Six Gadgets for Plenty of Peace of Mind

It may not quite be the holiday season yet, but it’s always good to review your options when it comes to cool gadgets. Sometimes a single little device can make you more efficient and change the way you work. In this post, I’ll round up six little engines that can.

Cell Phone Plus Notebook Charging Combo. The iGo everywhere 130 notebook power adapter, seen below, comes with two power cords, one for a standard wall outlet, and one that works with any airline power adapter or ones found in cars, boats and RVs. The real benefit, though, is that it can charge a second device, such as a cell phone or digital music player at the same time. It lists for $149.99 and saves lots of hassle, especially when traveling.

Cell Phone Signal Extender. Are you on a cell phone a lot during the day? A cell phone signal extender can give you much more range and keep your call quality as high as possible. The one seen below requires you to mount an included antenna near a window and run coax cable to the base unit. It can give you a very high-quality signal on two different floors. It’s about $250 at

USB Memory Watch. There are several watches on the market that build in USB memory stick functionality. This one below gives you 2GB of memory and is $49.99 at It has a built-in USB interface and you get a USB extension cord with it.

MagicJack. The magicJack device fits in your pocket, connects to a computer through a USB port and has a standard phone jack on the other side, so you can use any phone with it. It lets you place you free local and long-distance VoIP calls in the U.S. and Canada, and gives you a free phone number for receiving calls from around the world. You can also set up a voicemail box on your computer. You do have to pay $39.95 for the device and $19.95 per year after the first year.

Wi-Fi Camera. The Nikon CoolPix S50C camera is a super easy way to shoot your digital photos wirelessly to your computer or onto online photo services–anywhere you can get a Wi-Fi connection, including in hotspots. It lists for $349.95, is a 7.1-megapixel camera, and you send your photos wirelessly with one touch.

Extra Notebook Battery. If you fly a lot, frequently roam in public with a notebook computer, or even just roam a lot in your home or office with a notebook, APC’s line of mobile power packs is worth looking into. The one I use gives me about three hours of extra juice beyond what my notebook is capable of, so I can get a full day of computing done without plugging in or recharging. These cost $150 to $300 depending on how much power you need, come with USB power adapters, and they weigh well under a half a pound.

Do you have any tips on essential gear for web workers?