Mobile / Hands-on Review

Holiday 2012: Be Prepared for Your Holiday Travels


It’s holiday time - don’t let the stress of the road and the madness at the airport get the best of you. Don’t let familial obligations prevent you from getting work done. Don’t return home without all your memories captured and adventures documented. Solve your electronic travel blues by checking out these products and accessories that will keep you entertained, powered up, protected and organized while traveling this holiday season.

Music & Media Players

The new 5th generation Apple 32GB iPod touch and 7th generation 16GB iPod nano are both feature-rich multimedia players that will keep you entertained during otherwise stressful holiday sojourns. The iPod touch features a 4-inch multi-touch Retina display with 1136 x 640 resolution. It has an A5 processor, a rear 5-megapixel iSight camera with Full HD 1080p video capture, and a front FaceTime HD camera. The iPod touch also features Apple’s iOS 6 operating system with Apple Maps, Nike+ and Siri. It’s equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

The 7th generation iPod nano features a 2.5-inch Retina multi-touch display with 240 x 432 resolution. It also features built-in FM radio, Bluetooth wireless connectivity and integrated Nike+ support. Both the nano and touch hook up through Apple’s new Lightning Dock Connector.

Another good option is the Samsung 8GB Galaxy Player 3.6. It features a TFT LCD multi-touch display with 480 x 320 resolution. The Galaxy supports the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s equipped with a front camera and a rear 2-megapixel camera with video capture. It also has a microSD card slot for memory expansion up to 32GB. Other features include an FM radio, alarm and GPS capability.

If you’re looking for an affordable and user-friendly music player that can slip in your pocket or clip to your shirt, Apple’s 4th generation 2GB iPod shuffle is worth checking out. It features a lightweight aluminum body, integrated clip and a circular control pad for easy operation. It also supports VoiceOver in 25 languages for hearing the current song selection or battery status with a single touch. Plus, sharing your music with family and traveling buddies is always a good way to kill time on a long trip. Luckily, Macally makes a 3-Way Headphone Splitter that works with any audio player that has a 3.5mm jack. You’ll be able to share your music and other audio with up to two additional listeners, so no one will be left out.

Headphones for Travel

In order to really get the most out of your portable multimedia player, a pair of comfortable headphones is a must. What’s the point of 32GB of music and movies if you can’t wear your headphones for more than an hour without discomfort? Plus, if you’re going to be on a noisy airplane for several hours, it might be a good idea to consider a pair of active noise-canceling headphones.

For the past decade, Bose has been consistently improving their noise-canceling technology, and they offer two models that are both quiet and comfortable. The Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones are equipped with proprietary Acoustic Noise Canceling technology that spans a range of frequencies. Plus, the noise-canceling function is powered by one AAA battery, which affords up to 35 hours of use. The headphones are available in either standard silver or limited edition blue, and they also feature the lifelike audio quality for which Bose is known. They have soft, padded ear cushions as well, and also include a standard audio cable and an advanced audio cable with an integrated microphone and remote for in-line control of your iPhone or iPod. The advanced cable supports hands-free calling from your iPhone.

Another popular Bose choice are the high-end, QuietComfort 3 headphones with Acoustic Noise-Canceling technology. They dramatically reduce unwanted ambient noise, while simultaneously promoting clear, detailed audio with powerful bass and clear high frequencies. The QuietComfort 3 headphones include both standard and advanced audio cables as well. And, they provide a snug, cushioned fit for hours of rich audio and noise-isolating serenity. One major difference between the QuietComfort 15 and QuietComfort 3 is the 3’s built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Although it offers only 25 hours of noise-canceling power, the li-ion battery doesn’t need to be replaced like the 15’s AAA battery.

For a more affordable option that still supports wide frequency Bose audio quality, but without the advanced noise-canceling technology, check out the OE2 on-ear headphones. They feature memory foam cushioning for a perfect fit and they fold flat, which makes them cooperative travel partners that you can easily tuck away in a carry-on bag or purse.

