Gear on the Go

8 Must-have Gadgets for Your Next Business Trip

The British thinker John Ruskin groused in the mid-1800s, "Modern traveling is not traveling at all; it is merely being sent to a place, and very little different from becoming a parcel." More than 100 years later, getting from point A to point B is still a cramped affair (hello, reclining airplane neighbor!). But, happily, we now live in an age of mobility and connectivity, and even as the most sophisticated gadgets get smaller and lighter, it's easier to take life with you. Here, some of the best tech to set up a seamless mobile office and enjoy the comforts of home while on the road. With this gear, perhaps old John's sour attitude would have improved.

Compute
Asus Eee PC T91

It's a netbook! It's a tablet! It's a touch screen! Asus's Eee PC T91 is both versatile and -- at just over 2 pounds and less than an inch thick -- mobile. The small, sleek computer boasts a 16-gig shock-proof solid-state hard drive, another 16 gigs of removable SD storage, a 1.33-GHz Intel Atom Z520 processor, and a built-in Webcam. asus.com | $500

Connect
Verizon MiFi2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot

In a perfect world, we'd have Wi-Fi everywhere; until then, Verizon's MiFi2200 will do. Smaller than an iPhone and weighing just 2 ounces, the MiFi lets five devices connect to the Verizon 3G network from anywhere and juices up with four hours of battery life. verizon.com | $100 to $270, based on plan

Scan
NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner

Stave off entropy -- and hold tight to important info -- with the NeatReceipts mobile scanner. The lightweight, USB-powered color device scans and stores papers, receipts, and business cards, then organizes the info into your preferred format. neatco.com | $230

Monitor
Vue Personal Video Network

Pack some peace of mind -- by leaving this camera system at home. Stick up to 50 magnetic mounts anywhere within 300 feet of the base; position the tiny wireless cameras; then log on to view your live streams from around the world. With yearlong battery life and no software to install, Vue lets you effortlessly keep a virtual eye open. vuezone.com | $300

Carry
Zero Halliburton 21" Carbon Fiber Carry-On Case

The brawny carbon-fiber weave on this crush-proof travel case is made from the same material in a Boeing 777's wings. It's lighter than common aluminum cases and small enough to be carried aboard. zerohalliburton.com | $2,500

Run
Garmin Forerunner 405CX

Don't let an unknown neighborhood keep you tethered to the hotel treadmill. Garmin's Forerunner GPS sport watch will tell you exactly how far you've run -- along with your heart rate, pace, and calories burned. Sync your data wirelessly and Training Center software will analyze them to your (healthy) heart's content. garmin.com | $370

Watch
Slingbox Pro-HD

It's simple: Hook the Slingbox to your television at home, then use your laptop and a broadband connection to watch what's on your TV from anywhere in the world. With no monthly fee, high-def picture quality, and access to your cable and DVR, it's like you never left. slingmedia.com | $300

Print
Canon Pixma iP100

Roughly the size of a piece of paper itself, Canon's 4.4-pound mobile printer fits in your travel bag and is faster than most desktop printers (black-and-white clocks in at three seconds per page). Add Bluetooth ($50) and skip fussing with USB cords. usa.canon.com | $250

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1 Comments

  • Varun Arora

    This is a bit self-promotional but it's intended to be helpful. Specifically in the "monitoring" space, instead of buying new hardware, an option worth considering is using the hardware we already own. And pretty much everyone has a webcam (one of those USB-type cameras, or even a webcam integrated into a notebook / netbook lid).

    So we have a choice: go out and spend at least $300 on hardware or use HomeCamera (www.homecamera.com), a free (for now) monitoring service that's been recommended by the likes of The San Francisco Chronicle, PC World, and others. Incidentally, if you must buy "gear", another option worth considering is Logitech's WiLife (www.wilife.com). They take a similar position as HomeCamera - making monitoring easy - but with custom hardware (beautiful stuff though, and Forbes had good things to say about them - and no, I'm not affiliated with Logitech in any way).

    Hope this helps.

    - Varun Arora
    Founder, HomeCamera
    www.homecamera.com