The most essential travel computer gadget

(MoneyWatch)  Desktop PCs are an endangered species. Most of us routinely work on laptops, both in the office and out on the road. But just because you work on a laptop doesn't mean you should feel shackled to the built-in trackpad.

Recently, my good buddy and former MoneyWatch writer Rick Broida railed against the trackpad in PC World. His words rang true for me, and I felt compelled to spread his message far and wide.

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  • Rick observed that wherever he goes -- coffee shops and elsewhere -- he sees many people making do with the trackpad built into their laptops. But trackpads are a device of last resort, sort of like the ejection seat in a jet plane or the "vegetable medley" on a restaurant menu. Trackpads are not ergonomic and -- thanks to the ease with which you can brush the surface and cause unintended edits to a document -- highly accident prone.

    It doesn't have to be that way. Do yourself a favor and pick up a small and inexpensive travel mouse that you can use wherever you taker your laptop. Rick recommends the Logitech M125, a nice little mouse that can be had for as little as $10.

    Personally, I like the Microsoft Arc Touch mouse, which I've lauded in the past. It transforms from perfectly flat to a curved, ergonomic device with a snap.

    No matter what kind of mouse you choose, though, choose something. You'll thank me (and Rick).

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