Guest post by John Mardinly, Product Category Manager at StarTech.com
Business travel can be stressful for all kinds of reasons, including unexpected flight delays, issues with ground transportation and mix-ups on room reservations. Add to that the struggle to stay in contact with colleagues and customers on the road, and a quick business trip can turn into a nightmare of lost productivity.
It doesn’t have to be that way. The technology in your bag may not be able to assist with an overbooked flight, but you can add items like combination cables and adapters to help you stay connected on the road. Here are some of the challenges road warriors encounter on business trips and tips on how tech accessories can help create a workstation away from the office
Staying productive on the road
Reports, emails and presentation edits don’t end when you’re on a business trip. In fact, sometimes the pace picks up. But without a full workstation, it can be hard to handle the influx, especially if your laptop has only one or two USB ports. Multiport adapters can help you turn your laptop into a full-service docking station with essential ports for use at a hot desk, huddle room, or in a hotel room.
Some USB-C multiport adapters provide ports for display, such as HDMI or VGA, which are compatible with most projector screens. A Gigabit Ethernet port is a reliable choice to deal with wired connections, and an additional USB port is handy for using a mouse and keyboard on the go. USB-C also enables USB power delivery, meaning that you can power and charge your device from the same multiport adapter that offers all of these productivity-enhancing features. Look for an “all of the above” USB-C Multiport Adapter for maximum functionality on the road.
Ensuring difficulty-free presentations
Technical difficulties during a presentation are a recurring nightmare for many businesspeople. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve fine-tuned your deck and talking points — if you spend 15 minutes fumbling around with plugs and inputs trying to connect to the projector system, your presentation will be off to a bad start.
The right adapter can help you avoid that scenario. Look for a display adapter that you can use for a range of presentation systems, so you’ll be able to handle the setup in any conference room across the country. Depending on your specific display needs, a USB-C Travel A/V Adapter is a great choice, as is a Mini DisplayPort Travel A/V Adapter. There are a lot of products out there that may work for you, so take a look at what’s available.
Getting purpose-specific support
Sometimes the support you need on the road will depend on what you’re doing, as in the case of a salesperson, a role where ensuring difficulty-free presentations is a top priority. To help with that, frequent presenters might benefit from an adapter that stops laptops from falling asleep during presentations or a presentation remote, so you can change slides away from your laptop.
Other purpose-specific technologies include a Multiport Adapter with SD Card Reader for people who work with images — photographers, for example. With the right USB-C adapter, a photographer on a road trip can get fast read and write access for their memory card, connect an Ultra HD monitor, and stay powered up — all from a laptop with a single USB port.
With the help of these tech accessories, road warriors will be prepared for almost any contingency. World travelers might want to add a Dual-Port USB Wall Charger to their bag to avoid the need to look for an adapter at the airport. People who use both Apple and Android devices should take a Multi-Charger Cable along for the trip to keep phones, tablets and laptops powered up. And if you’re driving instead of flying, a Dual-USB Car Charger can keep your devices topped off between meetings.
The bottom line for road warriors is to be prepared. Having the right adapters and chargers is essential business trip preparation today, as are combination cables and rugged equipment that can withstand the rigors of travel. The right technology and accessories can help you make your next business trip a big success.
As a side note, we’ve reviewed a few products from StarTech.com in the past and have been generally pleased with the performance and build quality. The devices John Mardinly talks about above should definitely help you out for your regular business travel or even day trips and daily commutes.