The Good and Bad of Recent Gadgets

Sometimes you are surprised, both pleasantly and unpleasantly when you buy gadgets. Here’s my quick rundown of so some of the gadgets I’ve acquired in the past year and how they rate on the satisfaction scale. Many of these items I’ve done blog entries for:

THE GOOD

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – best phone I’ve ever owned hands down. There are no significant flaws or downsides to device for me.

iPod Touch 5th Generation – Love it. Build, utility, screen, speed, all top notch. Rather redundant with the iPod Mini, but still enjoy it.

iPad Mini – Surprisingly useful and the same qualities that apply to the iPod Touch apply to it, but because it’s a tablet it’s functionality is much more.

Lenovo IdeaPad N585 15.6 inch laptop – This is another surprise given how cheap it is (I bought for $270 at Best Buy). Yeah, it’s cheap – totally plastic and screen not the greatest and it’s big and heavy. But all that said, it’s perfectly useful as a secondary computer (I use it docked) and it’s fast enough for what I do with it. I’d never consider this as a main machine or my only machine (it runs Windows and I’m a Mac guy) but it’s good enough.

11″ MacBook Air – pry it out of my cold, dead fingers. My main machine and absolutely wonderful.

Apple Magic Trackpad – I held off on buying this for a while, but now that I have it, I wonder why I waited so long to get it. Everything wonderful about the built-in trackpad on my MBA but external. Since I use my MBA docked most of the time it’s a godsend. Why can’t PCs have trackpads like Apple makes?

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard for Mac – if you don’t have one, get it! Typical great Logitech quality and not having to worry about batteries is priceless. They also make a Windows version.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite – Totally love it. It’s light and easy to use with a single hand. The clarity of text is astounding and the built-in backlight supremely handy. This is the only device I use to read books on. I much prefer using this to reading on any LCD backlit screen such as on phones and tablets.

Google Nexus 7 – I don’t own this any more having sent it to my grandsons when I got the iPad Mini. But it’s a wonderful tablet and as good as it gets with Android at its size factor. Highly recommended.

THE NOT SO GOOD

Smart Cover for iPad Mini – Meh. It’s way overpriced (as is the Smart Cover for the full sized iPad) and doesn’t feel as sturdy as the one for the full sized iPad (although it probably is). It does what it’s designed to do, but I still think it’s way too expensive. Shouldn’t cost more than about $20.

Iomega Store Center IX2-200 NAS – It’s LOUD! I’ve never heard any computing device with hard drives as loud as the ones in this device. I almost want to put in ear plugs when transferring files to/from this device it’s so loud. It’s speedy enough when only accessing with one device, but trying to access with more than one device at a time slows it down substantially. Fortunately, that’s not something I do very often so it’s not a major issue for me. It’s hardly the fastest NAS around but for it’s price I can live with the speed. Actually if it wasn’t for the loudness, I’d really have no complaints about this device at all. I primarily use FTP for transferring files because it’s much faster than using either SMB or AFP.

Logitech K360 Wireless Keyboard for Windows – Okay, I bought this for $20, so I shouldn’t complain. But compared to the absolutely wonderful Logitech Illuminated Keyboard for Windows (wired) it’s very poor. Cheap plastic and the keys are mushy and there’s really nothing pleasant about using it. It’s a $20 keyboard and it shows. Dumb purchase. But I want a wireless keyboard for my Windows laptop, so it’ll be replaced with the Windows version of the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard pronto.

Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 – Bah. It’s just like every other Windows trackpad really. I was expecting (unrealistically) an experience like the Magic Trackpad with my Mac. I should have known better. See my blog entry on it. I’ve mainly reverted to using my Logitech M305 wireless mouse with the Lenovo.

Of all the gadget purchases I’ve made in the past year or so, I’d consider the Galaxy Note 2, the iPad Mini and the MacBook Air to the the best and most indispensable.

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