I have the opportunity to review a lot of different technology products and I tend to put them into one of three categories. First, there are those products that really impress me and make me thankful for living in the Digital Age. The second category is made up of some useful and fun tech products that aren’t very original, but enjoyable. The third category includes tech products that are poorly made, unoriginal or serve no purpose.
Recently, I determined I should create a fourth category after a friend asked an intriguing question. He knows I’m a techie and always testing the latest, greatest tech products and gadgets. He asked me which of all these gadgets I actually use and would consider to be my favorites. So, I now have a category of my favorite tech products. These are the tech products I love, use and highly recommend.
LeEco Super4 X65 TV – When it comes to big, flat screen televisions we tend to think of Samsung, Sony, Vizio and LG. However, I’m on my second LeEco TV and I love them. The LeEco Super4 X65 is not your typical smart TV. It features a 4K UHD display, sound by Harman Kardon, a quad-core CPU, a multi-core GPU and a fully-integrated Ecosystem User Interface (eui) full of streaming movies and shows. I have this model in front of an exercise bike in my fitness room and I’ve never enjoyed my workouts as much. I’ve never been a huge pro football fan until I started watching the games on this TV over the past few months. I highly recommend it and they’re offering $200 instant savings before the Super Bowl!
Sharper Image Hover Board – I know when you see a hover board you immediately think danger. Yet, this is not the case anymore. Sharper Image’s new safety-tested hover board has UL certification and it’s much more stable than past hover board models. This rechargeable, eco-friendly hover board features twin 250 Watt motors, large rubber tires and a built in gyroscope to keep you upright. There’s a learning mode (that’s the one I use) and an expert mode for quicker turns and higher speeds. I’ve tried other hover boards, but this model is really intuitive and you don’t feel like you’re unbalanced. Try it out… you’ll love it! sharperimage.com
Huawei Mate 9 – I love playing with the latest models of mobile phones to see what’s new and different. I had been using the Huawei Nexus 6P as my main phone and loved it, but it took me only a few minutes to fall in love with the Mate 9. With its Kirin 960 processor and intelligent Machine Learning algorithm, this ground-breaking phone is the fastest mobile phone on the market. The battery life gives you two full days before you need to charge and you can recharge for an entire day in only 20 minutes. The design of the Mate 9 is gorgeous and the Leica Dual camera takes the best photos you’ve ever seen from a mobile device (even in low light).
Cufflinks.com USB Flash Drive Cufflinks and Money Clips – Two characteristics of tech products that lead me to put them in my favorite category are utility and conversation starters. I can check both of those characteristics off the list for cufflinks and money clips. These USB drives disguised as beautiful cufflinks or money clips come in dozens of designs. It’s pretty entertaining when someone needs a flash drive quickly and I take a cufflink off my dress shirt or pull my money clip out of my pocket. Plus, you kind of feel like James Bond wearing your secret computer drive as jewelry. cufflinks.com
Kangaroo Notebook PC – This is one impressive laptop. It’s the one I take on business trips and the one my kids fight over to use for their homework. It has a 11.6 inch screen and an Intel Atom processor, but the key characteristic of the Kangaroo Notebook is that it is an open system, which means it has separate modules for slotting into the hardware to run the specific system on that Kangaroo Mini. I can put one Kangaroo Mini in the slot for my trip and then let my kids pop a different one in for them and it’s a completely different computer.
AirBar – This sleek, lightweight device instantly turns a regular laptop into a touchscreen. I simply took it out of the box and placed it at the bottom of the screen of my 15.6” Lenovo and presto… my 2 year old lapper became a touch screen just like that. It’s only a matter of time until everyone is talking about AirBar and turning their laptops into touch screens. For under $100, this leads the computer accessory category that will “wow” people.
Sony Smart Tennis Sensor for Tennis Rackets – I’ve been using smart sensor technology for years to improve my golf swing and help my son work on his baseball hitting. One of my favorite sports is tennis and I’ve been eager for a product like Sony’s tennis sensor to hit the consumer electronics market. With this device you can analyze each shot and optimize your tennis game. With the ability to share your results, you can have a coach living hundreds of miles away. The motion sensor recognizes impact position and a vibration sensor measures swing type. I’m able to get just under three hours of battery life and it will keep about 12,000 shots in its internal memory storage.
Netatmo Healthy Home Coach – Like most fathers, I’m always thinking about the safety of my home for my spouse and children. I want to provide the healthiest home possible for them and Netatmo’s Healthy Home Coach is my dependable guide. This device accurately measures the humidity levels and the noise level at night. The app highlights potential problems and informs on how to fix them. At $99.99 it’s a small price to pay for piece of mind.
Monster Firecracker – I’ve been a fan of Monster products for many years and yet I’m still impressed by their new products, which are always both innovative and useful. The Firecracker serves several purposes for me. First, it’s a dynamic wireless speaker with 2 full-range drivers with passive bass radiator and 25+ hours of continuous play on a charge. It’s also a super-bright flashlight that lasts for seven hours helping to see around a campground or to brighten up a photo with low sunlight. It comes in four colors and retails for only $129.95. monsterproducts.com
Ventev Desktop Charging Hub s500 – I hate cables and cords! In a perfect tech world there would be no charging cords at all. The Ventev charging hub makes it easier to connect and removes the clutter from all the cords connected to AC outlets and USB charging ports. No more climbing under your desk to plug in. I have other similar devices, but none of them have the USB and the AC outlets in the same hub or with such a simplistic design. You can charge up to three devices at once via the three USB outputs with one dedicated rapid charge USB port. The AC outlets have surge protection and grounded LED lights.
