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A better way to work: 10 cool products to give your business a boost.

A LOT HAS BEEN SAID ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF SOCIAL media, and it's all true. But to keep your business from floating off into the increasingly popular "cloud," you can't forget the basics. Here are some products to help you stay grounded.

1. Seating--Herman Miller Embody Chair (starting at $1,199; www. As with the chair, you'll get sucked into this gorgeous Website. which lets you customize your Embody for the perfect fit.

Also consider: HAG Futu Chair ($571.35: The Futu is an ergonomic chair with clean lines and impressive flexibility.

2. Smartonones--HTC HD2 on T-Mobile (no price at press time.) The HD2 is a powerful Windows smartphone, featuring a 1GHz processor, huge 4.3-inch display, and a 5-megapixel camera with dua LED flash. The ultrathin device also features GPS functionality and social networking integration (Facebook YouTube, etc.).

Also consider: Nokia N900 ($569; www. A dream smartphone, the N900 s probably the most anticipated tech device since Apple's tablet.

3. Laptops and Netbooks--HP Mini 5102 (starting at $399; Weighing 2.64 lbs, HP's first toucn-enabled netbook (standard option also available) features a 95%-sized QWERTY keyboard. integrated face recognition technology and an optional handle.

Also consider: Dell Mini 10 and Mini 10v Netbooks (starting at $299 and $349, respectively). Customize t with Windows XP or Ubuntu Linux operating system.

4. Applications. SaaS Zoho's suite of products, most of which are free, helps entrepreneurs and small companies compete with the big guys. With tools ranging from CRM to spreadsheets to invoicing, small businesses don't have to worry about missing a step.

Also consider: Microsoft Office 2010 ( com). In free beta at press time Microsoft's latest suite features streamlined functionalities and collaboration tools. Microsoft says it used crowdsourcing (a type of "open call" that ask a large group of people to test a product rather than limiting it to a smaller group of employees) this time around to improve the suite of offerings.

5. Printers--Canon Pixma MX870 ($199.99; www. This wireless all-in-one (print, fax, copy, scan) features a built-in 35-sheet ADF (auto document feeder), auto-duplex printing, an easy scroll wheel to access functions, and printing via iPhone or iPod touch devices.

Also consider: Epson Workforce 610 All-in-One ($199; A quality workhorse for your workforce.

6. VoIP services--Skype (, Skype lets you make local and international phone calls, send messages, or make video and conference calls with ease. The app is easy to install; basic services are free. You can assign phone numbers to staff and manage calls and costs through the Business Control Panel (BCP).

Also consider: Cinch (free; www.cinchcast. com). In beta at press time, Cinch is a nifty app that lets you easily capture and share text, video, and audio.

7. HDTVs--Vizio's 47-inch LED HDTV ($1,799; is the perfect complement to an ultramodern conference room. Whether you're screening company videos or Tweeting (company info, of course), this nifty little device we affectionately call "SV472XVT," will let you do it in style. Also features built-in wireless HDMI and Vizio Internet Apps.

Also consider: Best in Show CES winner Panasonic 50-inch 3D HDTV (TC-PSOVT25 series), which ships with a pair of Panasonic 3D Eyewear. No pricing set at press time.

8. Epson PowerLite Presenter--The PowerLite is no lightweight when it comes to features: built-in DVD player, two 10-watt speakers, HD connectivity, and widescreen presentation capability. Though it teeters on the 10-pound line, the hefty presenter packs in loads of power. ($899;

Also consider: WowWee's Cinemin Swivel (www.; $299.99); the multimedia DLP (digital light processing) pico projector swivels 90 degrees, features an 8-foot projection range, and works with iPods and the iPhone.


Turn Out the Lights ...

So you've outfitted your office with pretty much all you'll need to hit the ground running. But have you done everything? Are you sure? How about the lights, environmental controls, office monitoring systems? If you lease a commercial space, you might be covered. But for the SOHO (small office/home office) shop, here are a couple of products to consider:

9. ecobee's Smart Thermostat, a seven-day programmable device that let you easily monitor your environment even remotely. And the best part? Yep, there's an iPhone app. ($469;

10. Kwikset's SmartCode with Home Connect lets you use a Web-enabled cell phone, the Internet, or home automation/security touch panel to check door lock status, automatically arm and disarm your security system, and receive text notification when someone has entered, Features a 30-code capacity, for four to eight digits. (

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Title Annotation:PRODUCT NEWS
Author:Donaldson, Sonya A.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Buyers guide
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2010
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Next Article:Information Technology: how and why IT jobs will dominate the 21st century.

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