There are five accessories I think laptop road warriors should consider, especially if they have a notebook or a mini notebook (a netbook by any other name would, well, you know) keyboard which isn’t quite big enough for their fat fingers. I’ll list them for you and then expound on them a little bit.
The List of 5 Accessories to Consider
This list is in no specific order. One may be more important to you than another:
- Wireless Mouse – For people who can’t stand touchpads or trackpads.
- Wireless Keyboard – To use with a laptop where the keyboard is just too small.
- Wireless Headset – In order to hear above the din of noise you can find yourself in.
- External Optical Drive – If you have a laptop without one.
- External Hard Disk Drive or Solid State Drive – If you have a small drive in your laptop or easily run out of room.
I have had both: A notebook (an HP widescreen number) and a netbook (which I’m now using — well, not at the moment).
Even when the touchpad, trackpad or whatever you want to call it works right, I can’t stand using it. I find it annoying and I’ve tried to use it many times. I really have. Someone told me it just takes getting used to, but I beg to disagree. It just doesn’t feel natural sliding my finger around and pushing on things that are supposed to click like mouse buttons.
I have a wireless, optical mouse sitting on my desk right now, in use with my desktop computer. I have my netbook in a slightly larger laptop bag along with another wireless, optical mouse.
If you were silly enough to buy one those netbooks with teeny keyboards, the kind with the 8.5 inch diagonal screen, you know exactly what I mean. There are portable, wireless keyboards you can roll up and stuff in your laptop bag along with everything else.
I’ve been fortunate. I bought a netbook that actually has a keyboard big enough for my fat fingers. It was my first prerequisite because I didn’t want to be disappointed.
I don’t have one yet. I have a USB headset, but it has a wire. I haven’t been out shopping since I wrote about getting a Bluetooth wireless headset, but a headset like that is on my shopping list. I have a bit of cash squirreled away for just that purpose.
I haven’t met a laptop computer yet, which has embedded speakers, where I can understand what I’m trying listen to. A wireless headset just makes it easier to deal with.
External Optical Drive
This is important for netbook owners who don’t have an optical drive included. Some of the newer mini notebooks classified as netbooks (hybrids) do. With the right software and an additional computer to work with (that has an optical drive), an optical drive isn’t necessary.
I’m in the latter situation. I have the right software on both the desktop and netbook computers.
External HDD or SSD
If you frequently run out of space on your HDD, especially if you have an older notebook, then an external HDD or SSD is a good idea. You can dump the stuff you don’t need very often onto the external drive and free up a lot of space on the drive installed in your computer.
There isn’t much space left, after the operating system, on netbooks with SSDs installed (at least not yet). This is one of the few ways you can increase your storage capacity without pulling your hair out.
I recently bought an Ovation external hard drive case, similar to the lead-in photo above. The only difference is that it has RFID security, with the RFID keys to go with it. The 2.5 inch hard drive currently sitting in my dead notebook computer will eventually end up inside that case. The case wasn’t expensive. It cost me something like $10, but in Philippine pesos instead of US dollars. Of course, I also have some extra flash drives sitting around that I’m already using.
The accessories I mentioned are what I would call “nice to have” accessories. You can get by without any of them. I’m not telling you to go out and buy even one of them.
The point is to consider what would make you more effective when you’re on the go. The last thing you need to happen is a scenario in which you’re stuck in a loud environment, you don’t have space left to save that important downloaded file, and you’re fumbling with keyboard all at the same time. It’s enough to make a grown man cry out loud. I write from experience