Computing on the move

It used to be a simple equation – on the road you had an underpowered but light machine to take notes, while back in the office was a powerful desktop for most of your day-to-day work. Today, however, things are blurred, to say the least. When you’re out and about there’s a choice of mobile phone, Blackberry, ultra-light portable or laptop, while in the office, it seems you really don’t need a desktop at all, with some laptops now sporting 17-inch screens and enough processing power to handle anything you can throw at them.
There are, however, a few things to bear in mind. The biggest issue is battery life – in a highly powerful machine, don’t expect longevity. These are really designed to be used at a desk, next to a power supply. If   battery life is an issue, then it’s well worth looking for something with a slightly lower spec – it may not be as quick, but at least you’ll be able to get your work done without the horror of the "low battery" warnings. For processors, look out for Intel’s Core™ 2 Duo processor – it’s the best around at the moment, and will give you desktop-like performance without almost instantly draining the battery.
Here are a few of the best of the new breed of dual-purpose portables.

Mobile communications

Wifi is taking over the world – or so it sometimes seems from a consumer standpoint. Venues from churches to coffee shops are offering internet access to customers as an added enticement, and many homes and offices have also installed hotspots as laptops slowly edge out desktop machines.
One of the biggest UK providers of wifi is BT’s Openzone, which has agreements with several hotel chains, including Thistle and Hilton hotels. It believes that many people now choose hotels based on the quality of their wifi. "Research shows that, for the business traveller, flexible, fast and reliable wifi access is a prerequisite when  choosing a hotel," says Chris Bruce of BT Openzone.

VoIP: 21st Century telephony

You have to admit it’s pretty tricky to keep up with developments in technology. Even if you love gadgets, the way in which they evolve is so rapid that just as you’re getting to grips with your shiny new PDA, something new is released that makes your tiny piece of wizardry look like a clunking museum piece.