Of Carry Cases And Things

Published Date
01 - Jan - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Jan - 2005
Of Carry Cases And Things
Travelling and haggling come naturally to me. However, when you have to be Agent 001 and carry around a 3-kg laptop to file your report, life is painful. Pain turns to agony when you consider the natural pitfalls of such a situation, what with a drained battery, heating issues, power connection issues and Internet connection woes. So, with Rs 4K in my pocket, I set out to save my shoulder and help similarly afflicted souls.

Reconnaissance is what distinguishes a good agent from a 001. I make it a point to arm myself with relevant information before venturing into the market. I placed calls to agencies mentioned in the classifieds. The first one from Mumbai offered laptop carrying bags from as low as Rs 1.5 K, going up to Rs 5.5 K.

I learnt that small, portable mice are the latest buzz. Data cables, external combo drives (especially for older laptops), and modem cables all followed closely. These components vary in price from as little as Rs 300 to Rs 1 K, except for external optical drives, which cost Rs 8K onwards. With the preliminaries taken care of, it was time for some real action!

I first headed to-say it with me-Lamington Road. There is a shop located right opposite the local police station, with placards of major vendors including HP, Dell and IBM. Sure enough, they claimed to have "everything you can attach to your laptop." I loved the place already!

First came a laptop bag by Dicota-an international brand that specialises in carry cases. The bags were good and stylish, and offered plenty of storage options. The Dicotas started at Rs 4.5 K-for the leather quality.

He then offered some mice designed especially for laptop users-I may add, a Bluetooth wireless mouse from Microsoft with a snap-in receiver priced at Rs 2.1 K. It was neat but I opted for a more down-to-earth piece from Logitech for Rs 500.

Executives who swear by PowerPoint would love to know of a tool that allows you to shuttle wirelessly between slides. The shop had good remote control units that offered to do that, but they cost Rs 4 K. Alternatively, I could buy a Bluetooth USB adapter for Rs 2 K and use my Bluetooth-enabled phone as a remote. Cool!

For transferring data between my laptop and my main computer, he had USB 2.0 cables meant to connect two PCs/laptops directly, and although they boast of faster data transfers, they also cost Rs 1.8 K.

I was also looking for compact speakers, but all he could offer me were run-of-the-mill ones from Creative and Mercury that were too big for comfort. Good ones from Cyber Acoustic are available for around Rs 2.5 K, but he didn't know!

Interestingly, I learnt that most people connect their laptops to the Internet using their cell phones. Cables for this, I found, cost between Rs 300 and Rs 650, while retractable modem extender cables were for Rs 600. I settled for a cable that will connect my second CDMA phone to the laptop.

A notable product that I came across was the Rs 1 K USB hub. This increases the number of USB ports on your laptop. The treasure trove I had walked into also offered products such as LED lights for using a laptop in an airplane, cables that charged a cell phone via USB ports, notebook coolers, extra battery packs, power adapters-whew!

Summing up my operation, I have compiled a handy little box that lists the products in descending order of importance. Agent 001, over and out!  

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