- I review a lot of new tech for Business Insider, like smartphones,headphones,gadgets and accessories.
- But reviewing tech isn’t the same thing as owning it.
- I’ve listed all of the tech I’m using on a personal basis in 2019 – and which ones I’d recommend.
We’re halfway through 2019, and there’s a ton of new tech on the market: phones, computers, headphones, and more.
I love trying and buying new tech. I do it as part of my job, but as someone who owns a ton of it in my house, I thought it would be fun to showcase the computers and gadgets I actually use every day. Sometimes, the latest tech really is the greatest; sometimes, though, I rely on old favourites for certain things.
Here’s all of the personal tech I’m using in 2019, and would recommend.
My office computer: Apple Mac Mini 2018
I’d waited years to buy a new office computer, and in December, I finally pulled the trigger on Apple’s new Mac Mini. While I have a couple of gripes, I love the computer overall. It’s small, powerful, quiet, and nice to look at.
My office keyboard: Logitech Craft wireless keyboard
Logitech’s $US200 Craft keyboard is one of the nicest keyboards I’ve ever used. The keys are backlit and tactile, and you can reassign keys to functions in the downloadable Logitech Options app. The keyboard is completely wireless, and feels good to use.
It also has a futuristic feature: a knob in the top left corner can perform different functions in different apps. In Photoshop, it lets you switch between brushes and tools; in Google Chrome, you can switch between tabs. It’s a cool touch.
My office mouse: Logitech G903 gaming mouse
I’ve been going between two Logitech mice lately: the ergonomic MX Vertical mouse, which you hold like a handshake, and the company’s G903 wireless gaming mouse, seen above. Most people will prefer the gaming mouse, and I do, too.
The G903 has a traditional mouse design, with a soft sloped top, angular sides, and a scroll wheel in the middle. Logitech even includes additional buttons for left-handed folks to modify the mouse to their liking.
The mouse supports up to five customisable profiles, where you can select your own functions and sensitivity levels – and you can switch between those profiles and sensitivity levels on the fly with on-board controls. It’s also wireless, which is a huge plus, and the Logitech G logo can light up in any colour you want.
My mouse pad: Logitech G Power Play wireless charging mat
This accessory is totally contingent on owning the Logitech G903 wireless mouse, but both devices were made for each other.
I generally love wireless accessories, but I do hate eventually needing to recharge them. The PowerPlay mat removes the need to ever charge my mouse again, which is nice. It also provides a nice, large surface for the mouse – and, like the G903 mouse, its logo can light up in whatever colour you want.
My office monitor: LG 27-inch 4K monitor (27UD58-B)
LG is one of the best in the world at creating bright, accurate displays, and its 27-inch 4K monitor is no exception. I picked this one up on Black Friday, and now it’s my main monitor in my office. It’s great for work, but also for watching movies and playing games.
My smartphone: Apple iPhone X
Apple’s iPhone X is almost two years old now – and I will probably upgrade later this year – but it still blows me away, just like it did in 2017.
Though most smartphone makers have copied the iPhone X’s design, the iPhone X is still a wonderful device, and it’s just as fast as the day I unboxed it.
I don’t wish for anything else in a phone, except for maybe this same design without a notch.
My wireless charger: Belkin BoostUp wireless charging pad
If your smartphone supports wireless charging, you should absolutely buy yourself a wireless charging pad.
Instead of needing to find a wire to plug into your phone, you can keep this pad on your bedside or desk, and plop your phone on whenever you need some juice. Simple as that.
To me, Belkin’s BoostUp wireless charger is well-priced ($US50) and extremely convenient. Some other charging pads can hold your phone up vertically, but I think Belkin’s design works well, and is good-looking enough to fit into most spaces.
My smart-home hub: Amazon Echo (first-generation)
I got my very first Amazon Echo in December 2014, and it quickly became the most-used device in my home. I use the Amazon Echo for just about everything, but I really find it’s best used in the kitchen.
