The right mixture of digital communication and entertainment technologies can inspire productivity and lighten any workload.
The latest communication tools and services are making the virtual office commonplace and bridging the worlds of work and play. Apple's new iPhone, for instance, seamlessly combines communication with a media-rich work style. This $599 stylish smartphone includes many powerful functions beyond the obvious combination of iPod and connectivity. Visual Voicemail, for instance, is a useful application that lets you view a list of voicemails, and choose which ones to listen to, save, or delete.
Ultra-light multimedia computing devices, such as the Samsung Q1, can have a powerful, positive effect on the way we work and play. The $1,499 Q1 Ultra-CMV portable MS Vista and Tablet PC weighs only 1.5 lbs., and features a brilliant 7-inch, 1024 x 600 WSVGA LCD touch-screen, an 80GB hard drive, an Intel Ultra Mobile 800MHz processor, and built-in cameras for digital photography and videoconferencing. This small wonder provides virtually limitless connectivity, including integrated Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi, and a 3.5G HSDPA high-speed cellular modem for seamless access to remote data and communications.
We found this unit to be well thought out for mobile power-users. The Q1 Ultra is ergonomically configured for thumb typing on its split-QWERTY keypad, and its standard battery life is rated at a healthy 4.5 hours. A time and power saving "AVS Now" instant-on feature also lets you enjoy videos, movies, music and photos--without booting Windows.
Even greater benefit from digital tools can be realized when they are combined in a synergetic way to open up new vistas of interaction and productivity.
With a Slingbox PRO at your home base, you can remotely view and control cable or satellite TV, DVRs, security cameras, and similar devices from any Internet connected PC. We set up Sling Media's Slingbox PRO ($250) with a Slingbox HD Connect Cable ($50) at our office and were thrilled with the ease of connectivity and remote access to our HD media resources. With Slingbox PRO and a wide-area wireless mini-PC such as the Samsung Q1 Ultra, you'll never have to miss the news or your favorite shows while you're on the road.
To deliver even greater synergy around the office, the new Linksys One solution combines high-speed wired and wireless data access with advanced VoIP functionality and software services. This hosted solution provided by participating VARs, offers a cost-effective combination of hardware, software, and services for access to business critical applications.
The overlap between leading edge consumer systems and small business solutions often provides opportunities for innovative business applications. We recently previewed a prototype Microsoft Windows Home Server, running on a multi-drive PC from Hewlett Packard, which could produce a real competitive advantage for certain types of businesses. The system can automatically organize hundreds of gigabytes of video, audio, photos, documents, and other content--and serve it up in a secure way to as many as 15 groups or individuals anywhere in the world.
While it lacks e-mail support and some other functions available in MS's Small Business Server, the sub-$1,000 Home Server promises to be a good solution for small companies that need to share a lot of rich-media content with dispersed workgroups.
The right portable devices can help make business travel easier, more productive, and more fun. DLO's iBoom Travel is a particularly useful arrival among the plethora of new iPod accessories. This compact iPod dock and speaker system, with FM radio and iPod alarm clock delivers pleasing, full-bodied sound. The $90 unit weighs 19 ounces, measures just 8.6 x 4.6 x 2.4 inches, and runs on 4 AA cells or the included AC adapter.
With travel security measures increasing at airports and computers available for use almost anywhere you land these days, portable storage devices offer a good alternative to toting a small PC. Imation's new pinkie-size (52mm x 18mm) 8GB Swivel Pro Flash Drive offers the highest capacity yet available in a Flash drive, weighs less than an ounce, and delivers fast data transfers via a USB 2.0 connection.
External hard drives are also getting smaller in size and higher in capacity. The Maxtor OneTouch III Mini Edition is perfect for carrying lots of data, and for backing up files on a laptop while traveling. The $140 compact drive offers 160GB of data storage, and measures only 5 x 3.5 x 0.75 inches. For even higher capacity, consider Western Digital's sleek and stylish 250GB Passport hard drive ($200). About the size of an actual US passport, but twice as thick, this pocket-sized unit will function without an external power supply when connected via USB 2.0 to most modern PCs and Macs. The WD and Maxtor hard drives come bundled with good backup software and provide a great way to travel with tons of data in your pocket. Show Time Presentation tools are one area where the boundary between work and play has virtually disappeared.
Portable DLP projectors like Casio's latest Super Slim XJ-S46 can deliver a killer presentation on the road, and then host a baseball party or videogame session back at the ranch. This Casio $1,500 XGA projector delivers 2500 ANSI lumens of brightness, more than enough for use in normal room lighting. The sub-4 lb. unit is Vista-ready, includes a 1-watt speaker, and provides wireless 802.11b connectivity through a USB port.
You can hand out instant prints at company events with the new portable Canon Selphy CP740 dye-sub photo printer. The $100 unit weighs only 2.2 lbs., and delivers a brilliant 4 x 6-inch print in less than a minute. The cost of a 180 pack of 4 x 6 sheets with color printing cartridges is about $30.
For all the printing demands of a busy office, it's a good idea to invest in a durable, high-quality printer that won't break the bank. Konica Minolta magicolor 7450 is a full-size workhorse printer that provides fast B&W or color photo prints. This large format color laser printer, with models starting at $2,999, can deliver bold color handouts of presentations, full-bleed tabloid prints (12.25 x 18 inches), and banners up to (12.25 x 47.24 inches) for a much lower cost-per-page than inkjet printers.
In addition to displaying family photos, digital picture frames are increasingly being used for one-on-one customer presentations, and even for inexpensive point-of-presence marketing--sort of digital signage on a diet. The new eMotion digital picture frame from MediaStreet provides a 15-inch diagonal, high-resolution (1024 x 768) display of video, audio, graphics, and digital photos directly from a memory card or USB Flash drive. The $298 unit includes both a tabletop stand and a wall-mount bracket for versatile display of your creative communications.
All work and all fun? If you use a little imagination to make technology toys work for you, everybody wins!
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PHM1200 SVR3000 Manager Phone 16-Port Services Router
SVR3000 16-Port Services Router
Find a participating hosted service provider at www.linksys.com/linksysone for products and services available.
Large-Format, Photorealistic Quality Color Laser
When image is everything and time is critical, count on the magicolor® 7450 from KONICA MINOLTA for dazzling color prints in seconds. With 9600 x 600 dpi-class quality, the magicolor 7450 delivers photorealistic, true-to-life detail. It prints 24.5 ppm in color or b&w, with a first-page-out time of only 11 seconds. And since it supports diverse media types and sizes--from 3.54" x 5.5" to 12.25" x 18", and up to banner size (12.25" x 47.24")--you can bring all of your color printing tasks in house and save big.
The magicolor 7450 is backed by five years of toll-free, U.S.-based technical support for years of trouble-free productivity.
For more information, call 1-800-523-2696 or visit www.buymagicolor.com .