by LAPTOP Staff on March 26, 2008
The portability of a notebook should make traveling with it a breeze, but lack of access to an outlet or an internet connection and your laptop might not seem so convenient anymore. Thankfully, a little preparation can remedy most of the problems you may find on the road before they happen. Find out how to stay charged, stay connected, and do even more than you thought you could with our list of travel tips.Make Crystal Clear Video Calls >>
If you work out of your car and your laptop rarely leaves your side, skip the standalone navigator and try Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 with GPS Locator. This software includes automatic rerouting, night view, and perspective map view, which displays your route as seen through the windshield. Users can access detailed maps of the U.S. and Canada, and enjoy spoken directions and construction updates. For $50 more, Microsoft’s Streets & Trips 2008 with Connected Services includes maps of 37 European countries and an FM receiver, which streams traffic data from MSN Direct and searches for gas stations and prices.
Web Site: www.microsoft.com/streets
If you’re in a vehicle and your notebook is running on empty, don’t fret. Lind Electronics offers a slew of car adapters, starting at $59.95, that are compatible with a wide range of systems from more than 30 notebook manufacturers. Each adapter connects to the cigarette lighter and provides the proper voltage for your notebook. Output filtering and short-circuit protection keep your system safe from power fluctuations.
Web Site: www.lindelectronics.com
Price: $79.99 with a 2-year contract and mail-in rebate
Web site: www.sprint.com
It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how rarely people actually do this. Services such as TrackItBack sell ID tags (starting at $9.95), that you can attach to your notebook. If you lose your laptop, the person who finds it can call a toll-free number to receive $50 worth of TrackItBack tags (and a user’s optional cash reward). Of course, there’s no guarantee that your lost equipment will be returned. But it certainly doesn’t hurt.
Web site: www.trackitback.com
When you return to the U.S. from an overseas trip with your laptop, you may have to prove that you didn’t just purchase it abroad and are therefore liable for import duties. So register your laptop with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which you can do at your airport before departure or at a CBP office. For a list of local offices, go to www.cbp.gov.
As any road warrior knows, the degree to which an airline can accommodate a laptop varies. Fortunately, there’s a Web site that can give you an approximate idea of what to expect: SeatGuru (www.seatguru.com). Once you’ve used the comparison charts to identify the airplanes that offer EmPower in-seat power, you’ll need an adapter that will keep your notebook up and running during long flights. We recommend the iGo everywhere85 a thin, 8-ounce power supply that can charge your laptop and another gadget (like a cell phone or MP3 player) at the same time.
Web site: www.igo.com
Web site: www.logitech.com