Budget is a four-letter word at most small companies, but keeping one is a necessary evil. As you plan your spending for 2015, you might keep track of these upcoming business gadgets (a few of them are already shipping). They can give you that razor-sharp competitive edge.
Archos 80b Helium Tablet
This low-cost eight-inch tablet has a fast quad-core processor and a bright 1280x800-pixel screen, but the big selling point is that you can sign up for 4G wireless service and skip Wi-Fi. That means better connectivity at hotels and on business trips.
New Matter MOD-t 3D Printer
This low-cost 3D printer uses Polylactic Acid (PLA) plastic filament, which is a fancy way of saying it can make 3D objects that are about 6x4x5 inches in size. The main perk is that you don’t have to know a ton about 3D printing-you just load up and press print.
Wocket Smart Wallet
For those who travel frequently for work and have multiple credit cards—for business and personal use—this wallet holds just one card that you program with the credit card details you need for that transaction—say, a Best Buy card or a Visa card.
HP Zvr 23.6-inch Virtual Reality Display
HP is on a roll lately with innovative new products. First it announced the HP Sprout, which has a secondary display used for scanning objects.The HP Zvr shows a 3D holographic image and knows the position of your head so you can interact with virtual objects.
After 90 minutes in direct sunlight, this solar charger will have enough power to charge your smartphone once. There are two USB ports and the device can charge your phone as it draws energy from the sun (even if the charger itself is at zero).
Primera Trio All-in-One Printer
At just 2.7 pounds, this all-in-one printer is ready for any business excursion. You can scan, copy, and print documents. No word yet on print speed, but you can scan and copy images at 600 DPI and print at 4800 x 1200 dpi. An optional battery means you can print even on an airplane.
ZutaLabs Pocket Printer
One of the most unique business products you’ll find, this portable printer moves across a sheet laying flat on a table and prints out the document. You connect from your phone or laptop using Wi-Fi. The battery lasts long enough for one hour of printing.
Signal Edge Plus
Not all phone chargers are the same. This unique product works as a stand so you can prop up your phone and view the screen while you charge. It pumps out enough power to recharge at least once from fully drained. The stand folds up for easy transport.
Canon MAXIFY MB5320 Wireless Small Office Printer
The best feature on this fast office printer is that it also doubles as a duplex scanner. That means you can scan a double-sided sheet in one pass. If you store documents in the cloud using Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive, you can also print directly from those services.
Phorce Freedom Laptop Bag
A lower-cost version of the Phorce Pro bag, this model is thinner, lighter, and a bit more business-friendly. Yet, it still has an interior battery for charging up phones and tablets. The cables are hidden within the compartments. Comes only in black.
Another unusual product for business use, this counter is like a stock-ticker for social media. It sits in an office or retail store and can show Facebook likes, YouTube hits, and other data in real-time. It connects over Wi-Fi from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Epson WorkForce WF-100 Mobile Printer
This smart business printer uses a quick-drying ink to avoid smudges. You can output 4x6 glossy photos as well, and the printer can be connected to a power outlet or used with the built-in battery from anywhere. Fully charged, you can expect to print 100 sheets.
Sony Smartwatch 3 Stainless Steel
The latest version of the Sony smartwatch uses Android Wear for easy syncing to your smartphone and a bountiful selection of apps. The wrist strap is stainless steel and looks more like a standard watch. You can control the watch with voice, touch, and finger gestures.
Lenovo ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One 23
Not every monitor you buy these days can also house a mini computer on the back (sold separately). The ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One is innovative because it saves precious desk space. Once you drop in a mini computer like the Lenovo M83 for $749, it can be locked for security.
Dell XPS 18 Portable All-in-One
Massive tablets might not seem too portable, but this 18-inch monster is designed for conference rooms and meetings. There’s a kickstand so you can use it like a normal Windows 8 touchscreen computer. It has a 178-degree viewing angle so even the CEO can participate.
XPlore RangerX Tablet
Drop, kick, throw, or dunk this rugged Android tablet and it will just shrug and keep working. Designed for serious industrial use, it has an RFID and NFC reader, front and rear cameras, and support for built-in 4G LTE wireless service (need to hunt around for Wi-Fi).
