1) modem- If you have access to wifi, then great. If you don't and need a connection, the modem will have to do at least until you're near wifi again. Plus, the modem is more secure w/o any fancy setting, IMHO.
2) memory readers- Memory cards come in various formats, having 5,7, 9, 10, 15, 20 in 1, just makes it more flexible to what you may need to access via a memory card.
FYI- I just brought a desktop 20-in-1 memory card reader for $8, of course an int. laptop model will cost more. However, an ext. memory reader using the USB port will be cheaper and that can be as flexible as you want.
I am looking at new notebooks.
(1) why would I want a modem if the notebook has wireless connectivity and/or bluetooth?
(2) what is the difference between a 5 in 1 digital reader and a 7 in 1 digital reader and is the difference worth much to me?