11 Comments

Summary:

The big trip to the CES is tomorrow and each year we always share what gear we are taking with us to cover the big show.  The gear loadout has changed significantly each year and this trip is perhaps the biggest change yet. The show is […]

The big trip to the CES is tomorrow and each year we always share what gear we are taking with us to cover the big show.  The gear loadout has changed significantly each year and this trip is perhaps the biggest change yet.

The show is so massive that it is common to walk 5+ miles per day to cover just a fraction of the show.  Experience has driven home the need to go as small and light as possible and I believe my gear loadout is as small as possible and yet still provide a complete computing capability which is important.

Read on to see what I am taking and I’ll share why I am taking each gadget.

Gear list:

MacBook- 13-inch aluminum (extra battery not pictured)
Casio ex-p505- 5 MP, still and MPEG-4 video
iPhone 3G- for liveblogging from the show floor
Mini-tripod- extends from 12-inches to 18-inches for still shots (not pictured)
Kingston Mobilelite USB multi-format card reader
Mophie Juice Pack- iPhone 3G extended battery
Verizon USB727- EV-DO USB modem for WiFi-free zones
Netgear travel router- WGR-54

Here’s what the kit looks like:

 

That’s it, you’ll have to admit it’s as small a kit as possible and yet still provide the ability to give full show coverage.  Here’s the list to go with the photos above, L-R:

Image 1: MacBook, Netgear travel router (small black bag), Mophie Juice Pack, USB727, Kingston Mobilelite USB multi-card reader, iPhone 3G

Image 2: Closeup of everything in the front row of Image 1

Image 3: same as Image 1 with the replacement of the iPhone 3G with the Casio EX-P505 camera (which took all the other photos)

Image 4:  Netgear WGR-54 router in bag to show how small it is

UPDATE:  I forgot to mention (and show) the Monster Outlets-to-go that always accompanies me on trips.

  1. James,
    Although envious, as I have been every year since I have not been able to go to CES (went twice prior to marriage)you are ready to “Do The Deed” and do it well. When you think about it, what you have there is really very light and portable, yet POWERFUL. I was thinking it would be neat to see the contrast as to what you may have photos of on previous CES ventures, from the first one to maybe 3-4 years ago and last year. I think that would be very neat to see, if you have time.

    You guys have a great trip, and dont forget, “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas!!”

    Be safe and we will be awaiting our “specialized and professional coverage!!

    Ron P

  2. DELLS Ad at the top of this page says it all:

    Less Has Never Been So Much More!

    Never could a statement be more truer, until next year!!!

  3. So why not opt for a 10″ netbook? Wouldn’t that be smaller and lighter than the mac? And you could ditch the multicard reader…

    Is the mac battery life that much better?

    Just curious

  4. James,
    Any reason you opted for the Netgear travel router over the Airport Express (other than price). The Airport Express seems like the smallest, lightest solution, but I have no personal experience with them. I’m looking for a travel router and was wondering why you chose the Netgear. Thanks and have fun at CES! :)

  5. Here is my CES gear:

    IPhone
    HP 2133
    Small Panasonic point and shoot with a name too cryptic to remember

  6. Curious, what bag are you planning to carry it in. Macbook going to stay in the room and work out of your pockets during the show?

    My CES kit is shaping up to be:
    Acer Aspie One
    Samsung Q1
    Nokia N95
    Bluetooth Keyboard
    BlackBerry Perl ( Maybe)
    Batterygeek PPS ( BYOIFE: Bring own in flight entertainment for the 5hr flight )

    Havn’t decided how much if anything other then the phones I will carry on the floor though.

  7. James Kendrick Monday, January 5, 2009

    Scott, I am taking the MB because it is a powerhouse that can handle audio and video encoding should I have the need. It is not much bigger or heavier than a netbook and has no compromises in power for the tasks mentioned.

    Bruce, I have owned the Netgear for a long time, I got it before the Airport Express existed. It has always worked well and I always take it just in case I need it. The fact is, the last two years I have been happy with just using EV-DO in the hotel room so the router has not been used. I’ll still take it since it takes little room, just in case.

  8. Rick Huizinga Monday, January 5, 2009

    James, it will be interesting to see how well the iPhone 3G stacks up against the HTC Advantage that you used last year…

  9. ah yes, video encoding… that’s definitely something i would NOT want to do on my netbook ;)

  10. James,

    when you wrote that you were going to take the new macbook to CES I immediately wondered if it was a good idea or not. The comments here certainly echo my thoughts, that thing is pretty heavy (around 4.5 pounds right? excluding the extra battery) for so much running around in a single day. You need an ultra portable notebook (NOT netbook!) with a huge battery if you want a fully sized computer. I run around a lot, and for example my ThinkPad X200 with a 9 cell tops out at 3.65 pounds. The X200 in no way compares to the wonderful macbook (I would’ve gotten it too) but there has to be some better options for you. MSI Wind is great too. But I think you wrote about how you just want to mess around with this new gadget and see how it performs earlier. Good luck!

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