It has been a while since I last made a business trip, in fact the last one was February 2006, so I was somewhat intrigued to see what I would find technology wise on my trip to the UK.
I suppose that the two main differences from the past was the replacement of the 17″ PowerBook with the MacBook and the addition of the iPhone.
As such I guess the real question was going to be if the addition of Apple to my business trips made life easier?
The size certainly made it more portable and easy to use on the plane which was really useful. As I tended to only use it for specific tasks at any one time I didn’t have a problem with the power at all which was a pleasant surprise as I thought I might miss the power of the PowerBook.
One thing that I did learn and will correct next time is to take the converter to allow me to add a second monitor as I imagine pretty much any office that I ended up working out of would have a spare VGA monitor that I could hook up to. I found the screen too small when I was working on it all day, but apart from that I think it was more than adequate for what I needed.
The trip also gave me the opportunity to take the Miglia TVMini Express with me and use the MacBook to pick up more stations than were available in the hotel which was really cool!
This was the first time that I had used the iPhone in any kind of intensive way, and overall I was happy enough with it, although it didn’t alter my opinion that it is a better ‘fun’ device than a ‘business’ tool.
It was fun to watch some podcasts in the hotel and at the airport, but the battery life wasn’t great, especially with WiFi and Bluetooth active (for the Z9 headset). One weird discovery was that if you store a number with the international prefix it doesn’t show the caller ID when the phone rings which wasn’t good at all, but it did seem to work out which country a number was from if you took out the internationl prefix. I am not sure if this is just a feature of it being a US iPhone but it is frustrating that it automatically assumes all numbers are going to be from the US and so tries to store them in that format (xxx) – xxx – xxxx.
I also took me 5th generation iPod with Video and I used that a lot more just for listening to music on the trip – purely because of the capacity issue as it meant I had access to a greater range of music. Purely personal but I can’t pre determine what music I will be in the mood to listen to before I set out so the 8GB restriction on the iPhone really hurts in that respect.
I wasn’t even tempted to use the camera on the iPhone so I packed the Sony DCS T7 which once again proved to be great as a very portable point and shoot (although you have to take a second fully charged battery with you if you want any kind of extended use out of it)
All in all I would say that the addition of the Apple kit to my business travels was a vast improvement though!
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