Best business accessories

It’s no secret that the modern office is becoming increasingly populated with gadgets and tools aimed at improving connectivity, efficiency and productivity.

But how can you spot the products that will give you that extra boost?

We’ve rounded up some of these clever extras, from an ultra-secure USB drives, through a tiny docking station, to one of the weirdest gadgets ever to land on Techradar Pro, courtesy of a Kickstarter campaign.

It’s no secret that the modern office is becoming increasingly populated with gadgets and tools aimed at improving connectivity, efficiency and productivity.

DockCase Adapter: USB-C Dock for MacBook, Air, Pro

An elegant docking and charging solution for your Apple notebook

  • Surprisingly affordable on preorder
  • Elegant design
  • Cheap, tacky white plastic
  • Cable could be longer

Another Indiegogo/Kickstarter campaign brings us a product range that will put a smile on owners of Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. The DockCaseadapter is essentially a docking station that expands the number of connectors that the aforementioned notebooks offer.

Unlike previous attempts, the designers have opted for a enclosure that wraps around the Apple power supply unit and essentially augments its capacities: think of it as an exoskeleton for the USB-C power adapter. The 30W MacBook adaptor gets a HDMI connector (v2.0, so capable of handling 4K) and a USB 3.0 port, the 61W MacBook Pro 13-inch model gets an additional USB port while the 87W dock for its bigger sibling adds another two.

We had access to one of the first finished units and we’re glad to report that, after a few hiccups, it worked as advertised.  Check if the Apple power brick is well connected with the product; the light will be lit up once DockCase Adapter is connected to the MBP. Also use the cable in the box, rather than your original cable as the Apple cable for MBP can only transmit power, not data.

We’d love if DockCase’s bundle cable could be a tad longer and would wish that Seesaw use a sturdier white plastic case for the dock design. One thing we can’t really complain though is how affordable it is, at least during the early bird period.

The MacBook HDMI model costs a mere $40, reaching $47 for the MBP 13 and $52 for the MBP 15 (costs are without shipping) with adding a pair costing $30, $35 and $44 respectively, great if you work at home and in an office.

EyeDisk, Unhackable USB Flash Drive

Is this the most secure flash drive ever?

  • Works flawlessly
  • Relatively affordable
  • Speedy
  • Flimsy construction
  • Gets quite warm
  • Not compatible with Linux

We don’t often get Indiegogo projects on our list but we’re making an exception for the EyeDisk, which hails itself as the first unhackable USB flash drive. The concept is pretty simple; use your iris as your password rather than cumbersome passwords.

Research has shown that iris recognition is more secure than facial recognition and fingerprint encryption and as a working prototype, it works perfectly well even with the dark. It boasts a binocular registration method and a monocular/binocular verification one.

It is compatible with Windows and Mac but not Linux and you will have to run an app every time you plug it in a client. There’s no password to log though, just your iris to be scanned and this takes a few seconds to be registered. You just need to look at a mirror on the side.

We’d prefer to have a sturdier model as this one is made of plastic and would probably not last long in a rugged environment. You will also need to carry a USB type-C at all time to activate the drive as it doesn’t have an actual male connector. Other than AES256-bit encryption to keep your data secure, the EyeDisk flash drive consumes only 2W of power and weighs a mere 20g.

It managed some very decent numbers on CrystalDiskMark (130MBps transfer rate on read and 84MBps on write) which means that it won’t keep you long. At the time of writing, you can only pre-order it via Indiegogo, the crowdfunding platform, and it is scheduled for delivery from March 2019.

With a starting price of $59 plus shipping for the 32GB version and $99 for the 128GB, it is reasonably priced although the prices are likely to go up once the early bird offer ends.

We’d love to see something similar come to Windows laptops equipped with a Type-C connector although one has to say, competition is likely to be far more intense.

Dell U3219Q 32-inch 4K monitor

A pin-sharp yet bulk display that could be a great addition to your office

  • Sharp 4K display
  • Excellent connectivity
  • Adjustable for greater flexibility
  • Bulky build
  • Quite pricey

Having a great display is becoming increasingly important in many home offices, especially as more of us move to a multi-screen environment. Dell’s newest 32-inch 4K monitor, the Dell U3219Q. offers a bright and vibrant Ultra HD display that is perfect not just for video or gaming, but for workplace applications such as video-conferencing and data modelling.

The U3219Q features an incredibly useful collection of connectivity options, sporting not just HDMI, USB and DP ports, but USB-C as well, meaning it’ll easily slip alongside your existing laptop or PC. The unit even ships with a USB-C and HDMI cable, meaning set-up is quick and easy – just what you need to smarten up your office.

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