Yes, I like geek stuff and I like geek stuff even more when it works well for women. Often geek stuff is designed and marketed to the larger share of the market that is expected to purchase it, so I understand that there are a lot less products geared towards women geek buyers. If I find something I like and please know, for me to like it, it had better be functional, it’s going to go on this page!
New Girl Geek Stuff
I’ve upgraded a few things, as a goth gadget girl will likely do on a regular basis. I just switched out my Samsung Note 4 for the Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge. I wanted a smaller phone and the curved screen and features on this phone are just brilliant.
I’m impressed with the improvements on the camera, (I didn’t think it could get any better than the Note 4, but I was wrong!) You simply can’t take a bad picture with this thing, seriously! I’d already updated my OS on my Note 4 to Lollipop version of Android, but I could see a big difference in hardware that was designed for the OS. Getting used to the feel of a much smaller phone after the “phablet” was a bit challenging, but I’m getting the hang of it and I have to admit, with the sleek, flat back and rounded front screen, a silicone or other case with a grip is almost a necessity with the 6 Edge. I noted the battery use was down considerably with standard apps and the smaller screen meant that I didn’t have to worry about extra battery consumption from the display, either.
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
So let’s talk about using the right tool for the job. Peers are always surprised to hear that I love Mac products, as they haven’t seen me own one, (or just don’t notice my iPad Air, not sure which…LOL) The truth of the matter is, I pound the death out of keyboards. I destroy a laptop, with standard use, in about 9 months time. This explains why I’ve had to upgrade so many of my laptops so often, too. I decided to try something new this last upgrade back by going with the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Many of my peers on the MSSQL side were really happy with theirs, so I tested it out and was impressed with the quality of the product, but even more with the ability to just detach and snap on a new keyboard whenever I needed to.
I bought a really nice leather portfolio for it and with the 12 inch screen, I find it very comfortable to type on. I run my VM’s on it and since the 8Gb isn’t as much as I would have liked, (hint-hint, Microsoft!) I took 24Gb of the SSD and enhanced the swapfile- woohoo, no issues with running those big ol’ VMs considering the SSD is almost as fast as the memory onboard.
I have to admit, since there’s only one USB and I’m not for adding a hub, the bluetooth accessories are a great opportunity, too. This cuts down on the constant USB clutter attached to most of these smaller devices. The keyboard killer I am though, In the nine months I’ve had it, I’ve replaced the keyboard three times and keep the previous one as a backup. I found that the keys aren’t as much of an issue as the touchpad, so I’m hoping either Microsoft might create a “high quality” keyboard choice or upgrade the Pro touchpad. Either way, the detachable keyboard is a great selling point for the product for someone like me.
The Moto360 Smartwatch
I was really happy with my Sony Smartwatch2, but was ready to upgrade. I went out the first week of November and looked around in preparation for Christmas. I checked out the Smartwatch3, the upgrade to my Smartwatch2, but I just didn’t see enough upgrades to make it worth my time. It was also still very large and square that for my very, small wrist, was one of the drawbacks.
I checked out the Samsung lineup of watches and although they were nice, they also were made for someone with a larger wrist and the one that DID fit my arm was a lightweight when it came to functionality.
The Asus Zenwatch was still not in and the LG and others just seemed LARGE.
I then checked into the one that I’d had my eye on for some time, the Moto360. The Moto360 still has a pretty high profile, but the round shape makes it more sleek on my wrist. There is a slight difference in the software now that upgraded to Android Wear and I’m quickly acclimating to the new software interface. I love the look of it and the functionality is the same- my phone is in my purse, my watch lets me know when I need to look at it or if I can just control it from my watch.
You can check out the full review of my smartwatch here. If you’re interested in a solid review of the latest watches that are out for Xmas 2014, check this one out. Even 9 months later, I still really, really love this watch. My phone is commonly in my purse or on a table, (women’s clothes rarely have functional pockets) so knowing not just that someone is calling, but checking first if I need to answer the call is great! I can check emails and other notifications and make a decision that it’s important to respond and THEN pick up my phone. I can use the timer function for tasks around the house or reminders for things I have coming up. There is a simple vibration and different ones for important notices. I don’t have anything coming to my watch that isn’t a priority and it makes it easy to manage the amount of notifications with Android Wear.
I have been a staunch supporter of Android and was very happy with my Samsung Tablets, the 2014 10.1 being the last version I owned. I use mine for books, magazines, populating my social media content, interacting with family and if on the go, I can often do much of my work from my current one. If you are in the market for one, I’d recommend sticking to either the iPad or Samsung line, but it really is pretty difficult to go wrong considering the great tablets from Nexus, Lenovo and even Sony. I really love my iPad Air right now and it is used daily. No, I don’t actually use my Surface as a tablet… 🙂
I wanted something that I could type on with a keyboard that was more “laptop” like and I came across the Logitech Ultrathin folio keyboard and really appreciated the design and function.
I’ve never been one to discount any manufacturer by type of Operating System and really do like Apple products and was very impressed with the iPad Air tablet. I’m not able to do my technical work from it, so I’ll happily work on my Surface until then, but for a smaller, lighter use product, the iPad Air is perfect.
