Hey friends, Andrew here – hope you’re well!
I’ve compiled a list of 15 of my favorite tech gadgets and desk accessories that have either wowed me, made my life easier, are visually appealing, or all of the above!
It was more difficult than I anticipated to compile this list because I reviewed more tech than I ever have on this channel this year, so this list is based on the tech I could get my hands on and use.
But if you’re looking for new technology or just curious about what caught my eye this year, read on.
On this list is Gigabyte’s M32UC, a surprisingly affordable gaming monitor. I say surprisingly because, in my opinion, it is worth more than its price tag, and here’s why.
It’s a curved 32″ 4K monitor specifically designed for both console and PC gamers. When it comes to gaming, there are two specs you can’t skimp on: refresh rate and response time, and this monitor absolutely delivers on both. It has a 1 ms response time and a 144Hz refresh rate out of the box, and you can overclock it via DisplayPort 1.4 to 160Hz refresh rate! Most people will find it overkill, but it is available if you have a powerful enough build to support a 160Hz refresh rate.
The monitor also has an HDMI 2.1 port that outputs 4k at 120Hz for console gamers, and the built-in KVM switch allows me to switch between keyboard, mouse, and joystick controller quickly. There’s even a USB-C port that can deliver up to 18W of power upstream. The pixel density is very high at the modest 32″ size, and it’s also well-lit, which is ideal for my darker desk setup in this room.
It’s been a stunning panel to play high-end games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Metro Exodus, with excellent color reproduction, brightness, and performance. You can also notice the quick response time and smoothness in fast-paced games like Counter-Strike GO – I believe a game like this is better suited to a 32″ screen than my 38″ ultrawide.
Aside from the subpar speakers and stand, it was difficult to find faults with this monitor.
The Fuji X100V is a camera I can’t stop talking about.
This is the camera to look at if you want to buy a new camera or upgrade from your phone’s camera.
I haven’t stopped using it since I got it at the beginning of the year, and I even made a new Instagram account dedicated to it even though Instagram is no longer the same picture-sharing platform we used to know.
The X100V has an insanely crisp, new fixed 23mm F2.0 lens equivalent to 35MM full frame, but what distinguishes Fuji’s mirrorless cameras is Fuji’s digital film simulations.
They give you access to many analogue film-inspired looks that can be applied directly to your photo so that you can get these amazing-looking photos right out of the camera with no time wasted on editing.
The build quality is also excellent for the price; it punches above its weight with tactical buttons throughout and is simply a joy to use, not to mention an absolute beauty.
The camera has recently gone viral on social media and has gained a cult following for its film simulations. It’s now my favorite camera of all time, not just in 2022, but I’d like to compare it to the Lecia Q2 or even Q3 if it’s released next year.
Govee T2 Envisual Lights
I’ve been using smart lights for years, and this year I started converting my entire smart light ecosystem to Govee, and they’ve pleasantly surprised me.
They’re not only less expensive than the Philips Hue lights I was previously using, but they’re also just as bright, if not brighter, in lumens. It was a no-brainer switch.
Govee’s T2 Envisual Lights were the clear winner for me. They are the world’s first DUAL-camera color-matching TV backlights, and they are a significant improvement over the previous generation T1 lights.
They’re one-of-a-kind in that they use Govee’s dual-camera Envisual tech to scan the TV’s content in real-time on-screen to match the colors it sees and project them via its light strip, which has 60 RGBIC light beads per meter, which explains why the light strip is so bright.
The T2 Envisual Lights have simply added so much depth to my screen while gaming, watching movies, and even watching the World Cup with friends – it has impressed not only me but also visitors.
The camera performs admirably in keeping up with all of the action on the screen, even in fast-paced gaming.
Govee is a rapidly growing company that should be on your radar in 2023 – they’ve established themselves as a feature-packed smart light at a fraction of the cost of competitors, and I’m excited to see what they do next year.
MacBook Air M2
This year, I’ve reviewed a lot of Apple products, from the iPad Air M1 and iPad Pro M2 to the AirPods Pro 2 and MacBook M1 Pro.
