Jazz up your laptop

Last Updated: Sun, Jul 03, 2011 19:40 hrs

To get the most out of your notebook and use its intended functions, particularly portability, it is important that you have the right choice of accessories. Identify what your notebook lacks or needs the most as far as your usage is concerned — if you like to tune in to music on the move then do you have the right speakers or audio systems that connect with the laptop or if you use the machine for long hours then do you have one of the ergonomic laptop stands? Here are some of the most critical accessories that you might want to add to your laptop bag.

Rs 13,500

Essentially meant for the audiophile who cannot live with wires dangling between his laptop and his ears, AKG K840 headphones have a small wireless transmitter that plugs into the headphone minijack of your computer and sends a signal to the headphones. The headphones then deliver uncompressed 16-bit stereo audio over a robust 2.4 GHz radio link, allowing music buffs to listen with no interference. With these mini on-ear headphones, users can freely move as far as 20 feet from the audio source and still enjoy high-quality sound, unlike Bluetooth headsets. Classical songs, during our review, sounded very natural and electronical, jazz tunes were crisp with plenty of bass. Since it features passive noise reduction as well, the sound output comes clear even when used in crowded places. The headphones come with their own built-in rechargeable batteries, that lasted us for close to five days.

Verdict: AKG K840 is the perfect headphone to have on a trip. There’s a sturdy carry case with a pouch to store charging accessories.

Rs 1,500

Styling seems to have become an important factor with accessories and HP has made sure this wireless mouse is available in several colours and designs. HP’s comfort mouse has the right curves to let your hand rest easily on it while using the constricted laptop keyboard. A 4-way tilt scroll wheel and advanced 2.4GHz wireless technology for less interference and longer range of operation (up to 15 meters from the laptop) are some of the features. Two additional programmable buttons on the top left side can be programmed to launch applications and control sound volume among others. The micro-receiver (that turns the mouse wireless) does not protrude, reducing the chances of a broken receiver. HP’s mouse has laser sensors that allows it to work on just about any surface (even on glass and other shiny surfaces) and will not need a mouse pad.

Verdict: If you intend to go wireless with your laptop, then HP Wireless Comfort mouse should be on the list.

Rs 1,150

With so many different accessories, it’s important to figure out which ergonomic laptop accessories are the best to invest. Ergonomic lap desks are great option for both, people who work at home, and those who take laptops with them to meetings.

SDC5100 comprises of mainly a top panel of plastic on which your notebook will sit, and a bottom generously padded and covered with neoprene. Towards the front of the SDC5100 there’s a pair of speaker and on the back is a retractable USB cable. A raised strip at the front of the SDC5100 aims to stop any slippage. Further, Philips also supplies four self-adhesive rubber clip-ons that you can stick onto your computer to give it better grip while using with this lap desk.

Primarily meant to offer protection from the heat that laptops often give off after long hours of work, and also protect the laptop from overheating, SDC5100 gives a good speaker output if not the strongest. While the sound does distort when played at high volumes, it is still better than the bundled earbuds that you may be using. The speaker is powered when connected with notebook’s USB port, which means one USB port less on your PC while using this.

Verdict: Will benefit users whose laptops suffer from overheating and would like an ergonomic solution to their laptop-linked joint aches.

Rs 38,000

If you have only used those small plastic speakers that came with your computer or some stock earbuds to listen to music, then you haven’t heard how good computer audio can be. Harmon Kardon’s GLA55 looks strikingly different and are priced at a premium for the style they lend. A glass-like body encases the speakers that are to be connected to a laptop or music player via a 3.5mm stereo jack plug. An LED on the front of each speaker shows when the system is on, in standby or muted. The GLA55 offers 100-watt bi-amplified digital amplifier coupled with DSP equalisation and there's tons of proprietary technology such as woofers and optimisation for digital sound. The woofers pump out punchy, powerful, and shaking bass.

Verdict: The exclusivity of the GLA55’s price makes them a niche item aimed at a very specific customer — one who loves dramatic designs, expects audiophile-like performance and has the bank account to afford it.

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