When you're on the road, sometimes it's not easy to get data, audio or video loaded into your laptop. Here's a look at some new devices that go a long way to help with that process:
|Digital Scribe |
Downside: Quirky software Digital Pens have been slow to catch on because of some real, pricey issues. In the past, you needed special, very expensive paper in order for the digital pen to register. With the Digital Scribe you don't need special paper. A clip-on reading device clips to the top of whatever paper you happen to want to write on, and as you depress the special pen, the reader sends that information into your PC via USB. It takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, this is a great tool for mobile executives who like to map out ideas. Free-associating, lists, doodles, just about anything can be saved as a .jpg or translated into text to be used later. This device would also work for executives who hate typing everything on a keyboard. Just jot down a note and share it with your sales team instead of cramping your style or injuring your CrackBerry thumbs.
|Video Capture for Mac |
Downside: Price Busy mobile executives who work with video will appreciate the new Video Capture device for the Mac. Installing and using this device could not be easier. Once it's installed, you then have several options of capturing video, camcorder, set-top box, game console or VCR. Video that is captured and then automatically added to iTunes and can be synced to iPod or Apple TV or create an iMovie out of the video clips imported. There is also a built-in MPEG-4 encoder that frees up the Mac's processor while capturing, to enable you to do other tasks. The device itself is feather-light and a great asset for travel, either business or pleasure. No complaints here -- I guess it would be nice to see the price come down, but that will occur in time.
|Digital Pocket Album |
Downside: Fewer photos on a Mac Digital photo frames have been around for a few years, but pocket albums that you can carry on a keychain are something you'll see more of this holiday season. For the business traveler who doesn't want to carry photos around in a wallet, the Digital Pocket Album is an alternative. Measuring 2.2" by 1.6", it loads via USB (and special software) and charges either via USB or an AC adapter. Options include manually scrolling or an automatic slide show. Don't expect this to be high resolution, and you might want to stick to close-ups, but it's a great way to take along photos of your loved ones to remind you of why you're on the road. A couple of additional notes: The software will not play from the disk; you need to download it to your hard drive in order to load photos onto the frame. And on a PC we were able to load 72 photos, but on a Mac we were able to load 60. All in all, a fun gadget for the road.