Business Today

Let the CEO tech over

Must-have productivity tools and gadgets to leverage and enhance the performance of the chief executive.
By Nidhi Singal   Delhi     Print Edition: March 13, 2016
Must-have gadgets to help a CEO perform better
Whether accessing secondary computer remotely during overseas travel, scanning important documents on the go, or just building a style statement, here's what a company head could invest in. (Photo: Ajay Thakuri)

Reaching the top is a monumental achievement, but remaining there may be the most spectacular feat of all," says US-based author John Maxwell. And if his words are anything to go by, a little help from here and there could do you a world of good to remain in the race. Here's where technology can play an important role to enhance your productivity significantly. Whether accessing your secondary computer remotely during overseas travel, scanning important documents on the go, or just building a style statement of your own, here's what you could invest in to achieve your goals.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Microsoft has finally launched its Surface hardware in India and with full technical and after-sales support. You can use the Surface Pro 4 as an independent tablet or operate it as a laptop by docking the add-on keyboard that you can buy separately for Rs 12,490. Running on the Windows 10 OS, it offers all the latest features, including Cortana. The Pen, or stylus, makes the Surface Pro 4 a smooth machine. It is priced at Rs 89,990.

Alternative Apple MacBook Air is a lightweight laptop that's equally smart with super-fast performance. The 13-inch mean machine with 128-GB flash storage and up to 12 hours of battery backup comes for Rs 80,900. Its 1.6-GHz dual core Intel Core i5 processor and 4-GB RAM make the MacBook Air a good buy. You can also consider Toshiba Z20t, Lenovo Yoga 900 or Asus ZenBook U305LA as the other options.

Apple iPhone 6S Plus (128GB)
Since its launch in 2007, the iPhone continues to have a premium look and feel to it. The recently-launched iPhone 6s Plus does not disappoint either. It has a 5.7-inch display with 1080x1920p resolution. The A9 processor handles all tasks, including heavy graphic gaming with ease. The 12-MP rear camera can compensate for any digital camera and the results are simply superb. While the iPhone is available in three capacities - 16 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB - our pick is the 128-GB model considering its data storage capacity for multimedia, apps and other utility content. More so, as present-day apps can be very bulky, measuring anywhere between a few MBs to over 1 GB, while OS updates can also eat into your storage space.

Alternative There was a time when BlackBerry had revolutionised the executive smartphone space with its offerings to emerge as the first preference of industry leaders. With time, it lost ground to competition. Now, the company has reinvented itself with the Priv smartphone, which runs on the Android platform and offers a host of apps. The 18-MP camera is also pretty impressive and the legendary BlackBerry physical QWERTY keyboard is back, along with a smooth touch display. It is priced at Rs 62,990.

Samsung Gear S2 An extension to your smartphone is the smartwatch. And Samsung's Gear S2 could be your top pick. The rotating bezel is the primary input method to interact with the watch and the touch display works flawlessly. There are two hardware keys - back and home. You can access incoming calls, messages, emails, Twitter and Facebook notifications and WhatsApp messages, and can even respond to a message. It is compatible with Android smartphones and the iPhone. This smartwatch is priced at Rs 24,300.

Alternatives You can also opt for Apple Watch or Motorola Moto 360 (second generation). Moto 360 has a premium feel, and different models for men and women. Apple might launch the Apple Watch 2 in March.

Amazon Kindle Voyage 3G If you love reading and spend a lot of time travelling, Kindle's Voyage 3G would be a great buy. It comes with 6-inch display and is packed with Carta e-paper technology and an adaptive front light. Three hours of charging can last for over a week. The 3G variant has a wireless setup for downloading books anytime without Wi-Fi hotspots. It has a built-in free 3G connectivity. It costs Rs 20,499.

Trakdot Luggage Tracker The worst part of travelling when you arrive at a destination after a long flight is when your luggage is nowhere in the vicinity and the staff at the airport is clueless as well. With Trakdot Luggage Tracker, you don't have to rely on anyone. It uses a GSM chip-equipped monitor to track and pinpoint the exact location. When kept in a luggage bag in an air plane cargo hold, its patented technology shuts off its transmit-and-receive capabilities and enters "airplane mode". Once back on the ground, the tracker jumps to life and employs the local cellular network to notify the location. TrakDot is priced at $69.79. It also has an annual subscription charge to access the service - a price that you would love to pay to avoid waiting anxiously by the empty baggage carousel.

