LOS ANGELES—As mentioned in the article on CES, more and more companies are coming out with tools to help road warriors become more productive. Everything from software and removable storage to the little things that make life easier seems to be available these days.
My personal favorites include:
The "Min-Pro" laptop size mouse from Coutour Design. This little wonder uses optical technology so it doesn't have rolling parts to clog, and needs little space to work. During a recent event, I used it on the arm of a chair with no problems, and the response is incredible. The size is ideal for travel--it is tiny, sleek, and comes in its own carrying case, so tangled cords aren't a factor (contourdesign.com/).
Another petit gadget is the Targus Ultra Mini USB 4 Port Hub that allows your notebook computer to have plug and play connection to multiple input/output USB devices. Now you can have your optical mouse, a mini-cam, the hot-sync cradle for yo(ur PDA, and another device all running at once - a time and space saver that has become a staple in my gear bag (targus.com/).
Speaking of containers for your gear, I've had several for review lately, and the top two - while different in style and materials - are both winners.
Mascot-Metropolitan offers leather PDS cases that look high-end but are quite affordable. Created with usability as well as style, they are ideal for both men and women, although the color selection is limited to black, red (in certain units) and gray. I especially liked the compartments for cards and cash integral to the PDA unit.
The Mascot laptop backpacks, which I've seen but not tried in person, are ideal for the high school and college crowd. Made from nylon, with thick padding, ergonomically designed straps, and a clever waterproof bottom, they feature numerous pockets and light reflecting safety strips (lap-pro.com/).
Shoreline has taken a step away from the rigid cases that tend to limit what can be carried by manufacturing their products from brightly colored Neoprene material. A sleeve on the front of the case allows one of several available units to piggyback, so you can attach glasses, cell phone, or MP3 pouch as needed. They, too, offer laptop cases, and their gel shoulder and handle cushions are one of the best products to come along in ages. I like the idea of expandable cases, the colors are a nice touch, as are the additional pouches, and the collection is certainly worth the very reasonable price (shorelinecases.com/).
Now, if someone would only come up with a rolling road warrior case that offers the best of both products mentioned above - safety, light weight, colors, waterproof bottom, gel straps/handles, many pockets, add-on pouches, style, and a decent price - they'd have a best seller.
I'm currently reviewing mini-cams, USB Storage drives, and eagerly awaiting a laptop security card that is so popular reporters are standing in line for demo units.
At last, road warriors are getting the attention and products we know we deserve!
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