Blog

MM Select - Summer 2014

 
 

I always get asked to do reviews or get sent products that aren’t substantial enough for a typical in depth review. This is my solution to the problem - a seasonal collection of things and what I think about them.

 

★☆☆☆
Avoid. Mediocre.

★★☆☆
Good, but nothing exceptional.

★★★☆
Great. Worth purchasing.

★★★★
Exceptional. A spectacular product.


 

NOTE
The prices displayed are approximately what you should be paying.
Make sure you do a bit of digging on the internet to find the lowest price.

 

DISCLAIMER
Some of these products have been sent by their respective manufacturers.

 
 
 

Nike Roshe Run (NM Breeze)
$95
★★★☆

Rōshi in Japanese Buddhism is a title reserved for the most respected teachers and is what the Nike Roshe were named after. The Roshe line is designed with simplicity in mind and has restrained number of part breaks. They’re well proportioned and take diverse colors and materials exceptionally. I love the color combinations in the NM Breeze series, especially the Band-Aid like fused detailing to contrast with the bright blue. I wouldn’t run wearing Roshe but I find them to be comfortable everyday shoes. It’s worth noting that they seem to fit a bit smaller than other shoes so be sure to try them on before you buy.

 
 
 
 

Field Notes Shelterwood Edition
NA
★★★★

Ti-POST RAW pen
$75
★★★☆

This is my current note taking/sketching combo I use at work. Field Notes is known for their diverse special edition notebooks and the Shelterwood is a notable one. The cover is made from an actual slice of American Cherrywood bonded to kraft paper. It’s almost magical to see something so thin and flexible made from wood. These are unfortunately completely sold out but you may be able to find them at a local stationary shop. The Ti-POST RAW is a pen completely made of titanium and feels quality thanks to its surprisingly heavy weight. It’s not exactly pretty but has a utilitarian charm and comes with a Uni-Ball Signo cartridges that turns out to be great for sketching. There’s also a removable stylus tip that comes in the box.

 
 
 
 

Stelton To Go 2.0 mug
$25
★☆☆☆

A good looking tumbler is seemingly impossible to find so I was excited to discover this offering from the Danish company, Stelton. It has a unique lid that opens via clicking it down, and allows you to drink from any side of the mug.There’s a bunch of interesting CMF options like copper but it suffers from some functional issues; it’s nowhere near as well insulated as choices from brands like Zojirushi and the click top makes it hard to tell if the lid is open or not. It’s an okay choice if you absolutely can’t live with the other hideous competitors out there.

 
 
 
 

Fino Kettle
$32
★★

A gooseneck kettle is considered a necessity if you make pour over coffee. I thought of getting a Hario but just couldn’t stand the Michelin Man-like design. The Fino is much more affordable alternative but still manages to feels solid and seems to pour just as well. It’s made in Japan so you can expect it to last too.

 
 
 
 

Vianel V3 Card Holder
$220
★☆☆☆

I really wanted to like this. Vianel is a new brand based out of New York that’s been making some really attractive products. The V3 is available in a bunch of sweet color combinations, this being navy calfskin with grey edge paint. The big problem with the card holder is that the slots are far to tight. It can barely take 5 cards, which is simply not enough to make it useful.

 
 
 
 

Menu Bottle Grinder (Small)
$25
★★★☆

Menu (or Menu Design Shop) is a Danish company that makes some of the most iconic modern living and dining products these days. This product has been specifically a favorite in our design studio thanks to its iconic form and subtle CMF. They have a soft touch finish and ceramic mills that grind both salt and pepper effortlessly. I particularly like how they store with their mills facing up so you won’t end up with salt and pepper particles everywhere

 
 
 
 

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030
$850
★★★★

This has been one of the best things I’ve acquired in the past year. If you’re looking for a 1080p projector and don’t want to spend a ridiculously large sum of money, this is a phenomenal option. It has two HDMI connections and a simple 3.5mm audio output for convenience. The picture quality is crisp, rainbow free and the 2030 does an awesome job at producing accurate, natural color without over saturating everything. Black levels aren’t as good as more premium models but other 1080p alternatives easily cost 2-4 times more.

 
 
 
 

Safilo by Marc Newson
$320
★★★★

To celebrate their 80th anniversary, Safilo created a family of frames called the “Capsule Collection”. Each pair of glasses features one of Safilo’s unique materials, in this case, Optyl, a plastic concocted by the company for ultra durability. As you’d expect, Marc Newson’s typical sensibility in form are present in the shape of the lens and the way the temples flow organically into the frames. They’re attractive, comfortable and designed by Newson. What more do you want?

 
 
 
20140817-L1020323.jpg
 

Muji Humidifier
NA
★★☆☆

As far as humidifiers go, this is as simple and humble as it gets. Most modern humidifiers use a piezoelectric transducer to atomize water and create mist. The Muji uses a traditional heating element to actually boil water and create evaporation. This does makes the unit inefficient and doesn’t create nearly enough steam for spaces larger than a studio apartment. I do appreciate the simple design and the magnetic power cable to shut the unit off when it falls over. This is a Japan-only product that’ll be hard to obtain outside of the country.

 
 
 
 

Heller Clear Mug
$12
★☆☆☆

This is the first product made by Heller and is designed by the legendary (and sadly recently deceased) Massimo Vignelli. Made from Lucite, the mug is considered an icon in the design community. Unfortunately, the manufacturing quality feels really poor by modern standards and comes off as retro, not classic. Atleast they’re fairly cheap.

 
 
 
 

Ten Key Calculator
$42
★★★☆

I don’t know if people still buy calculators but I always keep one on my desk because I suck at math. Designed by the infamous English design studio Industrial Facility, the Ten Key is somewhat of a modern classic. It’s a simple calculator but uses classic keyboard mechanisms for that nostalgic tactility. It’s a playful product that just makes you happy.

 
 
 
 

Dyson Air Multiplier AM06
$240
★★★☆

The AM06 is the latest iteration of Dyson’s Air Multiplier technology which creates a smooth airflow through a channel rather than using blades to chop air. The new model is now more energy efficient and 75% quieter than the previous. In my opinion, the greatest thing about the AM06 is its quiet operation. It’s almost silent at moderate speeds, making it perfect for keeping on while you sleep. Build quality isn’t as good as I had expected but it really is the best fan I’ve ever used. It better be though considering the premium price tag