the dilemma: Your staff need to work on the move, at all times of the day and
night. Yet have you tried using a laptop PC on a plane or train at night, with
just the illumination from those less-than-enlightening overhead lamps? Yes,
you get some additional help from the laptop screen itself, but not much – and
typing in the dark is not conducive to productivity.
Matsushita Electric Works UK, and its incredible PC Light. Essentially, it’s a
combination of stylised bulldog clip and energy efficient, high-intensity white
LED "bulbs" attached to half a metre of USB cable. Clip the light to
the top edge of your notebook PC, plug the cable into a USB port and, suddenly,
enlightenment is upon you – or rather, your keyboard. The light itself swivels
through 360 degrees, courtesy of a miniature ball and socket joint, so you can
illuminate keyboard, document or both.
you have not seen these white LEDs in action before – they are used in some of
the new "gadget" credit card-flat torches, for example – it can be
quite an eye-opener, literally. The three small dots light up an A4-sized
keyboard without any problem, and draw just 0.3W of power, which means your
average notebook PC will see its battery life shorten by just four minutes,
assuming you left both PC and light on until the battery died. The power is
drawn from the USB port itself, no other connections or batteries are required.
Because the unit is so small, you can leave it clipped in place and it will
turn on and off automatically with the computer itself – no need to remember to
turn it off, or to fumble around trying to connect it in the dark. The nature
of the white light is such that it is totally non-intrusive. Even in the pitch
black of an aircraft cabin in the dead of night, I have managed to work quietly
and efficiently, without disturbing the gentleman trying to sleep beside me.
it’s not just a trains and planes deal – what about those dingy training rooms,
or when you need the lights down to give that sales presentation? The
possibilities are endless, and well within the reach of most budgets.
PC Light Fact File
Small, powerful, draws hardly any power
Requires USB port
From £14.99 inc VAT (US$21.00)