2017 Mobility 100: 25 Coolest Mobile Hardware Vendors
For professionals in many industries, being "on the job" increasingly equates to being "on the go." And yet there are multitudes of options to consider when it comes to choosing mobility offerings. Hardware such as laptops, 2-in-1 tablets and smartphones are serving as key business devices in many workplaces -- and their innovations are made possible through the help of components manufacturers. Makers of mobile device accessories, meanwhile, allow workers to use their devices however they see fit.
To give a sense of the key players in mobile hardware right now, we've rounded up the 25 coolest vendors in the space to know about.
Jason Chen, CEO
Acer boasts innovative offerings in the tablet market including the Switch Alpha 12, a 2-in-1 that distinguishes itself by including liquid-cooling technology instead of a fan. The company is also a force in the Chromebook world, with the stylish but sturdy Chromebook 14 as one of its latest releases.
Lisa Su, CEO
Headquarters: Sunnyvale, Calif.
AMD offers a variety of technologies used in mobile devices, including the PRO A-Series processor series (for business laptops) and Radeon graphics. AMD has also said it's bringing its powerful new Ryzen processors to laptops this year.
Tim Cook, CEO
Headquarters: Cupertino, Calif.
Apple's big push for enterprise usage revolves around not just its iPhone but also its tablets -- especially the iPad Pro, which Apple has released in both 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch models (with optional keyboards). The company also revamped its workhorse MacBook Pro laptop this past fall.
Simon Segars, CEO
Headquarters: United Kingdom
While ARM has less name recognition than Intel or Qualcomm, the company's microprocessor designs -- such as its Cortex-M and Cortex-A -- are licensed by the makers of most smartphones, including Apple and Samsung. ARM architecture is also crucial to tablets such as the iPad, and is soon expected to be coming to Windows 10 devices (such as laptops) for the first time.
Jerry Shen, CEO
Asus' wide range of mobile devices includes laptops for business (such as the AsusPro B9440), 2-in-1 devices (including the Transformer Book series) and Chromebooks. The company also recently unveiled a new smartphone, the ZenFone AR, that is the first to support both Google's Tango augmented-reality technology and Daydream virtual-reality platform.
Chet Pipkin, CEO
Headquarters: Los Angeles
Belkin specializes in creating cutting-edge chargers, cases and other accessories for popular mobile devices, including Apple's iPhone 7 and Samsung's Galaxy S8. Products include the Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar, which enables simultaneous charging and audio listening through the Lightning port on the iPhone 7.
Michael Dell, CEO
Headquarters: Round Rock, Texas
Along with a range of business-friendly laptops in its Latitude line, Dell has also built numerous business features into its XPS 13 notebook and, more recently, into the first 2-in-1 version of the XPS 13. Meanwhile, tablets offered by Dell include the Latitude 12 7275, which comes with an attachable keyboard.
David Cote, CEO
Headquarters: Morris Plains, N.J.
Honeywell has a variety of scanners and mobile productivity offerings, such as handheld bar-code scanners and wearable scanners, as well as mobile computers for health care and for mounting in vehicles. The company also offers durable Captuvo enterprise sleds for extending the usefulness of Apple devices, such as the iPhone and iPad.
Dion Weisler, CEO
Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.
HP has numerous business-oriented laptops and tablets on the market, with recent additions including the EliteBook x360 convertible laptop and the Pro x2 612 G2, a 2-in-1 tablet. Meanwhile, the HP Elite x3 is the world's first "3-in-1" device -- able to provide the computing for mobile, laptop and desktop experiences.
Ren Zhengfei, CEO
Huawei is gunning for Apple with the launch of smartphones including the Honor 8 Pro and Honor 6X, which feature a custom version of Android that draws inspiration from the iOS user interface. In addition, Huawei's slick-looking MediaPad M3 tablet is serving as a viable alternative to the iPad Mini 4.
Brian Krzanich, CEO
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Intel's latest generation of Core chips, the seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors, have been appearing in major notebook releases since the debut of the new processor series last year. Meanwhile, Intel Atom processors offer a low-power option for mobile devices such as tablets.
Christopher Franey, President
Headquarters: San Mateo, Calif.
