There are thousands of products marketed to frequent fliers and business travelers (colloquially called “road warriors”). Some of these are indispensable, while others merely take up space in a carry-on bag and have no real functionality. The best road warrior gadgets can provide the three “Cs” of business travel: comfort, convenience and/or connectivity. Of course, anything that can make a long haul flight or an unexpected layover or delay seem more bearable is often consider a necessity by business travelers.
Here are seven great devices for road warriors looking for the best things to add to their traveling arsenal.
Many business people already own a Curve. Blackberry has been the phone of choice for road warriors since before the age of the iPhone. Why has it stood the test of time? It has a lot of useful apps that have been developed and perfected over Blackberry’s history. Better yet, the battery life of the Curve beats out many other smart-phones. This can be a very valuable feature, as anyone who has spent their layover worrying about finding a place to charge their phone can attest.
Apple’s tablet has a lot of competition these days, but it is still the top of the heap as far as overall entertainment and business features are concerned. Your layovers and late nights in hotel rooms will seem more palatable if you can stream Netflix or Hulu or even read an ebook or hear some of your favorite tunes. There are also plenty of business-centered apps available for Apple devices, so you can use this high-tech tool for more than entertainment.
Many frequent travelers find noise canceling headphones to be their most indispensable devices. Bose offers the Cadillac version of these ear-covering headsets, but there are also plenty of cheaper (though not quite as perfect) options offered by other major electronics makers. Just a simple explanation of their usefulness is enough to seduce most people to make the $200-plus purchase: all the unpleasant sounds of travel (crying babies, traffic jams, PA systems) can disappear once you slip these headphones over your ears.
Lenovo IdeaPad U1
This is a tablet for people who aren’t sure if they really want to toss out their laptop just yet. It has a rotating touchscreen that looks like a tablet, but can also be rotated so that a keyboard is uncovered and the device resembles a small laptop. You really can have the best of both worlds: the convenience of a touchscreen tablet and the utility of a laptop. You’ll save space in your briefcase and you’ll only have to dig out one device as you go through security, not two.
Tumi Universal Power Adapter Kit
International travelers know that different countries have different electrical currents. All it takes is one wrong plug-in and you could fry a laptop hard drive or blow out a cell phone. With this universal power adapter, road warriors can take this danger out of the equation and be ready for any type of electrical current or power outlet. It is certainly easier than finding adapters for all your devices separately.
RIM BlackBerry Presenter
This device works in conjunction with Blackberry handsets. It can be connected to a projector or any type of screen and the user can then stream their PowerPoint presentation directly from their phone. It is smaller than a laptop, but just as useful when it comes to making presentations.
This tool is an interesting addition to the suitcase of any road warrior who has to travel off the beaten path. It looks like its name suggests, a thick pen. The device can be dipped in a glass or bottle of water and can kill any microbes or bacteria using UV light. It might sound like a sci-fi device, but it is a very real and very useful tool for anyone who has to drink water of undetermined quality.