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Inside a blogger’s backpack: This is the gear I use at CES

by Todd Haselton | January 7, 2016January 7, 2016 8:15 am PST

CES 2016 is here and we’re already running around like mad-people trying to get to every press conference. Things will get a bit easier tomorrow when we can finally start to meander around the show floor and sit in meetings, which are sometimes a bit calmer than the hectic storm that press day is. I recently switched up some of my gear, so I figured I’d talk a bit about what I use and need at the show.

iPhone 6s Plus and BlackBerry Priv

I always carry two phones, but it’s particularly important that I do so at CES. That’s because my battery seems like it’s always dying, so I need a back-up to talk to one of about a dozen of the TechnoBuffalo team who joins me at the show. Yep, I actually use the BlackBerry Priv keyboard all the time, though that’s not why I carry the phone — it’s specifically because the battery is long-lasting.

Chromecast

After a long day on the show floor, nothing is better than kicking back and turning on a movie or TV show and falling asleep. I bring my Chromecast with me and hook it up to the hotel TV with a little trick to unlock the HDMI port (unplug a small RJ-11 cable on the back.) My Chromecast pretty much lives in my backpack for when I travel.

Anker PowerCore+

Back to the battery life thing: I always seem to be running out of juice at the show. I bought the Anker PowerCore+, which includes a 10,000mAh battery and supports QuickCharge 2.0, before I left. It’s working really well so far — the unit charges quickly and it supports phones equipped with QuickCharge 2.0 even faster. It’s a bit heavy, but it’s compact and is perfect for carrying in a backpack.

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MacBook Pro with Retina Display

MacBook vs MacBook Pro 2015 comparison

I brought two computers with me to the show, but my primary machine is the MacBook Pro with Retina display. It’s fast, perfect for editing photos on the fly, has a sharp screen and offers great battery life. Macs are pretty standard among journalists, and sitting here in the press room I see (mostly) a sea of them. I do have a Surface Pro 3 as a backup with me, though.

Sony a6000 with 19mm Sigma lens

I just bought the Sony a6000 and a couple of cheap(ish) lenses for it, including a 19mm Sigma fixed lens. I love the bokeh it provides for product shots and the whole setup seems to help me grab really crisp and well-lit pictures (at least for a new photographer like me.) We also have an office a6000 with nicer lenses, though I admit I’m trying to get used to my own lens first.

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Incase Backpack

That’s everything I carry — well, most of it — and I keep it all in an Incase backpack. They make awesome bags and I’m currently using the Incase Nylon backpack, which has plenty of soft pockets for storing gadgets without having to worry about the screens scratching. It’s a hand-me-down from Roy Choi who carried it during CES 2013, and I have my eye on the Incase ICON.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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