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What Extras Should I Buy When Buying a Laptop?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the accessorizing dept.

Hardware 212

HarleyPig asks: "I'm using my tax return to buy a laptop. I don't want to know which laptop to get (that's a religious discussion I'd like to avoid). What peripherals do you find yourself wishing you'd bought, or have ended up buying? I know I'll need a mouse, extra cabling, extra batteries and some kind of case to hold and carry around the laptop. What else should I consider putting in my list of stuff to buy with a laptop?"

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Without a doubt... (-1, Flamebait)

Synonymous Yellowbel (720524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266173)

... the stupidest Ask Slashdot I've even seen, and I've been here a lot longer than my ID would suggest. Just get stuff when you need it, you anal retentive freak.

Moderators smoking crack, details at 11 (-1, Offtopic)

Synonymous Yellowbel (720524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266324)

Flamebait!? You... pack... of... morons. Now THIS is flamebait.

Re:Moderators smoking crack, details at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8267012)

priceless moderation

Obviously (5, Insightful)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266181)

802.11b card (if not built in), so you can use it whilst in the bathroom.

Re:Obviously (3, Funny)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266297)

You don't have ethernet jacks in your bathroom? I thought everyone did.

Computer in the Bathroom? (3, Funny)

spineboy (22918) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266457)

I'll bet he's jacking something in there if he has a computer in there..

Re:Computer in the Bathroom? (2, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266844)

What is it about the bathroom that people find so sexy? Is everybody but me a closet commodophiliac?

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8266616)

Oh *that's* what that is!

Re:Obviously (2, Insightful)

KhanAFur (693723) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266755)

You don't need a wireless card, I have a red iMac in the bathroom named iCrap with a network cable going to it. It is a great place to read slashdot.

Re:Obviously (2, Funny)

toast0 (63707) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266776)

if your crap is red, you should see a doctor

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8267086)

or cut back on the cheerwine

External Mouse (4, Informative)

servicepack158 (678320) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266182)

i hate touch pads :)
Get wireless B/G card. B is common, and G is fast and will be more common in the future.
On a side note, I just got the widescreen 15.4 inch kind, and I really like it. Good for watching DVD's :)
Toshiba makes a nice laptop

Re:External Mouse (3, Insightful)

PiranhaEx (742431) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266195)

In addition, G is backwards-compatible with B, so a G card is really the way to go.

A CoolPad (4, Interesting)

jokell82 (536447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266183)

Definitely one of the best purchases I have made. It lifts the laptop to a height that is better ergonomically and helps keep it cool (by allowing air to flow underneath). Here it is [roadtools.com] , and you can find it in most stores now...

Re:A CoolPad (0, Offtopic)

Orien (720204) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266400)

Dig your sig man. Best indi cartoon ever.

My desktop wallpaper is plastered with "Do you HAS what it takes?!"

Re:A CoolPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8266801)

Good idea, but butt-ugly. Check this one out: iCurve [griffintechnology.com]

Re:A CoolPad (2, Informative)

james b (31361) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266837)

It's worth knowing that some of the literature concerning ergonomic keyboarding suggests that you don't incline your keyboard towards you but keep it as flat as possible on the desk, and have your desk as low (close to your knees) as possible.

Personally, my hands get tired more quicky when working on a keyboard that has its 'feet' raised at the back - I'm the guy who always flattens the feet down on lab computers before beginning to type.

/james

Re:A CoolPad (2, Informative)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267361)

I always like the MS Natural keybards that lifted in the front.

Also if you actually bother to read the coolpad page they have a note and picture on the right side of the page siting research stating that "experienced touch typists" try to type using a negative incline. The picture shows the laptop on the coolpad with the direction of the coolpad reversed.

Re:A CoolPad (1)

james b (31361) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267614)

Hmm... alas, my MS natural keyboard doesn't have the front feet. That sounds like a nice feature.

Coolpad: Thanks, I didn't know about that feature! I've only ever seen photos of it being used at a sharp towards-the-user angle, which makes my wrists ache just thinking about it. I approve much more of it now...

/james

Re:A CoolPad (1)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267737)

yeah, the original MS Naturals (which I have one left after all these years) has a long bar that goes across the bottom front and lifts the keyboard if you want. It is the most comfortable keyboard I've ever used. I also think it was really stable do to the size of the lifting pieces which is also nice.

Yeah, the sharp angle of the cool pad they show in most of the pictures would have my wirsts hurting in just a few minutes also, the other method makes it so that I would actually consider getting one since that is my only real problem with using a laptop.

Re:A CoolPad (1)

bonfire (50161) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267432)

Call me strange, but I find two old DDS tapes do the same trick (as far as better heat dissipation and nicer angle for typing is concerned).

PD

Re:A CoolPad (1)

jokell82 (536447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267511)

Yeah, but the two DDS tapes don't allow the laptop to swivel...which is something I don't think I could live without anymore.

2 things (2, Informative)

morelife (213920) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266187)

-backup AC adapter
-backup HD with an image of your OS
(until recently this, and a CD with your data on it, was a pretty good backup but these days if you run windows you need to pretty much have a paid copy of AV software for each installation you have)

Re:2 things (2, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267133)

You can replace #2 with an iPod, if you're clever, *and* get a nifty MP3 player in the bargain!

I don't know. . . (0)

Bastian (66383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266190)

. . . what other peripherals do you need for your laptop? What other peripherals do you think you would find useful for your laptop?

Re:I don't know. . . (1, Troll)

qqtortqq (521284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266292)

I don't know if they have a PCMCIA version yet, but this tool [fu-fme.com] may be nice for long plane rides.

Re:I don't know. . . (1)

wheresdrew (735202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266445)

I realize you were joking there, but there really are USB vibrators [blissbox.com] and USB "personal massagers." [grandtec.com]

Extra AC Adapter (2, Interesting)

carsont (648940) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266198)

You ought to keep a space AC adapter, I think. I can remember having at least two of them fail, and it isn't too much fun trying to expand a few hours of battery life into several days of usage while waiting for a replacement to arrive.

