Julie’s Favorite Gear

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Updated on 12/06/16

Hey folks, here’s my ever evolving listing of the gear (and other favorite things) that I use on a daily basis. Each category has been sorted in order of usage. The most used item is on top. I’m also posting regular gadget diary posts and EDC updates where I talk about the gadgets I’m using and adventures I’m having on any particular day.

Smartphone and related accessories:

  • Nexus 6P Android smartphone – This has been one of my favorite Android smartphones because it has excellent battery life and stock Android OS. It’s a large phone, but I made it work without too much trouble.
  • DBrand Nexus 6P skin – I ditched the thin plastic case I’d been using after it started cracking at the corners. I decided I didn’t want a case, so I bought a black leather DBrand skin. I love it! It adds the perfect mount of grip to my 6P without adding any bulk. It was easy to put on and I was even able to put it over a round metal slug that I stuck to the back of the phone to use with the magnetic iOmount in my MINI Cooper.

Computers and accessories:

  • Apple 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display (2015) – This is my only computer that I use for everything including gadgeteer work, couch surfing and traveling.
  • LandingZone DOCK – I use this dock to connect my MacBook Pro to my LG monitor and other accessories. It makes it so easy to grab and go without having to disconnect individual cables.
  • Logitech K780 Multi-device keyboard – Runs for 2 years on a set of batteries and can be paired with 3 different devices. It also has a built in stand.
  • Samsung Galaxy S Tab 10.5 – This is the 32GB tablet lives on my coffee table and I use almost every day to play Cookie Jam, Words with Friends, check email and surfing, etc.
  • Dell XPS 13″ laptop – I use this small Windows 10 laptop when I travel because it weighs less and has a slightly smaller footprint than my 13″ MacBook Pro.

Other home gadgets and equipment:

Cameras and related gear:

  • Canon 70D DSLR, Canon 430EX II speed light, Canon EOS utility software – This is the setup that I use for all my Gadgeteer review pics. I tether the camera to my MacBook Pro and use the Canon EOS software to remotely trigger the shutter and to see a live view of the shots before I take them.
  • Manfrotto tripod – I’m not sure if they still sell the one I have, but I’ve been happy with Manfrotto products.
  • Foldio portable photography studio – This is a terrific little light box that allows me to take some the nice product shots that you see in my reviews.
  • MeFoto Sidekick360 Smartphone Tripod Adapter – I bought this tripod because I like to use my phone to record video clips demonstrating things for reviews. This small holder works great with my Manfrotto tripod and holds my phone securely.
  • MeFoto Backpacker Air tripod – I really like this tripod because it somes with everything I need to use it for my smartphone or my DSLR. It can even be converted into a selfie stick.

Audio / video / home theater gear:

  • Vizio M50-D1 display – Great 4K display that comes with a tablet remote.
  • Roku 2 XS – I’m using this streaming media player for watching free movies and shows with my Amazon Prime Instant Video account and Netflix. It’s tiny, silent and never seems to have a hiccup.
  • Sideclick – I like this little add-on for my Roku remote because it let me add source and volume buttons so I don’t need to use 2 remotes.
  • Nest cam and Dropcam Pro – I went back to Nest cams and even paid for the cloud service. Of all the cameras I continue to review, the Nest does the best job with notifications and I like that the Nest thermostat is integrated into the Nest app.
  • DUNU TITAN 1 in-ear earphones – Current favorite earphones. I usually hate in-ear style buds, but these are half in-ear and are more like earbuds. They are very comfortable and sound amazing. They come with a nice plastic storage box too.

Car gear:

  • VicTsing Portable USB Bluetooth Audio Music Streaming Receiver Adapter – I am using this adapter to stream audio from my LG G3 to my MINI Cooper stereo. It works great and doesn’t require a 12V power adapter. I can plug it into the USB port in my car.
  • Satechi Bluetooth Media Button – I have this button stuck on the emergency brake of my MINI Cooper. It’s easier (and safer) to use it to change volume and move between tracks when I’m listening to music on my way to and from work.
  • Magellan MiVue 658 HD dash cam – Best dash cam I’ve tested so far. It has the best image quality and even has GPS and WiFi built in.
  • iOmount iAuto Pro car mount – This magnetic mount is installed in my MINI Cooper. It works great but does require that you stick a steel disk to the back of your phone. I placed the disk between the back of my Nexus 6P and a case.

Miscellaneous gear:

Flashlights:

  • LED Lenser P7 LED Flashlight (8407) – This is my current quick grab flashlight.
  • Coast LED Lenser LED Lantern (TT7105CP) – I used to grab this one whenever our power went out at home, but now that we have a whole house generator,  I rarely need it. It’s still using the original batteries which is crazy because I’ve had this lantern since 2007!
  • Photon X-Light Micro – Keychain flashlight that I keep in my messenger bag. It’s tiny and light weight, but very bright!

Gear bags, pouches, cases, wallets and other items of holding:

  • Peak Designs Everyday Messenger bag – I prefer traditional messenger style bags and this one is one of the best ones I’ve ever used. It stands up nicely on my desk and the inside uses configurable dividers.
  • Timbuk2 X-Small Classic Messenger Bag – (not shown above) I use this one while on vacation or a day of shopping.
  • Waterfield Outback Duffel bag – My travel bag for road trips
  • Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer bag – My current favorite travel bag that I use when flying. I can unhook the laptop section and let the whole bag go through the Xray machine without taking out my laptop
  • Waterfield Finn Wallet – I’ve been using a Waterfield zippered wallet every day since 2005, but now it lives in my bag with extra cards that I don’t use very often.
  • Trayvax Summit minimalist wallet – This is my current favorite minimalist wallet that has quickly turned into my primary wallet because it is small enough to stay in my front pocket all day without poking me.
  • Identity wallet – I keep switching between this very minimalist carbon fiber wallet and the Trayvax.

Other gear:

My favorite Android apps:

  • WakeVoice – Great alarm clock app for Android that speaks the time, weather and news headlines and can be stopped with a hand gesture.
  • Spotify – My current favorite audio streaming app. I switched to Pandora for awhile but have been really enjoying Spotify because it’s free and you can listen to any song or album instead of a “random” selection of similar songs.
  • Pandora – I like to use Pandora in my car instead of the radio. It helps me find new artists and songs.
  • Amazon Prime Music – I’ve gotten tired of the ads on Spotify, so I’ve been using Amazon a lot more to listen to music.
  • Tasker – Automation app.
  • Words with Friends – This is pretty much the only game I play. I’m not that good, but I still enjoy it.
  • Pure Calendar – Calendar widget that can be customized.
  • Nova Launcher Prime – I’m never happy with stock anything, so this app let’s me tweak my phone’s interface.
  • Keep – Great little basic note and list making app that syncs across devices and allows for real time collaboration