As I mentioned at the beginning of last month, I’m heading over to Las Vegas for CES 2008. The Consumer Electronics Show is easily one of the world’s largest technology trade shows, attracting such huge names as Microsoft, Sony, OCZ, Samsung, LG, Seagate, and more. I’ll be there as part of the FutureLooks team.

Although this technically isn’t a holiday, getting ready for this trip to Las Vegas is similar to preparing for a vacation as a freelance writer. I still have to inform my other clients that I may be out of touch for the week and I still need to timestamp a few posts for this blog (rather than relying on guest bloggers). I’m sure I’ll have Internet access; I’m just not sure if I’ll have the time (or the sobriety) to write too many blog posts while there.

Anyways, I’ve been told by CES veterans like John Chow and Stephen Fung that I should pack light for this trip, but I still need enough gear to do the work while there. I’m not going to bore you with what clothes I’m bringing, but some of you trade show virgins may be interested what a first-time CESer is bringing to the show technology-wise.

In the bag, you’ll find…

Dell Inspiron 640m Notebook Computer
This is my workhorse. It’s not the most powerful laptop on the market, but it’s perfectly capable of handling all the things that I do on a daily basis as a freelance writer. My needs are pretty basic — image editing, web surfing, spreadsheets, etc. — so this notebook takes care of my needs just fine. The 14.1-inch screen is a great balance between portability and usability, but I do find that it’s too heavy. Specs on my computer include an Intel Core 2 Duo processor (1.73GHz), 2GB of RAM, 80GB HDD, and (ew) integrated graphics.

Canon PowerShot S3 IS Digital Camera
It’s no DSLR, but the Canon S3 IS is a significant step up from conventional point-and-shoot cameras. I have a little more control over things like white balance, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and so on, as well as a brilliant 12x optical zoom and DVD-quality video (VGA at 30fps). The optical image stabilization comes in super handy for folks with shaky hands like me too.

T-Mobile MDA (HTC Wizard)
Everyone else may be rocking an iPhone, but I can’t help but like my (unlocked) Windows Mobile smartphone. It’s a bit of an older one — the T-Mobile MDA (also known as HTC Wizard and Cingular 8125) is the predecessor to the HTC TyTN — but it’s got a brilliant touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY, and a blurry integrated camera. The Calendar and Task functions in Windows Mobile are an absolute godsend, and I’ll be using this extensively to keep track of my appointments during CES.

Microsoft Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000
This isn’t the best mouse in the world, I’ll admit, but it’s very compact and great for traveling. Because I’m on the road, it’s also handy that this laser mouse uses standard AA batteries. I’m bringing along a set of batteries and a charger for the Canon anyways, so an extra battery for the Laser Mouse 6000 won’t hurt. I just wish it had a couple more buttons, particularly for web surfing (forward/back).

Miscellaneous Gear
There’s a bunch of other smaller stuff that I’ll be bringing along like an SDHC card for my digital camera, maybe a flash drive for transferring data, and some sort of notebook pad or stand. Because it’s CES, I’ll probably grab some free swag along the way anyways, and since I’m in the company of other tech geeks, it’ll be easy to get something if I really need it.

See y’all in Sin City!