Ultra-Mobile PCs
Editor's Favorites

This is one of the few areas on this website where we'll be posting our own opinions regarding accessories for the Tablet PC. 

This is a matter of personal opinion as to how products work with the Tablet PCs we've had occasion to test.  Although the results should be similar with any Tablet PC, a specific model or a user's preference may cause opinions to vary.

As more and more accessories are released for Tablet PCs, we hope to be able to report on new products as we have access to them.

If there's anything specific that we haven't covered that you'd like to see, please let us know.

Click on the category name here to go directly to that section:

Those items that have earned "Editor's Favorite" status have been selected for their overall quality and the enhancements they bring to using a Tablet PC.

Due to frequent changes in content, this page is always under construction


This page will be updated as products are released and reviewed.

We'd love to hear your opinions of products you've tried.  Please email us with the results you've had.

For more information on any of the following products, click the company name to go to the corresponding website.

Carrying Cases

Almost all Tablet PC manufacturers offer carrying cases for their specific products.  I highly recommend using a portfolio-type case that includes a wrist strap and shoulder strap if you're  going to be writing often on your Tablet PC while standing.  Most of these cases are under $100. 

I have a carrying case for my Acer (sold by Acer) that's made using my Tablet PC even more of a comfortable alternative to a laptop or PDA.  When not in use, it's still in easy reach.  There's no need to open or close the case to write on the screen and the wrist strap makes holding the Tablet PC even easier.

Once you use one, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.  Check your Tablet PC manufacturer's website for information on these type of cases.

For transporting, there are many cases available for almost every taste and budget, both from the Tablet PC manufacturers and third parties such as the following:

Road-Wired - (Editor's Favorite)  The Roadster case is one of the best quality cases I've yet had the pleasure to use - from the adjustable hide-away handle to the sturdy wheels. There's a handy configurable section with velcro inserts that makes it easy to organize camera equipment or the wires and add-ons that we always seem to need to carry with us.  The unique RoadWired Transit System (RTS) insert for your Tablet PC or notebook gives instant vertical or horizontal access from within the case.  The RTS can be removed so you don't have to carry an extra case when you don't want to take the rolling case.

This became an Editor's Favorite as soon as I used it on a business trip.  If you don't need to take your computer or camera with you on a trip, then it becomes a great suitcase just by removing the additional sections. Included is a very comfortable shoulder strap that makes it easy to carry even when there are a couple of computers inside.  Check the review here.

Road-Wired recently announced a few other options for bags.  As with the Roadster, the quality is great and the functionality is even better.  Take a look at their Web site for lots of choices. 

Left - the Skooba sleeve, perfect protection for your Tablet.  Right - the protective interior of the Skooba line and the Skooba Satchel.

Norazza - (Editor's Favorite) We had the privilege of checking out the line of Ape cases offered by Norazza at CES, 2004.  These cases are quality through and through. The bright yellow interior is not only stylish, but it lets you see what you're looking for much more easily.  There's a case to fit almost every need, from batteries to cameras to notebooks.

Targus - I've owned a Targus case for my laptop for the past several years.  Quality through and through.  Targus has cases for many different models of Tablet PCs. Check their website to see if there's one for you.

Tutto - I bought a Tutto Office on Wheels at Comdex, 2002 to transport my Tablet PC and everything else I might need for a quick trip.  The additional padded shoulder bag was a good option for use once I get where I'm going.  The Office on Wheels made moving through the airport easy. The four wheels really do make a difference and no worry about the bag falling over.  It's very easy to stack additional things on top of it. Although I bought the large size, it fits under the seat even on a smaller plane, yet will fit in the overhead if you prefer keeping the leg room for your legs.  I've used this bag for several trips now and it's still like new.


With the advent of smaller and smaller cameras, it's simple to find one that's small and convenient enough to carry with your Tablet PC.  These can make chatting and staying in touch with your family or office when away from your desk much easier and more personal.

Logitech - Logitech has many products that are great go-togethers with Tablet PCs, but one thing that really caught my eye was the small video camera that's perfect for a Tablet PC, the Logitech QuickCam for Notebooks Pro.  Listed at about $100 it's the right size for portability and comes with a carrying case that houses the camera and the USB cable neatly.  The camera is bundled with additional software such as  MGI® VideoWave® PC Video Editing software and MGI® PhotoSuite® PC Image Editing software as well as Logitech® IM Video Companion™ for Messenger and AIM.

