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Portable Electronics – The Good, the Bad, the Useless!

Updated on July 2, 2010

I love to travel. Right now, I’m chomping at the bit to get to a beach. Any beach will do! One of the problems that I face with my desire to travel is that I cannot bring my whole office with me. Though it would be easiest for me if all of my work disappeared every time that I did, this is not the case. Work still has to be done. Emails must be checked and responded to. We all have our cell phones and they have become quite remarkable in their capabilities. However, if you just got a ten page PDF file that you have to read, correct and return in a reasonable amount of time, your phone is not an option. Here are a few of my favorite and least favorite mobile devices.

Netbooks: These little portable PCs have a couple of wonderful features. They are wireless, they generally run Win XP, and they have decent battery life. Netbooks are great for checking emails, simple web browsing, and basic word processing. Where they sometimes fail is storage capacity. Many just have micro drives instead of actual laptop hard drives. Where they all fail is screen size, sound and video quality and keyboard size. If you have ever had to really do any work on a netbook, you will quickly learn how much you miss your laptop. However, I do have to admit that I love their price!

Portable Scanners: There is nothing good about these devices. Not only do they not scan well, they also have a tendency to pull your documents through at an angle. If you absolutely have to scan documents while traveling, you might just have to suffer through the use of one of these devices. Otherwise, just avoid them until you can get to a real flat-bed scanner.

Portable Printers: These devices have gotten a whole lot better over the last few years. The original portable printers were fragile and produced poor quality prints. The newest versions actually produce decent print quality and are quite durable. If you are buying a portable printer, do your research. A good one is usually around $100, but you should be able to get a number of good years out of it.

As with all portable electronics, read the customer reviews and the other on-line product reviews. If a product seems to get nothing but bad reviews, it’s probably not worth your time or money. Shop smart and well-informed and maybe you will find that you can travel more and still get your work done!


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