A Better Way to Work

A lot has been said about the benefits of social media, and it’s all true. But to keep your business from floating off into the increasingly popular “cloud,” you can’t forget the basics. Here are some products to help you stay grounded.

1.  Seating–Herman Miller Embody Chair (starting at $1,199; www.embody.hermanmiller.com). As with the chair, you’ll get sucked into this gorgeous Website, which lets you customize your Embody for the perfect fit.
Also consider: HÃ…G Futu Chair ($571.35; www.modernchair.com). The Futu is an ergonomic chair with clean lines and impressive flexibility.

2.  Smartphones–HTC HD2 on T-Mobile (no price at press time.) The HD2 is a powerful Windows smartphone, featuring a 1GHz processor, huge 4.3-inch display, and a 5-megapixel camera with dual LED flash. The ultrathin device also features GPS functionality and social networking integration (Facebook, YouTube, etc.).
Also consider: Nokia N900 ($569; www.nokiausa.com). A dream smartphone, the N900 is probably the most anticipated tech device since Apple’s tablet.

3.  Laptops and Netbooks–HP Mini 5102 (starting at $399; www.hp.com). Weighing 2.64 lbs, HP’s first touch-enabled netbook (standard option also available) features a 95%-sized QWERTY keyboard, integrated face recognition technology, and an optional handle.

Also consider: Dell Mini 10 and Mini 10v Netbooks (starting at $299 and $349, respectively). Customize it with Windows XP or Ubuntu Linux operating system.

4. Applications, SaaS solutionsZoho.com. Zoho’s suite of products, most of which are free, helps entrepreneurs and small companies compete with the big guys. With tools ranging from CRM to spreadsheets to invoicing, small businesses don’t have to worry about missing a step.

Also consider: Microsoft Office 2010 (www.microsoft.com). In free beta at press time, Microsoft’s latest suite features streamlined functionalities and collaboration tools. Microsoft says it used crowdsourcing (a type of “open call” that asks a large group of people to test a product rather than limiting it to a smaller group of employees) this time around to improve the suite of offerings.