Re:Extra AC Adapter (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266251)

or when you lose the another, forget it in a hotel for example.

insurance could be a good extra if it isn't covered by your existing ones.

bluetooth dongle(20-40$) depending on if you have other Bt devices around(and if it has builtin obviously).

good headphones, good quality plugs for example(sony mdr-ex71sl's for example, they're excellent and fit in a small size).

gamepad? if you like playing. usb hub & etc..

Let's see... (0)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266200)

So you are buying a portable computer, so you need the following:

Battery
Battery charger

That's about it. Who knows or cares what YOU need on a laptop. Only you know that.

Re:Let's see... (1)

GORDOOM (149962) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266248)

Except that people who have had and used notebook computers for longer than he has might have an idea of the sorts of things that would be exceedingly useful and yet wouldn't be immediately obvious to someone who hadn't had one before. And since there are people a-plenty like that on Slashdot, it makes sense to ask.

What he ends up actually getting is still very much up to him.

My suggestion: AC adapter, security cable (5, Insightful)

GORDOOM (149962) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266211)

I'd get an extra AC adapter - not as a spare, but so that you can have one live at your desk and one live in your notebook case. It makes it a lot quicker to just grab the computer and go.

Also, for the love of everything sacred, get a security cable!!!!!!

Stuff you can leave at home. (3, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266262)

When we retired our old Toshiba, I wound up buying a used Dell Latitude LS. what I love about it is what's not built in - CD, floppy, some of the usual ports like the serial port.

The result is a laptop that really small, really light and really easy to toss into a briefcase and carry along.

When I look at some of the current laptops they seem so big and heavy that I doubt I would want to lug them around.

So think in terms of some of the models that lets you leave the less used stuff like CD drives at home and just carry the essentials.

Although Powerbooks... mmmmmm.

Re:Stuff you can leave at home. (2, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266504)

I fully agree with you. I also have a Latitude LS, and absolutely love it for its size and portability. While it's certainly not the most powerful machine on the planet, I find myself using it quite a lot.

And I find myself not missing the CD and floppy drives very much. With 802.11, I simply share the CD and floppy drives in my desktop over the wireless lan. Or I just connect the external drive.

I can certainly attest to the convienence of this small laptop (note that it is NOT uncomfortably tiny or underpowered like some other laptops. It's similar to the 12" powerbook). Being able to toss it into a breifcase or backpack is awesome, not to mention that's quite durable, so I don't really have to worry about it being tossed around. Once you use an ultraportable, you will never go back to a 5+ pound laptop. If you find yourself lacking the performance of a heaver laptop, buy youself a cheap desktop. Very few people need a powerful machine on the go (and a powerbook would be perfectly suited for those that do, specifically graphic artists).

Now, On to the 12" powerbook which I got to work with for a bit. It came out about 2 years after Dell discontinued the LS. It was almost the same size, but thicker and slightly heavier (still a feather compared to most). But, the big advantage. It has a built in cd burner (or DVD-R if you pay the extra bucks). I'd daresay it is the perfect laptop for most users. That is, if it weren't for the astonishing amount of heat it created. I am not kidding when I say that this thing would burn you if you left it on your lap long enough. I hear the problem has been fixed in the new model.

Basically, what it comes down to is that you're not going to need an incredibly powerful laptop. I'm still happily using my Latitude LS at 450mhz and Win2k without a problem. For things like word, powerpoint, and even the occassional photoshopping session, it's perfectly fine. I save everything else for my desktop machine. And I anticipate using it for a few years more to come.

If you really need power, go get a powerbook. As many have said, the biggest disadvantage to a mac is the lacking library of games for MacOS. Since you're not going to play games very well on ANY laptop, I don't see this as an issue. All of the other power-hungry software you would ever want is available for the mac. The 15" and 17" powerbooks are very nice, and while it's over the 6 pound mark, trust me when I say that it's heavy because it has to be. If it were much lighter, the weight of the screen when tilted backward would cause it to tip over.

Oh, and get an extra AC adapter (or a few!), an external mouse (those new ones with retractable USB cords are cool), and if your laptop doesn't have any form of removable storage built in, get a USB memory key. Just remember, keep it light!

Re:Stuff you can leave at home. (1)

shyster (245228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266874)

I've got an IBM Thinkpad 240X that's also an ultra-portable, and I absolutely LOVE it. Though it's small (12" screen), the keyboard is fantastic (as are all Thinkpads) and it's rock solid (as are all Thinkpads). I upped the RAM to 192MB (max) and put in a 5400 RPM 40GB drive and run Windows XP quite happily on it with a 500 MHz PIII-M. Only complaints are the single PCMCIA slot and the single USB port.

When I first got it, I would carry the CDROM and floppy drive everywhere, but then I realized that I never used them. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to remember the last time I used either one. Trust me...you won't miss them. Other things that fell by the wayside include a console cable, a stack of CD's, an external CD-RW, a bulky USB hub, and various cables (crossover, console, USB, etc.).

As for accessories, my basic list includes a USB optical mouse (that I normally only use for extended sessions), an extra AC adapter on the desk at home, 1 extra battery (fully charged, swapped out every couple of days) that I leave in the car, a 10' Ethernet cable with a crossover connector, a telephone cord (that I hardly ever use), a USB hard drive (stays at home for backups), and a wireless card.

Oh, and a small 75W inverter that I leave in the car to power my laptop if my battery runs dead (you could get an AC/DC adapter instead, but I use my inverter for other things as well, eg. rechargeable batteries, my cell phone, etc.)

I also have an Ethernet card because the 240X doesn't have it built in (I'm sure your's will, though) as well as a spare just in case I or someone else needs it.

