Productivity

4 must have gadgets for the business road warrior

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Business travel is often rushed, flights can be delayed causing long-booked in meetings to be rescheduled. We’re constantly on the search for solutions to make work trips as stress-free as possible.

If you spend a lot of time on the road or in the air, here are four essential gadgets that will help you be more streamlined while on the go.

images of gadgets on the go

Asus S1 Mobile LED Projector

No need to lug around a projector and notebook for those business presentations. Beam your brainchild from your smartphone to a mini projector instead.

The Asus S1 is a pocket-sized portable projector with a relatively long battery life (three hours) that can beam a 100-inch wide extended graphics array (WXGA) with image resolution of 854 x 480 from 2.4 metres (or a 41-inch image from just one-metre away) and also has the ability to charge other mobile devices attached to it.

Measuring in at just 110.5 x 30.7 x 102mm, the S1 is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The solid square aluminium housing is etched with a sophisticated concentric circle design – delivering one impressive looking unit.

Connecting is easy

In terms of connectivity, there is a single HDMI port, which doubles as a mobile high-definition link (MHL) for hooking up a compatible tablet or smartphone directly while simultaneously charging it. HDMI-DVI adapters can also be used to connect older laptops. Sound is taken care of thanks to the built-in two-watt speaker (though you’ll need to sit close for easy listening).

Of all the palmtop sized, short-throw distance projectors on the market, Smarter prefers the Asus S1 for its ability to serve double-duty as a portable charger for mobile devices, its impressive internal battery life, and for having  brightest image in its class (200 lumens). As is the case with most pocket-sized projectors, you’ll need to use the unit in a relatively dark room to produce a decent image. 

Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Regular jet setters swear by Bose’s QuietComfort headphones for its noise cancelling performance. The new QuietComfort 25 is the first update in five years, with improvements in noise cancellation, headphone design and audio quality.

Build quality is important for high-end headphones and it’s here where Bose has really upped its game. Though the headphones are still largely made of plastic, its ear cups have an incredibly strong frame and a cast-zinc hinge that show no signs of flexing and a thicker detachable cord round out a sturdy package.

Travelling light

At 196 grams, the QuietComfort 25 is also one of the lightest over the ear headphones in its class and is every bit as comfortable to wear for hours as its much lauded predecessor, the QuietComfort 15.

The QC25 also folds into a case that is 30 per cent smaller than the older model, which is about as small as you can get for a pair of full-size over-ear headphones. The leather case includes a multipurpose airline adapter, space to store a spare AAA battery, integrated business card holder and storage space for other travelling paraphernalia such as a passport and boarding pass.

While the previous QC15 was more restrained when it came to audio quality, the new model has a brighter and clearer sound that is likely to please regardless of whether you are listening to music or watching an inflight movie. The QC25 also does a slightly better job at blocking out ambient sound and the active noise cancellation now lasts longer with up to 30 hours off a single AAA battery.

If you’re a regular flyer or like the idea of blocking out the sounds of an open plan office, then the Bose QuietComfort 25 should be at the top of your shopping list. 

Luggage Tracker – Trackdot or Lug Loc

There’s nothing worse than having your luggage go missing after a long flight and this is where a luggage tracker can come in handy. Statistics on lost baggage is hard to come by but it’s estimated that around 25 million bags go missing via transit every year worldwide, meaning that airlines are losing more than 2800 bags every hour. While a luggage tracker doesn’t completely eliminate the nuisance of lost luggage, it does give you a greater chance of actually recovering your belongings by making them traceable.

Small price for peace of mind

The gadget in question is a tracking device that is roughly the size of a mobile phone that you slip inside your suitcase. The small emitter sends out its location using cellular (GSM) signals, which you can then track using an app. The tracking device will automatically shut off when in an airplane and turn back on when there is no movement detected so as not to interfere with avionic systems and also aids in preserving the 40-day battery life.

Two of the most popular luggage trackers on the market are Lug Loc available at select retailers and Trackdotwhich is only available online.

Be aware that there is an ongoing charge to use both devices but the small investment is worth it for the peace of mind this travel companion offers. 

Evernote Abrasus Triangle Commuter

It’s not uncommon to travel with a tablet, notebook, headphones, a book or e-reader, as well as the trusty smartphone in your pocket. Then there is the conglomeration of chargers and cables required to keep them all juiced up.

A bird's-eye view

You’re likely to need a backpack or laptop bag to consolidate and carry your pricey devices – then look no further than the well-made Abrades Triangle Commuter bag from Evernote. Unlike traditional messenger bags or backpacks, the Triangle Commuter bag can stand on its own without tipping over, giving you a bird’s-eye view of all your gadgets that conveniently stay nestled within their respective compartments instead of falling about.

The padded dividers are completely customisable, ensuring a good fit for even the most obscure gadget. The classy dark grey design is a real fit for any occasion with everything from jeans to a suit and the bag. 

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