The Logitech® IM Video Companion™ works with Logitech Web cameras and your existing AOL Instant MessengerSM (AIM) or MSN® Messenger friends lists. With just a few clicks, you can start sharing live video right away. Best of all, your friends don't need to manually install special software to view the live video!  It's available as a free download.


One thing often asked about computers and peripherals is how to best clean different components.  Anyone who has a Tablet PC, notebook, LCD monitor or any other digital equipment knows that these items often require special products to take care of them properly. 

Norazza has a complete line of items available for just this purpose, including air dusters, screen cleaners and anti-static wipes.

Another innovative product from Norazza is its full line of digital card slot cleaners.  There are kits for cleaning xD, SD, SM, CF and Memory Sticks.  These cleaning cards fit in the memory slot, just like any regular digital media card.  One of these is certain to help keep your card slots reading things correctly.


Nothing is more convenient than being able to transfer information from the desktop to the Tablet PC and back again quickly and with minimal disruption.  USB drives are one of the simplest ways to achieve this. 

Although you have many choices when it comes to manufacturers, the following are some that I've been able to use and recommend.  Sizes range from 16Mb to 1G with larger sizes making their appearance soon.

In addition to the keychain drives listed, there are a few other options as well.  For larger storage, there are portable USB drives you can keep on your desktop and plug in quickly.

One of the most exciting options I've seen so far is a drive produced by SimpleTech.  This is a hard drive that's the size of a credit card (no kidding).  It fits completely within the pc card slot of the Tablet PCs (or laptops) and can add an additional 5 - 10 Gb of storage at a reasonable cost.  This keeps the Tablet PC as portable as it's meant to be with no card sticking out to get knocked loose or lost.  I've used this and the Bonzai mini-drive for over a year now and I highly recommend them both. 

Archos offers the world's smallest 20GB external portable hard drive, the ARCDisk. With its ultra-fast USB 2.0 interface and extremely small size (76 mm x 77 mm x 8.8 mm), the ARCDisk is the ultimate portable hard drive.

Think smaller than the footprint of a 1.44 MB floppy disk. Weighing only 75 grams, (2.7 ounces) it is equipped with the latest generation 1.8 inch hard drive. Usable without an external power supply (powered directly from the USB 2.0 port), it is ideal for traveling or carrying to and from work. This highly portable archive center can hold ALL your data plus some. The ideal solution for Tablet PCs. 

Archos also offers other external drives as well as an extensive product list.  Check the website here

SimpleTech - SimpleDrive - The SimpleDrive family of portable, external storage solutions provides easy, cost-effective options for high-capacity, high speed portable storage and backup for any computer with a USB or FireWire port.

5 GB PC Card Hard Drive - (Editor's Favorite) The ideal solution for mobile data storage and backup.  Offered in a standard PCMCIA card format that fits neatly into any Type II card slot, the 5GB PC Card Hard Drive eliminates the need for an external hard drive, removable cartridge media, or CD-RW for backup. 

I'm using the 5G drive now and have found it's perfect for backing up the main drive just in the rare event that the main hard drive might die.  It's also a very nice way to keep some MP3s handy without cluttering up the main drive.  This works just as well with a notebook computer as with a Tablet PC.  This is certainly something that I consider a "must have" for use with my Tablets.


There are many manufacturer of USB portable drives.  Whether called pen drives, keychain drives, flash drives or jump drives, the functionality these add to portable computing is almost unlimited.

Lexar Media has a variety of drives to choose from, including JumpDrive Traveler, JumpGear MP3, JumpDrive Sport, JumpDrive Elite, JumpDrive Music, Portable Storage and MP3 Player, JumpDrive Secure, Portable USB Storage, JumpDrive Trio, Portable USB Storage, JumpDrive 2.0 Pro, Portable USB Storage and JumpDrive Portable USB Storage.  Each has a unique function, from simple file and MP3 storage to those drives that include programs to make your email and internet use as portable as your Tablet PC.

SimpleTech Bonzai USB Drive - Other USB drives use embedded storage. If you want more capacity you need to purchase another storage device. But not with Bonzai. You simply open the case and plug in another flash memory card. Bonzai uses a patent-pending design for an infinitely expandable storage solution.

This is the perfect solution to move data from desktop to laptop or Tablet PC. 

