Gadgets: Verbatim SureFire, RockBuds earphones, Targus Lap Chill Mat
Bigger, better and faster is what you get from the new Verbatim SureFire portable hard drive.
It's available in capacities of 250GB ($109.99), 320GB ($139.99) and 500GB ($179.99), but what stands out is the speed with the FireWire 800 connection on a Mac.
PC users can enjoy it with a USB 2.0 connection, but either way the hand-held drive works on most any desktop or laptop computer.
The slick looking drive comes with all the cables you need for whatever connection you choose and works in a plug and play manner without the need to load any drivers or software.
Since it's bus-powered, there is no need for a power cord and with the FireWire connection users can expect transfer speeds of 800MB per second.
While the performance is great, Verbatim also made the 2.5-inch drive stylish looking in a black aluminum-extruded case and a fingerprint-resistant matte finish. A protective carrying case is included.
The drive has a 5400rpm spindle speed and 8MB of cache memory but only weights .41 lbs for great portability.
Earlier this year Verbatim launched the Color Nano Wireless Notebook Mouse ($29.99), which works for both Mac and Windows systems.
The 2.4 GHz wireless mouse is available in seven popular colors; blue, graphite, green, pink, purple, red and yellow.
Users connect a tiny USB attachment to the computer's port for an instant connection. Since it's so small, just leave it attached unless the port is needed for something else.
The mouse's clean and uncluttered design is complemented with a smooth, rubberized grip, which provides comfort and control for both right- and left-hand use.
With the programmable roller button, favorite features can be assigned to the roller, making them more convenient to access.
RockBuds earphones from chicBuds are called a functional and comfortable on their web site and I have to agree.
What makes them functional is the cord, which rolls into the built-in retractable device on the cord itself.
Users can extend the cord to the desired length without having all the extra to get in the way or caught on something. This makes them ideal for the athletic types since they have five stopping points to suit varied lengths.
The earphone itself is silicon tipped inner earbud, which is my preference for comfort. Designwise, the company puts what it calls a rockin' design on the black case that holds the cord, so if you're into a full-fledged styling set of earbuds, this is for you.
While the sound is OK, the functionally is really what makes these handy. The retractable cord results in nothing getting tangled and is ideal for using with your MP3 player in a pocket or armband and can even reach when it's stored on your belt.
There is also a clip on retractable cord to attach it to your shirt, lanyard or most anything within reach.
Details: RockBuds.com, $19.99
The new Targus Lap Chill Mat ($39.99) is one of those items that every laptop owner should have.
It's designed with two fans, which are pretty quiet and provide the air movement to keep the laptop cool.
Users simply rest the device on your lap with the computer on top. The only other necessary step is plugging the USB cord to the computer for power.
It weighs just 2.65 lbs and measures about 12 x 15-inches, compatible with almost any sized laptop.
For typing comfort, it's built with an ergonomic tilt and soft neoprene material on the bottom provides the cushioned comfort while resting on your lap.
While the name of product indicates it works on your lap, users shouldn't hesitate to put on a desktop either. Since a laptop gets hot anywhere it's used, the cooling unit is helpful when sitting at a desk, especially since it has rubber stops on the bottom to make it slip proof.
When the laptop is not in use, the Targus A7 Sleeve ($29.99) makes a nice storage home to keep it safe and clean.
Its interior is made with a Tri-cell Cushion System, providing the necessary padding to store and protect laptops up to 15.6-inches in size. The exterior is a durable neoprene material, with extra protection on the edges, making it durable and water resistant.
Many users will find this to be a nice item to store a laptop and then insert it into your computer bag for extra storage and protection.
(c) 2009, Gregg Ellman.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.