Tools of the trade – packing for CES

The land of gadgets and tech awaits next week – I’m heading to the 2012 International CES in Las Vegas. I travel partly with trepidation at what I know is going to be a crazy busy week and partly with excitement that I have some fun stuff to show this year in the Microsoft booth. More on that in my post on Monday.

Today, I thought it’d be fun to update my tools of the trade post from last year with a view on what I’m packing to survive at CES. No, not what’s socks and toiletries I’m packing but what tech I will be taking on the trip.


Laptop: I’ll probably take two laptops with me this year. My Lenovo x301 is still serving me well and that will probably stay in my hotel room to give me quick access to email, Twitter, web and more when I’m in and around my room. The second machine will be my Samsung Series 9 – light, fast, backlit keyboard for in keynote blogging and pretty decent battery life.



Bag: I was asked by a reader of The Verge what backpack I was toting in the recent tour with Josh Topolsky. It’s the same Rapha backpack I was using last year. Legendary kit, beautifully made and subtle design. The same bag isn’t available any longer but a similar one is.



Phone: What else but the Nokia Lumia 800. Sure I want the Cyan version but my black unit is serving me very well and drawing admiring glances. Though I’ll be using my Zune HD (see below) for music, the latest app I installed is Vapor, a client for streaming SoundCloud tunes to my device.

Social start


Mouse: The Arc Touch Mouse (a gifted custom version) and the Touch Mouse Artist Edition. The Arc is the perfect travel mouse while the Touch Mouse will be left in my hotel room with the x301 as it’s a great mouse for prolonged periods of use and I’m faster now I have mastered its gestures.



Camera: I’ll probably use the camera on my Lumia for quick shots and that along with Thumba Photo Editor is a great mix. For other shots around the booth and show floor I’ll be using my Leica D-LUX 4 and relying on Rob Wolf who will be packing serious kit. I can’t wait for my Lytro though…wish I had that for CES.


Connectivity: A CLEAR Spot 4G device that will ensure I have connectivity when and where I need it…I hope. I’ll be interested to see how this performs in a very busy Vegas. On a recent trip to NYC it was a lifesaver and a cost saver.



Reading: I doubt I’ll get to do much but I am enjoying Feedly on my Kindle Fire as a way to zip through my RSS feeds…maybe on the way home I’ll make more headway on some books or catch up on The Economist.


Sound: My Zune HD with Bowers and Wilkins C5 in ear headphones. I’ll probably also take my Jawbone Jambox for in room audio and conference calls.



Storage: I bought a Lacie P’9220 500gb drive recently and it’s a perfect mobile hard disk. Small yet robust with USB3 (which my Samsung supports) and it also looks rather cool. It has all the backup stuff I need for my booth space and plenty of room for event videos and photos.


Cables & Accessories: The usual array of various USB cables, memory sticks and card readers. Most importantly, they’re all kept organized and safe with my Grid-IT. A brilliant invention of elastic band goodness.



Software: Key software for me during CES will be Windows Live Writer (still the best blog authoring tool there is IMHO), Live Mesh for keeping my PC’s in sync, MetroTwit, Lync & Skype as well as all the usual stuff like Outlook, IE/Chrome/Firefox…oh and the snipping tools in Windows 7!


That’s it then…it actually serves as a good list I can refer to on Sunday to ensure I have everything packed. Just don’t get stuck behind me in the TSA line.

Anything I missed?