On any list of must-have business gifts this year, I think the 4th generation iPad would be number one. The retina display is the best mobile display I've ever seen - really crisp and vibrant, just as advertised. And think of all the work-related things you can do with it – respond to email, social network, browse the web, use a wide variety of business apps – you can even use your iPad as a POS system if you like. The iPad I have linked to here is a 64 GB Wi-Fi model in black.
Apple's iPhone is also an impressive multifunction work and entertainment centre. The iPhone 4S boasts super-crisp images, an 8-megapixel camera, FaceTime, so you can see people while you talk to them, HD video recording and editing, Siri voice recognition, and a lot more graphical processing power than the plain old Apple 4 thanks to its dual-core A5 processor. Oh, yes – you can make phone calls with it, too. This particular iPhone 4S Smartphone is the 32 GB version which comes with a plan from AT&T.
Microsoft Office is my workhorse of choice because of its combination of features and applications integration; I find it really useful to be able to keep a database of contacts within my email application (Outlook with Business Contact Manager) or import data from a database (Access) into a spreadsheet format (Excel). The new features in the 2010 Professional version make it even easier to do more faster making it a great pick for a business gift. Office 2010 Professional includes 2010 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.
A digital voice recorder is a great business gift for professionals who need to take notes or record ideas. This digital voice recorder delivers in terms of recording, sound quality and storage capacity. 533 hours of recording time in LP mode with 2GB internal memory and 51 hours of battery life with USB recharging gives you a lot of voice recording for the price. And the Olympus DM-420 Digital Voice Recorder handles both MP3 and WMA formats so you can record and play back in either one, lets you use an additional micro SD Card for extra memory, has Voice Guidance to walk you through folder navigation and set-up options and has CD-quality sound. Treat yourself.
Desk bound? Then an ergonomic office chair is the perfect business gift. A chair specially designed to suit your body, your workplace, and the tasks you perform there will improve your productivity and your health. My choice, the Steelcase Think Chair, adjusts itself automatically to your size and weight and the back and seat flexors follow your movements and position shifts with perfectly balanced support. Yet it’s surprisingly inexpensive compared to many ergonomic chairs. Treat yourself.
If you spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen, you won't believe the difference a bigger computer monitor will make to your working life. A big monitor will do big things for your comfort, helping you avoid eyestrain and improving your productivity. This 24-inch Dell Ultrasharp has 1920x1200 maximum resolution and 80,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. I have one of these and love the screen clarity; it really is "ultrasharp".