What's in my platform agnostic gear bag?

Summary:I get asked almost every day what gear I am carrying in my bag. I work remotely most days and this is the kit I carry and the bags I carry it in.

JK Mobile Kit

I often joke about working in a home office that I rarely see. Most days I head out to work at one public venue or another to give me the opportunity to have different scenery and to observe how others use mobile technology. I am fortunate to have several gadgets to choose from for this remote work and each has its own strengths. Here's what I usually take on my daily work trips.

Daily work systems

Each day I grab one system for my writing depending on how I feel. Lately that has been the ThinkPad Tablet 2 more often than not as it has the benefits of being a light tablet for doing online research but becomes a near laptop with the keyboard accessory.

JK gear
L-R: iPad mini, iPad, ThinkPad Tablet 2, MacBook Air -- Image credit: James Kendrick/ZDNet

Some days I throw the MacBook Air (MBA) in the bag when the mood strikes me. Like the Tablet 2 the Air provides all-day battery life so I don't ever take a power adapter with me. The MBA is a nice laptop and serves my needs nicely.

When the Tablet 2 or MacBook Air goes in the bag I also slide the iPad mini in a zippered pocket on the bag. This is primarily for the integrated LTE that lets me work anywhere in the central city without having to find a wi-fi hotspot. I also use it for reading books with the Kindle app.

Other days I bring my iPad nestled in the ZAGG Profolio+ keyboard case. I can do anything I do with the other systems so there are no compromises. If I plan on writing a long article I like using the iPad as the single app display minimizes the distractions the other systems make too easy with multiple windows. The iPad also has LTE so when I bring it I leave the iPad mini at home.

It's in the bag

JK bags
L-R: Flight Jacket, Indy Bag, Indy Bag (small) -- Image credit: James Kendrick/ZDNet

The Tablet 2 and iPad both fit in the Indy Bag from sfbags.com. This bag is as small as can be while still carrying each tablet with keyboard. There's a slim pocket on the back of the bag for the iPad mini as required.

The MacBook Air is a little too long to fit in the Indy Bag so I carry it in the Flight Jacket by MacCases. I wear it as a thin backpack with the optional straps; I get more comments on this bag than any other I've used.

Other outings

When I head out the door for outings where work is not expected, I carry the iPad mini in the ZAGGkeys Cover. I can use the iPad mini for reading books or casual online stuff yet with the keyboard in the ZAGGkeys Cover if the urge strikes to write something substantial I can easily do it. Again, the LTE in the iPad mini comes in handy all the time, especially on these outings as wi-fi is often not available.

I carry this little gear in the smaller Indy Bag I have that is even smaller than the one for the bigger tablets. I like to use the smallest bag possible for whatever kit I bring with me and this little Indy Bag is perfect.

The phone

I use the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and have for months. I like everything about the phone, the big screen, the Android OS, and the pen. I take quick notes with the pen and find myself getting online with the phone throughout the day. I do not use a case on the Note 2.

Observations

Some folks seem to believe differently but my kit proves I am platform agnostic. These gadgets might not work for everyone but they all work well for me. I don't ever wish I brought another device with me as they all let me get down and get stuff done.

In anticipation of the inevitable question, I don't have a favorite gadget in this lot. Each has its own strengths and they all let me do whatever I need to do. I enjoy each of them for different reasons and I love that I can do my work no matter what it is in the bag.

No one device is better than the others, each is just different. I am lucky that my work can be done with any one of these gadgets. That might not be the case for everyone but it is for me.

I buy so many devices because I love mobile tech and can't pass it up. That's why the loadout in my gear bag changes so frequently. I am addicted to mobile tech and that's not going to change.

See the reviews:

ThinkPad Tablet 2: Best Windows tablet

New MacBook Air: Haswell ups the game

How I use the iPad as a serious writing system

Hit the road like Harrison Ford with the Indy Bag

Flight Jacket by MacCase: Perfect MacBook/Ultrabook bag

Galaxy Note 2: Changing the way I use mobile tech

Topics: Mobility, iPad, Laptops, Tablets, Windows 8

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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