Now that 2023 is well under way, here is a short list of some of my favourite products I used in 2022 that were new to me.
First some shoutouts for things that weren’t new, but that I loved anyway: my iPhone 12 mini, and Lego. The battery life on the mini could be better (especially after a couple years of heavy use), and I’m looking longingly at the cameras on the 14 Pros, but it’s the perfect form factor for me, and it still delights me every time I pick it up. Getting back into Lego, as many have done, has also been great. I find it remarkably therapeutic, and building with my son and his fiancee-to-be on Father’s Day was a particular highlight of the year.
Now the new products, in no particular order:
In 2020 I picked up a used Sony NEX-6 to get back into non-phone photography, but didn’t have a prime lens for it. The Samyang fills the bill nicely at a 52mm equivalent length with a good aperture while being nice and compact so the combination is convenient to carry. Although it tends to hunt for focus if the camera is set to continous AF, overall it’s hard to beat for the price. (C$230 for an open-box unit)
I held off getting an eReader for a long time, but I’m loving the Kobo. The screen is very nice, it’s plenty fast enough, has oodles of storage, and the Pocket and OverDrive integration are very useful. I haven’t used the bluetooth for audiobooks yet but appreciate the option being there, and while I hope I never need it the waterproofing is great for peace of mind. If you don’t need (or don’t want) to be in the Kindle ecosystem, it’s a great option.
A gift for Christmas 2021, I love this keyboard - the weight of it, the programmability, and (with tactile keyswitches) it’s quiet enough to be useable near other people sleeping. I particularly love being able to set different backlight colours for specific keys. There are plenty of trendier, higher end, or more customizable options, but it’s perfect for me right now. I have plans for some customization, both appearance and keyswitches, but for now I’m enjoying it as is.
Side note: links to good shine-through keycap sets with Apple-specific legends appreciated. In a perfect world, they’d also be retro-styled and double-shot PBT, but one takes what one can get.
After getting two more traditionally-styled kilts (one mid-weight, one heavier) in 2021 I was looking for something lighter for summer and ordered a SportKilt last spring. It’s lightweight enough to be very comfortable - especially in warm weather - while still having a decent hang/swing, and the velcro attachment is especially convenient while travelling. I ordered it with the sewn-down pleats option, which improves the look and hang, and the nylon side buckles: they’re not needed to hold it up, but they do provide some added security and a convenient place to clip your keys or a phone holster.
It’s good enough that I’m considering ordering at least one more from them, possibly their higher end Ultimate.
One final honourable mention for my iMac Pro: it’s not new, and it may be getting left behind by the transition to Apple Silicon, but it’s still the best computer I’ve ever owned.