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Ease fears of holiday disconnection

Microscope contributor

 

Going on holiday without taking a host of technology is unthinkable for most of us. Even before you finish packing the car, you need to make sure that you have your mobile or Blackberry and chargers, digital cameras and camcorders, plus memory and spare batteries, and the obligatory laptop.

 

For those driving across the continent, add to the list satnav, portable DVD players and 3G connectors to enable the laptop to connect to the office from even the most remote gite.

 

Research by the Chartered Management Institute indicates that with the credit crunch and the general insecurity about the economy, fewer people in the IT industry are taking a holiday, and those that do are making sure they have the means to stay in touch with the office and have input into the decision making -process.

 

The results of this insecurity can be found in the popularity of “staycations” and vacations that depend on taking a suitcase full of technology. Few executives feel comfortable simply waving goodbye and slipping off the corporate radar for a fortnight. For those willing to risk it, the essentials will a mobile phone and web-enabled laptop.

 

Fitting the bill for these areas are RIM’s Blackberry 8320 and the ASUS eeePC. Neither will take up much room in hand luggage, but both are vital in terms of continuing to communicate with the office.

 

The Blackberry might have challengers in the shape of the iPhone and other improved smartphones, but it is still out in front in terms of market share. The 8320 offers not just phone and email -functionality but web connection, with links to Facebook and Vodafone, as well as satnav functionality.

 

The success of the eeePC is well documented, with numerous stories of shortages and niche markets getting excited about a product that offers wireless functionality for around £200.

 

For those driving to continental Europe, the technological requirements start with making sure you can get to your destination quickly and without delays. This is where satnav systems deliver ROI for the executive wanting to minimise the time they are offline.

 

With a summer promotion designed to tempt people to go for a European model, TomTom presents a solid option with its ONE Europe product.

 

The debate about brand continues to sweep through the satnav market, but TomTom has been there since the start and with its Europe model it is bound to be the product of choice for most uninitiated satnav users driving on the continent.

 

When at the villa, with the laptop and the phone on the poolside table, the next essential piece of kit is the 3G dongle that connects the laptop to the nearest roaming network.

 

A recent MicroScope review of a Thus 3G dongle showed the flexibility this solution to remote connection offers, with the capability to connect to the nearest roaming network within a few seconds.

 

For the increasing number of people who find that a holiday does not mean an end to work, hand luggage needs to be bulked out with some of the above products. From a channel perspective, the result of the pressure for workers to stay connected is that the traditional slow summer should be a time to promote personal technology that enables greater remote working.

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