Did you go to the world’s largest electronics show in Vegas last month to look for tools to help you at work? No? No worries. We’ve saved you the airfare, plus all those things that happen in Vegas that have to stay in Vegas.
Here are our top 11 picks in four categories: tablets, smartphone tools, video and portable hard drives. If you notice the lack of Apple products, it’s because Apple wasn’t at CES (it doesn’t participate in traditional trade shows).
1. Motorola Xoom — The hands-down top competitor to the iPad in the 2011. Its powerful hardware, Honeycomb software (tablet version of Android) and slick capabilities like Flash support make Xoom a top pick for business use, too.
2. Samsung Sliding Series 7 — Is the on-screen keyboard holding you back? Try this tablet with a full-size slide-out keyboard. It runs Window 7, too.
3. RIM BlackBerry Playbook — Blackberry users, rejoice! This all-in-one WiFi tablet syncs with your BlackBerry smartphone, runs multiple programs at once and includes a camera on both sides for videoconferencing.
4. Motorola Atrix 4G — Snap this smartphone into a laptop dock. Then use your laptop’s big screen and full-size keyboard to work with your smartphone contents.
5. Casio Wireless Watch — The future is here. Pair this unassuming looking watch with your smartphone and receive caller IDs, text message alerts and more right on your wrist.
6. Plantronics Voyager Pro UC version 2 — This Bluetooth headset knows when it’s on your ear. So the intelligent sensor technology route your call to the right device. It also syncs with Outlook.
7. Toyota Entune — Entune hooks up with your smartphone so you can access traffic, weather, Pandora, OpenTable reservations and more from your car dashboard.
8. Sony Handycam HDR-PJ — Want to record something in the field, then share it with your client or team on the spot? This camcorder and projector in one stores 91 hours of hi-def video, projects up to 60” diagonally yet fits in the palm of your hand.
9. Spracht Aura Z Cam HD — Take HD videoconferencing on the road with this tiny, award-winning, autofocus camera with dual microphones. Works with PCs, Macs and almost all videoconferencing software, including Skype.
10. Seagate GoFlex 3.0 USB Hard Drive — How’s this for thin? Just 9mm for 320 GB of storage. Need more? Choose one with up to 1.5TB of storage. It’s like slipping your Mac or PC desktop hard drive in your pocket.
11. IoSafe Rugged Portable Hard Drive — This beautifully sleek drive is so tough, it withstands gunfire and being underwater for three days. Perfect for extreme work conditions. Or extremely busy people who sometimes drop things.