Julie’s favorite gear


Updated on 02/25/24

Hello gadget nerds, here’s my ever-evolving listing of the gear (and other favorite things) that I use on a daily basis. The category lists are in no particular order. I also try to post regular gadget diary posts and EDC updates where I talk about the gadgets I’m using and the adventures I’m having on any particular day.

Smartphones, tablets, and related accessories:

  • OnePlus 12 smartphone – I’m back on the Android platform after reviewing this flagship killer. It has awesome battery life and the fingerprint sensor works for me! NEW
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max – I use the iPhone as my backup phone right now since I switched back to Android and it does double duty as the camera for all my review product photography and for my YouTube Gadgeteer Podcasts too.
  • MOFT Snap case – I usually prefer a Pitaka case for my iPhone, but someone else on my team already received one to review, so I am currently rocking a blue MOFT case and I really like it so far! The built-in buttons are super clicky which is great.
  • Apple Watch Series 9 – When I ordered the iPhone 15 Pro Max, I decided to go ahead and get the latest Apple Watch. I had been wearing the series 6. I gave that one to my better half to replace her series 3. I love this watch!
  • iPad Pro 11in (2022) – I don’t use it very often… I need to change that.

Computers and accessories:

  • Apple 14″ MacBook Pro M3 (2023) – I replaced my 13in MacBook Pro (2020) with a brand new M3 14in MacBook Pro and love it. It’s so much faster than my previous laptop that I feel like I’m flying when I work and the battery life is amazing. Zero buyer’s regret.
  • TMobile Home Internet – After paying almost $400/mo. for over 10yrs, I finally found an alternative broadband solution with TMobile Home Internet. I’ve now been using this wireless internet router for over a year now and it’s great. For only $50/mo. I have unlimited internet. I get around 30mbps which might not sound crazy fast, but compared to the T1’s 1.5mbps, it’s a screecher! I can surf and stream, so I’ve been beyond happy.
  • Chester Cheetah 5G Dual SIM – Wi-Fi 6 Industrial LTE NR5G Wireless Modem Router – I was having a lot of problems with my TMobile home internet connectivity so I decided to try switching to a 3rd party router. This one is pricey at $400 but my signal is now very stable. NEW
  • Keydous NJ80 mechanical keyboard – I’ve embarked on a quest to find the perfect mechanical keyboard to use with my 14″ MacBook Pro. I’ve tried several so far, and this is my current favorite. I love the analog knob.
  • Logitech MX Master 3S – I am a diehard MX Master mouse fan and so far, I’ve yet to find a wireless mouse that I prefer. I will say that I wish I had the dark version of this mouse instead of the white version. I’ve not had this one that long and it’s already starting to show some discoloration in the thumb rest area.

Other office equipment:

  • Dell Ultrasharp curved 49-inch monitor –  This was one of my recent work-from-home upgrades. I had been using two BenQ monitors, one for my MacBook Pro and one for my Cummins day job Dell laptop. I decided to simply with this crazy huge monitor that can display both computers in side-by-side windows. It’s pretty awesome!
  • Canon GX1020 inkjet printer – I finally replaced an ancient Brother HL-3170CDW laser printer with this inkjet and am pretty happy with it so far even though the print speed is pretty slow. Will probably replace this printer because I’m having a lot of connectivity issues now. It always says it’s disconnected from WiFi. UPDATE
  • Yeslamp Evo lamp – I put this lamp in my upstairs craft room and it’s perfect for that task. I also like that it has a built-in clock so I don’t lose track of time while I’m working on my leathercraft projects
  • Baseus PowerCombo – I hate power strips, but sometimes you need more outlets. This “power strip” does the job and doesn’t look hideous.

Photography gear:

  • Sony ZV-E10 mirrorless camera – I bought this camera as a Christmas present for myself. Since I started my Gadgeteer Video Podcast series, I found that I wanted a little better video quality than what the iPhone could do and it is more convenient to have a dedicated camera, so I splurged on this one. So far, I really like it. Check out episodes 1-11 of my podcast and compare it to episode 12 to let me know if you can see an improvement.
  • Manfrotto tripod (not pictured) – I’m not sure if they still sell the one I have, but I’ve been happy with Manfrotto products.
  • SHOTBOX portable photography light box – This light box is GREAT. I love it and all the backdrops make my review images look excellent.
  • Canvas lamp – I bought this to use for unboxing videos for the Gadgeteer YouTube channel. It works pretty well, but I’m looking for a better alternative. NEW
  • 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 comes with everything I need to use for my smartphone. It can even be converted into a selfie stick.
  • Joby Wavo Plus Microphone – I had been using the Joby Wavo and have updated to the Plus! I use this microphone with the Sony ZV-E10 and even my iPhone for my video podcast episodes.

Audio / video / home theater gear:

  • Samsung QN85 TV – I recently upgraded from the VIZIO V705x-H1 4K HDR Smart TV which was having all sorts of weird input problems. I can’t believe how great the Samsung is. The picture is AMAZING and so much better than the Vizio! It was expensive but I have zero buyer’s remorse.
  • ClearStream 2MAX antenna – After I cut the cord with DirecTV in January, I installed this antenna to bring in local stations for weather and news info. It works great.
  • Apple TV 4K – As a recent cord cutter, the Apple TV is a must-have for me. We have been streaming using apps like Apple TV+, Netflix, Hulu, ParamountTV, Philo, and Amazon Prime video.
  • Apple AirPods Pro earbuds – These are my first Apple AirPods and I am really loving them. They aren’t the most comfortable earbuds that I’ve used, but the noise-canceling feature and the fact that they pair perfectly with my iPhone and MacBook Pro make them so convenient to use.

