iPad Pro, Tile keyring and Juku backpack: Tech tools for busy professionals

Top 1000: what you should be packing in your personal tech arsenal this year

There are plenty of gadgets out there to help busy business people get on with their day. But the choice can be overwhelming. So what should you be packing in your own personal tech arsenal?


The most important consideration for busy executives is how technology helps you work smarter. Whether you are on the move or desk-bound, having the right tools at your disposal is essential.

If you want a lightweight device that can work for both business and leisure, the iPad Pro is a good place to start. Compatible with the Apple Pencil, the Pro has a power bump over the cheaper iPads in Apple's line up, and the 12.9 inch version (from €1,129) could easily replace most laptops, as long as the software you need is available on iOS.

If a Windows device is essential, direct your attention to the Surface Pro 6 (from €1,069). Not only is it a fully featured Windows device - you can add any other necessary ports with the optional and portable dock -but it pulls double duty as a tablet so it’s light enough to carry with you. Team it with the Arc Mouse (€90) and you have a set up that will cover almost every eventuality.



Carrying your gear around can be tough. You need to find something that is both comfortable, gives the right impression and is useful. For travelling, the Juku Metro backpack (€80) fits the bill. It’s subtle in style, fits a laptop up to 15.6 inches and has a built in charging port for your USB powered gadgets.

If you are a frequent traveller, look into some noise cancelling headphones. There are plenty of options out there, from the Bose Quiet Comfort and Sony WH-1000 XM3 headphones to Audeara’s version, the A-01 (€340), that allow you to tune the sound for your individual ears.

Keeping an eye on that expensive gear is also a consideration. For short range stuff Bluetooth range will act as guardian, allowing you to “ring” the tag through an app to locate your belongs, and vice versa. There’s a choice here: Tile and Chipolo both offer tags you can attach to almost anything and are relatively inexpensive, starting at €25. Think of them as more sophisticated versions of the whistle key finders. It will even show you the item’s last known location on a map in the accompanying app.

For items that may be out of your sight, there's GPS. Vodafone V Bag teams the Alcatel Move bag tag (€60) or the TrackiSafe Luggage tracker (€80) with Vodafone's V sim, which will cost you €3 per month to keep active. Doing so gives you the ability to track your bag via the respective apps on your phone, so as long as the tag is kept charged, you'll be able to locate your bag or luggage. Both work overseas too, with roaming in 90 countries.

Prevention is better than cure though, and if you plan on bringing your expensive laptop to places where it may be unattended, Kensington locks are the way forward.


The office is not exactly the most sanitary environment. From office colds to the different pollutants in the air, there are plenty of reasons to seek out a little tech help.

The Dyson Pure Cool Me (€350) is the latest addition to the company’s lineup. It’s a personal air purifier, if you can get over having such a thing. It looks a little like a squat robot sitting on your desk, but it will cut out the office pollution rather than blowing it right in your face as you try to keep cool.

A smartwatch will keep an eye on your activity and heart rate, giving you a broad indicator of your health. For Apple devotees, there is the obvious choice: the Apple Watch (€439). The latest version has the ability to perform an ECG if needed, along with monitoring your activity, sleep and general heart rate.

For Android users, there's plenty to choose from. From Fossil to Tag Heuer, everyone seems to be hedging their bets and producing a smart watch. The Samsung Galaxy Watch (€319) has a rose gold version that is particularly nice, and the Kate Spade Scallop 2 (€329) is designed with women in mind.


Smartphone choice is a personal thing, but the top contenders in this category are the iPhone XS Max (from €1,279 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (from €1,019).

The former has a screen big enough to work on if needed; the latter has a big screen and extra features such as the S Pen, and the ability to plug your phone into a display via a HDMI adapter so you can work on the move.

If you are looking for an excellent camera though, the Huawei P30 Pro (€999) balances work and leisure with a camera that is currently the best available, in our opinion, and teams it with a dual sim option and 128GB of space.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist