Palm Solo’s Star Wars office: product boxes, phone drawers, and multiple...

In 2006 I started writing about mobile tech in the Mobile Gadgeteer division of ZDNet. I was also employed as a professional engineer, commuting to and from Seattle more than two hours a day.

This extended commute time on trains gives me the opportunity to thoroughly test new mobile technologies. Shuttle traffic was cut in March when our engineering office was completely isolated in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

I keep testing new mobile technologies and as you can see in the pictures the boxes keep piling up. My home office provides a separation between my technical work and my freelance writing as a lot of Star Wars items occupy the walls and shelves of my office.

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Here you will find an overview of the most important products that are used every day in my home office. Don’t worry, I won’t list the nearly 100 phones, PDAs, tablets, and watches in my collection.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Images: Microsoft
Having worked in an engineering office for almost 20 years, I no longer spend time modeling or using advanced engineering tools on a daily basis. My computing requirements as a manager have decreased a bit, so I use Microsoft Surface Pro 6 for Teams, Outlook, Excel, Word, and other PC-based tools.

The Surface Pro 6 is well suited for everyday commuting and regular business trips to the US and the world. It serves as the basis for my engineering advice.

The Surface Pro 7 is available now, but I haven’t migrated to the latest version as the improvements are minimal for my needs. If higher graphical demands are required, then you should definitely consider the Surface Pro 7. One thing I miss about holding onto the Surface Pro 6 is the USB-C port, which is very convenient for all of my mobile devices.

1.200 USD bei Best Buy 699 USD bei Adorama 1.500 USD bei HSN

Keychron K2 wireless mechanical keyboard


It’s hard to beat the response, sound, and overall typing experience of a mechanical keyboard, and the Keychron K2 recently joined my arsenal and turned off the Surface keyboard.

I use the Bluetooth function to connect the K2 to my Surface Pro 6, Google Pixel Slate, various Android smartphones and an iPad.

100 US-Dollar bei Amazon

Herman Miller Aeron


Herman Miller
While my engineering office has a Varidesk platform that allows me to switch between standing and sitting, my home office and older Costco desk aren’t currently set up that way. This is how I made sure I got a nice chair and had the opportunity to buy it from my oldest subsidiary when they moved to the east coast.

The Herman Miller Aeron office chair is fantastic and I can sit for 10 to 12 hours with no discomfort. It’s a pretty expensive chair, but I think having a comfortable and supportive chair is critical to productivity. It’s also better for your overall long-term health to have a chair that doesn’t cause back problems.

The chair has height-adjustable arms, a tilt button and an adjustable lumbar support.

Watch it now at Herman-Miller

Google Pixelbook Go


Since the original Pixelbook, my primary writing platform has been a Google Chromebook. For almost a year now, my primary writing computer has been the Google Pixelbook Go. It was previously the Google Pixel Slate, but I like the keyboard and the ability to open two pages side by side on the Pixelbook Go.

While I have access to a Surface Pro 6, the Chromebook gives me a platform that allows me to focus on writing content without ever thinking about the hardware.

$ 846 bei Amazon $ 849 bei Best Buy $ 849 bei B & H Photo-Video

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC


Image: Plantronik
While I use a variety of wireless earbuds while commuting and running, I rely on the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC headset for work in my home office. It’s convenient, the battery lasts for hours, the boom is easy to use, the simple mute button works reliably and has never let me down.

I use it with Microsoft Teams all day and thanks to its bluetooth support it’s even easy to connect to my primary mobile phone for calls.

$ 186 at Amazon $ 185 at Adorama $ 203 at Walmart

Will not

AUKEY Multiport USB-C Adapter


The AUKEY Multiport USB-C adapter offers two USB-A 3.0 ports, a USB-C plug cable, an HDMI port, a VGA port, an Ethernet port, an SD card slot (Secure Digital) and a microSD -Card slot in a single compact package.

While I keep the computer platforms separate for my engineering and freelance writing, I share the monitors with each platform. I use the AUKEY adapter to connect the Pixelbook Go to an external monitor for more efficient writing.

A closer look at Matthew’s office

My main office wall is covered in Star Wars artwork, the shelves of which are lined with other Star Wars artifacts. I have original Star Wars trading cards from when I was eight and have been collecting Star Wars items for over 40 years.

As a mobile technology reviewer, I get many products sent out for review and this is an extremely busy time for new watches, phones, cases, and more. My office is littered with boxes and I haven’t found a cleaner solution yet.


There are also plenty of older phones in drawers, organizers, and shelves that date back to my first PDAs I used in 1997.



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