Kensington specializes in mobile device accessories, including accessories that offer added security such as the ClickSafe 2.0 Keyed Laptop Lock. The company also offers products including chargers, mounts and privacy screens.
Yang Yuanqing, CEO
Headquarters: China and Morrisville, N.C.
Lenovo is a prolific producer of mobile devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones. Recent introductions include new versions of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon business laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga convertible laptop and the 2-in-1 ThinkPad X1 tablet. The company's smartphone portfolio, meanwhile, includes the Motorola Moto Z and the augmented-reality-enabled Phab 2 Pro.
Seong-Jin Jo, CEO
Headquarters: South Korea
LG offers Android tablets in its G Pad series as well as Android smartphones, including the V20 and, most recently, the G6. The LG G6 includes key features such as a 5.7-inch QHD+ display (with a minimal bezel) and the Google Assistant.
Bracken Darrell, CEO
Logitech is a provider of accessories for mobile devices, including charging stands for tablets, Bluetooth-connected tablet keyboards and tablet cases, such as the AnyAngle case/stand combo. The company also offers smartphone accessories such as ZeroTouch, a smartphone holder for cars that features Alexa voice assistant integration.
Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO
Headquarters: Boise, Idaho
Micron Technology is a developer of NAND flash memory and DRAM technologies for use in mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. The company's low-power DRAM (LPDRAM) components help allow for lower battery drain in mobile devices, while the newest DRAM offering, DDR4 SDRAM, is aimed at boosting reliability and speed in tablets and ultrathin devices.
Joseph Hsu, CEO
Along with being a supplier of PC motherboards, including for laptops, MSI is a maker of its own laptops for both professional productivity and gaming. MSI recently introduced a new line of mobile workstations, including the WT73VR, a powerful laptop that aims to serve as a replacement for desktop PCs.
Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Nvidia specializes in offering cutting-edge graphics technologies used in mobile devices such as laptops. The company is especially known for its GeForce series of GPUs, including the recently introduced GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, which Nvidia says is the fastest gaming GPU to date.
Kazuhiro Tsuga, President
Panasonic is a maker of laptops and tablets for businesses, with a focus on offering rugged devices. Products include Toughpad tablets, such as the Toughpad FZ-G1, and Toughbook 2-in-1 devices, such as the Toughbook 20.
Steve Mollenkopf, CEO
Headquarters: San Diego
Qualcomm is a top supplier of processors for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, with the company's Snapdragon chips used in major smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Google Pixel and the LG G6. The company's latest processor, the Snapdragon 835, offers major boosts in speed and battery efficiency while also taking up less space within a device.
Oh-Hyun Kwon, CEO
Headquarters: South Korea
Samsung offers a wide range of mobile devices with uses inside the enterprise, from the new Galaxy S8 smartphone to the Galaxy Book 2-in-1 tablet and the Gear S3 smartwatch. The company is also a producer of laptops such as the business-oriented Notebook 9, as well as the Chromebook Plus, which is the first Chromebook with support for running Android apps.
Kazuo Hirai, CEO
Sony's mobile device portfolio includes Xperia tablets and smartphones, with the newest introduction being the Xperia XZ Premium. The phone boasts a 4K display with a glass-and-metal construction, and is one of the first devices to leverage the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor.
Satoshi Tsunakawa, CEO
Toshiba offers laptops and 2-in-1 tablets for businesses, including detachable Ultrabooks such as the Portege Z20T. The company also brings a focus on laptops for education with models such as the Portege A30T.
Mark Holleran, CEO
Headquarters: Austin, Texas
Xplore Technologies is focused on developing rugged tablets and 2-in-1s, mainly running Windows but on occasion running Android. Among the offerings is the XSlate R12, a Windows 10 tablet that comes with a Bluetooth keyboard and features an FHD display.
Anders Gustafsson, CEO
Headquarters: Lincolnshire, Ill.
Zebra Technologies offers mobile computing devices tailored to challenging business environments, including handheld, vehicle-mounted and wearable computers. Zebra's products include the 3600 Ultra-Rugged Series bar-code scanner, which works for bar codes that are in practically any condition.