Have you just purchased a laptop? Well, here’s some news you need to know … A laptop requires quite a number of accessories to make it the ultimate mobile computing machine. There are devices like Bluetooth adapters, USB lights and phone chargers which help to make your laptop a much more powerful productivity tool.
So do read on and find out what are the top 10 accessories you should buy for your precious laptop. In the next section You can also read must have netbook accessories.
What kind of accessories can you buy for your notebook? Before we jump into the top 10 list, remember that some of these accessories are more essential than other (e.g. laptop security locks and external storage). Others, like laptop speakers and printers are (in my opinion) less essential. Nevertheless, its good to have a look at these products and determine if you need them.
Top 10 Must Have Laptop Accessories
You can buy a ton of accessories for your laptop
- Laptop Security Cables . One of the most important notebook accessories you will need is a laptop security cable. This is one of the easiest ways protecting your laptop against theft. Please remember to use these cables to secure your notebook whenever it leaves your sight. I’ve had a bad experience before where unsecured of mine was left in the office over the weekend and stolen. So always remember, security comes first.
- UPS Device. I know many mobile workers don’t think an UPS device is necessary. However, always remember that if you’re working in an external environment, the quality of electrical connections may not always be perfect. So protect yourself and your notebook from network and phone line surges with a UPS device.
- External Storage. Another device that should be added to your laptop toolbox is external storage. You can choose storage as small as a 1GB pen drive or it can be a huge 500GB backup box. Whichever style you choose, make sure the storage device is easy to use and durable.
- Portable Laptop Desks. Here’s another thing that is good for your laptop – a portable laptop desk. Believe it or not, long hours spent hunching over a notebook are very damaging on your posture, neck and spine. Having a portable laptop desk allows you to work in comfortable positions and reduce strain on your body.
- Laptop Power Adapters. Oh, this is something I make sure I have around. The trouble with many notebooks is that the battery can run out when you least expect it. Make sure that you have your laptop power adapter with you when you go traveling. Although a laptop power adapter comes with the laptop, I sometimes get an additional one so I don’t have to lug it with me between home and the office.
- Portable Projectors. A portable projector? Why buy a projector as a laptop accessory? Well, it is quite possible (if you are in sales) that you need to make a presentation to more people than you thought. Traveling with your own portable projector means you don’t have to go around hunting for a projector, no matter what professional situation you are in.
- USB Bluetooth Adapters. Some older laptops do not provide built-in Bluetooth connectivity. I always ensure I have a little USB Bluetooth adapter that allows me to connect my cell phone to the notebook. Don’t leave home without it.
- Mobile Printers. You might not think this is an essential laptop accessory, but some folks do in fact buy a mobile printer so they can print while on the road. One of the problems with printing on the road is that you need to find a printer, install the drivers, etc. Having a mobile printer saves you all that trouble.
- Wireless Laptop Mouse. I also think that a traveling wireless laptop mice is a good investment to make. It affords you great freedom since you are no longer constrained by a wire and most of the wireless laptop mice look good too.(see also: wireless gaming mouse)
- Laptop Speakers. If you are making presentations to a large audience, then your laptop speakers might not be sufficient to produce the aural clarity you need. Invest in some good speakers to ensure the sounds can be caught by the audience.
- Laptop Bag or Backpack. One of the most essential notebook accessories, in my view, is the notebook bag. If you do much traveling, you might like to think about a laptop backpack.
- Laptop Coolers. It’s a must buy laptop accessories to solve a laptop overheated.
Well, that’s a lot of laptop accessories to look at! There are countless other stuff you can buy to trick out your notebook, but the above list represents my initial thoughts. Personally, I think that a laptop security cable, a UPS device, external storage, a Bluetooth adapter and a wireless laptop mouse. You may have different needs, of course. So until next time, do some research on accessories for your notebook and happy computing!
Must Have Netbook Accessories
The following are essential netbook accessories which you may want to invest in.
1. Memory Upgrade
Microsoft’s licensing requirement that netbooks installed with Windows 7 Starter or Windows XP Home editions should not ship with more than 1 GB of RAM limits the overall performance of mini laptops in a variety of different tasks. Upgrading the ram in your small laptop can be one of the most effective, cheapest and easiest performance enhance you can give, allowing you to run the operating system better along with more applications at once.
