It’s no secret that I love my BlackBerry devices. I have a BlackBerry in my hand for a good 60% of the day. One of the things I love most about BlackBerry is how easy it makes it to work on the go. I wrote about my Blackberry Classic and how much I loved it and the difficulties in choosing a case for it. I’ve found the same thing with my BlackBerry Passport. I love the Passport even more than the Classic. At first I thought it was going to be too big. I looked down at the device in the box and thought “I’ll probably be using the Classic again within a month”. Well, I was wrong. So very wrong. The Classic has found a new home in the hands of my dad, and the Passport is mine, all mine. I mentioned with regards to the Classic how much I had missed the physical keyboard even though I had loved my Z30 with all my heart. Well the Passport takes the keyboard experience to a whole new level. It just feels right. The screen width on the Passport makes reading text a breeze – the wider screen allows more characters which reduces scrolling (and makes me a happier reader). Contrary to what I thought before I had a Passport, the Passport does fit in my pants pocket, and in my purse, so it goes pretty much everywhere I go. I have a BlackBerry hard shell case on it 90% of the time and a Folio case with a credit card slot the rest of the time (It’s an aftermarket one, but needs improvements if it was going to be a daily driver).
Today is Bell Let’s Talk day – a day where mental health takes centre stage on Canadian social media. I’m not normally a huge fan of corporate sponsorship, but this case is a little different. Bell media has huge reach in this country – they own and operate 34 specialty channels, 2 conventional networks, 4 pay TV services, 106 radio stations, 30 apps, and more than 200 websites. That equates to a staggering reach, which can help promote this vital message. So I’m willing to put my dislike of corporations jumping on charitable causes in order to get exposure on hold today. Bell funds a number of really important initiatives with money raised by people using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag on social media and through sending texts on the Bell Mobile network. Funding for mental health is sorely lacking in this country so anything that helps increase services is okay in my books.
It’s no secret that I love my BlackBerry devices. I also love the Canadian Football League. With the 100th Grey Cup practically in my backyard, I decided that once again this year, I was going to go and report from the big game without taking my old and heavy laptop. This year, however, I did add the BlackBerry Bluetooth keyboard for my PlayBook. This gave me more functionality with very little additional weight.
I also added a second battery and charging case (which is basically a small case for the extra battery that you plug the regular micro usb adapter into) for my trusty Bold 9900. I knew I would be putting in some very long days and didn’t want to need to find somewhere to plug in my BlackBerry. Between the 2 batteries, I got somewhere in the range of 12-13 hours of heavy use out of my Bold each day. My BlackBerry was in hand from the time I got up (around 6am each day) until I finally got back to my hotel room somewhere between midnight and 1 am.
I was pulling double duty at the Grey Cup this year – as a member of Argonotes (the official pep band of the Toronto Argonauts) and as a member of the media for Rouge Radio.com. I could not have successfully done both things without my BlackBerry calendar to help me keep track of where I needed to be and when. It was indispensable for getting press releases, schedule updates, and interview requests into my hands immediately so that I could add or adjust my schedule accordingly. Between my Bold and my PlayBook, I had everything I needed: email, calendar, documents to go, a voice recorder, cameras, a phone, access to text messages, Twitter, Facebook, and, of course, BlackBerry Messenger.
I recorded interviews on my PlayBook while tweeting and taking pictures on my Bold or vice versa. I typed game notes on my PlayBook with the keyboard while watching the game. I freaked out another reporter by using the remote control feature to type on my PlayBook from 2 rows back in the press box. Having words appear on the tablet next to you that you were asked to watch for a couple of minutes can be a freaky experience, especially when the words are addressed specifically to you. (Yes I know, it was wrong to use my PlayBook to freak out other people but it was a prank I’d been planning for awhile and the opportunity presented itself at the Vanier Cup on Friday night.)
The combination of my Bold 9900 and my PlayBook were all I needed to make the most of my Grey Cup experience – no need to lug around a heavy, awkward laptop, a voice recorder, or a camera – just my trusty BlackBerry Bold 9900 and my PlayBook.
I will note that being able to update my Facebook, Twitter, and BBM statuses with things like “I just drank out of the Grey Cup” was awesome. I uploaded a ton of Photos, directly from my devices, often while walking between events.
Have you ever used a tablet instead of a Laptop? Would you consider leaving the laptop at home for a major conference or event?