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    • Last year I bought the OnePlus 7T and the Galaxy Watch. The year before I bought the OnePlus Bullets Wireless earphones and the HP Pavillion x360 laptop. I've developed a habit of making a couple of tech purchases a year, but I'm yet to make a purchase this year. I do have a wishlist though.

      Lenovo Chromebook Duet

      I used to have a Chromebook, but because of my research work and PhD studies I needed a Windows laptop. I still would like to own a Chromebook though, but it would be redundant since I already have a laptop. On the other hand, I don't have a tablet either. I had the original Nexus 7 tablet back in 2012, but since then I've never had a need for one again since it's not too different from my smartphone. So when Lenovo announced the Chromebook Duet, a Chrome OS tablet that comes with a keyboard attachment in the box, it snagged my interest. A tablet device that runs Chrome OS would be perfect for me. It'll be more portable than my laptop, more functional than a basic tablet thanks to the included keyboard, and it won't be made redundant by my phone since it runs Chrome OS. It just became available in the US and I'm gonna wait to see the reviews for the device. I'll also need to wait for Malaysian availability.

      Sony WH-CH710N

      I love my Bullets Wireless earphones, but on occasion I'd like to experience my music with a pair of good ANC headphones. I don't appreciate music enough to spend money on a pair of high-end headphones like Sony's WH-1000XM3, but the company's new mid-range offering could be right up my alley. Affordable, great sound quality for the price, and it still comes with ANC. Should be available in Malaysia soon as well.

      Lenovo Smart Clock

      I don't think I can remember the last time I had a clock in my room. Even before smartphones, our old Nokia's and Sony Ericsson's could be used as alarm clocks which negated the need for me to have an alarm clock too. But the Lenovo Smart Clock is appealing to me because of its integration with the Google Assistant. It's basically a Google Home with a large display which allows it to double as a clock. That's handy and a lot more useful than just a Google Home too.

      I won't be buying everything on the list though. I already have a laptop and a desktop PC, not to mention a smartphone, so as much as I think I'll like the Duet, it'll probably be the most redundant item I could purchase. The Lenovo Smart Clock is the least likely purchase as I feel like I won't be able to fully get my money's worth without some other smart appliances around the house. On it's own it would be cool, but in a house with other smart appliances it would be even better. I think the Sony headphones are the most likely purchase I'll be making. Between the three items on my list, the headphones would probably be used the most and will also be the easiest for me to purchase. I do have a pair of wireless earphones already, but they don't come with ANC and the Sony headphones will be a great alternative which will probably offer better sound quality too.

      What about you? Any purchases planned? New phone? Tablet? Earphones? Camera? Gaming console? Want to ask for recommendations? This could be a good place to ask.

    • Wow, just in time!

      I am currently looking for something affordable that falls in the range between my phone and my desktop PC. Something that is small enough to regularly take with me, perhaps even on a bike - but large enough to actually be productive while editing texts, spreadsheets or my websites.

      Buying a small Chromebook is something I had on my mind on and off for quite a while now, ever since my good old Nexus 7 finally gave up the ghost, but I just started seriously comparing different products a week or two ago. Currently available products are OK, but the idea of having to carry around a 15" monitor at all times when something smaller would suffice prevented me from already buying something.

      This Lenovo Chromebook Duet looks exactly like the thing I need and want. Here's hoping that it will arrive in Germany eventually. :D

    • Nothing big, my Tamron 70-300 VC's VC is acting up so I'm looking at a Nikon AF-P 70-300 VR DX since I rarely use it on my FX bodies anymore and they are supposed to be pretty decent. The dirt cheap refurbished price and light weight are also pretty big pluses.

      I'm thinking about some bluetooth headphones too since the ones I have are just a dirt cheap no name Amazon set which while way better than their <20 dollar price tag hurt to wear for a long time. I'm looking at the Anker Soundcore Q20's, from the reviews I've read they seem to be the best budget ones at 60 bucks normally and going down to 40ish on sale.

    • Most of Tamrons lenses come with a 6 year warrantly don't they?
      I have actually had several lenses repaired by the Tamron repair service, and they are actually pretty quick - I think they promise turn around in a week or so, but that was before the pandemic - they may not even be open right now. I haven't checked recently. Just a thought.

      I get that a problematic lens is a good excuse to upgrade your gear too. BTDT

    • I got the Lenovo Smart Clock a few months ago, and am really glad I did. Just so nice to say "stop" and the alarm stops. Plays the radio or Spotify well whilst getting dressed. It is a bit of a luxury item, I know, but I got hold of mine for just under £30, so justified the splurge.

