Paul’s Challenge: No Laptops Allowed – Part 2: Hardware


I’m back with part two of my no-laptop challenge (have a look at the No Laptops Allowed Challenge Part 1, in which I introduce my personal challenge to work solely from my BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800 smartphone), and this time, it’s all about the hardware I’d recommend you have on hand to most easily succeed with just your BlackBerry® smartphone for your day-to-day tasks.

First, let me thank everyone who responded to the first post! Not only was it motivating to hear about your experiences, but it was also nice to see some additional challenges thrown my way. In part three, I’ll cover application essentials; but here in part two, we’re going to talk about the hardware that is essential to this challenge. You’ll be able to find all these items at the Official RIM BlackBerry Accessories Store, so be sure to stop by and order a few of these handy items for yourself!

BlackBerry USB Charger x 2:
One charger should be dedicated to the BlackBerry® Presenter (as it doesn’t run on a battery), and the other can be used for various charging purposes. I would also highly recommend the smaller plug for size consideration when it comes to packing your bags.
BlackBerry Presenter:
You can read the blog post about BlackBerry Presenter to find out more details of this product, but I’ve been finding this piece really helpful while travelling. I’m always presenting different material, from Microsoft® PowerPoint® to sections of PDF files, and this is a must-have in my bag.
Bluetooth® Headset:
Another must have for two key reasons:
1. In some states and several provinces in Canada, it is against the law to drive and talk on your phone (unless it is hands-free).
2. Hands-free is great because it enables you to talk while taking notes or listen while watching a Cisco WebEx®.
Also, for more Bluetooth tips, check out this recent post from the Inside BlackBerry Help Blog about how to pair your Bluetooth-enabled headset with a BlackBerry smartphone.
Note: If you prefer, a wired headset is fine. You could also choose high performance ear buds and save a little room in your bag.
Extra Battery:
Having an extra battery for those extra-long days is handy. This came in handy last week at Lotusphere when my day started at 6 AM and ended around midnight with no time to charge. (Again, the Inside BlackBerry Help Blog has got a great post about battery-saving tips)
BlackBerry® Leather Swivel Holster or BlackBerry® Leather Pocket:
The magnet in the case does wonders for overall battery life.
USB Splitter Cable:
I would list this as an optional item, but I did find it useful when charging my BlackBerry smartphone and Bluetooth headset at the same time.
microSD Card:
I would recommend getting the largest one possible to carry your files, music and movies. I have at least 10GB of space dedicated to corporate files.
Performance Ear Buds:
For music, video and even podcast a good pair of in ear buds are great, especially for those noisy flights!
BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet (coming soon):
There were several comments on the first post regarding the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and how it would fall into my challenge. I’ve started to travel with one now, so look for a future post on how it was used.

That wraps up what I use from a hardware perspective. Did I miss anything you use for essential hardware? Post a comment and let me know!

About Paul S.

Paul is Manager of Technical Services for the Enterprise Sales Technical Team at Research In Motion® (RIM®). Paul's teams of six technical managers are responsible for RIM’s largest global accounts in North America. He's presented to a wide range of audiences in the United States and Europe on the development options, benefits and strengths of the BlackBerry platform. Highlights from Paul's time with RIM include setup and support of the BlackBerry smartphone installation for the Office of President George Bush (41st), launch of the BlackBerry platform in Barbados, onsite technical training to global wireless carriers and partners, and presenting as a six time speaker at RIM’s Wireless Enterprise Symposium (now BlackBerry World). Prior to RIM, Paul worked for a small consulting firm that developed applications on Lotus Domino business solutions.

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