Best mobile workstation

I couldn’t really find a better category, but I love talking tech and and still excited for TB… despite the dramatic path getting there :smile:

So i’m constantly looking for workspace upgrades. This means both at my desk, and, especially, when I travel. Fewer, more capable, more mobile devices are desired. I’m a developer, hacker (good kind), gamer, and media consumer. My friends are quite the fans of the surface, but I’m a terminal man at heart. I think the TB+an x86 Linux tablet (maybe a Jolla?) would be an awesome portable workstation.

Anyone have their perfect setup they’d like to share? I’d like to hear any and all, even if they don’t incorporate the TB. Let’s pass the time and talk tech!

1 Like

I don’t know if I would classify my setup as a “workstation”, but I love to constantly downsize the devices I have to bring when I travel for work. This is especially true when I travel internationally where I don’t want to be encumbered with a laptop for security and mass transit reasons.

For the past year, I’ve mostly relied on an 8 inch windows tablet. On my latest international trip, I got away with bringing just a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to do my computing along with a pico projector, microUSB-hdmi cable, AC adapter, microUSB cable, bluetooth Stowaway mouse, and a folding bluetooth keyboard. This entire ensemble isn’t much larger/heavier than just the gigantic power supply that came with my work-issued laptop. The pico projector is fun to use, either for presentations or as a means of doing computing tasks on a large screen. What has allowed me to ditch the windows tablet more easily is the release of the latest beta of Office for Android. Since my work tasks are mostly centered around Word, Excel and Powerpoint, I don’t feel like I’m reliant on an actual windows machine anymore. Plus, if I do need some more serious number crunching power, I can always remotely login to my more powerful laptop using this setup.

Anyway, back to my current travel gear, the largest item is the folding bluetooth keyboard. So I’m really looking forward to replacing that with the TextBlade since that would further reduce the volume of the gear. Plus, that’s fewer AAA batteries I would have to bring since I’d plug the nano charger into the same phone charger.

What I’ve been searching for is an even smaller mouse. If something existed that was flatter or could flatten and can charge via USB, I think that would be perfect, I’ve looked at the MS Arc and the Mogo, and they’re not quite what I want. Perhaps WayTools could provide a solution in the future.

This is a fun topic, would be curious to know what you use for travelling.

If you’re looking for a small mouse I just got an elecom Capclip that is pretty tiny. Charges by usb, uses its body as a case when stowed so dust and dirt doesn’t get in. I like it better than my arc mouse.

1 Like

Thank you for the link, that’s a really interesting find.

Would you happen to know by now how long it lasts per charge in real world usage?

For me, I’m also looking to always slim down what i bring. Right now my main items:
LG G3
Slimport HDMI adapter
HooToo Mini Media Server/Router/3000mAh battery
Razer Orochi Bluetooth Mouse
Amazon FireTV Stick
iWerkz Keyboard

With this setup I have lots of options… I can put movies/TV shows on the microSD card inside the HooToo and stream to Kodi on the FireTV stick (hooked up to the HooToo, not hotel wifi) when I travel. That way i can browse, play games, text, whatever while watching something. Also, when I use the slimport cable with the G3, mouse, and keyboard I can have a decent linux setup. (I use GnuRoot with XServer XDL running Debian with all my dropbox sync’d config files). I’m a bit obsessive with refining the setup!

The keyboard is pretty decent, but it has weird things (like reaching the B key). Looking forward to the TB slipping into the rotation.

@laurie where can you buy that in the US? I’d love to try that or something similar instead of my dying Orochi.

I was able to find the Capclip for sale on amazon

I like the HooToo in your setup, that’s a neat way to get around the hotel WiFi issue with a TV stick.

I’ve been eyeing a Celluon PicoPro which has built-in wireless screen mirroring. That way, I could potentially forgo the need to pack a Chromecast or an HDMI cable.

Is that CapClip any more portable than a Microsoft Wedge Mouse? I throw one of those into my bag whenever I go somewhere.

this one looks interesting.

If someone can make something like that but with a micro usb charging port, I would be all in.

Also looked at a Lenovo N700

I’ve been going through the same process of simplifying/downsizing in the last few years.

Previously, when I traveled, the standard portable setup was just a laptop and headphones. If it was going to be more than a few days and I’d be staying at one place (a hotel room for example), I’d bring a mouse, and maybe an external hard drive. Later when smartphones started to become popular, I added an iPhone, but the iPhone couldn’t replace anything due to limitations of screen size and iOS/apps compared to a laptop and desktop OS/apps.

When I upgraded the iPhone to a Galaxy Note 3, suddenly it seemed possible to leave the laptop behind, but only if I didn’t have to do any serious content creation/productivity. If I was working on something at the time, I’d still need a laptop because the software I use requires full desktop OS and power (such as audio/visual work, or writing complex content with software that needs enough screen real estate, such as using Scrivener). When I don’t need to work on anything, just the Galaxy Note 3 is enough. If I need to do a lot of typing, I bring a OTG adapter cable and a small form mechanical keyboard (Leopold FC660C). When TextBlade finally arrives, I suspect it’ll replace the Leopold FC660C.

With that said, I think it’s nearly impossible to escape from larger format devices like laptops or tablets if you are a serious content creator of audio/visual works, or need the full power and screen real estate of full-blown desktop work environments. I’m planning on getting a laplet/2-in-1 hybrid of some kind–with a Surface Pro, Lenovo Yoga Pro, or HP Spectre360. When I do, the TextBlade would become less useful, but I’d still use it with my Galaxy Note 3 when I don’t need to carry a full blown desktop-grade device.

1 Like

I agree, screen size is an issue. I’ve played around with pico projectors, the technology is getting close.

I’m looking forward to bringing a Note 4, projector, textblade ensemble on a future business trip to see how that does.

'tis a beautiful dream. Imagine: mobile, built in camera, TextBlade. Jeans; two pockets. Just imagine. That’s the future, and our kids are going to love it.

A little scary that the OP mentioned the Jolla tablet and the TB in the same sentence.

1 Like

If you’re looking for a truly tiny (and also ergonomic, so they claim) mouse, there’s always the rather pricy Swiftpoint GT (or 1st gen Swiftpoint, likely cheaper):

Swiftpoint Website
Amazon Link

This with a TextBlade would be amazing.

Indeed scary. Also scary that that post was almost a year ago (and at that point it was already months overdue). Waytools is a joke.