If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that are comparable to the Bose QuietComfort 15, one alternative is the Able Planet Clear Harmony NC1050 active noise-canceling headphones with award-winning Linx Audio. They provide full, rich audio, while also eliminating any unwanted noise. The NC1050 headphones are powered by a single AAA battery and they feature in-line volume control on a removable cord that includes a 1/4-inch adapter. One advantage of the patented Linx Audio system is the increased perceived loudness without actually increasing volume. This feature makes these headphones your ears’ best friend. Plus, the lightweight design and snug fit afford maximum comfort on long flights and all day road trips. And, for added convenience, the headphones even include an airplane adapter for enjoying movies on your flight with high-quality audio and superior noise cancellation.

B&H also offers a couple of on-ear headphones that are very affordable, while still promoting active noise cancellation. The Sony MDR-NC7 and JVC HA-NC80 both eliminate most of the ambient noise when the noise-canceling function is engaged. The MDR-NC7 headphones are also foldable for portability and they include an airplane adapter as well. The noise-canceling technology is powered by a single AAA battery, but you can turn the function off to enjoy music without noise cancellation in order to save the battery when it’s not needed. Very similar to the MDR-NC7, the JVC HA-NC80 headphones support a dual mode (wide and low) noise cancellation. They’re also powered by a AAA battery and they feature a foldable design.

Two feature-rich, midrange, on ear noise-canceling headphones are the Creative Labs HN-900 and the Sennheiser PXC 250-II. The HN-900s are designed for maximum flexibility when traveling and commuting. Not only are they reasonably priced, but they also feature everything a frequent flyer requires. They’re equipped with active noise-cancellation technology, powered by one AAA battery, which eliminates up to 85% of ambient noise with the flick of a switch. Plus, the battery lasts up to 40 hours for totally immersive and quiet multimedia enjoyment on even the longest flights. The HN-900s also feature a detachable cable with in-line microphone and call controls for hands-free talking. Other features include an airplane adapter, powerful 40mm neodymium drivers and portable folding design.

The Sennheiser PXC 250-II headphones are equipped with neodymium drivers with Duofol diaphragms for hi-fidelity sound reproduction. Plus, they’re equipped with NoiseGuard technology that reduces around 80% of unwanted noise. The NoiseGuard system is powered by one AAA battery that yields 50 hours of noise cancellation. And, they have a convenient in-line volume control, as well as a collapsible design with a metal reinforced headband for added durability. The PXC 250-II headphones include an in-flight audio adapter, and Sennheiser even optimized the headphones for maximum audio compatibility with portable media players and in-flight entertainment services.

Holiday travelers who prefer the comfort, discretion and portability afforded by in-ear headphones also have a handful of choices when it comes to noise cancellation and noise isolating in-ear options. For frugal jetsetters, the JVC HA-NCX78 in-ear headphones provide the most noise-canceling bang for your buck. These compact ear-bud headphones feature a multi noise-reduction system that reduces up to 88% of ambient noise, as well as minimizing electrical noise, friction noise from the cord and wind noise. They also feature convenient, detachable ear loops for secure over-the-ear sports performance. The headphones have memory foam and multiple silicone ear tips, which provide a precision fit. The HA-NCX78 in-ear headphones are even equipped with a monitor function that you can turn on and off in order to hear surrounding voices without taking the ear buds out of your ears.

If you’re in the market for high end, high style in-ear noise-canceling headphones, then consider the Sony XBA-NC85D ear buds. They feature full-range Balanced Armature drivers, as opposed to dynamic drivers. This means a broader frequency response that can be optimized to emphasize the audio characteristics you prefer. They’re also outfitted with digital noise canceling technology that removes an impressive 97.5% of unwanted ambient noise. Plus, the three different size ear-bud tips feature urethane foam for comfort and further noise isolation. The built-in battery that powers this technology is easily rechargeable via USB and lasts up to 20 hours. The headphones also include an in-flight adapter, a travel case, a cord adjuster that eliminates annoying cable slack and a clip that reduces the weight of the cord.

