Useful USB gadgets


Since USB was introduced on the Mac, hundreds of USB products have been available. SmartDisk have three new fun and handy USB devices that will make great stocking-stuffers when Christmas rolls around. The first is a USB storage and music player called the Rover (bottom-right). USB storage devices have been around for a while. They're handy, but not terribly exciting. As for MP3 players, we have the iPod - so why bother with Rover? There are a couple of very good reasons: for a start, it's tiny and can easily clip to the collar of your t-shirt when jogging or in the gym. Being a solid-state device, it has no moving parts - so there's no need to worry about skipping due to vibration or impact. Of course it's also handy as a floppy disk replacement, and big enough to hold your PowerPoint presentation or homework. All this nifty gadgetry would be wasted if the price wasn't right. Fortunately, the price is attractive, at just £59.99 for the 64MB version, or £79.99 for the 128MB version. In my household, that falls into that sweet spot of what we like to call "a single spouse decision". The next contender is the PowerPlay, a USB remote control. Simply plug the USB tab into your machine, and you can control PowerPoint or Keynote slide shows without the need for software. The remote works by radio, so there is no problem with line of sight. For good measure, there's a laser pointer in the remote control. All this costs a measly £44.99, which presumably you could stick on your expense account. While you're at it, you may as well go for the £59.99 PowerPlay Pro (above), which has all the features of the PowerPlay, plus 32MB of storage (ideal for your presentation).
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