In our monthly column, we round up some of the finest gadgets that make the perfect travel accessories.
Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro | Rs 106,990 onwards
If you’re like me, then a lightweight form matters more than the hardware under the hood of your laptop. That’s one reason Samsung’s svelte new one is on our radar. It’s just 11.2 mm thin and weighs 870gm; you’re unlikely to find a lighter premium laptop with a 13.3-inch screen.
Samsung does displays better than most brands, it should come as no surprise that colours pop on 13.3-inch AMOLED display (1920 x 1080 pixels) with a 60Hz refresh rate. The AKG-tuned speakers with Dolby Atmos add to the Book 2 Pro’s tech creds as a binge watch device. Laptops have become more versatile in a post-pandemic world. The Book 2 Pro doesn’t just ace videos and gaming, it’s equally cut out to be your next workhorse.
Virtual meetings and video calls are still a thing in 2022 even as blended work models have emerged and the digital nomad lifestyle is becoming popular. The 1080p FHD webcam on this tech-rich laptop features wider field of view angles; the Studio Mode feature offers Auto Framing — you’re perfectly centred even when you move around the frame.
It’s not just the ultraportable form factor that makes it perfect for a short business trip. You can use the in-box 65W Type-C charger to charge multiple compatible tech devices like an Android smartphone, doing away with the need to lug multiple chargers. You also get a full array of ports and multiple connectivity options. The Book 2 Pro can handle anything you throw at it. At its heart is the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processor with a choice of hardware configurations. You should manage about eight hours of battery life on a single charge; impressive for a featherlight laptop.
Sennheiser CX Plus | Rs 12,990
Sennheiser’s long overdue update of its popular CX400 BT TWS Bluetooth earbuds come with multiple enhancements. It all starts with the design. The CX Plus feel light in your ears and are ergonomically designed. You can swap the silicon ear tips (from a choice of four sizes in the box) for the perfect ear fit.
The case is slim enough to fit into those tight jeans and is also IPX4 certified — they’re sweatproof and can handle a light drizzle. Pairing is a breeze, Sennheiser’s companion app is intuitive, and also offers multiple controls including a simple equaliser. The other big win is ANC (active noise cancellation). The ANC feature shuts out external sounds even in noisy environments. You can toggle to transparent mode if you need to be plugged into external sounds, like when you’re exploring a new city.
Sound quality has been the key differentiator for Sennheiser’s premium earbuds. Sennheiser has added a True Response transducer to complement the seven mm dynamic drivers. We enjoyed the well-defined sound stage. These high-tech buds deliver high-fidelity stereo sound with deep basses, natural mids, and clear, detailed treble. The 24-hour battery life add to its appeal as a travel accessory. All you need to do is turn the ANC on and plug into your playlist on your next flight.
Xiaomi 12 Pro | Rs 62,999 onwards
Xiaomi’s newest premium flagship smartphone ticks key boxes. It can hold its own in the design department. We approve of the velvet matte finish; it’s glossy but doesn’t have an affinity for fingerprints. We’re torn between the Opera Mauve and the pleasing Couture Blue colour options. You will notice small design touches that add to the device’s premium vibe — the waveform speaker grill is a case in point. Xiaomi finds the balance between form and function. The device feels good in your hand despite a 204-gm footprint.
If you’re a fan of curved displays, you will gravitate towards the 6.73-inch 2K+ AMOLED display. Colours are gorgeous thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of 1500 nits. It’s gaming and binge-watch proof. The 12 Pro becomes the latest flagship to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Generation 1 chipset. There’s a choice of 8GB/256GB and 12GB/256GB hardware variants.
Xiaomi has been playing up the 4600 mAh battery on the 12 Pro. The 12 Pro is a showcase for Xiaomi’s HyperCharge innovation — the 120W in-box charger can take the battery level from 0 to 100 per cent in 18 minutes flat, very useful when you’re travelling. The other talking point in the tech department is the rear cam. It blends three 50MP lenses that all boast of night mode. Aside from the versatile rear cam, you also get a 32MP selfie cam that shoots sharp portraits.
Ashwin Rajagopalan is a Chennai-based content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. He writes extensively on travel and culture, food and drink, gadgets and trends.