June 2018 (Final SF) gadget update!

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

Computers

Lenovo Thinkpad TP25

The 25th anniversary edition of the ThinkPad is almost a perfect balance a laptop as you can get. It doesn’t have the OLED display or convertibility of the X1 Yoga, and its not meant for heavy gaming or workloads (which is what I use my Alienware for), but it is still one of the most balanced laptops. Let’s see the comparisons here.

-compared to Razer Blade / MSI Stealth / Gigabyte Aero / other slim gaming laptops – the TP25 obviously does not match the power aspect but makes up for it by being lighter and having better thermals as well as business features like WWAN and removable battery.
-compared to Porsche Design Book One and Microsoft SurfaceBook 2 – the TP25 is not a hybrid and you cannot detach it and use it as a tablet – but it does have way more ports and business friendly features. Also it is about $500 cheaper than either of those laptops.
-compared to XPS 13 / Asus Zenbook / HP Spectre / X1 Carbon / other premium ultrabooks – the TP25 is not as thin and light as some of those but makes up for it with its array of ports, business features and dedicated graphics.

The TP25 is almost the perfect laptop:
-3.5lb weight – perfectly portable
-three input options (touchpad, trackpoint and touchscreen)
-fingerprint reader, removable battery and WWAN – crucial business features
-retro 7 row keyboard and trackpoint – a feature not found in virtually any other modern laptop. The keyboard is the best in the business.
-16GB RAM and 512GB SSD – this is top end features
-i7 7th gen CPU and Nvidia 940MX graphics – sure its not the latest 8th gen processors or MX150 – but its still way better than integrated graphics and beats most business laptops in its size
-14″ 1080p IPS – yeah its not the 1440p OLED like the X1 Yoga but it is still a touchscreen. 4:3 aspect ratio would be nice but thats a pipe dream (that itch is scratched by my iPad Pro anyways).
-a perfect array of ports. 3.5mm combo jack, full size SD, T3, HDMI, 3 USBA ports, full size Ethernet. The only thing arguably missing is miniDP and VGA but thats handled by the T3 port anyways. Plus a mechanical docking port as well.

Microsoft Surface Book

This has replaced my Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga as my main convertible / multimedia laptop. Why? Well it weighs only slightly more (3.6lbs vs 3.1lbs for X1 Yoga), and loses the OLED screen, but makes up for it by being way more powerful (CPU is about the same, but GPU is way faster with the 965M, RAM is double with 16GB and storage space is triple with 512GB SSD), and better battery life due to not using an OLED screen, and a slightly higher resolution (3000×2000 vs 2560×1400), and the tablet detaches in addition to having the same modes the Yoga did. The OLED screen sucked the battery life big time, which gave the X1 Yoga I had very limited use, as the main point of having that screen was to watch movies on the go but if it can’t handle 2 full length movies then what’s the point? It also loses some ports (one USB, HDMI is missing) in exchange for full size SD. That’s ok, because the TP25 is the laptop I do most of my business on, which has all the ports I need, and I have USB3/C docks anyway. Oh, and the 3:2 display is a nice plus (much better than 16:9 for reading text)

Alienware 15 R3

This is my main gaming and VR computer now, replacing my aging HP Envy Beats 14 and hefty Asus G751. I decided I wanted a 15 inch because of its lightness and portability, yet its still powerful enough to have a GTX 1070, power my Oculus Rift (VR ready), hooks up to my external monitor, plays all the latest games, and looks great at home on a laptop stand. Also I can connect the Alienware graphics amp to pump up the graphics even more in the future.

Macbook Pro 13 (2016)
My replacement for my Mac Mini as a programming/portable computer. It’s light (3lbs) and runs macOS making it great for development and the lack of ports is made up by a USBC hub.

Thinkpad P70
The Thinkpad P70 is the replacement for my dying Asus G751 as my secondary gaming laptop and workstation. It has an astounding 12 ports (almost as much as the most port heavy laptop I ever owned the Dell M4800), and is currently my main computer as the 17 inch screen gives me great real estate for doing crypto trading and watching videos. It’s also perhaps the most traditional Thinkpad out of the P, X and T series. It’s also lighter than the Asus I had, weighing only 7lbs compared to the 9.5lbs my Asus weighed – and is even lighter than my 7.5lb Alienware!

