My favorite tech products of 2018

As another year starts, I wanted to look back on my favorite products of the previous 12 months. I’m not talking just 2018 products here, as it has to be said, some things I use most aren’t that new.

In the past I’ve been called everything in the comments. My favorites have been a Microsoft fanboy and Microsoft hater. I haven’t figured out how I could be both. The reality of what I use may surprise the people who have said those things.

Logitech Harmony Elite 

I have a lot of media devices to control so I need a solid universal remote. For that, I use a Harmony Elite. It’s easily programmable -- just plug it into your computer and visit the website. Enter all of your equipment one at a time and the instructions will be downloaded to the remote. There’s a touchscreen that makes life easier and you set up scenarios such as "watch Blu-ray" which will turn on the player, TV, set your receiver to the proper configuration, whatever you want. It’s even rechargeable thanks to a cradle.

Amazon Fire TV

I have a Roku and I find it a wonderful device. However, most of the time in front of the tube I’m using the Fire TV. I have what I want installed on it, the settings are simple and there are plenty of apps to choose from. I also just like the interface a bit more than other devices.

Motorola Moto 360 Sport 

I’ve worn a watch since I was a kid. I know today many people don’t, just relying on their phone to check the time. However, I’ve been a runner since middle school and runners live on time, distance and pace and a watch is essential to me and my crowd. The Moto 360 Sport does everything I could ask for in tracking my movements. The battery life could be better -- it's on the charger twice a day, but that’s the price for something I love so I deal with it.

Google Pixel XL 

I know, I’m using a phone from two models ago. I plan to upgrade to the Pixel 3 XL soon, but for now, this one is working just fine. I’ve always liked the "official Google Phone". I’ve had several of them and love that they don’t come with the crap many others do. You get it with the basics and add what you want.

Nest Thermostat 

There is nothing better than a thermostat that learns your habits and sets itself accordingly, although sometimes not always to my liking. That’s OK, it keeps learning. And I can control it from anywhere in the world via my phone or even my watch. It also shows me  the humidity in my house and temperature outside.

Also-Rans 

I still work from a Chromebook, currently an Asus C206, but I do have Windows 10 on a laptop I keep on the kitchen counter to watch while I’m in there.

I can’t even begin to explain how much I still love Amazon Echo, better known as Alexa. There is very little it won’t do. My daughter asked for one for Christmas (among many other things). I got a second-gen one for her.

There are many other things around here that I use, but I won’t bore you by making this unnecessarily long, so I conclude here. Happy New Year to all.

Photo Credit: Julia Henze / Shutterstock

6 Responses to My favorite tech products of 2018

  1. MyDisqussion says:

    You must have been lucky on the Google Pixel XL. I've heard horror stories of Google shipping the wrong product, and then refusing to accept a return because the IMEI didn't match what was ordered. Happened to some poor Joe out there.

  2. I don’t think there is one thing on the author’s list that is of interest to me. To each their own as they say.

    • Thos. Edison says:

      I, too, have a closet of tech stuff that I was convinced I needed. It just goes to show you how individualized tech can sometimes be (and how people still need to keep up with the Joneses.) For me, the most useless item in his list is the (Nest) learning thermostat. If everything in a person's life is so routine (boring?) that a thermostat can not only predict but satisfy their needs, perhaps they need to change it up a bit.

  3. John Crane says:

    My experience with Logitech products, overall, has been great. However, with Logitech remote controls, not so great. Initial setup has been a breeze, and the remote works great for a couple of months. But, just when I think that Logitech has finally fixed its issues with this latest iteration, the unit becomes sluggish and unresponsive. Not all devices power up or power down as expected. But, the worst frustration is the rewind and fast forward. It's hard to start a rewind, but if and when you finally get it restarted, it's equally hard to stop.

    What am I as a user to expect if I buy a new and updated unit? More of the same. I guess I'll struggle alone with the old unit.

    I have decided that given the seemingly random weather here in Texas, buying a Nest thermostat would be an exercise in futility. There is no pattern to learn because there is no pattern in the weather. Shorts weather one day, ice storms the next. Besides, the design, while impressive and sleek, doesn't fit with my decor, especially since the thermostat is in such a prominent place on the wall.

    I would rate both of these as "cool" tech gizmo's that would eventually land in my "tech closet of unused devices" and find it's way to Goodwill.

  4. Adrian S says:

    The Logitech Harmony Elite is great, I got one when it was on offer, with over £100 off, no way would I give over £200 for one, no matter how good it is.
    All my remotes are now stored in a box and the Logitech Harmony Elite does everything.

    I have a smart thermostat, but it is not a nest, it was installed by my energy supplier, very useful i must admit.

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