Great gadgets for the digital nomad

If your workspaces include airports, hotel lobbies and coffee shops, these devices can help.

At 1.5 pounds and powered by a lithium ion battery, Planon's Printstik PS910 is a go-anywhere print shop.

At 1.5 pounds and powered by a lithium ion battery, Planon's Printstik PS910 is a go-anywhere print shop.

A Good Call

HP's iPaq 910 Business Messenger may look like an ordinary smart phone with a screen on top and a thumb keyboard below for tapping out e-mails, quick memos and instant messages. But beyond calling and Web surfing over a 3G GSM quad-band mobile phone network, this 5.3-oz. smart phone can link with an 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network, whether it's at a coffee shop or a client's office.

Other features include built-in Google Maps with multimodal GPS navigation, mobile versions of various Microsoft apps and an alphanumeric QWERTY keyboard. The iPaq 910 costs about US$500.

Make the Connection

Never seem to have the right cable -- or is it always buried in the bottomless pit of your notebook bag -- Meritline's Ultimate Cable Kit (US$26) can help you make the connection with retractable FireWire, USB, telephone and Ethernet cables and all the adapter tips needed to plug just about any peripheral into your computer. It all fits into a black padded travel case and comes with a travel mouse and headphones.

For those who never seem to have the right AC adapter, IOGear's GearJuice (US$40) can charge up just about any phone, anywhere. The kit includes a power adapter and seven tips that work with an assortment of popular cell phones, media players and handhelds.

Biz Flicks

When it's time to pop a video clip into a presentation, onto your blog or up on YouTube, Pure Digital's Flip Mino does the trick. A mighty mite of a camcorder, Mino weighs 3.3 oz., but it can capture a whole hour of TV-quality clips on 640-by-480-resolution video at 30 frames a second. For those in a hurry (and what digital nomad isn't?), the US$180 Mino can transfer clips directly to online video services such as AOL Video, YouTube and MySpaceTV. And if you're really in a hurry, you can buy an "action mount" that lets you attach the camera to your handlebars or helmet.

Pinching pennies? The Mino is actually at the head of the Flip class. To save a few bucks, opt for the slightly less sleek US$150 Flip Ultra or the basic US$130 Flip Video.

Buy Their Silence

Nomads need to work wherever and whenever they can, but the world is a noisy place. Aliph's Jawbone Bluetooth headset uses advanced digital signal processing technology to block out the racket going on around you and let your voice shine through during phone calls. It can't silence crying babies, traffic sounds or ringing phones on your end, but the people on the other end of the call won't hear them.

Lighter and smaller than other headsets, the latest version of the $130 Jawbone weighs one-third of an ounce. And it's stylish, too, with a leather-covered ear loop and a variety of finishes.

Nadel is a freelance writer based near New York.

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Brian Nadel

Computerworld
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