Tech 10: Cool Devices For A Mobile Workforce

Mobile And On-The-Go

Across a broad number of industries, the need to support a highly mobile workforce is a reality in 2018. Mobility solutions will usually start with the device, but with all of the choices available, it's sometimes a tall order to find the perfect fit. To give a sense of some of the leading options for mobile workers, we've rounded up 10 of the latest devices in mobility that solution providers should know about -- from business-friendly smartphones, to portable and always-connected laptops and tablets, to accessories for helping to get the job done.

What follows are 10 cool devices to know about for the mobile workforce.

Apple MacBook Pro

The latest MacBook Pro is noticeably lighter than previous versions: The 13-inch version weighs 3 pounds and the 15-inch version weighs 4 pounds, shaving off a half-pound in both cases. The laptop is thinner than in the past as well, with the 13-inch version measuring 0.59 of an inch thick and the 15-inch MacBook Pro at 0.61 of an inch thick. And for meeting business needs, the MacBook Pro is now available through the Device-as- a-Service program at HP Inc.

Belkin Wireless Chargers

Belkin's wireless charging offerings are compatible with all Qi wirelessly chargeable devices including Apple's iPhone X and iPhone 8/8 Plus and Samsung's Galaxy Note8 and S9/S9+. The new Belkin Boost Up lineup includes the Boost Up Bold, which charges at 10W. Belkin is also introducing the Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand, which lets users stand up their phone while it's charging; a Dual Wireless Charging Pad, which can charge two devices at a time with 10W on both sides; and a commercial version of Boost Up for businesses. The chargers are expected to debut this summer.

Dell XPS 13

Dell has significantly improved the portability of the XPS 13 while also making it more powerful and durable. The new model uses Intel's eighth-generation Core processors, promises up to nearly 20 hours of battery life and offers a 4K option for the narrow-bezel display. In terms of the all-important portability factor, the XPS 13 is now 24 percent smaller in overall volume -- measuring just 0.46 of an inch thick, compared with the previous 0.6 of an inch thick.

Google Pixel 2 XL

Google's Pixel 2 XL has a large and eye-pleasing screen for getting things done on the go; long battery life; one of the best smartphone cameras out there; and the highly useful Google Assistant integrated right into the phone. But Google is also making the Pixel 2 XL a good fit for business through the recently introduced “zero-touch enrollment” option, providing automated device configuration and setting appropriate corporate policies before shipping.

HP EliteBook 840

The EliteBook 800 series -- which includes the 14-inch EliteBook 840 -- has been HP's best-selling notebook series. With the fifth generation of the EliteBook 800 models, HP is adding a range of high-end productivity and security features from its premium commercial notebooks. Enhancements for the new EliteBook 840 include a brighter display (up to 700 nits) and a thinner design (0.7 of an inch). The fifth-gen notebook also includes new features to enable easier and more secure productivity on the go.

IGEL UD Pocket

The UD Pocket is IGEL's paper-clip-size, universal desktop thin client aimed at enabling productivity with mobile workforces. The UD Pocket allows users to boot from IGEL Universal Desktop or the local operating system on a PC, laptop or other compatible endpoint. The micro client device connects to the internet via the IGEL Cloud Gateway, then automatically integrates into the company's endpoint management software -- the IGEL Universal Management Suite.

Lenovo MIIX 630

What if a tablet could integrate the key things that make the smartphone and laptop so useful? That's the thinking behind the Miix 630, a new 12.3-inch Windows tablet from Lenovo. Not only does the tablet come with a detachable keyboard, it also offers the ability to stay connected at all times over LTE, just like a smartphone. The cellular connectivity is enabled by the use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which is a new option for Windows devices thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and Qualcomm.

Panasonic Toughbook 20

The latest version of Panasonic's rugged detachable laptop, the Toughbook 20, offers a number of features that mobile workers will appreciate. With the addition of an optional second battery, users can get up to 17 hours of battery life.. The laptop also offers LTE connectivity and the option of using either Windows 10 or Windows 7 with the laptop. In addition, as a 2-in-1, the display can detach for use as a tablet whenever necessary. The Panasonic Toughbook 20 is available exclusively through resellers.

Samsung DeX Pad

One of the novel mobility products that Samsung introduced last year was the ability for the Galaxy S8 to turn into a desktop by connecting to Samsung's DeX dock (sold separately). Now, alongside the Galaxy S9, Samsung has debuted a second-generation DeX model called the DeX Pad. This time, DeX lets users lay their phone flat on the dock rather than propping it up on the dock, as in the original version. The DeX Pad also allows workers to turn the phone into a trackpad for operating the desktop mode.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Enterprise Edition

Samsung's 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 includes a range of new features. For starters, the camera includes better low-light photography capabilities thanks to an aperture that automatically adjusts to lighting conditions. The Galaxy S9 also includes a faster processor(the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845), stereo speakers tuned by acoustics expert AKG, and support for up to 400 GB of expandable storage via a microSD slot. Samsung is offering an Enterprise Edition of the Galaxy S9 that's sold unlocked by partners.