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Posted by on Dec 13, 2008 in blog | 0 comments

Top Five Devices for “Travel Sanity”


Your iPod/iTouch/iPhone

iPhone by Dylan Parker

We all have them and we all love them. Then why in the heck would we leave our electronic friends behind when we travel? In addition to being able to play music, they can allow us to watch movies to make time pass by quicker. Personally, I prefer the iPhone, it has all the features of the iPod with none of the drawbacks and it has all the functionality of a phone without having to pack extra accessories. However, the iTouch and iPod come in tied for second place.  Just be sure to invest in either an extended battery pack to plug into the iPod/iPhone, or a car charger neither of which are too costly.

Also, invest in either an FM transmitter, they are really cheap, or a set of portable speakers, be sure to get the kind that run off either your car or batteries since they guzzle the iPod’s battery. You might even want to look into, and I know this is really retro, a cassette adapter, I use the one from my XM radio and the sound quality is great. One final note, service plan, it is really worth it. I am getting a service plan for my iPhone and it even covers the headset that comes with it, really worth looking into.

GPS

This little gadget can save you countless hours of arguing over where to turn and how far you have to go. There really is no reason why any car should not have one of these. I use mine all the time when I am travelling to find places to eat, things to do, or a good coffeehouse. Plus, and even though gas is down at this writing, the GPS allows you to not only find gas stations, but also keep track of your mileage, great if you work for a company that pays for mileage.

That aside, make sure you get a system that will suit your needs, some have MP3 capability, who needs that with and iPod right? However, you may want to look into one that has Bluetooth for your phone, even if you have an iPhone. I would drop no more than 180 bucks for one, since they have come down so much. However, I am kinda shaky on buying this kind of stuff on eBay since you could get a dummy, just be sure you take necessary precautions to make sure you don’t get ripped off.

XM Radio

What a great system, over 100 channels and only about 13 bucks a month. I have XM in my car and I love it to death. You will be out a bit ofXM Satelite radio by bariD money to buy the system, which is around 80 bucks, but check eBay. I recommend the Delphi Roady2, which is where I got my cassette adapter I use with my iPhone, it is a great system that is budget friendly and works really well. You can buy all sorts of accessories for these things, boom boxes to plug them into, battery packs with antennas to allow you to carry them instead of just being in the car, etc. Again, check out www.xmradio.com, and see what they offer. 

The only problem I had with my radio was that the car antenna, about the size of a silver dollar, its wire broke, but no matter the home antenna which is about the size of a third gen iPod nano, works really well. They have several packages you can choose from on their site and their customer service people can work with you on your plan to make sure you get the best bang for your buck.

Your Laptop

Everyone has two things it seems nowadays, iPods and laptops. The two are the foundation of our lives as college students, we want to be able to study and surf the Net outside our dorms and we want to listen to music on the fly. It really does not matter what brand you get, though Dells and Macs are easier to get service for than the other brands, all of them work mostly the same way.  For college you need a system that has great graphics, lightweight for class and the road of course, and good battery life.

There is no limit to what is available out there, you can go for a bare bones, lightweight road warrior for around 800-1400 bucks or an upgraded game ready, semi-light, class room ready notebook for around 2000 bucks. The choice of laptop is yours, however I recommend you get online to www.cnet.com and read the reviews for the model you are thinking about.  Or ask your friends and see what they think. Oh and one more thing, service plan, absolutely essential because who knows might happen to it. Dell is great in terms of service plans, and so is Apple but you have to mail yours in to the center to get in worked on in some cases, call around see what the details are before you buy your laptop.

            

Portable Gaming Console (Nintendo DS or PSP)

These are great for fighting off the inevitable boredom that will set in once you have been through thNintendo DS by Clared23e iPod’s batteries. They offer a great way to level up in your never ending quest to be the best you can in cyberspace. They are both great systems but each has its own unique features, however both have Wi-Fi; however, the DS can only use its Wi-Fi to hook up to chat with other DS systems. The PSP can play movies, the DS can’t. The DS has two screens and one is a touch screen, the PSP has only one but it is significantly bigger than the DS.

If you are looking to play Mario Brothers, and other great games, including older Game Boy games, hit the DS. However, if you want to play newer games, that might cost a bit more, hit the PSP. In general, PSP games are a bit more brittle since they are smaller versions of a CD, where the DS has tougher solid state games and they are a lot smaller. Both are great buys, but the DS is a lot cheaper, around 130 bucks compared to the PSP at around 220 bucks. Do your homework before you buy either one to make sure you are getting a good deal before you drop your money on either one. Oh and also look into chargers and screen protectors, they really work, and possibly an extended service plan.

By Joshua Stow
 

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