Daniels Favorite Things 2018

We’ve heard from Paul and Rob and I’ve even gone on about how all things amazon are on sale. It seems like it’s my turn now.

Power

I’ve looked at a lot of different power banks but none quite stood out like the ones from Zendure, maybe running it over as part of the review helped it make a lasting impression. Their new A8PD and X6 Offer USB C ports for input and output with massive capacities and 30 or 45W worth of power delivery to boot, enough to keep laptops and high powered tablets like the switch more than happy.

 

 

 

 

 

Imaging

The Yi M1 camera I reviewed a bit ago has been my main shooter for everything except video where the E1 shines. Available at 299.99 it’s sure to make any shutterbug happy. Lenses are a fantastic option as well be they manual like the Meike 35mm lens which I love or electronic like Olympus 40-150 which pairs very well with the 12-42 that Yi includes with the M1.

 

Smart home things

Although I’m not huge on IOT stuff preferring to build my own things when it comes to cameras and such there’s a few I’ve come to know and love. In particular I’ve become rather fond of the TP-Link Kasa family as well as the August Security products. I use Kasa smart switches all over the place at work as cost effective and easy to control timers on digital signage. The August products I’ve installed a lot of Pro Locks alongside keypads for people running small buisness be they bed and breakfasts tired of not getting keys back or piano studios with shifting teacher rosters.

 

 

Mini Computers

We’ve looked at quite a few mini pc’s and for a lot of home and buisness uses they’re nothing short of fantastic. Azulle’s Access line including the Access 3 we recently reviewed are fantastic systems for both signage and streaming applications. Available on amazon now at 219.99 anyone needing a system that doesn’t require a ton of storage should consider these. Those needing a bit more storage but happy enough with the performance can look towards it’s larger sibling the Byte 3. The byte 3 is still using Apollo lake chips which but packs room for 2 additional internal storage devices and some additional ports on it’s case. Available for 209.99 or 339.99 if you opt for the additional ram and slightly faster cpu these systems are great either as a silent nas(not the cheapest but 4tb of solid state easily fits using two drives) or in the living room plating retro console titles.

Mobile Storage

We looked at Kingston’s entire canvas lineup which contains something for everyone. These Kingston cards were an excellent choice for mobile phones as well as gamers. With the 256Gb variant now selling for 77.99 these are a great choice for someone needing mass storage on the go.  We’ve also looked at the FreeTail microSD products which more than exceeded expectations. People looking to use drones and action cameras or even big things like the E1 we reviewed will be well served by cards of that type.

 

 

 

PC storage

I’ve got the benchmarks sitting for the write up but my storage darlings for work lately have been the Micron 1100 and Crucial MX500. Both of these are IMFT 3d nand one enterprise focused and the other consumer. With the 2TB micro 1100 regularly coming in sub 300 it’s a cheap way to get a massive slab of solid state, be it for video editing or a steam library. The MX500 is a bit newer and faster, and at 139.99 for 1 TB is also an excellent deal. Both of these drives performed well in our testing with proper reviews coming soon.

Networking

Big shock, working in IT means my home network is a bit overbuilt beyond even what mesh systems we’ve looked at can offer. Mixing low cost enterprise grade gear I assembled what’s overkill for most people but I still love it. Paul has looked at Ubiquiti before for their consumer products and it carries upwards to their enterprise access points as well. Mixed with Gigabit capable Mikrotik firewalls and Trendnet POE switches you can build something that most small businesses would be envious of in the same price range that some of the mesh systems cost, although it does mean running a bit of cable.

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Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is a full time IT administrator at a medium sized private business former FRC coach and technology enthusiast.