Travelling Overseas and Want Email On The Go? - August 27, 2008

Big thanks to Keith for emailing in and asking about travelling overseas and what technology to take along for the ride.

We are looking for the most practical and economical way to keep in touch with family via phone/email while travelling on holiday in the UK during Sept/Oct of this year. Would appreciate your opinion.

There are two ways to do this:

1) Eee PC - this is a low cost laptop pc that is cheap, small/lightweight and does all your email, skype calling, websurfing and basic photo managing too. If I was going to travel and needed to be able to type emails, surf the web to book last minute hotel deals while I was away and call family skype - this is what I would get. Being a Qwerty keyboard it lets you type miuch faster and you can do it when on the train, plane, ferry etc.

With built in Wifi the device can be hooked up to the net through any wireless hotspot.

The cost is about $500 for a basic Eee PC and at 1kg it will not add much weight to your luggage.

I think the only thing you might find on the negetive side is the small

2) Smart Phone - if you want something more like a phone I would suggest getting something like the new Palm Treo. Being able to access wifi will mean you can use the phone function sparingly while overseas (as it will cost a lot to receive calls from your Aussie phone number), but you can still surf the web, make skype calls, check email etc using the wifi.

If you have any other ideas, be sure to add them to the comments list.

I have copied the press release below, it waffles a bit but gives a decent overview of the functions -

Treo Pro Smartphone by Palm, Available on Telstra's Turbocharged Next G™ Network, Balances Simplicity and Productivity

SYDNEY, Australia, Aug. 20, 2008 – Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM) today introduced Treo™ Pro, which will be available exclusively from Telstra on the Next G™ network – Australia's largest and fastest mobile broadband network.

With its streamlined design and Palm® shortcuts layered on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, Treo Pro is a unique combination of sleek simplicity and robust productivity -- including email, Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities(1) -- that meets the needs of businesses and end users alike.

"Businesses want the control and savings that Windows Mobile affords, in an innovative and elegant package that keeps their users happy. That's where Palm comes in," said Ed Colligan, president and chief executive officer, Palm, Inc. "Everything about Treo Pro -- from the hardware design to the packaging and accessories – embodies the elegant and simplified end-to-end experience that our customers expect from Palm."

The Treo Pro smartphone lets IT managers support an increasingly mobile work force with the ease of use and robust feature set business professionals demand. Besides the benefits of lower infrastructure and support costs and increased productivity, Treo Pro can deliver the increased security, easier device management and access to information on the corporate network that Windows Mobile 6.1 provides.

"The Treo Pro smartphone widens Telstra's offering to business professionals who are looking for a well-designed device that offers access to the business functionality and rich content services they require," said Ross Fielding, executive director, Telstra Product Management. "With the additional benefits of HSPA on Telstra's super-fast Next G™ network, and Palm's differentiated shortcuts on Windows Mobile 6.1 and support for Telstra services, we are sure this smartphone will be very popular with our business customers."

Users can quickly respond to business and personal email, access the web, stay on top of appointments and contacts, and use Wi-Fi or GPS on the go.(1) Treo Pro's thin design blends a flush, high-resolution colour touch screen and a full QWERTY keyboard with a removable battery that packs up to five hours of talk time and enough strength for the business user's needs, offering a powerful yet effortless mobile experience.

"Treo Pro is an impressive smartphone," said Glenn Mason, chief information officer, GrainCorp. "It builds on the successful Palm Treo 750 in our enterprise -- from enhanced functionality such as Wi-Fi, GPS and greater battery life, to ease of use and support, which is fundamental when you have more than 300 smartphone users."

"The Treo Pro smartphone with Windows Mobile 6.1 brings a powerful personal computer experience to the small screen, improving how people do business on the go on a single device," said Grace Kerrison, director, Mobile Communications Business, Microsoft Australia. "It delivers an experience that's easy for people to use, and simple and cost-effective for businesses to deploy."