Products I Own (Updated January 2020)

It’s always interesting to hear what products other people use and why. This is a short list of things I own with brief descriptions, detailed reviews where complete.

Category Product Competitors Why Notes
Computer MacBook Pro Dell XPS, HP, Asus Zenbook macOS stability, iMovie, longevity I still prefer Macs for daily use, but Windows is narrowing the gap. Even Chromebooks have their niche. Things I dislike on MacBook: butterfly keyboard, soldered RAM.
Custom built desktop Mainstream laptops More computing power, upgrade flexibility, gaming Great for difficult encoding tasks, gaming, and multi-monitor setups. It’s amazing how much machine you can get for your money now.
Phone iPhone XR Other iPhone models, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy iOS.  To me, the XR (iPhone 11 in 2019/2020) is the sweet spot for value. If you want optical zoom, buy an external lens adapter on Amazon. If I was on Android, I’d go for the Pixel 3a and plan to upgrade in 2 years.

Bose QuietComfort 25

AirPods Gen 2

Beats Studio, Sennheiser, Shure, others

Bose: Best noise canceling and comfort on flights/trains.

Airpods: Best everyday use for calls.

I prefer over-the-ear to wear for more than 3 hours, and the Bose have the best noise canceling I’ve heard. Or not heard? Whichever. For train rides and phone calls though, I love my AirPods. Gotta be Gen 2, Gen 1 batteries die too quickly.
Television Samsung 55″ 4k UN55JU6500 LG, Sony, Panasonic, Vizio I specifically bought this as a “stop-gap” TV until LG’s OLEDs (the gold standard) decrease to under $1k Review sites rave about the TCL 6-series as the best value TV, but in my experience they’ve had terrible grayscale banding (dark to light doesn’t blend smoothly but has strips of color bands). 
Toilet Seat (yes…) Toto Washlet C100 Any non-bidet seat, BioBidet Once you’ve used Japanese toilets, it’s difficult to go back. Heated seat, warm water wash with adjustable pressure and position, dryer Better than a cold Euro bidet and miles better than just toilet paper. Americans, keep an open mind – and trial privately if you’re nervous. Retails around $250 and worth every penny.
Mattress Purple Casper, Tuft and Needle, Loom and Leaf, a whole host of Chinese import brands, and Temper-Pedic Special “hyper-elastic polymer” layer is Purple’s secret sauce. (Which makes it very heavy, 100+ lbs) This segment has the most misinformation out there, with so many paid promotion reviewers. I trialed many of the new memory foam mattresses and of them, liked Purple the most. However, it hasn’t stayed comfortable over time, and I no longer recommend it.