For less than $50 , you can buy a 2GB DDR2 SODIMM to replace the 1GB in your small laptop most have a single SODIMM slot, so you can’t just add another 1GB, and the basic Atom N270/N280/N450/N455 platform is limited to 2GB of RAM.
While it’s a relatively painless process to upgrade the RAM in most small laptops, it can be hard to figure out what type of RAM you need without first opening your netbook case and looking inside. Consult the netbook’s manual to find out how much RAM it can support, the type of RAM it takes, and the number of slots or banks it has.
As a guide new mini laptops with the Atom N450 and N280 processors have a 667MHz front-side bus while the older netbooks with the N270 processor have a 533MHz FSB. Newer small laptops with Atom N455/475/550 processors have 1066MHz FSB if it is paired with DDR 3 memory.
Plugging a higher FSB memory module into a lower FSB machine will underclock it. For example, plugging a RAM with 667MHz FSB into an atom N270 netbook will underclock the RAM to 533MHz.
Lucky for you major memory module makers such as Crucial, Kingston, OCZ, Corsair, PNY Optima, Transcend and Patriot Signature make memory modules that will fit just fine in just about any brand or model out there.
2. Wireless Mouse
Netbooks generally have trackpads but they are likely to be little, unwieldy, and uncomfortable to use. Many folks would prefer use a standalone mouse. For those who wants such a device, we recommend wireless notebook mice from Logitech or Microsoft.
Wireless mice use radio frequency (RF) technology to communicate data to your notebook. As radio-based, RF devices need 2 primary components: a receiver and a transmitter. The RF receiver can be inserted into the computers USB port. It receives the RF signals from the transmitter, decodes them, and sends the information to the computer just like the wire on a regular mouse.
3. Portable Optical Drive
Netbooks tend to be cut down versions of notebooks in that they have a smaller screen and smaller keyboard. Because of their small size, there’s simply not enough space to put an optical drive unit inside. A mini laptop’s main focus is web browsing and e-mailing, and relies heavily on the Internet for remote access to Web-based applications. It is increasingly targeted at users of cloud computing which rely on servers and require less powerful client computers. In addition most programs that require installation medium such as a CD or DVD would most likely be too resource heavy for a small laptop.
You need not worry that netbooks do not come with an integrated optical drive. There’s a solution: you can buy an optional external drive that you will connect to your mini laptop via USB, when needed. In most cases you won’t even need to install drivers as these optical drives are plug and play compatible. They are pretty slim and very light and are a lot cheaper than they used to be.
4. USB Flash Thumb Drive
As a netbook user you should carry a USB flash thumb drive with you to transfer files easily as you use your netbook out and about while using another PC at home or in the office.
There are many types of USB flash drives presently on the market and have fallen radically in price, even as capacity on them has risen smartly. You might consider that all USB flash drives are the same and for that reason purchase the cheapest one from online store. They are low-priced since they are made out from lower quality components and are much more probably to fail.
Due to the limitation of USB 2.0 transfer speed, capacities larger than 64GB won’t be useful in real life until the widespread implementation of USB 3.0 which is 10 times faster than USB 2.0 and can upload and download simultaneously (USB 2.0 can only do one or the other).
5. SDHC Flash Memory Card
Almost every netbook on the market includes a SD card slot built-in. These slots allow SDHC (Secure Digital High-Capacity) card to be used to expand the storage capacity and can also be useful for providing a reliable means of transferring data from the small laptop to a removable storage device or another Personal Computer. Before purchasing a SDHC flash memory card you must understand not all SDHC Flash Memory Cards are the same.
6. Portable External USB Hard Drive
Like many people, if you accumulate digital media such as photos, music or movies on your netbook hard drive than sooner or later your are bound to run out of storage space. Moreover, leaving your content on the small laptop without backing it up is not a good idea for several important reasons. For one thing, it slows down your computer. And for another – and this is important – you run the risk of losing all your data in the event of a hard-drive crash.
The precious space on your netbook needs to be managed and files stored properly for easy access. Luckily these problems can be taken care by an external portable hard drive. They are also useful for expanding the total amount of storage space and as a means to transfer large amounts of data between a netbook and another primary computer such as a desktop or notebook.
Two factors to consider when getting a portable hard drive for a netbook;
a. Connection Type
A portable hard drive for a netbook must have a USB 2.0 interface and be entirely powered through the mini laptop’s USB port. Although USB 2.0 represents a bottleneck for almost every modern hard drive, the interface is widely used and almost independent of the operating system of your small laptop.
USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed USB) ports are starting to show up on new netbooks and promises a dramatic throughput improvement a theoretical 10X jump over existing USB 2.0 hardware. USB 2.0 maxed out at a theoretical 480Mbps, while USB 3.0 can theoretically handle up to 5Gbps. The beauty of USB 3.0 is its backward compatibility with USB 2.0
Storage makers have begun producing portable hard drives that take advantage of these blazing transfer rates. But before shelling out any money to upgrade your storage solution, ask yourself if USB 3.0 is necessary. Portable drives for mobile users don’t have to provide maximum performance, but they need to be light, small, and flexible.
What size is good enough? Well, this will depend on what you store in your hard drive. If your data consists of word documents or excel spreadsheets, you won’t need the biggest available on the block. 250GB or 320GB should last a long time for an average user. 500GB should be more than sufficient for mobile users.
The top storage companies such as Western Digital, Seagate, Iomega, Samsung and Toshiba have many models suitable for netbooks. However, their style, features, bundled software, usability, and warranty differ a lot. My recommendation is to go for one or two sizes smaller than the largest size available because that’s usually the sweet spot in price.
7. Mini USB Hub
Most of the peripheral devices that are used with a netbook require a USB port. The average small laptop only comes with three USB ports. In addition to this, the USB ports are often placed so close together than some devices such as flash drives can’t be plugged in with other devices due to space conflicts. This is where a mini USB hub will come in handy. A small hub will be extremely useful for those requiring additional ports while on the go. These devices for a mini laptop are highly portable and does not require external power.
8. Wireless Headset
Many netbooks have built in mics and webcams to make video and voice calls using VoIP providers such us Skype, but the sound quality of the speaker and microphones generally not so good. If you’d like to be understood by the other person on the line, get a wireless headset. These wireless headsets have excellent sound quality and balanced audio, and captures your voice way better than your netbook’s built-in microphone will. Most are optimized for laptops and fordable for easy storage.
9. Netbook Sleeve
The beauty of netbooks is that they can be slung into your purse, totes or briefcase. You might want a little extra protection before undertaking such slinging though. A netbook sleeve (also known as a netbook slipcases) is meant to be used as an additional layer of protection within a separate case. It offers protection without bulk and are easy to travel with, and the checkpoint friendly design lets you go through airport security with the small laptop inside the sleeve.
10. Netbook Carrying Case
There are many reasons as to why you should invest in a good carrying case for your small laptop. Firstly, being extremely small and portable netbooks are susceptible to dings and dents. Secondly it is also used to carrying your mini laptop around at ease without any wrist strain.
Most cases for netbooks include multiple compartments for ease of organization. Often zippered pockets are added to the case for small accessories such as pens and cell phone.
For those wishing to carry not only their netbook and accessories but also files or books may require a bag that is designed for that purpose. A small laptop backpack with space for books are college student’s dream come true. Most ladies often lookout for a bag that can double as a purse so that they have the option to carry the netbook with them when necessary.
11. Netbook Skin Decal
If you want to looks different, get a netbook skin decal to instantly makeover your netbook to make it unique. If you tire of one you can easily remove it and replace it with another. Add bling, flowers or graphics to suit your mood.
Netbook skin decals are basically a vinyl sticker that you can add to your netbook. Skins not only change the looks of your small laptop, they also protect it from scratches and fingerprints.
As a form of self expression it is just getting popular and customizing your netbook reflects your personality. Gamers, business people, girlie girls, moms and dads all have special personalities that can be brought out by adding a skin to their netbook.
Skins are purchased according to the size of the mini laptop, for example your laptop may be a 10.1 while someone else may be 11.6 or a 12.1. Some skins are also sold according to what brand of small laptop you have, for example a Toshiba versus an Asus.
As their popularity increases, the options for how to make your own skins will increase as well. Meanwhile, most consumers will only go with the option of buying the current netbook skin designs from the manufacturers which produce them. You could be more unique than that by understanding your creative part and makng your own mini laptop skins.
Whether you do this through a company that lets you create your own designs or you actually go through the process of hunting down the right kind of vinyl and going the DIY route, you’ll be able to know at the end of the day that your netbook says something personal to the world.
Those are best netbook accessories which you may want to invest in. We hope this can help you to find best accessories for small laptops.