Belkin Conserve Valet, $39.99
Dear Santa, I’m a busy worker, one who isn’t a fan of coal. I like gadgets. Please give me one – or many – this gift-giving season. If you do, I promise to behave, which would be easy seeing as gadgets will make my hectic workdays much less stressful and me much less irritable. Sincerely, (Insert your name), the world’s hardest-working worker BusinessNewsDaily knows how hard you’ve worked this year, so treat yourself to one or all nine of the reasonably priced gadgets we’ve chosen to help improve your life in 2011. Or share this wish list (and the letter above) with a spouse, parent, sibling, co-worker or boss. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll step in and be your Santa, delivering these electronic goodies and accessories to you before year’s end. Well, you can’t have gadgets without power. Snag this energy-efficient charger to juice up the other gadgets you bought this year or hope to receive soon. The Valet charges up to four devices at once and frees up wall outlets in your home or office. And when all batteries fill to capacity or you unplug every gadget, the Valet shuts off (yes, even standby power), saving energy and subsequently trimming your electric bill. “It used to be that a businessperson would come home from a long day and empty the change from their pockets into a dish on the dresser. Today our pockets are heavier” because of the multiple devices we carry, Conserve general manager Kevin Ashton told BusinessNewsDaily. “The great thing about the Conserve Valet is that it lets you charge up to four devices at once, and it senses when a new device is added, assuring you that your devices will be fully charged and ready to go when you are.” The Valet is compatible with most cell phones, music players and other hand-held gadgets.
Jaybird SB2 Bluetooth headphones, $99
The wires of your headphones can be an irritant and get in the way when you're shuffling through papers at work or exercising at the gym. Buy Jaybird’s SB2 Sportsband headphones to eliminate those scenarios. The fashionable Bluetooth device allows you to wirelessly take calls and listen to music. The SB2 "comes with apt-X on board, which cleans up, adds depth, bass and treble to your Bluetooth music with technical specifications matching that of CD-quality output,” according to Jaybird’s website. The sleek, modern design should appeal to the trendy entrepreneur. The headphones come in nine colors: limonade green, sonic blue, orange crush, runner's red, toffee apple red, midnight black, polar blue, powder puff pink and snow white.
Sony Bloggie Touch camera, $149.99 to $169.99
Santa likes when you share, so capture and share all of your work moments and after-work antics with Sony’s Bloggie Touch. “You can record video, snap photos or even both at the same time,” said Sony blog editor Sukhjit Ghag in a post earlier this year. Ghag also said the camera's 3-inch touch screen allows users to easily slide through 12.8-megapixel pictures and 1080p high-definition videos, which are saved as Web-friendly MP4s that are easy to share on websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Picasa, Flickr and Sony’s Personal Space. Another feature that makes Bloggie Touch ideal for sharing is its built-in USB arm, which flips out and connects to a computer.
Cocoon Grid-It organizers, $9.99-$29.99
Say goodbye to clutter with Cocoon Grid-It organizers. Designed with rubberized elastic, the organizers hold gadgets and accessories firmly where you place them. “As more iPads, laptops and smart phones flood the business world, there are more wires, batteries and chargers to keep track of than ever before. The Grid-It system is designed to organize all of these items and more,” Cocoon marketing director Dov Friedman told BusinessNewsDaily. “The Grid-It is the perfect holiday gift item for the modern businessperson.” “The Grid-It comes in different sizes so that it can fit into anything from a small shaving kit to a briefcase.”
MiLo Projector, $299
This pocket-size LED device flips open and projects videos to as wide as 70 inches. Reviewers are calling it a movie theater in your pocket, which could come in handy for an entrepreneur looking to relax for a few hours. Business people also could use it for presentations at meetings and conferences. Connect to it an iPhone, iPod, MP4, DVD player or laptop and you’re good to go.
Tablet, varying prices
The gadget topping many consumers’ wish lists this year is Apple’s iPad or some other form of a tablet. In a recent Retrevo survey of about 1,000 consumers, respondents listed the tablet as the hottest holiday item. In October, the iPad was designated Innovation of the Year by the tech publication T3. Product-comparison website TopTenREVIEWS said tablets are great for comfort and convenience because of their slender and travel-friendly design. Available tablets include the Viewsonic G-Tablet, Archose 101 and Samsung Galaxy, among others. “Tablets started out as electric pads used for notes to the modern addition of HD video playback, music, web, eBooks, magazines and video games,” reviewers said on the website (a sister site of BusinessNewsDaily). “Select manufacturers have even incorporated some productivity applications to cross over into the Tablet PC/Laptop realm. Since the majority of the main features are standard across the board, base your decision on the little things. “Elements like available applications, webcam, quick and smooth interface, user friendliness and support make up the difference when it comes to this emerging technology. The determining factor often comes down to personal preference. What you want to use it for will define which one is best for you.”
Brenthaven 5-in-1 5-in-1iPad Case, $59.95
Brenthaven’s case increases the utility of the iPad. How? It serves four more functions besides being a protective tool. The hard-shell case can convert into a viewing stand, flip over to become a typing stand, mount on the back of car seats for watching videos on the go, or transform the iPad into an eBook reader just by tightening a strap. “With the 5-in-1, we have tried to anticipate and solve for as many use-case scenarios as possible so the business professional only needs a single case,” Brenthaven marketing manager Linda Nguyen told BusinessNewsDaily. ““The reason the 5-in-1 would be a great gift for a businessperson is because it features a number of functions for the person on the go.” The case is available in matte black and metallic bronz.
ToneCheck software, free
Avoid turning work colleagues and clients into Grinches, with ToneCheck. The tech-savvy tool helps thwart e-mail users from sending upsetting messages. Available as a software plug-in for Microsoft Outlook, the tool “identifies and flags emotionally charged sentences” before an e-mail is sent. Oh, and it’s free.
eBook reader, varying prices
Gone are the days when you had to make room in your luggage if you wanted to read during business trips. The advent of thin eBook readers such as Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook have changed the way people store, tote around and read books, magazines, newspapers and other materials. “One device holds about a library and gives you as many of your favorite book titles at your fingertips as you could ever really want. Plus, they make it easy to take notes, save clippings of quotations and highlight passages we want to be able to find again,” says TopTenREVIEWS. “They are designed to make your reading experience more enjoyable and less of a hassle. Nobody wants to take a stack of books with them on a business trip or long road trip. “They’re convenient, portable and good for the environment. In fact, the only real downside we can see to an electronic book over a real paper book is that you’ll have a few more problems if you accidentally spill your coffee on it or get splashed at the pool.”