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Work remotely, work smart: Indispensable gadgets for every road and coffeehouse warrior

Whether you're working remotely for the day or on an extended business trip, packing the right tools can make you a lot more productive.
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1 of 6 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Cable Matters Quad Hub

Sometimes you need to connect a few peripherals to the laptop to create a full working environment. A USB hub is the way to do that, and this one is so small it is easy to always carry it with you.

The Cable Matters hub has four ports, and connects to the laptop with speedy USB 3.0. Just plug it in and connect your peripherals to the hub. The design allows the four peripherals to plug in easily, with all four plugs spread apart.

Buy the Cable Matters Quad Hub on Amazon for $9.99.

More Mobility Tools

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2 of 6 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Tech Armor ActivePower 3000

Long work days can be a drain on the average smartphone, especially when traveling. You can’t always count on finding a power outlet, especially when the battery indicator turns red.

The ActivePower 3000 from Tech Armor will get you through those days, maybe even two or three of them. A little bigger than a Chapstick, this is a rechargable battery that can fully charge a smartphone from empty. When you get back to the hotel just plug it in and it’s ready to go again.

See the review of the Tech Armor ActivePower 3000 on ZDNet.

Buy the ActivePower 3000 from Tech Armor for $14.95.

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3 of 6 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Transcend 5-in-1 Card Reader

Professionals may need to exchange files with colleagues and clients, or perhaps get photos off a camera. A good card reader that plugs into a laptop is a convenient way to do so, as long as it can handle the particular memory card format being used.

The Transcend USB Reader can handle the five most common card formats:

  • SDHC UHS-I
  • microSDHC (UHS-I)
  • SDXC UHS-I
  • UDMA6/UDMA7 CF
  • MSXC

It connects to the laptop USB 3.0 port for rapid reading and writing.

Buy the Transcend USB 3.0 Card Reader on Amazon for $12.19.

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4 of 6 James Kendrick/ZDNet

iBridge

Apple has chosen to forego memory card slots on the iPhone and iPad, so there’s no easy way to expand the storage. That’s where the iBridge comes in, as it plugs into the iDevice lightning port to add up to 256GB of storage.

The end opposite the lightning plug has a full USB plug that is plugged into a PC or laptop to read and write files onto the internal storage of the iBridge. Working with files on the iPad and iPhone is done through a free app on iOS.

See the review of the iBridge on ZDNet.

The iBridge ranges in price from $59.99 to $399.99 from iBridge.

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5 of 6 James Kendrick/ZDNet

RAVPower FileHub

The RAVPower FileHub is a convenient way to wirelessly share files with multiple devices. Files are attached to the hub with the SD card slot or through the integrated USB port. A USB memory stick is particularly good for attaching to the small RAVPower, and portable hard drives can also be attached for sharing.

Once the files are attached to the RAVPower they can be shared over Wi-Fi with the integrated router. It can share with up to five devices at a time.

The router can connect to an existing Wi-Fi network to allow accessing the web while serving the attached files.

In addition to the file sharing features, the RAVPower has a 3000 mAh rechargeable battery. This can be used to charge smartphones on the go, making this gadget a multi-function tool for working remotely.

Buy the RAVPower FileHub Wireless SD Card Reader from Amazon for $39.99.

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6 of 6 James Kendrick/ZDNet

Aibocn Tablet Stand

Working remotely, you never know in advance what kind of environment you might have to put up with. Having a stand for a tablet or smartphone can help the professional set up for productive work sessions.

The Aibocn Stand is a highly portable stand that adjusts the viewing angle to suit the situation. It can support smartphones and tablets up to 10 inches. The aluminum body can handle up to 11 pounds, so there’s no worry about stability.

Buy the Aibocn Portable and Adjustable Stand on Amazon for $8.99.

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