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Technology On-the-Go!

January 2010

By Dina Pugh, San Francisco

This holiday season was spent in a triangulation of travel. In the span of three weeks I was in New York visiting family for Christmas, back in San Francisco to work, and in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to ring in the New Year with friends. My most relied on tech items for these journeys also involved a triad: headphones, speakers and camera (the importance of my BlackBerry goes without saying.)

So much air travel requires the appropriate music-listening gear to both keep me entertained and to tune out the airplane noise and children’s screams that would normally harsh my mellow. Along with my crossword puzzle, my new Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones are crucial to an enjoyable flight. I used to make-do with regular ear buds but after my tech-minded brother-in-law gifted me these for Christmas I will never go back! The bulkiness of the case restricts their use to travel (ear buds will do for the gym) but the noise-canceling feature is most attractive for plane travel anyway. I love the way my iPod Touch and Blackberry can easily fit into the headphone case so that all my devices don’t float around my carry-on.

Once I’ve landed, the iPod Touch must be charged immediately and goes straight onto my JBL On Stage III portable speaker system - the previous year’s X-Mas gift from brother-in-law who always does extensive internet research before purchasing. I never have to wait for the iPod to charge in order to keep listening while I unpack. My favorite aspect of the speakers is their high-quality sound unmatched by any other speaker system of its size that I’ve found. I use it as my primary speaker system in my living room - or my bedroom if I decide to change it up. The handy RF remote also makes for easy listening while I work from home.

The speakers were a packing list must for Cabo - they don't take up much room in the suitcase and can easily move to different parts of the hotel suite where dancing or relaxing is required. Most mid-range hotels still don’t offer a way to listen to iPods in the room so you’ve got to be prepared. The only big draw back of these speakers is that they don’t work so well for the beach. Even though batteries are an option, I once packed them with the six AA’s required and found that they ran out of juice only after a few songs.

My third must-have tech item through my travels as well as professional life is my Canon Powershot G9 - a personal investment that I have never regretted. After much research done online as well as asking well-informed photographers, I chose the G9 because it takes the highest resolution pictures and video without being a bulky DSLR. I chose it in favor of the newer G10, which actually traded down on video quality - a crucial feature for the two aspects of my profession: blogging and documenting art. YouTube already degrades the quality so much that you have to start with the sharpest video possible. I absolutely rely on a camera that takes print quality pictures so that on one hand, I can publish art catalogs of my gallery’s exhibitions and on the other, I can frame family photos from Christmas.

My holy trinity of tech items: headphones, speakers and camera simultaneously enhance my quality of life and my ability to achieve professional goals. What do they all have in common? Portability (essential in my travel-heavy lifestyle) and top-notch quality. As opposed to a couple of years ago when tiny products came with a sacrifice of power, today I don’t need to trade-down on quality to take all my devices with me wherever I go.

Consumer Electronics
San Francisco

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