Travel Tech

I just came back from a business trip to Hong Kong and I was kind of embarrassed by how many electronic devices I had to unpack when going through security.

While packing I actually gave some thought to whether  I really needed all of these things. However, after careful analysis I concluded that every single item was indeed serving a purpose and deserved to be brought along.

  • Laptop: It was a business trip, so naturally I had to bring the company laptop, even though it’s bulky and doesn’t really do anything but allow me to VPN into the company network.
  • Surface Pro: The flight from Frankfurt to Hong Kong is a long one, and since I can’t play movies on the locked-down company laptop, I needed my Surface Pro. I also back up my photos to the 128 GB microSDXC card I have permanently installed as a sort-of second hard drive. And when I’m connected to Wi-Fi at the hotel, it automatically syncs with OneDrive, too. Since the Surface Pro is a full-fledged Windows 8.1 laptop, I can even touch up my photos in Photoshop Elements and/or post them to my blog using Windows Live Writer.
  • Mouse and Type Cover: While it’s nice that I can use the Surface Pro in touch-mode, I’m often more efficient with a mouse and keyboard. I once said that I bring the Touch Cover when I want to travel light. However, it has become less and less reliable over time; often not recognizing key strokes, thus forcing me to go back and retype or slow down and type more carefully. Hence, I only use the Type Cover nowadays. It’s not that much heavier, but so much better to type on. If it weren’t for a few missing keys (e.g.  the right-mouse-click) and slightly different keyboard layout, I would be as fast as I am with a regular keyboard.
  • Kindle Paperwhite: You can’t always watch movies and on a 12h flight, eventually the Surface will run out of battery power. So it goes without saying that I also have to bring an eBook reader. I thought about upgrading to the Kindle Voyage a short while ago, but the 190 EUR price tag seemed a bit hefty, given the Voyage doesn’t offer a whole lot of advantages over the original Paperwhite.
  • Nokia Lumia 920: Again, no-brainer to bring a smartphone. Even though I’m kind of paranoid about roaming charges and hence kept my phone in flight-mode through most of the trip. I was tempted to upgrade to the 930 when it came out, since my phone had developed a few glitches over time: dust has gotten into the front-facing camera’s lens, making every picture look extremely foggy. And the proximity sensor stopped working, so at the end of every phone call, I have to hope the other side hangs since my phone constantly thinks I was holding it close to my ear and therefore keeps the screen locked permanently. A colleague has the Lumia 930, so I checked it out. Alas, I couldn’t justify the upgrade, given the minor advances Nokia made with that device. I am looking forward to whatever the flagship device for Windows Phone 10 will be.
  • Sony Alpha 58: Judging by the number of Photography tagged posts on this blog, you might have guessed that I’ve gotten into that a bit. And since I had some time to myself to explore the city, I just had to bring my camera. The camera on the Lumia 920 is pretty good, but it doesn’t even come close to a real DSLR.

Micro-USB For The Win

It is really fortunate, that both my phone and my Kindle can be charged via Micro-USB. Since the Surface Pro charger has a USB output, I only had to bring one additional USB to Micro-USB cable. And I can even use that cable to connect my camera to my Surface for downloading pictures.

Even more gadgets

Back in 2012, I posted a picture of all the gadgets I use regularly. Interestingly enough, none of those listed above appear in that picture even though it was taken only two and a half years ago.


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