All the gadgets and tech Zac Bowden uses every single day
I've been writing about Microsoft for quite some time, and I'm often asked what gadgets and tech I use in my day to day life. A lot of it is tech I enjoy, but it's also vital to my job. Here's a colletion of things that I use every day to get that job done.
Power on the go
This is my current laptop of choice. After using (and loving) the Surface Laptop for about a year, I finally switched to a Surface Book 2. I decided that the extra power you get with the Surface Book 2 was worth the upgrade, especially beacuse I found myself needing to do video editing on the go more often.
My current desktop is easily the most important tool that I use every day. I use a mid-teir original Surface Studio that I purchased at a discount, and upgraded its internal hard drive to an SSD drive for optimal performance. It's not the most powerful PC in the world, but it's definitely the sexiest.
I absolutely love this mouse. It's configurable, comfortable, and doesn't break the bank. It looks great and can be used in either a wired or wireless Bluetooth connection. It also has up to three Bluetooth devices that it can switch between with a flick of a switch, which is super handy.
I also use the Surface Fingerprint ID Keyboard, which is a premium, relatively standard but beautiful keyboard with a Windows Hello compatible fingerprint scanner. The Surface Keyboard is aluminium, with plastic keys that feel excellent to type on. It connects via Bluetooth, which is nice, although I wish it offered a wired mode.
My current smartphone is the OnePlus 7 Pro, which is arguably the most powerful Android phone on the market right now. Featuring a Snapdragon 855, 12GB RAM, and 256GB storage, this is one powerhouse of a phone. It also has a beautiful QHD+ OLED screen that operates at 90Hz, which provides an incredibly smooth software experience. I really love this phone, even with it's somewhat lackluster camera.
Of course, I have to have the best Xbox on the market. I'm using the Xbox One X Scorpio Edition that I had preordered when that was available in limited quantities. I love it. I do wish it had a bigger internal hard drive however, and I also wish it came in white. Outside of that, the Xbox One X is a super powerful console that delivers 4K gaming very well.
To go along with my Xbox One X, I use 4K OLED TV from LG that offers amazing picture quality with vibrant colors. The latest LG OLED TVs are great for the Xbox One X, as they are less sesseptible to burn-in, and have better latency. I'd still watch out for burn-in, however, as the problem hasn't be solved, it's just not as bad as it used to be.
Premium music experience
I'm a huge fan of the Surface line, so naturally I had to get a pair of Surface Headphones to replace my BOSE QC35s. I really like the Surface Headphones, as they offer great sound quality,and premium hardware with dials on either side for volume and ambient noise cancellation. They also offer touch controls on either side for play, pause, skip, and even to invoke Cortana.
For my smart speaker needs, I use the Harman Kardon Invoke with Cortana. Since I'm all-in on the Microsoft ecosystem, it makes sense for me to want to use Cortana in my smart speakers. I use it for listening to music, checking my itinerary for the day, and adding reminders and alarms for later. I also use it to control things like lights in my house thanks to the many skills Cortana now supports. However, you can only find ones used.
If we're making suggestions
I use a lot of tech, but there are certain devices that I use every day. I couldn't live without my Surface Studio (opens in new tab), which is where I do most of my work during the work day. Its 28-inch 4K display is just beautiful to look at, and it's overall design means it fits nicely on my relatively small desk. I can't say I recommend anyone go out and buy the original Surface Studio today as the Surface Studio 2 exists and is a must-buy if you have the extra cash laying around. It's my favorite PC of all time, and that's saying something.
I also couldn't live without my Surface Book 2 (opens in new tab), which is probably the product I recommend most on this list. It's a versatile, all round great laptop with plenty of power in a unique chassis, that can also turn into a tablet with excellent inking support when needed. It has a dedicated GPU for video rending and a bit of light gaming, and is available in either 13-inch or 15-inch varients meaning there's a version of the Surface Book 2 for almost everybody.
Finally, my new OnePlus 7 Pro (opens in new tab) is my favorite smartphone this year so far. For the price, you're getting an excellent smartphone with what I consider to be the best display on the market right now. It's true that its camera isn't amazing, but it's also not terrible. If you're a camera person, the OnePlus isn't going to be for you. But, if like me, you only use the camera sparingly, and aren't too bothered about those photos looking the best they can, then there's no reason to not get the OnePlus 7 Pro.
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Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.