Among the bombast, the tat and the endless supply of USB memory sticks (why always with the USB memory sticks?) it is possible at CeBIT to find useful new products.

This one wins a special prize because it is sold by a British firm. sells laptop locks that are, they claim, more adaptable than the more famous Kensington locks who dominate that particular niche. But it also markets a device called the Qcharger.

Configured to work with your laptop's particular battery, the Qcharger plugs in to the mains and then charges up to eight laptop batteries, independent of your PC. It's got handy little LCDs that tell you how well charged each cell is, and operation is simplicity in itself.

Now, I realise this isn't flashy or particularly cool (I don't listen to your new-fangled rap music, either), but as someone who, on occasion, travels with a laptop, this kind of gadget is a lifesaver. And not just a battery-life saver. Travelling with a couple of batteries means that often you need to charge two batteries simultaneously. Et voila (as no-one here at CeBIT would say).

Like powered USB ports or well-designed laptop bags, it makes life easier. And that, I like.