My favourite gear of 2021

If I remember (a big ask these days) I like to share the gear that I’ve been enjoying using over the last year. This isn’t necessarily stuff that came out this year but the items that have brought me enjoyment or served a good purpose for the task it was purchased for or I feel is great value for money.

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MacBook Air (M1): This laptop has been my most used bit of tech since I picked one up six months ago. I bought the base model with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage and it’s been such a good machine for me. I’ve used it for writing, my job searching, music production with my guitar, some video editing and it’s replaced my iPad as my daily machine. The M1 is revolutionary in my eyes and at the £800 that mine was it’s a bargain for a machine that will last a long time with system updates and (hopefully) carry on for years like my previous 12″ MacBook did.

XBOX Series X: I’ve got a PS4 Pro so I was deciding to get a PS5 or an XBOX for a change and I’m so glad I went for the XBOX. There were several reasons but the main one was GAMEPASS. I knew going in that I could pay £10 a month a get all of the games and more that I wanted, in fact I haven’t bought a single game since picking up the console in June. I was also more excited about the games on XBOX (Spider-man Miles Morales being the exception but I could play this on my PS4 Pro) with being able to revisit one of my favourite game franchises in Halo, the ability to play Microsoft Flight Simulator without investing in a high end PC and playing Forza Horizon. I’ve discovered so many great games via game pass including a load of Indie titles. It’s also whisper quiet and whilst big does look pretty cool in my opinion, I have no regrets about buying a series x.

iPhone 13 Mini: This is a more recent purchase but I’m already sold on it being one of my favourite bits of gear I’ve picked up this year. I love the form factor, the battery is actually great, the cameras amazing and it fits in my pocket so much better than my previous iPhone 11. I initially made the switch due to RSI and strain issues with the larger phone but I’ve discovered a lot about the Mini, including that it helps me use my phone less. This isn’t a knock on it at all, it’s just if I want to do something more involved I’ll grab the MacBook Air – I just tend to use the phone less for mindlessly scrolling social media or reading the news (something that I shouldn’t be doing so much of anyway these days).

SONY MDR-EX15AP: Gotta love the way Sony names their headphones…. but that aside these are the best value product I have picked up for a while. I got them for my work calls and at £7.99 I wasn’t expecting much but surprisingly I am using them for listening to music too. They are comfortable, seal well, have a good quality MIC (good enough for all of your team calls) have good bass and an inline control to pause. The only thing that I’m wondering is durability as the cable is pretty thin.

COMPLY memory foam earphone tips for AirPods Pro: These have transformed how much I can wear my AirPods. I never really liked the silicone tips that came with them so as an experiment I picked these up. They are so amazing if you want a snug comfortable fitting in ear headphone, I forget I’m wearing them.

HASBRO Black Series Mandalorian Helmet: I had to get a Star Wars pick in here and the Black Series helmets are amazing value for money, I’ve even taken to weathering this one with some acrylics.

JETech Screen Protector for iPhone 13 Mini: I discovered JETTech a couple of years ago and after using one on my Nintendo Switch I tried it on the iPhone 11 and then the iPhone 13 Mini. They are cheap and seem to hold up well, I have a few small scratches on it but I think for £6.99 you can’t go wrong with them.

What’s some of your favourite gear you’ve used lately?

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