Julie’s favorite gear

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Updated on 7/23/19

Hello friends, 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 at the top of the list. I also try to post 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:

  • Huawei P30 Pro – This phone has become my one mobile device to rule them all. It’s my phone and my camera that I use for all my product shots in my reviews. It has an inscreen fingerprint reader that works flawlessly for me which is saying A LOT!
  • Huawei case – I’m using the case clear case that came with it.
  • Huawei Slickwraps skin – I bought a blue honeycomb Slickwraps skin for the back of the phone. I was using that as my “case” until I actually dropped the phone on the concrete floor of my garage. The drop put a nice scratch on one corner of the phone so I dug out the freebie case and have been using it ever since.
  • Orzero Huawei screen protector – Easy to install but has a rubber feel.
  • Satechi Type-C PD and QC wireless charger – I have this on my desk down in my Gadgeteer lair and use it all the time. Gotta love Qi!

Computers and accessories:

  • Apple 12″ MacBook with Retina display (2016) – I’m still rocking this 3 year old little MacBook. I actually bought the new 2018 MacBook Air last year, but ended up returning it for a refund because it had a fan and I hate fan noise. I’m pretty sure I’ll be replacing the MB year but I don’t know yet what that replacement will be because Apple has discontinued this model 🙁 I prefer macOS over Windows, but sometimes I think about going back to a Windows machine.
  • Logitech Craft keyboard – I prefer to use my Apple wireless keyboard, but it goes through batteries like crazy. So I pulled out this keyboard to use for a while. The Logitech keyboard is nice and comfortable to type on. I also like that it has a dedicated delete key that works like a delete key on windows. The only downside to the keyboard is that it takes up a lot of space on my desk.
  • Logitech MX Master 2S – (not pictured). I use this wireless mouse at home with my 12inch MacBook when it’s docked to my BenQ monitor which has a built-in USB-C dock. I like that I can pair it with 3 different devices and I like that the scroll wheel is super smooth.
  • Logitech MX Anywhere 2S – (not pictured). I use this wireless mouse at my day job paired to a Dell laptop. It has a very long battery life and is a small mouse that’s comfortable to use.
  • Dell XPS 13″ laptop – I use this small Windows 10 laptop when I need to use Windows software.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 – I bought this refurb tablet in Dec 2017 to replace my original Samsung Tab but I rarely used it so I just gave it to my Dad this past weekend. He’s thrilled to use it instead of his ancient iPad because it loads webpages 10 times faster than the iPad even after I cleared the cache on the Safari browser for him.
  • Huawei Mediapad M5 – I like this Android tablet better than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 which I purchased for myself because it feels nicer in hand and has a bigger display. That said, I haven’t used much at all since I reviewed it.

Other home gadgets and equipment:

  • BenQ 27” PD2710QC monitor – I really like this monitor and especially love the built-in hub that works very well with my 12-inch MacBook.
  • Neato Botvac D7 robot vacuum – I’ve been using Neato Botvacs for years now. I have one upstairs and one downstairs and have them set to clean 3 times a week. I can’t remember the last time I ran one of our other manual vacuums on the carpets and I hope to keep it that way!
  • Brother HL-3170CDW laser printer – This is my first laser printer and so far I’m very happy with it. The price was very affordable at under $200 from Amazon and the print quality / speed are both excellent.
  • Coalesse Power Pod – Power “strip” cool enough to put on your desk instead of hiding it underneath.
  • Airdog X5 air purifier – I like this air purifier because it’s quiet and it doesn’t require that you buy special filters. You can wash the collecting plates by hand or in the dishwasher.

Photography gear:

  • Huawei P20 – This phone is my backup product photography camera. I currently use the P30 Pro as my primary camera for everything.
  • Manfrotto tripod – 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 that make my review images look excellent.
  • 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 it for my smartphone. It can even be converted into a selfie stick.

