(Business 2.0) – Touch-Typing
This laser-powered portable keyboard gives new meaning to the word "lightweight." The 3-ounce projector shines a virtual typepad onto any flat surface, using infrared sensors to convert finger movements into ethereal keystrokes. It's compatible with Windows PCs and most popular Palm- or Pocket PC-powered handhelds. But does it really work? Tactile-free typing is awkward at first--I kept repeating letters and missing spaces--but if you use some finesse, this little wonder makes text entry a snap. iBiz Virtual Keyboard: $100; www.ibizcorp.com.
Altec Lansing's battery-powered InMotion speakers turn your iPod into a portable boom box. Despite its puny size, the set delivers a big sound--even at high volume. Your iPod charges when placed in the docking station; when you're ready to roll, the whole setup folds shut to create a compact package the size of a hardcover book. And speaking of compact, a $3 adapter (sold online) enables you to plug in mini iPods too. Altec Lansing InMotion: $150; www.alteclansing.com.
Yes, pocket-size cameras are small. But to take them on the road, you usually have to stuff a clunky transformer and docking station into your luggage. The 4-megapixel Pentax S40 eliminates peripheral bulk by drawing power for about 130 shots from a regular pair of AA batteries. You also get a 3x optical zoom lens, 11MB of built-in memory, an SD memory card slot, and the ability to capture short movies with audio. All that, in a package that really does fit in your pocket--with room left over for an extra pair of batteries. Pentax Optio S40: $300; www.pentaxdigital.com.
Leaving the laptop at home doesn't have to mean leaving your entertainment behind. Toshiba's SD-P2600 portable DVD player comes with an 8.9-inch high-resolution screen, built-in bass reflex speakers, and an SD/MMC memory card slot for screening your latest digital photos. The rechargeable battery lasts more than three hours, and there are two headphone jacks, so both you and your seatmate can tune in. Toshiba SD-P2600: $700; www.tacp.toshiba.com.
Here's the Humvee of handhelds. Built to exceed military specifications, TDS's hardy Recon is rugged enough to survive your most brutal summer adventures. Rubberized, drop-tested, and waterproof, it comes loaded with Windows Mobile 2003 Pocket PC, an illuminated color display, 128MB of built-in Flash memory, and two CompactFlash slots that can be used to add Bluetooth or Wi-Fi cards. TDS Recon: $1,300-$1,600; www.tdsway.com.
Untangle your luggage with this tidy backpack, which comes with a built-in charger to juice laptops, PDAs, and mobile phones. The setup also has connectors for plugging into AC outlets, automobile cigarette lighters, or airline power ports. Adapters for most Windows laptops are included, and when used with optional USB power cables, this kit can charge your handheld and phone at the same time. APC Travel Power backpack: $100-$180; www.apc.com.