Swissbit offers different USB memory. USB Memory Storage SWISSMEMORY TM (Editor's Favorite) is a unique combination of Swiss Army knife functionality and the added bonus of USB memory storage, currently available up to 512Mb.  This quickly became an Editor's Favorite!  With the removable memory, it's easy to take it all with you, just pack the knife portion in your suitcase and keep your data with you!

SWISSMEMORY TM USB TwistPro is available in 2 sizes, 2GB and 4GB. Keep a lot of data with you in a very small device.



There were several models that caught our attention, but there were two that really stood out. 

FoneGear - (Editor's Favorite) The first was FoneGear's Cord Free Headset.  This headset works on magnetic principal and doesn't interfere with infra-red, 802.11 or Bluetooth.  This makes it a great choice for those who like using speech recognition with our tablets without having to worry about a cord.  It's lightweight and fully adjustable.  Within a few minutes, we forgot we were wearing it.  Using this headset with my Tablet PC for speech recognition was flawless.  Not only could I hear what was going around me, but more importantly, the microphone didn't pick it up the noise.  In addition, it also works with most cell phones, so it's truly a dual-purpose headset. 

Plantronics - (Editor's Favorite) The second headset, although wired, is a full stereo unit from Plantronics - the DSP-400 digitally-enhanced foldable stereo headset with full-range stereo sound. The foldable design allows for easy storage and transport. Listen to your CDs, DVDs, or MP3s. The noise-canceling microphone enhances speech accuracy. Packaged with Plantronics' PerSono Audio Control Center Software. 

This is a rare occasion where two items each earn the "Favorite" Award.  Although each have the same function, their uses are different enough that I've selected both. 

Input Devices

This is another area that has a lot of excellent choices.  We'll be checking out more products in the near future and will expand on them at that time.

Almost anything that works well with a laptop (mini-mouse, trackball, wireless keyboard, etc) works equally well with a Tablet PC.  Now that manufacturers are making items more portable than ever, the range of products continues to increase all the time.


There are lots of portable keyboards available.  These are a couple that have the portability and functionality to work well with Tablet PCs.

Fellowes USB Folding Keyboard - Stay mobile and productive with the USB Stowaway Keyboard! This 100% full-sized keyboard offers standard plug & play USB connection for Tablet PCs as well as notebook computers. When not in use, this amazing keyboard folds up for quick storage. What will they think of next?

Gyrations - (Editor's Favorite) Compact Wireless Keyboard  Available with the Ultra GT Cordless Mouse (see under Mice)

15 Internet and multimedia hotkeys require no special drivers
88-key QWERTY layout in a compact, lightweight design
Low profile, scissors style keys for a quality feel and whisper-quiet keying

This is a great keyboard for users who want the feel of a full-sized keyboard in a compact package.  Paired with the Gyrations Ultra GT Cordless Mouse, it's a hard-to-beat combination!

Think Outside  - StowawayFolding Bluetooth Keyboard - Perfect for Tablet PCs, PDAs and Smart phones.  This is the first commercially product of its kind.  Small size and wide compatibility puts this at the top of bluetooth keyboards.

KVM Switches, etc.

IOGear offers several products that enhances portable computing.  This is one that caught my eye.

IOGear MiniView Micro - This 2 Port Compact KVM Switch is a simple solution for those with more PCs than hands. Use one keyboard, one monitor and one mouse to control two PC or Macintosh systems.* This self-powered KVM switch features mouse & keyboard emulation to ensure smooth operation, as well as support for Plug-n-Play monitors and most wheel mice. Our patented VSE Video Signal Enhancement® technology provides rich, 32-bit color at resolutions up to 1920 x 1440. With KVM cables (6' long) molded into the unit, all you need to do is to plug it into your computers, and you’ve got a complete KVM solution from IOGEAR.

* Macintosh support requires IOGEAR’s Mac Adapter


Fellowes - There's a HUGE selection of mice here, certainly one to fit your needs.  The mini-mice are great for Tablet PC users who may need to use a mouse on occasion. The Travel Companion mouse for frequent flyers, featuring cordless technology that recharges on the go.  Optimal digital image and information transfer on the go or at your desk. Compact Flash and Secure Digital card reader inside a 3-button mouse allows for quick data transfer of pictures and information.  The Editor's Favorite in this group is one with a USB slot in the rear - perfect for quickly using the USB flash drives many of us carry.  It's the ultimate travel hub which connect other peripherals while mousing on the road.  If you're a trackball user as I am, the Micro Trac, with its off the desk and into your hand design, provides you with all the features of a mouse, even if you aren't at a desk.  There are many more designs available.  Check them out!

