The top 5 business gadgets at CES 2010

Prepare to treat this sneaky work time reading as research - expense it against your taxable profits. CES may be the Consumer Electronics Show, but the discerning businessmen out there will have spotted an investment opportunity in one or two of the gadgets on offer.

But for those of you yet to make your first million, or even qualify with an MBA, here's our insider knowledge on the hottest technologies coming to market for boardrooms and business lunches the world over.

BlackBerry Presenter

Type
PowerPoint Streamer

Connectivity
Bluetooth to phone, S-Video & VGA

Availability
"At a later date" for $199


If a new BlackBerry device doesn't get you hot, then you're obviously not real jacket and tie material. RIM launched this BlackBerry accessory saying that it gives mobile professionals and management teams "the tool they need to deliver presentations successfully".

It's a 3.4 x 2.4 x 0.9-inch 140g device that connects to any BB phone via Bluetooth and then to any projector or monitor via VGA or S-Video cables. The idea is that all you swish business types can travel light, plug into whatever board room you find yourself in and explain how great your company is while flashing about your high-end smartphone too.

Light Touch Projector

Screen
10-inch WVGA projection

Connectivity
Wi-Fi & Bluetooth

Battery life
2 hours

Storage
2GB + microSD slot


The Presenter may raise the odd eyebrow, but if you really want to seal the deal the moment you step into the room, then nothing will knock socks off at a business meeting quite like the Light Touch projector from UK company Light Blue Optics. No need for any baby toy cables this time. Just Bluetooth any files or internet access straight from your phone, or indeed over a Wi-Fi network, and this little treasure will project a 10-inch touchscreen display onto any surface at all. Yes, we did say touchscreen.

Sadly, it won't be available until an OEM picks it up, but you might know a guy who knows a guy or get some people to talk to some other people's people on this one to get the deal done, right?

Plastic Logic Que proReader

Type
10.7-inch eBook reader

Screen
8.5 x 11 inches, touchscreen

Connectivity
3G & Wi-Fi

Storage
4/8GB

Availability
$650/800


Of course, if you'd rather not faff around with projectors or another company's video set-up at all, then you can just go for a lovely big e-ink touchscreen display instead. This matte finish device also works very nicely, rather than having to lug about a brief case or heavy files it stores up to thousands of PPT, XLS, DOC and PDF files. Plus, you can also use it to read a copy of the Wall Street Journal/FT/copy of Private Eye while you're braving the commute.

IoSafe Solo

Type
Super-rugged SSD

Size
64/128/256GB

Connectivity
USB/eSATA

Availability
Feb 2010 $499/749/1249


Nothing quite screams "important for business" like a hard drive that can withstand the super heat of a roaring fire, being left at the bottom of a lake for 30 days and an entire building collapsing on top of it.

This is the job of the IoSafe Solo and if the you still can't read the data on it after all the trauma, then the company will spend up to $5000 trying to recover it for you. It connects via USB and eSATA, provided either's still intact, and this military-grade armour plated device will work on Mac, PC and Linux. All contracts, spreadsheets and client accounts safe forever - well, for so long as you want them safe, of course.

Powermat

Type
Gadget charger

Technology
Magnetic induction


Fresh from the damp squib of a release in 2009, Powermat has upped its game at this year's CES with the launch of some Powermat Li-ion mobile phone batteries and some new mats too. The rub is that you no longer have to attach a great big carbuncle of a case onto you mobile just so you can get it to charge up on your desk at work. The new batteries will take care of all that internally while keeping your phone slim and the line of your suit uninterrupted. Very neat indeed.