Portable power strip with USB outlets, iPhone credit card case receive rave reviews

iPhone gadgets for mobile lawyers

By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.

Last week I spoke at the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference about how to use social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to improve your website’s visibility and search engine performance. The conference, which I’ve attended in previous years, has always drawn a big crowd, but this year’s conference was a record-setter, with 1,060 attendees.

After my presentation on Thursday I stayed for the remainder of the three-day event, attending seminars, tweeting nuggets of useful information in real time to lawyers and other legal industry professionals and learning about technology that lawyers are leveraging to make their practices more productive. I came away with a notebook full of tips to share.

One of the sessions I attended was the Smart Phone Shootout, which featured a debate by speakers Spencer Farris, Paul Henry and Andrew Lyskowski on the merits of Android, iPhone and BlackBerry. That session sparked a lively simultaneous discussion on Twitter about Android for lawyers. In addition to weighing the pros and cons of the different types of mobile phones, the speakers mentioned several gadgets for your gadgets – technology that makes the life of a lawyer on the go easier.

This week, Lawyer Tech Review highlights two of these useful gadgets: a portable power strip charger and iPhone credit card carrying case.

Portable Power Strip Charger with USB Outlets

For St. Louis lawyer Paul Henry, a portable charger with three AC outlets and two USB outlets is indispensable. It allows him to charge multiple devices at once, and in airports he can share the charging station with other gadget-loving travelers, who often must vie for a limited number of outlets.

In the United States, Amazon.com sells the Belkin Mini Surge Protector Dual USB Charger. The list price is $21.99, but it was selling for $10.88. (Clickable affiliate link) This charger features a plug that can rotate 360 degrees and has four locking positions. It provides complete surge protection to all of the outlets.

iPhone Credit Card Carrying Case

Spencer Farris, a St. Louis lawyer who has reviewed iPad apps previously for Lawyer Tech Review, uses an iPhone case that accommodates credit cards or a driver’s license, allowing him to leave his wallet at home.

There are several iPhone carrying cases on the market, made by various companies, for the iPhone 3, iPhone 3G and iPhone 4. One big seller on Amazon.com is the Case-Mate ID Credit Card Slim Case. The list price is $34.99, but was selling for $23.23. (Clickable affiliate link) The case holds two cards; some reviewers note that it’s a tight fit, and others say they wish there was room for additional cards.

A roomier option is the Speck SPK-A0332 CandyShell Card Phone Case for iPhone 4. The case, which has room for three cards, lists for $31.58. However, it was selling for $26.07 in the United States. (Clickable affiliate link)

Have you used a mini surge protector or smart phone credit card case? What did you think of its performance? Is there another product you would recommend?