When you work for a publication like CNET, you spend a bit of time on the road at various events and conferences. After a while, you’ve headed overseas so often that packing becomes second nature. But when I was getting ready to fly out to Taiwan to cover the Computex 2016 show I decided to think a little bit more about what I take and why.
So here’s a list of some of the key items coming with me this year.
STM Radial Bag
I’ve been using STM bags for a while now and recently traded up my olive green Trust model for this Radial in a delightful “Moroccan blue”. The 15-inch Radial is one of STM’s cable ready range: There’s a dedicated side pocket for a portable battery and “routing ports” for you to feed the appropriate cable through for easy access to a much-needed battery boost on the go.
Kingston MobileLite Wireless Pro
This is the battery pack I’ll be taking with me, a step up from the MobileLite I saw a few years back. It’s got a 5,400 mAh battery, but there are some other tricks up its sleeve that make it even more worthwhile. If I’m in a hotel with wired Internet only, it has an Ethernet port to let me create a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Pro also has 64GB of storage on it and can create an ad-hoc Wi-Fi connection with your phone, so you can browse the content of USB drives and SD Cards.
This was initially the LG 360 camera. It’s not the kind of device I’d normally take, but I liked the idea of playing around with a 360 video of the show floor. But a few days before I was flying out, the new 4K version of the 360Fly camera came my way. It’s waterproof, shockproof, has dual mics and, most importantly, that 4K resolution. According to 360Fly, the camera will have more cool features coming down via firmware and software updates, but I’m just keen to try out its basic features.
I wanted this to be the Huawei Mate 8, which only recently landed in Australia. Sadly, the dual SIM model isn’t available in my country. I like to travel with a dual SIM phone because it means I can get all my messages and important calls via my personal SIM, while having a second card just for the data. This is super easy in Taiwan where NTD$500 (that’s $15 or AUD$21 or £10) gets you a seven-day tourist SIM with unlimited 4G data.
This is replacing my beloved Microsoft Band 2 on the trip for one major reason: I won’t need to recharged it for the entire time I’m away. The Band 2 needs a battery top up every single night. Sometimes not having to take yet another charger is a big draw card. It’s also a great looking GPS watch that’ll show me all my phone alerts while still tracking my steps. To be clear though, using the Fenix 3 to track steps is like using a jet-engine to brown your toast. Shown here with the Mate 7, for size, and the Kobo Glo HD because I never leave the house without it.
I actually though that this might be the first trip where Ol’ Faithful didn’t come along with me. I was intending to take the Razer BladeStealth, one of the nicest smaller screen laptops that I’ve used. I was kind of looking forward to the reduced weight while walking the show floor. But two small elements got it benched for the trip. The power cable is three prong, not two. That’s fine except that you’re more likely to find two-prong outlets around Taiwan than three. Secondly, the Surface charger has a USB port and that’s super handy. Two be clear, these aren’t faults on the Razer and not something that’s bothered me with it back home.
Bellroy do great wallets and this is the 2-in-1 convertible of wallets. It’s big enough for both my passport and the Mate 7 to fit in there, but that middle section detaches (it’s just held on with magnets) and becomes a super slimline wallet for local currency and credit cards for when you don’t need to take the whole thing.
Follow all the latest news out of Computex 2016, the largest IT trade show in Asia.