Tech tips for summer
By Marc Saltzman
Q: We’re going on vacation in Hawaii and are
interested in waterproof cameras. What can
you tell me about them?
■ Tech travel tips
A: Lucky you! Hawaii would be a great place to
bring a waterproof camera, as you can capture mem-
ories at the beach or pool—which is likely where
you’ll be spending a lot of your time—and you won’t
have to worry about damaging the camera.
Q: As seniors, my husband and I are trying to
navigate the labyrinth of modern technology to find the best solution for communication while traveling in our motor home. What
do you suggest?
used to pick up your e-mail and serve as
your GPS navigation unit—for your scenario it might be best to pick up dedicated devices for each task.
An inexpensive laptop, for
example, is easier to use for reading and sending e-mail, surfing the
Web and doing online banking than
a cellphone, and many trailer parks
now offer free Wi-Fi.
If you don’t want to spend a lot on a
laptop, or find them too heavy, you might consider
a netbook, which is a more portable and affordable
mobile computer. Netbooks aren’t as powerful as
laptops, so they’re designed more for basic tasks
(Web surfing, checking e-mail and word processing). But these activities are the most common
among computer users anyway.
Since you need a phone, shop around to see
which carriers have the best roaming rates and
phones that support navigation applications.
Smartphones have different navigation programs
and require a data package on your plan. On the
other hand, a stand-alone dashboard GPS unit
doesn’t require any additional charges and will also
have maps for all of the United States and Canada.
Some GPS navigation units offer real-time traffic alerts—which inform you of road congestion due
to an accident, construction or volume—and they
no longer require an annual fee. You can usually tell
if the GPS unit has this feature by looking for a “T”
in Garmin products (such as Garmin nuvi 265WT).
The same holds true for some Tom Tom products,
but always be sure to read the packaging to see if this
feature is included.
To summarize, pick up a reliable laptop or
netbook, a GPS navigation unit and an easy-to-use
mobile phone that suits your needs and budget. C
electronics or computers
you purchased at
Costco? E-mail them to:
Or send them to:
The Costco Connection
P.O. Box 34088
Seattle, WA 98124-1088
or fax to (425) 313-6718.
in the subject line. Marc
will answer selected ques-
tions in this column. We
regret that unpublished
questions cannot be
A: While some gadgets can perform multiple functions—such as a smartphone, which can also be
More in archives
On Costco.com, enter “Connection.”
At Online Edition, search
The Costco Connection
Costco carries a selection of cameras and camcorders in the warehouses and on Costco.com
to capture your vacation memories this summer,
including waterproof cameras. You can also find
portable computers and GPS systems to help
you with your summer travels. Also available is
a selection of smartphones and service plans in
the wireless kiosks in many Costco locations.
a leading high-tech
to more than three
on radio and TV, and is
the author of 14 books.