What tech should I use?

Lots of people ask me questions like “What phone should I use?” So here’s my take for a wide variety of technologies. I’ll update this regularlyish.

Phone

I don’t get all religious about iOS vs Android. Just use the one you’re used to. I’m used to Android and like the customizability of it.

Android: Grab the Pixel 2. It’s wonderful: fast, great battery, pretty, great camera, officially supported updates. With Spotify, Google Photos, and Facebook Messenger, you can easily replace Apple Music, Photos, and iMessage. Even Snapchat works well on it.

Also make sure to grab a glass screen protector! You barely notice them and they make it extremely unlikely that you’ll crack your phone.

Samsung’s latest phones have been huge disappointments: slow, terrible battery life, idiotic sensor placement, buggy, and that weird curvy screen? Not a fan.

Apple: Yes, the iPhoneX is worth it if you have the dough. Don’t go broke though.

Laptop

Unless you have a specific piece of software you really need (e.g. AutoCAD) or are a l33t pc gamer (in which case, I am not the person you should be asking for advice), then you should be getting a MacBook. Why?

  • For everyone:
    • Excellent built quality. You can trust that it will last.
    • Simple to use and hard to break
    • Great resale value when you’re ready to upgrade
  • For nerds:
    • It’s Unix-based, so pretty much everything you would do on Linux works just as well

I use a 15″ 2016 MacBook Pro, but if a new one is out of your budget then snag yourself something used on Facebook marketplace.

Keyboard

If you are going to spend a lot of time typing, it is worth it to invest in a mechanical keyboard. Basically, most keyboards today are cheap “rubber dome” keyboards, whereas a mechanical keyboard uses a spring, like older typewriters. It is a much more pleasant typing experience and will do wonders for finger fatigue and, ultimately, preventing bad thing like repetitive stress injuries.

There are a bunch of different types of mechanical keyboards and people argue incessantly about which ones are best. I will leave the in-depth comparison to those forums. Here’s the basic types:

Cherry Red – This is quiet and very smooth. Use this type. Seriously.
Cherry Blue – This makes a loud “click” sound every time you depress the key. Some typists swear by it. I don’t find the typing experience any better and it’s really annoying to everyone in a 1km radius.
Cherry Brown – A middle ground between red and blue. They feel kinda like… slightly better rubber domes.

Need a specific recommendation? I like the Cooler Master Tenkeyless Cherry Red. Tenkeyless means it doesn’t have a number pad. I promise, you don’t use the number pad enough to justify having it always attached to your keyboard, and being able to reach the mouse more easily is really nice over long periods of usage. Grab yourself an external number pad if you really think you’re going to use it. I suspect you’ll find that it just sits in a drawer, like mine.

Mouse

I like using the Apple Magic Trackpad 2, which makes navigating MacOS very pleasant. It’s just designed for it, with the wooshy gestures and all. I actually use one on each side of the keyboard, so I can go back and forth between using my left and right hand for scrolling, but just one is absolutely sufficient.

Monitor

I love my Massdrop Vast – having one enormous monitor is so much nicer than multiple monitors.

 

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