Top 10 Laptop Essentials

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Home and Office: Back It Up

I know PC backup is a boring topic. But if it's thrills you seek, wait until you wake up one morning and your computer doesn't turn on. That's real excitement.

There are lots of ways to back up your hard drive. One of the most convenient options for laptop users is a portable, external hard drive. For example, CMS Products' ABSplus drives for laptops are lightweight (7 ounces) and fully bootable. Along with the Restore CD (included with the product), you can boot from the external ABSplus drive if your laptop's internal drive fails. I'm speaking from experience: The ABSplus drive saved me when my laptop's hard drive unexpectedly bit the dust faster than a character on Six Feet Under. ABSplus comes in 20GB ($279) through 80GB ($499) versions for USB, FireWire, and PC Card slots.

Tip: When traveling, don't pack a portable external hard drive in the same bag as your laptop. If the bag is lost or stolen, you're sunk. For more backup tips, read "Mobile Computing: Backup Strategies for the Road."

At a Glance
  • Kensington FLYFAN MOBILE USB FAN (Kensington-62648)

  • The Plasticsmith Lapvantage Deluxe Dome


  • Targus USB Mobile Port Replicator with Ethernet (Targus-PA090U)

  • Linksys by Cisco Linksys Dual-Band Wireless A+G-PC card Adapter (Linksys-WPC55AG)

  • Forward Solutions Migo

  • TDK 4X DVD+R DVD-R Multi-Format External Drive USB2.0 Firewire (TDK-DED+440BXN)

  • Kensington Comfort Type USB Keyboard-BLK USB Ergonomic 104-Key Keyboard

  • Kensington Comfort Type Wireless Optical Desktop

  • Kensington Expert Mouse Pro Trackball 4-Button USB 6 Direct Web Buttons

  • Kensington TurboBall 4-button Mouse

  • Goldtouch Ergonomic Mouse

  • Dell D/Port Advanced Port Replicator

  • CMS Products 20.0GB Automatic Backup System Plus PC Card External Hard Drive

  • Targus Ultra Mini USB 4 Port Hub

  • Travelon 14

  • Linksys by Cisco Wireless Network PCI Card Adapter for Desktops

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