CES 2009 unofficially begins tomorrow with two days of press/media events, so we’re zipping up our suitcases and flying out to Las Vegas this afternoon. I learned a lot from last year’s show and feel less overwhelmed this time because I know what to expect and have a better plan in place. Let me tell you more about it.
What I’m Bringing
My biggest obstacle when planning for CES was deciding what to bring (many of you are already aware of my chronic gadget overpacking disorder). Though the goal of many CES attendees is to travel light and rely on portable devices rather than heavy laptops, running Pocketables makes selecting mobile gear rather tricky for me. Everything I have is portable!
Adding to the difficulty is the fact that I like to use certain devices for certain things. So even though a single piece of tech could technically do everything I want/need, I’d rather have a dedicated DAP for listening to music, a PMP for watching videos, and so on. Furthermore, what one takes to an event isn’t necessarily the same as what one takes on a trip that includes a roundtrip flight (~5.5 hours each way) and downtime.
If I sound defensive, it’s only because I’m trying to justify why I’m leaving Hawaii with 11.1 pounds of gear.
Before you call the insane asylum on me, please let me explain.
At press events and walking around the showroom floors, I will only be carrying my Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 in its Noreve case, Solio hybrid solar charger with mini USB tip, Kohjinsha SC3 with extended battery, and AT&T USBConnect Mercury 3G modem with Belkin flexible USB adapter.
Together, these weigh a total of 3.2 pounds.
I’m bringing the Xperia X1 for mobile blogging (it’s also my phone), the Solio for backup X1 power, and the SC3 and modem in case I need to write something more substantial. The SC3 isn’t my favorite UMPC, but it has the biggest keyboard and longest battery life.
Note: My photographer will be carrying a digital SLR camera, Flip Video Ultra camcorder, various peripherals, goodie bags I made to pass out to friends I meet on the floor, and snacks/water to keep us alive.
For the hotel, I’ve got the Sony Vaio TZ with extended battery for writing follow-up/more detailed posts with better photos, Logitech VX Nano cordless mouse, and the iPhone 3G for casual games and quick internet access. I’m not sure if the hotel provides hardwire or wireless internet, so I’m bringing the CradlePoint CTR500 travel router just in case.
Including their cases and chargers/cables, these items weigh 5.2 pounds.
I may use the SC3 or TZ with my Mercury modem at the airport, but for the purpose of categorization, my Archos 5 in its Noreve vintage leather case, Cowon S9, and Ultimate Ears triple.fi 10 Pro headphones are being taking care of in-flight entertainment.
This stuff weighs 1.2 pounds.
The miscellaneous items I have are mostly chargers and cables that don’t really fit into any of the other categories. These include the Solio AC adapter, Kohjinsha charger, Archos and Cowon cables, USB 2.0 cable, 4GB Sony Micro Vault Tiny, Shure I2C-m headset for Skype calls, CradlePoint PHS300 router (I’m bringing this one for troubleshooting purposes when I meet up with one of my forum mods), and a case to hold some of the cables together.
All of this weighs another 1.5 pounds.
Broken down like this, my travel gear seems a bit more reasonable, wouldn’t you say? I know there’s a lot of overlap and excess, but traveling light has never been a priority for me. And I should get some credit for being able to leave my beloved HTC Shift and Willcom D4 at home! *sigh* I miss them already.
What I’m Doing
One of the lessons I learned from CES 2008 was to not make too many appointments during the show. Last year’s booth tours and on-site meetings were kind of worthless, so this year my schedule is more open and flexible.
In my calendar are CES Unveiled, Digital Experience, and press conferences/events for Sony, Palm, Samsung, and Asus. I’m skipping everything else and will be using the extra time for unscheduled booth visits (I’ve got all the "booths of interest" highlighted on my map for beeline navigation), meeting up with readers and other site owners (maybe at CntrStg), and visiting some friends who live in Vegas.
To cover the show, I will be:
- Micro blogging on Twitter using the Xperia X1 and/or iPhone 3G throughout the day
- Mobile blogging with the Xperia X1 (photo with short description; preview here) throughout the day
- Supplemental blogging with the Kohjinsha SC3 as needed throughout the day
- Normal/Full blogging with the Vaio TZ at night
I was averse to mobile blogging last year but am embracing and looking forward to it this year.
FYI: Here are the official CES locations (PDF).
What I’m Not Doing
Following other CES coverage. I don’t anticipate having enough time to keep up with my RSS feeds, so Pocketables will only be updated with information that my photographer and I find ourselves. I’ll use Google Gears to download everything before the plane ride home and catch up offline.
Writing about anything other than CES. If you have zero interest in what’s going on at CES, please take a break from this site and come back when the show is over. I think there’ll be a post-CES giveaway…
What Else You Should Know
Pocketables is based in Honolulu, Hawaii, so the time/date stamp reflects HST (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time), which is currently two hours behind CES time. I mention this because content under embargo until midnight on January 8 (PST) will appear here at 10 p.m. on January 7.
CES 2009, here we come!