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The Top 10 'Must-Have' Laptop Accessories

Author: John San Filippo



You've laid out good money for your laptop computer, but you're not done spending just yet.

There are a few more laptop accessories you may want to consider to make the package complete.

1: Laptop Case / Bag

As the newest member of the mobile computing force, you're required to take an oath of safe computing.

And that starts with investing in the most important of laptop accessories - a laptop bag. You can't very well go traipsing around the world with your laptop exposed to the elements.

When it comes to laptop bags, you can spend $25 for a small case made from less expensive materials on up to several hundred dollars for one made of top-grain cowhide.

However, in the end, the most important consideration is whether your case can hold your laptop, plus all the other goodies that go with it (like the ones described here).

2: Software

Did your laptop come with software? If so, did it come with the right software - the software you actually need to perform whatever tasks you need to perform?

Don't just assume you have everything you need. You'll probably need to add some software, as well as go online to update the software that was included.

3: A Real USB Mouse

Trackpads and eraser nubs that fill an obvious need. However, given the option, most people would rather user a real mouse.

If you stop and think for a moment, you're likely to realize that many places where you'll be computing actually are suitable for a real mouse.

So one of the most useful laptop accessories you can buy is a USB mouse, keep it in your bag, and use it whenever you're able.

4: A Cat5 Ethernet Cable

Your built-in Ethernet port won't do you much good if you get to your hotel room, discover an Ethernet connection, and don't have a cable. Some hotels provide them; others don't. Always come prepared with the right cable.

5: A Standard Telephone Cable

The same holds true for your modem connection. If you don't have a cable to get you from your computer to the phone jack, you're not going anywhere in cyberspace.

6: Disposable Cleansing Cloths

Over time, the display on your laptop is going to get dusty, or even smudgy. You're playing Russian roulette with your laptop if you attempt to clean your display with paper towels and spray cleaners.

Instead, use disposable cleansing cloths. These essential laptop accessories are designed specifically to clean laptop displays. Always have a stash on hand.

7: USB Drive

A USB drive is a storage device about the size of your thumb that plugs directly into a USB port.

Capacity-wise, they're relatively small - usually well under 100 MB. However, they're very useful for moving files quickly and easily from one computer to another, e.g., moving a PowerPoint presentation from your laptop to your business associate's laptop.

A USB drive also makes a great temporary backup medium for the really important files you create on the road.

8: Blank CD-R Discs

You've just finished your big sales presentation. Someone from the audience approaches you afterward and asks for a copy of the presentation.

You'll make a better impression if you:

a) ask the person for their email address and tell them you'll email the presentation later

b) ask for their physical address and tell them you'll mail a CD later

c) burn them a CD of the presentation on the spot.

In case you didn't figure it out, the answer is c. Always be prepared with these inexpensive laptop accessories.

9: Stereo Headset

It's great to be able to watch DVD movies no matter where you are. Imagine watching your favorite flick at 30,000 feet.

There's just one problem.

The family in the row behind you has absolutely no interest in hearing the dialog from Pulp Fiction.

Do yourself and everyone around you a favor. When you're watching movies or listening to music in public, use your headphones.

10: Security Device

Laptop security devices come in many shapes and sizes.

For example, most laptops include a security dock that allows you to attach your laptop to some immovable object via cable, much like you'd lock up your bicycle outside the grocery store.


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