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On the whole I don't consider myself to be a gadget's man at all. What I mean by that is if there is a new product such as the iPhone I won't ever be the first in line to get. What I'm saying is that I use gadget's such as DVD players and laptops only if I have to and won't necessarily put myself out of my way to get something new. So imagine my surprise when I was given this amazing little gadget as a Christmas present and to be honest having found it very useful indeed had actually begun to think what would I actually do without it.
I shall explain further, as part of my job I do a lot of travelling, whether on a train or a plane I still have to do a high if not excessive level of writing. When travelling on a plane, the only way that I can work is from a laptop and if the cabin lights are dimmed as they normally are on an overnight flight then that is when I have problems as I can't use the overhead lights without disturbing someone next to me or either in front or behind where I am sitting.
So to receive this present of a Belkin USB portable lamp was an utter miracle from on high!!! Although at the time I opened the wrapping I didn't really realise how useful this could be to me and how much I would depend upon it.
What this consists of is a basically a LED bulb that can be swivelled at all different types of angles with basically a clip that allows you to position it at any position on the edge of the Laptop screen. My preferred placement for it is at the top of the screen so the light can be shone down on the keyboard so that you can actually see what you are typing without squinting at all due to the fact you are relying on the light from the screen. I can point it at anything and have a really tight focus on what I am illuminating and it also helps that the LED is white in colour and not 'off white' as it means that everything appears in the correct colour as intended and not altered in any way by the colour originating from the LED itself.
It does have a remarkable 19 inch cable that automatically retracts and curls back up into the casing, the only thing that I found was that the cable sometimes gets stuck when retracting, but that was probably because I was rushing and not taking my time, although it looks weak in the join with the bulb head itself, it appears to be tough and can withstand the odd drop on a hard surface. So far I have not had any tearing or potential ripping around any of the joints and it is still in one piece. I tend to place it safely in my bag at the end of the day and while the bulb is securely protected due to the devices quite tough outer casing and also the manner in which the lamp folds up on itself as well.
Other than lighting a keyboard I have found some other quite bewildering uses for it. A useful tool when in the car as my other half can have the laptop sitting on her lap and read the map of the screen for directions when I am driving while still being able to use the mousepad, again the light clips on the right hand edge of the laptop with the light facing away from me driving so that I am not distracted at all. So it is a case of both hands being free and not holding the light down on to the map itself. This replaces the classic scene with a torch and a road map and potentially blinding the driver in the process. To give another example a friend of mine had a problem with her car and borrowed the Laptop. With the WI-FI enabled this meant that the website could be looked up to assist in diagnosing the issue with her car. How did the lamp come in handy? Well it was at night so she clipped the lamp inside the engine compartment to discover a fuse had blown, which meant that she had no working headlights. By using the laptop to get the user manual on-line from the web she fixed the fuse thee and then and got her headlights working again. This saved a call out to the AA.
I have a relatively new laptop so the power drain was hardly noticeable and not as bad as I had expected, but I have yet to find out how this goes with an older laptop using the USB connector cable, also connecting this up is easy as it utilises the same port as any standard memory stick. In theory though for me the power should is not a problem as on modern trains nowadays, train operators such as Virgin and X Country have power sockets next to the tables anyway for charging of the batteries in laptops and phones.
I would recommend this purely as a gadget that has been well thought out and designed, it can fit anywhere and as I said earlier the bulb is well protected. The cost is steady around £15 and is well worth investing in one of these as it is useful in a number of places other than using a laptop. This is available at places like PC World and on-line at Amazon. I am sure one day that this will be bettered and improved, how I am unsure as the beauty of the product is how it is stored and what it changes into when used, but for now this is an absolutely spot on product. Bottom line is that this is one of the best Christmas presents I have had in ages!!!!
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The Belkin USB Retractable Light conveniently illuminates your keyboard anywhere you use ... more
your portable computer - whether you're traveling or relaxing at home. It easily connects to your laptop's USB port and offers just the right amount of light for typing on a plane, taking notes in your car, or accessing data from the bed in your hotel room. The retractable cable is convenient for storage, and the compact swiveling head focuses light where you need it. It's the perfect solution for working as you travel ...