Tech Tools: The Startup Kit

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BenQ MX600 Projector (NewEgg.com)

If your young business lives and dies by the PowerPoint presentation, you understand the importance of a quality projector. The BenQ MX600 ($499) delivers the high-quality HD images you’d expect, but it’s the extra features that separate it from the crowd. Lightweight and easily portable, it has a smart mode to determine optimal contrast and brightness, delivering virtually perfect images and perhaps savings on the electric bill. LampSaveMode works similarly, using only the power needed, which can mean a 50 percent longer lamp life.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 2 (Microsoft.com)

Many tablets on the market are sleek enough to fool you into believing they can replace your laptop. But most of them have limitations. Enter the $799-and-up Surface Pro 2, which may resemble other Windows tablets on the, umm… surface, but internally, the Pro 2 is so much more, coming equipped with a hyper-fast processor. Unlike most tablets, the Pro 2 runs Windows 8 and lets you use the full versions of the software you depend on, like your favorite browser or the full Office suite. The 10-finger touch-screen can also be operated with the included Pro Pen, a stylus that senses pressure—so you can doodle or sign important contracts, all onscreen.

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Era by Jawbone (Jawbone.com)

Bluetooth earpieces were once the subject of ridicule from the fashion police, but you can now wear a wireless headset and hardly anyone will notice—yourself included. The Era by Jawbone ($129.99) is incredibly lightweight and uses military-grade noise cancellation to eliminate surrounding ambient sounds, like office chatter, so your voice comes through loud and clear. An included protective case doubles as a charger, so you’ll never run out of juice, and it also doesn’t hurt that, unlike roughly 95 percent of current wearable tech, the Era actually looks cool. Everybody knows it’s important to look cool in a startup.

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Lenovo ThinkCentre M93z All-in-One Desktop (Lenovo.com)

Whether you’re looking for a business-friendly all-in-one computer for yourself or systems for your new staff, this mouthful is among your best options. Starting at $1,089 for the 10-point touch-screen model, it can tilt nearly 180 degrees, making the ThinkCentre great as a collaborative office tool. It has streamlined file transfer, thanks to its souped-up connectivity, and the system comes with a slew of privacy features—from password and file encryption to the ability to disable the USB ports so no one can drag-and-drop confidential files onto an external hard drive.

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Epson Workforce DS-510 (Epson.com)

A scanner is not a sexy purchase—most options still resemble the bulky office technology of yesteryear—but it’s something you’ll need as your business gets rolling. Rest assured, however, that this $349.99 device is thoroughly modern under the hood. Its high resolution allows you to scan everything from typically sized color documents to business cards, plus it sends the images to your PC and cloud storage so you can stay organized. With speeds of up to 26 pages per minute, this scanner won’t slow you down, and its built-in sensor detects obnoxious problems before they happen, so you can avoid skipped pages and—everyone’s favorite—paper jams.

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Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam (Logitech.com)

In the early phases of your business, chances are you don’t have a video conference room. Luckily there are alternatives to having your entire staff huddle around a low-res webcam. Very affordable at $249.99, the ConferenceCam connects to your computer and sits on your desktop. It offers full HD video with a 78-degree field of view—and you can pan the auto-focusing lens a full 180 degrees via remote control.

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