Dec 2020 Gadget Update

 

Every 6 months I do an update on the state of my gadgets and what I use.

Computers

HP Dragonfly Elite (2020) – replaces 2017 Google Pixelbook, 2017 Porsche Design Book One

The HP Dragonfly Elite is the lightest convertible laptop on the market, and replaces both my Porsche Design (much heavier) and Google Pixelbook (runs ChromeOS, less ports), and compared to the PD Book One I lose the detachable capability and microSD, compared to the Pixelbook I lose the 3:2 aspect ratio, compared to the HP Spectre X360 I would be losing the 4K OLED display, the better Ice Lake GPU and microSD slot, but in return I have the lightest convertible on the market which is very well built with very good battery life and a very good keyboard, and a lovely blue (my fav) color. Plus I got it for $1k which is actually cheaper than the Spectre and $800 off the MRSP, so I’m ok with that.

Alienware m15 R2 (2020) – replaces 2018 Alienware m15, 2016 Alienware 15 R3

I got this for a pretty decent price off of the Dell outlet store, so I thought yeah why not, my brother needed a decent gaming laptop so I sold him my Alienware m5 R1 and the R2 while not as expandable as the R1 and missing the extra numpad, does look substantially cooler with the white design, I must admit. Plus, yeah the usual specs: RTX 2060, Core i7 hexa core CPU, 1.25TB SSD, 16GB RAM. A decent secondary gaming computer and main portable gaming computer.

CyberpowerPC Syber C Xtreme (2019) – replaces 2015 Asus ROG G751, 2016 ThinkPad P70

The CyberPowerPC Syber C Xtreme is my main desktop gaming computer and the most powerful computer I have. It is essentially a built computer, with an AsRock motherboard, Intel Core i5 9600k CPU, 32gB Corsair RAM, 1TB Intel SSD, 3TB Seagate HDD, Corsair power supply, Zalmann cooler and Nvidia RTX 2070 GPU. This computer connects with my Asus ROG PG27UQ gaming monitor and Logitech G610 mechanical keyboard / Logitech G502 mouse for the ultimate home gaming experience.

Tablets/Phones

Apple iPhone 12 Mini (2020) – replaces 2019 iPhone 11 Pro, 2016 iPhone SE

The iPhone 12 Mini is the perfect replacement for my aging iPhone SE as a high specced small phone, and also replaces my 11 pro as well since I don’t use the telephoto on my 11 pro that much and the 12 mini has a great ultrawide as well. So it’s a no brainer purchase for me, small portable phone that has flagship specs.

Microsoft Surface Duo (2020) – replaces LG Wing, LG G8X, iPad Pro 10.5

The MS Surface Duo, while a first gen product, is definitely more of a multi-tasking device compared to the Galaxy Z Fold2, and more natural of a dual screen experience compared to the LG Wing and LG G8X. The only thing I wished they fixed is the buggy accelerometer but other than that I don’t have many complaints with it, and it is serving as my main media/tablet combination device.

Google Pixel 4A (2020) – replaces 2017 Google Pixel 2

The Pixel4A replaces the Pixel 2 that I had been using for the past 3 years (quite a long time for me!) and it’s an upgrade in pretty much every way – it has a headphone jack(!), a better camera, faster processor, bigger display while keeping the footprint/size the same, while the only thing it lacks compared to the Pixel 2 is IP67 water resistance (I have no idea why Google did not put this in the 4A) but that’s pretty much the only thing it’s missing. I use this phone for my US phone # and Project Fi. 

