Businesstraveller.com brings you the latest travel gadgets and accessories to make life on the road easier. This week: a touchscreen laptop from Toshiba, Logitech's Darkfield work-on-anything mouse, the V-Man Power Pack and stereo Bluetooth headphones from Sennheiser. Also, our first app of the week.
Toshiba Satellite U500-1EX touchscreen laptop
Want a little more flexibility when moving documents around you desktop, or controlling movies and songs? Want to feel a bit like Tom Cruise in Minority Report? Well your prayers have been answered with Toshiba’s latest touchscreen laptop, the U500-1EX. At 13.3” the U500 isn’t quite a netbook, but is small enough to be called “highly portable”. It comes with Windows 7, including Microsoft’s Touch Pack which makes the most of the touchscreen technology. Hardware specs include a 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330 processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 320GB hard drive. At 2.15kg it could hardly be described as heavy, and if so, only when compared to the raft of freakishly lightweight netbooks out there now. There’s also in-built wifi and Bluetooth, but no 3G.
Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX
Those fashionable glass meeting tables look great, don’t they? Great, until you try to use your mouse on them without a mouse mat. This is where the latest wireless mouse from Logitech proves its worth. Using Logitech’s Darkfield technology, the Anywhere MX can work on pretty much any surface, and glass is no problem. It also trumps the older ball-style mouse as it works on uneven surfaces. A little switch on the bottom both protects the Darkfield sensor and turns the mouse off, helping to conserve battery power. There are a few extra buttons too which can be programmed to perform different functions, like page up/down or back and forward in an internet browser. The MX is small and so great for the traveller, but still has a reassuring weight. It comes with its own carrying case, and the USB sensor can be neatly stored away in the MX’s battery compartment.
V-Man Power Pack
A major criticism of today’s smartphones is that with all the bells and whistles, their battery lives are pretty poor. The iPhone, with its large, bright screen, is one such device to suffer badly from this, as testified to by the growing hordes that have them. Still, this is great news for manufacturers of portable battery chargers such as this one, the V-Man Power Pack. The V-Man can be charged from USB or a standard power socket, and comes with attachments for a range of different electronic devices. There are connections for most makes of phone, as well as cameras, iPods and satnavs. A handy indicator on the outside lights up at the touch of a button and shows how much juice is left.
Sennheiser PX 210BT
This Bluetooth headset allows for full stereo sound without the need for wires. Although this is nothing new, Sennheiser has a reputation for great sound quality and the use of the latest industry technology and standards. It can pair with any Bluetooth device with audio, and most smartphones these days have decent music programmes. The Sennheiser 300i apt-X dongle, available separately, gives lossless transmission over Bluetooth and is specially designed for the iPod.
PRICE Headset £149.99; iPod dongle £59.99
App of the Week
In our new round-up section we focus on the latest smartphone apps out there of particular interest to business travellers. This week...
Privatefly for iPhone
It was inevitable that the first app to feature in the weekly round-up would be one for an iPhone. This particular app, from private jet booker Privatefly.com, caught our attention. Free to download, the app allows the high-end business traveller to source a private jet from his or her iPhone. The app is primarily search-and-quote software, but at the click of a button an email request is sent to the relevant jet operator. A price is then sent back, either directly to the client or via a Privatefly agent. In these straitened times not many business travellers will have the budget to charter a private jet, but it just goes to show how much you can do on your iPhone these days.
PRICE Free to download