Busy Time: Best Technology for Your Flight

In-flight entertainment is great and all, but it isn't available on every flight – and what is offered isn't always everyone's top choice for whiling away travel time. If you're looking for more personalized amusements, we have some tech alternatives that will give you everything from big-screen cinematic experiences, to flight-friendly upgrades for existing equipment, to shared entertainment with a travel companion. Nifty gadgets like these can help those in-air hours fly by.

Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
This small, lightweight headset effectively blocks engine noise so you can listen to music, watch a movie or just enjoy a little serenity. With 25 hours of battery life, it will outlast any flight, and once you're on the ground you can also use one of the included audio cables to make a hands-free phone call with your smartphone.
Price: $349

3M Gold Privacy Filter
Add one of these protective filters to your laptop and you'll see a sharp image of your screen when you're in front of it. But from an angle, all your seatmate will see is a reflective gold screen. Perfect for watching a movie in privacy or working on a confidential presentation. Available for most laptops, including widescreen displays.
A standard laptop filter costs $63.

Sony HMZ-T1
If you'd prefer a more immersive movie experience in flight, this will do the trick. Strap on the HMZ-T1, and you'll feel like you're watching a 750-inch screen that's 65 feet away. Plus, the 45-degree field of view is wider than that of standard TVs, so it will feel like you're in a real theater instead of on a plane.

The Thinnest Backup Laptop Battery
The world's thinnest laptop battery, a product of Hammacher Schlemmer, is thinner than a No. 2 pencil and weighs less than half a pound. It will power your laptop for an extra 3 1/2 hours when you absolutely need to finish that document — or the movie you downloaded before your flight. As a bonus, it comes with a USB port so you can also power your other devices.

Aviiq Quick Change Universal Dock Adapter
This overachiever has an all-in-one mini USB cable and connector, a micro-USB cable and connector, and a 30-pin dock that connects to a smartphone or tablet. It's small, light and offers a clip feature, so you can attach it to your pocket or bag. It lets you sync hundreds of different devices, so you can do two things at once, like charging your phone and music player.

Booklist Online
Booklist Online, by the American Library Association, offers over 130,000 reviews, so you'll be sure to have a good read when your laptop battery runs out in-flight. The price includes a subscription to the magazine, author interviews and more. You also can create personalized lists, buy a book online and even download to your favorite reader.

The Executive Pro Checkpoint Friendly Computer Brief
You don't want your technology to delay you for a second. That's where a checkpoint-friendly briefcase can help. This light, durable briefcase contains its own pouch for your laptop, allowing you to keep your computer in the bag when you go through TSA screening, and giving you one less thing to worry about when you get to the airport.

Nano USB Flash Drive
Even though backing up to the cloud is all the rage, you still want to have a flash drive handy for extra peace of mind. This one fits a standard USB port and can be crammed with 8GB of data. Plus, it's extra small.

GripTight Micro
This tripod and mount for your smartphone is ideal for watching movies or conducting video chats on your device. Best of all, it's compatible with a variety of PDA shapes and sizes, so it'll work with your next phone as well.
Price: $29

Belkin Headphone Splitter
This represents a small but critically important piece of technology when you're traveling with someone. It connects two headphones or speakers to the mini-stereo jack on your PC, allowing two people to watch the same movie (or listen to the same music). Remember to remove your laptop filter before offering your travel companion a jack.