IoSafe 1513 NAS RAID
Protecting your data just got a little safer. This storage device will keep operating even in extreme temps (up to 1,550 degrees for 30 minutes) and flood (up to 10 feet for three days). It also handles massive amounts of data--as much as 90TB if you add expansion bays. The base price does not come preloaded with any disk drives.
For an office environment, this seven-port charging device is a boon for productivity. You can charge one or two tablets plus several smartphones all at once. The device comes in a wide range of colors including boardroom-friendly white and a bright blue.
With just a swipe of your finger, you can unlock this powerful new credit card--which can be used to replace gift cards in a store and standard credit cards. It works as a magnetic stripe card or using Near Field Communication (the same tech as Apple Pay).
Asus Transformer T300 Chi Notebook
The big selling point on this detachable laptop/tablet computer is the crystal-clear display, which runs at 2560x1440 pixels. It uses a wide-angle viewing technology so you can show it off in a conference room and everyone will see the screen just fine.
Philips UltraWide 34-inch Curved Display BDM3490UC
This curved monitor helps you focus on documents, images, and videos by cocooning you with a slight curve. The screen is widescreen to help with productivity apps so you can run them side by side. The QHD 3440x1440 resolution screen is crisp and bright.
Mophie Juice Pack Plus for iPhone 6
A slightly beefier version of the acclaimed Juice Pack case for the iPhone 6, this model will charge up your phone once plus 20 percent. (There’s also a standard Juice Pack for the iPhone 6 and one for the iPhone 6 Plus that charge up once.) With the case, it means you get two full charges and can enjoy all-day usage plus extra protection from spills and drops.
Zolt Laptop Charger
The Zolt charger comes with interchangeable tips designed for different laptops. It doubles as a phone or tablet charger as well with three USB ports. As a bonus, if the charger doesn’t quite fit behind a table in the hotel, it rotates 90 degrees for an easier fit.
Intel Compute Stick
Intel tends to focus on high-end computing, chipsets, and innovation video tech like RealSense. but this all-in-one thumbdrive computer is worth considering. You plug it into the HDMI port of a monitor or television and then boot into Windows 8 or Linux.
Acer Chromebook 15
With a 15.6-inch screen and a powerful Intel Core processor, this notebook competes easily with the best Windows 8 notebooks. (It doesn’t have the same overhead for drivers or an operating system and boots into a browser.) The screens runs at a crisp 1920x1080 pixels and looks clear and colorful, but the best feature is the low $249 price.
iRobot Ava 500
The iRobot Ava is designed to reduce airfare costs--you can control it from any computer. Videoconferencing robots came out a few years ago, but now they are starting to appear in business because they now support more applications and integrate into networks easier. (it works with Cisco telepresence software and can be managed on a cloud service.)
Toshiba Portege Z20t Detachable Ultrabook
This detachable tablet/notebook is packed with extra features. It has 8GB of RAM and an intel M5 processor to speed up your software. The spill-resistant keyboard helps you type up business docs quickly, and the 1.6-pound tablet helps you go mobile.
Acer H7550ST Short Throw Projector
A short-throw projector is ideal for smaller conference rooms. You can place one on a desk near the screen and still project an image that’s as large as 25 feet. This model sports a nifty feature. You can plug in a Google Chromecast USB dongle to show slides without a computer.
Prong PWR Case 5
This durable case for the iPhone 5 (an iPhone 6 version will be out soon) comes in two versions, one that charges your phone to 80 percent for $100 and one that charges to 100 percent for $120. The main benefit is that the case itself has the two-prong connector for a standard outlet.
LaCie Rugged RAID
This drive can be partitioned as a RAID, which means it keeps data safe and runs faster than a single drive. Since it’s portable, you can use it anywhere--plus, it’s rugged enough to withstand shocks, drops, and light water spills. The drive comes with 4TB of storage.
Lenovo ThinkPad Stack
The ThinkPad Stack includes a Bluetooth speaker for videoconferencing, a power charger for phones and tablets, 1TB of storage, and a Wi-Fi access point. Each component is stackable and you can mix and match the ones you want to use. They all use the same power source.
Dell XPS 13 Laptop
Dell deserves credit for making a laptop with such a razor-thin display. It looks like a tablet screen and is super-thin at just 0.2 inch. The 3,200x1,800 resolution screen makes business docs much easier to read when you zoom in and makes photos and videos pop. The laptop lasts a full 15 hours, and that’s without any additional (larger) battery pack.
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