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Five Laptop Gadgets To Check Out

written by: John Lister•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 12/22/2008

Here are some of the gadgets for your laptop, all genuinely useful but some considerably weirder than others.

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    Wi-Fi Detector T-Shirt

    WiFi detector t-shirt 

    This t-shirt, which comes in four sizes, isn’t just a plain logo. The image actually changes to identify how strong the Wi-Fi strength is in your current location: the stronger the signal, the more the shirt lights up and flashes.

    If you’re in a coffee shop or other with wireless internet service, this will help you find the best table to get the strongest signal.

    You don’t have to worry about perpetuating stereotypes of computer users with poor personal hygiene: the sensor pad is removable so you can wash the shirt without damage.

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    Tote Grip Laptop Handle

    Tote grip laptop handle 

    While a dedicated laptop bag is the best option for regular travellers, some users only need to carry their laptop on rare occasions, for example from one building to another at work, or into the garden to use Wi-Fi in summer months.

    This handle could be the solution: it stretches over the screen and is held in place around the screen hinges when the laptop is shut. This means you can carry it easily in one hand rather than have to stow it under an arm or use both hands to hold it to your chest.

    The manufacturers say it will work with all laptops except those with a swivel screen and say the handle can hold up to 55kg, far in excess of any laptop on the market.

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    Power Pizza Laptop Box

    Power Pizza laptop bag 

    When you are on the move, you want to protect your laptop from knocks and falls. The problem is that most laptop bags make it very clear you are carrying a machine – and for all thieves know, it could be a top-of-the-range model that’s well worth mugging you for.

    This creative solution protects your laptop with foam while disguising it in a genuine pizza box (minus sticky cheese and the smell of anchovies). There’s also room for accessories such as a mouse and power supply.

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    Hoodman’s PC Laptop Hood

    Hoodman’s PC laptop hood When summer comes, laptop owners usually excitedly move outdoors so they can work in the sunshine. The problem is that the glare on the sun usually makes it impossible to see the screen. How many of us have ended up sat on the back door step because it’s the only place to get enough shade and still feel the outdoor air?

    This hood slips over your screen and blocks out the sunlight; you can adjust it on all four sides so you don’t have to worry about the sun moving during the day. The device also has the fantastic side-effect of making it virtually impossible for anyone else to see what is on your screen, giving you reassuring privacy.

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    CyberClean

    CyberClean Computer keyboards get extremely dirty over time thanks to a combination of dust, dead skin from fingers, crumbs and spilt drops of drinks. Eventually this can run the risk both of stopping your keyboard working smoothly and of building up bacteria.

    While it’s relatively simple to clean a traditional keyboard (see my article for some hints and tips), you may be wary about using some of the techniques – particularly holding it upside and shaking – on an expensive laptop.

    This reusable material is flexible and sticky enough to reach into the tiny crevices between keys, but then comes away without leaving any residue. It removes dirt and germs, leaves a gentle fragrance on your keyboard, and even changes colour to tell you when it needs replacing.