In many ways, today's road warriors have it easy. There are more amazing gadgets to get business done while on the go than the businessperson of yesteryear could ever have even imagined. Of course, the ability to be so terribly productive can be viewed as both a blessing and a curse (but that's another story). We've rounded up seven cutting-edge business travel gadgets to ensure your wardrobe, computer work, meetings, and presentations rank tops while you're traveling for work.
1. Multi-Tool Collar Stays
Why We Like Them: These 2.5-inch titanium stays can do much more than just make your collar pop the right way. They can also be used to tighten screws, cut wires, and pop off bottle caps—all very handy stuff for road warriors. These fashionable, functional accessories come in a set of four and fit all collar styles.
How Much: $50
Buy It: Visit Bonobos.com.
2. Power-Up Rolling Office Bag
Why We Like It: This smooth-rolling, dual-purpose bag not only neatly swallows all your business travel essentials—including a tablet, clothing, cards, pens, and up to a 17-inch laptop—it also breathes new life into your gadgets. It comes with a removable battery which, on a full charge, can re-juice the average smartphone several times. And as you roll along, its integrated wiring lets you connect and power up a wide variety of tablets, cameras, e-readers, music players, and most other current accessories.
How Much: $250
Buy It: Visit MyPowerBag.com.
3. MP180 Wireless Pocket Projector
Why We Like It: This handheld projector is quite the bright little presentation tool, on a couple of levels. It comes with cords to connect it directly to a computer or TV, but you might not need them, since you can also load your documents right into its internal memory or built-in card reader. Or, you can wirelessly transfer files to the projector from your laptop or smartphone, and then project them as big as 80 inches, for up to two hours. It has a touch screen and can connect to the Internet, so you can throw live online images onto the wall, as well. And its built-in speakers come in handy for multimedia presentations (though it can also be hooked up to external speakers). This pocket-size powerhouse comes with a carrying pouch, the above-mentioned connection cords, and a charger with international adapters.
How Much: $450
Buy It: Visit 3M.com/MPro.
4. Logitech Wireless Touchpad
Why We Like It: This handy five-inch touchpad lets you do everything your antiquated mouse does, plus a ton more. Based on tapping and swiping with one to four fingers, you can point, click, drag-and-drop, scroll, minimize windows, and switch applications. Best of all, a tiny receiver gives it wireless capabilities, with a range of up to 25 meters from your computer. It also has good battery life, so you can mouse around for months before having to refresh.
How Much: $50
Buy It: Visit Logitech.com.
5. SlimScan Portable Scanner
Why We Like It: This credit card-size scanner makes managing receipts on the road much easier. In addition to tracking your expenses, you can also use it to scan pictures, business cards, and articles—and save them each into special directories. The included software recognizes category types, allows you to edit and compartmentalize what you've scanned, and helps you create reports. It works with eight different languages, and comes with a case, lens brush, and PC connection cord, to boot.
How Much: $140
Buy It: Visit PlanonStore.com.
6. Cinq Portable Monitor
Why We Like It: This lightweight 10-inch side monitor is a portable, affordable way to boost your screen size as you travel. It can stand on its own or physically attach to your laptop. Either way, it automatically rotates the picture when switching between portrait and landscape. It also has its own card reader, great for one-on-one presentations, keeping track of your social feeds, and flashing photos of loved ones when you're missing home.
How Much: $249
Buy It: Visit MyCinq.com.
7. Echo Smartpen
Why We Like It: This ink-based pen—which is a little on the thick side, but easy enough to grip—is a mini-computer, complete with a processor, screen, memory, microphone, speaker, and audio jack. As you take notes in various lectures and meetings, you can also use it to record audio. Then you can play them back, upload them to your computer, and share them with friends and colleagues (even if they don't have a similar pen). It comes with a notebook featuring special compatible paper; when you run out, you can buy other pads or print your own for free. Plus, you can also load apps onto it, including handy travel phrases in German, Korean, Japanese, Spanish or French.
How Much: $120–$180
Buy It: Visit Livescribe.com.
Enter to win a 3M PocketProjector MP180
Fodors.com Travel Technology Columnist Scott Tharler is an expert in gadgets, gambling, and travel. He’s written four books, plus hundreds of mobile and wireless tips for Sony and PC World. In addition to his daily Discovery News gadget blog, you can find links to other gadget articles, social feeds and lists of his current favorite gadgets at about.me/gadgetfans.
Photo Credits: 1. Bonobos; 2. Powerbag; 3. 3M; 4. Logitech; 5. Planon System Solutions, Inc.; 6. James David Phenicie; 7. Livescribe, Inc.