Laptop Computer Solutions for At Home Use
Notebook computers are great for the get-up-and-go lifestyle. Weighing as little as four pounds and small enough to be tucked away into cute little carrying cases and brought on trains, planes and automobiles, laptops are a quick and convenient way to work while you're on the road. But what if your laptop is your only PC? What if you're a writer or graphic designer who spends hours tapping away at the keys both on the road and at home? It's no secret that laptops are not the finest in ergonomically correct technology and can become quite cumbersome after long-term use. But where there's a problem there's always a solution; several companies have designed add-ons and accessories that make the process of using a notebook a little bit easier and lot more comfortable.
Logitech Alto -- $99.99
The Logitech Alto is an adjustable stand that sits on your desk and holds your laptop at eye level. Unlike other stands, the Alto also comes with a full-size keyboard. Complete with number pad and arrow keys, shortcut keys that function when FN is pressed, and compatible with a wireless mouse, the Alto is an excellent solution for temporarily converted your laptop into a desktop. It also includes a 3-port USB 2.0 hub that allows you to connect your iPod, webcam, microphone or printer. For use on any flat surface, the Alto folds up when you're finished, making for easy travel or storage. It works with almost any notebook computer and is compatible with Windows 2000, XP and Vista.
Cordless Number Pad -- $39.99
The keyboards on laptop computers do not come equipped with a separate number pad like standard keyboards do. Although pressing num lock can convert certain letters in the J, K, L region into numbers, it can be difficult to get used to. The Logitech Cordless Number Pad is a wireless peripheral that connects through a USB port to allow easier data entry. One battery will last you six months, and the number pad comes complete with carrying case for compact storage.
Targus Notebook Chill Mat -- $29.99
If you've ever worked for several hours with your laptop sitting on your lap where it belongs, you'll understand the necessity of having a chill mat. Laptops get hot, really hot, and really fast, and not only will they burn your legs, but they can potentially damage your furniture as well. A chill mat has two built-in fans designed to prevent notebooks from overheating. Powered by the USB port, the chill mat is operated with an on/off switch and has non-skid rubber domes to keep your laptop from slipping all over the place.
Targus Notebook Portable Lap Desk -- $29.99
If the problem is that you don't have a desk at home and have no choice but to use your notebook on your lap, the Portable Lap Desk by Targus is an excellent solution. With ventilation channels underneath to allow continuous air flow, the lap desk ensures that your computer will not overheat either itself or your legs. Additionally, the stand can be tilted to adjust to five different angles and the desk can be folded in half and tucked away in a laptop case if you need to take it while you're traveling.
Wireless Optical Mouse -- $12.95
Available all over the internet and at local electronics chains, wirless mice are a great at-home alternative to the touch pads that come with laptop computers. Give your index finger a break from navigating by plugging the ergonomically correct wireless optical mouse receiver into a USB port. It can be used with or without a mousepad, and although this one takes two AA batteries, the mouse will automtically shut itself off after 8 minutes of non-use to conserve energy.
Tired of putting your laptop in it's case and then taking it out when you get home, and then putting it back in and taking it out ad infinitum? The new PocketTop made by Belkin is the ultimate solution to this age old problem. Designed as a carrying case, it also allows you to use your laptop or take it from room to room without ever removing it. It functions as a mobile workstation that rests comfortably on your lap or at a desk, includes side pockets for easy storage and features an opening to run your power supply cord through. Alternatively, the SleeveTop is a slimmer solution.