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1/4/2011
03:59 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Armed To The Teeth With Tech For CES

The Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in Las Vegas on January 6. What does the average tech reporter need to cover this massive trade show?

If CES is anything, it is a frenetic, frenzied dash from day-to-day, appointment-to-appointment, casino-to-casino and every point in between. By the time the week is over, I expect I will have walked more than 20 miles across the Las Vegas Convention Center floor, in between casinos and restaurants, and ballrooms located across the city. What's a reporter without a keyboard and internet access? Not much. Here's what I'll be packing this week at the Consumer Electronics Show to bring you all the breaking news from the desert.

1. Apple MacBook Air. I broke down and bought one a week before I left for Las Vegas. My regular laptop works fine...as long as it is plugged in. Battery life of my MacBookPro is down to 2 hours per charge at best. Despite the loss in raw performance, battery life is more important. That's why the MacBook Air, with its 7-hour battery life, will be my go-to machine. It doesn't hurt that the MacBook Air weighs three pounds less than the MacBookPro. I brought my MacBook Pro as a back-up, but don't expect to use it.

2. Apple iPad. Since I do most of my work within a web browser, the iPad will be a great tool to use during press conferences when I need to cough up news stories quickly. It will also be a good tool to have on hand when I need to get on and offline quickly. It can also serve as a device of last resort should the MacBook Air fail.

3. Apple iPhone 4. Since my main phone number is associated with my iPhone, I'll have it at my side all week. However, I've used iPhones in Las Vegas long enough to know that it will rarely work reliably. I'll use it, sure, but it won't be my only phone. Voice calls and SMS will be what I use it for most.

4. Motorola Droid X. The Droid X has been my right-hand phone since August. It has great battery life, and even better, it has access to Verizon's wireless network, which performs better in Las Vegas than AT&T's (in my experience.) The Droid X will be my main email, browsing, social networking, and calendaring device when I'm on the go.

5. Canon EOS Rebel Ti. I won't be able to post any images without a decent camera. The Rebel Ti is far from the best dSLR out there, but it offers the features I need to get good shots: solid battery life, fast flash, compact size, and low weight.

6. Canon Vixia HF100 HD Camcorder. Apply everything above to this device. It's not the best HD video camera out there, but it does what I need it to. The SD card storage capability is a huge help when it comes time to process videos, as the SD card slips right into my laptop's SD card slot for transferring videos quickly.

7. Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone 4. This battery life extender comes in handy when outlets are few and far between. With it, I expect my iPhone to last from 7AM until Midnight each day of the show.

8. Verizon Novatel MiFi 2200. This little mobile hotspot creator will be the heart of my internet access for the week. It's too bad that Verizon has yet to introduce any LTE-capable MiFis. While Wi-Fi is plentiful around CES, so are the number of users hoping to hop on. Having my own internet means I'll always have a connection when I need it.

9. Other Assorted Tools. Power strip, universal chargers, USB cables, thumb drives, SD card readers, headphones, and more.

10. GadgetTrak. I just admitted that I'll be carrying around thousands of dollars of gear with me just about everywhere in Las Vegas this week. That makes me a tempting target, no? Let me warn you. First, I am 6' 2" and weigh 200 pounds. I'm not letting go of my stuff without a fight. Two, my laptops and phones are protected by GadgetTrak. GadgetTrak will let me locate either of my phones or either of my laptops in short order should they be lost or stolen.

Now that I am on the ground in Vegas, I aim to put all this gear to good use, starting.......now.

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