Another high-end choice for the traveler with a discerning ear when it comes to audio fidelity are Grado’s GR10 in-ear stereo headphones. They feature a proprietary moving armature driver design that affords ultra-realistic audio reproduction, as well as a generously wide bandwidth. The GR10 ear buds are also equipped with a clever raised dot that facilitates proper placement in your ear—even in total darkness. This ensures that you get the most out of your headphones. Plus, the petite size of these ear buds lets them to sit down deep in the ear canal, which results in a tight air seal that not only improves bass response, but also blocks out unwanted ambient noise without compromising comfort. Another feature that makes these ear buds appealing is their sparkly forest-green finish. The style definitely matches the performance with this model.

New Sony E-Reader

The stats on people traveling for the holidays suggests that a large percentage of the population is making at least a minor trip to see family or friends. Staving off boredom on these trips is a necessity that shouldn’t be dismissed without some thought and preparation. If you’re making a quick flight with only a carry-on bag, then you don’t want to carry a few books and magazines on the plane with you. Why not take Sony’s new PRS-T2 Reader instead? It’s even available with a free Harry Potter novel already loaded. The PRS-T2 is a truly clever and intuitive little eReader with built-in Wi-Fi. Plus, at only 5.9 ounces, it is two and half times lighter than the 14.6-ounce Kindle Fire. It has a six-inch E Ink Pearl V220 anti-glare display with Clear Touch Infrared technology and 800 x 600 resolution.

It also features two integrated English Language dictionaries, so you can simply tap and hold on a word and the definition will pop up. There are six foreign language dictionaries onboard as well, which you can use to look up or translate a word. The new Sony Reader includes a useful stylus, and you can use it (or your finger) to highlight important text and scribble notes. It has 2GB of internal storage capacity (approximately 1.3GB after initial settings are made) and you can expand the memory by up to 32GB using the microSD card slot. Plus, the battery supports up to two months of reading on a single charge and it features a quick library function for downloading books from your public library with ease.

Travel with the Right Camera

Although most of our smart phones today have built-in cameras they can’t compete, quality-wise, with the sensors in even the most basic compact digital cameras. If you’re going to invest in a compact point-and-shoot, mirrorless, interchangeable-lens camera or DSLR, consider one of the choices below.

One of the most popular DSLR cameras is Canon’s EOS 5D Mark III, which is also available with a Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF Lens. The Canon EOS 5D DSLRs have continually revolutionized the camera industry. The 5D Mark II was the first DSLR with Full HD 1080p video capture and the 5D Mark III continues that legacy of cutting-edge technology and functional improvements.

The EOS 5D Mark III features a self-cleaning, 22.3 megapixel, high sensitivity full-frame CMOS sensor and a Canon DIGIC 5+ image processor. It also features Full HD 1080p video capture at 30 fps. The 5D Mark III Supports an ISO range of 50–102800 and a maximum shooting rate of 6 fps. The viewfinder supports 100% field of view and there’s also a 3.2-inch LCD monitor for shot preview and playback. The camera has a new 61-point High Density Reticular AF, and also offers improved handling thanks to the addition of new customizable controls. It also has both CF and SD card slots.

If you’re a fan of Canon, but prefer a more compact and affordable camera to travel with this holiday season, then the PowerShot G15 or PowerShot S110 might be more your style. The PowerShot G15 is part of Canon’s iconic G series, which has been a standard in the photo industry for more than a decade. The PowerShot G15 takes the place of 2011’s G12. The G15 is equipped with a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and an upgraded lens with a 28-140mm (35mm equivalent) focal length and f/1.8-2.8 aperture range. It features an optical viewfinder, as well as a 3-inch TFT color LCD monitor and Full HD 1080p video capture at 24 fps.

The PowerShot S110 is another compact choice from Canon. It has a 12.1-megapxiel CMOS sensor and Canon’s DIGIC 5 image processor. The 5x optical zoom lens features a 24-120mm (35mm equivalent) focal length and f/2.0-5.9 aperture range. It’s capable of Full HD 1080p video capture with stereo sound. Plus, it also features a 3-inch touch screen LCD, as well as high-speed burst HD function and a manual control ring for more advanced users.

