Power Tools

Not so long ago I was in an airport when I spotted and editor friend wearing a ridiculous- looking neck brace. Thinking he had been in a car accident, I conveyed my sympathies. It turned out, however, that he hadn’t smashed up his Lexus. He’d become geek roadkill, badly straining his neck by lugging a notebook computer from flight to flight, hotel to hotel. Know the routine? Unless you want to walk into your next meeting looking like a client for 1-800-LAWYERS, you should get outfitted with the right notebook computer, modem, cell-phone, software, and luggage.

No two road warriors travel the same way. Some desire light-weight armor and no-hassle portability. Others insist on heavy-gauge steel and duplicates of every nerd toy available. So I’ve scouted out the most durable and dependable mobile tools and bundled them into three totable toolkits to match three different traveling styles. In this edition of Power Tools you’ll also find indispensable software for going mobile, plus a packing checklist and advice on battery care and overcoming the inevitable snafus. I cant promise you a quiet hotel and courteous room service, but I can point you to the equipment that will deliver all the utility and comfort of your office. After all, information-age tools aren’t supposed to slow you down.

John R. Quain ( is a contributing editor at Fast Company. He appears regularly on the CBS News program “Up to the Minute.”

“Road Warrior: The Top Flight Exec”

“Road Warrior: The Dunned Domestic Flier”

“Road Warrior: Regional Operator”

“Your Checklist for Glitch-free Travel”

“Quain’s Top 10: Road Weary”

“Re: Charging your Batteries”

“Online, Off-Site”