Midmarket: Lenovo, HP, Cisco Hit CES Floor with Low-Cost Tech for Small Businesses
This year's enormous Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas continues the convention's penchant for showcasing cutting-edge technologies like 3D televisions that don't require special glasses and numerous tablet devices hoping to take a bite of out Apple's dominance in the market, but there are also hundreds of electronics devices that serve a more business-minded client. With small business owners looking forward to a more stable business year, IT department spending levels are likely to rise to their pre-recession levels for the first time, according to IT research firm IDC. With cloud computing and mobile device applications gaining popularity with the SMB market, wireless connectivity and portability are among the top draws for communications and productivity devices. After the immediate success of the iPad, tablets will also feature prominently in 2011, including the Cisco Systems Cius. A rocky economic recovery has encouraged small business owners to spend wisely on business essentials, with a focus on value for money. Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and others have responded to this need with notebooks and desktops offering unified communications (UC) features and productivity applications, many for less than $1,000. What follows is a look at what small businesses can take advantage of at this year's CES.