Two weeks ago, our Techie Top 5 featured the picks of David Pierce, the senior reviews editor at The Verge. But before he worked there, Pierce founded Digitizd, another tech news website that offers insights into the constantly changing Web 2.0 landscape.
The reins at Digitizd have since passed to Adam Thompson, whom we sat down with to get the scoop on his five favorite gadgets. He prefaced his list with this: "My list is a bit different from most. Instead of listing the most amazing, awesome gadgets, I like high-quality gadgets that are super-affordable. They might not have as many nice features, but they get the job done at a price almost anyone can afford. After all, which is better: an awesome toy/gadget you know you shouldn't spend the money on, or a nice toy/gadget you can comfortably afford? For many of us, the latter is the better option."
We couldn't have said it better.
SanDisk 8GB Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player
$54.99 with free shipping, a low by $5
Who needs an iPod when you've got one of these MP3 players handy? "I've had one of these for years; it's tiny, inexpensive, and I think it may be indestructible," Thompson says. "It may not be fancy, but it plays the exact same music as players that cost twice as much. What more can you ask for?" Actually, don't answer that. Thompson doesn't want to buy a new MP3 player with more goodies on it until he absolutely must.
Sony MDR-J10 Headphones
$9.99 with free shipping, a low by $1
If you listen to tunes while commuting or working out, you risk earbud breakage every single day. And unless you have a pair of cheap headphones, this can be a heartbreaking occurrence. "If you're anything like me, you've destroyed more than one set of headphones by stepping on the cord or getting it caught on a doorknob," Thompson says. The Sony MDR-J10 Headphones are his solution for MP3 players subjected to on-the-go listening situations. "They are super cheap, sound fine, and won't fall out of your ears."
Belkin AC Anywhere 300W Power Inverter
$35.84 with free shipping, a low by $4
Never be without juice! No, not apple or orange, but power for that ever-draining laptop battery. "This gadget converts 12V DC to 110V AC, which lets you keep your laptop and other devices plugged in while you're driving," Thompson says. "It's the perfect solution if you need to work while you're on the road," though of course you don't want to drive and use your laptop at the same time.
iView 760TPC 7" 4GB Android Tablet
$89.99 with $7.99 s&h, a low by $1
This tablet provides the very basics: a 1.2GHz processor with 512MB RAM, and 8GB of storage. As Thompson puts it, "This tablet won't win any awards. But it's a good, inexpensive tablet and it's great for email, IM, games, web browsing, and other light-to-medium weight use." Speaking of weight, it tips the scales at 2 lbs.
Motorola Droid X
$132.49 with $4.57 s&h, a low by $8
CNET raved about this phone when it came out in 2010: "The Motorola Droid X makes another fine addition to Verizon's Android family, bringing with it a rich multimedia experience and more connectivity features." Thompson still loves it today, even though it isn't as shiny and new as the Samsung Galaxy S III or the iPhone 5: "My trusty little smartphone has handled everything I asked of it, from email to Netflix," he says. "Well, I take that back. It was unable to handle a dousing in salt water. (Oops!) I suppose I should upgrade to 4G at least, but I'm still not sure what my next phone will be." Hopefully, he'll find something just as reliable — and if it's impervious to liquid, all the better.