Travel guidelines for portable electronics


A few months ago, I bought a portable DVD player to take on long trips. It was a surprisingly affordable purchase, and I’m very pleased with the product so far. One thing annoys me, though: having to take the disc out when you’re transporting the player from one location to another.

Actually, that’s not accurate at all. There’s nothing in the user’s guide that mentions taking the disc out when the player is in transit. Absent any recommendation, I’m forced to assume that having the disc in there when the player is bouncing around in my bag is probably a bad thing. Perhaps the DVD player was designed to travel with a disc inside. But there’s nothing in the documentation about it either way.

Ironically, I’ve seen decidedly non-portable products like printers and scanners that have detailed transport instructions. For instance, I remember a scanner that had a big locking lever that you were supposed to move into the locked position for transport. So it’s even stranger that these instructions are so hard to find for products that are made for traveling.

I’m not saying that every portable electronic device needs a guide full of travel tips. Nobody would read it anyway. But if a product has a slot or door where a disc goes, or a removable cover that protects a sensitive component, it probably makes sense to print some travel-related guidelines on there. In my case, “Remove disc when transporting this player” would go a long way towards eliminating the confusion.