From the December 2011 Issue.
Yes, the holidays are nearly upon us.
Over the past six or seven years that I’ve put this feature together, I’ve had the opportunity to see, test and play with a lot of cool devices and technologies; some designed for business purposes, some for purely personal entertainment and others still that bridge the gap in our increasingly connected world. While the increasing “connectedness” of all aspects of our lives (business, family, personal, etc.) has been a long-evolving trend, one of the greater changes in only the past two years has been the advent of the iPad and other tablet devices. The iPhone also certainly helped transform the mobile phone market, but tablet devices, even though they are still in the early adopter stage, are quickly establishing themselves in business and personal settings.
The innovation behind these two major developments (the iPad and iPhone), and certainly their introduction to the market, was the result of the work of many people at Apple. But Steve Jobs, as he’s been rightly eulogized, was the great visionary who helped people see the potential of these devices. As the market he created continues to grow, and as a tribute to him, I’ve added a new section to the gift guide this year focused on tools designed for users of various i-things.
From everyone at CPA & NSA Practice Advisor, we wish you the happiest of holidays and a prosperous New Year.
DOWN TO BUSINESS
Printing remains an integral part of office productivity, but it’s never been more important to be economical. There’s no need to sacrifice quality, however. The WorkForce Pro 4540 Printer from Epson can cut printing costs by 50%, while also giving you the most advanced full-color printing, scanning, copying and other technologies on the market. This ultimate officejet printer includes built-in wireless networking capabilities and features automatic dual-side printing, copying, scanning and faxing, with a 30-page auto-feeder and a 580-sheet paper capacity. ($399; www.epson.com)
When it comes to true data transfer, a couple of gigs of storage just doesn’t cut it, but at the same time, users don’t want to carry bulky external hard drives around. The perfect portable solution just may be the GoFlex Slim 320 GB Performance Drive from Seagate. About the thickness of a #2 pencil and the size of a smartphone, the sleek gadget offers up to 320 gigs of storage, has a lightning-fast 7200 RPM drive with USB 3.0 connectivity, and has backup software that can automatically sync files and makes it easy to restore previous versions. Enhanced encryption technology further makes it a valuable tool, which works interchangeably with PCs and Macs. ($89; www.seagate.com; Also at major retailers.)
Finalize Your Wireless Freedom
So you think you’re a wireless professional. You’ve got your tablet, a laptop and a smartphone. That’s great on the road, but the place modern professionals are most likely to be constrained by wires is in their own offices or homes. The Belkin N 750 B Wireless Router can help you complete your wireless evolution, providing the latest in wireless technology and security to give up to 900 mbps throughput (translation: superfast), which gives awesome performance for large data files, video streaming, online gaming and home theater uses. It also includes high-speed ports for direct connection. ($129; www.belkin.com)
When you’re on the road, you still have documents to scan, but it’s not like you’re going to take a scanner with you. So you get back from your trip with piles of receipts and business cards and … what? Oh, you can take a scanner with you! At only 12 ounces and under 11 inches long, the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 is a great companion for the mobile pro, packing in many features found in full-sized scanners, including producing searchable PDFs, Word and Excel files, scanning direct to email, business card and receipt scanning, and support for Macs and PCs. Plus, it gets its power via USB from your computer, so no extra cables. The S1100 retails for $199, but enter our drawing for a chance to win one for free! The odds of winning are better than the lottery (last year, there were approximately 100 entrants). ($199; www.fujitsu.com/ScanSnapS1100)