By Raja Shazli
Have you ever had to work in a cafe? Or are you a novice digital nomad where your job does not require you to clock into the office on a daily basis? Do you find yourself ill-equipped at times when compared to a guy or gal sitting at the table across from you? You know, the guy that smirks at you as he sips his coffee and opens his Macbook Pro. Have no fear , with this guide and a lot of money from your end, you’ll be fully equipped to be smug or perhaps even get a phone number or two from those impressed with your gadgets.
A Powerful portable work machine
It goes without saying that the first option would always be to get a Macbook Pro, however if you’re a non-Mac user like the other 3 billion of us, here are my top 2 picks for a portable work device.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7
The X1 Carbon Gen 7 is only 14.9mm thin—or just a hair more than a half inch—and it weighs only 2.4lb/1.08kg. This lightweight package reinvents portability and untethers you from the office. With a battery life of up to 18.3 hours, and Rapid Charge when you do need more juice, you can go wherever the road—or the sky—takes you.
Retail price starts from RM 6,611.13.
The Microsoft Surface Pro X
Perfect for your on-the-go lifestyle at just 7.3mm and starting at only 1.7 lbs (774g). See and do more on the virtually edge-to-edge PixelSense™ 13″ Display touchscreen, with signature 3:2 ratio to give you the most workspace possible. Get back to work faster with Instant On and wake on open.
Retail price starts from RM 4,112.34.
A Privacy Screen
The thing about working in a public cafe is that sometimes you’re not even working. Given that you want to look busy whilst surfing for the latest dress, you definitely wouldn’t want prying eyes looking at your screen and judging your taste and fashion sense. What you will need is a good set of screen privacy filters.
3M Gold Privacy Filter
Outside the 60-degree viewing angle, the filter projects a vibrant gold shield of world-class effective privacy. Includes COMPLY™ Attachment System to quickly and easily switch from world-class privacy to screen sharing with one simple flip. One of our thinnest privacy filters, designed for today’s thinnest devices. Ultra-thin and ultra-responsive to the touch, provides consistent touch responsiveness.
Retail price at around RM 300++.
Do not ask for the Wi-fi password from the waiter. First of all for safety reasons with public WiFis not being secure and all.. Secondly it’s just not cool…. “Erm bang, password untuk wifi apa ye?” please la, the guy is gonna think that you’re Mr or Mrs Scrooge when in fact you just don’t want to deplete your phone battery from tethering for the next 2 hours. So the solution to that is to use your dongle. Yes, at the right price, you can have a dongle too. So whip out that glorious dongle for the world to see and be envious of as you log onto the world wide web at 4G LTE speeds, faster than the rest who are stuck using the cafe wifi.
4G Mifi Modem- MF920VS LTE POCKET WIFI
Device retails at RM 199. The 4 G MiFi Modem supports 4G LTE with download speed up to 150Mbps. It is able to connect up to 8 devices and has a maximum of 10 hours working time. Subscribe to a monthly data plan of either 20Gb, 35Gb or 65Gb.
Immersing yourself into your own personal cocoon in a public space is going to be a bit difficult. If only there was a way to shut out the chitter chatter of the cafe and be one with your device. Of course there is a way… get yourself a pair of noise cancelling headphones! Here is my recommendation of the top of the line headphones that will turn heads as well as block out noise until you believe that you’re the only one in the cafe.
Beats Solo Pro
The Solo Pro is the first Beats on-ear headphone to feature active noise cancellation and the first full-size Beats headphone to charge via Lightning. It uses the company’s Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling (Pure ANC), “derived from the over-ear Studio3 Wireless, with updated tuning to accommodate the on-ear form factor,” Beats says. With a tap of a button, you can turn off that noise cancellation to save battery life or hit the button a second time to enter an audio transparency mode that allows you to hear the outside world, not just the music you’re listening to.
Last of all, you will need an excellent carrying case to lug about all your essentials whilst maintaining looking totally lit. The bag in search needs to have a good weight distribution to support your back, enough compartments for all your stuff and definitely has got to look chic. Here are my choices of his and her backpack.
For her: Calpak’s Kaya Laptop Backpack
The Kaya Laptop Backpack redefines what it means to be the newest, chicest way to travel hands free and get things done in the process! A separate laptop compartment fits devices up to 15 inches and multiple interior pockets keep all your essentials secure. With a trolley pass-through feature and ample storage space, Kaya is perfect for lengthy travel, as well as everyday use. The Kaya Laptop Backpack comes in a variant of up to 9 colours to suit your style.
For him: Samsonite SXK Slim Backpack
A sleek and versatile backpack made from fabric reinforced with Dupont™Kevlar® fibers provides long lasting strength and durability. The Slim Backpack is loaded with interior organizational pockets and dedicated compartments for both a laptop and tablet. A quick access back lumbar pocket with the RFID Data Vault safeguards your travel essentials from identity theft. Commute in comfort with air channel mesh padding on the back and shoulder straps and an EVA padded nylon webbing top carry handle.
There you have it, 5 essential items for the remote worker that will make you the biggest big shot remote worker in the cafe of your choice. Now, after burning a massive hole in your purse you’re all set to go out there and conquer the world one cafe at a time.