Of course, I spend a lot of my day in my car (or close to it), so you may need to adjust accordingly. I'd recommend a lock, though I don't carry one myself. Obviously I have a small bag that I carry the laptop and needed accesories in. I also have another bag with the CD-RW, floppy drive, some CD's, and more esoteric cables and connectors packed and stashed in the car in case the day ever comes when I need them, but I rarely do.

One hint that I can give you, is that you'll almost always be able to work around whatever it is you don't have handy--except for lack of power and network or modem connection. So make those your priorities.

Insurance. (0)

bigreddog81 (570519) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266273)

I know many a person who has lost their laptop or had it stolen/damaged. May never be needed, but it's nice to have...

My list. (5, Informative)

dstillz (704959) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266274)

Make sure to get:

  • THE EXTENDED WARRANTY.
  • ADEQUATE SURGE PROTECTION FOR BOTH HOME AND THE ROAD.
  • Integrated wireless.
  • A CoolPad; perhaps 2: a Podium for the home, and a Traveler for the road. No, I don't work for the maker.
  • An extra AC adapter, to leave plugged in at home.
  • USB2 or FireWire external hard disk that is 1-4x as big as the internal HD, for backup purposes.
  • If you can afford it, a port replicator. Less wear and tear on the laptop's ports is important.
  • If you can afford it, an extra battery or two; I don't know how much of a road warrior you are.
  • A padded sleeve, to go inside your laptop case; protect your investment.
  • A decent laptop case, preferably one that doesn't look like a traditional laptop case.

Re:My list. (4, Informative)

AlecC (512609) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267815)

A decent laptop case, preferably one that doesn't look like a traditional laptop case

Or a fightbag/backpack with built-in laptop case. I recently went on a trip with a colleague who had one - I had my own pack and a traditional laptop in case. He had it much easier than me - only one thing to carry.

Two Things (4, Insightful)

tiny69 (34486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266282)

Purchase an extra battery. Batteries will only last for so long. They are also expensive to replace if your manufacturer no longer makes laptops that use that battery. I've also seen some laptops that will not work if the battery is bad.

Pay extra for the extended warranty. Since laptops are proprietary, the only place you can go to for replacement parts is from the manufacturer that made it. And the parts for laptops are not cheap. I recent tried to fix a laptop that had a broken screen (someone obviously sat on it). The only problem was the warranty had just expired. The cost of the replacement screen was over $900. Whether the manufacturer even offers an extended warranty is an indication of the quality of the laptop. I wouldn't purchase one from anyone that would only offers a 1 year warranty. For this reason, I will also pay extra for name brand laptops. Yes, you can get a no name one for next to nothing, but who are you going to turn to for repair parts when the company is no longer around.

You might laugh (1)

Rope_a_Dope (522981) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266293)

But call Dell, and tell them you want a spiffy laptop with all the bells and whistles. If you get a halfway decent salesperson, they'll try to throw in every laptop peripheral you can think of.

Outside of that, depending on your use, you might look into the targus motion sensor alarm/lock.

A portable mouse, docking station, and mini USB hub are all things I use.

Power (1)

bitty (91794) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266295)

An AC/DC power adapter is a must have. The company I buy them from has an AC/DC/airplane adapter. It's a beautiful thing.

My experience (1)

bulldog2260 (649125) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266300)

I have a 15" PowerBook, and when I am in class, I can always use another battery. Having an 802.11b/g card is always helpful. For a bag, look at Brenthaven [brenthaven.com] .

Daypack with foam rubber. (4, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266336)


Depending on your situation, I suggest buying an inexpensive daypack and installing some foam rubber in it. It's much more comfortable not to look like a target for theft, I've found. A bubble pack envelope large enough for the laptop may be enough cushioning if you put some foam rubber at the bottom of the daypack.

On the other hand, if you always travel by limousine, I suggest you bring along a supermodel to distract thieves from the laptop.

I hate stupid questions (1)

sirmikester (634831) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266338)

Buy what you feel like buying, don't rely on the opinion of others. If later you find that you need something in addition to the laptop then buy it. Buying in advance based on other people's advice is pointless, and a waste of money.

Hardcase Briefcase (2, Interesting)

ziplocpagen (553678) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266345)

I recomend a hardcase briefcase, like this cheap Vanguard case I bought at Rite Aid. They come in all sort of styles, the aluminum has suited me fine. Even though the case is crummy looking after six months of travel, the laptop looks great. Softcases are a no-no. Also, as much harddrive space as you can afford. I used the firewire drives and find that lugging them around all over the country is kinda tedious. I end up not using them even though I've packed them away in my luggage. Just too lazy I guess. :) Todd.

ASS BLASTER (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8266360)

ONly ANAL RETENTIVE fags worry about what others think.

iPeripherals (5, Funny)

RoadChris (732663) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266385)

iSight
iLife
iPod,
Airport
AppleCare plan.

But, I won't suggest a laptop...

Re:iPeripherals (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266590)

first off iLife is software... iSight im guessing is some sort of web camera, oh that will be REAL usefull... iPod, just go w/ the Nomad Jukebox... Airport, WAIST of money, standard 802.11b &g (if ur gonna install linux, avoid Broadcom i.e. TrueMobile!)... AppleCare plan, i got an extended warenty from dell and after the rebates (and a minor screw up on their part) it ended up costing $-2 for the rebate :)

AirPort (1)

notsoclever (748131) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266706)

You realize that AirPort is standard 802.11b/g, right? (and that they're the only cards which can be physically used with an Apple laptop, aside from USB dongles? and that they have way better antennas than any of the Windows-based offerings, period?)

Also, I had no idea that a Dell extended warranty would apply to an Apple laptop.

Re:iPeripherals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8266787)

You forget some people's willing to pay for quality. Dell is not one of them.

DON'T buy a docking station (1)

illegalien (313491) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266392)

If you've set up a wireless network and will be using your laptop in many rooms throughout the house, you probably don't need to purchase a docking station.

