The popularity of laptop computers has led to several types of laptop accessories. Some laptop gadgets are meant to protect the computer, such as laptop bags that protect the exterior and encrypted hard drives that keep the interior safe. Other types of laptop tools can extend the use of the computer, such as through extended life batteries and car chargers. Some tools focus more on the user's comfort than portability, which is why external monitors, keyboards and mice are often made just for the typical laptop. Gadgets geared toward comfort are particularly helpful for people who use a laptop in place of a desktop, because those users likely spend several hours on this type of computer.
Many laptop owners pay a lot of money for this small, portable type of computer, which is why protecting it is often among their top priorities. There are several kinds of laptop bags on the market, such as messenger bags, backpacks, briefcases and bags with wheels. Some types of luggage now even feature a separate pocket for a laptop, featuring durable material to protect the computer from damage during travel. Many users are more concerned about what is inside the notebook, prompting them to get a cable and a lock to prevent people from tampering with the data inside. Other laptop gadgets centered on security include an encrypted hard drive or thumb drive, both of which can restrict access to only the owner of the computer.
Laptop owners often take this type of computer with them everywhere they go, which means that a long battery life is important because an outlet is not always available. One of the most popular laptop gadgets is an extended-life battery, which allows laptops to work for several hours more than a standard battery permits. People who are going on long trips usually need to bring a charger to recharge their laptop after the extended battery runs out of power, but a traditional power cord might not be optimal if regular outlets will not be available. For this reason, one of the laptop gadgets on the market is a car adapter that allows laptop owners to charge their computer through their car's power outlet as they drive.
Some notebook users, however, treat their laptop like a desktop computer, so portability is not at the top of their list when shopping for laptop gadgets. They might, therefore, be interested in adding a mouse and ergonomic keyboard to the computer, which can provide a little more comfort for long-term use. Some users also prefer to attach a monitor to the notebook so they get more screen space, especially if they plan to watch movies from the computer. Of course, most notebooks have limited space for peripherals to plug in, which is why docking stations are often used. A docking station is a platform with plenty of space for peripherals to be plugged in, which means that the laptop itself only has to be connected to the station, allowing users to have a printer, mouse, monitor or other peripherals connected to the laptop at the same time.