This post has been in the making for a while… I thought I’d get together my list of gadgets I’ve got. 🙂
GARMIN / RUNNING
1. Garmin 610
Possibly my favourite and most used gadget of all, my Garmin 610. Touch screen, vibration alerts, looks great. Got mine in Chicago at the ‘Garmin Store’, when I didn’t really need it but wamted it. See a full review here.
2. Garmin 405
My first Garmin and one I keep ‘just incase’ anything were to happen to my 610. Still a good running watch, but not as superior as my 610. 😉
Usage: Used to be most days until I upgraded. Now on standby until I need it again.
3. Garmin heart rate monitor
Used to help me learn how to run and train to my heart rate. Love it. Good to be able to review on Garmin connect. See more about Heart Rate Training here and here: Heart Rate Training.
Usage: every time I exercise (so much so, the name has worn off it!).
4. Battery pack for Garmin
Great idea inspired by John Kynaston. I can make my Garmin last for days instead of the usual 4-6 hours. Sure, it’s a bit wirey, but it works and wasn’t all that expensive. See here how to make your own Garmin battery pack to make your Garmin last for 30+ hours. I wear it under a compression top normally, and just turn the battery pack on to boost the power. The only downside is that it doesn’t display the data when you’re charging it, but you just need to flick the power off to see it again.
Usage: every time I need my Garmin to last as long as I do.
See here for more posts on my blog about Garmin.
And see here for a review of which Garmin to buy.
You can get them cheapest from Amazon or Wiggle and I’d recommend you get a heart rate monitor version. 🙂 (And personally? I like the 610).
5. Speedo watch for swimming
This was a Christmas present (requested by me) from my Dad last Christmas. The idea of it is great and I’m sure it works well, but I haven’t had a chance to really get to grips with it. You need to press certain buttons to get certain results (and usually I’m quite intuitive with things like this), but I find it hard to remember what to do to get what. It gives you stokes per length, metres swum and lots more… but it’s perhaps just too technical and I might prefer to swim with my Timex Heart Rate monitor which gives me up to 30 splits and an ability to review my swim / heart rate whilst I swim.
See here for a full review of my speedo aquacoach watch .
Usage: When I swim (so not that often).
6. Timex watch with Heart Rate Monitor
I got this as a Christmas present from my brother in around 2008. It’s a good start out heart rate monitor which you can use as a timer too. I used mine a lot when I started out running and learned how to run to my heart rate. I remember looking down at it at my first 10k and it said 187! (my max was 192 at the time I think). I knew I was working hard, and the heart rate monitor just confirmed it.
Since then I used it a lot for when I was swimming as it’s good for timing splits and reviewing training sessions. Read Stu Littleman’s ‘Slow Burn’ for more about running to your heart rate. See more here: Heart Rate Training
Usage: not so much anymore, I use the watch just as a straight forward watch though.
7. Casio Sheen Digital watch
I’ve grown up with digital watches, and I love my silver Casio Sheen one… it’s functional and sleek. And it lights up in the dark too. 🙂
** Plus New White Timex watch from Sport Pursuit £20 down from £50 which I got from Santa 2012.**
8. Salter Scales
A great cheap, simple effective way for me to monitor my weight and body composition over the last 4 years. Helped me show and record weight loss of -24lbs and body fat reduction of 9%. Not sure how accurate they are, but as I’ve always used them its a set measure which can always be compared against using the same scales.
9. Withings Wifi Scale
I had looked at getting the Tanita BC545 scales (here’s the cheapest I found them, but the delivery takes a while as they come from France I believe) as a wee present for myself… but in the end, this year, Santa got me the Withings Wifi Scale (in white) instead. Sleek looking, simple and cleverly transfers your data via Wifi to your computer / withings app. It gives you weight, body fat and muscle mass. Full review to follow.
10. Nike+ chip for use with nano
I got my Nike+ chip in around 2008 when I started running more often. I used it with my nano and it gave you feedback in your ears as to how long you’d been running for. It also syncs up to Nike plus .com and allows you to build up through different levels (I got to black!), and compete with / challenge friends. I stopped using it so much when I got my Garmin, but I still like it as a motivational tool.