Before I set up a wireless network, I only used my laptop at my desk. After I set up my wireless network, I found that the 'docking' and 'undocking' process was to slow and annoying.

So spend your money on something else.

Re:DON'T buy a docking station (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266612)

i most of the time use my laptop at my desk, and since the wireless router is litterally 2 feet away from my laptop, i only bother plugging in the AC adapter (no need for ethernet, wireless is just as fast on my connection) I don't use a docking station (nor wanted one) because you don't need it, I have a 15" monitor and it seems like an 21 inch (since i use it much closer than my other monitor, since my other monitor sits behind it)

Extended Warranty (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266425)

Get the warranty. You will find that the price of the warranty varies a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer and should be factored into the price part of the buying process.

Everything else you can get on an as-needed basis after you have the machine and use it for a while. No need to buy a bunch of stuff that you might find out that you don't need later.

USB Thumbdrive (3, Informative)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266433)

Get a 256M or larger USB thumbdrive. Since this is a laptop, odds are you will be mobile. (go figure) I find I use a 512M thumbdrive all the time for moving files between machines, or sharing stuff. I keep a pack of handy programs on there as well - putty, cygwin, jdk's, javadocs, and a few others if I end up calling a desktop machine home for a while.

I can really only tell you what I do. (5, Informative)

Roman_(ajvvs) (722885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266438)

I can't really say what works for you, but I'll give you what works for me.

I got a Toshiba 5200 for my birthday last july and it's the first laptop I've had which has been my primary work tool as a programmer. I take it to work, plug it in and take it home at the end of the day (for extra security, since equipment has a habit of "going missing" at work).
The first thing i did was use a second power cable (with the figure 8 connector) to keep at work (tethered to the physical desktop for easy reaching). That way all I have to do is plug my battery pack into the cable and I can keep my power cable in the bag and only unravel when it's needed.

That brings me to the bag. As I have a large 15.1" laptop screen (for the time), it took me literally a dozen bag tests to find one that even fit the bloody thing. I went for an STM Alley bag [standardtm.com.au] bag. But there are a lots of good ones out there. A good bag with good compartments can save your day and make carrying the laptop more than a burden!

In the front pouch of my bag, I have:

  • a crossover cable (has proven its worth many a time)
  • a kensington key-based security cable (have used it once.)
  • A/V out cable (came with the laptop. also comes in handy for presentations and shows)
  • a usb memory key ( 128MB USB 2.0). invaluable for when a network's not available. High speed helps as well.
Oddly enough, I don't have a mouse in my bag. I'm one of those people who like using the touchpad. :) I use a mouse at work, but I leave it there (again tethered to the desk...)
I recently got a mini-pci wireless card for my laptop. It's very useful on the road, but not so much if you don't have a wireless network to plug into. I still prefer wired if available, because of latency and performance issues.

I'm considering getting a second battery. But it's not an urgent requirement as Toshiba is usually pretty good with spare parts availability. Getting access to available parts is an entirely different manner. it'll be more relevant further down the track.

I'm quite happy with my setup. There's nothing I miss or terribly need. But it all depends on what you want to do with it. How often do you plug stuff into/ out of your laptop?

Re:I can really only tell you what I do. (1)

RustyTaco (301580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266762)

# a crossover cable (has proven its worth many a time)
Have PC manufacturers not picked up on that little $0.50 godsend that is the auto-crossing port? Ugg, they always having to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing anything that makes the customers life easier.

- RustyTaco

Re:I can really only tell you what I do. (1)

inquisitor (88155) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267688)

I saw a Dell machine that did auto-crossing once, but it was a Optiplex with onboard 1000Base-TX (back when it was still way too expensive for ordinary mortals; now, it's just expensive), so the small cost was probably part of that. I haven't seen anything like that since then, unfortunately.

Re:I can really only tell you what I do. (1)

gdarklighter (666840) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267759)

Have PC manufacturers not picked up on that little $0.50 godsend that is the auto-crossing port?

That depends on whether or not you consider Macs to be PCs.

USB memory key (3, Interesting)

chocolatetrumpet (73058) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266796)

Here's another tout for the usb memory key:

I'm a student and I write a lot of papers.

I am afforded SO much extra peace of mind by quickly backing up my papers onto my usb key, just in case of some sort of accident or failure.

I also recommend as much wireless as possible; I am very used to my desktop, however when I started using my laptop with wireless net access, no power cable, bluetooth (built in) mice and keyboard, I couldn't believe what a relaxing experience it was to use the computer. I am sensitive to clutter and I never even knew it.

I have a dvd burner in my laptop which at first seemed like it might be overkill, but I actually use it very often for data backup, and I do tend to make dvds often for projects or simply get data to friends. Sometimes it's just a slideshow with music, in a format mom and dad or aunt and uncle can easily experience.

Another thing about my laptop - I should have done this a LONG time ago. I don't even bother with my desktop much, anymore. I love working anywhere, anytime, and taking my environment with me.

A wise choice you make!

For the Road (0, Troll)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266452)

A 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling gun for your car's roof-mount docking station.

Bluetooth for your peripherals (2, Insightful)

mauryisland (130029) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266464)

Be wireless. I have a bluetooth mouse, but I also need a bluetooth keyboard for when I'm not on the road. I haven't found a laptop yet that a has a keyboard that keeps me happy. The mouse, however, is small enough to be taken almost everywhere.

In my opinion... (4, Informative)

nathanh (1214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266478)

HarleyPig asks: "I'm using my tax return to buy a laptop. I don't want to know which laptop to get (that's a religious discussion I'd like to avoid). What peripherals do you find yourself wishing you'd bought, or have ended up buying? I know I'll need a mouse, extra cabling, extra batteries and some kind of case to hold and carry around the laptop. What else should I consider putting in my list of stuff to buy with a laptop?"

In my opinion... don't buy many peripherals. The problem with buying lots of peripherals is that your ~2kg laptop suddenly needs a bag the size of a small suitcase weighing in at 10kg or more to carry around all the junk you "need".

