Digital Doodads and Sunday Thoughts

I’ve been considering my upcoming trip next year a lot lately. One of the areas which is key for me is what mobile technology to bring. I have some requirements especially for train and international air travel. I also have a few devices I am currently testing which may or may not survive.

MacBook Pro 2017 13 inch no touch bar. I love this device. Its made for creating, being productive. Its speed and reliability is perhaps legendary and the applications and the OS are sturdy and resilient. Battery life is not so bad. One needs to have a Type C dongle or two. I have a multi card reader which works very well for taking photo’s off my memory card and then populating Google Photos. I don’t really need more dongles but the face I am even discussing dongles is interesting. One must consider dongles with the new Type C laptops though. The laptop wins in many areas for me such as size, speed, use.

iPad Pro 10.5 2017. This is a newcomer to the battle zone. It has some advantages since I also have the apple keyboard case with it and have bought the pencil. Battery life is no slouch and I get a group of apps I really like to consume, read, and do tasks. I could share the same dongle if there were an adapter from type C to lightning which seemed decent. Most of them on Amazon get three stars and they look cheap. The iPad wins due to its flexible screen and size, ability to fold it up on itself and save a lot of space. I don’t have to remove it going through security at airports. It runs Ulysses which is where just about all content comes from these days.

I don’t have to make some final choice for some months. I can dally around and test each and enjoy both of them. The real test is the one that takes place when I go though. I won’t know which one is the best or most reliable or useful until I go. I can read thousands of blogs and news sites which tell me that one or the other is better. There is no way of knowing until I actually use one or the other in my real life adventures. I think when I do the rail trip here next year, I will have an idea about which one will work. My gut feel is that the MacBook Pro is the one. But the iPad Pro has a lot of nice things going for it.

Notice there is no smartphone included. I’m pretty convinced a smartphone, with its requirements for a SIM card and data plan and phone number and more cables and all that is not a choice. There is nothing necessary about the need for a smartphone when traveling. Google Voice/Hangouts, Skype, or a VOIP service can do it all and mean no extra cables or charges for data plans.

The idea is to travel light and flexible and not have enough stuff where you forget a cable or plug or something. A single device is the way to go when your duffle is limited and you plan on moving slow.

What do you all think? Best device to interact with a real camera? Best to use in a life spent on the road? I will not use the term digital nomad. That seems to carry a certain connotation which I am not desiring. I will say “on the road with no clear destination”. There’s a device out there which fulfills the requirements and I may own it now. I hope I do. I don’t want to spend more $$ on digital doodads.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.

One thought on “Digital Doodads and Sunday Thoughts”

  1. I like your thought around not bringing a mobile phone. Wish I could get rid of mine–it’s both a blessing and a curse to be always connected.

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