The chip could be a bit annoying and you had to use it with a nano, but apart from that it was good. I ended up leaving the chip at home and syncing my runs using my Garmins links and this converter tool. 🙂
Usage: when I ran until the Garmin replaced it.
11. Nike Fuel Band
A step up and advancement on the bike plus chip. I’m really loving my Nike fuel band. More about everyday activity than just running which the Nike + chip measured. Great that you can sync it by Bluetooth, use the app on your phone, and compete with friends. See full review / recommendation here: Why I like the Nike Fuel Band
Just a pity after around 105 days of usage it stopped working and I had to get a replacement! It’s working again now.
Usage: daily for the last 200+ days
APPLE MAC / MUSIC / COMPUTERS
12. iPod shuffle
My first ever apple music product. Now dead (its battery has died after me not using it since I got a nano), my brother Ross bought me my first ever shuffle in around 2007 or so. Small, easy to use and simple, it shuffled the music or plays it in order. Obviously not as good as the current iPod shuffle, and now it’s been relegated to a useless piece of plastic, but it still has a place in my heart. 🙂
Usage: Daily until my Nano came along
13. iPod nano
My brother Ross stepped up his fans the next year and randomly bought me an iPod Nano. And it is possibly the most used present I’ve EVER had! I used it with my Nike chip to record my miles, and used it daily whilst walking to work or exercising. I have music, audiobooks and podcasts on it.
It has my name inscribed on the back and I was very sad in July of this year to find that after around 4 very happy years with it, it seemed to have got some water damage in the track wheel and started to become unreliable. 😦 A very generous friend gave me his old nano, but it’s started freezing, so I’m borrowing Fit Girl’s one just now until I decide which one to get.
14. Bose Headphones
A bit of a treat to myself when I came into some money this year, I invested in a very good pair if Bose headphones to go with my nano. Great sound, and outside sound cancellation, great for and they stay in really well when running. The cable is a very distinctive black and white which I like. It makes me feel like I’m in a Bose club which only people who are have Bose headphones will know as they have the black and white cables too. 😉
Usage: daily with my nano.
15. Mac mini
I was forced to buy a new Mac Mini when my ‘hand-me-down’ relic of a Mac G5 tower died and forced me to move on. A tiny and beautiful bit of kit, the Mac mini is powerful, simple, and does exactly what I need. 🙂 I got the middle model.
16. Magic Mouse
The best mouse in the world. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve tried it. Swoosh your finger up and the page goes down, swoosh it to the right and the page goes to the previous page. It is better than any mouse at I’ve used at work (pc track wheel/ laser ones) and its well worth the price tag. (I would have got a track pad but I find the Magic Mouse easier to use).
Usage: Daily with my Mac
17. Wacom Tablet
I’ve used tablets with computers since I was young. It makes it easier to write online / on pictures and makes it easier to be accurate when manipulating images. My brother Ewen has borrowed my one just now and I’m hoping I can get it back soon!
Usage: Would be weekly, when I get it back!
18. iPad mini
I got an iPad mini in the middle of November and I love it. I’d always wanted an iPad since they came out, but didn’t fancy the £400 price tag, or the A4 size. I like little things (books / gadgets that fit in my hand / bag) so I thought this would be ideal. I got the white 16gb wifi model as I’m sure it will suit my needs. And if I want to go on the Internet whilst I’m out I can get wifi in a coffee shop or use my phone if I need to.
19. iPhone 5 (camera, phone, email, blog, apps)
Quick, slim, light, simple, does everything I need it to. I got the iPhone 3GS as my first iPhone having had mainly Sony Ericssons in the past. What a difference! For me, iPhones are meant to be. I love it. 🙂
20. USB Superdrive (Mac)
I just got this USB Superdrive so I can’t really comment on it much… apart from the fact that Mac don’t supply CD / DVD drives anymore as part of the computer units… so you have to buy a separate drive if you want to burn /play DVDs. I could have got a cheaper non mac one, but I thought, why not? It’s tiny, sleek, well designed and works well.
Usage: once a month maybe
21. NUDolphin MP3 player (for swimming)
Another Christmas present from my rather generous brother Ross. I asked for it this time and was well impressed when I got it around 2009 time. I used it a lot when I swam and it worked well.
