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BW Businessworld

Tools For C-Suite

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At work, the CEO is connected to key clients, team members and the office at large. Then, there is life after work. But work and travel schedules should not dictate your personal space. Here are the top five gadgets that head honchos could use to stay connected to their lives back home...

Blackberry Bold 9900
While it is the biggest cliché in this elite list, it is also the most indispensable. A CEO without a BB pin is almost like a CEO without a posh zip code. The latest iteration of the popular emailing device is not just the biggest yet, but also the best. Featuring tech from the future like NFC (near field communication), it has the potential to replace your credit card very quickly. Amongst the tech you can use in the present, it has the  backbone of the brand-new Blackberry OS7 that provides enough juice to carry out multi-tasking, video-calling and sending out memos at the speed of light, thanks to the best-ever QWERTY keyboard on a smart phone yet.

The 1.2 Ghz processor mated to the slick touch-screen takes the browsing and apps experience to a previously unseen level of grandeur on a BB. Sure, it is as special looking as a Toyota Corolla, but let us not forget what made the Corolla the best-selling car of all time. The Bold's combination of well-oiled functionality and familiarity is what puts it at the top of this list.


Slingbox PRO HD
Retiring to your hotel room after a hectic day, hunting for your favourite television channel can take a toll on your precious free time. Slingbox PRO HD will help by giving you full control of your home set-top box from anywhere in the world, provided you have a decent Internet connection, on 3G or Wi-Fi. A step up from the traditional Slingbox, the PRO HD features 1080i capable streaming so you can follow the Sensex back home on Bloomberg UTV or NDTV Profit in high-definition quality. One of the keys to its success is its OS independent nature, which means as long as your PC/MAC has a browser, Slingbox will work its magic.

It replicates your set-top box, complete with an accurate on-screen remote control, too, so you are never too far away from your favourite shows, live or recorded on your personal video recorder. Team it with an iPad app and your downtime will never be spent watching Russian soap operas again!

AWESOME TOYS: Apple MacBook Air is thinner than your pen drive and Blackberry Bold 9900 (right) offers video-calling and sending out memos at the speed of light

Apple MacBook Air
Others keep playing catch-up, but Apple has left a trail of ‘me too' products with the MacBook Air. Thinner than your average pen drive and more powerful than most full-featured notebooks out there, the Air truly is a vision of computing from the future. Some might sniff at the omission of the DVD drive, but it is the Apple way of ensuring that our digital lives slowly migrate to the "cloud" and keep all our devices in perfect, marching-ants sync.

The 11-inch model can rival tablets for portability and yet beats them hands down when it comes to keyboard functionality and USB-derived data. Traditional Apple software like iPhoto and iTunes comes standard, along with their OS X Lion, an operating system inspired by the iPhone, which can only be a good thing. The 13-inch model is a perfect travel partner and both can be had with dual-core Intel Core i5 processors, and with up to 256GB of flash storage, meaning instant on and off. The stand-by time of 30 days allows you to go on a vacation and just pick up the meeting where you left off. Now, isn't that what you always wanted in your computer?

BMW K1300R
There is simply no substitute for that ‘wind in the hair' feeling of escapism after a day of number crunching. Convertible sports cars are for Prada toting sissies. For the real deal, there is no match to BMW's Motorrad range of motorcycles. Matching German precision engineering with ferocious Japanese acceleration, the K1300R is a supreme tool for destructing the urban landscape on two wheels. Its 173 bhp in-line 4 cylinder engine will take you from one traffic signal to the borders of town faster than you can use its torrential torque reserve. The optional auto transmission and MotoGP-style 2D dashboard add a theatrical touch to every outing and the K1300R can even be outfitted with saddlebags if you choose to really rocket out of the city without a warning and stretch its legs over its 310-km range.

Of course, there is a premium you pay for all this controlled aggression but after all, it is a BMW and carries the brands' DNA to the core. This may be the perfect excuse to go A-W-O-L (absence without leave) at work.

Meridian Audio Core 200/ DSP3200
If it is good enough for a Range Rover, it should be good enough for your desk, right? Meridian has been at the forefront of digital audio technology ever since we started listening to CDs. So it is no surprise that they have taken all their know-how on digital processing and shrunk it to a desktop system that manages to capture the essence of the brand's classic design cues. Featuring Meridian resolution-enhancing technologies, it will massage and pamper your tunes, no matter what format you prefer them in. In typical Meridian fashion, a single-wire link connects to the active DSP 3200 loudspeakers or the Meridian i80 iPod dock or the Sooloos media server. Thoughtful features like the smart buttons change their functions depending on the mode that is selected and even the OLED screen auto adjusts to provide optimum clarity in every light condition.

That makes it a perfect desktop partner.

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(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 26-09-2011)