Take the mouse, for example. You've already decided to get one. Why? The trackpad really is not that bad. The mouse needs a flat surface to work on, which ties you to a desk. I've found I can work the trackpad fairly well, after just a few days practise.

Cables? Why? If you're going to be in a place where you need a cable, there's likely to be one there already. Take for example people who carry a serial cable around so they can "plug-in" to a Cisco router while onsite. Have you ever seen a comms room without a serial cable? I haven't. So why carry the cable? Same for Ethernet. If you simply *must* have a backup cable, put it in the boot of your car.

Extra batteries are only useful if you keep them charged. In my experience, nobody is that organised. They'll have two batteries and one of them is always flat. So when their live battery goes flat... well... they're in the same boat as the rest of us with only one battery.

I managed to avoid getting a computer bag for the laptop. A leather briefcase costs the same and looks heaps more professional. Modern cases have fairly soft interiors and it's not like I will be throwing this thing around, anyway.

One thing I would buy as an additional extra is a second power pack. It's useful to have your home setup permanently "wired" with the second supply in the bag.

And a USB key. Damn, those things are so useful!

Re:In my opinion... (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266691)

Don't get a mouse. Get one of these [amazon.com] Trackballs. Small, compact, nifty.

Re:In my opinion... (1)

larien (5608) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267654)

Mice don't always need a flat surface; I use a Microsoft Intellieye mouse, one of the optical ones. It works fine using my leg as a surface to track on.

Re:In my opinion... (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267686)

I worked at CompUSA back in high school when those first came out. I thought using "laser mice" on my thigh was a big deal - and the demo really helped sell them - but truth be told, I own a logitech trackman wheel and a MS intellieye, and I sent my mother the MS mouse. The trackball just works better under more conditions than the lasermouse. It's personal preference, of course, but they are handy.

A Mouse (1)

KaosConMan (579641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266495)

Eraser Nubs & Touch Pads just don't cut it. Buy one of the cheap $15 tiny optical usb mice. It's easy to throw in the laptop bag, and it is so much better to use especially for on the road entended computing sessions.

My suggestion (1)

JDWTopGuy (209256) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266502)

A big-ass sturdy (leather, preferably) bag with lots of pockets. I got mine for $20 at Sam's club, and it's great.

I have two laptops in my bag, with room for CDs and crap like that. I even have my Spy Kids 3D glasses in there, although I can't think of any reason why they should be in there. :P

Get a big sturdy bag and you won't regret it.

Get a warranty (2, Insightful)

Jmstuckman (561420) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266507)

Unlike your desktop, you can't easily take apart a laptop, troubleshoot what's going wrong, and fix it yourself. Fixing anything is going to cost you some serious cash unless you get a warranty to match. If you buy from Dell, consider getting the CompleteCare accidental damage warranty. It might be expensive, but if you plan to travel with your laptop a lot, disaster is one slip of the arm away.

Also, an extra battery would be nice. Your mileage may vary, but I found that buying a spare primary battery for my laptop during the sale was much cheaper than buying one after the fact. It also might be harder to get a replacement battery when the laptop is several years old, and this is when the battery that came with the computer might start wearing out.

Re:Get a warranty (1)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266735)

Actually it's possible...I've opened my laptop lots of times and repaired problems such as a blank screen or non-charging battery (tracked down and replaced a missing SMD resistor, and identified a blown SMD fuse, respectively). That's because it's out of warranty now. However, it had a 4-year warranty...it was heavily used during that period and had many parts replaced, including the screen and nearly two entire outer casing replacements. I DID have a padded case, it was just around a busy engineering student 24/7 and naturally got beat up. So I wholeheartedly recommend getting the maximum warranty, it saved me probably $1,500 in parts, let alone having to replace the thing.

But if you're up a creek without a paddle, there IS always eBay. You can continually watch for parts or entire nonfunctioning laptops for parts. Hard drives and memory can be purchased anywhere, everything else you need to find someone parting out a laptop. Sometimes a screen or other submodule will work in multiple models of laptops from the same manufacturer.

A "few" suggestions... (5, Informative)

ezraekman (650090) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266597)

Well, here's what's in the cavern I call a backpack:

A Mini-Mouse
I don't know about the rest of you, but for me a button pointer or trackpad just can't beat the feel of a mouse. MacAlly makes a niftly little mouse called the iOptiJr [macally.com] , which is just the smaller version of the iSweetNet. Nice and small, thus very precise; two buttons, wheel button, and programmable, and it's Mac/PC compatible. But... you'll have to get used to it being so small. I think other mice are big and bulky by comparison now, but that's because I got used to this one. You may need to install drivers, depending on your machine. You can get a wireless version, but then you have to worry about batteries. Optical is WAY better than your basic mechanical ball... unless you're using it on the surface of your laptop, or another shiny/sparkly surface. Think ahead.

A Mini USB Hub
Here's a slick one [iogear.com] by IOGear. This has proved useful occasionally, but I haven't used it in over six months. Buy at your discretion. Mine (Not the IOGear one; a different brand) came with a cable that was split into two USB plugs; one to provide basic functionality, and one to provide added power, so you could use more power-hungry devices (like external USB floppy drives, scanners, etc.) without needing to plug the hub into the wall. But... this can drain the power of your laptop if you aren't careful.

A Wireless Network Card
If your machine doesn't ship with one (or with functionality on the motherboard), buy yourself an 802.11g PCMCIA card. They're backwards compatible with 802.11b, and network access (copying files, etc.) is up to five times faster. However, this won't matter for internet access unless your sitting behind a T3. If you aren't planning on networking large files EVER, than spend half as much on 802.11b. Definitely get one though, because most internet cafes and hotspots are swithcing to wireless-only access, if they haven't already.