Tablets/Phones
10.5 iPad Pro

The iPad Pro has replaced my aging iPad Air (which easily is the oldest device I use frequently). Part of the reason why I got it is because it has the capability to be a light portable travel companion. Yes I have the Macbook Pro too – but the iPad Pro is basically a hybrid computer that is both a tablet and a laptop – while it has a mobile OS – multitasking has improved a lot in iOS 11. Its not going to be my main device but as a travel device its great. It has a splendid 4:3 aspect ratio which is better for reading documents and webpages and has LTE (which is WWAN) so don’t need to use my phone hotspot, plus paired with the Brydge keyboard I have it does a neat looking Macbook Pro impression. Plus its way cheaper (I got it for $700 total with the keyboard) compared to Surface Pro or Eve V.

Google Pixel 2
Making an already great phone even better. It looks almost the same – except the internals got huge upgrades. It has the best smartphone camera in the business and it got water resistant as well. Shame about the headphone jack but thats why I use the Xperia as well.

Essential Phone
This phone has probably the best design and build quality out of any phone I’ve touched. I got this mainly because I was paranoid about losing the Google Auth keys on my Pixel 2. However, it turns out that the Pixel 2 camera is really the only thing I miss about it! I like this phone better in almost every other way.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
My replacement for my iPhone SE and Xperia Z3C as a small (4.6″), compact water-resistant phone. I’ve been waiting for a good replacement for a small powerful phone for a while now and Sony has finally delivered! This has also replaced my Sony Walkman NWZA17 as my primary music player because – why not? It has all the features built in already only its running Android, its bigger and the battery life isn’t quite as good – but its fine enough. So I went from Xperia Z3C to Pioneer XDP to Walkman back to Xperia again…

Music

Monster Gratitude Earphones
My main pair of earphones for listening on the way to work / at work – tuned by one my favorite bands, Earth Wind and Fire!

Audeze EL-8O

These are my main headphones.. open back planar magnetic headphones, replacing my old Audio Technia ATH-M50X for studio recordings (using the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 as a recording interface, Shure MV51 as my mic and FL Studio as my DAW) and hooking it up to a Brave Audio Ocean tube amp for listening to those sweet sweet high res files 🙂

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). 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, but its slightly less comfortable. Plus I got the Sonys for much cheaper so its win-win all around! Plus it works well with my Sony Walkman + Xperia devices!

Bose Soundlink Revolve
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.

Creative SoundBlasterX Katana

Now used as my computer speakers for my Alienware. It’s the first soundbar designed specifically for computer use. RGB lighting, bluetooth, 7.1 virtual surround and a bunch of other options – what’s not to love?

Sony Dolby Atmos HT-ST5000 Soundbar

These have replaced my Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers as this is a 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos soundbar that recreates full range sound with classic Sony styling. The Subwoofer is a beast, the soundbar is a beast, and it has built in Chromecast and Spotify streaming too! I like soundbars because they are compact and easy to setup and overall better for an apartment/condo. I don’t like to live in a big house (where I would probably need to have a full 5.1 surround sound setup + receivers).

Klipsch the Three

This speaker is really cool and retro looking especially with the Ebony wood finish, and pairs well with my Google Home (using Chromecast audio) and my Fluance record player to play some nice vintage tunes!

Yamaha TSX-B72

Yamaha TSX-B72
Yamaha TSX-B72

This is my alarm clock radio that I use by my bedside to wake me up each morning 🙂 and yes it has bluetooth and can charge my phone too.

Cameras

Sony A6000
My DSLR camera for serious video making which has replaced my Nikon D5100.. it is much lighter easier to carry, and better video quality. I also replaced my Samyang 24mm T/1.5 cine lens (which was bulky) with a great quality and lighter Sony Zeiss 24mm F/1.8 lens. works great.

Sony Action Camera AS300
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.

DJI OSMO+
My go to camera for taking cinematic walking shots, travel video, and completely replaces any camcorder. The Plus model now has optical zoom capabilities with it too.

DJI Mavic Air
My replacement for my DJI Phantom 4 Advanced – sure its not as stable and the camera isn’t as good but the portability was really necessary as I was moving out of the US and the Phantom 4 took up an entire backpack whereas the Mavic Air folds up neatly and can fit into a small purse.