    • I just paid $5700 for a MacBook Pro so my budget has a big hole in it. When I was in Costa Rica I cursed myself for not upgrading to the iPhone 11 for the camera, but now that I’m back I don’t care much.

      I am going to preorder a Canon R5 the moment I can.

      I keep losing my AirPods! 3 pair so far. I have no idea where. I need a less expensive alternative. Amazon EchoBuds suck.

    • I have a pair of AirPods that are sitting idle since I bought the AirPods Pro....So far I haven't lost any. I do favor the noise cancelling AirPods Pro.

      Not sure if I still have the box and other goodies though, I'd have to search for the box probably..

    • It still has some issues, this video talks about the things you'd want to do to get it up and running without major lag and some of them are kinda extreme:

      The big one is that you don't want to use that setup, the way to go is with the Chrome Browser and a gamepad (Xbox or other supported one) connected via USB. The downside is that you're still paying for the games on top of it so you're out 200 bucks for a platform with a lot of issues still and an unknown lifespan (this is Google after all).

      If you have a desktop you might be able to get a decent GPU for about the same amount of money as that Stadia bundle and have a better experience if not graphically then gameplay wise.

      Or there's the consoles, I'd go with an XBox if you're starting from scratch because of Gamepass, it's basically Netflix for games and I've stopped buying everything except Nintendo ones because of it. You can also have it bundled with a system and all their services for 20-25/month (25 gets you the XBox One X and the option to upgrade to Series X when it comes out). And there are dirt cheap disc games on the used market.

      Then there's Geforce Now which I'm not sure how it compares but the games are mostly tied to Steam so there's the benefit that if anything happens with the service you still at least can have access to your games.

      The wildcard option is to get into the XCloud Beta, it's only for Android devices but you get to play the 50+ games they're testing for free, but it's tied to a gamertag/cloud saves so if you get the service or an XBox later your progress would carry over (Also some are cross saved with Windows Store versions)

    • I watched a third of the video and realized, between that and your review comments, that I’d be out several hundred dollars to be a beta tester for Google. And the shelf life for that investment is anyone’s guess since it’s, you know, from Google. Maybe this is just a counterplay against Microsoft in the same way that Google+ was a counterplay against Facebook back in 2014.

      Chris, I have an answer, or at least a theory, as to what Google is and was thinking about Plus in 2009, 2014 and today, but I don’t think you’ll like it.

      Google was afraid that Facebook was going to steal their advertisers. 

      That’s the only logical explanation for why they decided in 2009 to create Google +.

      In 2009, Alphabet’s total revenue was $23 billion.

      Even a 10% loss of revenue to Facebook would have translated to over $2 billion annually.  Add in the drop in valuation on the stock market from such a loss and a half billion dollar spend on Google + seems like a bargain.

      Google + was never created to realistically best Facebook.  

    • They don't fall out and I run and bike in them. I absolutely love them because I don't get any bone conduction sound with every footstrike like I do with earbuds that seal against the ear, and I don't get much wind rumble noise when biking fast.

      I think the answer is they're getting stolen. I park the Baldy Bus, as the girls call it, in the driveway unlocked because there is no crime in our neighborhood. And sometimes I leave the airpods inside.

      The other night I happened to be awake when I heard the side door close at 3:00 a.m. I rushed to look out the window but couldn't see anything in the dark. But now I remember that when I lose them, I have checked the car first and thought "Huh, I thought I left them in here. I wonder where else they could be? They're not at my charging station."

    • I am looking for a sleep monitor gadget but have not had the time to research one. My friends say they like their Fitbits. I also want an ebike with room to bring home groceries.

    • I am pondering buying another Sonus Amp. I think they're too expensive for what they offer, but I bought one when they were on sale last year briefly, and I really love mine.

      I simply walk into my office and hit the Office window in the Sonus app on my iPhone, and beautiful music rolls out of my Bose Bookshelf speakers I've had for years. Nothing to turn on, or turn off, or connect or muck with to get things to work. So smooth, so slick, I want another one in another room, but $650 seems steep for a 125watt per chanel into 8 ohms and a Bluetooth receiver.

      I can find very nice Bluetooth receivers for $70-$100 bucks that plug into a preamp or amp - good ones that sound good and work well, not cheap junky ones that fail. I have owned several of each of those types of receivers so....

