New Products for Mobile Workers -- April 2007

— April 24, 2007

One for the Road
Hewlett-Packard officials say the Compaq nc6400 notebook was designed to "expand the limits of mobility." To accomplish this, HP equipped it with built-in support for global high-speed connections and a tri-band UMTS mode that supports data rates of up to 3.6 Mbps. It also doesn't play favorites: HP included a touchpad with a stripe for quicker scrolling through Web pages and text documents, as well as an embedded trackpoint in the keyboard. Price: $1,599.

One Hip(i) Phone
With VoIP calls, sound quality is dependent upon the interoperability between a mobile device and the network, and the number of signal "anomalies" that pop up. The hipi 2300 dual-mode smartphone from Paragon Wireless takes care of these anomalies with a built-in jitter buffer, which helps smooth out the digital signal and provide better sound. The 2300 runs on Windows Mobile 5.0 and includes a battery that offers up to four hours of WiFi talk time, six hours of GSM talk time and up to 100 hours of standby time. Price: $Varies.

Meet D.A.V.E.
Mobile storage devices don't have to be big to get the job done. Case in point: D.A.V.E, a new portable hard drive from Seagate that wirelessly streams data to mobile phones. Weighing 2.5 ounces and measuring about the size of a centimeter-thick credit card, D.A.V.E (which stands for Digital Audio Video Experience) communicates with mobile phones via Bluetooth or WiFi, allowing users to store, play and share digital files—between 10 GB and 20 GB of data, to be more exact. And because it has WiFi connectivity, D.A.V.E can be used as a modem if you're stuck without Internet access. Price: $200 and $300, depending on GB size.

Neither Rain, Nor Steam, Nor Dust…
It's fitting that the IS1890 FocusIND from Metrologic was designed with postal carriers in particular in mind, because like them the IS1890 imager works under the toughest conditions, whether in driving rain, steamy storerooms or dusty warehouses. Designed to withstand six-foot falls to concrete, this bar code scanner was built to address the challenges of various verticals, including manufacturing, transportation, package distribution and government. Plus, its FirstFlash technology increases efficiency by decoding most standard bar codes in a single pass. Price: $1,180.

The Business of Scanning Cards
Though wireless technology and the Internet are making paper-based transactions obsolete, business cards continue to fill the pockets of corporate executives. CardScan takes those cards out of executives' pockets and stores them instead in an electronic file where they can be easily accessed through a laptop, desktop or smartphone. The device scans business cards in seconds and can read seven languages from cards in 14 countries. Weighing 7.6 ounces, CardScan is light enough to take on the road, where it can be used to generate a MapQuest map for any contact location. Price: $159.99.

Sleek Stuff
In a packaging similar to the Pearl, the BlackBerry 8800 delivers all you'd expect—email, voice, text messaging, browsing and organizational capabilities—plus several pleasant surprises. These include built-in GPS, an extended battery life, microSD card storage, a media player and push-to-talk on the Cingular network. It can also support 10 email accounts and be used as
a high-speed wireless modem by (lesser-equipped) devices. Price: $299.

All the Right Connections
The Kodiak Connected Portfolio is a suite of mobile solutions targeting business, family and social networking communities. Compatible with most cell phones, the suite features three mobile conferencing and messaging applications: Mobile Conference allows users to instantly set up a dial-out conference call with multiple participants; Visual Voice SMS enables messages to be sent to any mobile device on any global network; and Group SMS lets users send one text message to more than one contact at a time. Price: Varies according to carrier.

A Smart Way to Draw on Tablet PCs
The 2007 version of SmartDraw is full of templates and graphics to help you create professional-quality business presentations on computers running Windows XP, 2000 or Vista. The software lets you choose shapes and draw lines onto a page, then annotate them with ink and handwritten words that can be automatically converted into typed text. Word and Excel documents can also be added to SmartDraw diagrams, resulting in flowcharts, graphs,
organizational charts, timelines, floor plans, maps and fliers. Price: $297.


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