It’s no secret that the classic looking digital cameras are widely popular, both for their vintage aesthetic and enhanced shooting performance. The Fujifilm X-Pro 1 mirrorless interchangeable lens digital camera combines retro-rangefinder styling and professional handling with a modern, 16-megaixel APS-C sensor. The sensor features a new color filter array that eliminates the need for an anti-aliasing filter. This promotes sharper images than most 16-megapxiel digital cameras would be capable of capturing. The camera supports Fujifilm’s interchangeable X mount lenses. It also features Full HD 1080p video capture, a hybrid multi-viewfinder and a TTL flash compatible hot shoe. One lens that can be paired with the X-Pro 1 is the Fujifilm 18mm f/2.0 XF R Lens. It features a very fast f/2.0 maximum aperture and a maximum magnification of 0.14x. This equivalent 27mm wide-angle lens allows you to get the whole subject in your shot—even from up close. It’s great for shooting the family around a holiday dinner. The lens also has a Super EBC lens coating, as well as aspherical and ED lens elements.

Nikon enthusiasts looking for a new camera this holiday season have several choices, including DSLRs, mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and compact point-and-shoot cameras. The DSLR best suited for a wide variety of shooters is the Nikon D600. It’s more affordable than its big brother, the D800. Plus, it offers a wide range of features that are all built around the 24.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and Nikon F bayonet lens mount system. It features dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots and compatibility with AF NIKKOR Lenses. The camera supports Full HD 1080p video capture, 5.5 fps continuous shooting and 39 wide-area AF focus points. It also features both mic and headphone jacks, as well as an iTTL flash and Wi-Fi connectivity through an optional adapter.

If you’re a photo enthusiast these days, it’s hard to ignore the hype around mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. These cameras are compact enough to slip into your pocket or purse. Plus, you have the ability to add a variety of lenses to the camera. It’s a fine choice if you’re looking for the performance of a DSLR and the compactness of a point-and-shoot camera. The Nikon 1 V1 is available with a variety of lenses, including the basic 10-30mm lens. With this setup, you get the benefit of a 10.1-megapixel CMOS CX sensor and EXPEED 3 image processor, as well as a 10-30mm general use NIKKOR VR lens with an f/3.5-16 aperture range and optical image stabilization. The camera also supports Full HD 1080p video capture at 30 fps and 1080i video at 60 fps. It features a 3-inch LCD monitor, an electronic viewfinder and an SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot as well.

Anyone planning on traveling light this holiday season, but would still like to capture high-resolution images, should consider the compact Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100. The RX100 is built around a 20.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor and Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with a 29-105mm (35mm equivalent) focal length and an f/1.8-4.9 aperture range. The camera features Full HD 1080p video capture at an impressive 60 fps, as well as an ultra-fast 0.13-second, high-speed AF. You can record images using JPEG, RAW or both file formats simultaneously. Plus, the camera has an additional 7.2x digital zoom and Xtra Fine 3-inch LCD monitor with WhiteMagic technology. For beginners, the RX100 also features optical and electronic stabilization, as well as Face Detection and several user-friendly shooting modes. It’s all housed in an aluminum body with a pop-up flash.

Travel zoom compact cameras are another popular choice and the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS20 has the large zoom and user-friendly features to turn heads. It’s part of Panasonic’s ZS-series, and it stands out thanks to its 20x LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR zoom lens with a 24-480mm focal length (35mm equivalent) and f/3.3-8.0 aperture range. It has a 40x Intelligent zoom, Nano Surface Coating and Power O.I.S. with Active Mode. The other two standout features on this model are its 14.1MP MOS image sensor and integrated GPS with World Map info. It also features Panasonic’s Venus Engine processor, a 3-inch Smart Touch LCD screen and 1920  x 1080 Full HD video capture with Dolby Digital Stereo Creator.

Camera Accessories

Once you’ve picked your new camera to travel with this holiday season, it’s always nice to accessorize it a little bit. You might consider an extra battery or additional lenses. Plus, memory cards are necessary with most cameras if you want to shoot a lot of stills and videos over the holidays. You might also consider a camera bag or case, especially if you’ll be doing a lot of traveling with your new camera. A few bags that stand out are the Domke F-2 Original Shoulder Bag, with room for a DSLR and accessories, or the Tenba Messenger: Large Photo/Laptop Bag with room for a DSLR, three lenses and up to a 17-inch laptop.

