Tag Archives: writer’s gear

Belkin Laptop Cooling Stand

burned-mattress-boringtrash1.jpgThis photo is **allegedly** the aftermath of a mattress having caught fire due to a very hot laptop. It’s been making the rounds in blogs and e-mail forwards, and while I find NOTHING more annoying than any email with the letter F and W placed side-by-side in the subject line, this did make me wonder if my laptop actually could get hot enough to ignite cloth.

If you’re on the slightly paranoid side when it comes to safety (like me), you’re probably giving the eye to gadgets like the Belkin laptop cooling stand pictured below. The center-mounted high-capacity cooling fan dissipates heat and if nothing else provides you with a much more comfortable experience during the hot months of summer. No more of that too-warm feeling when using the laptop as it was designed to be used (in your lap) on a park bench, in the airport or relaxing in your lawn chair with your favorite beverage and a full half inch of sunscreen. Best of all, there is no power cord or battery to buy as this cooling stand is USB-powered.

The price is certainly right–at $23.48, I can afford to indulge my safety paranoia just a little bit. Care to join me in cooler laptop Nirvana? Buy the Belkin laptop cooling stand at Amazon.com. And yes, every one of these which gets sold via clicking here is a bit of financial help for Freelance-Zone.com. Thanks much for your support!


Compucessory Ergonomic Keyboard

ergonomic-keyboard.jpgGood ergonomics are just as important to people like us–who use the keyboard practically every waking second–as getting freelance gigs and paying the bills. If you aren’t changing up your setup every so often you run a greater risk for carpal tunnel syndrome and a host of other maladies.

Don’t use the same keyboard height, design, or placement all the time. Change everything from time to time, and switch to a more finger-friendly design like these Compucessory ergonomic keyboards. Your wrists will thank you later.

Buy for $45.13

Asus Micro PC


The Asus Eee 2-gig seven-inch micro laptop is a fascinating tool for a frequent traveler. If you’re a travel writer on the go, this unique laptop might just be the tool for you. This laptop has no hard drive or CD drives. You can add an external CD/DVD drive.

The Asus uses solid-state technology instead of a traditional hard drive and stores programs on a two-gig flash drive. It turns on instantly when you press the button, and you can expand storage space with a 4-gig SD card. This model comes with the Linux operating system pre-installed but you can install WinXP if you aren’t Linux proficient.

So why would you want this laptop? For starters, the lack of a hard drive with moving parts makes this much more durable and rugged than traditional laptops. The size is great for your travel needs, especially if you are packed for a long journey. In spite of its tiny size, it features a full keyboard. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you surf from any wireless hotspot.  Then there’s the price…simply amazing for the writer on a budget. Yes, this isn’t as powerful as a MacBook Pro and it’s not recommended if you need to edit video or other high-end apps. But if you are a writer and need a light, tough tool to take anywhere in the world? This is a damn fine travel companion.

Buy the Asus Micro PC for $299.

Quantaray Pro Photo/Laptop Backpack


When you’re writing for a living, diversity is the name of the game. If you can add photography to the mix, you’re instantly more marketable in more ways than one. Since one of my main strengths is music and culture writing, I’d be a fool NOT to be a writer/photographer.

When I first started taking pictures for my pieces, I used any old bag for the gear, but after getting the Quantaray Pro as a gift, I am completely sold on a dedicated bag for all my gear. I carry my Zoom H4 recorder, mics, camera and lenses, plus my laptop in the Quantaray Pro and have used the same one for years without so much as a broken zipper. We do a lot of different types of gear reviews at Freelance-Zone, but this one ain’t based on specs alone–I am a huge fan of this backpack and will definitely buy another one just like it when I finally kill it years from now after one location shoot too many.

Buy the Quantaray Pro camera/laptop backpack for $79.00