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These gadgets and peripherals hitting the market just in time for the holiday season -- yes, it's coming -- will give you and your desk a much-needed upgrade.
Look at your desk. Could you use a new mouse? Additional digital storage? A better monitor? A place to charge all your mobile devices?
You're in luck. With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, all kinds of gadgets and peripherals are starting to hit the market. Here are 10 to consider if you want to improve productivity, spruce up your workspace or make it easier to take a much-needed break.
Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630
The Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630 ($69.99) is a Bluetooth mouse designed specifically for ultrabooks. The mouse features brushed metallic sides, its touch surface supports the use of Windows 8 gestures and it's thin enough to slip unobtrusively into a laptop sleeve or jeans pocket. The Ultrathin Touch Mouse can pair with two different Bluetooth devices; a physical switch lets users toggle between devices. While some may find the mouse a bit small — it's 3 inches long and 2 inches wide — frequent travelers who can't live without a mouse will find the Ultrathin Touch Mouse invaluable.
Wacom Bamboo Pad Wireless
The Wacom Bamboo Pad Wireless ($79; available in four colors) is a touchpad that works with a battery-free, pressure-sensitive digital stylus. This combination lets users easily add handwritten notes and sketches to a PC or Mac. The Bamboo Pad Wireless also supports multi-touch gestures such as rotate, scroll and zoom. A small USB transceiver connects the touchpad with a user's computer.
Griffin PowerDock 5
The Griffin PowerDock 5 charging station ($99.99) is optimized to charge five iOS devices at the same time, though it will also charge most Kindle and Android devices. Each "charging bay" is roomy enough to accommodate a tablet without removing it from its cases, while the 2.1A of charging circuitry per USB port ensures that devices are charged quickly. Bear in mind that the PowerDock 5 doesn't come with charging cables, while the individual frosted backrests aren't designed to be removed once they've been assembled.
Jawbone Mini Jambox
The Mini Jambox ($179.99; available in nine colors) is the slimmest portable speaker by Jawbone yet. Crafted from a single piece of extruded aluminum, the Mini Jambox offers a lightweight form factor weighing just 9oz (255 grams). But it produces big sound despite its small package, with a pair of proprietary acoustic drivers and a passive bass radiator delivering music playback. The Mini Jambox supports Bluetooth 4.0 or 3.5mm stereo connectors and recharges using micro-USB port for 10 hours of continuous playback.
Twelve South GhostStand
The GhostStand ($34.99) by Twelve South is a transparent, modern platform designed to elevate a laptop to a comfortable viewing angle. Though designed specifically for the MacBook, it should work well with practically any laptop on the market. The GhostStand's silicone rails serve a dual purpose: keeping your laptop in position on the stand and the stand in position on your desk.
The GhostStand ships as two pieces of clear, acrylic plastic. Simple assembly is required. Once in place, though, Twelve South discourages disassembling the stand.
Brinell Drive SSD
The Brinell Drive SSD is a slim, portable solid-state drive that offers both looks and top-notch performance for folks who don't mind paying for it. The 2.5-inch SSD is mounted inside a light metal frame with an exterior surface made from premium materials: Stainless steel, leather, carbon and Macassar wood. Under the hood, the Brinell Drive delivers performance of up to 420MB/s read and 330MB/s write over its USB 3.0 interface. Each Brinell Drive comes with a USB 3.0 cable and a protective leather pouch. The drive is available in 120GB, 250GB and 500GB capacities, and prices vary by material.
Lexar JumpDrive M10
The Lexar JumpDrive M10 is a USB 3.0 flash drive that delivers up to 100MB/s read and 55MB/s write speeds. The drive also displays the remaining storage space on its integrated, always-on e-ink capacity meter. EncryptStick Lite software, which comes bundled with the flash drive, also allows for the creation of a password-protected vault to automatically encrypt file using 256-bit AES encryption.
Bose Wireless Headphones
The Bluetooth-enabled Bose Wireless Headphone AE2w ($249.95) offers natural sound and a comfortable around-ear fit. The removable Bluetooth adapter offers up to seven hours of run time, and its lithium-ion battery is recharged via an included USB cable. A built-in microphone lets users make phone calls or activate voice-recognition apps. Overall, the Bose Wireless Headphone AE2w offers the flexibility of wireless with a great-sounding and comfortable headset — though depending on your preferred music genre, you may find the playback volume a tad soft.
The SimpleScan DPmobile scanner ($199) offers double-sided scanning with an optical resolution of 300dpi. The versatile mobile scanner can be deployed in three distinct configurations. It offers a scan speed of 10 page per minute (PPM) when scanning in black and white, and 4ppm in color. The SimpleScan DP mobile scanner is fully USB-powered, and is available in black and white.
Lenovo ThinkVision LT1423p
The 13.3-inch portable ThinkVision LT1423p monitor from Lenovo offers 1600x900 resolution on an AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance In-Panel Switching) display panel that is protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass layer. The ThinkVision LT1423p comes with a 10-point touch surface that's certified for Windows 8 use and works with a ThinkPad Digitizer pen to deliver a high resolution of 2540ppi. The monitor connects to the computer via a USB interface using DisplayLink technology and is powered by the same USB link.
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