Essential Laptop Accessories

Laptop accessories are items you need in order to streamline the use of your laptop, particularly when traveling. You won’t want to overlook these in making your buying choices.

Laptop Bags

From fancy leather cases to canvas to vinyl, laptop bags come in all styles and sizes. And they don’t come with the laptop or Notebook. They’re additional-you have to purchase one.

When you go to purchase one, consider the weight and strength of your carrying case. Hard-sided or leather cases are very strong, but they’re heavy. It may be better to get a soft-sided case of lightweight material. Cases made of synthetic fabrics (nylon, cordura, etc.) are very strong and light.

Although laptops are becoming more lightweight with every new generation, on average they still weigh between 9 and 11 pounds. For salespeople not used to taking a laptop on the road, these extra pounds can make a difference in the hassle at the airport and in rushing to the next appointment. You might want to try a combination briefcase and laptop carrying case that comes on rollers and has an extension handle. That way you’ll be pulling the weight more often than lifting it.

Extra Batteries
Carry one extra set of batteries for each device that requires them. Make sure that they’re fresh and they’re the right size.

Surge Protectors
A surge shield prevents computer from being affected by fluctuations in the electrical power supply. Computer components are delicate and can be severely damaged in a millisecond by an unexpected surge in power. Some surge shields also let you to plug in other equipment.

Portable Printers
One option for laptop users is to invest in one of the tiny printers now available on the market. Take it with you on the road. You can print your documents at the hotel, in the lobby, or during your sales call. They’re small enough to fit easily into your carrying case, and they weigh almost nothing!

Phone Cords
Take at least one telephone cord in your laptop case. It may come in handy when you’re ready to fax a document or retrieve your e-mail.

Power Strips
A power strip may look like a surge protector, but it’s not. It’s a rectangular box with pronged outlets in it. The strip plugs into the wall on one end. You can plug your laptop and up to five other devices into one strip.

When you’re on the road with your projection system, carry a power strip. You’ll probably have projector and laptop to plug in right off the bat, and possibly more.

Safety Precaution
Tape all power cords to the floor with duct tape to avoid tripping.

Tip: Unplug the power cord from the power strip immediately after turning off your computer or projector.

Extension Cords
Carry at least one extension cord with you whenever you travel with your laptop and/or projection system. Connect a solo plug surge shield to the end of your extension cord.