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Get This Gadget!

A guide to must-have gear that solves problems, eases business travel—and is just plain fun

If there were a device you could buy today that would make it easier for your company to succeed, you’d snap it up, right?  So why treat yourself any differently? The following new gear is designed to make the life of any busy executive easier— or  at least more enjoyable—whether you’re traveling for business, burning the midnight oil back in the corner office or  relaxing at home.

Asus Eee PC 1005HA Netbook PC

Necksaving Net book

Lug your laptop on a cross-country or international flight and it’s a sure bet you’ll suffer morning-after regrets in the form of a stiff neck or sore shoulders. Enter the sleek and stylish Asus Eee PC 1005HA Netbook  PC ($349.99). This upscale  netbook weighs less than 2.8 pounds, but comes packed with lots of computing power and six-plus hours of battery life that will let you keep working when everyone else’s computer flatlines . Features include a 10-inch LED display, Intel ATOM  N280/1.66 GHz processor, 160 GB hard drive, ergonomic keyboard,  integrated 1.3-megapixel camera, extensive mobile  networking and wireless capability, and Windows XP Home already loaded. http://www.asus.com

Bushnell’s Yardage Pro XGC GPS

Fairway Focus

If business travels take you to far-off places where you might find enough time to sneak in, say, the occasional 18 to 36 holes, you shouldn’t be without Bushnell’s Yardage Pro XGC GPS ($349.99). Made by a leading optical device maker, the Yardage Pro automatically loads essential information for more than 100 of the world’s top courses if you find yourself within 100 yards of the tee-box: namely, distances to the front, center and rear of the green. There’s no wrestling with the clumsy optics of a range finder here—simply look down at the unit’s brightly backlit 2.2-inch color LCD high- resolution screen for a down-the-fairway perspective and distance-to-the-hole information for better course management.  The rainproof Yardage Pro even tallies your stroke information (which, depending on your game, you may want to ignore). Comes with a bag/belt clip, selectable auto-shutoff and sleep modes, a rechargeable Li-Ion battery good for up to 15 hours of continuous use, and a convenient USB PC interface for downloading updated information on new courses. www.bushnellgolf.com

Soundcast Systems’ OutCast Ultimate Outdoor Wireless Speaker

Audio Anywhere

Music aficionados who enjoy sharing their passion with others will appreciate the performance and stealthy simplicity of Soundcast Systems’ OutCast Ultimate Outdoor Wireless Speaker ($799.99). This portable, rechargeable,  weather- resistant, omni-directional stereo speaker system is designed to deliver premium sound in your office, from your patio, deck or poolside, or anywhere else you want to put it…or take it. Loaded with four three- inch speakers, an eight-inch subwoofer and a 100-watt amp, the OutCast is easy on the eyes, ears and brain— simply connect your audio device (such as an MP3 player, iPod, computer or TV) to the included iCast transmitter or directly into the unit via its 3.5mmminijack for topnotch sound that can be enjoyed from up to 350 feet away without any unsightly wires or costly installations. www.soundcastsystems.com

I-Tech Virtual Laser Keyboard

Go Virtual

Practical solutions to life’s little irritations are always satisfying; add a James Bond cool-factor, and they’re a no- brainer. Such is the I-Tech Virtual Laser Keyboard ($148.99): It connects to PDAs, smartphones and old-fashioned laptop computers via Bluetooth technology to project a full-size keyboard onto any flat surface—an airplane seat tray table or the side of your briefcase, for instance—giving you the convenience and functionality of a standard keyboard without needing to lug one along for the ride. About the size of a small cellphone, the Virtual Keyboard’s rechargeable battery lasts for 120 minutes of continuous typing, and the unit can even produce old-school keyboard tapping sounds to confound nosy onlookers. www.virtual-laserkeyboard.com

Nio-the bluetooth-enabled security tag

Search and Recovery

If you’re prone to misplacing important gadgets or worried about admirers walking off with them, you’ll love Nio ($69.95).  This Bluetooth-enabled security tag links directly to your PDA or mobile phone to help you keep tabs on your car keys, briefcase and other valuable belongings. Simply apply the small RFID tag to whatever you want to keep track of (up to five items at once) and use the intuitive software to set individual security zones for each item (set the radius from to 3 to 65). If you and your tagged item are separated, your mobile phone and the tag on the misplaced item will emit an audible, visual and/or vibrating alarm. Nio even has a locate tone to help you find misplaced items that fall out of sight in cars,  planes and living room couches. www.bluenio.co.uk


About Michael Gelfand