What's in my platform agnostic gear bag?

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.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor
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.


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

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