My smart lights: Philips Hue colour and ambiance bulbs (x4)
Philips Hue isn’t cheap, but it’s an incredible, robust system.
We use Philips Hue in our living room, den, and bedroom – all the bulbs can be controlled via the Hue app or Apple’s HomeKit on our phones, or our Apple Watches, but we found this system is best used with our Amazon Echo.
With Alexa’s smarts, I can program my own routines – so now when I say “Alexa, dinner,” it turns the living room lights to white and dims the bulb to about 75% for the ideal ambiance. That’s just an example; you can get way more creative than this.
My game consoles: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One
Each system has its own perks.
The PlayStation 4, which I bought in 2014, has the best exclusive games, and a very accessible user interface.
The Nintendo Switch, which I bought in 2017, is the most versatile system, since you can play it at home, on the go, and with others. It also has fantastic Nintendo-made games you can’t play anywhere else.
The Xbox One, which I received in December, is an extremely powerful computer that makes games look beautiful. And its wonderful Netflix-like Game Pass service, which lets you play a massive library of games for free, feels like the future of video games.
If I had to rank these consoles, I’d rank them in the order in which I bought them: I’ve had the PlayStation 4 for the longest period of time, so it’s my favourite. But all of these consoles are excellent in their own ways.
My wireless earbuds: AirPods
I believe AirPods are Apple’s best invention since the iPhone.
They work effortlessly. There are no buttons or physical controls; you just take them out of their case, put them in, and go. They sync instantly.
They feel futuristic to use, too. If you take one earbud out, your music pauses automatically. Put it back in, and your music resumes.
Even the case – a perfectly smooth, white container, almost the same size and shape as dental floss – is beautiful to look at and hold.
Some people complain about how AirPods sound, but I think the volume and quality is great. These earbuds are perfect for warm weather, since they don’t make your ears sweat, but they’re excellent year-round.
My workout headphones: PowerBeats Pro
For years, I used a pair of $US60 over-ear headphones for working out; that is, until Beats was kind enough to send me the new PowerBeats Pro, which debuted in May.
These are, simply, the best fitness headphones I’ve tried. They feel totally secure on my head, and they sound incredibly good, which are the two biggest factors when considering exercise headphones.
My wireless headphones for travel: Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless Noise Cancelling headphones
Lots of people wear Bose. Some swear by Sennheiser. Personally, I can’t recommend Sony’s 1000X Series of headphones enough.
I have the previous-generation 1000XM2 headphones, and I love them. Sony has already moved onto the 1000XM3 headphones, which have improved noise cancellation and comfort. Everyone loves these things.
My living room sound system: Sonos Play 1, and Sonos Playbar
If you want great, full sound in your living room, you’re going to want a nice set of surround-sound speakers. And in that market, Sonos is still one of the best brands you can buy.
Sonos speakers are easy to set up and use, but it’s important to note that they’re not Bluetooth speakers; they connect wirelessly to your home internet, and act as a multi-room streaming network.
But as long as you’re aware of that difference, and you’re planning on buying speakers for music or your TV, Sonos is the way to go.
My favourite new party trick: PlayStation VR
Sony in December was kind enough to send me a PlayStation VR setup, complete with a handful of games to try like “Astro Bot” and “Tetris Effect.” And I have to say, while I was sceptical of having a VR system in the middle of my living room, I came away extremely impressed. I now use PlayStation VR on a regular basis.
PlayStation VR is easy to set up, and it’s a blast to use. My wife had never tried virtual reality until PlayStation VR, and she was blown away by “Astro Bot,” which is essentially a Super Mario game in fully immersive virtual reality. My wife’s mother, who had also never tried VR, was also completely enthralled by “Astro Bot.”
I’ve spent years reporting on virtual reality developments, and when PSVR launched, I felt like it needed a killer game to sell the system. In 2019, there are several games that justify the existence of PSVR: the latest being “Trover Saves The Universe,” which is the best video game of 2019 so far. If you’re on the fence, I can say it’s worth the investment.