Main Computer collection
10.5″ 2228×1668 – iPad Pro – Apple A10X, 4GB RAM, 64GB Flash, 7MP f/2.0 camera, 2lbs, iOS 11, 2 ports: headphone, lightning – main tablet
13.3″ 2560×1600 – Apple Macbook Pro 13 – 6th gen Core i5, Iris Pro 540, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 3lbs, macOS, 3 ports: 2 USBC, headphone, 3lbs – secondary portable laptop / main programming laptop
13.5″ 3000×2000 Microsoft Surfacebook – 6th gen Core i7, GTX 965M, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3.6lbs, Win 10, 5 ports: 2 USB3, miniDP, SD, headphone – main multimedia / portable laptop
14.1″ 1920×1080 – Lenovo Thinkpad TP25 – 7th gen Core i7, GTX 940MX, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 4lbs, Win 10, 8 ports: 3 USB3, HDMI, T3, SD, headphone, Ethernet, 3.5lbs – main business laptop
15.6″ 1920×1080 – Alienware 15 – 6th gen Core i7 quad, GTX 1070, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD, 7lbs, Win 10, 8 ports: 2 USB3, 2 USBC, HDMI, miniDP, Ethernet, headphone, 7.3lbs – primary gaming laptop
17″ 1920×1080 – Lenovo Thinkpad P70 – 6th gen Core i7, Quadro M3000M, 32GB RAM, 2TB HDD, 7lbs, Win 10, 12 ports: 4 USB3, 2 T3, HDMI, miniDP, Ethernet, headphone, SD, Expresscard – secondary gaming laptop & workstation

Main Phone collection
4″ 1136×640 – Apple iPhone SE – Apple A9, 2GB RAM, 64GB Flash, iOS 11, 12MP f/2.2 camera, headphone, lightning – secondary camera phone
4.6″ 1280×720 – Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact – Snapdragon 801, 2GB RAM, 16GB Flash, Android 8, 20.7MP f/2.0 camera, headphone, microSD, microUSB, IP68 – main music player / secondary phone
5″ 1920×1080 – Google Pixel 2 – Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM, 64 GB Flash, Android 8, Dual 13MP f/1.9 camera, USBC – main phone
5.7″ 2560×1310 – Essential Phone – Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM, 128B Flash, Android 7, Dual 13MP f/1.8 camera, USBC – main phone

Other devices

Video game systems: PS3, PS4, PSTV, Nvidia Shield Pro

Handheld game systems: Cybiko Xtreme, Nokia Ngage, PS Vita, New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, GPD Win 2, Nvidia Shield Portable, PSP Go, Xperia Play, GPD XD+

UMPCs: GPD Pocket, Toshiba Libretto W100, Vulcan Flipstart, Sony Vaio UX280, Sharp Netwalker, OpenPandora, Fujitsu UH900, Fujitsu U820, OQO Model 2

Backup Laptops: Onkyo DX (duals screen netbook), ThinkPad X240 (Win 7), Thinkpad X61 (Win XP), Dell Latitude D600 (Win 98), Asus G751 (spare gaming laptop)

Smartwatches: Huawei Watch, Pebble Time Steel, Fossil Abacus, Neptune Pine

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

PMPs: Philips PMC, iPod Nano, MS Zune, Creative Zen vision m, Pioneer XDP100, Archos 7

Flip Phones: Lenovo A588, Motorola Razer, Samsung Alias 2

Vertical Sliders: Sony Ericsson W995, Nokia N95

Horizontal Sliders: HTC Dream, HTC Touch Pro 2, MS Kin 2, Sony Mylo 2

Unique form factor: HTC Universal, Motorola Flipout, Nokia E70, HTC Advantage 7500, Sharp Sidekick, Nokia E90, Jelly Phone, Blackberry KeyOne

PDAs: Palm TX, Sharp Zaurus, Sony UX50, Zipit Z2, Casio BE300, Sharp YO180P, HP iPAQ 210, Psion 5MX

Unique OS: Amazon Fire Phone, ZTE Open C, Samsung Z1, HP Pre 3, Blackberry Porsche 9981, Blackberry Passport, Nokia Lumia 1020, Intex Aquafish, Nokia N810, Nokia N900, Nokia E7, HP Elite X3

Displays: Mobile Monitor 2 Go, Royole Moon, DJI Goggles, Oculus Rift

Cameras: Sony HDR-AS300 Action Cam, DJI Osmo+, Sony A6000, DJI Mavic Air

Headphones: Master and Dynamic ME03, Monster Gratitude, Fender FXA5, Sony MDR1000X (wireless/NC), Audeze EL8