A Portable Flatbed Scanner
Obviously, this'll only matter if you need one. But I've found Canon's LIDE series (I've got the LIDE 30 [canon.com] )to be a nice addition to my bag. Good quality, fast, small (same footprint as my 17-inch powerbook, and only 1.5 inches think!), and it's powered by the USB cable!

A Webcam
there are about a billion and a half of these out there. Think about what you're actually going to use it for, if anything. Don't spend extra because it's detachable and can take still photos. You're better off buying a digital camera. I've never needed one, but you might.

A Bluetooth Adapter PCMCIA Card or USB dongle.
This may be a non-issue for you, but if you have or think you might get any bluetooth devices (such as a wireless mouse or Bluetooth-enable PDA), this could well be worth the money. Again, it may already be on your motherboard.

Cables! (Oh, and a cable bag.)
Okay, one USB cable, normal-sized, and one of the mini-plugged ones, for digital cameras and other devices. Although... I've never needed to use this. (I try to stay as modular as possible, and use things that work with more standardized cables, etc.) A firewire 6-pin to 6-pin (for large devices such as drives), and a 6-pin to 4-pin, for smaller devices such as DV-camcorders. Other cables (such as a USB light, A/V and monitor cables, etc.) are up to you.

A Digital Camera
Obviously, not a necessity for a laptop user, but usually pretty handy if you don't have one. Buy one that uses Compact Flash (cheapest memory, MB/dollar), and AA batteries. Buy rechargables, highest capacity you can find... usually around 1800-2200 mA. Oh, and you can get a great 30-minute charger by Energizer for about $40 at Best Buy... comes with four batteries and charges AA and AAA.

A PCMCIA Flash Media Reader
These things are WAY faster for reading data from your media cards than by doing it direct to the digital camera, MP3 player, or what-have-you. You can get one that just reads one type of media for about $10-15, or a 4-in-1 unit that reads everything except for Compact Flash. (Due to the size, it's always sold on it's own.) Alternatively, you can buy a 6-in-1 external USB media reader, but they're bulkier, and I think they're also slower. (This is heresy; check the specs yourself.)

Extra Batteries
Yeah, they're expensive. And the first time you really need the extra battery life, you'll wish you spent double what they cost on them. Even just one is worth it... usually at about $80-$125 each. Alternatively, there's a company out there that sells a battery with the same profile as most laptops. (Several sizes, actually.) They claim to triple the life of your battery, but I'll bet it's only about 2-2.5 times. Basically, you plug into the battery instead of the wall, using a custom wire from the battery instead of your normal AC adapter. Your computer thinks it's plugged in, until it runs out... then you've got the life of your normal battery. Down side? About $350. Here's a cheap knock-off [sarrio.com] , but I'd go with a more reputable vendor, if I were you. I just can't remember the name. :-(

A Cable Lock!
While they're sometimes a hassle to deal with, you'll be glad you bought one the next time you're hanging out in an internet cafe. Nothing feels quite as dumb as having to pack up your computer just to take a leak... or having to hold it in for two hours so you don't have to give up your seat. Usually about $30-40 for a good one. DON'T DEPEND ON IT!!! This will stop a quick snatch, but an enterprising thief with a leatherman or something can probably file through in a few minutes. In most American cafes though, this won't be too much of an issue. People seem to pay attention to that kind of thing. ;-)

A CD/DVD Case
CaseLogic makes a nice case [casedirect.com] that's barely bigger than the stack of 24 CDs/DVDs you put in it. Of course, it's overpriced for what it is ($9.99 at CompUSA), but the money is always in the accessories.

That's about it. Good luck!

Don't skip on the guts (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266625)

I got a 40 gig, 3.06 ghz p4 w/ ht, cd-rw/dvd drive, wireless 802.11b & g, ethernet, and modem (don't use the last 2 ever haha) Inspiron 5150, and let me tell you, if I had an usb mouse, I wouldn't even need my other computer (FSP is not that great w/ touch pads haha!)

Re:Don't skip on the guts (1)

RdsArts (667685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266852)

You can afford that and not a USB mouse?

And I though I budgeted poorly. ;)

Avoid Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8266692)

My company has a lot of Dell D-series and X-series laptops. The power supply has a chip in it that the laptop checks when you plug it in.

If you try to use a clone power supply, the laptop will complain, and refuse to charge its batteries from the clone. It will still work from the AC though.

This would be bad enough, but the genuine Dell power supplies are extremely fragile. We've returned several dozen under warranty when the Dell laptop refuses to recognize the Dell power supply as genuine.

A quick search [google.ca] with google will describe the problem in greater detail.

Re:Avoid Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8267369)

They do this because many of the rado shack "off the shelf" power supplies dont deliver clean power w/ enough juice to correctly charge the newer batteries correctly.

Call tech support before you buy (1)

ChaseTec (447725) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266700)

I've got a HP laptop that has died twice with power problems. It's shouldn't be any big deal since it's still under warranty. With my warranty once the laptop is determined to be dead HP arranges a fedex pickup and I get it back in a week. Both times the system has died it has taken over a week to arrange the fedex pickup(no fault of fedex). I think the biggest problem is that every single support number I tried goes to bottom dollar Indian tech support. Now I've worked tech support and had to deal with bad support before but I've never sworn off buying a companies hardware until now.

Does anyone see the problem with the following: Tech support must arrange pickup of a laptop, despite repeated instruction given by you that you do not in fact live in a city named "how-sin" that's what they'll be telling fedex. (Houston in case you couldn't tell). And all the problems aren't just communication related, there were several other problem like support tickets that were never filled out or closed and many, many more. I'd go on further but I have a HP web survey to fill out that I'm going to save up most of my anger for.

IMHO (1)

FFFish (7567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266742)

When the OS crashes, when the cell rings, when I'm feeling mad... these are a few of my favourite things, and then I don't feel so bad:

Home wireless. Nothing like checking my stocks while I'm on the shitter!

