Something I haven’t done before. Here’s a list of things you’ve asked me to review (mostly on Instagram) but I wasn’t motivated enough to. Many of these are also not interesting enough for the typical full-length review. To cut to the chase, I’ve given them a rating.
Disclaimer: Some of these products have been given to me by their manufacturers.
Braun BN-32WHS 6/10
Void V02 8/10
These are the two watches you’ll catch me wearing these days. Both are “reasonably” priced at $200 and get tons of attention. The Braun does scratch rather easily and the crown is fiddly, especially when adjusting the date. I’d avoid the black model as it’s prone to chipping. The Void’s copper casing looks great in my opinion but if you don’t, there are other material options available. The sharp edge is inherently easy to nick and the crazy double-handed hands are tricky to read.
Sony MDR-1R 8.5/10
Currently my favorite pair of headphones. The MDR-1R come only in black in the US so if you want this silver/brown combo, you’ll have to order from Japan. They sound balanced, crisp and have just the right amount of punch. The plush earpads are insanely comfortable (even with glasses) and the removable cable is beautifully integrated into the hinge. Unfortunately, most of the silver is just painted plastic but the sound quality keeps me coming back.
Sony XBA-4iP 6/10
In terms of design, these are atrocious. However, the XBA-4iP sound incredible. Each earbud (yes, each) have four balanced armatures built in. Four fucking balanced armatures - full range, tweeter, woofer, and super woofer. This makes them quite large but the nasty plastic casing makes them very light and comfortable. If sound quality is all that matters, these are a good choice.
Bowers & Wilkins C5 6.5/10
These are amazing. Somehow, B&W has managed to make a pair of earbuds that sound as impressive as the Sony XBA-4iP for less money, using a single speaker. The C5s use innovative micro porous filters and a unique loop design that fit me but many people find uncomfortable. The biggest problem with the C5s is that they break very easily. Know what you’re getting yourself into if you buy these. They’re a Jaguar, not a Lexus.
dyson DC44 Animal 7/10
The dyson DC44 is a rechargeable, cordless vacuum perfect for the apartment dweller like me. The electric motor is powerful enough for carpet cleaning and the vacuum is compact enough to take into the garage to clean the car. There’s plenty of attachments for all kinds of scenarios too. Seems a bit overpriced but thumbs up nevertheless.
Bialetti Pasta Pot 9.5/10
My current obsession. The Bialetti Pasta Pot is the greatest pasta pot you will ever own. It’s teflon coated and comes in a wide range of colors. The width of the pot is dictated by the typical length of pasta noodles so you don’t have to break your beautiful linguini in half. The lid locks securely in place when you’re draining water and the ridges on the edge of the lid allow water to flow even when the pasta is blocking the stamped holes. This will increase your quality of life.
The Kyocera is made of ceramic, not metal which means that the blade doesn’t dull nearly as easily. The downside of ceramic is that it chips and shatters, rather than bending like metal. It’s unbelievably light, very sharp, and comes with a lifetime Kyocera warranty. The knife is too fragile for heavy users but ideal for someone like me that doesn’t cook every meal.
The Chemex is an icon. If you drink drip coffee, you can’t really go wrong with this, it’s simple, looks like nothing else out there and makes good coffee. The coffeemaker pours very cleanly, which is my favorite part.
This is a fantastic book about Nokia’s typeface, Nokia Pure. Brilliantly executed and an inspiration for any designer. At $40, it’d be a crime for a designer to not own a copy of this.
The Arc Touch Mouse's elaborate folding mechanism will make you want one instantly. It’s beautifully engineered and the perfect mouse for the traveller. My only problem is that the glossy back plastic gets greasy too easily and the scroll wheel feels too grippy. And before you ask, yes, it works with the Mac.
Surface Pro 7.5/10
If you’re a product designer, this is porn. The VaporMg casing, perimeter venting and ultra-thin touch cover are all very impressive. I’m also in love with the monolithic power adapter which has a USB port to charging your phone. The problem is that the Surface Pro doesn’t fit into my current work flow. I use a Retina MacBook Pro for personal use, a HP Z1 Workstation for heavy duty work, an iPad mini for reading and the Nokia 920 as my phone.
The new Airport Extreme is from another planet. A planet of insane maniacs that invest time to make something trivial as a router look this amazing. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, period. I’m sure it performs well too but I’m no expert on routers. It works, it’s beautiful, and it’s very expensive.