I’m looking back at all of the products I’ve reviewed and used in 2010, and 10 favorites clearly stood out. Each has earned a place in my heart as particularly great. To get on this list, the product had to be something I use regularly and enjoy.
I picked the Kindle DX up to review thinking it was too big, and that it would end up on my shelf unused after a couple of days. Instead I fell in love with it, and it goes with me wherever I go. The larger screen allows me to put more text on the page, so I’m not flipping as often, and allows me to use larger text so I’m not straining my eyes and can work in low light. While I do miss a cover with a built-in book light like the regular Kindle, I can’t give up the extra size, and for me, the iPad just hasn’t been a real alternative. I have the latest model in black, and it did cost $379 but I really don’t know what I’d do without my Kindle. It is the one product I don’t go anyplace without.
This laptop has been a real champ this year, and I now have two of them with one as a backup. This laptop has been a dream. No problems, Nvidia graphics when I want to play games, embedded graphics when I need the battery life. It looks cool, and it is small enough to use in coach without sucking in my gut. The latest model switches between graphics chips automatically, and has an updated Intel processor, so it is even better now. Some folks carry what their company gives them, I carry what I want, and currently I want my Alienware M11X.
With a 1,000-watt motor and a frame that was based on a bike sold to the US military for paratroopers, this bike is my own personal dream come true. With substantial power for the hills, the ability to fold it up and put it in the back of my car, and stealth black finish, this has been a wonder to enjoy the California sun. It will go up most hills with only a little added work and can really put on the speed when you need that burst to get through a light. This is my second electric bicycle, and by far my favorite of the set. Electric cars may not yet make sense for most of us, but electric bikes have arrived and I love my M-750.
I have 5 Roombas in various states of repair, and not a damn one of them vacuums very well. They also wander around the floor like a blind, nose-less mouse. Basically they are stupid sweepers. The Neato uses a technology similar to what is being used in self-driving cars, and it is a real vacuum cleaner, so it actually vacuums up the dirt, it doesn’t just try to sweep it in. This means it looks around the room, figures out how to best cover the space, and then it executes a plan. Personally I think it is smarter than most politicians. If I could, I’d vote it into office.
This is the only purpose-built treadmill desk, and I should use it more than I do. Still, it allows me to exercise while I’m working and that is pretty much all the exercise I get in a day, so it is very important to my health. The treadmill is designed to work for extended periods quietly, at walking speeds, and you can adjust it electrically for height. It is very large as well, so you can spread your stuff around and pretty much live on it. When I bring folks into the house this is one of the things most seem to lust after, and it may yet save my life or at least extend it. Products that help you live better longer should be at the top of a list, and it is on the top of mine.