There comes a time in the growth of any SMB when employees need to hit the road to do business. To be prepared when travelling, you need to be equipped with the appropriate hardware.
The first tool that comes to mind for movers and shakers is the ubiquitous notebook computer. While we won’t go into specific configurations here, needless to say they come in all sizes, capabilities, and yes, even colors. The key is to buy the right notebook for the right applications. If your work will be limited to office apps and presenting PowerPoint slide shows, you can probably get by with a lower end machine. If, on the other hand, you intend to create CAD drawings or computer graphic designs on the road, you’ll want a fire-breathing monster of a notebook. Typically (there are exceptions), the more powerful computers will have more screen real estate and more weight. Lower end models tend to be smaller and weigh less. The key is to purchase the right machine for the right job, while planning for the future.
More powerful notebooks can often do double duty as “desktop replacements.” Using a docking station attached to the notebook, a keyboard, a mouse, and a monitor, the notebook computer can behave just as though it were a full-sized desktop machine. Here you can have the best of both worlds. At the office the machine can act as a desktop but you can pop it out of the dock to grab it for the road.
For those who have minimal computing needs, a netbook might be a good solution. A netbook looks like a notebook computer but is about half the size and weight. Its capabilities, however, are very limited compared to a notebook. It’s intended to send and receive email and browse the web without the ability to run high end office apps — though word processing tools for the machines do exist.
Last but not least, we have the smart phone. If you only need to email, text, and see small versions of web pages, these little handheld devils are a must when your notebook or netbook is not available. Bear in mind that like notebooks, capabilities correlate to price. A bigger keyboard and screen will set you back a couple more bucks.
Now pack up your gadgets and do some business!