Digital nomadism is on the rise: by 2022, the global mobile workforce is set to reach 1.87bn people. According to a Strategy Analytics’ forecast, that’s the equivalent of 42.5% of the world’s workers, and amounts to an expected 420mn workers moving to remote working arrangements between 2016 and 2022. With this rise, we will help you stay connected and productive with the selection of the best products to work on the move or remotely.
While none of these workers are tied to a physical location, they can still connect with their colleagues, customers and clients via a range of technological solutions – smartphones, laptops and other devices, plus the accessories that support them.
Demand for these devices is fueling constant improvements: products are becoming more efficient, more portable and increasingly lightweight. Here are our picks for the best equipment on the market for remote workers.
- Get the work done – Laptop & Tablets
- Protect your equipment – Case, Sleeve & Bag
- Connect your equipment – Cable, Power & Router
- Boost your Audio Video – Headset, Speaker & Monitor
- Manage your files & docs – Printer, Scanner & Hard drive
Get the job done – Laptop & Tablets
First and foremost: the remote worker needs a powerful and portable computer. Laptop-tablet combinations like the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 stand out from the crowd. Finally equipped with the long awaited USB-C port, it features powerful hardware, thanks to its quad-core processor. And, more importantly, this tablet has a long battery life (around 9 hours), it’s 12.3 inch in size, and it weighs 1.7 pounds, making it both compact and durable. Pair it with Microsoft’s Surface Signature Type Cover, which serves as a keyboard on par with those you’d find on a laptop, and an elegant screen protector.
Another contender for the throne is Apple’s tablet iPad Pro. The 11-inch tablet is not only extremely compact, but it also stores an enormous amount of power for a tablet – so much so that it puts certain laptops to shame.
If you need a bigger screen, then iPad Pro 12.9 is the way to go. It’s one of the most comprehensive devices out there, delivering lightning-fast processor speeds. The downside is that it carries a weaker battery and its size and weight make it somewhat less portable than iPad Pro 11.
And let’s not forget the more traditional laptops. In this range, one name stands out in most user reviews: the 13.3-inch Apple MacBook Air model. Although it doesn’t beat any records in power and storage, it weighs only 2.75 pounds and, offering over 12 hours, it has an extremely long battery life for a laptop.
As a companion to your computer for those more delicate mouse operations, we suggest the ultra slim Microsoft Surface Arc.
Protect your equipment – Case, Sleeve & Bag
Your MacBook will be perfectly safe in the lightweight Stow Sleeve, which comes complete with a quick-access pocket and a waterproof zipper. For carrying iPads around, look to Native Union’s Stow Slim, a quality solution whose heavy-duty exterior and soft, quilted interior protects your device against outside hazards.
For carrying your devices, Tumi’s Alpha Bravo collection offers durable and all-encompassing solutions. Native Union also helps your organize your gear with the Stow Accessory Organizer to get rid of messy cables and get you connected faster.
Connect your equipment – Cable, Power & Router
Need to charge multiple devices at the same time? Native Union’s Smart Charger PD 45W allows you to charge up to three devices at the same time, with 2 USB-A and 1 USB-C port. To connect your gadgets to the charger with ease, get yourself a universal charging cable; Native Union’s Belt Cable Universal more than does the trick.
For those scenarios where you’ve got the cables but there’s not an electrical socket in sight, a power bank is a must. The Omni 20 USB-C is a good option for high-energy device as it can output up to 100W. In addition to coming with plenty of charging ports, it enables wireless charging. Simply place a device on top of the power bank and you’re good to go. It also conveniently serves as a USB hub.
Whether you or your on-the-go workers need round-the-clock internet access or a secure connection, the Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router is a trusty device. It’s slim, light, user-friendly and provides Wi-Fi on-the-go, allowing download speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Its powerful battery can last for up to 16 hours, supporting up to 20 Wi-Fi-enabled devices at the same time.
Boost your Audio Video – Headset, Speaker & Monitor
Whatever audio and video conferencing software you’re using, you’ll want to back it up with efficient communications devices and accessories that deliver clear sound and visuals.
A top-notch speakerphone is the Jabra Speak 710, which features an omni-directional microphone and HD voice for natural-sounding audio.
For those who need to drown out background noise, the Jabra Evolve 75 is the ideal wireless headset: it doesn’t take up much space and it provides crystal-clear calls in loud places. Plus it lets you talk for up to 14 hours on one charge. For a more discrete and lighter experience, you can go for the Jabra Evolve 65t.
Another great wireless product comes from Sony. Its WH-1000XM3 wireless headphones have outstanding noise cancellation capabilities and excellent sound quality – and they can go for up to 30 hours before the battery will need to charge. Boosting call quality even further are four microphones located inside the headphones and on the outer ear cups.
If you need a great portable monitor, look no further than ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC, which is compatible with any laptop with USB-C and USB-A ports, it automatically senses its orientation, flipping between landscape and portrait mode in an instant. Weighing only 1.7 pounds, it comes with a foldable smart case that turns into a stand to prop up the monitor.
Manage your files – Printer, Scanner & Hard drive
One of the best portable printer/scanners you can buy today is Brother PocketJet PJ-773. Weighing only 1.1 pounds, it needs no extras except paper for printing on. In addition, it has built-in Wi-Fi, as well as Wi-Fi Direct so you can establish a direct connection between it and your device, and a mini USB port.
Need extra storage? Kingston Ironkey D300S, a USB flash drive coming with capacities ranging from 4GB to 128GB. It’s sturdy, waterproof, and highly secure, with a barcode and a unique serial number that together allow system administrators to scan or read the code when configuring the drive.
If it’s massive storage you’re after, try the PNY 512GB Elite MicroSD card, with up to 512GB capacity. Bigger than a microSD card but still relatively small is the Samsung T5 SSD external hard drive. Its capacity ranges from 250GB to 2TB and it offers transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s.
That’s it from us, good luck with your remote work setup and we hope you stay connected and productive with our selection of products geared at digital nomads. If you are working from home, read this article focused on the best device selection for your home office setup.