It's a new month, and with it we've got a shiny selection of newly tested hardware, software, and apps to give your startup an office face-lift and a productivity boost. This month's business tools span a wide swath of tech, from shiny new laptops and 2-in-1s to comprehensive platforms managing your helpdesk, marketing automation campaigns, and protecting your company's internet privacy with virtual private networks (VPNs). To see which of these fresh startup tech picks make sense for your business, read on.
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Software and Services
GoDaddy's new website builder is easy to use and delivers good-looking mobile and desktop sites. GoDaddy GoCentral is limited in design and layout customization and lacks some standard site-building features, but gives you generous storage and bandwidth and a clear, easy interface to build the sleek new website your startup needs.
If you're a startup or a growing small business, then HubSpot has designed its business with you in mind. The powerful, feature-rich system scales as you grow, combining marketing automation workflows with social media, customer relationship management (CRM), and sales functionality to give you deep reach into other lines of business through a single unified interface that's easy-as-pie to use.
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KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
VPNs are a great idea for both business and personal use (watch the video above to understand why), and one of the best options we've reviewed is KeepSolid VPN Unlimited. This inexpensive tool has numerous global servers and advanced features, and KeepSolid lets you extend VPN protection to 5-10 devices or more depending on your subscription plan, so you can secure all your startup employees' machines for safe, secure browsing.
Identity management is something startups don't often think about, but it can be critical for maintaining user permissions and unified data security across all the employees in a growing organization and the increasing number of apps and services they use connected to your IT network. Optimal IdM is a feature-packed cloud platform that can manage single sign-on (SSO), authentication, compliance, and more to make identity management as easy and comprehensive as can be for your business.
Zoho Desk is a great choice for either internal helpdesk or external service desk scenarios. This flexible system integrates well with other Zoho offerings along with tools including Facebook, Google Analytics, Twilio, and Twitter to extend the platform's voice-over-IP (VoIP) and social media capabilities. It's easy to start with a basic free setup and upgrade as your company grows.
Amped Wireless Athena-EX High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender
Every office has Wi-Fi dead zones. Usually it's a corner conference room or workspace where you're always struggling to find a strong signal at the most inconvenient moment, like when an important presentation is hanging in the balance. The Amped Wireless Athena-EX High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE2600M) is a mouthful to say, but an easy and reliable solution to the Wi-Fi dead zone problem.
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2
Despite its flashy exterior, the HP EliteBook x360 2-in-1 laptop is all business inside, with an Intel Core i7 processor, 14-hour battery life, and a comprehensive set of security features. It has a multimode hinge, so you can use the keyboard and the screen in various positions, and supports biometric Windows Hello login with a fingerprint reader and infrared webcam. This Editors' Choice laptop is a business-minded 2-in-1 for the power users at your startup.
LG gram 13
The LG gram 13 is a feather-light midrange laptop that won't kill your budget. A competent performer, it's worth considering if you value portability and battery life above all else and want to save a couple of hundred extra dollars compared with some of the competition. It's a light, reliable laptop you can throw in your briefcase on the way to a client meeting or take on a business trip without even feeling the weight in your bag.
Microsoft Surface Dial
The Microsoft Surface Dial is an input device that actually does feel like a futuristic way to control a computing experience. The intuitive and cleverly designed tool streamlines menu navigation and provides quick access to customization options when designing anything complex on the Microsoft Surface Studio. Combined with the powerful creation-focused PC experience of the Surface Studio, the Surface Dial can give the artists and designers at your startup an even greater degree of dexterity and granular control over their eye-popping digital creations.
Startup Tool of the Month: Samsung Galaxy S8
If your startup was waiting for the right time to upgrade the company phones, or make a switch from iPhone over to Android, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is a smartphone that's innovative and polished enough to pull the trigger on. It's hard to get past the gorgeous curved AMOLED display, but under the surface this cutting-edge device also packs the best processor and modem available in a smartphone.