YES! It is finally time for CES. Judie, Larry and Dan are going (Kevin, too!), and we’ll do out best to bring you (for the first time) team coverage of the biggest electronics show of them all. In preparation… It is time to pack!
Dan: After months of planning and anticipating CES is finally here. In preparation I need to embark upon one of my least favorite activities — packing. Yes I hate packing. I tend to do at the last minute. I can to bring too much and, inevitably, despite having overpacked, I tend to forget something. To make matters worse, after CES I’ll be heading to Mexico to meet Elana for a friend’s daughter’s wedding. That means I have two full weeks on the road in two entirely different climates, with two entirely different reasons for being there. Did I mention… hate packing.
Judie: I feel right at home with Dan admitting that I am a serial over-packer, but at the same time — I travel enough that I have learned (the hard way!) to streamline my packed gadgets. It’s just too big of a pain to keep up with everything, and I don’t want to be loaded down like a packmule as I walk around the show floor or attend meetings; there’s also the fear of accidentally leaving something when it is time to pack up and leave. Where I can’t lighten my load is in the area of clothing and shoes — a week away is no small feat when you are considering all of the events, meetings, meals, and other occasions you have to plan for. I tend to seriously over-pack in the area of clothing, shoes and accessories.
Larry: My biggest problem with packing is always over packing. Wherever I go no matter what the event I always end up bringing too much stuff. This time I want to make a conscious effort not to overpack. Now that won’t be easy because I surely don’t want to forget anything and I’m also going to be away for almost a week. I don’t have the problem of forgetting things like Dan seems to. More often than not I end up packing several things that I never end up using.
So what are we bringing??
I’ve long wanted to attend CES and, going as part of our Gear Diary team, I want to be able to share as much of the experience as possible. (Although to look at the schedule that we’ve all created is going to be precious little time.) That means the gear- lots and lots of gear. The question is… what’s the right set of gear to bring that will allow me to do everything I need to do in the latest way possible. Here’s my current list.
There’s no doubt I’ll bring my iPhone and iPod touch. In fact, I’m in the process of collecting all the iPhone apps we’ll be using in Vegas on a single page.But that’s the next post.) In addition, Thomas was kind enough to send me his international T-Mobile Blackberry Bold 9700. It will allow me to have phone and data access from Mexico for pennies a day.
Also coming for sure…
My Canon G9, the Mophie Juice Pack Air and the Dexim BluePack Battery (it’s unclear how easy it would be to get access to recharging during the day and it increasingly looks like we’ll be up from early in the morning until late at night with little if any break. My Sennheiser MM400 Bluetooth
headphones and my Kindle DX (more for the time in Mexico following Vegas). And, of course, all of the cables and chargers that are needed to charge all of these devices.I’ll be bringing the Verizon pre-paid USB modem Larry discovered last week and I’ll charge it up with a week’s worth of connectivity before we leave. I’m bringing my Flip Mino but expect that any video I shoot will be taken with the iPhone. It doesn’t offer the best image but it is so easy to carry, shoot, edit and share video on the fly that it more than makes up for the quality issues.
I’ll be bringing the TechnoCell charger adapter/backup battery for two reasons. It’s one of those great devices that kills two birds with one stone. It’s a USB wall charger that allows me to bring cables for all the devices but not the actual wall adapter while, at the same time, giving me an extra backup battery for all of my devices that have a USB charging cable (pretty much all of them).
As far as how to carry all of this gear there are two things I am going to be using. The first is the new Q backpack I just got from Timbuk2 when it was on sale last week. I reviewed the larger version of the backpack, the H.A.L., number of months ago and absolutely love it. I used it when we went to Aruba a few weeks ago, and it was fantastic for travel. Unfortunately it’s a little bit too large to be carrying all day every day during CES. When the Q was on sale last week I jumped and ordered one. It’s a great backpack that has an easily accessible side compartment for my notebook, a bottom pocket for the power brick, a nice organized area on the back that is easily extensible and I open middle compartment for everything else. It’ll allow me to carry everything you need to carry but not too much which is important because of how busy we going to be. The other carry-on is one or two of my Scottevest jackets. Thanks to review items, Judie’s holiday gift and some recent sale purchases I have a number of different choices. But which to bring? In the end, though, I think I will be bringing my SEV fleece and the Evolution Jacket. Both can function as jackets and vests and while I think the Evolution will be more useful, the fleece is the one that has the Gear Diary logo.
I am fortunate enough to have choices regarding which notebook to bring along. I have a Fujitsu T2020 convertible tablet and I have my 13 inch MacBook Pro. Both have 4GB RAM and an SSD drive. There are pros and cons to bringing either.
