Cool Gadgets for Writers

Hey, ya’ll. Guess what? I have a new interview up! It’s over at Mistress Bella Interviews and you can check it out here. Hope you’ll stop by and say hi. 🙂

I totally didn’t blog yesterday but I’m making up for it today!

With the economy the way it is, it’s a safe bet most of us won’t be making any big-ticket purchases, like a new computer or laptop. But there are those of us who still like our gadgets at a fair price that we find irresistible. Our fingers itch to get hold of those really cool things we’ve been drooling over.

From eBook readers to easy ways to backup and store your precious works-in-progress, here’s a list of all the cool stuff out there for under $500.00.

Amazon’s Kindle – $299.00 plus shipping
So you’re looking for an ebook reader? Check out the new Kindle 2. And they just lowered the price, which is totally awesome. You can read magazines, newspapers, and of course books. The average cost of a trade paperback is $13.00. The average cost of an ebook is $4.00. I’d say that’s quite a savings if you read more than a book a week. The sleek and slim Kindle is $359.00 plus shipping and if you want to get the extended warranty that’s another $65.00.

Specifications:

  • weighs in at 10.2 ounces
  • 2 GB internal storage
  • 2.0 USB compatible
  • battery lasts up to 4 days with wireless turned on (longer with it off)

Supports: Kindle, TXT, Audible, MP3, PDF, MOBI, PRC, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP

System Requirements: None

In the Box:
Quick Start Guide
power adapter
USB 2.0 cable
rechargeable battery

Sony Reader – $299.00 plus shipping
Sony’s answer to the Kindle, the Sony Reader offers similarities. One drawback—you have to download the books to your computer and then upload them, whereas with the Kindle, you can download directly to the device. Another slim and sleek design, this has a 6-inch high resolution display for easier reading. I found this online at BestBuy.Com and SonyStyle.Com, so you’ll still have to order it and have it shipped, like the Kindle.

Specifications:

  • weighs in at 9 ounces
  • internal memory can hold up to 160 eBooks
  • SD memory slot (card not included)
  • USB 2.0 compatible

Supports: BBeB Book, PDF, TXT RTF and other Microsoft Word text formats, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, MP3 and AAC audio

System Requirements: Requires Intel® Celeron® 800MHz processor or better, Windows XP (Home, Professional, Media Center Edition/2004/2005) or Vista (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate), 128MB RAM, 20MB hard drive space, USB port and optical drive

In the Box:
rechargeable lithium-ion battery
AC adapter
soft cover
eBook Library 2.0 software

iPod Touch – $229.00 (8 GB) to $399.00 (32 GB)
So you want an eBook reader, do you? And maybe a music player and something to watch videos on, too. Throw a few games in there for good measure. Get an iPod Touch. It’s a PDA, an eBook reader, an MP3 player, portable video player, portable game machine, plus it gives you wireless Internet so you can surf the web, download books from Fictionwise, and even check your email. All at the touch of the screen. It’s everything you need to be portable and still stay connected. Sleek, contoured design and weighs in at 4.05 ounces.

Specifications:

  • 3.5-inch (diagonal) Multi-Touch color LCD
  • 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB flash drive
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • Music playback time: Up to 36 hours when fully charged
  • Video playback time: Up to 6 hours when fully charged

Mac Requirements:

  • USB 2.0 port
  • Mac OS X v10.4.10 or later
  • iTunes 8 or later
  • Internet connection (broadband recommended; fees may apply)
  • iTunes Store account

PC Requirements:

  • USB 2.0 port
  • Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 2 or later)
  • iTunes 8 or later
  • Internet connection (broadband recommended; fees may apply)
  • iTunes Store account

In the Box:
Earphones
USB 2.0 cable
Dock adapter
Polishing cloth
Quick Start guide

AlphaSmart Neo – $219.00 plus shipping
Little Alphie, we love you so! This is perfect for the on-the-go writer. Need to shuttle the kids to soccer practice? Take along the Neo. Meeting the writer’s group at Starbucks? Neo is your best friend. It has up to 700 hours of life on only three AA batteries and weighs in at 1.76 pounds. Affordable, flexible and easy to use, pound those words out and then upload to your computer. For more information, check out the website at www.AlphaSmartDirect.Com.

Specifications:

  • 5.75″ x 1.5″ LCD screen can be configured to display two through six lines of text per screen
  • 2 MB of software (SmartApplet) storage, and 512 KB of data storage to hold approximately 200 pages of text
  • System Requirements: Compatible with Mac and Windows and select USB printers

In the Box:
Pre-installed SmartApplets
USB cable
Three AA batteries
AlphaSmart Manager CD
NEO and SmartApplet Quick Guide
Documentation CD

HP Mini 1000 XP Edition – $349.99 at BestBuy.Com
Need more than just an eBook reader? Want to write, check your email, or surf the web? Get an HP Mini Netbook! If you’re one of those on-the-go writers who need access to email and the web while pounding out those words, then this is for you. Write anywhere – the doctor’s office, soccer practice, in traffic (just kidding about that last one). It features a full keyboard—no more of that thumb typing—and is small enough to fit in your purse. It measures 10 inches x 5 inches and weighs in at about 2.4 pounds. Way better the carting your bulky laptop around!

Specifications:

  • Intel® Atom™ Processor
  • 1.6GHz Processor Speed
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 16GB Hard Drive
  • Built-in Webcam
  • Built-in Ethernet LAN
  • Wireless-B+G Networking
  • Two USB 2.0 Ports
  • Windows XP Home SP3

In the Box:
3-cell lithium-polymer battery
AC power cable
Owner’s manual

Acer Aspire One – $239.99 at BestBuy.Com
Just as the competition is stiff with eBook readers, so is the competition with netbooks. Here’s another model, a tad lower than the HP Mini but still with all the bells and whistles. Ramp up your multi-tasking skills by surfing the web, checking email, reading eBooks, and writing.

Specifications:

  • Intel® Atom™ Processor
  • 1.6GHz Processor Speed
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 8GB Hard Drive
  • Built-in Webcam
  • Built-in Ethernet
  • Wireless-B+G Networking
  • Three USB 2.0 Ports
  • 3-cell lithium-ion Battery
  • Windows XP Home

In the Box:
3-cell lithium-ion battery
AC power cable and power adapter
Software: Acer eRecovery Management, Acer Launch Manager, Adobe Reader
Owner’s manual

And need I say back-up, back-up, back-up? All the gadgets in the world won’t protect your stuff unless you back it up once a month, once a week, or – heck – even daily if you write every day.

Get yourself a good set of thumb drives (aka USB device, jump drive, etc). You can buy up to 8 GB for $30 and that’s a 3-pack. It’s well worth the investment to have all your precious babies backed up. You can get them at WalMart, Target, Best Buy, Comp USA, Tiger Direct, Fry’s Electronics. Virtually anywhere that sells computer gadgets.

Another option is to buy an external hard drive to back up your files. Get a 250 GB one for $150 at BestBuy.Com or in the store.

Every computer comes with a CD Burner these days. Get a spool of CDs and, when all else fails, burn your documents to a CD for safekeeping.

What are some of YOUR favorite gadgets? Answer below to enter a drawing for a $10 gift card to either Best Buy or Amazon.com!

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.