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The unprecedented media onslaught may have you believing otherwise, but the iPhone isn’t the only buzz-worthy gadget around. Technology managers should also covet the following four devices, all of which will make your work life a good deal easier.
Too many high-end projectors are huge and heavy, and thus a pain to lug from meeting to meeting. The BenQ MP721c, by contrast, weighs less than six pounds, yet still provides one of the best images in its price range—the brightness measures an impressive 2,200 lumens. Best of all, BenQ’s LinkPro wireless connectivity module works like a dream, letting you run presentations off your notebook with nary a cable. BenQ’s engineers also included some nifty little features like an on-screen timer, as well as Mac compatibility. The two notable drawbacks are a lack of compatibility with 1080p HDTV and a so-so warranty (just 90 days on the lamp). But with prices currently hovering around $720, the MP721c offers great bang for the buck.
New Bluetooth headsets seem to hit the market every other hour, but few can match the Jabra JX10 in terms of comfort and sound quality. Weighing less than a third of an ounce, the JX10 can barely be felt while nestled in your ear, and provides more than enough volume (unlike many of its lackluster competitors). Perhaps just as importantly, the headset is pretty hardy—it’ll survive getting banged around in your pocket or laptop bag. The JX10 was initially priced at $179 when it debuted in last year, but it’s since come down into the realm of affordability—the good folks at Amazon.com currently have it listed at a mere $68.55, which qualifies as a steal.
Wireless keyboard-and-mouse combos are notoriously ugly and unreliable. The Ci70 is thus a welcome arrival for those of us who prefer an untethered existence. It’s a sleek looker that isn’t muddled with too many media keys. No does it require any software installation—just plug the receiver into your computer’s USB port, and you’re good to go. The mouse may be a little slimmer than you’re used to, but you’ll adapt quickly. And one of the Ci70’s many nice touches is the ability to dock the mouse inside the keyboard, which saves on battery life (rated at an impressive six months on the spec sheet). The list price? A surprisingly affordable $79.99.
If your company still has you ensconced in a cubicle, you probably have to deal with temperature issues from time to time—central air conditioning isn’t exactly 100 percent effective, to say the least. Fortunately, you’ll soon be able to cool down—or heat up—with the C2, an electric-powered gadget that controls the temperature within a 12-to-18-inch radius. Just 10 inches tall, the C2 is also an energy sipper, operating on a mere 1.5 amps of DC power. No word yet on price, as the C2 won’t be orderable until a bit later this summer. But seeing as how the gadget promises to end thermostat arguments once and for all, it should have no problem finding plenty of takers.