10 must-have gadgets for the traveling executive

From smartphones and tablets to a wide variety of peripherals, deciding what to pack can be a challenge. Here are 10 smart gadgets to help you work better on the go

Do you fly frequently for work or travel regularly between a few branch offices? Between the jetlag and the rush between appointments, it's easy to get flustered by a less than stellar set of peripherals. While better gadgets won't necessarily help you complete your work faster, they can make the journey a far more comfortable and less frustrating proposition.

We've put together a list of some of the best gadgets a traveling executive may want to bring on the road.

[ You can also check out these products in a slideshow  format . | Understand how to both manage and benefit from the consumerization of IT trend with InfoWorld's "Consumerization Digital Spotlight" PDF special report. | Subscribe to InfoWorld's Consumerization of IT newsletter today, then join our #CoIT discussion group at LinkedIn. ]

1. LOK-IT secure flash drive

The LOK-IT is an encrypted flash drive that offers hardware authentication that renders it impervious to key loggers or other spyware. The secret passkey must first be keyed into the built-in number pad before plugging the LOK-IT into a USB slot, where it appears as a normal storage volume. Unplugging it automatically locks it, which is as fool-proof as you can get. Moreover, the LOK-IT is platform-independent and will work on any operating system and even office appliances such as scanners, projectors, and other mobile devices with USB OTG.

LOK-IT product page

2. Sanyo eneloop batteries

Feel bad over your growing pile of battery-guzzling peripherals that requires the purchase of new alkaline batteries every couple of months? You may want to consider a switch to a rechargeable option in the form of Sanyo's eneloop rechargeable batteries. Unlike standard nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, which have a self-discharge rate of up to 30 percent per month, the eneloop has a long storage life and will hold its charge for up to three years. Moreover, it can be recharged up to 1,500 times to literally save hundreds of dollars over its lifetime.

Sanyo eneloop product page

3. Jawbone JamBox

The Jawbone JamBox is a portable wireless speaker that produces unbelievably loud, high-quality sound for its diminutive size. Powered by sophisticated acoustic drivers, the speaker works great in a sales presentation and holds sufficient charge for up to 10 hours of continuous music playback. In addition, a built-in microphone allows the JamBox to be used as part of a conference call conducted via a mobile phone or a computer. The JamBox also works with applications such as Skype and Google Talk and is available in a number of attractive colors and designs.

Jawbone JamBox product page

4. ZAGGkeys Flex keyboard

The ZAGGkeys Flex is a sleek, Bluetooth-enabled keyboard specially designed for iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. When removed, the versatile protective keyboard cover folds into a stand that should support most devices. And though slightly smaller than a full-sized keyboard, the rigid Chiclet keys feel spacious and help facilitate rapid-touch typing. Special function keys allow for the most essential features to be accessed directly from the keyboard, with iOS and Android modes selectable by a hardware toggle. An internal lithium polymer battery offers several months of normal use between charging.

ZAGGkeys Flex keyboard product page

5. ioSafe Rugged Portable SSD

Wrapped inside a hefty enclosure made from a solid slab of aluminum, the ioSafe Rugged Portable SSD is crush-resistant to 2,500 pounds and optimized for data-loss protection against drops of up to 20 feet. And unlike most other ruggedized storage devices, the Rugged Portable SSD is also designed for a varying amount of tolerance against immersion in water and chemicals. Under the hood, the Rugged Portable SSD is powered by a blistering fast Intel 320 SSD and equipped with a cutting-edge USB 3.0 interface, making for a high-performance portable drive that should leave most competitors in the dust.
ioSafe Rugged Portable SSD product page

6. Kensington AbsolutePower laptop charger

Perfect for the busy executive, the Kensington AbsolutePower is a slim laptop charger that is capable of charging two USB-based devices while simultaneously powering a standard laptop. Interchangeable smart tips offer compatibility with major laptop brands, essentially guaranteeing the ability to work with future laptop purchases. The 2.1A capability of the built-in USB ports means that the device will charge iPad tablets as well as smartphones. And even when workers are travelling without a laptop, the versatile characteristics of the AbsolutePower device may still make it desirable as a lightweight, dual-port USB charger.
Kensington AbsolutePower laptop charger product page

7. Kensington ClickSafe Keyed Twin Laptop Lock

From the inventors of the Kensington Security Slot, the ClickSafe Keyed Twin Laptop Lock allows for two separate devices to be physically secured with a single cable lock. A laptop and an accompanying portable storage drive, for example, can be quickly secured with the device. Moreover, Kensington's proprietary ClickSafe technology allows for hardware to be attached in a single clip-on motion, eliminating the need to insert a key or endure a troublesome, multi-step locking process. Once locked, the tamper-proof, disk-style lock and a carbon strengthened steel cable should serve to deter opportunists and all but the most determined thieves.
Kensington ClickSafe Keyed Twin Laptop Lock product page

8. Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse

The Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse is a standard-sized wireless mouse with a slim profile that makes it ideal for slipping into laptop bags. This is complemented by Microsoft's BlueTrack sensor, which was created to track on irregular or glossy surfaces where a typical laser sensor would fail. Moreover, the metallic touch strip vibrates to simulate the clicks of a scroll wheel, and is much easier to clean. Rounding out the package is an unobtrusive Nano transceiver that can either be stowed under the Explorer Touch Mouse or left plugged into a USB port.
Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse product page

9. Bose OE2 audio headphones

The Bose OE2 audio headphone set is a stylish, great-sounding pair of headphones that is highly recommended. Whether for music playback or for watching a training video, the slim headband and soft memory foam ear cushions lend themselves towards a comfortable listening experience. Music is lifelike, thanks to the company's proprietary TriPort technology that ably reproduces deep, low notes. For users on the move, the collapsible design of the headphones allows them to be folded flat for easy storage in the included carrying case. An OE2i model is also available with an inline microphone and a remote control for use with an iPhone.
Bose OE2 audio headphones product page

10. ZAGGsparq 2.0 portable battery

One perennial problem with the gadgets-heavy lifestyle of a travelling executive is the constant need to keep smartphones and tablets charged. Enter the ZAGGsparq 2.0 portable battery, which was engineered to simultaneously charge two USB-based devices. ZAGG says the ZAGGsparq carries up to four full recharges for most smartphones, or up to 60 percent of an iPad, at the same charging rate of an iPad wall charger. And unlike most portable batteries, the ZAGGsparq plugs directly into a standard wall socket, and four indicator lights offer an instant ability to check the power level of the ZAGGsparq.
ZAGGsparq 2.0 portable battery product page

This story, "10 must-have gadgets for the traveling executive" was originally published by CIO.