There were a few niggles with it, like the earphones falling out as you swam, and the fact that it was only compatible with mp3s (most music now is in another format), but apart from that it was fine. Although I did have to replace the headphones once as water ultimately got in and damaged them.
I found I could use them when I simply swam up and down and I got many curious looks back and questions then (now they are more common place I think). But I stopped using it really when I had to concentrate on my swimming and which set to do next as part of my routine. I found I couldn’t listen to music in the pool and count lengths. 😉
Usage: Twice a week in 2010, then not so much.
22. Nikon F50 (don’t use anymore)
My first ever SLR camera. I was fortunate to be bought this by my Dad when I was about 15. A great camera, although not digital, and I’ve not used it for years. It has a special place in my heart and is a great bit if kit (for its time).
Usage: None anymore, it’s sitting getting old in a cupboard!
23. Polaroid Camera (don’t use anymore)
A cheap fun, Polaroid camera that I got in around the year 2000. I found it was just too expensive to get film for all the time. I still have it though, and I’m sure it would work if I got the film for it. Maybe I should revive it? 😉
Usage: frequently when I got it, it’s sitting in a cupboard now.
24. Fuji Digital Camera (dead)
My first digital camera which I bought in 1999. It was pretty expensive then, maybe £500 and it really was the best of the best at the time. 2 megapixels, with a screen to display the photos you’ve taken. It was a funny shape but I loved it.
I used it for my degree and most strangely after I had a car accident. I’d just bought it and I’d been playing about with taking photos of myself and then looking at them on the camera. Then when I crashed my car (and hot my face off the steering wheel) I couldn’t see what damage is done to myself, so I took a photo of myself just after it happened. I could see that it wasn’t too bad. Then over two weeks I took photos to see the progress I was making.
Perhaps it was an odd thing to do, but shock can make you do funny things. If you ever wonder why I have a squinty nose, now you know why (car crash 1999).
Usage: Weekly throughout uni (1999-2001). Now sits in the cupboard and I’m sure the battery is dead!
25. Sony Powershot camera (use as a spare)
My second digital camera. Compact, easy to use, good quality. 8 mega pixels and a good deal when we got it. Used it to trips up mountains and trips abroad. Been superseded by my Panasonic Lumix camera below.
Usage: monthly as we can use our phones as cameras daily if we need them.
26. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35 camera
16 megapixels, great quality, does everything a compact camera needs to do. We use it on walking / hiking trips and holidays abroad to capture our experiences.
Usage: monthly as we can use our phones as cameras daily if we need them.
27. Muvi Atom camera (not using as much as I used to)
I got this, another Christmas present from my very generous brother Ross! (Thank you Ross!). I was wanting a camera to take on runs with me so that I could capture some of what I saw, and share it on my blog.
2 megapixels, tiny, with no viewfinder or screen, it had its pluses and its minuses. The pluses being that it was small, easy to carry and clip on and easy to transfer the photos from minuses that the quality of the pictures and videos were usually pretty poor. It doesn’t handle darkness or movement very well, and sometime you wouldn’t know what you were taking a photo of as you couldn’t see the picture you were taking.
But it did what I wanted, be small, easy to carry and take photos to give people an idea of my run / experience. Here are some examples of when I’ve used it: 15.4M Rowardennan, 26.8M Milngavie to Drymen and back
After sales has been good. They’ve replaced a broken clip twice for me. But recently I’ve stopped using it as much as I feel the lack of quality isn’t worth it.
Usage: twice a week for a bit, recently not so much.
*** Dream camera for running with *** Go Pro camera (but perhaps too big)
The Go Pro camera is amazing for taking stills and videos whilst in action. See examples here:
It’s got the price tag you’d expect, and ideally I’d prefer to have a camera that is tiny, but still has the quality and functions if the Go Pro camera, so I’m holding out for that bit of technology to come out before I invest in a new camera to take on my runs. 🙂
Ideally I’d like a camera to be light, maybe smaller than credit card size, able to clip on, with excellent quality. I may be waiting a while, but if you hear if any, please let me know. 😉
28. Samsung TV
26 inch, fits well in my livingroom, simple, sleek design. 🙂
Usage: daily for news and wind down telly.
