I try out a lot of gear around here. It’s all part of the daily life of a tech journalist. It’s how I keep up, how I can recommend products at the drop of a hat when an editor calls me, and how I can throw together an emergency story when my favorite editor is in a desperate situation. And I really do enjoy it. Some of the stuff I try fits a story. Some of it is ill-conceived. Some of it is nice. But some of it I fall in love with. Here are five things I fell for in the last couple of weeks.
Iâ€™m a fan if anything from Iceland since I took a trip there a couple of years ago. Iâ€™m also a fan of water, being personally mostly made from the stuff. So when I got a pitch claiming that, â€œIcelandic Glacial water is sourced from the sub-arctic Olfus spring of Iceland â€“ a 4,500 year old volcanic spring untouched and naturally renewable. It has a naturally occurring high alkaline pH (great for hydrating the body faster) and TDS 62ppm (Mineral Sweet-spot).â€ Another tempting claim in the pitch: â€œIcelandic GlacialÂ waterÂ is untouched by humans – nothing added or taken away. The first time theÂ waterÂ has contact with humans is when you open the bottle.â€
They offered me samples. How could I say no to that? A few days later I got six bottles. They are all gone now. So I suppose I am now made, in part, from 4500 year old glacier water. It was good stuff. I wish I had more of it. Now I will have to find a place to buy it locally.
This tiny workhorse helps me out every single day and Iâ€™m now only getting around to thanking it here. I feed every piece of paper through it and toss the original in a box. I am more organized than I ever dreamed possible. I can email the kids their lost homework, find a paid bill with a couple of clicks, and if I ever get audited I plan to bury the IRS in receipts. Thanks SnapScan S1300 ($260 at Amazon)! You rock!
I get in a lot of phones for review here. So this Windows phone ($99 with a contract at ATT.com), like all the others, started out as yet another task on my to-do list. But then I started to fall a little in love. First it was the cute blue color. Then the screen was just the right size that I could see who sent me email without finding my glasses. Then I installed some apps, took some photos with the Carl Zeiss camera, played a little Wordament at Xbox Live (addictive!), and was completely hooked. Now we are completely inseparable. I even hear that Appleâ€™s Siri had to be â€œcorrectedâ€ because she was telling people it (not the iPhone) was the best phone.
I covered my experience with MeUndies.com at my Family Circle blog. I also include a coupon code there so you can yourself some for 30% off. But hereâ€™s the gist: You pick out some you like and set them to show up every month. Nice undies you never have to shop for. (I will have a giveaway of these coming up soon, so stay tuned.) Now thatâ€™s fine!
Iâ€™ve been playing with the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 2Â recently and have become very fond of it. Itâ€™s slim, fast and wearing Android Ice Cream Sandwich. At first, it made me feel a little lost. Itâ€™s as if the Android people intentionally hid buttons I once knew where to find. But itâ€™s been growing on me. In fact, Iâ€™m now at the point where I canâ€™t remember how I got along without it. Want to watch a quick video of how to do something in the kitchen? Yep. Check my email? Mmm. Hmm. Read a magazine? Need a calculator? Want to read a book? Check my calendar? Shop for cleaning supplies as I whip through the house? Watch TV? Download a movie for the plane? Sure. Yes. Check. And itâ€™s small enough to drop in my purse. Itâ€™s not even very expensive. The Wi-Fi version is $250.