Speakers: Yamaha TSXB72, Creative SoundBlasterX Katana, Klipsch The Three, Bose Soundlink Revolve, Sony Smart Bluetooth Speaker SP60, Google Home Mini, Sony HTST5000

Microphones: Shure MV88, Shure MV51, Shure SM58, MXL50

Storage: 1 Synology DS412+, 2 Synology DS416j, 1 Synology 416slim (48TB all in RAID 1)

Dec 2017 gadget update

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

Computers

Lenovo Thinkpad TP25

The 25th anniversary edition of the ThinkPad is almost a perfect balance a laptop as you can get. It doesn’t have the OLED display or convertibility of the X1 Yoga (which is why I still keep that one), and its not meant for heavy gaming or workloads (which is what I use my Alienware for), but it is still one of the most balanced laptops. Let’s see the comparisons here.

-compared to Razer Blade / MSI Stealth / Gigabyte Aero / other slim gaming laptops – the TP25 obviously does not match the power aspect but makes up for it by being lighter and having better thermals as well as business features like WWAN and removable battery.
-compared to Porsche Design Book One and Microsoft SurfaceBook 2 – the TP25 is not a hybrid and you cannot detach it and use it as a tablet – but it does have way more ports and business friendly features. Also it is about $500 cheaper than either of those laptops.
-compared to XPS 13 / Asus Zenbook / HP Spectre / X1 Carbon / Vaio S / other premium ultrabooks – the TP25 is not as thin and light as some of those but makes up for it with its array of ports, business features and dedicated graphics.

The TP25 is almost the perfect laptop:
-3.5lb weight – perfectly portable
-fingerprint reader, removable battery and WWAN – crucial business features
-retro 7 row keyboard and trackpoint – a feature not found in virtually any other modern laptop. The keyboard is the best in the business.
-16GB RAM and 512GB SSD – this is basically on par with my Alienware
-i7 7th gen CPU and Nvidia 940MX graphics – sure its not the latest 8th gen processors or MX150 – but its still way better than integrated graphics and beats most business laptops in its size
-14″ 1080p IPS – yeah its not the 1440p OLED like the X1 Yoga but it is still a touchscreen. 4:3 aspect ratio would be nice but thats a pipe dream (that itch is scratched by my iPad Pro anyways).
-a perfect array of ports. 3.5mm combo jack, full size SD, T3, HDMI, 3 USBA ports, full size Ethernet. The only thing arguably missing is miniDP and VGA but thats handled by the T3 port anyways. Plus a mechanical docking port as well.

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga

This replaces my Thinkpad X240, and Thinkpad Yoga 14. A light, convertible laptop, weighs only 2.8lbs (substantially lighter than the Yoga 14 which I previously had), docks with a one link dock connector and wireless dock, has that traditional Thinkpad robust build quality and great trackpoint keyboard, and is convertible which means I can watch movies in 4 different modes, and comes with a gorgeous 1440p OLED screen to boot. It loses the dedicated graphics (Nvidia 840M) of the Yoga 14 but improves on it everywhere else including ports, display and weight. Compared to the X240, it loses the VGA, full size SD and Ethernet ports but is much lighter, has a much better display, and is convertible.

Alienware 15 R3

This is my main gaming and VR computer now, replacing my aging HP Envy Beats 14 and hefty Asus G751. I decided I wanted a 15 inch because of its lightness and portability, yet its still powerful enough to have a GTX 1070, power my Oculus Rift (VR ready), hooks up to my external monitor, plays all the latest games, and looks great at home on a laptop stand.

Macbook Pro 13 (2016)
My replacement for my Mac Mini as a programming/entertainment/workstation computer. It’s light (3lbs) and runs macOS making it great for development and the lack of ports is made up by my Dell USB-C Dock at home.

Tablets/Phones
10.5 iPad Pro

The iPad Pro has replaced my aging iPad Air (which easily is the oldest device I use frequently). Part of the reason why I got it is because it has the capability to be a light portable travel companion. Yes I have the Macbook Pro, Dell Latitude and X1 Yoga too – but the iPad Pro is basically a hybrid computer that is both a tablet and a laptop – while it has a mobile OS – multitasking has improved a lot in iOS 11. Its not going to be my main device but as a travel device its great. It has a splendid 4:3 aspect ratio which is better for reading documents and webpages and has LTE (which is WWAN) so don’t need to use my phone hotspot, plus paired with the Brydge keyboard I have it does a neat looking Macbook Pro impression. Plus its way cheaper (I got it for $700 total with the keyboard) compared to Surface Pro or Eve V.

