Mike B’s Go To Gadgets for 2014

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The year 2014 is about to be over, in the books and I survived it. Events, checking out new tech, video games, work and my overall schedule over the course of the year was crazy and hard to manage.

In the mix of all the craziness however, there were gadgets that kept me balanced and productive everyday. It’s a gadget world and whether you use gadgets or not is up to you, but I’m doubtful you didn’t use gadgets in 2014. You definitely did if you’re like me and if you are I figured I’d share what gadgets I used if not daily, than weekly and if not weekly then monthly all year.

You might be surprised to see what’s on the list. I’m a techie, yes but I’m more like the average Joe then most people believe. There’s this misconception among people I know that we techies only use things that Marty McFly would use. I mean that’s partly the case but mostly it’s not. Check out what I use and see how it matches up with what you use.

LG G3

IMG_20140804_140717The smartphone is the first thing most of grab and check in the morning. Whether you check your IG, Facebook or social media feed, emails, train and bus schedules, texts and missed phone calls, there is no more important device than your smartphone. This year I’ve used a few but the one that I’ve used the most? The LG G3.

It’s the screen that does it for me. It’s 5.5″ at a 2560 x 1440 resolution and it’s gorgeous. Bright, vibrant and a very thin bezel which gives me a lot of screen real estate to play with when I’m watching movies on the train or the bus (which is essential for me moving around NYC).

The camera is incredible at 16MP if I need to take a quick snapshot, the video is incredible since I can shoot in 4K if necessary.

Android 4.4 Kit Kat which is my OS of choice (sorry iOS) and the great apps of the Google Play Store made this phone my daily driver. I didn’t go anywhere without it although my Galaxy S5 was a close second.

MacBook Air 13″

20140727_151349Any person who is serious about their business has a laptop, and for a person like me my laptop is a necessity. I always ended up somewhere that I had to pull out my laptop. Many times a day I was checking out something cool in the tech world that was being unveiled and if I had to get an article ready and I’d have my MacBook.

If I’m on a road trip or a long train ride into NJ or elsewhere my MacBook Air does the trick. It’s light, has great battery life and it helped me get thorough it all this year. I was watching movies or I pulled out my PS3 controller and played some retro games with OpenEmu and I was never bored.

I take it everywhere and all the time. Yup. Necessary.

PS Vita

20141216_170132_HDRI’m a gamer and a little more than a casual one. I game as often as I can and on every device. Whenever I’m traveling and for me that’s often as I mentioned before I take my Vita with me. I bring it mostly to play retro PS1 and PS2 games and most recently I’ve taken it everywhere so I can complete the FF-X and X-2 series games.

It’s good to have because that screen is so beautiful and bright and that OLED. I still have the first gen Vita. I opted to not to buy the slim because I didn’t want to give up that OLED display and the more I use my Vita the more I feel like I made the right decision. The Vita went pretty much everywhere with me on any given day.

Sandisk 32GB USB 3.0 Flash

32gb flash driveI don’t think I ever realized the importance of the flash drive until I became more involved in the tech world and writing (not to mention I always lose them). The impromptu data transfer always seemed to happen to me in my travels this year. Either I had to move some photos and videos around or I had to copy something that just couldn’t be emailed. I found myself in this situation a bit this year and thankfully I had my flash drive.

USB 2.0 is slowly but surely being phased out for the faster USB 3.0 platform. At one point it was kind of expensive to have a USB 3.0 flash drive but this is not the case anymore and it’s just as cheap as ever especially if you can find the right deal. Best Buy had a deal on the 32GB SanDisk for $10 and I didn’t miss out. My advice? Get yourself one and take it with you.

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX9V

20141217_214512_HDRThis is the camera I walked all over NYC with day in and day out. It’s an “old” camera by today’s standards and it’s a point and shoot, not the fancy mirrorless or big DSLR’s that everyone walks around with and it’s a little beat up but it takes great photos, for me at least it does.

I’m not a camera guy, I’m really not, but if I see something that catches my eye, I don’t want to pull out a huge camera just to take a quick photo. This camera has 16.2 MP available which is more than enough for the casual photographer like me. I get 1080p video, Ultra Zoom, etc and over the past year I’ve gotten some really good pictures and I’m more than satisfied. Sometimes using your camera phone just doesn’t cut it but you also don’t want to have to pull out practically a studio camera to take a quick flick. I’m sticking with my point and shoot.

Sol Republic Master Tracks XC

IMG_20141212_133807I didn’t have these all year I must confess, but I’ve had them long to enough to love them and use them every single day. The Sol Republic Master Tracks XC headphones are perfect for my travels. When I don’t feel like walking around with my Monster 24K’s and being flamboyant then the XC’s do the trick for me. Aside from just the sound quality I get I also like the look and feel and the cool purplish color. Walking around in NYC these headphones were essential. Aside from being a tech nerdboy and I’m also a big music head. If you don’t have a set, get a set here.

In Retrospect

The intent of this article was not to discuss any new and upcoming technology or gadget but to give you a gauge of how I work daily and what I used to get through each day in 2014. Not all the stuff I use is the newest and latest although a lot of the people who I talk to are inclined to believe that I always walk around that way since I’m a techie. The older stuff tends to get the job done just fine and some of the time having the new thing is really just about having the new thing and not much else. Having the newest doesn’t always add to your productivity or take away from it keep that mind.

Aside from the gadgets I used all year-long are the apps associated with my day, but since there are so many to mention and too many to choose from I just left it out altogether but I’ll say Transit and Sunrise you are my friends and you’ve been there for me. What did you use this year? What got you through 2014?

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Mike Bitter is a born gadget head and true lover of technology. It all started with computer classes at age 10 and his first PC the Tandy 1000. From then on he found his love and he became a gamer and a PC builder and has not stopped since. He specializes in hardware, troubleshooting and custom PC building. He’s known as the “fixer” amongst his friends whenever there is a problem with a PC or a Mac. He’s also fully immersed in all things that pertain to the world of computers and gaming. He's an 80's baby and he grew up watching technology evolve from the NES to PS4 and from the Commodore 64 to the iMac. He has a unique and minimalist perspective on technology and is here to help the average person to understand technology today.