Have tech, will travel

Macworld Australia Staff
1 July, 2012
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‘Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” While I happen to enjoy US writer Miriam Beard’s misty-eyed take on the notion of travel, let’s get real for a minute because no matter what trip you plan to take – be it on the road or in the skies – your experience is set to be sheer hell unless you pack accordingly. Sorry Miriam, I think I just shattered your vision.

Unlike vaccinations, packing checklists vary wildly among individuals. While some find it imperative to pack for all seasons on a two-day venture (guilty as charged), others prefer to bloat bags with a jumble of last minute ‘add-ons’ that fail to serve any kind of purpose.

Nowadays, most of us wouldn’t dream of packing without including some form of technology. Phones, laptops, tablets and chargers are just as important as passports or visas, it seems.

As Apple users we share common ground when it comes to travel; that being our cases are all likely to contain one or more iDevices. And while there’s no doubting that Apple gear is good enough to stand alone, there are a number of compact peripherals that will help get the most out of what you can do with them while in transit.

Here are some essentials to begin:


First up, make sure you can power your iDevices no matter where you are in the world. For this, you’ll need something like Apple’s World Adapter Travel Kit ($55; apple.com/au), which packs a USB power adapter and USB cable plus six interchangeable AC adapter plugs that you can use with iPhone, iPad, iPod, MacBook Pro and AirPort Express. The adapters allow you to plug in and power your gadgets from most electrical outlets overseas.

Charged to go

If you’re not able to access a power outlet, make sure you have a mobile charge unit with you. Instead of messing about with multiple devices, get yourself one gadget to power them all. Last issue I reviewed PADACS’ UltraCharge Mini ($49.99 + shipping; www.padacs.com) – a mobile charger compatible with iPad, iPhone, a digital camera and more. The UltraCharge Mini is optimised for travel because of its compact size and ability to power two devices in one hit. Simple!

Just add iPad

Ditch your laptop and opt for a lightweight alternative like the iPad.
The slim-form device can be used for computer-based tasks with the aid of
a multi-function case. Check out the ZAGGfolio (pictured) keyboard case
for iPad 3 (US$99.95 + shipping; www. zagg.com) that sports a slick hard-shell case with built-in stand and removable keyboard. The folio supports the iPad in landscape and portrait modes, ideal for watching movies on the plane or typing a quick email at the airport.

To that end, iPads can also be used as a presentation tool in meetings. Pick up Apple’s VGA Adapter ($35) and mirror content including slideshows, photos and video from your iPad onto a VGA-enabled TV, monitor or projector. The adapter also works with the iPhone 4S.


If your hotel doesn’t have wireless connectivity in the room, take the Apple AirPort Express ($145) with you. You can attach it to the hotel’s wired Ethernet and then use it to transmit a Wi-Fi signal to multiple devices anywhere in the room.

And more…

My list is only the entrée of made-for- travel accessories. Here are a couple more on the menu to consider:

Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit ($35) – import photos and videos from a digital camera using your camera’s USB cable or directly from an SD card.

Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones ($399; worldwide.bose.com) – block out extraneous plane noise and listen to all your favourite tunes in-flight.


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