I’m about to head out to our offices in California. I know our readers are usually pretty interested in the gadgets we take on the road with us. I published a similar list during CES last year and again during Mobile World Congress in February. Since I didn’t make one for IFA in September, I figured my trip to California could be a perfect time to build a new one.
If you’re wondering what we take out on the road with us, here’s a look at what’s in my bag.
1. Roku express
I love Roku. I primarily use it for access to Netflix, Amazon Instant videos and either Sling TV or PlayStation Vue (whichever service I’m subscribed to at the time.) I love a feature that lets you easily connect to hotel Wi-Fi, even if it has the annoying log-in screen, which a lot of other gadgets don’t have. During my last trip, the hotel prevented me from using HDMI at all. I’m hoping this experience is much better, and I can kick back and watch TV and movies as if I’m right in my living room.
2. Surface Book
I’m using the last generation Surface Book right now. I’ve always been a Windows fan at heart and, with the launch of Windows 10, I’m back to using it on most of my computers. I’m trying the Surface Book on loan to see if I want to buy my own. I currently have a Dell Windows 10 machine that I love, in addition to my home-built PC and Surface Pro 4. The build-quality of the Surface Book is unreal, the keyboard incredibly comfortable for typing, and the portability excellent for taking on flights. When I’m in the office, I’ll attach a second monitor and work as if I’m right at home on my regular desktop.
3. Google Pixel
I wasn’t a big fan of the Google Pixel at first. I ultimately fell in love with the Google Pixel XL, though, and now it’s my favorite Android smartphone of the year. I still think the hardware is pretty uninspired, but I really love the camera, the super-quick software and the incredible battery life. I’m excited to try it out with Google Daydream View VR, too, when that launches.
4. iPad Pro 9.7
I was wrong about the iPad Pro. What I thought was initially just a media-consumption machine disguised to replace laptops has actually proven to be quite useful. The iPad Pro 9.7 is perfect for gaming and watching movies on flights, but also for quickly switching to the keyboard and filing a story, making edits or firing off an email. Plus, I carry an Apple Pencil, too, in case I ever need to sign embargoes or other agreements on-the-go.
This is one of my daily drivers right now. The iPhone 7 Plus didn’t really wow me when it launched but I think of it as ol’ trusty. I use it for iMessage with my friends – I actually love the new sticker packs – and keep most of my movies, apps and games stored on it. My Pixel only has 32GB of space, so the iPhone 7 Plus has been my workhorse. The battery life rocks, Apple Wallet is great for storing boarding passes and I’m digging the new Portrait mode on the camera. Oh, and I love using Apple Pay.
I first saw this backpack in Jon’s iPad Pro review. I loved its design, so I asked him the brand and ended up calling one in to check out myself. This will be my second long trip with it, but it’s my go-to bag around town, too. It features a perfectly-placed soft compartment up top where I keep things like keys or doggy treats, a padded space for my laptop and plenty of pockets. There’s even a spot for carrying my water bottle, which is oddly not that common among gadget bags. Most importantly, it’s comfortable to wear all day long, and the added chest strap helps keep the weight off my shoulders.
7. Bose QC35
I actually bought these after seeing so many other gadget bloggers talking about them. The Bose QC35 headphones are perfect for long-haul trips where you just want to play some tunes, sleep and block out all of the noise around you. They’re wireless, too, which means they’re perfect for folks who are looking for a new pair of headphones that works with the iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus (they no longer have a headphone jack.) I love how they fold down pretty slim and come with a protective case.
I own a lot of Anker products, but the Anker PowerCore+ 26,800 is one of my favorites. It stores plenty of juice – you only need 2,900mAh to fully charge an iPhone 7 Plus – which means I don’t need to worry about seeking out outlets in the airport if my plane is delayed or I don’t have a functioning outlet at my seat. It charges up with QuickCharge 3.0, which means I’m not sitting as long as I do for other battery packs (though you’ll still need to give it overnight to fully juice.) I also love that it can charge multiple gadgets at once.
9. Sony A6000
Sony has since upgraded its A6000 camera, but I still love mine. I’m not a good photographer, but the shots I take with the Sony A6000 always bring me right back to the subject. My first outing with the A6000 was during a trip down to Savannah, Georgia, and I have several of those photos framed around my house now. It’s also my go-to camera for product shots at trade shows, though I don’t plan to use it for much of that during this trip.
I read most nights to try to unwind before bed. The Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Oasis are two of my favorite eReaders to date. I recommend the former for its amazing battery life and still-awesome display and usability. I feel like I never have to charge it. Plus, Amazon always has good recommendations for what I should read next. It’s so light that I barely ever notice it’s in my bag, which means I take it everywhere.