Hyperice’s Venom – I was already praising Hyperice a couple years ago when I injured my back and used the Hyperice massage ball. Venom has been even more therapeutic for my aching back after a brutal tennis match or game of pickup basketball. This cutting-edge, digitally connected, wearable back device uses heat and vibration to warm up, loosen, and relax sore muscles. Manufactured using the industry’s best technology, the digital touchscreen control is fully customizable for temperature, vibration pattern and timer for the optimal massage.
Invoxia NVX200 – Like many people I don’t have a landline phone at my home and everyone uses their own mobile phone. Sometimes it’s nice to have a desk phone at the house or office so Invoxia created a connected phone. The dock comes with an ingenious adapter system that allows you to plug the smartphone vertically. You can take calls in hands-free mode, from up to 16 feet away, or with the telephone handset for a more comfortable use. Plus you benefit from high quality sound with the In Vivo Acoustic for conferences of up to five people. In the office you can associate contacts to speed dial keys as well. invoxia.com
Qardio Base Scale – This is certainly not your grandfather’s bathroom scale. Qardio Base lets you know if you’re burning fat and gaining muscle, losing weight rather than just water and it tracks your weight loss progress. It’s able to recognize multiple users of the same household and its smart feedback mode provides motivation with icons rather than simply weight numbers. The mobile app has an easy to use interface and it really makes getting on the scale a fun activity. Who’d ever think that was even possible? getqardio.com
Jabra Elite Sport – So many people come up to me at the gym asking about my Jabra Elite Sport earbuds. More people are wearing wireless earbuds and headphones to work out, but they still have to deal with annoying plastic pieces that run from one ear to the next. Jabra’s earbuds are so tiny you’d forget you were even wearing them if it weren’t for the high quality wireless sound. The cord-free design includes two microphones in each bud that work together to filter out background noise ensuring that only your voice is heard clearly and with no distraction in every environment. Expect up to nine hours of battery life (I usually charge them twice a week). Unlike other individual in-ear buds, you’ll get a secure fit no matter how vigorous your workout because you can customize the fit to your specific ear shape. jabra.com
Oaxis AirScale – Let’s be honest: Two major hassles when we travel are our rapidly draining phone battery never knowing if our luggage is heavier than the airline’s maximum weight limit. The AirScale is a combination luggage scale and power bank solving both of those problems. It features an easy to read digital display showing luggage weight and battery power, along with a detachable strap and ergonomic design. The AirScale can weigh luggage up to 88 lbs., with an accuracy of 0.2 lbs. and it can fully recharge most smartphones two times faster than regular battery banks.
Zus Smart Car Charger by Nonda – There are countless car chargers on the market and most are cheap and poorly made, not to mention they take forever to charge phones. With the Zus smart car charger, I’m able to charge two devices while driving and they charge at nearly double the speed of conventional chargers. As an added bonus, connecting with the app will log mileage, track precisely where you parked the car, monitor your car’s battery and even alert you if you’re getting close to your parking meter time limit.
Razer Blade Stealth – This is one powerful notebook computer. Razer Blade Stealth is very thin and boasts the latest 7th Gen Intel Core processors. With up to 16GB of RAM and a beautiful 12.5” 4K high-resolution display, this is one amazing laptop for gaming or travel. I find it to be very durable and often toss it on the passenger seat without a case. Seeing lappers at coffee shops is a regular sight these days and yet I still get stares and questions. razerzone.com
JAM Audio Voice – At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) it seemed like just about everything was somehow integrated with Amazon Alexa. Well, one of the early integrations was JAM Voice, the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speaker. Don’t let JAM Voice’s size fool you because this little guy packs a lot of power. It’s very reasonably priced and available at most stores and online. I have it paired with other JAM speakers around the house and I can control it from the mobile app. It connects to most music services to stream from room to room.
PopSockets and PopClip Mount – Certainly not a very techie invention, PopSockets have taken the world by storm. I love these things so much. I simply add a PopSocket to the back of my mobile device to allow me to grip it better. You can also add a second PopSocket to give your phone or tablet a stand. Some people also use the PopSocket to wind their earbud cord around. I’ve recently started using the PopClip companion product to mount my phone. It works great on mirrors, the dashboard of your car, the refrigerators or just about any other flat surface. popsockets.com
XYZ Printing da Vinci Mini 3D Printer – There was a time I thought 3D printing was so far in the future, but now it’s become a typical household device for me. The da Vinci Mini connects wirelessly and easily to your home network for easy 3D printing. I can’t imagine a better 3D printer for the home or office in this price range (under $300). The filaments for the da Vinci Mini are made using PLA plastics derived from corn starch, making them biodegradable and non-toxic. If you’ve been thinking of learning the art of 3D printing, I highly recommend this trusty printer.
BEDDI Glow – My pet peeve is alarm clocks that are too bright. I like to know what time it is when I’m in bed, but I don’t like a bright light shining in my eyes reminding me that it’s getting late and I can’t fall asleep. BEDDI Glow is an intelligent alarm clock with a wake up light that wisely is dimmed during sleeping hours. With BEDDI Glow you can wake up naturally with sunrise simulating light, listen to your favorite music from Spotify or Apple Music and customize your settings through the free mobile app. BEDDI Glow also contains an adjustable mood light composed of 16 million colors.
Logitech M720 Triathlon Multi Computer Mouse – I’ll admit it: I’m a mouse snob. I hate using someone’s poorly made wired computer mouse that came with their desktop. Every Logitech mouse is intuitive, comfortable and smart. I favor the M720 Triathlon Mouse (under $50) because it can be connected to up to three computers at once (illuminated numbers tell you which computer it’s connected to) and allows for hyper-fast scrolling. It lasts for 24 months on a single AA battery. logitech.com