Todd’s Travel Gadget List

Having spent the 1990s as a frequent flyer, I spent the ‘aughts (2000-2009) as an occassional flyer and hope to by a once-in-a-while traveler in the 2010s. One infrequent journey this year is to attend the Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Summit in Bellevue and Redmond Washington this week. I thought some of you might be interested in my mobile gadget choices for this trip.

1. Netbook: I really would like to take the Asus Eee PC T91MT touchscreen netbook with me. But, its keyboard is just too uncomfortable to be my full-time keyboard for a whole week. This is not, by the way, an indictment of 8.9-inch netbooks since the Acer Aspire One 8.9-inch netbook keyboard is very comfortable to use. I decided to take an Asus Eee PC T1000HA netbook since its keyboard (on a 10.1-inch LCD device) is very comfortable to use and it has a 160GB hard drive (compared to the 32GB SSD on the T91MT). This is important since I want to backup my digital photos to the netbook while traveling.

2. Phones: HTC Touch Pro2, Apple iPhone 3G, and Motorola Droid.

3. Camera: Panasonic Lumix DSC-ZS3. I’ve been carrying a series of Canon digital cameras for about a decade now. But, my current Canon Powershot G9 is just too bulky for conference travel (vacation travel is another matter). I considered not taking any standalone digital camera and just using the cameras in my phones. But, the one-year old ZS3 was priced right (under $300), has 12X optical zoom, and can record AVCHD high-def digital video. More on this in the next blog post.

4. Watch: I use my Suunto SPOT (MSN Direct) watch daily because it provides news flashes and weather information. It also used to sync with my Outlook calendar. But, that came to a halt after I upgraded to Windows 7. I didn’t want to carry yet another charger to charge the watch every 2 or 3 days. So, I bought a cheap Mio watch that doubles as a pedometer.

5. Portable Battery Chargers: I’m taking an APC USB charger that can charge anything that can be recharged from its USB port (including the iPhone). I’m also taking a Casemate iPhone 3G charger (eval unit).

6. Earphones: I’m taking an in-ear earbud headset marketed by Microsoft for the Zune since its cable rolls up nicely and its earbuds do a good job of sealing my ear during flights. I bought an inexpensive ($35) from Sams Club) Sony Noise Canceling Headphone (MDR-NC7). I’m still on the fence about packing this headphone because of its size.