NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Having spent far too much time overloading my lumbar lugging this or that bit of electronics around the globe, I've learned that tools that do double duty are the key to saving time and money as you travel. Think of it as an electronic riff on the belt that's brown on one side and black on the other. Gymwear that doubles as a swimsuit. You get the idea.
But it is not like electronics makers make doing more with less easy. Apple
Innergie mCube Slim 95 Universal Adaptor ($100)
Having had to swallow the outrage of paying Apple thirty bucks for a mere iPad replacement charger, the notion of getting more for my recharging dollar is not an abstraction. And among the deluge of aftermarket chargers, adapters and thingies that inject electrons into portable business devices, Innergie has the juice right now. This slick looking, approximately 4-by-2-inch adapter comes with nine different power tips, a ubiquitous USB port and enough power to drive your phone, laptop and iPad. With a bit of luck, it could be the only charger you'll need. If you're like me and detest charger cable fettuccine, the mCube is for you.
You know those really nifty, custom in-ear headphones you see worn by the singers on American Idol or the Super Bowl halftime show? Westone is one of the makers of those kinds of custom ear buds, and chances are that whoever you saw wearing them spent close to $1,000 on them. Well, no longer. The leaders in in-ear monitors now ship a universal-fit eartip that can be made from a do-it-yourself, in-ear impression kit. The process is not as complex -- or biologically dubious -- as it sounds, and this method runs about a fraction of the cost of full-on custom in-ear monitors.