Fujitsu T2020 –
Pros — relatively light at about three and half pounds, 9 to 11 hours of run time thanks to the large capacity battery, runs Dragon NaturallySpeaking like a champ (and as good as Mac speech decay may be it doesn’t compare to Dragon NaturallySpeaking), runs both as a notebook and as a tablet which is fantastic for taking notes, and mentioned that it significantly lighter than the MacBook Pro? It isn’t my primary notebook and so I’m less concerned with making sure it stays in pristine condition
Cons- it’s a PC not a Mac and while Windows 7 is good it still doesn’t compare to MacOS X, significantly slower than the MacBook Pro (although not to the extent where would be a problem for services, while it runs cool it offers a significant amount of fan noise when it’s under any stress whatsoever
Pros — it’s a Mac, it’s a Mac, it’s a Mac, overall I prefer using a computer running OSx than one running Windows 7, I’m far more proficient on it with regard to any images or putting together a quick video for the site
Cons — it weighs more than the Fujitsu T2020, the battery offers far less runtime than the Fujitsu T2020, it’s the computer I use most and if anything happened to it during all of my travels I would be heavily bummed
Both machines work fine, both are easy to type on and both are machines I would highly recommend. Let’s be honest, regardless of which device I choose to bring with me it will get the job done. I’m certain the fortunate to have this “dilemma” but welcome you are weighing in regarding which regarding which choice I make.
I’m going to bring my iPhone, with its always present matte red Mophie Air extended battery case. For extreme backup power, I will also be bringing the Callpod Fueltank Duo and a microUSB tip. I’ll have my Verizon MiFi along, and for actual voice calls, the Vertu Ascent Ti. I love the fact that I’ll only need to bring a microUSB charger for both phones and the MiFi. I am not bringing my Kindle DX (even though it also uses a microUSB, heh), because I suspect that other than on the plane rides each way, I won’t have a spare minute to read anything but press releases and emails. After thinking about it though, I’ve decided that I may bring the Camangi along, because James Kendrick wanted to see it.
I still haven’t decided if I will be bringing my ACME MADE Courier Laptop Bag or the Waterfield Muzetto to carry my gear, but inside either will be my MacBook Air. I honesty debated bringing my MacBook Pro 17 for use at the hotel (because it has everything on it), but that seems like overkill — and the deciding factor is that I don’t have a bag that it will fit inside. When I bring the 17″ along on short trips, I usually just hand carry it — I really ought to buy a sleeve, right?!
Two SCOTTeVEST jackets will be coming along – my Gear Diary embroidered 5.0 Fleece, and my new favorite the SeV Soft Shell Jacket. Inside the Soft Shell’s neckband, I’ve got the Ultimate Ears Superfi 4 threaded. Side note: as soon as I get back from CES, I am going to see about getting the Soft Shell embroidered with our logo; I love that jacket so much!
First let me tell you what’s already made its way into my gear bag. I’ll start off with the bag itself. For CES I’m carrying the Speck AftPack. The bag itself is a little smaller than I’d like but it’s extremely comfortable to wear and that’s important for an event where I’ll be wearing my backpack for several hours a day.
Already in the bag is my Casio point-and-shoot camera, my Sanyo camcorder, my iPod touch and the charge and sync cables for these various devices.
I also have added my monster travel power strip which allows me to charge three devices in one power strip as well as a device that charges via USB. So I don’t run out of power when I’m away from my hotel room I’m carrying three backup batteries one of which is iPhone specific (the Richard Solo RS 1800). The other two can be used to charge any USB powered device.
Everyone knows I’m an iPhone case fanatic so I packed two extra iPhone cases in addition to the one on carrying on my phone as well as a backup iPhone screen protector should something happen to the one currently on my phone.
I’ve got my Zagg anti-tangle headphones and a chamois cleaning cloth for wiping down my various devices.
I recently purchased a Verizon pay-as-you-go USB broadband modem so that’s in my bag to right next to my The Sims 3 special edition USB thumb drive.
As far as which computer to bring I’m facing the same sort of decision making process as Dan. Do I bring my brand-new HP Mini net book or do I bring my MacBook Pro 13 inch. Like Dan’s two choices they both have pros and cons.
MacBook Pro pros: very fast, has many programs installed, normal sized keyboard, my go to daily use machine, larger screen.
MacBook pros cons: heavy, weaker battery.
Net book pros: small, lightweight, easily portable,great battery
Net book cons: small keyboard, small display, slow, runs Windows.
Both devices run speech recognition programs. I have MacSpeech running on the MacBook Pro and Dragon NaturallySpeaking running on the net book. I’ve been leaning towards taking the net book since I got it strictly for the size factor but I’m still not sure. My plan now is to pack my entire gear bag except for my computer. When it’s all ready I’ll added the MacBook Pro first and check the weight it feels manageable I’ll be bringing the MacBook Pro. If it’s too heavy I will take the MacBook Pro out and put the net book in.
So that’s what we are bringing… at least that’s the plan at this moment. Is there something we overlooked? Is there something you would recommend we tak instead og any of the items listed?