Motorola Razr Fold (2020) – replaces 2017 Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact, 2018 Astell&Kern A&Norma SR15

The Google Pixel 4A is actually my main secondary phone due to the Project Fi compatibility mostly, but the Motorola Razr has become my main music player device – I know, it’s an extremely expensive music player since it cost me even more than the iPhone 11 Pro – but its a really cool device, being the first vertically folding phone. I know many people will prefer the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip instead as its much more capable and spec wise much better, but Motorola has the better design for me, it’s a retro-futuristic implementation of an iconic device, and has a much bigger front touch screen than the Z Flip, which is important when using as a music player device. Since I mostly use my bluetooth Sony WF-1000XM3s now, not having a headphone jack is fine – and also makes my AK A&norma SR15 not that great of a device to use just for the bluetooth. I was using my Sony Xperia XZ1 compact as my main music player phone (which it was very capable at doing) until I got the Razr Fold.

 

Music

Sony WF-1000XM3 (2019) – Replaces 2018 Astell&Kern Michelle

Believe it or not I have begun to embrace Bluetooth finally – and these wireless noise cancelling earbuds have replaced my A&K Michelles. Now do they sound as good? Of course not. But they are more convenient than having to unravel a messy amount of tangled wires every time to listen to something. And they are noise cancelling to boot. But it still has issues. Instead of having skipping sound issues with wires, now I have skipping sound issues with BT connection. Meh.. there’s nothing perfect out there I guess.

Sony WH-1000XM3 (2018) – Replaces 2017 Sony MDR-1000X
These are my main closed back wireless/noise cancelling headphones which replaces my Denon MM400 (which were stolen at work) and my Bose Quietcomfort 25s (which broke) and Sony MDR-1000X (my previous NC cans). Compared to the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless and Bose Quietcomfort 35s, The sound quality is comparable to the Sennheisers but the noise cancellation is better. The noise cancellation is on par with the Bose and the sound quality is better, and its a lot more comfortable than the 1st gen MDR-1000X. It’s simply put one of the best wireless NC cans on the market right now.

Bose Soundlink Revolve (2017) – Replaces 2015 Creative Soundblaster Roar 2
This is my portable bluetooth speaker, replacing my Creative Soundblaster Roar 2. It is smaller than the Roar 2, although it lacks alot of the Soundblaster features it makes up for it by looking and being very simple, playing 360 degree audio and being quite loud for its size.

Creative SoundBlasterX Katana (2017) – Replaces 2015 Creative T4W

Now used as my main computer speakers replacing my Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 and Creative T4W speakers. It’s the first soundbar designed specifically for computer use. RGB lighting, bluetooth, 7.1 virtual surround and a bunch of other options, has a lot of inputs etc – what’s not to love? And it gets REALLY loud.

Klipsch R-41PM (2019) – replaces 2017 Klipsch the Three

My Klipsch the Three unfortunately stopped working, so I had to replace them and I wanted a pair of stereo bookshelf speakers this time.. also I didn’t have enough space to get a separate stereo amplifier so I wanted to get powered speakers, and I like the Klipsch brand so I went with another pair of Klipsch of course!

MartinLogan Motion 5.1 + Marantz NR1510 – replaces 2019 LG SL10YG + SPK8

I decided to turn in my soundbar for a dedicated 5.1 + receiver setup, and yes the audio does sound better! It’s a tradeoff though. The setup is more expensive, takes up more space, and more wires of course. In return for better sound quality.

Google Home Hub (2018) – replaces 2017 Yamaha Clock Radio

The Google Home Hub replaces my Yamaha Clock Radio as a smart alarm clock + digital photo frame.

Cameras

Sony Action Camera AS300 (2016) – replaces 2014 GoPro Hero3+
Replaces my Sony Music Video recorder and GoPro Hero 3 as both my action camera and my wide angle camera that I can use for blogging, travel videos, action videos, etc and has optical image stabilization which no other action camera has! Also waterproof/dustproof as well and quite small, making it great for situations where my Osmo+ would be too heavy.

Sony ZV-1 (2020) – replaces Sony A6000, DJI Osmo+

The best camera for Youtube videos and Vlogs, it’s such a good value for the quality as it comes with a lens very similar to the 24mm Zeiss 1.8 prime I had before except this one is a 24-70mm zoom, making this one a great all around camera for everything, especially paired with a Zhiyun M2 for moving stability, plus 4K and HLG (HDR) capability so it’s a strict upgrade over my old Sony and DJI Osmo (with the Zhiyun). Also, the microphone is great, so I don’t need to use a dedicated Sony X/Y mic or my Shures anymore. 

Main Computer collection
13.3″ 1920×1080 – HP Dragonfly Elite (2020) – 8th gen Core i7, 16GB, 256GB SSD, 2.4lbs – main portable laptop
15.6″ 1920×1080 – Alienware m15 R2 (2020) – 9th gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1.25TB SSD,  4.7lbs – main gaming laptop
CyberpowerPC Syber C (2019) – 9th gen Core i5, 32GB RAM, 4TB SSD+HDD, 20lbs – living room gaming pc
13.3″ 2560×1440 – Apple Macbook Air M1 (2020) – Apple M1, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 2.8lbs – secondary portable laptop

Main Phone collection
5.4″ 1808×2340 OLED – iPhone 12 mini (2020) – Apple A14 Bionic, 4GB RAM, 64GB Flash, iOS 14, 12MP F/1.6, Lightning – main phone
5.8″ 1080×2340 OLED – Google Pixel 4A (2020) – Snapdragon 730, 6GB RAM, 128GB Flash, Android 10, 8MP F/2.4, USBC – secondary phone
6.2″ 876×2142 OLED – Motorola Razr Fold (2020) – Snapdragon 710, 6GB RAM, 128GB Flash, Android 10, 16MP F/1.7, USBC – music player
8.1″ 1800×2700 OLED – Microsoft Surface Duo (2020) – Snapdragon 855, 6GB RAM, 256GB Flash, Android 10, 11MP F/2.0, USBC – main media player

Other devices

Video game systems: PS3, PS4 Pro, PSTV, Nvidia Shield Pro, Cybiko Xtreme, Nokia Ngage, PS Vita, New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, GPD Win 2, Nvidia Shield Portable, PSP Go, Razer Phone 2, GPD Win Max

UMPCs: Onemix Yoga 3, GPD Micro, Toshiba Libretto W100, Vulcan Flipstart, Sony Vaio UX280, Sharp Netwalker, OpenPandora, Fujitsu UH900, Fujitsu U820, OQO Model 2, Samsung Q1, King Jim Portabook, Cosmo Communicator

Backup Laptops:  Porsche Design Book One (convertible), ThinkPad TP25 (business laptop), Onkyo DX (dual screen netbook), ThinkPad X240 (Win 7), Thinkpad X61 (Win XP), Dell Latitude D600 (Win 98)

Watches: Seiko Kinetic, Nomos Tetra 406, Orient Sun&Moon LE, Bulova Joseph Bulova, Seiko Cocktail Time Honeycomb, Junghans Meister Calendar, Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase, Oris GMT, Hamilton Ventura Elvis80, Pebble Time Steel, Fossil Abacus, Casio DBC32 DataBank, Motorola Moto 360 3rd gen, Apple Watch Series 3, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Tablets: iPad Pro 10.5, Sony Tablet P, iPad Air, Lenovo Flex 20

PMPs: Philips PMC, iPod Nano, MS Zune, Creative Zen vision m, Astell&Kern A&Norma SR15, Archos 7, Cowon V5W

Flip Phones: Samsung Galaxy Folder 2, Samsung Alias 2

Vertical Sliders: Sony Ericsson W995, Nokia N95, Samsung Exclaim, Blackberry Priv

Horizontal Sliders: HTC Dream (Tmobile G1), Nokia N900, Sony Xperia Play, Samsung Exclaim, TMobile Sidekick 3, TMobile Sidekick Slide

Unique form factor: HTC Universal, Motorola Flipout, Nokia E70, HTC Advantage X7500, Nokia E90, LG EnvTouch, Unihertz Jelly 2, Palm phone, Nokia XpressMusic 3250, Nokia N-gage, Nokia E72, Motorola V70, Sony Ericsson P990, Toshiba G910, Nokia N93i, Neptune Pine, Blackberry Key2, 

