The Gear of ZDNet: How Adrian Kingsley-Hughes takes to the road

Today we skip across the pond to talk tech for the Gear of ZDNet. ZDNet Hardware 2.0 blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes lets us peek in his gear bag.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

Today in this installment of The Gear of ZDNet, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes shares what mobile gear he is currently using and explains why it works well for him.

Previous installments:

When Adrian is not attending to a sick computer somewhere he is sharing his technical information on the ZDNet Hardware 2.0 blog.

JK: Thanks for speaking with me, Adrian. How would you describe who you are and what you do to the Mobile News audience?

I suppose most people reading this know me as 'that tech guy on Hardware 2.0.' While I like to spend a good chunk of my day on tech writing and journalism, I also wear a lot of other job titles during the day. A normal day for me can involve some coding, some tech support, some building/testing/repairing new systems, benchmarking stuff, taking things apart and seeing what makes them tick and a whole host more.

I'm a tech Jack of all trades, but as the rhyme goes:

"Jack of all trades, master of none, Certainly better than a master of one"

JK: So what you're saying is you don't know Jack, which I know is not true. ;) What is your current smartphone and why? How do you use it daily, and how is it working out for you?

I have an iPhone 4 that is hands down the best handset I've ever owned, and I've owned a LOT of handsets - highlights include Nokia 9000i (which is still my second favorite handset!), a Nokia 9110 (Matrix phone!), a Sony Ericsson T39, an Orange SPV, several Motorola RAZRs and a Nokia E71 (the handset I had before switching to the iPhone). The Nokia E71 almost made me go jump to a BlackBerry, but I'm glad I didn't!

The iPhone lives in an SwitchEasy CapsuleRebel case, which then lives in a custom-made Nutshell belt case. That handset is the hub of my mobile existence. Email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, IM all in one place. I take notes and plan using Evernote and my calendar is Pocket Informant.

I have access to all my systems using LogMeIn, which is just awesome.

I've also fitted dual SIM cards in my iPhone using one of these, although I threw the case away because it looked butt-ugly. The second SIM is handy because it offers me a Pay As You Go (PAYG) tethering plan with the UK mobile operator Three at no extra charge.

Oh, it also has Angry Birds! ;)

See also: Why I ordered an iPhone 4S

JK: We in the U. S. hate you guys with your free tethering plans. Is there a particular phone you are jonesing for?

The iPhone 5. ;) The 4S interests me, but with a 4 it's hard to justify. I like the Windows Phone platform, and the new stuff from Nokia is very nice, but none of it is nice enough for me to leave behind my app investment in iOS.

JK: Do you have a tablet? Which one and why? How do you like it? Does it fit in your work/lifestyle well?

I own a first-gen iPad and it sees more use than my notebook does these days. It works fine for me because I can use the same apps on my handset as I can on my tablet. Some apps (like Pocket Informant or LogMeIn) are easier to use on the tablet and I can happily punch out a few thousand words using the iPad's on-screen keyboard (my favorite word processing app is iA Writer)before I need to get the Apple Bluetooth keyboard out.

My Angry Birds score is also a LOT higher on the iPad!

See also: iPad 2 as a serious writing machine (how-to)Typical day in the life of the iPad 2

JK: I see you like flinging birds on your iPad. For writing, the onscreen keyboard works for me on short stuff, but it's a physical keyboard for most writing. Is there another tablet you have your eyes on?

Interested in a Kindle Fire, but I doubt that it would stay a Kindle Fire. I'd more than likely load Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on it. That said, I think that the iPad 3 will be my next tablet buy.

See also: Kindle Fire: Non-techie perspective

JK: How has mobile technology impacted your work/life?

The impact is immeasurable. I've been in the game long enough to see the desktop give way to the notebook and the notebook give way to the smartphone. While every device has its strengths and weaknesses, I'm continually amazed by how much I am able to accomplish in a day on my iPhone.

JK: How does the mobile gear you are using today play a significant role in your work?

In more ways that I can count. From small ways, like if I forget to switch off a PC in the office I can do it through LogMeIn, to big ways like not being tied to my desk for so long and being able to keep my finger on the pulse when on the move.

I can't imagine not having my mobile tech.

JK: As someone who's used mobile devices since they weighed 30 lbs., I too would be lost without my mobile tech. What mobile accessory do you recommend to readers?

I just love the New Trent battery packs. I have an IMP50D 5000mAh pack that's handy to keep in a pocket, and a bigger IMP1000 11000mAh for extended periods away from a charge-up! I'd recommend both these products in a heartbeat.

JK: Adrian, thanks for sitting down and talking mobile tech with me today.

This wraps up a great conversation with Adrian Kingsley-Hughes in the continuing series, the Gear of ZDNet. Be sure and check out Adrian's great work on theZDNet Hardware 2.0 blog.

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