NEW YORK TheStreet) -- Small business owners: Let's hit the road this summer with some fun time-saving gadgets.
and an army of smaller device makers have littered the market with $50 mice, $30 hard drives, ergonomic luggage and other travel tools that save time and comfort the suffering business users on the go. These tools really do work, so do yourself a favor and try one of the following small business travel productivity tools:
: Getting smart on the road starts with getting smart with your bag. You want spacious storage that's ergonomically sound and can fit in a carry-on bin. It should also work well next to a pool while still keeping its professional cool for meetings.
Sierra Madre, Calif.-based Booq is my pick for casual-vibe business bags. Take its Boa Nerve: You'll love the separate, slide-out notebook computer holder, well-organized interior, clever water bottle sleeve and brilliant pocket layout, both inside and out. It has spots for my phone, pen, glasses and calculator.
The Boa is not glitch free. It weighs a hefty 4 pounds, which is a ton for a messenger bag. When it's fully loaded, expect your shoulders to ache. But the Boa's overall rugged good looks and attention to detail help you stay organized.
: For sure, Targus' Compact Laptop Desk won't win style points. We're talking about nothing more than a foldable plate of plastic that basically unfolds and sits on your lap. That's it.
The Targus Compact Laptop Desk
But this sucker is handy on the road. Besides being a stiff writing surface, which is pretty useful by itself, the foldable desktop creates just enough extra space for you to type on a laptop, use a real mouse and hold a book. The Targus desktop could benefit from more details and finish. It's the definition of bland. But if you have to work poolside, you'll be surprised how handy -- and how easy on the hands -- the Targus Compact Laptop desk is.
Microsoft Wireless Mouse 3500 ($30)
: You need an outboard mouse on-the-go and that includes you, Apple users. The MacBook by ergonomics-obsessed Steve Jobs will kill your clavicle just as well as any Dell, H-P or
PC. My sleeper pick for mobile computer peripherals is Microsoft and its new wireless 3500 mouse. Besides being the size of a plum, the thing is surprisingly comfortable, easy to use and works on the crappiest fold-down airplane tray. Connectivity to the PC is slick, as is the design, but the real winner here is the eight months of battery life. The thing basically never goes dead. So don't be surprised if the 3500 becomes not just your travel mouse, but your regular mouse. It's that nice.
-- Written by Jonathan Blum in New York
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Jonathan Blum is an independent technology writer and analyst living in Westchester, N.Y. He has written for The Associated Press and Popular Science and appeared on FoxNews and The WB.