(Business 2.0) – Pocket Protector
Viper's new security system reassures the owner who can't worry enough about his car. When triggered, the XV blasts a wail that hits a skull-rattling 125 decibels. But even if you're out of earshot, you're not out of touch, because the two-way remote blinks and chimes if anyone tampers with your baby. Special feature for type As: Press a button on the key fob to fire up your car remotely, so it's ready to go when you are. Viper 771 XV: $459; www.directed.com.
The cell phone stays by your side—instead of your ear—with Nokia's hands-free Bluetooth system. An unobtrusive dash-mounted screen provides the same information as your cell-phone display, and you can effortlessly download contact info from your phone. A small console-mounted control unit with three intuitive buttons and a dial is but one way to manage calls and messages, which sound off through your car's speakers: Choose to use Nokia's decent voice-recognition software and neither hand has to leave the wheel. Nokia 610 Car Kit: $300; www.nokia.com.
The FirePod transforms your car's lighter socket into a universal power supply. A USB port channels current to a wide array of compatible PDAs, cell phones, and MP3 players. And the FireWire jack? As the name implies, it's tailor-made to recharge any iPod model, including the Mini. A built-in fuse protects your electronics from a car's occasional silicon-melting power surges. Addlogix FirePod: $20; www.addlogix.com.
Set Sharp's tiny, sub-2-pound Muramasa laptop just about anywhere—on an armrest, say, or a glove box door. You'll soon find that it sips less fuel than a Prius: The 1-GHz Transmeta Efficeon processor knifes through spreadsheets while drawing so little power that, when using the optional enhanced battery, you can point and click for the duration of a seven-hour drive. Fortunately it'll take you much less time to get used to the downsized keyboard. Sharp Mebius Muramasa PC-CV50F: $2,300; enhanced battery: $115; www.sharpusa.com. — MATTHEW MAIER