The latest travel-related gear can help you stay connected — to family, friends, your suitcase, and even your most important files. Other products can add to your comfort and fun. Consider some of these for your next trip.
Carry Netgear’s AT&T Unite Pro and you can get online anytime using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, whether you’re riding a bus to the airport, sitting at your boarding gate, or in an area where your cellphone data package has maxed out because of roaming restrictions. The Unite Pro creates a 4G LTE mobile hot spot that lets you get Internet access anywhere within AT&T’s cell range without draining your phone’s battery or data package. It offers fast connection speeds and a secure connection, and it works with laptops and Android and Apple devices. Connect up to 15 Wi-Fi devices at once (great for families with multiple Wi-Fi gadgets), and even plug your smartphone into the Unite Pro for refueling. $199.99 for device, no contract, plus cost of DataConnect plan: $15 (100MB) to $50 (1TB), good for 30 days. 888-333- 6651, www.att.com/unitepro
Use Eye-Fi’s new secure digital (SD) cards to instantly upload photos and videos from your camera to your smartphone or tablet, and then to Facebook, e-mails, text messages, and more — no computer needed. Pop the 8GB to 32GB Mobi card into your camera, download the Eye-Fi app to your smartphone or tablet, and then start shooting. The SD card creates its own Wi-Fi network, enabling it to transfer images wirelessly. Once paired, your device automatically uploads images when it detects new content on the card. Eye-Fi’s new Pro X2 SD card lets photographers upload RAW images. Both cards work with Apple and Android devices. $49.99 (8GB) to $99 (32GB) for Mobi; 16GB Pro X2 card, $99.99. 650-265-4460, www.eye.fi
HP’s new EliteBook 820 seems perfectly crafted for frequent travelers: It has a 12.5-inch screen, weighs less than 3 pounds, comes with a built-in webcam for Skyping, and has Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity so you can pair your wireless noise-canceling headphones. Don’t stress if you hit turbulence at 33,000 feet or the crew turns off the lights on your night flight: The laptop also comes with a spill-resistant, backlighted keyboard, and is made of magnesium, meaning it can withstand drops and vibrational shock. Another cool feature: You can quickly charge your smartphone, tablet, or other devices through the USB 3.0 ports when the EliteBook is turned off. It also comes with a fingerprint reader for logging on, and has a Sure Start program that restores the system’s BIOS to its previous safe state if your computer gets hacked on the road. Starts at $874. 866- 625-0242, www.hp.com
Lull your child to sleep with the Sleepow Baby pillow, a super-soft and cuddly portable pillow that can play soothing music or even your own voice to help your little one drift off. It has built-in speakers and an MP3 player that comes preloaded with peaceful music to help induce sleep. The music, which has slower tempos and reduced sound frequencies, ranges from soft piano numbers to trickling water tunes. Or sing your favorite bedtime lullaby and record it for playback on the MP3 player. The pillow comes in the shape of a pink bunny or blue cat. It weighs under 13 ounces and runs on three AAA batteries. It comes perfectly contoured to fit a child’s head, and best suits ages 1 to 5. Available in May, $69. 339- 368-6969, www.sleepow.com
Throw GlobaTrac’s palm-sized Trakdot into your checked bag and keep tabs on your belongings worldwide. The luggage tracker works with any cellular device (no need for a fancy smartphone or apps), and it has an internal GSM chip that uses cell towers rather than satellites to triangulate its position. The device has a built-in accelerometer and automatically shuts off its transmit-and-receive feature as the plane speeds up for takeoff. It switches off airplane mode when it lands, reconnects to cell towers, and sends you an SMS text message or e-mail with the location of your bag. Ever wonder what happened to your checked bag when it disappeared en route to your destination? Look up your suitcase’s location history on the Trakdoc website. $89.99, includes activation fee and first year annual service fee ($12.99 thereafter). 855-558-8722, www.trakdot.com
Lenovo’s Yoga 2 Pro can bend and flip to fit all sorts of spaces as you travel. The lightweight ultrabook, which has a super high-resolution (3200 x 1800) touchscreen display, functions as a regular laptop, but has a unique hinge that lets you flip it over and stand it up in “tent” mode on its nonslip rubber edges so you can watch a movie, surf the web, or play a game. In this A-frame configuration, you can fit the Yoga 2 Pro into smaller spaces, like your airline’s tray table even with the seat in front angled down. Flip the screen all the way over and the device turns into a tablet. The ultrabook has a solid-state drive (good protection in case of bumps or drops), backlighted keyboard for low-light situations, and in-plane switching technology that means screen quality looks good even when viewed from different angles, so you can entertain several children in the car’s back seats, or your plane’s seatmates. It weighs 3.1 pounds, and offers up to 9 hours of battery life. Starts at $999. 855-253-6686, www.lenovo.com
Nikon’s latest super-rugged mirrorless camera handles bumps, dips, and cold temps without sacrificing versatility: The Nikon 1 AW1 is the world’s first waterproof camera with interchangeable lenses. Use it with the standard 11-27.5mm kit lens (equivalent to 30-74mm), or swap that for a 10mm (or 27mm) lens. The camera remains waterproof to 15 feet, shockproof from 6.6 feet, and functional down to 14 degrees. It has a somewhat boxy feel, but also has easy-to-work buttons, a waterproof pop-up flash that doesn’t blow out images, a 3-inch LCD screen, and a built-in GPS with compass, altimeter, and depth meter. It does the trick for your white-water, kayaking, and snorkeling adventures, and can bounce around in your backpack without breaking down. The 14-megapixel camera handles different lighting scenarios with ease and captures the best-quality shots of the many mirrorless cameras I’ve tried. It also shoots 1080p high-def video. $799.95 for body and 11-27.5mm lens. 800-645-6687,
Back up all of your data files, photos, videos, and music from your computer’s internal and external hard drives to Backblaze and this cloud back-up service will store and protect everything (no limits) for just $5 a month. Once you upload your data, the service runs quietly and unobtrusively in the background — no annoying pop-ups or intrusions — and continuously backs up your work if you’re online, or as soon as you get connected. If you accidentally delete something critical or forget to hit Save, or if your laptop gets dropped, lost, or stolen, you can easily retrieve your files — or even the data on your entire hard drive — from Backblaze. Download the Backblaze app and you can access files from the cloud and download them to your iPhone or iPad, so you don’t need to lug your laptop everywhere. 650- 352-3738, www.backblaze.com
Kari Bodnarchuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.