As a result of technology, businesses have become more mobile. Customers, clients, and associates can contact each other with ease and at times that they could not previously make contact. This article will explore some of the portable devices that are currently available and of benefit to business owners and their employees.
Laptops were invented in 1981 by Adam Osborne, who called his invention the “Osborne 1”. It cost $1,795 but came with a bundle of computer programs worth $1,500. Just a tiny screen was built into it. Since then, laptops have been made with screens ranging from 13 to 17 inches. This is measured by the diagonal length of the screen. 13 inches tends to be standard. Any larger, and it is classed as a desktop or personal computer. No matter which screen is chosen for businesses, they will always emit blue light and a flicker from them. This can cause ill health in the realms of losing sleep and suffering headaches as well. In this case, staff or companies can buy themselves a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses, from companies like Felix Gray, to act as a barrier to this and to enable them to get their work done in peaceful and comfortable conditions. It is recommended these are provided. Especially as screens are getting bigger, as mentioned!
The availability of laptops to employers has meant that employees can more easily work from home as most of the company’s software can be installed on the laptop.
Some of the best laptops to consider for office use include the Apple MacBook Pro, Dell XPS, Huawei MateBook X Pro, Levono ThinkPad X1 Carbon (or Yoga Book), or Microsoft Surface Laptop.
As an alternative, there is the iPad. This has a larger screen than a mobile phone and, as with a mobile phone, a keyboard which is operated by a touch screen. These are particularly useful where some, but not a great deal of information, needs to be inputted. That is, it is primarily a good viewing tool for information.
iPads to think about for business use include iPad Pro 12.9 (2020), Levono ThinkPad X1 Tablet, (3rd Generation), Microsoft Go, Microsoft Pro 6 or 7, or Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.
Mobile Phones and Apps
Keeping in contact with the office can now be by mobile phone, iPad, or laptop. This is not to say that we have created a generation of 24/7 workers, just that some of the work can be completed at home. Long term, this may mean that companies can reduce their admin costs by not needing such large premises to accommodate all their office staff. Perhaps large luxuriously carpeted and fitted head offices might become a thing of the past.
When choosing a mobile phone, it is often a case of choosing between which one interacts best with social media and which one has the best camera. For business purposes, the one with the most social media interactivity is likely to be the most useful in terms of being able to communicate in a whole manner of different ways with employees. In addition, those that have compatibility with Microsoft packages such as Word and Excel with have an advantage.
For business use, you might want to consider the Google Pixel 5, iPhone 12 (or SE from 2020), OnePlus 8, or Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (or S20 or S20 Ultra).
There are many apps available to portable devices, such as iOS ones, which have uses for business. The best ones for accounting and finance are likely to be Addappt, FreshBooks, Fuze, Gusto, Pushover, QuickBooks, Slack, or Wave.
Other apps which may be of use to businesses include:
For inventory management – Delivrd, Sortly, or SOS Inventory.
For payments and POS – GoPayment, PayPal, QuickBooks, or Square.
For team management and time tracking – Gusto, HotSchedules, Teamdeck, or TSheets.
Both iOS and Android smartwatches are available. For businesses, they offer another small device that can send messages and aid employees in keeping fit.
These are but 4 of the personal devices which may be of benefit to businesses as they become more multi-locational. The fact that we can choose from laptops, iPads, and mobile phones, means that we can choose the size of screen that we prefer to work on and whether we want our keyboard to be touch screen or practically a full-sized keyboard like in the office. The many apps available will in most cases work on these devices, subject to make and model. Smartwatches are likely to offer more features for businesses in the future but being able to send messages makes them a useful communication tool for now.