CES Las Vegas 2014: How to travel with technology

David Phelan discovers how to survive a Las Vegas trade show

This week, thousands of exhibitors, analysts and journalists converge on the world's biggest electronics expo, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Tomorrow, I'll be reporting on the biggest announcements, but first, here's my survival guide - it applies as much to regular workers who suddenly find themselves away from home as journalists wanting to break stories, but not their backs.

Full-time road warriors have worked out how to travel light, but for the rest of us, choosing the most effective kitbag for maximum productivity with minimum weight and bulk can be a challenge. Here are some tech essentials...

Airlines and hotels can make a difference

Travelling with tech: it's all about efficiency. Working in the air, as Aled Jones almost sang, can be limited by connectivity. Very few flights from the UK have wi-fi (the BA flight to JFK from London City Airport being an honourable exception), so prepare to be offline. US domestic flights, however, are different and wireless connectivity is common.

Most hotels have wi-fi, though it's not always free and can be grindingly slow. In Las Vegas, CES visitors staying at Caesars Palace in its Octavius Tower are treated to multimedia capabilities through a MediaHub which works with apps from Netflix to Keynote. It has so many connectivity options you could give a presentation from your room (though please time it for after the maid's been in). It also means it's easier to plug in your own iDevice, say.

Journalists attend the first press event 'CES Unveiled' in Las Vegas.

Don't get caught short - carry a portable power supply

Before you had a smartphone there wasn't much problem with battery life, was there? Easily enough for a full day's charge, often for two. Some phones, like the Nokia 6120 went on for ever, it seemed.

Now, big-screens and 4G take a toll on batteries. So the only way to be sure you won't run out of power at just the wrong moment is to pack a rechargeable power supply that will serve phone, tablet and other gadgets. Here are the best...

The Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo is the daddy. It's big, solid and sleekly styled with an aluminium edge and a discreet series of four LED lights which are only visible when you press a button to reveal the charge. It's pretty hefty, so you will know it's in your pocket. It boasts a whopping 6000mAh capacity which means it's powerful - two USB sockets mean it can charge two gadgets at the same time, and quickly, too.

The PocketCell Duo can charge a range of devices, including Android and Apple smartphones.

Innergie's PocketCell Duo is also very impressive and even comes with a fiendishly clever cable which connects the battery to microUSB, miniUSB and Apple 30-pin connector devices. It also has two connectors and capacity that even beats the Mophie - 6800mAh. This is the best combination of power and portability. It’s much lighter than the Mophie.

Sony's model, the CP-V3 (catchy name, Sony) is a slim lozenge with the de rigueur USB and micro USB connectors so you can get the power in and out. The 1500mAh capacity is enough to get you out of a spot, and this is much lighter than the more powerful but less pocketable Mophie. It's also much cheaper than the other two rivals here at £30.

Stay connected affordably

Check your mobile tariff, as well as your hardware. Data roaming charges are still preposterously exorbitant, though some networks make it easy to keep track of what you spend. With EE, you can't log on to data in a foreign country without buying a bundle of data. Here in the US, 1GB is on special offer at the moment, for 25GB - bargain. That should be enough to get the most ardent web user through a week.

But Three is going further: in some select countries, and the USA has joined the list just in time for CES, thank heavens, the network is treating overseas use as though it's done at home. So calls, texts and even data come out of your domestic bundle of minutes and megabytes. Even pay-as-you-go users can pay home rates overseas. It's an amazing deal and everyone should look into it before travelling. Note that you have to have the sim active for 30 days before you go abroad to qualify.

Combine gadgets and plump for the smallest one

So maybe don’t take your SLR - if you have a phone with a decent camera, like the 41MP Nokia Lumia 1020, you can save a lot of weight in your bag. If you're carrying it all round a trade show for eight hours, you'll appreciate this. Most smartphones can also admirably work to record interviews or meetings, so you can spare yourself carrying a recorder.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 allows you to cut down on what you carry by offering both phone and camera in one.

Your laptop should be an Ultrabook or the Apple MacBook Air with its insignificant weight but extended battery life.

Or travel lighter still with an iPad Air and Logitech Ultrathin keyboard, say. My great CES experiment will be to take a laptop in the form of the elegant Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet matched with Nokia's Power Keyboard. I'll report back later in the week how this goes, after the froth of big-name press conferences settles later today.

Video: CES 2014 rundown

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Junior DBA (SQL Server, T-SQL, SSIS, SSAS) London - Finance

    £30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior DBA (SQ...

    Oil & Energy Business Anaylst

    £45000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Harrington Sta...

    UI Developer (HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, Visualisation)

    £35000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: UI Developer (HTML5, C...

    Senior Systems Test Analyst – Surrey – 12 month contract – £340 daily rate

    £300 - £340 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently seeking...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment