yet relatively small device that can expand your capabilities and make it easier to do what you were making do with on your smart phone. There are many apps available for the iPad making it a definite step up from what you can do with your phone. Because of its larger screen, easier typing, added storage space and the ability to attach peripherals, the iPad can make things much easier for you as long as you don’t mind carrying it.
The Dell Streak is new to the marketplace and is pretty much a big Android smart phone or small tablet depending how you look at it. It looks pretty cool as an alternative to your phone but it hasn’t been around long yet so its hard to say.
A camera is always good when out and about and depending on your phone, you may be able to get away with only that. I have had amazing luck with my smart phone and its picture quality. I have been able to blow images up to 11×14 and frame without problems with the 5 MP camera on my phone. If you aren’t as lucky, then a good slim digital camera will need to be added to your bag.
Some may argue that if you are truly traveling for business, a laptop of sorts is a must. Many try to get away with less (like me) but in reality the safest way to go is probably with a small windows based netbook. It will ensure that you are compatible with whatever you come across. You can plug into a projector if needed for presenting, and you get a wireless, peripheral and add on compatible machine with a keyboard for less money than you would spend on an iPad or full size bulky laptop. You can more easily fix it or replace parts (battery, screens, keyboard, drives etc…) than with a tablet or smart phone, especially if you do it yourself. Its amazing how much can be fixed on a windows based PC thanks to the availability of parts (they aren’t proprietary like Apple) and 2 small screwdrivers (1 Philips and 1 standard). If you are like me and carry a Swiss Army Knife, you will have everything you need right in your pocket.
Pick your poison… every one of these gizmos has its own pros and cons. In the end it will come down to what you are willing to schlep along with you and how prepared you want to be for whatever may get thrown at you along the way.