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LOS ANGELES -- Here's a product straight out of the hip teen and tween scene -- Z2 Zipit, a wireless instant messenger. Gadget Grrl suggests this gadget is a must-have for travelers, especially if business takes you overseas and the firm won't spring for a large international cellphone bill. Meanwhile, the Mouse Trap is a clever organizer that doubles as a mouse pad.

Z2 Zipit IM

The Z2 Zipit Wireless Instant Messenger is currently being marketed to teens and tweens, but I think there are some apps for the mobile executive as well.This device is designed specifically for instant messaging, so if you've got an IM account with AOL, Yahoo! or MSN you can chat for free with anyone else who also has an account. The specs on the pocket sized Z2 are that it has a full QWERTY keyboard and four- to eight-hours of battery life, and it's 4 x 3.5 x 3/4 inches in size.

The big news here is that there are no contracts or message fees and this works wherever there is an open or free Wi-Fi network.

One of my ideas for mobile executives would be for sales teams who could use these at tradeshows to stay connected. Or, if your business takes you overseas and your company doesn't want to spring for a cellphone with worldwide service, these might be a good alternative. And if you've got to communicate in an environment where cellphones are not allowed, the backlit keyboard comes in handy, because it can be seen in the dark.

And finally, when your company computer crashes, this little device without spam or pop-ups to worry about could be the key to communicating.

By the way, it also comes loaded with a music player and photo viewer with an optional SD card in case you want to share photos or tunes.

I'd like to see this priced under $100, but for now I think these could end up in the pockets of some executives.

Mouse Trap

The name says it all -- it traps your mouse, thumb drives, pens and whatever else youfeel like zipping into it. Plus, it also acts as a mouse pad. Made of neoprene and available in several bright and easy-to-see colors, this could be a real time saver on the road.

It snaps onto any case -- un-zip it, plug in and you are up and running.The mouse pad won't slip and anything to help keep travel items from getting lost is something worth carrying.

Site to See



Deezer is a new music downloading site with a twist. Creating an account is free and so are the downloads. Advertising has allowed for this guilt-free pleasure. The French-based site comes in several different languages and what makes this different than others is that you can request songs by artist or title, so you're not relegated to a radio channel that plays songs by the artist.

Diana Forbes is a Los Angeles-based writer and media personality. Her "Gadget Grrl" reviews appear in various national print and online publications, and she demonstrates consumer products on national and local television shows. Click

here to visit her Gadgetgrrl Web site.