10 Innovative Mobile Options
Stay productive anywhere
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t still use the best technology. Fortunately, the latest laptop PCs continue to add extraordinary capabilities to help small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) operate more efficiently and grow.
Here are 10 new and useful laptop options that might surprise you:
1. Laptops in leather
Recently HP introduced a 100 percent chromed tan, full-grain leather-covered version of its Spectre convertible laptop that is as pleasing to the touch as it is to look at. This durable material provides a natural hinge and flexible chassis to enable a breakthrough new form factor.
At the same time, its aesthetic appeal, with accented stitching and precision edging, creates a sophisticated, luxurious quality that’s often associated with fashion but rarely seen in PCs. The HP Spectre Folio is available in two colors: Cognac Brown and Bordeaux Burgundy.
2. Webcam covers
We’ve seen enough horror movie trailers to know there’s always some bad guy lurking out there who knows how to look through your digital peepholes (your webcams) to secretly watch your every move. All fiction aside, this is a real security threat that can be devastating to businesses if cybercriminals manage to spy your private activities or glance at confidential documents in your home office.
Fortunately, HP has released versions of its EliteBooks (830, 840 and 850) with small, sliding webcam covers. Slide ‘em open when you use the webcam; shut ‘em when not-in-use. It’s simple and more visually pleasing than those pieces of masking tape or Post-It notes many people use instead.
3. Privacy camera “Kill Switch”
Another option for avoiding digital Peeping Toms is a privacy camera “kill switch,” now included in the HP Spectre lineup. It allows users to electrically turn off the webcam when it’s not in use. It also comes equipped with optional HP Sure View, an integrated privacy screen to help users avoid prying eyes in public areas, like the local Starbucks.
4. Portable printers
It’s easy to dismiss the new wave of portable printers as being strictly for smartphones. It is true that’s their primary function. But if you need a small, powerful printer for your home office, you’ll be interested in HP’s OfficeJet Mobile Printers, priced under $200. They’ll help boost productivity and allow you to do your job while traveling to client sites or meeting with important partners.
The HP OfficeJet Mobile Printers sport long battery life and can print up to 500 pages on a single charge. You can also get supplemental mobile printer batteries or car chargers to extend their usability in the field.
5. Mice with fingerprint readers
Laptops with embedded fingerprint readers for logging-in are common these days. But did you know you can accomplish the same thing now just by touching a computer mouse?
A fingerprint reader is a security device that uses a scanned image of your fingerprint to authenticate who you are. With fingerprint security software you can log on to applications and secure Web sites by scanning your fingerprint instead of typing your username and password on the keyboard.
Recently, HP released a USB Fingerprint Mouse with a fingerprint sensor built right on top of the mouse’s housing. Starting around $49, it provides simple and direct biometric scanning to unlock the PC.
6. Outdoor viewable displays
Not long ago, Amazon marketed its Kindle portable readers around the ability of its screens to withstand glare from the sun. For outdoorsy types, it was great innovation that somehow escaped laptop PCs.
This was no surprise to HP, who developed an optional, first-of-its-kind, outdoor viewable display in its HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3 small business convertible. It lets you work in your backyard if you’re tired of sitting inside, offering a range of low light to bright light, with an ultra-bright display.
7. Portable displays
Speaking of displays, one of the downsides of laptops has always been that, if you’re accustomed to working with dual monitors back at the office, it’s pretty tough to do that when you only have one monitor at home.
HP solved for this with its HP EliteDisplay S14 Portable Monitor. Designed for working outside of the office, this portable display is powered by a single USB Type-C connection for easy connectivity to any USB-C notebook.
8. Fast charging
Laptop charging technology, often the bane of a remote worker’s existence, has come a long way the last several years. Where it once took hours to get a laptop charged-up enough to work again, today not only do many batteries keep up with you and your workload, but the fast charging technologies mean that you don’t have to wait long to be back up and running even if you have accidentally run it out completely. If these features are important to you, check the battery specs on models you are interested in before getting too seriously attached to a favorite.
9. Active pens with homing signals
If you prefer using a stylus, or “active pen,” to draw or take notes on your laptop screen, you probably know those things can get left behind or lost pretty easily. Now, HP offers a rechargeable active pen that includes its own digital proximity alert that notifies you if you’ve left your pen behind. We could all use something like that for our credit cards and car keys, couldn’t we?
10. Immersive audio
First a disclaimer: This one can’t be found in laptops—yet. But it there are signs it’s coming.
Every laptop user knows that despite the best efforts of vendors, those tiny speakers in our computers tend to be limited in how much—or the quality of—sound they produce. At the same time, we’ve seen amazing sound emanating from small stereo speakers, so we know anything is possible.
In fact, HP Labs has developed a technology called Immersive Audio that uses advanced software processing to reproduce the immersive sound experience of a movie theatre in today’s increasingly slim consumer hardware devices.
It’s been integrated into the HP ENVY Curved 34 All-in-One monitor and HP Pavilion 24 and 27 All-in-One PCs. And according to Barbara Pickering, Innovation Manager for HP’s Personal Systems group’s Customer Experience and Portfolio Strategy team, it could be expanded to smaller devices like laptops in the future.
Laptop innovation is transforming all the time, especially with vendors like HP constantly reinventing what business computers are all about. Today, it’s possible to have a PC that is as sleek and cool to look at as it is to use when you work from home. Keep checking for those ‘I wish I had’ options on HP.com…they might be here sooner than you think.