29. Awia Stereo with speakers in every room linked up to the Mac mini
My Dad bought me this as a present when I was around 15 (1995). It has 5 surround sound speakers, which I adapted to be used so that I had speakers in every room in my flat. Now it’s linked up to my Mac mini, I can play my music (and the radio, CDs (!) and tapes (!!)) through my flat. It’s old, and probably due an upgrade sometime soon… I shall need to investigate!
30. Surround sound system for the TV
Goes with the telly. Surround sound, so you get sounds behind your head when watching films etc. does what it says on the tin.
Usage: daily with telly
31. O2 Wifi
Cheap, reliable, works well. What more can I say?
32. Sony Dream Machine Alarm clock
Looks good, but unreliable as an alarm clock! I’d read some reviews on Amazon saying that sometimes the alarm didn’t go off and that it was unreliable. So I didn’t pay top dollar for it, instead I bought a used one from Amazon for £50.
Turns out all the problems mentioned in the reviewed were right: freezes, alarm doesn’t go off, doesn’t do what it’s designed to do. Not what you’d expect from a Sony product. It’s ok though, I got my money back. So now it just acts as a fancy clock / digital photo frame and we use out iPhone to wake us up! Don’t buy it!
Usage: daily for the time, never as an alarm clock! But it’s ok, it ended up being for free!
33. Samsung TV
17 inch telly to watch BBC Breakfast on when I get a week day lie in. We tend not to watch telly in bed at night, but it’s useful to have it there just incase. It’s up on the wall out of the way and I like it. 🙂
Usage: a couple of tunes a week.
34. GHD Straighteners
I’m not sure why I put these in. I guess they are something that I use every day, but they’re maybe not a gadget. We’ve had numerous straighteners, and ended up opting for GHDs when all the others ones broke and never seemed as good as GHDs anyway. You get what you pay for.
35. Dyson DC24 Lightweight Hoover
And whilst we’re on gadgets that were expensive but maybe shouldn’t be on this list, my Dyson is another one which I ended up buying after cheap Hoover after cheap Hoover gave up and went to the scrap heap. Light, easy to store and manoeuvre and the price tag was reasonable.
36. Cuisineart Soupmaker
Another one if my most used presents. Fit Girl got me this a few years ago, and I have to say its one of my best presents yet. It’s so simple and easy to use. It doubles up as a blender and is so quick and easy to clean.
To make soup, turn it on, put in the roughly chopped veg and stock, put the heater and timer on. Hey presto, 20 – 30 minutes later with a few stirs and it’s ready.
To make milkshakes, put in the (any) ingredients and blend. Some links: Lentil Soup Recipe, Carrot & Coriander Soup, Leek, Brocolli & Ginger Soup, Tomato Basil & Chill Soup, Carrot, Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup. Smoothies, Milkshakes.
To clean, but in a bit if water and fairy liquid, set to blend, then rinse. Easy peasy.
37. Zanussi Touch hob
Another one that maybe doesn’t deserve to go in this list, but when I was doing up my kitchen I decided a ceramic hob with digital/touch display was a must. Zanussi, good quality, easy to use and clean.
38. Kenwood Combi Microwave
After 8 years, my old well used Samsung microwave started sparking a bit on the inside recently, so I thought it was time for a new one. I got a good deal on a a rather smart looking and shiny Kenwood one… mirrored front, red digits… I have to say it looks pretty cool in my kitchen… and it was £40 off too. 🙂
And finally… two other gadgets I almost forgot about:
39. Toshiba 7 inch portable DVD player
I got this so that I could play and workout to Insanity, anywhere. It’s a good little DVD player and does the job well. I think I’ll be using this in January – March 2013 to keep me away from the busy gym and to compliment my training for my Glasgow Marathon.
Usage: when I’m doing Insanity.
40. WD 1TB Backup Drive
I got this Western Digital 1TB backup drive to back up my Mac a few years ago, and thank god I did. Time machine backs up to it daily, and when my G5 went on the blink, all of my data was saved on my backup. All I did to restore it all was plug the backup into my new mac mini, and hey presto, it was all back! Phew.
Usage: daily, in the background.
Phew! That’s it, my list of gadgets and the occasional dream gadget. I have 40 in total, although granted a few maybe shouldn’t be on the list or are dead or not used anymore.
How many gadgets do you have?