Samsonite also offers several camera/laptop bags with removable inserts, which are perfect for traveling. They allow you to customize the compartments specifically for whatever you’re carrying with you on that trip. The Samsonite Xenon 2 Spinner Mobile Office bag features room for clothes, a DSLR, accessories and a 15.6-inch laptop. The Xenon Spinner Mobile Office bag is similar to the Xenon 2. It’s just a little bit smaller. Both feature convenient rolling wheels and an extendable handle for wheeling your luggage around the airport with ease. For more suggestions and information on transporting your camera gear, see the B&H InDepth review, Holiday 2012: Camera Bags.

If you’re interested in a tripod that’s durable and travel-ready for the holidays, there a few models that are just right. The compact Joby Gorillapod is a flexible mini-tripod for your DSLR, camcorder or compact point-and-shoot. It features flexible joints for easy camera positioning and a ball head with a quick-release system. There’s an integrated bubble level as well. The maximum load capacity is 6.6 pounds. Another unique tripod is Tamrac’s lightweight and foldable TR406 ZipShot. The ZipShot has a 3 pound load capacity and folds up to a compact 15-inch length that can easily slip into your carry-on bag. It extends to 44-inches and includes a ball head for fast camera mounting. Finally, more traditional tripod fans should check out Oben’s CT-3400 or AT-3400 tripods. They’re both four-section folding tripods with comparable maximum heights around five feet. However, the CT-3400 is a carbon fiber tripod with a load capacity of 12.4 pounds, while the AT-3400 is an aluminum tripod with a 6.6 pound load capacity.

Laptop Travel Accessories

Taking your laptop with you to grandma’s house this year? Here are a few accessories to consider if you are planning on traveling with your laptop. If you’re like me, then using a laptop touchpad for navigation can get tiresome after a while. Luckily, there are several wireless mice out there that are both compact and easy to set up. A few worth considering are the Genius Navigator 905 wireless mouse, the Logitech Wireless Mouse M325 and the unique Microsoft Arc wireless touch mouse with a flexible curved design that’s both functional and stylish. Another handy laptop accessory that’s great for travel is a USB light.

If your laptop keys aren't backlit, Kensington makes the FlyLight 2.0 LED notebook light with a flexible gooseneck design. Another option is the Middle Atlantic LT-GN Gooseneck Light with USB connector. The LT-GN is also available with a wall plug for using the light away from a USB port.

For those of you planning to work over the holiday break this year, or if you plan on shooting a lot of photos or video of friends and family, a portable hard drive is a convenient accessory that helps you stay organized, while also freeing up some of your laptop’s memory. A simple solution that can fit in your pocket, the SanDisk 32GB Ultra Backup USB Flash Drive, features a retractable connector, password protection, AES hardware encryption and it’s compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.

Lexar also makes a couple of pocket-sized options, including the 32GB S73 JumpDrive with USB 3.0 connectivity and the 32GB JumpDrive Triton flash drive with USB 3.0 connectivity. Both of these Lexar flash drives support plug-and-play connectivity, USB 3.0 SuperSpeed data transfers and Windows/Mac compatibility.

If you’re looking for a little more storage space, try the Transcend 1TB StoreJet 25H3P external hard drive. It features fast USB 3.0 connectivity, a one-touch backup button and an advanced internal suspension system that protects your 1TB 5400 rpm hard drive from damage.

Another option is the Seagate 500GB GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage Device. It features Wi-Fi connectivity with a range of up to 30 feet. This allows it to connect wirelessly with your laptop, iPad, tablet, iPhone or other smartphone. Plus, it affords 500GB of storage capacity, as well as USB 3.0 wired connectivity. The GoFlex Satellite battery lasts up to 5 hours while in use, and 25 hours in standby mode. And, like the rest of drives in this section, it’s compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.

Most of us will be battling the winter weather with jackets, scarves, mittens and hats as we travel to and from family's and friends' homes. Your laptop, on the other hand, prefers the cooler temperatures. In fact, keeping it cool helps it perform better and last longer. Luckily, there are a few portable cooling options that you can use with your notebook computer while you’re traveling this holiday season. For the environmentally friendly consumer, the choice is easy: Macally’s Bamboo Cooling Stand. It features an extra-large, bus-powered USB fan that is large enough to support up to a 17-inch notebook. The high-efficiency fan cools your laptop through the slots in the bamboo stand. Plus, the stand is collapsible so it easily fits into your carry-on luggage. It also has rubber feet that prevent slipping.

