Maximize your laptop with cool accessories

These accessories and add-ons will have your old laptop doing brand-new tricks in no time.

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Watch Live TV From Anywhere

Don't be a slave to the endlessly looping CNN feed on the solitary TV in the airport departure lounge. Instead, get whatever TV programming you want by tuning in to your cable box at home via a Sling Media Slingbox. The Slingbox attaches to both your cable box and your home broadband connection, and intercepts whatever's coming through the cable box and "slings" it to your computer, wherever you might be. Controls integrated into the custom Slingbox application you install on your laptop let you change channels on your cable box back home. Plug in a TiVo or a DVD player, and you can watch video from those sources as well (physically changing DVDs, however, is beyond the powers of the humble Slingbox). The bright red Slingbox Pro is the top of the line; its component connections let you hook up even a Blu-ray box (though the device downconverts high-def footage).
Photograph: Robert Cardin

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