PDAs: Palm TX, Sharp Zaurus, Sony UX50, Zipit Z2, Casio BE300, HP iPAQ 210, Psion 5MX, HP Jornada 720, MS Kin 2, Sony Mylo 2

Unique OS: Amazon Fire Phone (FireOS), ZTE Open C (FirefoxOS), Samsung Z1 (TizenOS), HP Pre 3 (WebOS), Blackberry Porsche 9981 (BB 7 OS), Blackberry Passport (BB 10 OS), Nokia N810 (Maemo), Nokia E7 (Symbian 3), HP Elite X3 (Win 10), Palm Treo 700p (PalmOS), Sony Xperia XA2 (Sailfish X), LG Nexus 5 (Ubuntu Touch), PinePhone (Manjaro Linux), iPhone SE (iOS), Essential Phone (LineageOS)

Displays: LG C9 OLED TV (main TV), Asus ROG PG258Q (gaming monitor), LG 29WK600 (ultrawide work monitor), MMT FHD Monitor2Go (portable monitor), Royole Moon (HMD), Oculus Rift (VR)

Cameras: Sony HDR-AS300 Action Cam, Sony ZV-1

Headphones: Master and Dynamic ME03 (earphone), Monster Gratitude (earphone), A&K/JH Audio Michelle (IEM), Sony WF-1000XM3 (wireless earbuds), Sony WH-1000XM3 (wireless/NC/closed)

Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 5.1 (home theater), Ruark Audio R1 mk4 (alarm), Google Home Hub (picture frame/assistant), Creative SoundBlasterX Katana (Alienware), Klipsch R-41PM (turntable), PreSonus Eris (monitors), Bose Soundlink Revolve (portable)

Misc Audio Electronics: Creative X3 (PC amp/dac), Behringer Xenyx Q502 (Mixer), Fluance RT85 w/Ortofon Blue cartridge (turntable), Cambridge Audio Solo (phono preamp), Marantz NR1510 (amp/receiver), Focusrite Scarlett 2i2o (audio interface), Helm Audio Bolt (phone DAC)

Microphones: Shure SM58 (dynamic), MXL50 (condenser), Razer Seiren Mini (USB)

Storage: 1x Synology DS412+, 2x Synology DS416j, 1x Synology DS418j, 2x Synology DS416slim, 1x Synology DS419slim, 3x Patriot Memory USB sticks, 1x Porsche Design LaCIE external HDD

Keyboards: Corsair K63 wireless (Syber C), Syber Keyboard (extra), Logitech G610 (Alienware), Lenovo Wireless Keyboard (Lenovo Flex), Mini Keyboard (Nvidia Shield)

Mice: Corsair Dark Core (Syber C), Syber Mouse (extra), Logitech G502 (Alienware), Logitech MX Anywhere 2S (travel), Microsoft Surface Mouse (Macbook), Lenovo Wireless Mouse (Lenovo Flex)

Guitar Amps: Milkman 1W+ (main), Boss Katana Mini (mini), Vox Mini5 (travel/busking)

Guitars: Fender Stratocaster w/Rumpelstiltskin pickups (secondary electric), Bohemian TNT w/ Tonerider P90s, Partscaster w/ Tonerider P90s, Martin OMJM (main acoustic), Gretsch G502 (travel acoustic), Duesenberg Alliance Joe Walsh (main electric), Yamaha P121 (digital piano)

Pedals: Boss TU3W (tuner), Boss DM2W (delay), BBE Wah (Wah), Dunlop EP101 (Booster/Preamp), Maxon TOD9 (TS type OD), Wampler Euphoria (D type OD), Xotic Compressor (Compressor), Keeley Omni Reverb (Reverb), Wampler Tumnus (K type OD), Boss RC5 (Looper), BBE Windowpane (Fuzz), Boss DC-2W (Chorus)