How are you? Me, I’m packing for a trip down south (it’s not as dramatic, nor as warm, as it sounds) to attend my little sister’s wedding, and get some much-needed vacation. It’ll be good to see my parents and siblings, it’s been a while, as you’d imagine.
Oh, and it’s Easter, too. That’ll make it a joy to travel through half the country by train, I’m sure... I do hope to get some reading, writing, and researching done on the train, though, so that’s good. Sometimes, being confined to a certain space, and limited as to what you can do, is great for productivity.
I’m traveling light. That means I’ll bring my 11” iPad Pro, and not that many other things.
My name is Thord, and I prefer using an iPad over any other computing device out there. You’re reading Switch to iPad issue #91, which is free for all, for once. These issues are usually meaty things, focusing on getting the most out of the iPad. If you’re not a paying subscriber, I’d be thrilled if you considered becoming one? It’s $5/month or $50/year, and there’s a free trial too.
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I always try to travel light, and for this trip, it’s almost as light as it can be. That’s in part because I don’t expect to do any design or development work, so there’s no need for an emergency MacBook, or the Intel variant for the client whose IT department are firmly rooted in... old... things... And should the worst happen, I can do just about anything from my iPad, it’s just not particularly pleasant sometimes.
I’ve decided to go with the 11” iPad Pro (M1 version) for this trip. It’s big enough for writing and light editing, but small enough to fit in my Hunter’s Satchel from Peg & Awl. This is a great iPad, with plenty of storage, so I feel confident dumping photos from my camera onto this as a backup. Extra storage for photography sessions is one of the perks of the 11” iPad Pro, compared to the new iPad Air, which also sports the M1 chip. That said, when I do professional photo work on the field, I tend to bring backup drives. The LaCie Rugged series in particular is nice, because it does automatic backups of SD cards as you insert them.
But again, I’m traveling light, and I don’t expect to need additional storage at all. My camera of choice is the Ricoh GR III, which is a street camera that takes wonderful photos, and suck at video. I love this thing, and I look forward to going through all the photos I’ve taken on the train back home next week. And again, my 11” iPad Pro will have the storage for all this, no matter if I go with RAW, or decide to shoot in JPEG.
So, we’ve talked about the 11” iPad Pro, and the camera. I’m going to bring the iPad in its Magic Keyboard, obviously. This makes for a decent writing experience, despite the somewhat cramped size. It’s better for US or UK keyboards, than it is for me, because I have additional keys that are half-sized. These are for Swedish language characters, so it should come as no surprise that I prefer to write in English on this keyboard. The apostrophe is, unfortunately, a half-key as well. That said, it’s a fair price to pay for the smaller form factor. I type fast enough on this thing.
Yes, I’ll bring an Apple Pencil. It’s almost boring to talk about these things, these days, because every list of things your iPad just must have, for the sake of humanity, is a Magic Keyboard and an Apple Pencil. Everyone says this, and while the former isn’t always true, the latter most likely is, if you’re a pencil-person.
The little bits
I’ve got a tiny canvas pen-case that I picked up at Muji a couple of years ago. It fits most of the little bits you need when out and about. This is what it’s in it for this trip, and most of the time, to be honest.
USB-C 16W charger brick.
USB-C to Lightning cable.
inCharge 6 keychain cable, for those odd situations.
USB-A to USB-C adapter (no-name).
Micro-USB to USB-C adapter (no-name).
A small microfibre cloth.
8BitDo N30 Pro, in case I feel like playing some retro games on the train.
That’s slightly more than I need for this trip. I don’t foresee any situation where a micro-USB adapter would be beneficial, but it’s so small, and sometimes I bring my Kindle Oasis with a really short micro-USB cable, so that’s why it’s in here. The inCharge cable is somewhat redundant most of the time, too. If it supported faster charging, I’d love it, but it doesn’t so it’s for those times where I need an extra cable for whatever reason, or just want to convert something.
Most of the time when traveling, I’ll wear the AirPods Pro, and the Apple Pencil will sit in the case.
This is a simple setup. I like to keep things simple. It could be simplified even further, surely, but I like to be ready. As long as I’m bringing the canvas pen-case, then I might as well keep adapters in it, is my reasoning. What I really would like, is to get rid of cables. Since Apple still won’t sell me an iPhone with USB-C charging, I need a Lightning cable. The inCharge cable supports USB-C to Lightning, so it’s a solution, but it doesn’t support fast charging, and sometimes you just want to juice up the iPhone real quick. I’m happy that my camera both syncs and charges over USB-C, that saves me another cable.
Right, it’s about time I get serious about the rest of my packing. The gadgets are under control. So, what to wear to a wedding, then?
— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