Sometimes it's the smaller tech accessories that make the biggest difference. Going through the pile on the office desk turned up something interesting options from NewerTech, Felix, Screensters, Juno Power and BodyGuardz.
The NewerTech Snuglet corrects the design error that Apple made with the MagSafe 2 power cord connection on the current generation of Macbook Pros and Macbook Airs. The first generation disconnected when someone tripped over your power cord and kept your laptop from getting pulled off a table. The second generation MagSafe connector seems to fall over if you look at it funny.
Snuglet is just a thin piece of metal that slides into the receptacle on your computer and gives the kind of snug fit users remember from the first generation. You get two of them for $19 and it's a no-brainer purchase if you've been frustrated by your Apple power cord. One small caveat: if you're the kind of person who's bent your computer's case (even slightly), the Snuglet probably won't stay in place. But it's awesome for anyone who takes better care of their gear than I do.
Of course, the kind of person who bends his computer frame is really hell on USB cables. The Juno Power KAEBO Lightning Cable is sold out on the manufacturer's website but it's still available for $24.99 at Amazon. This braided cable is way more durable than the official Apple version for only about $5 more. If you destroy cables on a regular basis, it's a small premium to pay for something that's designed to take a lot more punishment.
The Felix MonkeyOh is a $14.99 device that slides over the official Apple iPhone charger and then allows you to wrap your cord around the device before placing the phone into the device and plugging in from below. The whole setup plugs into an outlet and gets your phone off the counter, something that's proved especially useful in the kitchen once I got the hang of balancing the phone as I plugged it in.
It does look kind of silly with the monkey face and hands to hold your device. You can get the MonkeyOh in white or black. Both colors come with a red face option but you can minimize the effect if you order the white one with a white face (or the black one with a black face).
Felix also makes the TwoHands tablet support, which also sells for $14.99. It works with practically any modern table (not just an iPad) and holds your device in either portrait or landscape position.
The big advantage here is that it's a clamp that doesn't take up much space in a bag. On that front, it's a huge upgrade over the iPad stand I've been using on my desk. The downside is those hands, which are a little distracting when you're watching ESPN on your device. The TwoHands comes in green, blue, red, pink, white and black. I'd definitely go with white or black, depending on what color your tablet bezel is.
Our third product from Felix is the StretchWrite, a band designed for people who want to use a stylus with their touchscreen phone or tablet. You stretch it over a pen or pencil of your choosing and you've got a stylus handy without having to carry another thing in your pocket or bag. They come in a two-pack for $9.99.
I don't understand why anyone wants to use a stylus on a touchscreen device, but I shared the StretchWrite with someone who does and they thought it was great.
ToddyGear Screensters are another accessory that looks pretty goofy but they really work. The dolls have a plush side to clean your screen and a smooth side to polish and sell for $9.99. The company has a full line of more adult cleaning cloths but the stuffed doll is so easy to grip that you wish they'd design a version that mimicked a football or baseball instead.
I've put off writing about this thing for a while because it looks so weird. But it's really useful.
Last up in our roundup is the BodyGuardz ScreenGuardz Pure, a glass screen cover that's designed to keep your phone's screen safe when you drop it. It's available for a wide variety of iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phone and other assorted modern Androids for $39.95-$44.95. There are also iPad versions for $59.95.
If you follow the instructions, the cover installs and adheres really easily and the finished product promises to protect your screen from all kinds of damage.
If you break your ScreenGuardz Pure, the company has a replacement program where you can get a new one for $12.95 and you can replace broken ones as many times as you need to as long as your send the broken ones back as proof.
The screens add some weight and they're pretty thick. If you're using the iPhone 5s/6/6 Plus Touch ID system, it feels like you're sticking your finger down a shallow hole instead of touching the target. However, that's just made Touch ID work better for me so far. I get a lot fewer "not recognized" messages from my phone. The Screenguardz Pure offers an Anti-Glare option on some models. You should go for that version if it's available for your device.