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Gadgets for Business Travelers on the Go

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Livescribe SmartpenDon’t leave home without these gadgets for the business traveler on the go.

Gadget and tech guru Phil Baker fills us in …

Livescribe Pulse Smartpen: Practical, powerful and affordable

Pulse is a souped-up pen from Livescribe that takes notes using specially designed notebooks.

When it’s docked to a computer, the notes are transferred and displayed in the Livescribe desktop software, just as they appear in the notebook, arranged page by page.

The notes can then be copied into other documents, emailed, archived, or shared with your friends and workers using your personal online location provided by the company.

Most significantly, your notes can be searched on your computer using the built-in word recognition software. If this sounds vaguely familiar, you may recall Logitech offered a peripheral that also took notes. But it was much larger and had none of the intelligence of the Pulse. Both are based on dot paper technology from Anoto, a Swedish company.

Where Pulse really shines is taking what’s called “Paper Replay” notes during a meeting or lecture. Pulse can record the audio while you’re writing, always keeping both in sync.

Notebook Pen PaperThat means you can go back and review your written notes, and by just touching a word, hear what was recorded at the time you wrote it. This adds a completely new dimension to note-taking and learning.

The pen can also be used to do other things by touching the point to objects that are printed on paper or even objects you draw. For example, just touch the keys of a drawing of a calculator printed on the inside cover of the notebook and it works like a real calculator. The answer appears in the display on the side of the pen.

A demo lets you draw the keys of a piano and touch them to play, and another lets you write a word in English and the pen will speak the translation in another language.

Searching worked remarkably well. It quickly found words in sentences and in diagrams, almost like magic. Imagine being able to search through pages of a several notebooks in seconds to retrieve an old note.

Costs $149 with 1 GB memory and $199 with 2 GB (capable of recording 100 hours), www.livescribe.com

Mophi Juice Pack: Extend your iPhone battery

Juice pack mophieThe Mophie Juice Pack is a good solution for extending the run time of an iPhone. The JuicePack is a combination lithium battery and case. Slide the iPhone into it and it will double the run time, providing eight hours of talk time or 24 hours of music.

An LED battery gauge on the back tells you the charge status. While the battery increases the size, mostly the length, the iPhone is still pocketable. Another way to use it is as a portable charger: When the main battery is running low, plug it in and it will charge it up. $100, www.mophie.com

Kensington SlimBlade Trackball Mouse

With the millions of mice sold you’d think it would be hard to come up with something new. But the SlimBlade Bluetooth cordless Trackball mouse is one of the more clever designs, particularly for travelers.

It has two modes, conventional and trackball, switchable by the push of a button. The trackball mode is best for limited space as on an airplane tray or for added precision. It’s powered by two AA batteries and is flat for easy packing. About $50, www.kensington.com

Briggs and Riley Verb Soft Computer Case

Verve caseBriggs and Riley’s new stylish, feather-light Verb Move Business Case (#VB402) adds some style to their line of durably made travel bags. It has a padded computer pocket, a collapsible fan file section that can hold power adapters and magazines, and a well-designed front organizer section for a phone, iPod, keys and other equipment, all lined in bright orange. $147, www.briggs-riley.com

InCase has two even thinner cases. The Black Leather and Nylon Sleeve for the 15-inch MacBook Pro or similar-sized PCs has a soft leather flap that covers two pockets for the power adapter, phone and iPod, and a large soft fleece lined pocket for the computer. $80. Or buy just the sleeve in a variety of colors that lets you slip your computer into your rolling bag. $35, www.goincase.com

The Sanctuary Charging Station

Designed to sit on the night table at home or one the road, this clever product from Bluelounge solves a problem simply and elegantly, charging our devices. Place all of your devices on the tray and charge everything without a tangle of wires and adapters. Under the tray are a dozen connectors, all attached to the housing for thousands of different devices. Just select those for your devices and plug in. No lost adapters or forgetting to bring the right ones along. $129, www.bluelounge.com

By Phil Baker for PeterGreenberg.com. Visit Phil’s blog at http://blog.philipgbaker.com.

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