On the road
Asus Eee PC, $399 (for 4 GB model)
A conventional ultraportable notebook can easily set you back $1,000 or more, but the $399 Asus Eee PC can be an inexpensive, yet still lightweight compact traveling companion. Weighing only 2 pounds and Wi-Fi equipped, this Linux-based (but Windows XP compatible) notebook comes with everything you need to browse the Web, check e-mail, or work with Microsoft Office documents. While it doesn't offer much storage capacity (8 GB is the maximum) it does come in the form of a speedy, quiet, and battery-friendly solid-state disk drive.
If you're tired of hotels that don't provide in-room Wi-Fi access (or charge a fortune for it), then check out the Linksys WTR54GS. This portable router/access point can provide wireless access for one or more systems from any wired Ethernet port. Its compact size makes it easy to pack, and since it plugs directly into a wall outlet for power there's no AC adapter to lose.
Pinnacle PCTV To Go HD Wireless, $249.99
With the Pinnacle PCTV To Go HD Wireless, there's no need to miss your favorite TV shows just because you're away. Connect it to your cable or satellite set-top box and then link it to your home network via Wi-Fi, and it will stream live or recorded television to a PC anywhere you happen to be. Plus, there are no monthly service fees to deal with.
With the ZyXEL AG-225H you can sniff out wireless networks without having to drag out your notebook. It will not only indicate when there are WLANs (802.11b, g, or a) nearby, its LCD display will tell you the name, signal strength, and type of encryption used by each one. You can recharge the AG-225's battery by plugging it into a USB port, in which case it can also be used as a wireless network adapter.
Just for kicks
Apple iPod Touch, $299 and up
You don't (necessarily) have to be an Apple fanboy to appreciate the capabilities of the iPod touch. It's large and wide display makes it equally adept with photos and movies as it is with music, and you can use the integrated Wi-Fi to download music or browse the Web. [Read our full review.]
Archos 605 Wi-Fi 30 GB, $299
If you're more interested in video than music or pictures, then you'll appreciate the Archos 605 Wi-Fi's spacious 4.3-inch screen and capacious 30GB hard drive. The 605 Wi-Fi can browse the Web or download content, and an inexpensive add-on will turn it into a DVR.
Nabaztag Wi-Fi Smart Rabbit, $79 (plus variable subscription fees)
Talk about a rabbit ears antenna--the Nabaztag Wi-Fi Smart Rabbit can move its ears, change colors, play music, and talk. It's wireless Internet connection can keep you up-to-date on the latest news, weather, and stock market info, monitor your RSS feeds, or read your e-mail aloud. Best of all, you don't need to feed it or clean up after it.
Sony PlayStation 3, $399 and up
Sure, you can add Wi-Fi support to the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii via an external adapter, but Sony's PlayStation 3 is the only game console that gives it to you right out of the box. (But avoid the earliest 20 GB models, which lack the feature.)
This article was first published on Wi-FiPlanet.