Fight Jet lag with re-timer If you travel a lot and suffer from jet lag, Re-Timer is something you should consider buying. The not-so-fancy piece of eyewear claims to end jetlag - and could even help teens get up in the morning. It uses a green light that claims to reset the body clock. The light adjusts the circadian rhythm and suppresses the body's production of melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep hormone produced by our bodies and makes us feel tired. To advance the body clock (fall asleep earlier), you have to wear Re-Timer for 50 minutes shortly after waking up. To delay the body clock (fall asleep later), the user has to wear it for 50 minutes before going to bed. The company claims that, typically, 3-4 days of use is required to realise the benefits of this device. It costs US $214.

Wocket Smart Wallet If you have multiple cards, and are finding it difficult to track your spends, Wocket Smart Wallet could provide you with the answer to your woes. This wallet can store detailed information about all your plastic money, including credit, debit and loyalty cards, among others. All you need to do is swipe your card using the card reader that comes with Wocket Smart Wallet to upload the information to the wallet and leave the cards back home. When you need to make a payment, simply select the card on the touchscreen of this device to load the information on the removable Wocket card stored in the wallet. You can then swipe the card to make payments. To add another layer of security, you can create a pin when you configure the wallet. In case you end up losing this wallet, your cards are still secure at home and no one will be able to use them without the entering the pin to the Wocket Smart Wallet. You can buy it for $179.

LastPass Password Manager These days, you have to create a password to access almost every service - your email, bank accounts, e-commerce platforms and social networking sites, and may have difficulty in remembering all of them. Moreover, to ensure safe access you are advised not to have a common password for all your accounts. Furthermore, it is advised that the password should be so complicated that no one can hack it. A simple way to get around remembering all your passwords is to install LastPass Password Manager, which not only helps you manage your passwords but also comes locks your passwords and personal information in a secure vault. It autofills web browser and app logins and also helps generate new and secure passwords instantly. While all these services are free with the standard version, the premium account offers shared family folders, a secure vault with multifactor authe-ntication, unlimited synchronisation on devices and much more.

Wunderlist This task management application is available for Windows 8, Mac OS X, Android, iPhone, Android Tablet, iPad, Web, Apple Watch, Windows Phone, Windows 7, Chromebook. It helps you create a task list that can be shared with other Wunderlist users. You can add reminders, assignees, comments, and take notes. The Wunderlist for Business comes at $4.99 per user per month, keeping your team's communication under one hood, eliminating the hassle of email chains. You can create a list of individual projects, too. You can even delegate tasks to your team members from the shared lists and start conversations with the members to share insights and feedbacks on projects from the app. The company claims that Wunderlist is 256-bit encrypted safe.

LogMeIn Did you ever have to step out for a quick meeting while some important documents on your laptop lay open for others to use? Or, did you ever have to ask someone to email you the data on your laptop back in office or at home? Well, LogMeIn is a service that puts an end to such woes. The app allows you to control your computer on the go from the mobile app. Using the app, you can even print a file that is sitting on your computer to a local printer. It includes file management features, such as download files from desktop, file transfer and file sharing. While the app is available for free to download, you have to subscribe to the LogMeIn Pro service for an annual fee. The pro service allows you to access up to two devices - desktops, laptops or mobile - for $149 and up to five computers for $349.

Scanner Pro Handling paper documents can be tedious as we often end up misplacing a paper with some important information or even our hand-scribbled notes. While your phone's camera can capture an image for future use, this app turns the iPhone or an iPad into a portable scanner as it allows you to scan receipts, whiteboards, paper notes, or any other multi-page document. The scanned documents can then be emailed and printed, and even uploaded online. The app supports online services, including Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, iCloud and OneDrive. This application uses special algorithms that remove shadows and make the scan sharper. It is priced at Rs 190 for the iOS.

Alternative While the Scanner Pro is available only for iOS devices, Android users need not be disheartened. Handy Scanner Pro, priced at Rs 246.14, is yet another equally good application listed on the Play Store.

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