But there is ONE absolute standout that I fell in love with, and that is Apple’s MacBook Air M2.
I wasn’t expecting much when this came out because I hadn’t used an Air in years.
But as soon as I began using it on a daily basis, it became clear that this was a unique device.
Take its incredible portability in its all-new ultra-thin .44 inch build and featherweight 3 pounds and combine it with a truly impressive powerhouse architecture, Apple’s M2. You have a compelling reason to buy this laptop.
Yes, the base model’s SSD speeds are a step back, and performance throttling is an issue, but given the price point for this laptop’s target market, Apple’s most affordable laptop is a delectably good proposition.
And the best app I’ve used all year is CleanMyMac X, installed on my MacBook Air.
It’s helped keep all of my Macs clean by automatically cleaning up unused system junk and app files and organizing all of my files.
By clicking this button, the app searches for ways to improve Mac’s performance quickly. Once the scan is complete, I’ll click “run” to automatically perform the recommended tasks, such as deleting system junk and malware and flushing the unused DNS cache.
I also recommend it for deleting apps because dragging and dropping an app into the trash does not delete all related files to the app – it leaves certain files in place if you decide to reinstall the app you deleted.
Using CleanMyMac X’s uninstaller tool completely removes the app.
Overall, it’s been a great app for removing years of clutter and preventing clutter on my new devices in the first place.
You can get the app for free and save 30% off the full plan using this link.
This year, I moved into a dedicated office space, and at the heart of it all is my new sit-stand desk, which I’ve been loving.
I went with Omnidesk’s new Ascent line of sit-stand desks, with this one being the XL version made of solid Hevea wood and redesigned white table legs that are quieter than ever.
Since I work long hours at a desk most days, I’ve always been a fan of sit-stand desks for relieving joint tension. I’ve now fine-tuned the sit-stand functions through the Omnidesk app so that it’s automated to hit my standing goals every day.
When combined with a good chair, you have an ergonomic setup that your body will appreciate for years to come.
The CalDigit TS4, which lives under my new desk, is the best dock I’ve ever used.
I’ve used the previous generation TS3 Plus for years, and the new TS4 blows it out of the water.
When you plug the dock into your laptop, you get an insane 18 ports of additional connectivity, including 8K display support, 98W charging, Displayport 1.4, and even a microSD card slot, which has come in handy.
This dock has almost every port required in a single package, and there’s a reason it’s known as the “King of Thunderbolt Docks,” as it was sold out in its first few waves of shipment.
Be prepared to pay $380, but it was a worthwhile investment for me.
On the lower end of the price spectrum, the new Logitech Brio500 webcam has pleasantly surprised me this year.
It’s Logitech’s first new full HD webcam in a decade, and it costs $129 USD.
It has an ultrawide capability of up to 90 degrees, a frame rate of up to 60 frames per second, AI auto framing, dual microphones, and an inbuilt privacy shutter that feels great to retract.
The beauty is in its performance, which does an excellent job of keeping you well-lit in all lighting conditions, and in its show mode, which allows me to present sketches or items on my table by simply tilting the webcam down – a great way to impress others during conference calls.
Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro
Another desk accessory that impressed me was Razer’s new flagship keyboard, the DeathStalker V2 Pro.
I’ve always wanted a small keyboard that could be used for both work and gaming, and this keyboard delivers a polling rate of 998Hz, Bluetooth 5.0, and adaptive frequency.
Even when typing wirelessly and especially when gaming, there is no input lag. It’s been convenient to use the same keyboard for typing and gaming all day and night.
The only drawbacks are that its red linear switches are a little too soft for my liking, and it’s not cheap at $250, but hey, if you’re looking for a high-end keyboard that’ll cover both your work and gaming needs – give this one a try, I’ve been using it since launch, and it’s been great ever since.
Sonos Speakers (Ray)
Sonos has also impressed me this year.
I’ve outfitted my entire new creative studio with Sonos speakers, and I have no regrets: they sound amazing, they work together seamlessly, and they look great in the studio.
