Only the lightest of the light laptop computers tip the scales at under 3.5 pounds--most are significantly heavier. So folks may welcome a featherweight option for storing and running PowerPoint or other digital computer presentations. Enter AVerEPack, AVerMedia Technology's compact 6-inch by 4.33-inch unit, which, together with its remote control, weighs in at just three-quarters of a pound.

No, you can't check your e-mail, write a letter, or browse the Web, but if you can live without your laptop, this is a sleek little sidekick for your presentations. Using a CompactFlash card (not included), users transfer PowerPoint files or other images into the AVerEPack. (A 32 MB card can hold up to 300 slides.) The AVerEPack connects to any display device, including a TV monitor, VGA monitor, or LCD projector.

One of the beauties of PowerPoint is the ability to change a presentation on the fly, and that isn't lost with the AVerEPack: Users can sequence their slides, with cut, copy, paste, and delete functions. The unit has a 16-slide preview capability, four zoom functions, and three pointing tools to draw attention to on-screen material. Presenters run the show using either the buttons on top of the unit or a wireless remote.

The AVerEPack works with PowerPoint 2000 and is compatible with Windows 95 and 98. It retails for $299. Visit www.aver.com or call (800) 863-2332.

Power Grip Throw this gadget in your bag and you'll never be stuck with a dead cell phone battery again. The Aladdinpower generator can juice up phones, radios, tape players, and other devices powered with rechargeable batteries when you squeeze the hand piece together.

It takes an average woman several minutes to pump out 20 minutes of talk time, but when you consider the alternative--no phone!--it's well work the little workout. The unit is just over 5 inches long and weighs less than a quarter of a pound. It comes with an attachment that turns the pump into an emergency flashlight, as well as an auto-style cigarette lighter recharger for cell phones.

The unit is distributed by Aladdinpower, Tampa, Fla., and can be bought online at www.aladdinpower.com for $59.95. A leather storage case costs another $9.95.

StratoSphere: Have a Ball! Everything's big in Texas, right? So it should be no surprise that StratoSphere--a six-story-high translucent/transparent fabric projection balloon (just the thing for getting attention in the parking lot at Comdex)--comes out of suburban Houston. Absolute Hollywood, of Cypress, Texas, will bring one of these babies to your meeting or event and project video, gobo images, or pretty much whatever you want on the outside or the inside. "We make them with reflective surfaces, so you can project on the outside, or with a combination of translucent and transparent surfaces, so you can project from the inside to the outside and get this kind of soap-bubble effect," says James Lanier ("Call me director, I guess. We don't go for titles here.")

If you want more functionality than "hey-look-at-this," you can also order a StratoSphere with a revolving door in the base, so it can be used as a VIP lounge. In fact, says Lanier, you can order just about any kind of custom variation you'd like. In addition to the 200-foot-tall ones, Absolute Hollywood will make them as small as 30 feet in diameter; they'll make them without bases so they'll fit inside an exhibit hall; they'll supply climate control for outdoor use in cold climates (Dallas-based Yahoo! used one of these in late November in Montreal); and they'll even provide a custom outside cover.

Lanier recently created one for a corporate event that looked like a giant golf ball--attendees went inside to see a show projected on the inside walls. The cover kept out light, so the projection could be seen during daylight. The StratoSphere not only works in the cold, but in wind. It's been tested with gusts of up to 65 miles per hour.

There are many more tricks in the Absolute Hollywood bag, according to Lanier, who is working on a set of smaller StratoSpheres for 180-degree projection of 3D images. To have a 200-foot StratoSphere brought to your event and set up for your needs costs about $20,000 in North America, says Lanier. To learn more, call him at (281) 379-1212 or visit www.absolute-hollywood.net.

TOSS THEM A LINE Give your wired customers a promotional item they'll really appreciate: more wire. Or more precisely, wire that's neat and tidy and doesn't need to be wrestled into a computer case. TeleSpool is the solution: 10 feet of retractable RJ-11 cable in a compact, customizable case. The unit protects the clips at the ends of the cables and includes a built-in RJ-11 coupler.

TeleSpool can be found at www.teleadaptusa.com, an e-catalog of connectivity tools from TeleAdapt, San Jose, Calif. (TeleAdapt also has a hard-copy catalog that can be ordered from the Web site.) The cost depends on the size of the order and the number of colors in the printing process. For example, 500 TeleSpools with a one-color printing cost $5.50 each; with a four-color printing they cost $7.60 each.

For more information visit the TeleAdapt Web site, write info@us.teleadapt.com, or call (877) 835-3232 (toll-free) or (408) 965-1400.