Gyration - On the Desk, In the Air . . . Anywhere!  Sit back and relax! Gyration’s patented motion-sensing technology allows you to mouse around using natural hand movements. Alternate between desktop and in-air use to reduce fatigue and discomfort associated with repetitive motion. It’s great for gaming, surfing and more within a 30' radius!  Add one of Gyration's keyboards for full mobility.  This is also available in a Pro model with a range of 100'. 

Pens, etc.

Cross - 2004 brought a couple of new pens that I was excited to see, the A.T. Cross Executive pens.(Editor's Favorite) These two new pens have a sleek, modern metallic look. One model has a removable cap and clip and the other uses only a clip to prevent loss. The pens have a single side switch, which can be set as a right mouse button. They are capable of 256 levels of pressure so line and signature width, as well as darkness, can vary according to hand pressure. Both have a pocket clip, and both have an electronic eraser, which is a unique feature of Wacom Penabled pens.

Everyone who's tried my pen wants one of his own.After using this for just a few days, it became one of the accessories I won't be without.

Wacom - Wacom offers several pen options for the Tablet PC, including some that are exact replacements. Tablet PC's are developed with a primary focus on highly portable solutions and most of them employ Wacom's PenabledTM sensor technology.  Check Wacom's website for details on all the Penabled pens offered for Tablet PCs.

Wacom also offers a full line of accessories and pens for most Tablet PCs.


Planon - (Editor's Favorite) The DocuPen, a handheld portable scanning solution is one of the most innovative items I've seen.  This little scanner does so much for its size that it has to be tried to be believed.  No doubt this is going to be the answer to many who need to scan when they're away from the office.  Perfect for those who do research, it will scan a full page in 4 seconds and store up to 100 pages.  It's not much larger than two pens end to end and weighs just 2 ounces.

From the website - The DocuPen is the ideal handheld scanner that allows users to conduct their scanning needs. This handheld scanner comes bundled with free ScanSoft PaperPort software. The DocuPen has a patented ultra light weight technology that operates on batteries for full portability purposes. This handheld scanner certainly satisfies a huge need in the market where people need to capture various documents and information in the office, out of the office and at home.

QuickLink Pen Elite - Scan Text and use it anytime anywhere.

The QuickLink-Pen® Elite is the latest version of the very popular and successful QuickLink-Pen, providing users with new and improved electronic note-taking capabilities:

  • Reads notes and definitions aloud.
  • Beams to Smartphones, as well as to PDAs and PCs.
  • Includes English dictionary definitions.
  • USB connection to PC.

Used just like a yellow highlighter,the QuickLink-Pen Elite allows the user to collect, electronically, notes from any printed text – anytime, anywhere!  Scan and Store up to 1,000 pages of text in English (additional scanning languages - German, Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French are supplied on CD ROM for optional installation).

Screen Protectors

Although only a few models of Tablets suggest using screen protectors, many users like the added protection and glare reduction they offer.  Below are a couple that you might like to try.

Pocket PC Techs - If your Tablet PC always comes along for the ride, make its protection a priority. Micro-thin overlays protect your screen from scratches while reducing glare and improving handwriting recognition. The anti-glare technology removes 99% of UV while it improves the contrast, allow you to view in brighter areas. These screen protectors are custom-made for several models of Tablet PCs, so just click the manufacturer, then choose your model. Although a bit pricey, this is the best screen protector I've found.

Strong Engineering - Antiglare Thin(0.005") Polyester Hard Coated to prevent scratches

Adhesive Frame: 1.) Easy Application 2.) No Bubbles

Great for outdoor, mobile, and industrial applications where the screen gets worn from repetitive use. Antiglare coating is made specifically for sunlight applications. Try one today.

Security Devices - (Editor's Favorites)

Security is a very important consideration today, both with hardware and data.  Since security is an issue often overlooked, yet critical, each has received the Editor's Choice award.

Several companies are addressing the need for increased security.  I've included a few here.

Fellowes - Mobile Proximity Alarm - Perfect for safeguarding your mobile devices from theft or forgetfulness. Alarm sounds at a 15 ft. distance between you and your electronics -- alerting you if anything is being stolen or left behind. Slim and lightweight to keep you mobile!!


