by Paul Mah

Why Smaller Gadgets Don’t Always Lighten Your Load

Mar 14, 20123 mins
Computers and Peripherals

Gadgets just keep getting smaller and lighter, but this trend isn't cutting down on the loads we lug. Instead, many people are toting more and more electronics, according to blogger Paul Mah.

If you have been reading my posts on the Gadget Navigator blog, you may have noticed that many of the gadgets featured to date are highly portable and lightweight. This hasn’t been deliberate on my part, though; lots of the electronics and tech hardware that land on my review desk are designed to best-in-class gadets, and they often tend to be thinner or lighter than competing products.


The Pepwave Surf On-the-Go Travel Router and the Logitech Mini Boombox, for example, pack a great number of features into a very smaller footprint. And if you look at devices such as the Lenovo ThinkVision USB Monitor and the FAVI Mini Projector, you see that these types of electronics are only possible due to recent advancements in technology–the former is a USB-powered portable LCD display weighing two pounds, and the latter is a portable projector weighing less than a pound.

Over the years, I’ve seen almost all of my the gadgets shrink in size and weight even as they grew in technical sophistication. But does the availability of smaller gadgets result in a smaller and lighter bag? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is an emphatic “no,” at least based on my personal experience. Why? Because I just keep adding more and more gadgets to my repertoire.

For years I’ve lugged my laptop along when I head to the office or the local school where I conduct classes. Looking back, my first laptop was a Compaq that tipped the scales at six pounds (2.7kg), not including the power adapter. Despite having since switched to a much lighter laptop in recent day, I couldn’t help but notice that the overall weight of my bag has roughly remained the same even as the number of gadgets increased.

Here’s a quick list of gadgets that I carry with me on a daily basis:

Depending on my plans, these items sometimes come along too:

As an advocate of multi-monitors, I’ve also been tempted to get myself a ThinkVision USB Monitor and lug that along, as well, but I’ll probably choose to upgrade to the new iPad before I do that.

Have you been able to lighten your load with smaller gadgets? What do you usually bring along to work or when travelling?