Going to ShowStoppers at CES is a bit like attending a carnival. The press event has gadget makers hawking their wares alongside display after display of brightly colored signage and geeky gear. It’s always tough to pick out the useful demos from the ones that only attract your eye because they’re shiny (more on that in a different post), but I did find two gadget accessories that are now on my must-have list.
First up is the new Anker Astro external battery. I got an earlier version of the product for Christmas 2012, and it sustained me through my CES travels of last year. Since then, however, Anker has seriously stepped up its game on the style front. While I adore my original Anker for its functionality, the new models are smooth, soft, and much smaller in the hand. And even the smallest model still holds enough charging capacity to power up an iPhone three times over. I’m definitely upgrading soon.
The second product I want isn’t out yet, but when it arrives it should be an easy sell for anyone who travels with a laptop. The company, FINsix, is a technology spin-off from MIT, and it offers a super-small laptop adapter for wall and USB charging. The power brick I carry around today is enough to make me cry whenever I’ve been lugging my laptop too long. The new charging adapter from FinSIX is about the size of a cigarette lighter. A spokesperson said the company will bring the product to market with tips for different laptops, but that it’s also working directly with laptop manufacturers to create device-specific models. I can’t wait.