Gadgets You Can’t Live Without

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Yesterday Frank’s blog touched on the gadget he can’t live without. Like Frank, several of our engineers made a tough decision and named their favorite gadgets. Check out the responses from Josh Killinger, Todd Gustafson and Tony Martin.

Josh Can’t Live Without Kindle

I received a baseline Amazon Kindle for Christmas this past year. It doesn’t have any of the advertised bells and whistles, only a Wi-Fi feature so that I am able to easily download new books to my device. The Kindle is about the same size and weight as a thin paperback book, which is fantastic when you compare it to the size of a 1,000 page novel.

The two features I love most about it, though, are the e-ink screen and the availability of reading material. The e-ink screen is unlike any electronic device’s screen out there. It is slow to update, taking about as long as turning a page in a book, but it looks and feels just like you are reading a page from a book. There is no eye-strain from the screen because the screen is not a light source. It is also incredibly low-power, because aside from updating the screen, no power is used to maintain the image.  If the Wi-Fi is turned off, the battery, charged fully in a few hours with my micro-USB cell-phone charger, will last for weeks.

The availability of books has been one of my favorite features of the Kindle. I don’t have to go to the store, library, or a friend’s house to pick up a book I want to read. I simply search on or through the Kindle Store on my device, and buy or borrow the book I want. Seconds later, I have the book or novella downloaded to my Kindle ready for me to curl up under a blanket for an hour to wind down before going to sleep.

Todd’s go-to gadget? Chromebook.

The gadget I could not live without currently, because gadgets come and go, is my Chromebook. The Chromebook is less powerful, has fewer features, and costs less money than the traditional laptop or netbook. Even with less, it accomplishes everything I need it to do. Today people fight over which operating system is best (we all know Linux is the best), but those same people rarely use any feature other than the browser. That is why a Chromebook is so perfect. When you want to buy something on Amazon or look up a YouTube video while watching TV, nothing is easier than this gadget. The 8+ hour battery life is great as well. When compared to an iPad, the Chromebook has a larger screen, equivalent battery life and even includes a keyboard for hundreds less! It provides every function I need. That is why I couldn’t do without my Chromebook.

Tony’s Sticking with His Smart Phone

Everybody has a smart phone today and they are very useful.  I feel lost without one.  They definitely fill a need both for business and for pleasure.  Another gadget that I love is my smart body scale, by Withings.  This Wi-Fi connected scale not only measures your weight, it also captures and monitors your fat and lean mass.  It uses this data to automatically computer your body mass index (BMI) and provides that data through a free internet service to your mobile devices and your computer.  But there’s more…It manages this data for up to 8 people automatically recognizing each person just by stepping on the scale.  Users can choose to share or not share the data and graphs with others as well.