Perhaps the hardest of all frequent travelers to find presents for are those who travel for business. Because they are on the road so often and must work efficiently, they probably have most of the gadgets that would be useful to them. Thatís why you need to know about these new products they might not have heard about yet.
This tiny device is small enough for a stocking present, but you wonít want to put it there Ė it may well be the best gift any traveler gets. One of the most frustrating problems a business traveler confronts is discovering that a file, chart or photo on the office computer is just the one needed when he or she is halfway around the world. It happens to us when an editor needs a photo quickly for an article we filed months before. Until now the only answer was to carry as much as possible on a compact portable hard drive, but they are notorious for failing and you still need to decide what to put on it. No more. iTwin is a USB device that allows travelers to access their entire home or office hard drive instantly from anywhere in the world. Far more secure and private than the cloud, it operates with a password and can even be disabled remotely if lost or stolen. The random crypto-key is shared only by the two ends of the iTwin, one of which remains in the main computer. Not only can the user access files, but the files can be edited and revised without worries over ending up with different versions Ė youíre working directly with the main hard drive. I canít praise iTwin enough, and will never leave home again without it in my pocket. iTwin costs $99; www.iTwin.com
Verbatim Tuff-Ďní-Tiny USB Drive
Even with the iTwin available, I still use USB drives to carry the files Iím working on and the notes I make as I travel. Tuff-Ďní-Tiny is the best Iíve found, as well as the smallest, at only an inch long and half an inch wide. Mine carries 8GB (although they come with capacity as high as 32GB) and has a thin, flexible lanyard for safety. What I appreciate most is that itís so rugged that it doesnít flinch at being jangled around with my keys or dropped in a puddle, and it resists static discharges. At this price and size, itís fair game for a travelerís Christmas stocking. 8GB runs from about $12 from Amazon; www.verbatim.com
G-Form Extreme Laptop Sleeve
Dropping a laptop can be expensive for anyone, but fatal for a business traveler. Protecting mine is a high priority, which is what interested me in this sleeve, made of a material that instantly stiffens on impact to absorb over 90% of the energy from a fall. When my test sample arrived and I opened the package, I was immediately doubtful that I would have room for it. Although it weighs next to nothing, its bulk would surely make my laptop too big to slip into my very compact carry-on briefcase. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this industrial-strength case added only an inch in length and half inch each in height and thickness. That is a small price for a security factor that has shown to protect a laptop from damage in a 20-foot freefall off a balcony! Hopefully, no one on my gift list will do that to their laptop, but if they do, they will thank me. Itís available for 11Ē, 13Ē, and 15Ē laptops, at $70; www.g-form.com
Toddy Gear Smart Cloth
One of these goes in everybodyís stocking this year Ė and with 42 colors and designs to choose from I can pick one that will please each one. The microfiber cloth is designed for cleaning extremely sensitive surfaces including laptop screens, smartphones, tablets, cameras, even glasses without scratching. Plush material on one side cleans while the patterned silk on the reverse buffs and polishes. Its antimicrobial coating protects the cloth against microorganisms that contribute to mold and mildew, so itís always clean and ready to work. It takes up no room in a briefcase and is priced at $9.99 or $19.99 for a 3-pack; www.toddygear.com