10 Gadgets to Keep Mobile Pros Productive on Road or in Office
10 Gadgets to Keep Mobile Pros Productive on Road or in Office
by Wayne Rash
Mobile Device Car Charger Follows the Rules
The world is full of cheap car chargers that may or may not provide electricity to your mobile devices. When they work right, you can keep your phone and tablet charged while you're on the road. If you're lucky, they can do it quickly. If you're really lucky, the charger can also keep from frying your phone. The Choetech Four Port USB Car Charger includes circuitry that is designed to charge your device according to the manufacturer's specifications, and it has a Quick Charge 2.0 port for devices that can handle that.
Going Solar When You Are Literally 'in the Field'
Depending on your line of work, it's not that unusual to find yourself not only working in the field, but literally being in the field while you're working. That adds a layer of complexity to keeping your devices charged because you may not have a car handy to use a car charger with. One solution is a solar charger, but sometimes, these can be unwieldy. Choetech, the same people who make that smart USB car charger also make a solar charger that uses the same smart auto-detection feature to keep your gear charged without frying it. The good news is that the Choetech Folding Solar Charger comes with a carrying case, which makes it so you can actually take it with you.
Battery Pack Serves as Impeccable Power Source
There are lots of small batteries that promise to give your smartphone a quick charge when you're out of the office. But most of them fall short because they don't pack the power to provide more than a partial charge. That's not so with the Impecca PEB10200, which packs an impressive 10,200mAh worth of charge in a case that's about the size of a BlackBerry Z30. This makes it small enough to fit into your pocket, but powerful enough to charge your phone, your tablet and probably a couple of other items. It will even charge two items at the same time.
GoPayment Keeps the Cash Flowing on the Road
While I was working on this project, the folks at Verizon Wireless let me know that they're now offering Intuit's GoPayment credit card reader so that you can collect credit card payments while you're out of the office. This device connects to the audio jack on Android, iOS and BlackBerry 10 devices when you want to log into Intuit's financial services. For businesses ranging from farmers' markets to rental agencies, this is a nearly seamless way to work.
Getting Actual Work Done With Your iPad
No doubt, there are people who can touch-type 80 words a minute on an iPad. But mere mortals could use some help if they need to type lengthy documents on their tablets. This is why they make Bluetooth keyboards for iPads and other tablets—so that you can be productive as well as mobile. When Impecca sent me that massive battery, they also sent along a Bluetooth keyboard that's designed to boost the productivity of the more tangle-fingered mobile device users out there. The keyboard is even made out of bamboo, so that it is light enough and thin enough to fit into a briefcase.
Highly Portable Wireless Scanner Works Well on the Road
By now, you've certainly seen those people on crime dramas taking photos of documents with their SLRs for analysis by those magical people in the crime lab who can also get DNA tests results in 15 minutes. But in reality, turning a document into an image works best with a scanner. When the folks at Verizon Wireless told me about the IonAudio wireless scanner, it sounded like something that would be useful to business professionals. In fact, anyone, from insurance agents to lawyers, can use a small, lightweight portable scanner that works without wires, and IonAudio's model seems to be a good one.
Nuguard KX Phone Case Provides Military-Grade Protection
We all know the worry that you have when you're out of the office that something bad will befall your smartphone, costing you money and also keeping you from getting your work done. Obviously, one way to prevent a fatal drop, say in the airport concourse between passport control and customs, is by using a protective case. One example is the Nuguard KX case from NewerTech. The company says it meets a variety of military specifications, including MIL-STD-8100 US. This probably suits most users' needs.
Burg 12 Smartwatch Tells Time and Much More
Of course, you can use your standard old analog wristwatch to tell you what time it is, but why waste that valuable wrist real estate just telling time? Now that smartwatches have read the market, it's all about having your life on your wrist as well as on your phone. The Burg 12 Smartwatch does about everything that you've heard that these devices do. But the Burg model adds more features. Where most smartwatches link to your phone with Bluetooth and an app, the Burg 12 doesn't need that. Deep inside the Burg is a slot for a SIM card and a micro-SD card. Plug in the SIM, and the watch becomes a phone. It makes calls using a GSM network, can send text messages and uses data just like your phone. But it will also link to your Android or iOS device with Bluetooth. As you'd probably expect, the watch is fairly bulky, and the screen is about 1 inch in size. You'll need the stylus that's hidden...
Low-Power Desk Lamp Brightens Those Gloomy Offices
It's bad enough to get back to your office and then find yourself having to squint at the stuff on your desk as you work. Sure, that flickering fluorescent light in the ceiling is supposed to be adequate, but somehow, it's never enough. But a good desk lamp can make the job seem easier and the load lighter. NewerTech's NuGreen LED desk lamp provides plenty of light while keeping things cool because its uses less than 4 Watts of electricity.
iCoffee for When You Need to Recharge With Caffeine
There are few things in this world more critical to success than caffeine, at least for those of us in journalism. Coffee keeps us going; it provides the push to the end of the day when the words on the page start to run together. Unfortunately, whoever the other person in the office is that's supposed to make the coffee never does it, so the puddle in the bottom of the pot eventually looks and tastes like hazardous waste. Single-cup brewers could be a big help if only they made good coffee. So when the people at iCoffee sent along a machine that's supposed to brew K-Cups in such a way that the resulting brew tastes good, I was eager to try it. The good news is, it works, and it does so well enough to sustain life. Oh, and the coffee tastes a lot better than the wan liquid from most other brewers.