Never take your laptop on a business trip again


Justin Li

The quick guide to reducing weight and bulk for short business trips.

I’m on a perpetual quest to pack as little as possible for business trips. My goal is always less bulk, lighter weight, more versatility and more efficiency. This is why I love my IcePlate/Vertx EDC Gamut combo, iPhone XS Max, Oakley SI FLAKJACKET Array and SOARescue Med Mag.

Recently, I bought an iPhone XS Max in the hopes it would provide a large enough screen where I would not have to travel with my iPad anymore to watch movies on the plane. When paired with a small Gorilla Pod and my Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones, the iPhone XS Max nailed this mission. All you have to do is make sure you have plenty of memory so you can watch 13 Hours of Sicario and Terminator 2 for the 20th time on your 737 MAX transcon (that is a little tighter than you would prefer). I also had a tiny bit of hope that future developments would allow the iPhone XS Max to replace my laptop, but I was not about to hold my breath for that one.

This week finally saw the battery on my 2012 MacBook Pro tap out and necessitate a trip to the Apple Store in an effort to hold onto that legacy MS Office license and avoid another monthly SAAS charge. This forced me to go on this business trip to Columbus, GA with only my iPhone XS Max. No iPad. No MacBook Pro.

Unfortunately for me, the emails, texts and social media demands of my job did not stop and far surpassed my ability to punch out replies with my thumbs (no matter how opposed). I’m not looking to add “Carpel Thumb” surgery to my future “Things I hate about the ACA” list.

Columbus, GA is a nice town, but bustling with tech options it is not. However, I may have discovered the Holy Grail of business trip secrets in a total long shot stop by Best Buy: a Bluetooth keyboard that will allow me to leave both my laptop and my iPad at home for short business trips. Probably for good. Meet the logi by Logitech.

This Logitech logi Bluetooth Keyboard is amazing. After our meetings wrapped up today, I managed to connect it to my phone on the first attempt. It came fully charged out of the box (a charge good for three months of laptop-less travel per Logitech) with a strand/tray for my iPhone. While the iPhone XS Max is a bit on the heavy and large side for the stand, it works (I’m going to add a silicone bead to the tray to boost grip strength though for touchscreen use). This thing is amazing. While I can’t match the typing speed and accuracy of my beloved Microsoft Natural Keyboard (RIP), I’m practically typing at lightspeed compared to the tactile-less digital thumboard on my iPhone. Social media, full email replies, detailed texts and even this blog post were cranked out on this keyboard with ease. These are tasks I couldn’t dream of doing with just iPhone. With the logi, they are executed with aplomb, all while shaving major bulk and weight from my travel kit because the MacBook Pro is riding pine.

So there you have it. The secret to traveling without a laptop is an iPhone XS Max and a $50 keyboard that weighs almost nothing and fits anywhere. Bye bye laptop.

What do you carry on your business trips? What pro tips and tricks do you use to minimize your bulk and weight while maximizing efficiency? Let us know in the comments below!

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