But one speaker, in particular, has impressed me: Sonos’ new Ray soundbar, which debuted in the middle of the year and is a steal at $279.
The Ray, at 22 inches and just over 4 pounds, is smaller than its 25-inch Beam sibling and half the size of the flagship Sonos Arc.
It’s small, but it still has two angled tweeters, mid-woofers, and four class D drivers, which results in some pretty good bang for your buck-sound. The Ray has a well-articulated bass and a diverse yet well-balanced soundstage, which is especially impressive given its small size.
The absence of Dolby Atmos and HDMI eArc is a significant drawback, but it is understandable, given the low price.
The Ray is a fantastic gateway product that could get you hooked into the Sonos ecosystem.
If money is an issue, stick with the Sonos Ray soundbar; otherwise, the Beam is a worthy alternative if you have the extra cash.
EightSleep Pod 3
Moving on to gadgets outside our offices and desk setups, I’ve previously stated that EightSleep’s new Pod 3 gadget is probably the best tech I’ve reviewed all year, and this remains true.
It’s a cutting-edge sleep tracking and multi-temperature controlled smart mattress that you must try to appreciate.
It tracks my body, temperature, and sleep patterns overnight using the 4000 sensor points on the mattress and the quad-core CPU machine.
Then it optimizes the different zones of the bed so that it stays at the perfect temperature all night, and I’ve been waking up every day to detailed sleep metrics.
Sleep tracking is becoming more popular, and it appears to be more important than most people realize for their health. So, I enjoy getting behind a technology that has a big impact on our daily lives.
Moving on to action cameras this year, a brand I’ve never used before has impressed me: Insta360, specifically their new Insta360 X3 camera.
It records impressive 360-degree video at 6K resolution using two ultra-wide lenses. The ability to crop into any part of the video in post using Insta360’s robust software has me salivating this year.
If you’re completely new to 360 footage, keep in mind that there is a learning curve when it comes to editing 360 footage, and the videos must be processed before editing, which takes some time.
However, this is the camera for the sports or travel enthusiast who does not want to miss a single shot and does not want to deal with the hassle of setting up multiple cameras. A fantastic addition to my 2022 camera lineup.
Razer Orochi V2
Speaking of travel and portability, the Razer Orochi V2 has been a compelling addition to my tech repertoire, making it onto this list due to its performance, portability, and low price.
It’s a tiny mouse that weighs just over 2 ounces (60 grams) without the battery and can run for 950 hours via Bluetooth!
It has an 18,000 DPI sensor that is fast and responsive, as well as tactile, sharp clicks.
It’s been surprisingly fun to use when playing games ranging from Metro Exodus to Counter-Strike GO.
At only $70, there’s not much to dislike about this mouse.
The Sony A74, the successor to the wildly popular Sony A73, has been the camera I’ve used the most this year.
The A74 is a versatile hybrid camera that can be used as a photographer and videographer in almost any situation.
It has an all-new 33MP sensor, insanely good autofocus, and shoots 4K 60 frames per second at 10-bit 4:2:2.
There are better specialist cameras available, but the A7 4 is the best all-around mirrorless camera on the market this year – it’s been so amazing to be able to pack one camera and feel confident that I’ll be able to take stellar photos and 4K video footage for work.
AirPods Pro 2
The AirPods Pro 2 completely surprised me as one of the best purchases of the year and, hands down, the best earbuds I’ve ever used.
It takes the already excellent AirPods Pro, adds the H2 chip, and combines it with Apple’s personalized spatial audio to create a 3D audio experience that must be experienced firsthand.
Walking down the street with these on feels like having a private jam session with your favorite artist. The audio’s directionality is superb, and when combined with the fact that they’re only 5 grams each, you’ll forget they’re even there, unlike over-ear headphones.
I’ve been carrying these everywhere, from grocery stores to airports, and I’ve loved them so much that I bought a couple more as Christmas gifts. It’s not surprising that they’re a success for Apple only if they come in different color variations.
Thank you for joining me in this 2022 roundup, and looking forward to more tech in 2023!