Rewired power plug: using RCA jacks inline, the DC/laptop end of my power is now a right-angle dongle. Far less susceptible to breakage, and the extra few feet of cable is really nice. Plus the RCA jack makes it dead easy to replace the plug if it ever does break.

Laptop desk: no more burnt knees.

Good laptop bag: kinda wish I'd grabbed a knapsack style one instead of briefcase/purse style. The one-shoulder thing is fine for short distances, absolutely sucks for long walks.

One thing for sure.... (1)

fean (212516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266749)

If you're a student, or possibly will have weight on your laptop, buy a THIN mousepad... I won one from Alienware at a LAN, it's wonderful!!!!

more specifically, put the mousepad between your keyboard and your screen, it keeps finger grease off your screen, which doesn't come off after a month or so... and the mousepad is rigid, which is nice to have around for optical mice....

Light bits. (1)

fava (513118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266753)

Be sure to order the lightweight bits. After lugging around 40 gb of heavy bits all the time you will be sorry that you didnt order the lighter version. It will cost a little more but it will be worth it.

Laptop Backpack (1)

thedanc (449477) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266754)

My suggestion: This backpack [targus.com] . The thing has tons of padding on the back. It's clearly rainproof, and accessing your gear is extremely fast due to the zip-down pocket for non-laptop stuff instead of the standard zip-across-the-top pockets.

Kensington FlyLight and a Cordless Presenter (1)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266863)

I'd recommend a Flylight [kensington.com] . Basically it's a LED hooked up to the power rails on your USB port. It's really useful on flights and car trips. They sell other things [kensington.com] that might be useful as well.

Also, take a look at something along the lines of this thing [amazon.com] for presentations. They're extremely handy, and have an extra "cool" factor when you leave the podium during your talk.

Re:Kensington FlyLight and a Cordless Presenter (1)

Fencepost (107992) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267557)

There are some other types of lights as well; both Targus and Belkin sell USB lights that clip onto the top of the screen instead. The Kensington light works OK, but I suspect that the clipon versions like this Targus one [amazon.com] are actually nicer to have when you need to use one.

DO NOT purchase an extra battery (2, Interesting)

DarkVein (5418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266889)

Or rather, don't buy one for when you wear out your current one. Buy a second if you think you'll want to use it. I have an iBook G4, and it gives me 4 hours easy. I don't need one.

The reason you don't want to buy a replacement battery before you need it is because Lithium Ion batteries start losing their charge capacity when they're made. After five years they've lost 25% of their max charge, even if they've never been used. Add to that, it'll be cheaper to pick up the extra battery later.

However, if you're buying a big fatass dell or something, you'll need the extra battery.

I got 802.11g and bluetooth with my laptop. The power consumption on the iBook is laughably small. I wasn't sure I'd use bluetooth, but it's very nice to have the option. I'm considering getting a GPS gadget with bluetooth, at the very least.

battery storage (1)

David Jao (2759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267846)

You can greatly increase the storage life of a battery by putting it in the refrigerator. See the battery faq [buchmann.ca] for storage guidelines. Proper storage conditions can limit li-ion batteries to 2% loss per year.

In general I agree that battery purchases should be delayed until you need them, but the availability of the battery must also be considered. Oftentimes, new batteries will no longer be available from the manufacturer if you wait five years to buy one.

If its an apple notebook, (1)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266906)

If you're getting an iBook, get the apple care package because your laptop will have expensive parts that will break.

What's Important (1)

carrowood (325102) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266928)

I bought a laptop a year ago and on the whole I am pleased. One regret I have is that the speakers on the model I chose are terrible little tinny things that aren't worth using.

If I had to do it over again, I would have given more thought to what's important to me (for instance, playing mp3's on the laptop) before my purchase.

At least I can still use headphones ;-)

A UPS (4, Funny)

splattertrousers (35245) | more than 10 years ago | (#8266971)

Don't forget the UPS. You wouldn't want the power to go out in your house and lose all your work, would you?

(Oh, sorry, this is Slashdot. I meant, "...and loose all you're work...".)

Stuff I use and carry around (2, Informative)

james b (31361) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267008)

I bought a laptop recently. Here's what I find myself using or carrying with me:
  • Ethernet cable
  • TV- and Audio- breakout cables, for watching anime at friends' houses
  • Digital Camera adapter: I have a USB card-reader, as it's faster and easier than my digicam's serial interface, but the sync cable would be ok too.
  • Kensington lock
In addition, here's what I'd kinda like to have but don't:
  • Second power adapter: It'd be super-sweet to have a power adapter at home and at my desk at uni - between those two places where I spend the majority of my time, I'd never have to think about running out of power, and never have to carry a powerbrick with me. I currently just leave the power adapter at home (I don't run the laptop constantly all day, so there's enough juice for a workday's use) and it's so much nicer just being able to unplug and go, rather than winding up power cables to take with.
  • pocket usb2/firewire hard disk: Technically this isn't a laptop-specific item, but I think it's a good match: They're a great no-nonsense backup solution that goes with you when you travel.
  • GPRS or equivalent phone: We're just-almost getting to the point now where you can realistically use your laptop and phone to have always-on networking. I haven't researched this area, but it's exciting...
  • Some kind of USB-serial adapter: Lots of smaller laptops are `legacy-free' (hah), including lacking serial/parallel ports. People often miss this, so if you need to use those devices, get an adapter :)
  • Car power adapter. Makes road trips possible without going crazy looking for power in motels and the like.


Hope this helps!

/james

Notebook surge protector (2, Informative)

PHPhD2B (675590) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267124)

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is a notebook surge protector. Mine is an inline Belkin unit and cost about 30 bucks. It goes between the transformer of the power supply and the cable into the transformer. It also offers phone line protection. Compact (size of two BIC lighters next to each other), weighs just a few ounces, and offers some extra peace of mind.

A USB memory key is also quite incredibly useful if you move moderate amounts of data between computers, like spread sheets and word documents.

