Technology for the enterprise has always been about achieving efficiency and performance; and now more than ever, it’s also about portability and connectivity. Often, connected devices for business applications must also be rugged enough to withstand the rigors of a workplace—whether it’s a warehouse or a construction jobsite, or whether you’re an on-the-go professional looking for an on-the-go solution.
Thanks to innovative, durably designed devices built with the enterprise in mind, we have a slew of M2M (machine-to-machine)-enabled options that fit the bill. A number of tablet and laptop devices, for instance, straddle the line between consumer and enterprise, offering functionality to suit both applications. Some companies, however, have gone above and beyond to market their connected product as business-friendly.
Lenovo, www.lenovo.com, for instance, offers the ultra-thin ThinkPad X1 laptop optimized for on-the-job use. The device offers business-class innovations such as voice and video calling using optional mobile-broadband connectivity, a 720p camera, and high-def microphones. X1 also features Intel, www.intel.com, vPro technology for enhanced security, which includes encrypted hard drives with remote-management support and a fingerprint reader.
The device is less than 17 mm thick (about as thick as a penny), and its 13.3-inch screen features Corning Gorilla Glass that is resistant to scratches. ThinkPad X1 may be lightweight, but it features an interior “roll cage” and magnesium chassis for durability and strength.
Thinkpad’s connectivity is customizable. Bluetooth is an option, and the device can be configured with WWAN (wireless wide-area network) using mobile-broadband modules from Sierra Wireless, www.sierrawireless.com, and Ericsson, www.ericsson.com.
Speaking of connectivity, if your business relies on Wi-Fi, Amped Wireless, www.ampedwireless.com, offers a solution that provides a strong wireless connection even at extended ranges. The company’s professional Wi-Fi solutions are built to withstand outdoor applications for all sorts of businesses that are looking for connectivity.
The High Power Wireless-N 600mW Professional Series Access Point (AP600EX), for instance, adds high-speed wireless access as well as extended range for existing wired networks. Amped Wireless’ High Power Wireless-N 600mW Professional Series Smart Repeater (SR600EX) extends the range of indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi networks by repeating the signal from a wireless access point or router.
Both devices feature 600mW amplifiers, high-gain directional antennas that can reach up to 1.5 miles, and weatherproof enclosures for mounting outdoors. Smart features include the ability to remotely turn the network on or off, adjust the distance of the network, and restrict access to specific users.
M2M technology may be making huge gains in the consumer arena, but it has its roots in enterprise applications. Today, it seems the line between a consumer connected device and an enterprise connected device is blurring; but as long as we have choices, does it matter which is which?