Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Lighten Your Load: Leave The Laptop Behind

Each time there's a security incident affecting air travel, it becomes harder to get electronics through airport security. Last week's terrorism alert, for instance, raises the possibility that laptops, video projectors, and DVD players — devices big enough to conceal a couple pounds of explosives — will soon be banned from carry-on luggage. There's further speculation that any computing device capable of serving as a timer or detonator — which includes cell phones, iPods, basically anything with a battery — may eventually be excluded as well.

Leave The Laptop Behind

•  Thinking Smaller

•  Data As Luggage

•  Apps On Removable Storage

•  The Internet Is The Computer

Nothing is certain, but the mere possibility of being forced to put precious electronics into checked luggage or leave them behind was enough to upset the road warrior crowd and send IT support people scrambling for options.

Fortunately, there are tools available today that let you leave your laptop at home and still stay in touch and productive on the road — and most of them have the pleasant side effect of lightening your luggage considerably. Whether you're doing it because of security restrictions or just to spare your aching back and shoulders, isn't it time you tried leaving your laptop at home?

Thinking Smaller

If you carry a laptop when you travel primarily so you can read e-mail and perhaps review documents created in Office applications, you can do those tasks on a handheld device.

A Palm LifeDrive weighs about 8 ounces, and its folding full-size keyboard and AC charger add another 11 ounces. The LifeDrive with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity handles e-mail and attachments, and includes document viewers and editors compatible with Word and Excel. (There's also a PowerPoint viewer, but it's read-only.) BlackBerrys and some smartphones offer similar capabilities. The LifeDrive also offers 6GB of hard-disk space for storing files, and an SD card slot.

InformationWeek Download
  • 1