Today, I’m finally leaving the country.

There’s just one problem: I feel like I’ve gone a little overboard in terms of the number of Apple devices I’ve taken with me.

This is for two reasons. Firstly, I haven’t travelled this far (I’m heading from London Heathrow to Montreal) for about as long as I can remember, and therefore have no recollection of how long iPads, MacBooks, and iPhones last during long jaunts.

Secondly, I want to see which is the most useful device while literally undertaking a ‘planes, trains, and automobiles’ journey, transatlantic.

So, here’s what I have wedged into my small carry-on bag:

  • M1 MacBook Air
  • 12.9” iPad Pro (2018 non-M1 edition), complete with Magic Keyboard
  • iPad Air 4, complete with Magic Keyboard
  • iPad mini 6, complete with Smart Folio and Apple Pencil 2

I also have my trusty iPhone 13 mini nestled in my pocket.

But I have a plan.

Why I’m doing this to myself

No one needs to travel with this many devices. And, certainly, no one needs quite this much weight in their backpack (I also have a Sony FX3 camera and pair of Bose headphones in there). I could easily have left everything but the MacBook Air at home.

But that wouldn’t have been much fun. It would also have left me with severe battery anxiety for the entire journey – no matter how good that M1 chip is with the Air’s juice.

I have a fair amount of work to get done on this journey, and I’m not the sort of person who enjoys constantly searching for power outlets. Nor do I want to rely too heavily on power banks.

I want to get to Canada having undertaken all the work I need to, no matter where I’ve been sitting or how I’ve been travelling.

But I’m also curious to see which of these devices impresses me the most during the trip. Which iPad will I use most often? Will I even touch the MacBook if I become glued to one of the latter devices? Will the iPhone 13 mini’s battery really be as surprising as I suspect it is when put to test?

Here are a few predictions.

The iPhone 13 mini

I have genuinely fallen in love with the iPhone 13 mini. It has completely rejuvenated my interest in iPhones, which was seriously on the wane.

Its size, perfect fit with MagSafe accessories, and surprisingly adequate battery life have earned it an immediate, special place in my heart. Equally, I’ve noted how many of my friends and family have yearned for one after playing with it.

From a portability standpoint, I know that the iPhone 13 mini is going to be a dream during my travels. It already is; I’m barely aware of it being in my pocket, and the perfect fit of the MagSafe Wallet has enabled me to leave my wallet at home.

However. This is a big trip. I’m going to be away from power for considerable periods of time each day. The biggest concern for me is, therefore, that battery.

I have a feeling I’m going to have to rely on the MagSafe battery pack more than I ever have (which is precisely never, up until now). But we’ll see.

The (multiple) iPads

Three iPads for one guy is immeasurably silly. But I have at least spread them out a little in terms of screen size. Between the mini, Air and Pro, I have three key screen sizes offered by Apple – and they all play different roles in my life.

The iPad mini is my go-to note taker and consumption device. The iPad Air is a regular replacement for my MacBook Air when I fancy a change from day-to-day life on macOS.

The 12.9” iPad Pro… well, that leads a bit of an odd life these days. Up until recently, it was my photo editing device of choice, but that task has also been handed off to the iPad mini.

However, I have recently reattached the big iPad to its Magic Keyboard, and that has awakened it a little for me. The expansive screen and useful updates to iPadOS 15 have reignited my interest in Apple’s biggest tablet. It’s also the only iPad I have with a cellular connection, which has proven immensely useful this morning while I go about my usual routine without having to rely on WiFi. Indeed, I’m writing this blog on it right now.

My plan is to throw the big iPad back into my rucksack during the flight and switch to the less passenger- and tray-friendly iPad Air/Magic Keyboard combo. The iPad mini? Well, that should come into its own during meetings and downtime.

Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess which iPad will prove most useful.

The M1 MacBook Air

Oh, the M1 MacBook Air. What a laptop.

It’s as near-as-damn-it perfect. Add in Face ID and one more port, and it would be perfect.

But, for some reason, I’m avoiding using it this morning. I’m not really sure why, either; technically, it can perform just as handsomely as my two Magic Keyboard-clad iPads when it comes to battery life.

I think there’s just something inherently safer about iPadOS when it comes to battery management. There’s less going on in the background; when you’re using an app, that’s pretty much all the iPad is focusing on.

As brilliantly power-efficient as that M1 chip is, I still find myself managing battery life when I’m away from charging points for a considerable amount of time. I’ll close known battery-hogging apps when not in use, or limit my use entirely to those that I know won’t prematurely send me into the red zone.

I suspect the MacBook Air will be the device I use most comprehensively during meetings this week (in-person meetings, too – no, really!), but it’s definitely going to have its work cut out in tearing me away from one of these iPads.

Stay tuned…

I’ll report back next Monday. But which device do you think I’m going to enjoy using the most this week? Get involved in the comments!

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I didn’t bring the Apple Watch.