Women’s Tech Bags
I have a number of bags for travel and work, depending on the task at hand. I like stylish and functional and finding that both in a woman’s product is almost impossible. There’s rarely enough organization in the bag to support what I need and I just refuse to deal with it. If you’re like me and want a bag that is both FUNCTIONAL and cool looking, may I suggest something that provides both from eBags?
I currently have a Solo Hybrid laptop bag that can be a briefcase with shoulder strap or convert to a backpack, which I prefer when I go over seas. I can even stuff my neck pillow in one of the front pockets and have an air survival bag that keeps me content on those long flights.
There are a number of functional organization pockets, there are padded pockets for both my laptop, (up to 15.6 inches) and a 10 inch tablet, along with padded backpack straps for comfortable carrying.
When I’m local, I travel very light and love Skagen products. I have a matching crossbody purse and the tote to carry my Surface Pro 3 in.
The bag is very light, has leather and metal features and is very attractive looking. Even in this small purse, I still keep my wallet, sunglasses, makeup, a travel shopping bag and my smartphone. I even keep a pen, but I use the Bobino, so you’d never know it was there unless you knew what you were looking for… 🙂
I travel about once per month right now, hitting about 10 conferences a year. I can be gone anywhere from one day to two weeks, so I have two bags that I’m very content with.
I have another bag from Solo that’s been fantastic, but I will say, women do have a great lineup of overnight roller laptop bags- just check out eBags’ offerings! For these shorter trips, I easily can manage with a small carry-on briefcase and my purse. The overnight/briefcase rolls smoothly in airports and has a strong extension handle, along with straps to keep the case from falling all the way open from the clothing and laptop storage area. The front pocket has solid organization pockets and makes it easy to pull out my toiletries and laptop when I hit airport security. It fits under the seat easily in most flights and in the overhead compartments in the smaller planes sideways.
If I need a little more room, I also have my Samsonite Super Light 20 inch international. It’s much thinner than the 2 week trip version below, but still has some impressive space in it. I can still take up to a week’s worth of clothes, an extra set of combat boots and yes, I still take my own mini-hairdryer, straightener and all the other essentials I like to have with me.
Overseas/2 Week Trips
Looking for a new bag, consider one from the review from Good Housekeeping. They did a really good job reviewing these!
I have a hard-side hybrid spinner. It’s 20 inches by 14 inches, so it’s international and new sizing requirements friendly for carry-on. The suitcase has the benefits of a hardside, but has pockets on the front and back, which I prefer. The one I have is from Samsonsite, but there are a number of manufacturers that are building some pretty cool ones these days.
It has a very secure handle so my Solo brief case will sit nicely on it and the wheels are really well designed so that I can push and pull it with one hand and with my wimpy/weak wrists. Sounds strange, but I injure my wrists more often with my suitcase in airports than just about anywhere.
How Do I Travel So Light?
I know you are asking how I travel with a suitcase smaller than Tim’s, but I’m going to tell you-
1. Compression bags- I take anywhere from 2-3 with me and I use one from laundry as I work through my clothing. I can easily take 14 outfits, including 5-6 sweaters as long as I compress them.
2. Mini versions of everything- I have a tiny hair dryer and straightener. I have a small brush, mini sewing kit and other essentials. I have bottles that contain traveling amounts of shampoo, conditioner and other necessities, including small containers of my own makeup if it came in a larger amount.
3. Keep the shoes down to minimum. I love my combat boots and often wear them and maybe one other pair on my trip. That cuts down on space requirements considerably.
4. Dress in layers- Layers offer a lot of options as weather changes and you can adjust accordingly. This also offers you a few more options in your wardrobe by layering differently, too.
5. No jeans or less jeans- Jeans take up a lot and I do mean a lot of room. Between dresses, skirts and tops, I can pack a lot more by bypassing the denim.
6. Pack Laundry soap pods- I keep a laundry soap pod with me in case I do need to do some handwashing and it’s pretty easy to put this in a zip lock bag, ensuring you don’t arrive with soap all over your clothes.
Women are always asking me how I get so much done. I have to admit, part of it is because I’m comfortable. I have no idea how the heck I’m supposed to take on the world in uncomfortable shoes. Seriously…
I have terrible arthritis in my feet and the last thing I’m going to do is put them in uncomfortable shoes. Now this isn’t to say I don’t love pretty shoes.
I do, but I just don’t want to have to walk in them. I also have the names and number of pedicurists that will attest to the utter beauty of my feet because I’ve been so good to them, (even with arthritis!) I live in my boots. I wear them even in the summer and with the insulation, they stay cool and comfortable. I love two brands of boots- Doc Martens and Fluevog. I have, (as I write this) twelve pairs and yes, I wear them to formal events, too. I’m closing in on fifty, who’s going to tell me I can’t wear something?? 🙂
Plus, where else am I going to hook my microphone battery pack when I speak? It’s not like most my dresses come with functional pockets! 🙂