by Paul Mah

10 tech tools to survive a business trip

Mar 10, 2016
Consumer Electronics

Business travel gets old even for the most experienced road warriors. It’s infinitely worse if you’re also struggling with the technology you rely on every day. These 10 tools will help make the tech part of your business trip a little more stress-free.

10 tech tools to survive a business trip - intro title
Credit: Thinkstock

Traveling with technology

While business trips are a necessary evil for many, having the right tech tools to go with your laptop or tablet can make even the most grueling trip a little more bearable. Thanks to the cloud, the software problem has mostly been solved. But that’s put more demands than ever on your hardware. The following collection of tech tools should help take the trepidation out of your travel plans.

1. Zolt Laptop Charger Plus

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One of the cardinal rules of surviving a long trip is to travel light. But that can be hard to do when you have to lug multiple bulky chargers around just to keep juiced up. Billed as the world’s smallest and lightest laptop charger, the Zolt Laptop Charger Plus powers a laptop and up to two USB devices simultaneously. Up to eight interchangeable power cord adaptors for the top PC brands are offered out-of-the-box, and optional adaptors for the MacBook are available for purchase. Unfortunately, there are currently no adaptors available for Surface Pro and Surface Book users.

Price: $100

2. MCT external laptop battery

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While you can often find a power outlet at the airport, sometimes they’re all taken. Or you may find yourself having to work at a coffee shop or area where bootlegging AC power just isn’t an option. That’s when having the MCT’s “The Executive” external battery pack can come in handy. The 34,000mAh MCT battery can give you up to seven hours of power for your laptop, and comes with 10 laptop and phone connectors by default (you can use the latter to charge up via its two USB output ports). MCT also sells custom-built charging cables spliced from original power adapters for the latest Microsoft Surface Pro, Apple MacBook, Dell Venue and Lenovo Yoga 3 devices.

Price: $150 (more for optional charging cables)

3. Belkin Travel RockStar Battery Pack

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For situations when someone else is already using that strategically located power outlet, the compact Travel RockStar from Belkin can serve as a lifesaver to facilitate sharing with its two power outlets. Outlets are surge-protected against dodgy power sources or an unfortunate lightning strike, while a built-in 2A USB port facilitates fast charging. Finally, a built-in 3,000 mAh battery pack lets you use it to juice up your USB devices in a pinch.

Price: $60

4. Logitech MX Anywhere 2

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As with its predecessor, the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 offers the same laser-tracking technology that allows it to be used on any type of tabletop that your travels may bring you to. The enhancements come in the form of a built-in rechargeable battery that gives up to two months of use on each charge, and the added capability to pair via Bluetooth or with the included USB transceiver – which is also slimmer than its nano predecessor. Finally, the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 can be paired with up to three separate devices, either via Bluetooth or the transceiver.

Price: $80

5. TwelveSouth Compass 2 for iPad

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While the craze over tablets seem to have died down a little at this point, frequent travelers knows that a tablet equipped with the right entertainment or apps can go a long way toward easing the rigors of the road. With this in mind, you’ll appreciate having the Compass 2 for iPad to comfortably position your iPad – or tablet of choice. Available in three colors, the Compass 2 folds flat and comes with its own travel sleeve.

Price: $40

6. Gatekeeper security dongle

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Though leaving your laptop unattended in a public space isn’t a good idea regardless of where you are, there may be times where you need to step away – to visit the restroom or grab another drink from the flight crew, for instance. The Gatekeeper slips into your pocket to thwart attempts to meddle with your data. Using Bluetooth technology, the Gatekeeper will automatically lock your laptop when you move beyond a predefined range, and unlock it when you are back. Pulling out the paired USB dongle won’t work either, as doing so would immediately lock your computer.

Price: $50

7. BeoPlay H7 headphones

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The BeoPlay H7 is an over-ear, wireless headphones made using cowhide leather and anodized aluminum. Delivering excellent music playback that is signature of B&O, the H7 comes with a rechargeable battery that offers up to 20 hours of wireless playback. The battery can be charged via a supplied USB cable.

Price: $449

8. SKITS Genius Sport Poly Mobile Device and Tablet Cords Case

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An unavoidable problem with business travelers today is the amount of cables and tech gadgets you need to pack. The SKITS Genius Sport Poly Mobile Device and Tablet Cords Case solves this problem by offering five different pockets secured by YKK zippers. Interior pockets are separated by elastic pocket dividers for flexibility, while the case itself is made of water resistant material. Importantly, the transparent plastic pockets help you – or immigration officials – quickly identify their contents.

Price: $60

9. WaterField Staad Laptop BackPack

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Experienced travelers know that nothing beats a proper backpack when travelling long distance, which is where the WaterField Staad Laptop BackPack comes in. The Staad BackPack blends travel comfort with a refined design is equally at home at a boarding gate as in a boardroom. Aside from the usual cushioned interior pockets for a tablet and a laptop, the Staad backPack has angled pockets for quick access to knickknacks or travel documents from the side. The Staad BackPack is available in either Slim or Stout size with default pockets to fit up to a 13-inch or 15-inch laptop respectively; you can also request for either models to be fitted out with a 15-inch or 13-inch laptop pocket.

Price: $319, $329 (Slim, Stout models)

10. Fitbit Surge

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There’s no question that travelling takes a toll on your body, especially if you travel between different time zones. The Fitbit Surge can help you keep a closer watch on your heart rate, as well as monitor your quality of sleep as you shuffle between cramped seats, airports and connecting flights. Also, because you’re bound to be dashing through airports, office buildings and trade show floors, it’s a perfect opportunity to dominate Fitbit’s social leaderboard, because all those steps will be hard to beat by your cubicle-bound cohorts.

Price: $250