Top Gadgets for Business Travel
Not so long ago we rounded-up some of our favourite travel apps and now it’s time to do likewise for those assorted gadgets, gizmos and other physical items which every savvy business traveller might want to save space for in their precious carry-on.
How about you, what do you never leave the country without? Tell us about those all-important personal affects which always make travelling on business a breeze and help you hit the tarmac running.
Let’s start with some basics. Aside from their smartphone, perhaps the single most important tool in the business traveller’s armoury is their trusty laptop or tablet. Well step aside Mr MacBook Air, there’s a new kid on the block.
Lenovo’s latest carry-on friendly contender weighs in at just 1.72 pounds, making it the lightest 13 inch laptop money can buy. But you needn’t stint on performance either here, thanks to the dualcore Broadwell processor which makes it zippy to use and maximises battery life into the bargain.
Travel pillows can sometimes be more of an albatross than anything, destined to be clipped to the side of your case, fiddled about with for comfort adjustment... until it eventually gets jettisoned to a cupboard of doom or worse still, a hotel wardrobe.
But for those of you who fly long haul, who really need to blank out your fellow passengers and get some shut-eye this intriguing little accessory could be just the tonic.
You simply slip your entire head into it (yes, really!) and duly disappear into splendid downy isolation for the duration of your flight, leaving only your nose and mouth exposed. If nothing else, you’re bound to attract some rather special attention from the cabin staff.
We don't know about you, but we’ve probably lost count of the number of hours sleep we’ve lost to stuffy hotel rooms. Even if you can successfully grapple with the in-room aircon system (which often involve Krypton Factor shenanigans), getting a comfortable room temperature is only half the battle.
But put those days behind you, help is at hand with this dinky, doughnut-shaped pocketsize humidifier (actually more biscuit-like in terms of size) that needs nothing more than a glass of water and a USB socket to work its refreshing magic. Sadly actual doughnuts are not included, boo!
Ask any grizzled road warrior and they’ll tell you that packing light is everything. A thousand YouTube tutorials can’t be wrong after all. And so it follows that a superlight charger is the holy grail.
Meet Zolt, which not content with being ‘the world's smallest and lightest charger’ also works with MacBooks and most makes of laptop and can even charge up to three devices simultaneously, which happily does away with that age-old hotel room quandary – do you keep the reading light on or power up the smartphone? Decisions decisions..
When you’ve just landed in a new city, the last thing you need is for your smartphone battery to give up the ghost just when you need it most. No need to worry about that when you’re packing this sleek little lifesaver, Aukey's 20,000mAh portable phone charger slips snugly over your ‘phone and provides enough backup power to charge an iPhone ten times over.
It may not scoop many prizes in the catchy name stakes, but this portable projector more than makes up for that in sheer utility. Using this you can project HD video straight from an SD card, while the three-hour battery life means it should go the distance in the lengthiest and most gruelling sales presentation known to man or beast.
It can project images up to ten feet high apparently, so go forth young business traveller and build those bullet points as big and bold as you like! Gone are the days when you have to rely on whatever kit your venue’s IT department can muster. Oh and it also doubles up as a broadband router.
Because not all hotel wifi is created equal and few things can be more enraging than flaky signals and helplessly watching those little ‘beach balls’ wheeling into maddening eternity. Why leave it to chance when you can take some initiative and bring your own solution?
Paddle your own canoe (as the great Ron Swanson would say) and build your own private network with this unassuming slender little square of wizardry which neatly plugs into your nearest ethernet port. Neato! (As Ron probably would not say..)
Ok, now we know this one is juuuust a little less than essential in the grand scheme of things, but it wins brownie points for sheer James Bond-cool.
The serious gadget braggers among you will naturally flock to Lily, a self-flying camera drone which is activated by simply tossing it into the air. It’s waterproof, fairly compact, records video at 120 frames a second and even has a slow-mo mode for extra flair. It just makes those GoPros look so very 2015 somehow.
Finally here’s one that has yet to hit the high street but which surely promises to truly revolutionise travel forever and make those awkward, frantic hand mimes and linguistic misunderstandings a thing of the past.
Currently in production for 2017, Pilot claims to be the world’s very first in-ear translating device. You can pop the snug little earpiece into your ear and get instant translations, via the mobile app, in five of the world’s most common languages, with support soon coming for Arabic, Russian, Hebrew and a host of Asian and Slavic languages.