Google Pixel 2
Making an already great phone even better. It looks almost the same – except the internals got huge upgrades. It has the best smartphone camera in the business and it got water resistant as well. Shame about the headphone jack but thats why I use the Xperia as well.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
My replacement for my iPhone SE and Xperia Z3C as a small (4.6″), compact water-resistant phone. I’ve been waiting for a good replacement for a small powerful phone for a while now and Sony has finally delivered! This has also replaced my Sony Walkman NWZA17 as my primary music player because – why not? It has all the features built in already only its running Android, its bigger and the battery life isn’t quite as good – but its fine enough. So I went from Xperia Z3C to Pioneer XDP to Walkman back to Xperia again…

Music

Fender FXA-5 in ear monitors
My main pair of in ear headphones – really nice sound out of these guys! and from my favorite guitar company as well 😉

Monster Gratitude Earphones
My secondary pair of earphones for listening on the way to work / at work – tuned by one my favorite bands, Earth Wind and Fire!

Audeze EL-8O

These open back planar magnetic headphones are my at home studio monitors, replacing my old Audio Technia ATH-M50X for studio recordings (using the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 as a recording interface, Shure MV51 as my mic and FL Studio as my DAW) and hooking it up to a Brave Audio Ocean tube amp for listening to those sweet sweet high res files 🙂

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). 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, but its slightly less comfortable. Plus I got the Sonys for much cheaper so its win-win all around! Plus it works well with my Sony Walkman + Xperia devices!

Bose Soundlink Revolve
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.

Creative SoundBlasterX Katana

Now used as my computer speakers for my Alienware. It’s the first soundbar designed specifically for computer use. RGB lighting, bluetooth, 7.1 virtual surround and a bunch of other options – what’s not to love?

Klipsch Promedia 2.1

Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
Klipsch Pro Media 2.1

Absolutely fantastic computer speakers. Now using it for my TV and gaming systems since I found it has better bass than my Klipsch R-4B. The bass and overall sound quality is fantastic. Replaces my non-functioning Creative T4Ws which shorted out :(, and the Samsung and Klipsch soundbars that I used before.

Klipsch the Three

This speaker is really cool and retro looking especially with the Ebony wood finish, and pairs well with my Google Home (using Chromecast audio) and my Fluance record player to play some nice vintage tunes!

Yamaha TSX-B72

Yamaha TSX-B72
Yamaha TSX-B72

This is my alarm clock radio that I use by my bedside to wake me up each morning 🙂 and yes it has bluetooth and can charge my phone too.

Cameras

Sony A6000
My DSLR camera for serious video making which has replaced my Nikon D5100.. it is much lighter easier to carry, and better video quality. I also replaced my Samyang 24mm T/1.5 cine lens (which was bulky) with a great quality and lighter Sony Zeiss 24mm F/1.8 lens. works great.

Sony Action Camera AS300
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.

DJI OSMO+
My go to camera for taking cinematic walking shots, travel video, and completely replaces any camcorder. The Plus model now has optical zoom capabilities with it too.

DJI Phantom 4 Advanced
Replaces my DJI Phantom 3, better sensors, obstacle avoiding, takes better night shots etc

Main Computer collection
10.5″ 2228×1668 – iPad Pro – Apple A10X, 4GB RAM, 64GB Flash, iOS 11, 7MP f/2.0 camera, headphone, lightning, LTE – main tablet / travel computer
13.3″ 2560×1600 – Apple Macbook Pro 13 – 6th gen Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 3lbs, macOS, 3 ports: 2 USBC, headphone, 3lbs – secondary portable laptop / main programming laptop
14.1″ 2560×1440 – Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga – 6th gen Core i7, 8GB RAM, 180GB SSD, 2.8lbs, Win 10, 7 ports: 3 USB3, miniDP, HDMI, microSD, headphone, 3.1lbs – main travel / multimedia / entertainment laptop
14.1″ 1920×1080 – Lenovo Thinkpad TP25 – 7th gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3.5lbs, Win 10, 8 ports: 3 USB3, HDMI, T3, SD, headphone, Ethernet, 3.5lbs – main business / portable laptop
15.6″ 1920×1080 – Alienware 15 – 6th gen Core i7 quad, Nvidia GTX 1070, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD, 7lbs, Win 10, 8 ports: 2 USB3, 2 USBC, HDMI, miniDP, Ethernet, headphone, 7.3lbs – primary gaming laptop
17″ 1920×1080 – Asus G751 – 4th gen Core i7 quad, Nvidia GTX 970M, 16GB RAM, 2TB HDD, 9lns, Win 10, 10 ports: 4 USB, HDMI, miniDP, VGA, SD, Ethernet, headphone, 9.5lbs – secondary gaming laptop & workstation

