When I travel, it's always a tough choice for which PC to take with me because there are so many good ones available. This weekend I'm going to Mobile World Congress to see what Microsoft has to show us, and I'm bringing a bunch of cool and useful tech. I'm admit, I'm a tech snob, and I only use the best stuff. Here is what I'm taking to Barcelona and why.
Portable but powerful
In my review, I noted how there's just something about how the Pro's hardware comes together in a slim, light, package. That's why I'm taking the Core i7 model with me on this long journey to Spain, as it's small enough for the plane but powerful enough to get work done. I have all my games loaded so I can have some fun on the plane with my Xbox controller like a boss. I also have movies queued in the Microsoft Movies & TV app because the Pro's screen is awesome.
The RavPower wall charger is a super slim (0.59 inches) 45-watt accessory that is easily the lightest, most compact Type-C charger you can find. RavPower also includes "premium Egan feet circuitry," smart sensor technology to auto-adjust based on the device, and it has protections against overcharging, overheating and short-circuiting. But it's how slim and thin this charger is that makes it my go-to when I travel. At 45 watts, it'll handle Surface Pro, Nintendo Switch, and any smartphone.
How do you charge a Surface Pro with a 45-watt Type-C slim wall charger? You need the BETOP Surface Connect to USB-C Charging Cable of course. This cable is a standard Surface Connect cable but has a Type-C end for use with laptops or any Type-C wall charger you may have. When paired with the slim RavPower charger, you get the slimmest and most compact Surface Pro charging solution around, that also works with your other modern devices.
For charging the rest of my gear, including Fitbit, Surface Headphones, and HoloLens, the Satechi Type-C 75W Travel Charger is the best. This one-stop charging station provides enough juice and options for most travelers. It has Quick Charge 3.0 support for one of the three USB Type-A ports and up to 60-watt Power Delivery for the Type-C port, which is just awesome. It's small, compact, and handles anything you throw at it.
For my tunes
The Surface Headphones are still my go-to over-the-ear headphone solution even though I still have the excellent Sony WH-1000-XM3 and Bose's QC 35II. The ability to pair to my Huawei Mate 20 X smartphone and Surface Pro 6 at the same time is an advantage over the Sonys, and they have better audio than the Bose. The active-noise-cancellation is needed for the airplane, and the 11 hours of battery life is more than enough for my trans-Atlantic flight.
The best phone
I recently wrote about what I think are the best smartphones right now for most users, and while the OnePlus 6T won the award, I use the ginormous Mate 20 X. The 7.2-inch AMOLED display, stereo speakers, smart pen support, dual-SIM, and 5,000 mAh battery make it the best screen that fits in your pocket when traveling. Did I also mention how that triple rear-camera setup is great for vacation pics? It's not cheap, but nothing beats the Mate 20 X right now.
I love a full-frame camera with some solid glass. I recently switched to the Nikon Z6 – a full-frame mirrorless camera – from the Nikon D750, mostly for the smaller size and excellent video recording ability (something Nikons are not known for). I mostly use the 24-70mm f/4 kit lens with it, but I also have the adapter for my older glass including my NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR.
Do I need a portable charger with my large phone and Surface Pro? Probably not, but you never know when you travel, and this myCharge RazorPlatinum looks great, is small enough to carry, and has a Type-C and Type-A ports for my devices. The 13,400mAh/36W configuration can handle most of my devices and is handy in a pinch.
I'm a big fan of WaterField Designs, as all the company's backpacks and bags are made here in the U.S. with excellent materials that will last decades. The new Sutter Slim may be my favorite bag yet, and it's the perfect light backpack for tech users. There's room for a 15-inch laptop and a small tablet (even Surface Pro) in the secondary pocket. The gold lining on the inside makes it easy to find things, and the abundance of pockets and a key lanyard make it excellent for organization when traveling. Plus, this bag works with roller suitcases for those jaunts at the airport.
I love Xbox controllers (I have around 25 of them) but the Sport White Limited Edition is the freshest, cleanest one they have made so far. I plan to use this with the Surface Pro 6 on the plane via Bluetooth, but it also works great with any PC or Xbox One console.
This tiny mouse is super smooth to use and has excellent build quality that just works well with my Surface Pro. It has BlueTrack Technology to work on any surface and most importantly it's super comfortable to use. It's simple and that's OK.
The Surface Pro doesn't have an Ethernet port, which I sometimes need for large data transfers. This nifty adapter adds an extra USB-A port and that coveted Gigabit Ethernet jack to the Surface Pro and it looks great too since it's made for it.
Traveling is always stressful, but great tech can really help. These are the best items I'm bringing with me while traveling to another country. And while some of the items here are not cheap, I can at least say from personal experience they're all excellent and will last a long time.That's quite important when making a purchasing decision, so hopefully, this guide helps. And if I had to just pick a few to travel with, I'd have to choose Xbox Sport White controller (opens in new tab), and that combo of RavPower charger (opens in new tab) and BETOP Surface Type-C cable (opens in new tab) for a great portable package for an Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, or Surface Go owners.
Windows Central Newsletter
Get the best of Windows Central in in your inbox, every day!
Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.
Thank you for signing up to Windows Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.