Need to work sitting over four wheels and an engine? Taking your office on the road is commonplace these days, but balancing your laptop and files can be challenging. Several solutions come to the rescue.
Ford is the first to offer a wireless mobile office on a stand that includes a docked touchscreen computer, printer, credit card scanner, digital camera and GPS. The system, which is ideal for on-site convenience, connects to the internet and your office network using a broadband cellular card. Currently available only in F-150 Series pickups, the $3,000 dealer-installed option includes Windows Automotive 5.0 software, XP Pro, Excel, Outlook, Power-Point and Word. Dodge, on the other hand, keeps road warriors happy in the Ram truck by providing an extra-large fold-down console with an outlet to power electronic equipment and sized to hold a laptop.
You can also find take-along portable desks such as the $150 Auto Exec Grip Master-about the size and weight of the average cooler-online at sites such as www.a2zsolutions.com, www.comfortchannel.com, www.mobiledesksolutions.comand www.mobilegear.com. The Grip Master desk buckles into the passenger seat and has a flat, nonskid surface; room for hanging files; storage for accessories; and a slide-out work surface that hides your laptop. Add a built-in power inverter for the desk to fire up your printer, cell phone and PC, or look for a 12-volt multiplier to plug in more than one piece of equipment. Much less pricey for your temporary mobile office is the $50 Wheelmate, which hooks onto the steering wheel to serve as a small worktable, or the ExpressDesk laptop holder, from which you can hang a laptop.