12 Must-Have Gadgets for Digital Nomads
When recording a meeting and taking notes is not enough, Livescribe's Pulse Smartpen lets you do both by linking your handwritten notes to what was said live. The Pulse Smartpen can play back exactly what was said and when by pressing the pen to any place in your notes. The only catch is that you need to use one of Livescribe's special 100-page notebooks, which cost $20 for a four-pack. The $150 charcoal blue pen looks and feels good when held, weighs 1.3 ounces and can record up to 200 hours of meetings, brainstorming sessions and contact info. The software puts it all together, along with cool apps like a translator and transcription service, but it only works with Windows computers.
A Good Call
HP's iPaq 910 Business Messenger may look like an ordinary smart phone with a screen on top and a thumb keyboard below for tapping out e-mails, quick memos and instant messages. But on top of calling and Web surfing over a 3G GSM quad-band mobile phone network, this 5.3-ounce smart phone can link with an 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network at a connected coffee shop or client's office. Other features include built-in Google Maps with Multimodal GPS navigation, mobile versions of various Microsoft apps and an alphanumeric QWERTY keyboard. An unlocked iPaq 910 handset costs about $500.
Make the Connection
Never seem to have the right cable (or it's buried in the bottomless pit of your notebook bag)? Meritline's Ultimate Cable Kit ($26) can make the connection with retractable FireWire, USB, telephone and Ethernet cables and all the tips needed to plug just about any peripheral into your computer. It all fits into a black-padded travel case and comes with a travel mouse and headphones. For those who never seem to have the right AC adapter, IOGear's GearJuice ($40) can charge up just about any phone, anywhere. The kit includes a power adapter and seven tips that work with an assortment of popular cell phones, media players and handhelds, along with a 2,000 milli-amp hour battery; enough power for several extra hours of talk-time.
When it's time to pop a video clip into a presentation, onto your blog or up on YouTube, Pure Digital's Flip Mino does the trick. A mini mite of a camcorder, Mino weighs 3.3 ounces, but can capture a whole hour of TV-quality clips at 640-by-480 resolution video and 30 frames a second. For those in a hurry (and what digital nomad isn't?) the $180 Mino can transfer clips directly to online video services such as AOL Video, YouTube and myspacetv. And if you're really in a hurry, you can buy an "action mount" that lets you attach the camera to your handlebars or helmet. Pinching pennies? The Mino is actually the head of the Flip class. If you want to save a few bucks, you can opt for the slightly less sleek $150 Flip Ultra and the basic $130 Flip Video.
Nomads need to work wherever and whenever they can, but the world is a noisy place. Aliph's Jawbone Bluetooth headset uses advanced digital signal processing technology to block out the racket going on around you and let your voice shine through on calls. It can't silence crying babies, traffic sounds or ringing phones, but at least with Jawbone, the people on the other end of the call won't hear them, making you sound better. Lighter and smaller than other headsets, the latest version of the $130 Jawbone weighs one-third of an ounce, yet it's stylish, with a leather-covered ear loop and a variety of finishes.
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