On the move

With the right products you can surf the internet, listen to music, watch videos and more when on the go. If you're curious about mobility, read on as WINDOWS talks you through the kit that will help you make the most of your travel time...

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  December 1, 2008

With the right products in hand, you can surf the internet, listen to music, watch videos and more all whilst on the go. So, if you're curious about mobility, read on as WINDOWS talks you through the kit that will help you make the most of your travel time...

In today's world, traveling is a part of most people's lives. This means leaving your home and heading off to one particular place or a number of different destinations in succession. This of course means you could potentially be spending a lot of time walking, driving or perhaps even sitting in some form of mass transit.

All this can, if you aren't prepared, leave you disconnected from friends, family and colleagues and can just be a major waste of time because you'll never be able to get that time back. Thankfully, there are a number of gadgets and gizmos that will help you maximise your time away from your home or office.

Portable protégés


By far the most useful tool to have with you when you're traveling overseas or on long, local journeys is a laptop. With this on hand you can easily do numerous things such as work on a document or spreadsheet, watch a movie, listen to tunes or even surf the internet (if wireless connectivity is present).

Laptops come in a number of different shapes and sizes though the market as a whole is segmented into five different categories; desktop replacement, portable, ultra-portable, tablets and netbooks.

The first category type consists of notebooks that fall in a weight class exceeding 2.5kg. These are designed to serve, as their name suggests, as replacements to full-sized desktop PCs. High-end desktop replacements can rival high-end PCs in terms of specifications and capabilities but this makes them very heavy. Moreover, these models offer very limited battery life, as a result of their high-end specifications and thus are ill-suited for travel.

The next two categories, portable and ultra-portable, consist of notebooks with weights ranging from 1.9kg to 2.5kg and 1.8kg and below respectively. Tablets are similar to portable and ultra-portable laptops in terms of weight but are different in that they offer touch-sensitive LCD screens that can be swiveled to transform the notebook into a sort of writing pad. A stylus is generally supplied so a user can actually write or draw straight onto the machine.

Battery care

When working on the move, a laptop relies on its internal batteries to provide power in the absence of a continuous power source. As time goes by and the battery and notebook grow older, the storage capacity of the battery will reduce gradually until it is unable to store any charge at all. This is a natural occurrence but there are a number of things you can do to prolong your notebook's battery's lifespan.

• Don't charge your battery unnecessarily. Wait for the charge level to drop to 5% or less before you plug your notebook into a wall socket. Continuously charging the battery will reduce its life expectancy greatly.

• Don't let your battery sit in a completely flat state for long periods of time, as this will induce a state known as ‘deep discharge'. The more this happens, the quicker your notebook's battery will lose its storage capacity.

• Don't use your notebook and battery in extreme conditions. Batteries perform at their best when they run at moderate temperatures. Excessive cold or heat could damage or even destroy the battery in no time at all.

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