A GEEK HOLIDAY Planning to wander forth? Have you packed your tech essentials? Here’s a tick-list.
The summer is here, and can holidays be far behind? But before you start packing for a month away from home, let us look at that gaggle of gadgets that you are lining up, shall we?
Are you sure, for instance, that your expensive camera with three lenses will withstand a couple of waves in Maldives? And do you want to risk your precious touchscreen cellphone falling down a cliff as you scale the Alps?
Do you really want to lug a crate of books around – just in case you’ll find time to read them? And, horror of horrors, no Hindi movie? How will a month pass?!
With trial and error, over several years, one has evolved a system of packing for the holidays. More than a system, really — it is now a dedicated goodies bag. Let us discuss its contents.
Beach or mountains, sand or snow, you need to be sure your gadgets work, won’t let you down at the critical “say cheese” moment, and survive with you. If only all gadgets could take the dust, water and everything else that life throws at you.
One solution is the Nikon AW100. It’s waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, literally deathproof. Equipped with 5x optical zoom in a package that can take anything you throw at it, it even has GPS built in. That means all your photos get automatically tagged for location. An alternative is Olympus Tough 8010, also with a 5x zoom, which is also crush proof at 100kg. No GPS, though.
If you are a speed demon, these may not be quite your thing, but there’s no such thing as a perfect allrounder.
Tab: Rs. 16,950 ~ Rs. 19,999
2. Are you in the picture?
Do you find that you are always missing from your holiday pictures? No wonder, since you were behind the camera! This missing link is easily solved – get a Gorilla Pod. This portable tripod has flexible legs that can even be wrapped around a tree branch or a light pole. Put the camera in self-timer. And voila! You are in the picture. (Remember, the tripod should be able to take the weight of your camera.)
Tab: Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 8,000.
3. Keeping in touch
Some people don’t like carrying their cellphones on a holiday. But most people do. If you do like to stay connected, how can you take a banana boat ride, or enjoy the rains at Cherrapunji, and take that call at the same time? The Motorola Defy+ is the answer. This Android smartphone can withstand dust, water and snow, has all your smart applications from Twitter and Facebook to Foodspotting to share the beautiful dish that you just ate. The only ‘shortcoming’ is that the touchscreen does not respond under water or to a gloved finger!
Tab: Rs. 19,490
4. Getting a charge
Different countries use different electrical sockets. Many a time your faithful iPad charger will not go into the socket. What’s the answer? Call the concierge? Or pack a universal adapter, such as the SKROSS World Travel
Pro+USB. It covers over 150 countries, and even has 2 USB outputs, which
means you don’t have to pack too many chargers. There are cheaper variants available, too.
Tab: Rs. 2,500
5. Watch your schedule
One downside of a holiday is that there are too many things things to do, and too little time. You need to be on time, always, or your co-travellers end up fuming and fretting! Many watches can withstand some water, but why expose expensive watches to the rough and tumble of a hectic holiday?
Companies such as BREO offer different hues in smart plastic and neoprene, which you can even wear in the bathtub or shower.
Tab: Rs. 1,500 and up.
6. Video, on your demand
Love Bollywood, but can’t pack it in? Some hotels offer video on demand, but R500 a movie may be a bit much. But these days most hotels offer plasma or LED TVs that can take a USB pen drive. Pack in a couple of Moser Baer’s pen drive movies, and take your favourite movies with you.
Tab: Rs. 276 (4GB)
7. All a-bored?
Over the years, airports have become shopping hubs. But if you are not a shopaholic, the wait for the flight might be tedious. It’s a good idea to carry a book, but carrying your whole library is even better. The Amazon Kindle is a great option here. The new Kindle Fire, with full colour display and a good browser, is the upper-end of a spectrum that starts at the good old greyscale Kindle that starts at R5500.
Tab: Rs. 5,500 onwards
Footnote: All packed up and ready to go? Don’t forget to carry a couple of pop-out carry bags for your dirty clothes! Happy holidays!
This article on Smart TV’s appeared in the Hindustan Times on the 24th April 2012, in the HT Business Pull out Section on Page 27