Main Phone collection
4″ 1136×640 – Apple iPhone SE – Apple A9, 2GB RAM, 64GB Flash, iOS 11, 12MP f/2.2 camera, headphone, lightning – secondary camera phone
4.6″ 1280×720 – Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact – Snapdragon 801, 2GB RAM, 16GB Flash, Android 8, 20.7MP f/2.0 camera, headphone, microSD, microUSB, IP68 – main music player / secondary phone
4.5″ 1620×1080 – Blackberry KeyOne – Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB Flash, Android 7.1, 12MP f/2.0 camera, headphone, microSD, USBC – backup
5″ 1920×1080 – Kyocera Duraforce Pro – Snapdragon 617, 3GB RAM, 32GB Flash, Android 6, Dual 13MP camera, headphone, microSD, microUSB, IP68 – backup
5″ 1920×0180 – Google Pixel 2 – Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM, 128 GB Flash, Android 8, Dual 13MP f/1.9 camera, USBC – main phone

Other devices

Video game systems: PS3, PS4, PSTV, Nvidia Shield Pro

Handheld game systems: Cybiko Xtreme, Nokia Ngage, PS Vita, New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, GPD Win, Nvidia Shield Portable, PSP Go, Xperia Play

UMPCs: GPD Pocket, Toshiba Libretto W100, Vulcan Flipstart, Sony Vaio UX280, Sharp Netwalker, OpenPandora, Fujitsu UH900, Fujitsu U820

Backup Laptops: Onkyo DX (duals screen netbook), HP Elitebook Revolve 820 (convertible), ThinkPad X240, Dell Latitude 7370 (Linux), Thinkpad X61 (Win XP), Dell Latitude D600 (Win 98), Dell Precision M4800

Smartwatches: Huawei Watch, Pebble Time Steel, Fossil Abacus, Neptune Pine

Tablets: Sony Tablet P, Nvidia Shield Portable, iPad Air, Lenovo Flex 20

PMPs: Philips PMC, iPod Nano, MS Zune, Sony Walkman A17, Creative Zen vision m, Pioneer XDP100, Archos 7

Flip Phones: Lenovo A588, Motorola Razer, Samsung Alias 2

Vertical Sliders: Sony Ericsson W995, Nokia N95, Dell Venue Pro

Horizontal Sliders: HTC Dream, HTC Touch Pro 2, MS Kin 2, Sony Mylo 2

Unique form factor: HTC Universal, Motorola Flipout, Nokia E70, HTC Advantage 7500, Sharp Sidekick, Nokia E90, Jelly Phone

PDAs: Palm TX, Sharp Zaurus, Sony UX50, Zipit Z2, Casio BE300, Sharp YO180P, HP iPAQ 210, Psion 5MX

Unique OS: Amazon Fire Phone, Nokia N9, ZTE Open C, Samsung Z1, HP Pre 3, Blackberry Porsche 9981, Blackberry Passport, Nokia Lumia 1020, Intex Aquafish, Nokia N810, Nokia N900, MS Lumia 650, Nokia E7

Displays: Mobile Monitor 2 Go, Royole Moon, Avegant Glyph, DJI Goggles, Oculus Rift

Cameras: Sony HDR-AS300 Action Cam, DJI Osmo+, Sony A6000, DJI Phantom 4 Advanced

Headphones: Master and Dynamic ME03, Monster Gratitude, Fender FXA5, Sony MDR1000X (wireless/NC), Audeze EL8

Speakers: Yamaha TSXB72, Creative SoundBlasterX Katana, Klipsch The Three, Bose Soundlink Revolve, Sony Smart Bluetooth Speaker SP60, Google Home Mini, SoundMatters Moment

Microphones: Sony wireless bluetooth mics, Shure MV88, Shure MV51, Shure SM58, MXL50

Storage: 1 Synology DS412+, 2 Synology DS416j, 1 Synology 416slim (48TB all in RAID 1)

Functionality over form for gadgets, Style over brand for clothing

One thing that’s really changed about me from the past is I no longer care about showing off my wealth; that’s something that I’ve criticized Chinese people for a lot and still do. I don’t understand whats the point of showing off your wealth by buying a fancy car or wearing expensive designer clothing. Like whats the point? You want people to know you are rich? Why? So they can rob you? Sounds arrogant to me.

