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5 awesome gadgets I bought this year that I still love

A lot of folks seem to think that, since we review gadgets for a living, we don’t actually go out and spend our own money on them. Problem is, I actually do buy a lot of the gadgets I like. If you listen to the podcast, you know the inside joke we have: “What did Todd return this week?”

I’ve returned plenty of gadgets this year, and kept some that I probably should have returned. Here are five things I bought that I still really love and enjoy using on a daily basis. What are your favorites?

Sony a6000

I just bought this and a couple of lenses, and I’m digging it so far. I’m not a good photographer by any means and, in fact, I found that I hardly ever carried my Nikon D3200 with me when I went out. So I figured I’d give mirrorless a try. We use this camera for our in-office review photography, but with much nicer lenses than I own. I bought 19mm and 30mm Sigma lenses from Amazon that I’m really impressed with. Again, I don’t know a whole lot about photography, but this camera is nice and portable, the shots are large enough for cropping, and I hear that video is good enough in case I ever need to shoot a quick hands-on.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

I used to be an on and off eReader guy. I liked them for their convenience, but mostly preferred reading from a book. Then I bought the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite a few months ago and never looked back. I find myself cruising through books, loving the sharp text and adjustable backlight. I bought a cheapo plastic cover from Amazon that protects it really well, too, so it’s usually either in my backpack or, surprisingly, in my jacket pocket. Love this thing.

iPhone 6s Plus

Much to my wife’s displeasure, I plopped down the full cost of the iPhone 6s Plus when it launched earlier this year. To me, upgrading an iPhone on these “S” years is kind of boring – I never really find these “must have” features and most of the time I feel like I’m just using my old iPhone 6 Plus. The one thing I really love, however, is Live Photos. I know it’s not new – Lumias had this feature, too, – but I love it. And the battery life is great. Oh, and don’t worry, my other driver is a BlackBerry Priv.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is the one wearable I continue to wear. I’ve been through plenty of Android Wear devices (I sold the G Watch, which I think was probably the worst purchase I’ve made in a long time.) I like that it gets me through the day, always provides the weather at a glance, and is reliable for iPhone notifications. I wish the battery life lasted longer, but when it comes to screen sharpness and brightness, I keep coming back to the Apple Watch. I’m looking forward to the second edition, I just hope Apple has a trade-in program.

Windows 10

Surprise! Figured I’d toss a piece of software in here to keep it fun. I know it’s not a “gadget” but it powers enough of them to count. I recently rebuilt my desktop, which was in dire need of fresh components. I had an old hard drive, so I just bought an SSD and a copy of Windows 10 Home. I’m loving it, and it’s what I’m using as I write this. I don’t use Cortana that often, but I’m happy the start menu is back, that multitasking is much more fluid with virtual desktops and, basically, that it’s not Windows 8.1. I’ll be using this for a while.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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