Tech Tools: Working Vacay

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Mophie Powerstation Pro (

Most of us have learned the hard way that it helps to have a backup battery supply for mobile devices when on the road. If you’re the outdoorsy type, that road could be seriously inhospitable, and you’ll need a ruggedized case for your device. Only the Powerstation Pro ($99.95) ensures that your backup power is protected, too. Spray it with water. Cover it in dust. Hurl insults at it. The tough shell of the Powerstation Pro will provide hours upon hours of extra juice in the harshest of conditions.


WaterField Staad Laptop BackPack (

Laptop bags, typically, look like portable, wearable office furniture—functional and rarely stylish. But the casual good looks of the WaterField Staad Laptop BackPack ($319 and up) conceal its true purpose of carrying a valuable computer. Meanwhile, it evenly distributes the weight of your technological burden across both shoulders instead of creating a huge knot in one of them like side-slung models. On the inside, compartments protect your laptop and accessories and keep them organized so you don’t have to dig around endlessly for that charger.


Pencil by FiftyThree (

For those in creative fields who may not want to lug around a huge sketchbook, the $59.95 Pencil looks exactly like an old-school art class tool, and it works like one, too—only on your tablet instead of a drawing pad. Using it with the excellent Paper app, you can sketch ideas on your iPad as if it were a drawing surface—the app can tell the difference between strokes of your hand on its surface and the Pencil drawing lines. Flip the Pencil over, and it erases, just as you’d expect. Use a sharpener on it and… actually, no… don’t do that.


LaCie Fuel (

It’s likely you can bring along anything you’ll need for work in this 1 TB portable hard drive—but it gets better. The Fuel ($179.99) also streams audio, photos and video to Apple TVs with no wire connection required. It can even stream different content to five devices simultaneously, so you can access your work documents while the kids watch Frozen for the 26th time. Even without the streaming, the massive capacity of the Fuel means that your vacation photos and videos can be backed up every day without any need to delete other important files.


NueVue Cases (

Working on a vacation is already a bit rough, but working on a vacation while sick? That’s worth avoiding. Believe it or not, your phone is only slightly better than a doorknob or an old dollar bill when it comes to housing and transferring disgusting germs. Think of NueVue cases for iPhones ($44.99) and iPads ($56.99) as hand sanitizer for your device, though they clean its surfaces with antimicrobial technology instead of smelly gel. A “BioCote” layer inside the case eliminates microbes every time your device is put away and promises to kill 99.9 percent of them over a two-hour stay.


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook (

Weighing in at just 2.83 pounds, the X1 Carbon is one of the thinnest laptops we’ve ever seen. You can pack this $1,249- and-up lightweight in your carry-on, still have room for other vacation essentials, and not regret lugging your bag around for hours. Internally it packs a huge 128 GB of storage, plus a powerful Intel processor and graphics card. And lest you think its slender frame makes it fragile, the X1 Carbon gets its name from its heavy-duty carbon-fiber construction.


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