I purchase technology products for my clients on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis. They trust me to know what they need, what they should pay, and what is the right equipment to buy. To keep up on developments in the industry, I browse through about 250 articles from technology blogs every day. I research customer service track records, product failure rates, and consumer reviews. And if I didn’t love it all so much, I’d hate it.
In the summer of 2011, I achieved a level of financial success with BAZINGA! solutions such that I could afford to buy all new computer equipment. Needless to say, I splurged and bought almost every add-on and feature that was available for the equipment I purchased. As of this writing (July 2014), I am still using all of the exact same equipment that I purchased in 2011, and I don’t expect to replace any of it in the near future.
Computer: 13″ Apple MacBook Air (Mid-2011)
I am a Mac person. Apple computers are safer, easier to use, faster, more beautifully designed, they last longer, they’re more durable, there is a more unified computing experience, their design quality is unparalleled, and let’s face it, they’re just better than Windows computers.
I love my computer. It is my favorite and most important possession. I run my business, capture all of my thoughts, keep my life organized, communicate with friends and family, and enrich myself with films, television shows, news, research, and art, all through my computer.
In my humble opinion, there are only three improvements that Apple could possibly make on the MacBook Air, and I wouldn’t upgrade my laptop for any less than all three:
- Increased battery life and USB3 (which later models possess)
- Touchscreen capability
- Retina Display (or at least full high definition resolution)
None of these were even a remote concern when I purchased my MacBook Air; they simply represent current trends in the market.
All told, I probably spent about $2,400 on my computer that summer. But after three years, it still runs as quickly as the day I brought it home. If I needed to, I could easily go another three years without replacing it. (I do intend to replace the battery soon though, as it only fills up to about 80% of its full capacity.)
- 13.3″ LED-Lit LCD Screen w/1400×900 max res.
- Mac OS X 10.9.4 (“Mavericks”)
- 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7 Processor
- 256GB solid state drive
- 4GB of RAM
- 3-Year AppleCare Warranty
- Shel Silverstein Giving Tree MacBook Decal ($10)
In My Travel Bag
- Neoprene Soft Zipper Case with Pouches for 13″ Macbook Air ($5)
- Spare Charger ($80)
- USB Ethernet Adapter $29
- Thunderbolt-to-HDMI adapter ($35)
- 64GB MicroSD Card ($37)
- SD/MicroSD/MMC Card USB Adapter($6)
- 16GB USB Thumb Drive ($16)
- Logitech M325 Wireless Mouse ($20)
- Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker ($40)
- Apple EarPod headphones ($29)
At My Desk
- Standard Charger ($0)
- Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard ($69)
- 2TB Desktop External Hard Drive ($100)
- Asus 23.6″ LCD Monitor ($160)
- DYMO LabelWriter 4XL ($160)
- 10 Port USB Hub ($16)
- Logitech M325 Wireless Mouse ($20)
- USB Super Drive ($79)
- Thunderbolt-to-DVI adapter ($29)
- Thunderbolt-to-VGA adapter ($29)
Smartphone: 32GB Black Apple iPhone 4S (Verizon)
In my humble opinion, the iPhone 4S represents the pinnacle of smartphone evolution. Like the Video iPod (5.5 Gen) before it, there is simply nothing left to add to the device that isn’t derivative or incremental. Sure, you could make it faster, or brighter, or more energy efficient, or more durable – I could go on and on – but to alter the design in almost any way would be to lessen it (see the iPhone 5). There’s no such thing as the perfect phone, but I think the iPhone 4S is the best we’re ever going to get.
- Incipio iPhone 4S Case ($11)
- 5 x 30-Pin iPhone cables, scattered randomly throughout my life ($19 each)
- 3 x AC powered USB chargers, also quite scattered ($19 each)
- Dual USB Car Charger Cigarette Lighter Plug ($13)
- Running Armband for iPhone ($15)
- Plantronics 975 Bluetooth Headset ($45)
eBook Reader: Amazon Kindle (Keyboard Edition)
You will never understand how revolutionary the Kindle is until you own one. If you’ve ever enjoyed reading a book, you owe it to yourself to buy a Kindle.
I really, really, really want the newest edition of my Kindle, the Paperwhite. It looks freaking awesome. But my Keyboard Kindle, with its trusty lighted case, has never let me down. And I just can’t fathom how slightly clearer text, touchscreen functionality, and a backlight are really going to improve my reading experience.
- Official Lighted Kindle Case (no longer available)
- Included micro USB cable ($0)
In Defense of Not Using A Tablet
No, I don’t use a tablet. I own a 2nd Gen iPad, but it spends most of its time in my desk at work. Tablets (with the possible exception of the Microsoft Surface) exist almost entirely as a media consumption platform, and I just don’t have the use, the time, or the space for them. I’m a power user, so I’m as far from the target market for tablets as one could possibly go.