The Gear Journal

TaskPad – Wireless Charging

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I actually made my own version of this when the pandemic had us all locked down. It was a fun project that I thought would end with a bit of a gimmick… BUT, it’s actually incredibly useful. You naturally lay your phone by the keyboard and, as such, your phone is naturally charged.

Details.

Powerstation Air

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This is pretty rad… Mophie just released a portable battery with enough juice to charge your phone a shit ton of times, jump your car, AND… it has an onboard air compressor. And it only runs $160?

I’m skeptical.

Details.

GigaDrive

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If you work with large files and travel quite a bit, this is a big damn deal. Essentially, it’s a small external SSD capable of speeds as fast as 2,800MB/s. That makes it the fastest external drive on the market.

If you buy now, you can get it pretty cheap too… The 2TB is only $220. Not bad.

Details.

Sonos Roam

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I’ve been a Sonos guy for a long time. My house is littered with various generations of their products and, surprisingly, they all work pretty well together.

Recently, Sonos decided to release something a bit different… It’s a portable speaker that will mesh with your home wifi when you are at home… and then, go to bluetooth when you are on the road.

Pretty Dope.

Details here.

The Canoo

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The electrical revolution is just around the corner. It’s been baking for well over a decade now and you have to think we aren’t far off from reaching critical mass – the boring part of it all.

See, to me the excitement happens now… Now is when all of these freshly funded innovators take a shot at the big dogs and hope their athleticism and flexibility is enough to out perform the experience of the same old stale logos we have all grown accustomed too. Most, if not all, will fail miserably… Most real innovation does.

Welcome Canoo to the show… They are bringing with them some pretty dope ideas.

Details here.

Mechanical Keyboards

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I use mechanical keyboards. In fact, I rely on them so heavily that I even travel with one on occasion. Hell, I even made my daily driver from scratch.

Anyway, I’m often asked what mechanical keyboard you should start with if you have no interest in buying a kit or building your own. It’s a hard question to answer because so much about the mechanical keyboard world is personal preference, but… you have to start somewhere, right?

My first notion is to guide you to the Ducky x Varmilo. Get yours with Cherry MX brown switches – a good, middle of the road switch that is tactile, but not crazy loud or offensive.

This makes sense to me as the Ducky board is known for being very well made, but not crazy expensive. Also, the 65% layout is a good transition from a full-size to something smaller and more compact. If you end up liking the 65%, the transition to a 60% will be that much easier… and, that’s really where the magic really starts to happen.


But what if you just HAVE to have a wireless keyboard? What if you just can’t deal with a 65% layout and have no interest in freeing up desk space and simplifying life? There are options. Keychron makes a number of mechanicals with bluetooth and lots of different layouts. All of them are solid options, but I’d probably recommend the K6.


Once you get a hand on what switches you like and what layout you prefer, you can then go further down the rabbit hole with things like aluminum cases (added weight and mass can really improve the substance and feel), lubed and modified switches, and keycap profiles. Just be careful with how far down this hole you fall – it’s very easy to get $500 wrapped up in a keyboard if you aren’t careful. And frankly, there isn’t a lot of sense in that if all you are after is productivity.

Reddit is a good place to start your journey. Good luck.

Amazon Smart Sticky Note Printer

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This is definitely one of those things that Amazon will trot out to the world with promises and glee… only to recoil from later once sales goals aren’t met.

BUT, I absolutely love the idea of this. I’m tempted to buy one just to see if it’s as feasible as it is in my mind.

Details.

Logitech Customer Service

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I’ve long been a user of the Logitech MX Master series of mice. In fact, I’ve had every generation and every variation of the line. I’ve found them to be well made, but more than anything – thoughtfully designed.

Less than a year ago, I bought the MX Master 3. I’ve used it every day and like previous purchases from Logitech, I’ve been very happy with it. However, my unit started showing weird forms of wear on the finish. Last week, it got so bad that I sent an email to Logitech customer support.

After sending them a couple of pictures and answering a few questions, I got an email saying a replacement was on the way. Perfect customer service.

In any case, if you are interested in trying an MX yourself, you can get it here.