Audio / video / home theater gear:

  • VIZIO M-Series (M65-F0) 4K HDR Smart TV – This Vizio TV is currently my all-time favorite TV as far as the picture quality. Easy to use interface too.
  • Ematic Jetstream AGT418 4K Android TV Box – I use this capable little box to stream Netflix through my TV.
  • WyzeCam – At only $20 per camera, this is my favorite low-cost home security camera. I hope they make a weatherproof version soon so I can put a few outdoors.
  • TaoTronics Sound Liberty 53 TWS earbuds – These TWS earbuds are comfortable to wear, have touch controls, and sound good. I also like that the left bud is the master bud, so I can take just listen through it if I want to leave my right ear open to hear what’s going on around me at work.

Car gear:

I’ve pared down my car gear/gadgets to pretty much nothing lately but have plans to work on a new smartphone powered media setup as I did a few years ago.

Miscellaneous gear:

  • Homemade leather Field Notes cover – I made this myself. It can hold 3 Field Notes notebooks without needing elastic bands like Midori covers. I’m thinking about making a larger version soon.
  • Uniball Jetstream – My favorite inexpensive ink pens. They put down a smooth thin line that never skips and they don’t cost an arm and a leg.
  • Big Idea Design Ti Arto pen – I leave this pen at home on my desk. It has good balance and I like the way it feels and writes.
  • Maxmadco Bolt Action retractable pen – This is my current favorite EDC pen that goes where ever I go. There’s no cap to lose because it has a bolt action mechanism. Too bad they are no longer being made or sold.
  • Neo smartpen M1 notebook – I use a very scaled-down version of the Bullet Journal system to keep track of things I need to do each day. Although I don’t use the pen with this notebook, I like the notebook itself so I’m using it by itself.
  • HP Sprocket portable 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.

Flashlights:

  • Olight S2R Baton flashlight – This is currently my favorite flashlight because it’s small, has an easy to activate switch and it’s rechargeable through a magnetic USB charger.
  • Nitecore TUP 1000 lumen EDC flashlight – I like this little guy because it’s crazy bright and I can recharge it via USB.
  • 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!
  • Keyport Anywhere Tools modular EDC system – Out of this system, I use the USB rechargeable flashlight and the Neba pocket knife with the pocket clip.

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

  • Tom Bihn Maker’s bag – I’ve been reducing my EDC to just the essentials so I have been able to also reduce the size of my everyday gear bag. Right now the Maker’s bag is perfect for me.
  • Timbuk2 X-Small Classic Messenger Bag – (not shown above) I use this one while on vacation or a day of shopping.
  • Pakt One Carry On Travel bag – My travel bag for road trips.
  • Waterfield Finn Access Wallet – I’ve been using a Waterfield zippered wallet every day since 2005, but now it lives in my Timbuk2 custom messenger bag with cash and extra cards that I don’t use very often.
  • Identity wallet – This is my favorite minimalist wallet because it’s super small, lightweight, and it’s not a huge pain in the rear to remove and reinsert cards.

Other gear:

  • SCOTTeVEST Hoodie Cotton jacket – After all the years of reviewing SeV gear, I will say that this hoodie is my favorite. It’s comfortable and has just the right amount of pockets to hold my everyday essentials without being bulky.
  • 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 light weight but still keep my hands warm while letting me interact with my phone.
  • RoboReel Power Cord System – Power driven retractable extension cord holder.
  • Nest Thermostat –  I love it because it learns how warm or cool I like to keep the house and it does all the work to keep it that way.
  • 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 turn on the ceiling light. I like them so much that I kept it and put it back in the bathroom after we completely gutted it and remodeled it last fall.

My most used Android apps:

  • 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.
  • 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
  • Words with Friends – This is pretty much the only game I play. I’m not that good at it, but I still enjoy it.
  • Keep – Great little basic note and list making app that syncs across devices and allows for real-time collaboration.
  • LastPass – I finally started using a password manager after the whole Equifax hack several weeks ago. I have it installed on all my devices and I’m wondering now what took me so long. I don’t even know my passwords anymore, but LastPass does. 🙂
  • OpenSignal – 4G and WiFi signal finder and speed test app.
  • Play Books – This is the app that I use to read all my eBooks.
  • Selfie A Day – Takes a selfie a day and then can string all the photos together to create a time-lapse video.
  • Airdroid – I use this app to wireless transfer the images I take with either Huawei P20 or Pixel 2 XL to my MacBook when I’m working on a review.
  • Audible – I’ve started listening to Audible books while I’m showing in the morning and on my drives to and from work.