Car gear:

Health gadgets and gear

  • Withings Sleep tracking mat – I’ve tried several sleep tracking devices and this one is the easiest and most comfortable because you don’t have to wear it or even charge it. It fits under your mattress to automatically track your sleep patterns.
  • FreeStyle Libre CGM – I’ve been a pre-diabetic since 2004. I don’t take any medications for it and just use the Keto diet, regular exercise, and the FreeStyle Libre wearable glucose sensor. I am 100% sure that this sensor has helped me go from a 5.9 A1C to a 5.4.
  • Withings Body Scan smart scale – I’ve been using Withings scales for over a decade. This new one has more bells and whistles which as a gadgeteer, is always a good thing! NEW

Miscellaneous gear:

  • Midori 5th Anniversary TRAVELER’s Notebook – I reviewed this cover back in 2011 but didn’t continue to use it. Now over 10 years later, I’m using it again and loving it.
  • Pilot Juice Up 0.4 gel pens – These are my latest favorite inexpensive gel ink pens. I use the black ones to write and draw in my journal every day.
  • Denik pocket notebooks – I really love these 3.5 x 5 inch pocket notebooks. The paper is bright white, and is available in dot grid (my favorite) and the Pilot Juice Up pens and other gel pen ink pops on the page.
  • Polaroid Hi-Print photo printer – I’m using this portable printer to print peel and stick pics for my journal. I like to take it with me when I travel to help me remember my adventures. The photo paper/stickers are more expensive than the HP Sprocket portable photo printer I was using before (and gave to my sister), but the quality is noticeably better!

Flashlights and other EDC tools:

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

  • Bellroy Lite Sling bag – I love this little shoulder bag and have been using it anytime I’m out and about. It’s just the right size for my phone, a notebook, pen, lip balm, wallet, key fob. NEW
  • Bolstr Small Carry 3.0 shoulder bag – This is the small shoulder bag that I like to use when I need more than the Bolstr Aux Pocket can hold.
  • Bolstr Aux Pocket – I like this super minimal shoulder bag because it doesn’t get in the way while holding my bare essentials. It’s great for use while on vacation.
  • Pakt One Carry On Travel bag – My travel bag for road trips.
  • Open Sea Leather Topsider Mini wallet – I still like the AKEENi XSTO wallet (below), but I’ve switched to the Open Sea Leather wallet for now because I want to see how it wears (patinas) with time.
  • AKEENi XSTO wallet – This is my new favorite minimalist wallet because it’s small, lightweight, and it’s easy to remove and reinsert cards. It also can hold several folded bills under the cards.

Outdoor gear:

  • OROS Discovery Jacket – I like this jacket because it’s comfortable and has a special lining that keeps you warm while still remaining lightweight.
  • Mujjo Touchscreen Gloves – I just upgraded to their 2018 gloves and love them because they are lightweight but still keep my hands warm while letting me interact with my phone.
  • RoboReel Power Cord System – Power driven retractable extension cord holder.
  • Litheli 40V leaf blower – I love this thing. It seems to hold a charge forever.

Home and kitchen:

  • Vivint Smarthome security system – This is my favorite home security system and I’ve been using it it since 2020.
  • Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra Robot Vacuum – I used Neato Botvacs for years until I started reviewing Roborock vacs. Now I’m switching over to Roborocks because they work better. I use this one on my main floor which is all laminate. I like that it keeps the floors clean and clear of dust without any effort from me
  • Roborock S7 Max robot vacuum – I use this one in my basement and like the other Roborock, I am currently running the cleaning sessions manually because I’m home and it gives me something to do 😉
  • Snap Power SnapRays Guidelight – I have one of these outlet covers in my kitchen and one in the bathroom which provides just enough light to see to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night without having to turn on the ceiling light.
  • SnapPower ConnectLight – I like these motion detection lights because they are incredibly easy to install and they are connected without using Bluetooth or WiFi. They are great for lighting a path to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  • Greentech PureAir air purifier – I really liked this air purifier because it’s quiet and small.

My most used apps:

  • Marco Polo – I’ve been using this app every single day to video chat with my sister and niece. It’s an awesome way to stay in touch.
  • Gmail – Duh!
  • 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.
  • Netflix – I mainly use Netflix built into my smart TV, but every so often I watch some content on my phone.
  • Google Keep – Great little basic note and list making app that syncs across devices and allows for real-time collaboration. Jeanne and I use to collaborate on grocery lists.
  • Bitwarden Password Manager – I ditched LastPass because they suck at security and switched to Bitwarden. So far so good.
  • OpenSignal – 4G and WiFi signal finder and speed test app.
  • Google Play Books – This is the app that I use to read all my eBooks.
  • Libby – I use Libby to check out eBooks and audiobooks from my local library.
  • Everand – This was Scribd but they recently split their app into an eBook reader and document reader apps. Everand is what Scribd was.