I am actually quite blessed to say that since 2011 since I got my first job out of university, I haven’t really ‘struggled’ to make ends meet, per say. I’ve been living comfortably (I’m not rich.. just comfortable) for the past 6 years. But I was a poor university student before 2011 plus things in Canada usually cost more, so one of the first things I did when I first came to San Francisco was to buy up a lot of brand name clothing! A&F shirts, Lacoste polos, Lucky Brand / Guess jeans, you name it. I spent a lot of money on new clothes, only to realize that it didn’t really matter. I didn’t really care about the names and SF people really didn’t care either. When I lived in Korea I threw away all my American clothes and exchanged them for no name Korean brands – which were ironically better quality because they were made in Korea and alot of the name brand clothing was made in China. But the important thing is the style. I noticed in Korea people didn’t care about brands so much like in China – they cared about the style more. If it looked good, then wear it. Who cares who its made by? I learned this when I was in Korea.

So now I don’t care what brand I buy or wear anymore as long as it looks good. The opposite applies to electronics. I own laptops by Asus, Lenovo, Dell and Apple. My speakers are made by Klipsch, Creative, and Bose. My phones come from Sony, Blackberry and Google (HTC). My TV is Panasonic. My headphones are Sony, Fender and Master&Dynamic. My microphones are Shure. My cameras are by DJI and Sony. So yes I have brand name electronics – but they are all different brands. I don’t really have brand loyalty but I do care that they are not some cheap no name Chinese knockoff. That is important to me. But thing to note is that for electronics, I care about functionality of what I buy more than the design.

Take a look at this computer.

Apple MacBook Pro
Apple MacBook Pro

This computer is the epitome of form over function. It’s sexy looking, it’s thin and it’s made of aluminum. It’s nice looking. But it’s rather limited in functionality. There’s no touch screen. The graphics are integrated. The keyboard has shallow travel. There’s only 2 ports on it and one of them is for charging. The only reason I have this computer is for MacOS – which is essential for my programming tasks. It may as well just be a travel ultrabook – and even then the iPad Pro + keyboard kills it in portability, or Microsoft Surface Book 2 just kill it for the specs. Overall I only have this computer for the OS thats it. This computer costs $1900 when configured with the Core i7, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD.

Now look at this computer.

Lenovo ThinkPad TP25
Lenovo ThinkPad TP25

This computer is the epitome of function over form. I use this one as my main computer over the MacBook – even though it costs the same amount of money, $1900. It’s not sexy looking sure – it looks like it came from the early 2000s in fact – but it has way more functions than the MacBook has. It comes with the same specs first off – Core i7, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. Furthermore – it’s tested to military standards, keyboard is spill-proof, the keyboard is a full 7 row keyboard with at least 4x the amount of key travel the MacBook Pro has, it has mobile broadband (WWAN) and a removable battery (the Macbook you can’t even upgrade the RAM), it has a full set of 8 ports (no dongles needed), it has Nvidia 940MX graphics (granted not the most powerful but still better than integrated), you can use the pointer without taking your hands off the keyboard (its called a trackpoint), and it has a touch screen – and it weighs just 0.5lbs more, and a full 3 year warranty. So yeah. I’m taking this computer almost every time (except when I need to program or use Final Cut Pro).

Here I’m responding to TP25 haters…

Function over form. For much the same reason I have a Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact over the new iPhone X. Because even though that phone looks better with the thin bezels and OLED screens and stuff – mine has more battery life, microSD, headphone jack and IP68. top spec hardware specs too. And did I mention at half the price of the iPhone X? Yeah that too. I’ll always take the more useful over the more stylish for electronics. For clothing I take the stylish over the brand name. Because clothing is a huge part of how people see you and how you present yourself. A good stylish looking shirt or blazer is going to draw way more attention than using a sexy bezel-less iPhone X. I guarantee you.