Each January, thousands of technology enthusiasts, journalists, and product vendors converge on Las Vegas to attend CES (formerly known as the International Consumer Electronics Show) where the latest consumer product innovations, gadgets, and enhancements to existing products are announced with the hope of becoming “the next big thing.”
While there are entire pavilions devoted to home/kitchen electronics, the automotive industry, healthcare, education, and the metaverse, my primary focus is finding the office technologies that may one day find their way into accounting firms. These products are touted in multiple keynotes, live sessions, articles, and press releases which I pursued virtually this year to bring you my listing of the top five accounting tech gadgets for 2023:
Lenovo Yoga Book 9i
Dual screens for auditors have become commonplace with most plugging in a separate mobile monitor next to their laptop when setting up at a remote site. Lenovo introduced their Yoga Book 9i dual 13” OLED screen model with an integrated screen at CES that flips up on top with a kickstand or can be setup in a side by side “portrait” format. Expected to be released in June, this unit starts at $2,100 for an Intel i7 processor, 16GB Ram, 512GB SSD which you can add a Bluetooth or other keyboard to.
Lenovo Go Desk Station
Since we are talking about Lenovo, we also want to bring up the latest multi-function desk lamp which is ideal for those with very limited “work from home” space. This device combines their Go 4K Pro webcam into an adjustable LED lamp that is optimized to work with Microsoft TEAMs for a professional video calling experience. The hub/dock base has two USB-C, two USB 3.1, one HDMI port, and even a flip out 15W wireless charging base for you to conveniently charge your phone or other Qi wireless devices. One of the ports is a second generation 3.1 Type-C which has a 65W power passthrough for powering your laptop making it one of the most comprehensive desk dock designs we have ever seen!
ASUS ZenScreen Portable Monitor
As mentioned above, I’m always on the lookout for portable monitors and once again we go back to “drinking from the same well.” ASUS upgraded their MB line with an even larger 23.8” FHD screen (MB249C) which is 17.7mm thin (but does tip the scales at just over 6 pounds). If that is a little too big/heavy to stuff into your backpack, ASUS updated their standard 16” (MB16QHE) and 17” (MB17AHG) models once again improving performance and ensuring they continue to be the favorite of mobile accountants everywhere.
Samsung Neo G9 Display
If time and cost were no object, one monitor I would consider augmenting my workstation with would be Samsung’s Odyssey G9, which sports a 57” curved mini-LED display with a 7680×2160 resolution in a 32:9 aspect ratio. This display has an amazing 240Hz refresh rate and is the first DisplayPort 2.1 capable monitor. This is not only good for “reviewing spreadsheets,” but also gaming (if that is something that interests you) but beware that you probably need to upgrade your graphics card to be able to really use it…for gaming that is.
Acer eKinekt BD 3 Bike Desk
Seriously, computer maker Acer has created a stationary bicycle/desk combination that will charge your laptop while peddling! One hour of consistent exercise will generate about 75 watts of power, enough to charge most laptops for an hour. The bike has an adjustable Sports Mode position for serious workouts and a Working Mode position which moves the seat closer for a more vertical posture and easier typing. For charging devices, the cycle desk has two USB type-A ports and one USB type-C ports. Acer will start shipping these devices in January with an expected $1,000 price tag.
BONUS: OK, I said five amazing products, but an additional product that popped up and that I found interesting from a design perspective (but have some skepticism about) was the Nuwa Pen. This device records your handwriting on any type of surface via built-in cameras and infrared technology (for recording in low light conditions). It captures and digitizes your handwriting so it can be securely saved to your laptop through their app without the additional step of having to scan your notes in. This is different from other digital writing devices (reMarkable/Lenovo Smart Paper/Kindle Scribe) that require writing on a specific type of tablet or special paper, so it will be interesting to watch where this tech goes.
Well, that’s my 2023 wrap up of top five CES headlines and announcements. Only time will tell which will make it into our firms. Have a great busy season!
Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA.CITP, CGMA is director of Firm Technology Strategy for Right Networks and partners exclusively with accounting firms on production automation, application optimization and practice transformation. He has been consistently listed as one of INSIDE Public Accounting’s Most Recommended Consultants, Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People, and CPA Practice Advisor’s Top Thought Leaders.