Norazza - One item for security not to be overlooked is the Data Destroyer for CDs and DVDs.  Never sure what to do with all those backup CDs with critical information on them?  This is an excellent solution.  No more shattering the CDs.   The Data Destroyer is the Safest, Easiest and Quickest way to destroy data on old DVDs and CDs.  It destroys data on both sides of the disk, leaving your data completely unreadable.  Data Destroyer can destroy 15 disks per minute.  No company should be without this.

USB Security Devices

DiskOnKey Xkey –  Carry your Exchange email with you no matter which computer you’re using. Xkey delivers everything that your MS Exchange has - emails, contacts, schedules - completely secure and accessible from any PC.  Perfect for those who don't have notebook to carry back and forth to the office.  Work at home from any computer. No more need to synch from computer to computer.  Xkey incorporates a powerful microprocessor, a database, an application server, an Exchange client, a crypto engine, plenty of flash storage (256 MB) and an embedded SSL VPN for maximal security. All this functionality is packed into an easy-to-use, key-size device. Users simply plug Xkey into their PCs, type in their passwords, and are ready to work.

LockDown Key - Create a key to "lock" and "unlock" your PC. With LockDown Key from Imaginelan, you can secure your system and your data from unauthorized access for a fraction of the cost of other more costly security devices. With over 60% of company data residing on distributed systems1-notebooks and desktops, instead of servers-secure system protection is a necessity. LockDown Key offers superior protection of your sensitive data/records, an ideal solution if you are a mobile laptop user, if your PC is physically located in an area that makes it susceptible to security breaches … or even if you just want to keep your data and information away from the eyes of co-workers, children and others!

Parental Control Key - The ControlKey system simply plugs into the computer's USB port to provide advanced security protection. It works in conjunction with Windows software to provide access only to the user identified with the ControlKey and with the right password. As the key holder, you can program the system to provide as much, or as little, access to individual users as you see fit. When you remove the ControlKey token from the USB port, ControlKey locks down Internet access so that you can easily control when and how long your children are able to use the Internet. When the ControlKey token is plugged into the USB port, you can use all of the computer and the Internet like normal. However, once the ControlKey token is removed, the computer operates in restricted mode (based on guidelines you can customize) and doesn't allow Internet access. That way, you know that if you have the ControlKey with you, your children are not online without your permission.

SecuriKey - The SecuriKey® Authentication System is an easy to use, out of the box computer access protection solution developed to bring your security strategy from the "Post-It Note Age" into the Digital Age.  Whether for home or a business the SecuriKey System can control access, and protect your critical data.


Miscellaneous Products

The Flexity PowerSquid Surge 3000 - (Editor's Favorite)

The Power Squid Surge 3000 won the prestigious 2006 Best of Innovations at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas.  It's been featured in Popular Mechanics and other publications.  This is one product that I'm recommending strongly! 

Along with the flexible power connecotrs, the PowerSquid Surge 3000 has something many much more expensive products don't offer - a power filtering technology. 

See our review on the PowerSquid Surge 3000 here.


Ambir offers Xbrand 360 Height Adjustable Laptop Cradle with USB 2.0 Hub.  This cradle lets you adjust your Tablet PC so that you have a better viewing angle.  It's ergonomically designed to relieve fatigue, pain and productivity loss for notebook users who use their computer more than just a couple of hours a week.  Using the Xbrand 360 Laptop Cradle creates a desktop-like work area in a small amount of space.

Also available without the USB 2.0 hub, I've found this to be an excellent option for both Tablet PCs that come without a dock, either slate or convertible.  It allows for much better heat dissipation, making the Tablet use more comfortable when held in my lap.


Boostaroo Portable Amplifier and Splitter - The Boostaroo Revolution is a unique portable pocket amplifier for personal audio devices and laptops. It will quadruple the volume of any player to headphones or speakers up to 300 Ohms and provide 3-D surround-sound imaging.

See my review on the Boostaroo Portable Amplifier and Splitter.


Laptop Legs - (Editor's Favorite)

This is one of those products that makes you wonder how you ever got along without it! 

Made of polycarbonate plastic legs are extremely lightweight, weighing only one-quarter of an ounce.  You won't even know they're there until you start using them.  The legs operate on a simple theory - raise the computer up to allow more cool air to circulate, thus cutting down on the heat you feel as well as the heat damage to your computer.

These legs are inexpensive to buy and could save you many times the cost in repairs to your computer due to heat buildup.  See my review here.

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Last Updated: December 23, 2008

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