Not all work takes place in an office. Sometimes want a change of scenery, while other times you’re going to be stuck on a 12-hour flight when you need to get something done.
For those jobs, you’ll need a laptop and an array of mobile accessories. With the right gear, you might be surprised by how many productivity tasks you can do from just about anywhere. To maximize your on-the-go productivity, here are five laptop accessories to supercharge your workflow.
All laptops these days come with trackpads for moving the cursor, but for many productivity-oriented jobs, a mouse works much better. And while regular computer mice aren’t exactly huge, a tiny travel-sized mouse like this one from Microsoft will let you pack even more essentials into your bag when you leave the office.
This wireless mouse uses Microsoft BlueTrack technology, which offers incredibly precise tracking on more surfaces than optical or laser mice. It also uses very little power, so a single AA battery can keep it running for up to eight months. So drop this mouse in your laptop bag and pull it out when you need to get some work done. Buy one here.
Portable USB-powered monitor
Many people use a dual-screen setup at the office to increase their productivity, but when they travel they’re stuck with a single-screen laptop for doing the exact same work. Thanks to a USB-powered monitor like this one from Asus, however, you can take a second screen with you and use it anywhere.
It’s a slim, ultra-lightweight widescreen monitor that’s powered by the USB port on your laptop. It comes with a protective sleeve so it won’t get scratched in your bag, and a two-way adjustable stand that lets you use it in portrait or landscape orientation, depending on your preference. And at 15.6 inches, it’ll at least double your screen space when you’re working on the go. That’s great for getting things done. Buy one here.
If you’re used to using a full-sized scanner to digitize documents, you might be surprised to learn that scanners come in all shapes and sizes. This mobile scanner from Brother isn’t even a foot long, and it weighs less than a pound. But that doesn’t mean it lacks features.
It scans quickly in both color and black-and-white, and it can send your documents to a number of local or shared destinations, depending on your workflow. You can even scan documents into Microsoft Office formats for easy edits. And best of all, it’s USB-powered, so you don’t need a wall outlet to scan your documents. Buy one here.
Printers used to be beastly, hulking machines that chewed up paper took several minutes to spit out the finished product. Not anymore. This wireless mobile printer from Canon is about as small as it could possibly be while still allowing a piece of paper to run through it. It’s completely wireless, so you don’t need to bring pesky cables to do your printing on the go. It even works wirelessly with iPhones and iPads, so you might be able to get by without bringing your laptop at all. Buy one here.
When you’re running powerhouse apps on your laptop, or using it to power a scanner and a second monitor via USB, your laptop’s battery can take a serious beating.
That’s where a backup charger like this one from Lenmar comes in. It includes enough adapters to plug into the AC power ports of most laptops, and it houses enough power to keep your productivity humming along for hours. You can even charge your phone or tablet with it, and plan out your mobile work schedule using its LED battery status indicator. Buy one here.
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