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What's In My Backpack

Welcome to the “What’s In My Backpack” page, a section of the website that I will update constantly with a list of the gear that I carry around in my backpack on a daily basis.

The Backpack

Over the years, I have tended to lean towards larger backpacks however I have made the decision to downsize the number of items that I carry with me on a daily basis. There was a time in my life that I would carry a larger Everki Backpack with a minimum of ttwo laptops however I have since downsized to a single slim laptop and as such I moved to a smaller laptop backpack. My current backpack is the Timbuk2 Parkside Laptop Backpack. This packpack is large enough to carry around all of the items I need on a daily basis.

My Timbuk2 Backpack was a gift from Tech Heros with a custom monogram.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 1 (Silver)

Although it is getting a bit old, I currently carry the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 1 with me at all times and use it as my primary Chromebook. My Chromebook has been modified with a 1 TB NVMe SSD (vs. the 256 GB factory option). The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 1 is plenty powerful for most of my daily tasks, the 13.3 inch 4K OLED display is still one of the best displays that you can get on a laptop and the fact that it is one of the thinnest laptops on the market makes it a no-brainer for my backpack. 

Samsung Galaxybook 2 360

It should come as no shock to anyone who reads my website that my operating system of choice for most things is ChromeOS, however, I occasionally need to use a Windows device for some things, such as some freelance/contract work that I do on the side. I own several Samsung products, including the Samsung Z Fold 5, Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ 5G, Galaxy Chromebook 1, Galaxy Watch 6, Note 10+, Galaxy Buds 2 Pro,  S Pen Pro and Samsung SmartTags 2+ - so it was a natural choice to gravitate to Samsung when it came to selecting a Windows Laptop. As such, I went with the Samsung Galaxybook 2 360. This device is fast, works very well and offers amazing integration with my other Samsung Devices and accessories. 

GPD Pocket 3 with KVM Module

The GPD Pocket 3 is a modular, netbook-like laptop that has proven itself to be useful for things that a conventional laptop cannot do. There are two versions of the GPD Pocket 3, a higher-end CPU I7-1195G7 and a lower-end Intel N6000 version of the laptop. I opted for the lower-end Intel N6000 version, as it does last longer on a charge due to its weaker processor. The one feature that makes this a no-brainer for me to keep in my backpack is the ability to purchase modules, specifically the KVM Module which allows me to connect the GPD Pocket 3 to another device such as a server, raspberry pi or even another desktop computer and use the GPD Pocket 3 as a external monitor, mouse and keyboard by simply connecting a single USB A to C cable and a HDMI cable (or Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable in the case of a Raspberry Pi). 

Samsung Tab S8+ 5G/4G LTE

I currently carry the 5G version of the Samsung Tab S8+ as my tablet of choice, along with the official Samsung Keyboard Cover. The screen and battery life of this tablet make it ideal for getting things done on the go. I have the 5G version of this tablet, which allows me to always be online when I am traveling or at off-site meetings. Admittedly, I am often home most of the time, so there are several months when the tablet is always connected to WiFi. I would cancel the 5G service; however, there have also been several occasions where it has saved me when my home internet service has failed (essentially turning it into a 5G modem to feed all wired and wireless items in my house), and the 5G service is so useful when I travel or when a hurricane decides to hit South Florida. 

Samsung S-Pen Pro

I carry several Samsung devices that support the Samsung S Pen, including my phone (Z Fold 5, Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ 5G, Galaxy Chromebook 1, Galaxybook 2 and Note 10+) and it is nice to carry a single S Pen that works with all of my devices. The main reason I purchased the S Pen Pro was to use Air Actions on my Z Fold 4 (later Z Fold 5) and to have a better S Pen to use on my Galaxybook. As soon as I purchased my Z Fold 5, I got the official Samsung Z Fold 5 Case with Slim S Pen and found it uncomfortable to use for several tasks. The S Pen Pro is far more ergonomic, which earned it a place in my backpack. 

Logitech M720 Triathlon Multi-Device Wireless Mouse

All of my portable devices have a touchscreen, which is great for most things that I do; however, having access to a Bluetooth mouse is so important when I need to maximize my productivity. The Logitech M720 Triathlon Multi-Device Wireless Mouse is a bit bulky, but it works perfectly with all of my devices and is comfortable to use for several hours at a time. I have tied smaller mice, but they often become uncomfortable to use for more than a few hours. As an added bonus, this mouse can be paired with up to three devices at a time and can be switched between devices with the push of a button. 

Samsung Smart Keyboard Trio 500

I currently carry the Bluetooth Samsung Smart Keyboard Trio 500 in my backpack to allow me to be productive on the go. The on-screen keyboard on my Z Fold 5 is great for many things, but it's no replacement for an actual keyboard. As such, I carry the Samsung Smart Keyboard Trio 500 in my backpack. This keyboard works flawlessly with all of my Samsung Devices including my Phone, Tablet and Chromebook thanks to its ability to be paired with up to three devices at a time and quickly switch between the devices with a simple keystroke.

Samsung SmartTag2

One of my biggest fears is the theft of my backpack or losing my wallet. As such, I have several Samsung SmartTag 2 device trackers on several of my devices, including my wallet, backpack, suitcase and briefcase. There are several similar products on the market, such as devices from Tile or even the Apple Airtags; however, since I am deep in the Samsung ecosystem, it made sense for me to go with the Samsung SmartTag 2 .

Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD 2TB

I am a person who not only works on numerous projects daily but also constantly jump between different laptops, Chromebooks, phones, smart sinks and desktops. When I am at home, I make use of my NAS, but this is not always an option when I am on the road. Having a portable hard drive has become invaluable for me to keep offline copies of all of my important files and projects. As someone who lives in Florida, which gets hit with Hurricanes, it is also nice to have a place to keep scans of important paperwork and files. I have carried a portable hard drive for years but they were often slower mechanical drives that were prone to failure and lacked any security features, so I had to rely on encryption software to keep my data safe. The Samsung T7 Biometric SSD is far more reliable than mechanical hard drives and has built-in encryption that requires my fingerprint to unlock. I have the 2 TB option but wish they had a 4 TB option.

Anker 40,000 MaH Battery Bank

As someone who lives in Florida and, as such, faces the risk of going days/weeks without power, I own a lot of USB Battery Banks. I honestly never go out without an overkill USB Battery Bank in my pocket. I also augment the Zendure USB Battery Bank that I carry with me at all times with an Anker 40,000 MaH Battery Bank which is powerful enough to let me fully charge my laptop or chromebook several times when I am not near an outlet. Although I have been lucky enough to have missed any major hurricanes over the past few years so this battery bank gets most of its use when I am traveling, at a convention or at a coffee shop.

Anker 727 Charging Station

It does not matter if I am traveling or just sitting at a coffee shop, I often find myself facing a lack of power outlets, so I purchased the Anker 727 charging station. This flat power station takes a single USB power outlet and gives me 2x100W USB-C ports, 2 USB-A ports and even 2 additional 110V AC Ports. This power station is insanely useful on Amtrak trips (where each seat is given a single outlet) and is a must-have in hotel rooms as well. I also make use of it when I am in on-site meetings and sitting at a conference table with 8 outlets and 16 chairs. The compact size of the Anker 727 Charging Station allows it to easily slip into my backpack, so it's always with me. 

Anker 735 Charger (Nano II 65W)

The Anker Nano 2 735 somehow tends to jump between my pocket and backpack when I am out. It's small size makes it perfect for a quick charge when I am in the waiting area of an airport or train station, and it is powerful enough to charge my phone and laptop at the same time.  When traveling, I often connect one of my USB Power Banks to one of the USB-C Ports, my Chromebook to the other, and finally, my phone to the USB-A port (with a USB-C to USB-A port) to ensure I have plenty of power for a long plane ride. 

Various USB-C and USB A Cables

I carry a selection of both USB-A and USB-C cables in my backpack. The brands will often differ based on what options are on sale when I need to replace my cables after they have been misplaced (or borrowed without permission). I will always carry several longer cables (3 meter) that are used to charge my devices when connected to a wall outlet and several shorter (1 meter) cables to charge when connected to a USB Battery Bank in my pocket.  These charging cables are not normally known for carrying high-speed data (often being limited to USB 2.0 speeds), so I also carry around a few high-speed USB-C data cables that are used when I need to use a device with a high-bandwidth use case (such as USB Alt Mode Video)

XREAL Air and Beam

I carry the XReal Air + XReal Beam (Formally NReal Air) in my backpack at all times to allow me to always have a second display for my Chromebook, Laptop or even Samsung Dex. These lightweight AR glasses take up almost no room at all in my backpack but still give me a 100-inch screen whenever I need it. When paired with the XReal Beam, these glasses take on a life of their own by allowing it to be used as a wireless display or even connecting my Nintendo Switch to the glasses for some truly immersive gaming. Lastly, or most importantly, the XReal Air Glasses are perfect for media consumption on Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services, especially when traveling. The ability to tune out a noisy plane or train and consume videos in peace is spectacular. I have written a full review of the XReal Air on my blog

Laptop Stand + USB-C Docking Station

While I am at home, I have the luxury of a dedicated Laptop Stand and a dedicated docking station. These laptop stands can help with keeping your laptop at a comfortable angle but help with airflow. This setup is great while stationary but does not work well when on the road. As such, I have invested in a fold up Laptop Stand that has a integrated USB-C Docking Station. This combonation Laptop Stand + USB-C Docking Station takes up a tiny amount of space in my Backpack and can be setup in seconds at your local coffee-shop when you want to be productive. The indegrated USB-C docking station has power passthrough and has a attached cable that is long enough to reach both sides of my laptop or Chromebook. As a added bonus, it supports Passthrough USB-C Power which us nice if you are limited on USB Ports. It has a HDMI output however I have to be honest and admit that I have never used that specific feature but it is useful if needed. The only thing I wish it had was a SD/MicroSD Card Reader.

Anker 553 USB-C Hub/Universal Docking Station

Many modern devices can be a bit anemic when it comes to I/O ports, with several machines only containing a single USB-C port. I carry the Anker 553 USB-C Hub in my backpack at all times to expand the number of ports on my devices. The Anker 553 USB-C hub works perfectly with all of my devices, regardless of the operating system (ChromeOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and even MacOS). The 553 Hub has an HDMI output port and power-delivery, which even lets me use it on my phone to access Samsung Dex when I am on the road. The MicroSD card reader is also very useful when I need to flash a Raspberry Pi or access media. I will admit that I have never had the need to use a full-size SD card, but this dock has an SD card reader just in case. The Anker 553 Hub also has a gigabit Ethernet port to allow me to connect to a wired connection, which has proven itself useful on countless occasions.