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Cool contraptions

If the thought of summer has you sweating, chill. While some of these gadgets are powered to help you keep your cool, literally, others will eat into the long hours by keeping you sufficiently entertained.

Brinda Vasudevan | Print Edition: April 30, 2009

If the thought of summer has you sweating, chill. While some of these gadgets are powered to help you keep your cool, literally, others will eat into the long hours by keeping you sufficiently entertained.

USB Fan: If you work in a stuffy office, pining for fresh air is natural. If you can't have that, settle for contrived cool - with the USB fan. It's compact, light and promises to use little battery power. Price: Rs 700.
USB Fan
Portable DVD Player: Are you spending long summer evenings in office waiting for vital e-mail or presentations? Instead of twiddling your thumbs or losing your cool, get a portable DVD player and watch a movie while you wait. Price: Rs 21,000 (Panasonic DVD-LS86)
Portable DVD player
USB Fridge: It looks like a retro fridge and can keep a single can cool for hours. It even has a light inside that is switched on when the door is opened. There are several variants available at most electronics shops selling novelties, but this particular fridge can be bought online. Price: $20
USB fridge
Boom Box: Summer may not seem like party time, but with good music, you can have one anyway. With the Philips player, you can spend the rest of the season digitising your music collection. It comes with a USB drive and lets you record from a CD or cassette player, even FM station. Price: Rs 5,000
boom box
Mobile Charger: We might not have much electricity this summer, but we have entirely too much sun. So why not get a solarpowered phone? Samsung's Blue Earth is expected to be launched soon. Till then, make do with a solar charger for mobile phones. Price: Rs 3,500
mobile charger
Laptop Stand: The AC may be efficient, but your laptop or notebook computer still heat up. This can also be uncomfortable if you have to work on the move. The APC notebook stand allows cool air to circulate around the computer. Price Rs 1,500
laptop stand
External TV Tuner: Some companies insist on outbound training camps in summer. Don't let the great outdoors come between you and your favourite shows. Simply plug in an external TV tuner and receive free-to-air channels on your laptop. Price: Rs 3,000
external TV tuner
Mobile Gaming: What's the point of having a fancy game console at home when you spend most of your time travelling at work? You can, of course, play on your mobile phone, but for greater fun while gaming on the move, try the Playstation Portable. Price: Rs 9,500
mobile gaming
Game Consoles: If you're at work and your friends are holidaying, there's nothing more cathartic than cutting off heads. Get yourself the Nintendo DS, load it with games like Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and Metroid Prime Hunters, and get set to game the summer away. Price: Rs 7,000
game consoles

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