The next two options are, aesthetically speaking, more high tech. The Antec USB Notebook Cooler has a modern black-and-aluminum finish, as well as an intriguing amoeba-like design. Like the Bamboo Cooling Stand, the USB Notebook Cooler is bus powered. It features two quiet double ball-bearing fans that direct your laptop’s heat out to the side, which keeps it cool, even while running the most strenuous programs. The last choice is the Targus Lap Chill Mat, which provides two USB-powered fans that disperse heat and keep your laptop properly ventilated. One unique feature of the Lap Chill Mat is that it’s designed for your lap, as well as for use on a table or desk, so it features a soft neoprene base for resting comfortably on your lap. However, it also has rubber feet to prevent slipping while it’s on a desk.

Traveling during the holiday season can be stressful when the airports are busy, the roads are jammed and you’re living out of a suitcase. Staying organized and knowing your notebook is safe can go a long way to relieve some of that holiday stress. If you want to keep all your portable devices and their cables and adapters organized, there are a couple of clever products available. Cocoon makes the CPG10 GRID IT organizer that fits right inside your laptop bag or carry-on luggage. It features multiple configurations with a rubberized woven elastic system of straps. All your cables stay wrapped up and organized. Plus, there’s an additional pocket for other accessories. Cocoon also makes the similar CPG4 GRID IT as well, which is smaller but still features the same elastic strap system.

Keeping your laptop safe will also keep you relaxed and keep your stress level down. Kensington is the king of electronic device locks and their Combination Laptop Lock is a popular choice. It features push-button design with a four-wheel combination lock that supports 10,000 possible combinations. It can anchor your laptop to any desk, table or fixed structure. Another option is Kensington’s ClickSafe Keyed Laptop Lock, which features a tamper-proof lock attached to a steel security cable. It works with notebooks that are equipped with a standard Kensington lock slot.

Travel with Power

When you’re out on the road or waiting around the airport this holiday season, why not avail yourself of some extra power for your portable electronic devices? There are a handful of portable power choices and adapters that will keep your device powered while you deal with layovers, inclement weather and clogged roads. Just Mobile offers two backup batteries, including the Gum Backup Battery and the Gum Plus Battery Pack. They both feature USB connectivity and lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. The Gum features a 1-amp output with a 2200mAh capacity that can completely charge an iPhone or other smart phone. The Gum Plus features a maximum 2.1-amp output and a 5200mAh capacity that can fully charge your iPad or tablet. Both devices include an Apple dock connector, a micro-USB to USB cable and a travel pouch.

Another popular choice is the Juice Pack Powerstation Duo from Mophie. It’s compatible with most USB-powered mobile devices and it features a 6000mAh battery capacity that’s large enough to fully recharge most tablets.

Tekkeon also makes a backup battery for USB-powered mobile devices. Their TekCharge MP1580 is a mobile power pack that can also charge up to four rechargeable AA batteries at a time. It also features a 1000mAh battery capacity, which affords up to 12 hours of additional power for your smart phone, tablet, MP3 player or e-reader. It includes mini-USB and micro-USB adapters.

Other power options that should improve your travel experience include the 360 Electrical PowerCurve Mobile Surge Protector, the Ansmann All-in-One 3 Universal Travel Adapter and the Kensington Travel Plug Adapter with USB Charger. The PowerCurve from 360 Electrical features two rotating outlets and two USB ports. It’s compact enough to take with you to a hotel or family member’s house, and it will keep your portable devices safe from a power surge or spike. The Ansmann All-in-One 3 Universal Travel Adapter is designed for devices with two or three-pin plugs. It supports outlets in more than 150 countries including Australia, England, Switzerland, Italy, the United States and more. Plus, it also supports Protection Classes I and II. Kensington’s Travel Plug Adapter with USB Charger lets you safely plug in your portable electronic devices anywhere in the world. It includes adapters for Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, England, the Caribbean, North America, Australia, New Zealand and South America.

iPad Gadgets for Travel

It’s no secret that there are hundreds of travel accessories for the iPad. It would be impossible to give them all a fair shake in any article, so we’ll just take a quick look at a few iPad gadgets that might help the time pass while you travel to your holiday destination. Probably the most “fun” accessory is Logitech’s Joystick for iPad and iPad 2. It’s basically a thumb-stick style game controller for your iPad. It works with most games that have an on-screen joystick or D-pad. The Joystick features a coiled spring that automatically returns it to a centered position, and it attaches to your iPad with easily removable suction cups.

