My use case is intercontinental HF radio, and I am frequently traveling. Lugging a big rig is inconvenient and expensive ones get you into customs trouble all the time. So, I'm looking for a low cost portable rig that can be driven to at least 100 W output. ICOM IC-78 is the baseline, is there anything that can beat it in price and portability? Most portable rigs I find are UHV/VHF rigs. I know people frown on cheap Chinese stuff but they sometimes produce pretty market-disrupting stuff, anything like the "Baofeng of HF"? HF is too much of a niche right?
The Yaesu FT-857 has the small form factor and same output power, but it is even more expensive, so constant hassle by customs as airports are guaranteed. The Kenwood 480HX is a 200W rig, and smaller than the ICOM IC-718, but it is also more expensive, so giving me the same headache.
Xiegu X5105 is at same price as ICOM IC-78 but it needs an external RF amp to drive 125W and that's another box for the same price again. So it doesn't really beat the FT-857 and Kenwood 480HX in portability or price.