Efficiency & Gears

1. Dell XPS 13

I’ll never forget how amazing and delightful I felt when I just replace my Thinkpad with the XPS 13, It’s kind of like the Nokia phone you’ve been using for years and suddenly you switch to an iPhone. The most eye-catching thing about it is excellent industrial design, slimmer dimensions, and beautiful nearly borderless display. Its strong performance and long battery life also surprised me. During my frequent business travel to project site, I used it to watch videos, browse Google Earth, write reports, edit images and design drawings, mainly with AutoCAD, and the experience was pleasant. Because of outstanding portability, I can use it anytime when taking a plane or train, even in the mountains. Several of my colleagues said it could be a killer of Macbook Air.

Dell XPS 13 shot to fame at CES 2015, remained favorite consumer laptop for the past few years, due to its comprehensive performance. Now, after multiple generations of upgrades, Dell XPS 13 2019 has a new design with a better webcam, supports for eGPUs and upgrades the cooling system, which means stronger sustained performance. It has a built-in Dell Mobile Connect that displays messages received by the phone in real time on the desktop, which can be very convenient. It may well be called, without exaggeration, a perfect portable, beautiful, powerful productivity tool for a frequent business traveler. Since it’s just been released, I think Dell XPS 13 (2018), the one I use, is a very affordable option.

And, based on my one year’s experience, uninstall McAfee, simply using the built-in Windows Defender is sufficient for security protection.

2. Kindle Paperwhite

There will always be fragments of time on business trips, such as the time taken by plane or train. If worse, you may have to wait for hours at the airport due to flight delay, or be stuck in traffic during rush hour. If on project-based business travel, you may stay at the site for an extra half day because of technical problems of the project. But the point is, you can do some more meaningful things, such as reading, instead of constantly refreshing Twitter, Facebook or TikTok during these times.

The most popular and best-selling e-reader is undoubtedly Amazon’s Kindle. The latest All-new Paperwhite inherits the concise industrial design and comfortable holding of the previous generation. With its 6-inch, 300 PPI display, Kindle Paperwhite reads like paper. It even in direct sunlight the page was easy to read.

I use it a lot during my travel and found it did have a super long battery lifetime. I actually read it for about an hour a day and only need to charge it every three weeks around. Even if travel for half a month, I don’t need to take along the charger. Its durability can be longer with less use of wireless connectivity, Bluetooth and lighting.

Considering the new feature of waterproof, which means you can read it in the bathroom, swimming pool or on the beach, Kindle Paperwhite is the only e-reader you should choose.

3. Cocoon CPG10SL Grid-It Organizer

When traveling for more than three days, there will always be numerous items to carry, such as chargers keys, passport, cables, sunglasses, battery pack and so on. If you just stuff everything into a trunk or carry-on bag, they will definitely get messy, and it will be very troublesome to take out anything else. Another problem is that items are likely to crush and damage.

Cocoon CPG10SL Grid-it Organizer is a great solution for the frequent business traveler. It’s a specially designed system of elastic bands, and all items can be neatly put into it. You can lay the Grid-it on the top of your bag or suitcase, and it would be very convenient to get anything out.

This slate version doesn’t need to be folded, but according to my practical experience, it’s more space-efficient than folding.

4. Travel Wallet and Document Organizer Bag

You always need a wallet to store some gadgets during travel. This Travel Wallet RFID Blocking Document Organizer Bag can hold 4 passports, 5 Credit Cards. A large pocket for cash and a pen slot in the middle, and 1 removable keychain. It adopts RFID blocking technology that prevents thieves from scanning card chips to get your personal information.

It has a pocket on the wallet front for phone or any other thing often use, pocket slots are wide enough to accommodate large cell phones like the iPhone 8 Plus. It’s made with durable, waterproof, and light nylon fabric, and the strap is well-designed and removable strap.

5. EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter

If you travel frequently to many countries, it’s necessary for you to carry a universal adapter to reduce the load. EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter covers more than 150 countries with US/EU/AU/UK plugs. With a reasonable and excellent design, it contains 4 USB Ports, 1 USB TYPE C and 1 AC Socket to charge 6 devices simultaneously with high speed, and is compatible with all mainstream smartphones, Kindle, tablet and so on. It’s the perfect companion for international traveler.

It is important to note that EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter is a plug converter and does not convert the electrical output current and voltage (unlike transformer).

6. Occer 12×25 Compact Binocular

Whether you are engaged in field construction work or just for leisure travel, there’s always the possibility of using a binocular. Often, you use it to check out equipment, such as the blades of a wind turbine, or just to see the road in the distance. So for a lightweight application like this, Occer 12×25 Compact Binocular is an appropriate choice.

It has 12x magnification, 25mm objective lens and wide field of view, 273ft/1000yds, letting you look farther and see wider. Coating with FMC Broadband coating and premium BAK4 prism, it ensures imaging verisimilar. The binocs can be pull down the rubber eyepieces and more fit the glasses wearer. Small in size, can be used with one hand, and easy to carry.