Looking to kill time on your night long haul flight, fed up of waiting in the airport with a newspaper or watching the on-board movies through a 7” low-resolution screen? Well, we’ve found a few products that could make your next trip a little more bearable.
Long-haul flights are in their nature… long. So what are the best pieces of tech to pass the time vortex whilst stuck in one place?
Let’s start with the entertainment hub- The tablet. The tech behind tablets has improved dramatically over the last 3 years (and so has the cost). So much so, many people are now replacing their travel laptops and netbooks with a tablet and keyboard.
Depending on you budget, tablets can range from a simple £60 media centre to full laptop replacements. Tablets have the benefits of being equipped with both full operating systems (like Windows 10) and simple to download apps (like on Android). Tablets are also inherently more portable than laptops due to their size and design.
Remember to buy yourself a tablet with external storage (usually an SD card slot) so you can load it up with movies, music and ebooks.
Fancy a tablet but don’t want to spend big money on your travel companion? Check out the Hannspree Hercules. At under £100 (currently £90) the Hannspree 10.1-Inch tablet is a cracking choice for keeping you entertained aboard a long arduous flight.
The bargain price gets you a Quad Core CPU, 16GB Internal storage and a rather handy 32GB External Storage in the form of a SD card slot. The Hercules also comes with Android 5.1 (Lollipop) built in so you can while away your hours on the finest apps, games and programmes Google has to offer.
Looking for something a little more portable? Check out the ASUS Zenpad. This mini tablet comes in a few sizes and formats. We’ve chosen the 8-Inch here as its pretty good value (under £150) and comes with a manageable 8-Inch screen. The ZenPad packs a punch with an Intel Atom 1.33GHz CPU, 2GB RAM + 16GB in built storage. You’ll also get a 5MP Rear and 2MP Front Camera and the ever hand MicroSD slot.
Top Pick – Asus ZenPad S (£149)
Want the flexibility of a tablet but just need a little more power from your electric travel companion? Well, consider a hybrid tablet/laptop. Hybrids work as both tablet and laptop depending how you want to use them. A little more powerful than a traditional tablet (usually higher processor and more RAM) but not as bulky or feature packed as a laptop, hybrids are the perfect travel companion.
The Asus Transformer is a 2-in-1, which means exactly what it says – it’s a Windows laptop with a keyboard that detaches, turning it into a Windows tablet. Need to do work? You’ve got a powerful laptop, want to just watch some movies, detach the keyboard and you’ve got a handy tablet.
The transformer book comes in a few different incarnations and prices, from a budget-handy £230 to a laptop challenging £500 for the Transformer T200TA. Transformer Books are all Touchscreen have built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and even HDMI, not bad for under £350
Top Pick – Asus Transformer Book T100HA Convertible
Ok so you’ve got all these electronic devices. How do you keep them powered? Step Up Powerbank! Powerbanks are effectively large capacity portable battery packs designed to charge your small and medium sized electronic devices on the go.
There are hundreds of different types, sizes and formats available on the market from ultra-portable 2200mAh Power Bank suited for charging your smartphone once or twice to 10000mAh multi-socket tablet and netbook chargers.
Top Pick – TP-Link TL-PB10400 10400mAh Power Bank (£20)
Headphones and Earphones
You’ve got your video device, now you need to block out that surrounding aeroplane rabble with some headphones.
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to over ear headphones. For around £25 you can easily pick up a pair of simple Bluetooth or NFC connected cans. With a rise in price to about £40 you can look towards folding or travel-specific headphones from some of the more established brands like Sennheiser or Sony. Then from £60 to well anything, you can really treat your ears to a set of noise cancelling cans.
For something rather different, check out bone-conduction earphones. These rather odd looking sets produce audio through vibration in the listener’s cheekbones (just at the side of the ear) to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrum completely. Sounds weird buy they do work.
Top Pick- SOND Audio NFC Folding Headphones (£20)