WARRANTY! (1)

callermann (629230) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267197)

Not exactly a peripheral BUT... Spend the extra cash and buy the extended warranty for the unit. Most retailers offer an option that inclues accidential dammage. It's saved me on more then one one occassion with a broken LCD that would have cost me a fortune to replace otherwise and more recently with a CD-ROM drive that went south on me. I always found this to be a great investment especially if purchasing a higher end model.

This will undoubtedly start another dispute, but.. (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267238)

... get (if the thing doesn't come with one built in) an external floppy drive -- USB or whatever. It CAN save your OS, and they're awfully nice when you can't network some comps together and have to transfer a little bit of data.

consider the warranty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8267315)

if you're a klutz or around anyone who might be a klutz, definately consider the extended warranty that covers such things. laptops get used and abused a lot more than other things. wether it be a broken keyboard, banged hdd due to a drop, cracked, etc. its one of the few times that this insurance policy makes sense.

Headphone splitter. (4, Interesting)

attaboy (689931) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267422)

If you ever travel with a companion, having a 3 dollar headphone splitter can allow two people to watch a DVD on your laptop at the same time. Of course, you'll probably also want an extra battery. I've never made it through an entire DVD without running out of battery power...

Some airlines have power cables under the seats, but they use a special airplane power adaptor, which can range from 30 to 99 USD.

I second the iPod as External HD idea.

I've used a London Fog case for over 2 years now. It's expandable, has an internal padded laptop sleeve, provides quick access to the laptop in airports, and is made of high quality leather. I swapped the strap for a Victorinox strap which is bouncier and softer... good for extra load.

I use a docking station at work (although a port replicator would work just as well), plugged into 21" montitor, keyboard, and mouse. I keep an extra power brick in the laptop case, like many others here have mentioned.

I bought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8267427)

1. More RAM
2. external mouse (I can't use those fucking pad things)
3. Linux distro
4. Screen wipes

What else could you possibly need on a new laptop? nowadays they come with just about everything.

Try again. (1)

corian (34925) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267431)

I'm using my tax return to buy a laptop.

Here's my advice. Send the tax return to the IRS, and use the tax REFUND to buy the laptop. Otherwise the shopkeeper might laught at you, and you won't get the laptop.

usb 1.1? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8267510)

while a little off topic, I have a question that has to do with laptop peripherals. A friend gave me an old toshiba laptop recently that only has pcmcia typeI 16bit slots and I can't find a typeI pcmcia-usb card anywhere. Is it true that noone ever made one? This just seems crazy if it is the case. Is there any place where I can get a 16bit pcmcia-usb card, even if it is only usb1.1, which is all I really need.

USB Hub (1)

kenthu (48376) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267516)

I'm guessing most new laptops sold these days come with at least 4 USB ports. Even so, consider getting a USB hub. My laptop only has 2 USB ports, and I'm always plugging and unplugging USB peripherals (my Logitech mouse takes up one port, so all my other peripherals have to share the other port).

Don't get a laptop case, get a backpack (2, Informative)

PeteyG (203921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267537)

Laptop cases are thief magnets.

Regular backpacks, with a little padding if you are paranoid, are much better for conveying your multi-kilobuck investments.

External Hard Drive (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267644)

First off, I have a powerbook g4, I'm a student, and I'm typing this from my laptop. I've had it for just over two years now.

USB 2, Firewire, it doesn't matter. The case itself runs somthing like $25 for a decent case, and another $60 for a gianormous drive. The drive serves two purposes: 1) you can put all your personal, non work/school related stuff on there (porn, music, warez install backups, digital camera photo collection, etc.) and 2) you can back your shit up from time to time. Your laptop hard drive will never be big enough, and your computer will eventually puke, causing you to reload everything. Being able to boot from an external drive and recovering all your stuff before wiping and reinstalling on the internal drive, without hassle is amazingly easy. Think you have a virus/can't get rid of annoying pop-up/spyware? Re-install. Just pop the install CD in before you go to bed and it's ready to go the next morning.

Compact flash reader. My digital camera uses CF. Bypassing the silly included software is awesome, and it doubles as a USB floppy. I also have a PCMCIA CF reader.

Two pink, rubber erasers. They go on the back corners of my laptop, elevate the keyboard to a more ergonomic tilt, and provide better cooling, while not scratching the case. Also helpful for getting rid of smudges on your pretty, new laptop.

Trackball mouse. It works on the plane, in the back seat of a car, on the beach, wherever. It also doesn't keep my roommate/girlfriend up at night with the light of a regular optical mouse. I personally bought a silver-ish looking logitech optical trackman wheel, which i reccomend.

Wifi card. AIM + TV + Food = awesome.

Things I wish I had:

Two spare power adapters. One for my backpack, and one for the living room.

USB sound card - better quality sound output + more options for input (my laptop didn't come with a line in option)

A spare keyboard (on the off chance i break off one of my keys/this one wears out). They're usually about $100, but well worth the investment.

I'd like a webcam. They're neat, and often more handy than a digicam.

Kensington USB flexlite/flexlight. Just enough light at night. $20.

A 10' extension cord + single outlet travel sized surge protector. That outlet is never close enough to the desk, wherever it is you end up.

Get a crossover cable if your computer doesn't do auto switching like all mac laptops do. It's quite handy.

With 4 hours of (Real time) battery life, I don't need a second battery. I can get from dallas to miami on a plane and get plenty of work done with the b. life I have. One battery is not $129 worth of convenience for a second one. Wait at least three months before even considering buying one. Chances are, you won't need one.

And get a case. A really good one, preferably one made specifically for your laptop. It should have a removable sleeve so you can toss it in a briefcase and go on a day trip, and not drag everything else along. I spent $220 on my brenthaven, and it still looks new. If I had to replace it tomorrow, I'd buy the exact same one, and pay double that for it, if I had to.

Re:External Hard Drive (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 10 years ago | (#8267651)

err, USB 2 or Firewire external hard drive.
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