The other rather unique accessory that ought to improve your travel comfort level is the Accessory Workshop typillow. The typillow is available in charcoal black or beige. It’s an unusual iPad holder that features a large pillow lap cushion for hours of comfortable gaming, chatting or movie watching. The micro-bead filling adjusts to any form for a contoured fit and total comfort while using your iPad in bed, on the couch, in the car or on an airplane. It’s compatible with the original iPad, the iPad 2 and the third generation iPad. The typillow is such a clever concept that it’s hard not to want it if you own an iPad.

If you’re planning on taking your iPad with you on the plane, train or in the car, you’ll want to keep it protected while you’re on the go. One option is the Cocoon CGB150 Gramercy Messenger Sling, which is crafted from water-resistant ballistic nylon. It will keep your iPad safe while traveling, and it includes a GRID IT organizer to keep all your cables neatly wrapped. It also features a sling-style shoulder strap and an exterior cell phone pocket. It can hold all generation iPads, as well as many other tablets.

A few other iPad accessories that may be of use to you while traveling include the Scosche privaSEE p2 privacy screen protector for the iPad 2 and iPad (3rd gen), the Incase Design Corp 6-inch Sync and Charge Cable and the iKlear Travel Singles Kit for cleaning and protecting you iPad screen. The Scosche privaSEE p2 is a polarized film that shields screen visibility, prevents scratches and keeps your iPad screen free of smudges. The Incase Design Corp Sync and Charge Cable is the perfect length for traveling. It works with your iPad or other iOS devices with a 30-pin Apple dock connector. The iKlear Travel Singles Kit features two travel-size micro-chamois cloths and a safe cleaning solution that will keep all your touch screens immaculate while you travel.

Protect What You Leave at Home

This last section is devoted to protecting the possessions you leave at home while you’re traveling during the holidays this year. There are dozens of security cameras available, but we’ll quickly look at a few options for protecting your property and family. The Swann ADS-450 SwannSmart Wi-Fi Network Camera and the D-Link DCS-932L Wireless N Day/Night Home Network Camera are both good and simple choices for home monitoring. The ADS-450 features VGA resolution, a night-vision range of 12 feet, cloud storage and eight IR LEDs. The DCS-932L features VGA resolution, a 4x digital zoom, a night vision range of 16.4 feet and app-based remote monitoring via smartphone, iPhone, tablet or iPad. Both units are wireless.

The Lorex LIVE Ping Wireless Network Camera and the Foscam FI8910W Wireless IP Camera are two more wireless home monitoring cameras. The LIVE Ping camera from Lorex features VGA resolution video, microSD recording, dual motion detection, a 30-foot night-vision range and sound-activated alerts. The FI8910W features a color CMOS sensor, VGA and QVGA resolution video, a night-vision range of 26 feet, two-way audio and motion detection. Both units are wireless and they each support remote monitoring via iOS and Android smartphones or tablets.

Finally, if you want to really step up the home security, Lorex also offers the LH114501C2WB Digital Wireless Security Camera System. It features a DVR recorder, two cameras and two receivers. The system features a 500GB hard drive and VGA resolution video recording. It has a wireless outdoor range or 450 feet, a night-vision range of 60 feet and an IP-66 weather rating for outdoor use. It supports Pentaplex operation and FHSS digital wireless technology. You'll be able to keep tabs on your home while you're away, enjoying the holidays—worry free.

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You forgot about pico projectors for holiday travel. Holidays are a time of sharing pictures and videos! What is better than being able to share these pictures and videos on a big screen! If you're in the snow you can project right onto the floor, if your'e indoors, projector right onto a wall!