With IFA just around the corner, see what I'll be packing to get me through the days
Just as Jerry, Andrew and Alex have done before, now it's my turn to open up the zip on my gear bag and show you what I use on a daily basis. IFA is just around the corner, and in just over a week I'll be packing up and heading out to Berlin with Phil Nickinson and Alex Dobie, so here's some of the gear I'll be taking to get me through the days there.
13-inch Retina MacBook Pro
Unlike many other members of the Android Central, and indeed Mobile Nations teams, I don't use a MacBook Air on a day-to-day basis. I used to, but I'm now using the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. Why? Two main reasons. The first is that screen. As anyone who has used or even looked at a Retina MacBook display, or even that on something like the Chromebook Pixel, once you've looked at it, everything else looks terrible in comparison. It's such a glorious display that looking at it all day is a pleasure.
The second reason is a compromise of performance and portability. For such a sleek machine, it's got a 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 chip, 8GB of RAM and a honkin' great 512GB SSD drive. It handles everything I throw at it with relative ease, is compact enough to throw in a backpack and not have to worry about lugging it around all day, and can get easily 5 hours real-world battery life. And to keep it looking its best, it never leaves the house without wearing a Speck Smartshell in black.
Phones - iPhone 5, LG Optimus Black and any one from a selection of others
Since I'm more often found over on iMore these days, my daily driver is of course the iPhone 5. Say what you will about it, but I enjoy a smaller form factor, and I enjoy that it's still a high-end smartphone in that smaller form factor. A trip like IFA is not the time to be loading my pockets with giant phones either. So, it goes where I go.
The other I'll definitely be taking is the good old LG Optimus Black. Why? Because I use it primarily as a music player. Paired with a 32GB microSD card, the Black is a pocketable media machine that can store offline music from my Google Music account and Spotify, my two main sources of music these days. Just for kicks, it's got CM10 on it, and while I'd never describe it as a good performer, it's more than capable for the tasks I expect of it. And using this won't drain the battery on something I might need for, well you know, work.
Besides these, I could also take a Nexus 4, a BlackBerry Z10, or even another iPhone 5. I'm leaning towards carrying the Z10 as well, primarily because it has a removable battery. Something which can come in handy at these shows.
OG Nexus 7
I have a full sized iPad, but for travelling I still like the smaller form factor of my OG Nexus 7. I haven't upgraded because you can't yet really buy them in the UK, and even when you can, I don't think I will. It still serves perfectly well for what I use it for, with the bonus that it just about fits in a pocket, or doesn't take up much room in my bag.
Camera - Panasonic Lumix G2
I've been a fan of the Panasonic Lumix range of cameras for some time, and made the switch to their Micro 4/3 range after last year's IFA show where I'd lugged around a DSLR all week. The reason I'm now using a G2 is because you still have some of the creative control and flexibility a DSLR offers you but in a smaller frame, and because of its external microphone input. At trade shows, everyone in the world is talking at once, so being able to attach a boom mic to the camera is pretty important.
It's paired up with a Manfrotto Monopod (though a tripod will probably go along in the suitcase) which is a great, and highly portable monopod. It packs up into such a small package it can be thrown in a backpack with everything else, and will hopefully help reduce somewhat the shakycam videos.
Two important items that go with me everywhere; the Moshi Rewind and the Mophie Powerstation Duo. The Rewind allows me to plug two USB charging cables into one outlet, which is excellent for travelling as it's one less adaptor to take. The Powerstation goes everywhere with me, because its 6000mAh battery is enough to charge my iPhone four times, and it has the added beauty of being able to juice two things at once.
I forget the full name of this thing, but it's made by Wenger (better known for Swiss Army Knives) and it is the best backpack I have ever come across for packing all your gear. There are so many pockets on this thing, even one sized and labelled for a 7-inch tablet, that everything I need to pack is usually in its own protective pocket. The large compartment is split in two, so it keeps my MacBook Pro safe and secure while still leaving enough room for my camera and associated bits and pieces. It also has two water bottle pockets on the outside, and even a loop to attach your sunglasses, though they're possibly not going to be needed in the halls of the Messe Berlin.
So, that's what I'll be carrying around with me in Berlin, and the next time I'm out on the road there's a good chance some of this equipment will have changed again. There'll be a bevy of cables and memory cards stuffed in there too, but those are pretty boring to talk about.