2014 will have to be one of my favorite years being involved with tech thus far. There has been a lot going on whether it was something portable or more stay at home. Going to events ranging from huge such as CES to smaller events taking place here in New York City I would say I got a taste of everything there is to offer. Now while I may always get my hands on the newest tech around doesn’t mean sticking to it just because its new.
With something dropping constantly in the tech game, you may like that new piece of tech and it has to offer but tend to go back to what’s tried and true and what has worked for you and been working for you the best. Here is a list of the products I have used the most throughout 2014 and will continue to use until something better takes its place.
Surface Pro 3
Always on the go and constantly needing to be on a computer, the Surface Pro 3 by Microsoft has to be one of my favorite gadgets to use this year. It has dual functionality of being a tablet based on its thin size and also a full-fledged PC with it running Windows 8.1 and its impressive spec sheet of tech built inside of it.
If anyone would tell you I tend to carry a small bag and I like to be able to get everything in it. The Surface Pro 3 has achieved those goals time and time again and even showing it off to others they have been impressed by it. While it could use an extra USB port or two, its response time to powering on and off is great and being able to pop my microSD card into its hidden slot works wonders for me all the time. Whether I’m typing an article or watching a movie the Surface Pro 3 is usually everywhere with me.
Seeing that I review mobile phones more than anything else it can be hard for me to pinpoint down to just one. I have vastly enjoyed using the OnePlus One the most for various reasons though. Battery life on this device is awesome, the 5.5″ display is nice and the size and build of the phone feels great in hand. The fact the Cyanogenmod OS is customized and I can pretty much do whatever and play whatever on it with any problems. 13MP takes nice pictures especially in HDR mode it has great audio with its dual speakers. Other devices that I gravitated towards a lot this year would have to be the Galaxy Note 4 and Nexus 6 based on their sheer size and features each one brings to the table.
I don’t usually care for bigger cameras based on the size and how cumbersome they can get but I been very impressed with the NX30 by Samsung. It shoots 20MP pictures and at such a fast range. It has a great Hyper AF or I’ll say quick focusing system with its nice shutter speed. Also taking it apart makes it compact and can easily fit inside one of my bags.
Some of my favorite features of the NX30 is that it can be charged via microUSB so I don’t need any special cables or adapters and I can usually use my smartphone cable. Also I love the MobileLink option. I’m a heavy social media user and the fact I can use an app to send the picture to my smartphone in seconds is great. Me and my friends used this during a concert over the summer and I sent pix to my OnePlus One and also my friend’s iPhone 5S. If you like sharing image content this is a great photo shooter.
If you see the trend here I like minimal and don’t really care for bulk all the time as I want to be able to carry everything. V-MODA released the XS which is a smaller take on their CrossFade M-100s and man do these things pump sound. I figured them being small they wouldn’t be all that great besides being compact but I was definitely wrong and surprised. These headphones would be able to fit easily in my shorts pocket over the summer or in my winter jacket with ease and made it a winner. I didn’t have to compromise using earbuds for the sake of portability and these some music cans I couldn’t put down. Now not saying these aren’t the only headphones I used as I did at times grab a pair of SOL REPUBLIC MasterTracks XC for some over the ear listening or Plantronics Backbeat Pro which is an awesome full-fledged pair of Bluetooth over the ear headsets.
SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive
You don’t realize how great having this little portable flash drive by SanDisk is until you have it and use it. They aren’t expensive coming in at $30 and you can get a 64GB one which I been using. If you want to free up storage on your smartphone aka maybe it doesn’t have expandable memory or maybe switch devices a ton as myself its a cool little piece of tech to have. It’s very simple and plugs right into your microUSB slot and usually brings up a folder to access the files. While it does work with most Android devices you may need to check the list to be sure. I just wish it came in some brighter colors as I sometimes misplace it.
Sony PlayStation 4
This is more of a stay at home gadget but the PlayStation 4 by Sony has provided a pleasant gaming experience over the past few months for me. Graphics in games look intense and getting together with my G Style buddies to play Destiny is always fun. The PlayStation 4 has so many features that consumers may not even be aware. I love being able to play any headset into the controller and switching the audio all to the headset to immerse myself into the gaming experience. Booting up Remote Play and grabbing the Sony Xperia Z3 smartphone and a PS4 controller and playing either in another room or even miles away at work on my lunch break I can go through a couple of missions playing Grand Theft Auto V(which I have done a few times).
Going into 2015…
Venturing into a new tech year hopefully brings some exciting new products whether it being in the mobile realm or even new created categories. I look forward to seeing devices getting thinner and more efficient with stronger battery life. I’m interested if this will indeed be the year of wearables as they definitely tried to make a splash in 2014 and I imagine more are coming especially with the release of the anticipated Apple Watch.
Are there any gadgets you kept going back to this year?