I am working in the press room — sorry, the media room — at the Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando. I will be sitting on a panel discussing the consumer mobile tech space later today, but right now I have to make a living. The Wi-Fi is fast and the room is almost empty so I have the whole place to myself. The trip has been a good one so far, and that is due to the small but effective tool kit I brought along.
My little backpack has an entire business office inside, and that consists of only three pieces of gear. The 13-inch MacBook is here and running the show as it usually does. The small size makes this a very portable notebook, yet without compromises given its power. I do have a second battery in a pocket of the bag just in case. I guess that makes four pieces of gear.
Accompanying the MacBook in the bag is the iPad (Wi-Fi only), which has been a jack-of-all-trades so far on the trip. I used it in the airport waiting for my flight to Orlando (which was delayed over an hour) for some online work. I read an e-book on the iPad almost the entire flight using the Kindle app. While reading the book I was listening to my vast iTunes music collection (yes it can multitask the iPod app). It was a very enjoyable flight.
I have been using the iPad as a second display on the MacBook with Air Display. This has increased my productivity during those sessions and at virtually no cost. It hardly hits the battery on the iPad and the MacBook plugs along as it does with out the second monitor. I have shown this in action to some attendees at the conference and this absolutely blows them away. It is truly game changing for road warriors.
The last piece of gear in the bag hasn’t actually been in the bag, it’s been in my shirt pocket. The HTC EVO 4G has been the most heavily used piece of kit so far this trip. I’ve grabbed it to work with my email on the fly, get online to check up on things and of course to tweet stuff. Most importantly, it has served as a mobile hotspot in the hotel since the Wi-Fi costs $10 per day. When are hotels going to stop this nonsense? Internet connectivity is now a requirement, people. Not an option.
There is no 4G coverage on the Sprint network in Orlando, or anywhere in Florida for that matter. The 3G coverage is excellent with full bars and it is nice and fast. Piping it out to the iPad and MacBook is as simple as turning the mobile hotspot on. It has worked perfectly and I do believe the Sprint Overdrive modem will be getting terminated pretty soon.
I have always tried to travel with a small, light kit that doesn’t compromise on capability. This particular kit has already proven to achieve that goal, and admirably. Oh, BTW, there have been no battery issues on the EVO 4G.
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Are You Empowering Your Mobile Work Force?