Chronic gadget overpacking or fear of boredom?

Travel_gear_hosp

I’m getting settled back at home right now after spending 7 hours at the hospital for my husband to have corrective surgery on a deviated septum. We expected to spend the majority of that time apart, so last night I assessed my mobile gear and came up with a gadgety plan of what I’d do in the waiting room. Given my tendency to overpack, it should come as no surprise that I walked into the hospital carrying just under 4 pounds of electronics and ended up really only needing/using 4.7 ounces of it.

Travel_gear_hosp2

These were my choices:

  • Kohjinsha SC3. I picked it up after several months of non-use yesterday and was instantly reminded of why the unit I was supposed to return after my review turned out to be a keeper. I seriously forgot how much I liked the device. The extended battery performed better than before, too, so I knew that I could leave the power brick at home and still have enough juice for hours of internet time.
  • Archos 5. I could easily kill 2 hours just by watching a movie. The Archos is also unparalleled in its video playback abilities, especially with the cinema plug-in that allows me to copy-and-paste full DVDs onto its 250GB hard drive. Video quality is truly stunning.
  • Sansa Fuze. Sound quality on the Fuze (and Clip) is outstanding and better than any other DAP on the market except maybe those made by Cowon, so I couldn’t imagine sitting in a waiting room without it.
  • iPhone 3G. Until I can get my hands on the XPERIA X1, the iPhone will be my primary phone. In addition to making me reachable in case I wasn’t there when the surgeon came out to tell me how everything went, the iPhone would be used to play games and read ebooks. I know it’s also an iPod, but I never use it for that because there are other devices that do audio and video better.
  • Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 Pro. Earphones are a must in public places for me, not to mention a courtesy to others, and these are what I use with everything. I’m still thinking about upgrading to the triple.fi 10 Pro or Shure SE530.
  • Option GT Max 3.6 Express. Even though I just got the USBConnect Mercury last month, I decided to pack this ExpressCard modem because it doesn’t stick out as much and the Kohjinsha SC3 is the only UMPC I have that can actually use it.

As you can see, there’s a lot of redundancy. If I really wanted to travel as lightly as possible, I could’ve just taken the SC3 (and headphones and 3G modem).

Kohji_hosp_bag1

Kohji_hosp_bag2

I mean, I can carry it like a purse for crying out loud!

Not only that, but the SC3 would’ve been adequate for multimedia (depending on the codec, of course), fine for light gaming and ebook reading, and absolutely perfect for my Pocketables work (e.g., checking feeds, updating the site, emailing, forum posting). This latter task is actually the reason I chose to bring it along in the first place.

Why, then, am I writing this from my desk at home right now?

Two reasons:

  1. The waiting room was a dead zone.
  2. My husband and I only spent about 2 of the 7 hours we were at the hospital apart. And between looking for a place with reception, eating breakfast at the cafeteria, shopping in the gift shop, standing in line for coffee, and talking to the surgeon and nurses, I didn’t have time for anything else. All I did was read a few pages of an ebook on my iPhone while waiting for my husband to get wheeled into the recovery area.

So really, I could’ve left the house with nothing but my iPhone today. Instead, I let either my constant need to be entertained/online or my chronic gadget overpacking disorder take over and was weighed down by several extra pounds I didn’t need. Perhaps the "be prepared" motto only applies to boy scouts in the wilderness and not a silly tech addict in a hospital waiting room.

Wish me luck when packing for CES next month. I’m gonna need it!

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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