      I can find all kind of bluetooth equipped stereo receiver amps with 70-100 watts for half that price. But I would have to stop and turn them on, and off, and maybe mess with getting blue tooth to work everytime or some of the time.

      SO, I am trying to tell myself that I should be a good boy and save that extra $350 bucks in the middle of this pandemic, but boy do I like the Sonus Amp...

    • That's quite surprising. Could it be a repeat offender since they know you don't lock your car so they keep coming back? Maybe you should start locking your car 😂

    • A Fitbit is a good safe bet. Samsung also has a pretty decent fitness band line up. You could get either the Galaxy Fit e or the Galaxy Fit, depending on your budget.

      Xiaomi has a good option too, but their app isn't the best. I've used both Xiaomi's app (when I had the Mi Band 2) and the Samsung Health app (with my current Galaxy Watch) and I concur with most reviews that Xiaomi's app is a downside.

    • Whenever I am asked whether or not one should buy a new gadget, the answer is always YES. I get in trouble for that much too often, just ask @Chris.

      Thumbs up is my way of saying "go for it", but "don't blame me for it". 😜

    • I've wanted to get a new 43" Samsung QLED TV to replace my few years old 40" Samsung TV. Before the pandemic, it could justify the upgrade, but now it is indefinitely postponed.

      I don't really "need it," but I do "want it." That smaller TV stands in front of a treadmill running and walking. All three of us in our household use it regularly, but only I complain about the picture quality. The "black" colors are grey, contrast is low, and the overall picture sucks, in my opinion.

      Those are my excuses for wanting a new shiny gadget.

      I'm a big fan of QLEDs because the picture quality is far superior to traditional LCDs, but not quite as good as OLED. The price is hard to beat at $530 for the 43-inch version:

    • I have several old stereo systems in my home in various rooms, that I have added bluetooth receivers to, to port my music from my phone, or iPad, into older stereo amps that lack any kind of remote control (they are that old, but still of fairly high quality), and power my old but pretty fair large Klipsch speakers nicely - but I don't listen to radio, or LPs, or tapes any more, or even iTunes. I listen to Spotify - it always seems to offer me just what I want, when I want it, whether the music came from North America, or Canada, or Scotland or the UK or Poland - whereever - but I still have to turn the amps on and off, go through the Bluetooth connection which works fine about 3 out of 4 times. But sometimes I have to reboot my phone, or fiddle with rebooting the Bluetooth receiver, and it is just annoying. Imagine if the light switch in your bathroom only worked 3 out of 4 times and that 4th time sometimes took 10 minutes or more to rectify. argghh!!

      I have a Mass Fidelity Core music player which at low volumes sounds very nice, but 9/10 times the bluetooth connection fails and I spend 10 or 15 minutes trying to get the kludge to work. It REALLY does not like to switch back and forth between my iPad and my iPhone, it seems to actively try to connect to only one bluetooth device. And how many of us only have one bluetooth device these days, anyway? So I rarely listen to my Core, it is just that annoying.

      Whereas my Sonus amp is always on, never turned off or on, and when I walk into my office I just hit "Office" in the choices my Sonus app gives me on my phone, and music begins playing out of my bookshelf loud speakers - nice, clean, not too loud or too soft - clear music. Lovely!!

      Anyone else here use a Sonus amp or other equipment? I have a couple Sonus speakers and a playbar downstairs for my TV, but their amp is the gadget I really most enjoy. It just works so seamlessly.

    • I traded my Sony 50 in LCD TV for an LG 65 in OLED TV and have never looked back. I have an LG 32 in OLED monitor for one of my desktop machines as well. Been very happy with them.

      Samsung makes very nice devices as well.

      You know you want it......😁

      👍

    • It sounds like you have a “repetitive annoyance” on your hands, which is the ideal justification for acquiring that gadget.

      It’s one thing if you use a gadget a couple times a year and it requires more work than the pro version: electric hedge clippers that you only use in the spring and fall, Christmas tree lights, etc. The phrase “Suck it up, buttercup” comes to mind.

      But when you have a death by a thousand paper cuts annoyance, you deserve whatever will take it away.

      How much time do you spend noticing that it’s an annoyance? is another good way to look at the rate of return in calmness from your investment.

      And, you know, pandemic: so anything that reduces the stress right now, however minor that annoyance might be, is a wise bit of preventative medicine.

      Buy the damn amp!

      😉