Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Physical Tech Products I Own and Recommend

This blog is all about digital products that teachers and students can use for free. That said, I do get requests for physical product recommendations on a fairly regular basis. These are the products that I own and recommend.

iPad - 32 GB - Current Version
I finally updated my updated this month after using the same one for four years. Amazon has them on sale right now for $249!

Blue Snowball Microphone
I've been using these microphones for years. They're durable, easy to use, and affordable. Just plug it into a USB port on a Mac, Windows, or Chrome laptop and it's ready to use. They're on sale for $39 right now. You can use them with an iPad if you use a 3.5mm to USB converter like this one

No-name Lapel Microphones
Purchasing a Snowball microphone isn't an option for everyone. An alternative that I test this fall came in the form of these no-name lapel microphones that I found on Amazon. For $7 I got a three pack of lapel microphones that worked perfectly well on my iPad.

Elegoo UNO Super Starter Kit for Arduino
If you're thinking about trying your hand at Arduino programming, this kit has everything that you need to get started. It even includes a comprehensive tutorial and suggested first projects. It's a good deal at $34.99 (less if you have Amazon Prime). I've purchased more than a dozen of these kits for use in some of my workshops.

Targus Laser Presentation Remote
I've been using the same Targus presentation remote for many years. It has worked equally well on Mac, Windows, and Chrome laptops over the years. There's nothing fancy about it, it just works. And at $35 it's cheaper than a lot of other remotes.

Acer R11 Touchscreen Chromebook
Today, I do most of my daily work on a Lenovo T470s Windows 10 laptop. But for a while I was using my Chromebook for the bulk of my work and the Acer R11 is the Chromebook that I still use whenever I host workshops geared toward Chromebook-using teachers. The Acer R11 is an affordable and durable touchscreen Chromebook. If I was buying a Chromebook for one of my kids today, the Acer R11 is the one that I'd go for. You can buy this new for $299 or refurbished for $222.

Lenovo Thinkpad T470s
This has been my workhorse for the last 18 months. I bought it knowing that it would be my primary computer. I love the keyboard and the tech specs are outstanding too. I've never had to worry about slowdown even when running video editors on it. It's not cheap (Amazon lists it at $1399), but has been worth every penny for me.

A tech purchase that I wish I could do over!
This fall I bought a new iMac. I went the relatively cheap route and purchased the base model. It works fine, but it's not fast and is noticeably slow when trying to multitask with a video editor running. If I could do it over, I would have spent a little more to get this one with a 3.4GHz quad-core processor.