The ZDNet team reveals their essential tech buys, favorite gadgets

The ZDNet team reveals their essential tech buys, favorite gadgets

Summary: What do tech bloggers say when asked what their favorite, essential and most useful gadgets and tech products are? The answers from the team at ZDNet may surprise you.


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  • Ed Bott: Logitech Harmony remote control


    Ed Bott, ZDNet contributor, award-winning technology writer and Microsoft expert said:

    This certainly isn't a business tool, but it's an essential gadget for sure.

    The Logitech Harmony remote control.

    I've owned a couple of these. The current one I have is about five years old and just keeps plugging away.

    The easiest way to explain it is that this device saves marriages.

    You use a web configuration utility to set up your home theater, XBox, cable box, Apple TV, and other audio/video equipment. And then you put all the individual remote controls in a drawer and you use a single remote that actually controls everything, intelligently. It doesn’t take a lot of tech knowledge to program it, and it takes no tech knowledge to use it. Perfect for mixed marriages (one's a gearhead, the other's not) and for houseguests.

    I can't imagine going back to needing two or three separate remotes.

    Product: Logitech Harmony remote control

    Blog: The Ed Bott Report

  • Larry Seltzer: Panasonic cordless phones


    Larry Seltzer, ZDNet contributor and security expert said:

    We got a new set of Panasonic cordless phones recently, and you can pair two cell phones with the base station, so that when a call (or text!) comes in to the cell phones it’s reflected out to the cordless phones. As a result, we can leave our cell phones in one spot near the base station to charge and then pick up calls to them just about anywhere in the house.

    We have a landline, but I hear people often use these sets to go all-cellular.

    Product: Panasonic cordless phones

    Blog: Zero Day

Topics: Emerging Tech, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Innovation

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  • As a retired Chrysler engineer, David's choice brought a tear to my eye.

    Well, maybe not tears but it's always nice to see a little bit of love directed towards my old friends in Auburn Hills, Mi.

    Thanks, David. Happy Fourth of July.
    • Amen!

      I am a mopar guy from way back!
    • I am not a muscle car guy

      But the Challenger is sweet! It is interesting he talks about the tech because I was struck by how simple the car felt. I mean that in a good way. It is cool that they hide the tech so that it feels a little like the original.
  • Something to look for

    I have never encounterred Larry's choice before, but it seems like something that would suit my household well.
    • Panasonic makes a number of cordless phones.

      I was not able to figure out which model Larry has from the picture.
  • Is this July 4th or December 25th?

    Just asking.. I'm not sure how your American holidays work other than they all seem to involve buying things...
    • Winning our independence from those Brits made our ancestors a bit giddy,

      They celebrated by buying things like tea without having to pay exorbitant taxes.

      We just carried on the buying tradition. Grin.
      • There's no sales tax on tea? I'm in!

        However... last time I was in the states, the tea was terrible, lipton's tea?! Bleurgh if I had to live with that, I'd chuck it in the dock too!

        Happy 4th of July weekend America. I may be proudly British, but that far back all my relatives were Swedish, so I bare no ill will. Hope you all have a blast!
        • Thanks.

          The fireworks were bright, colorful and loud last night. Now, it's time to watch some world class tennis taking place across that pond of yours.
    • Buying stuff keeps the masses busy

      So that they don't realize that the US empire is worse than the British empire, and will soon suffer the same fate!
  • And then the world caught the same bug

    Interesting to note that what you did to us Brits would now be classed as an insurgency and our response would have been a legitimate war on terror.

    Funny how things turn out.
    Little Old Man
    • Modern terrorist acts are classified as deadly acts

      primarily against civilian populations. Leave it to the Brits to define any peaceful opposition to the King's rule as acts of terrorism.

      At least the original thirteen colonies's opposition to British colonial rule was initially peaceful and then only escalated into an actual military conflict when England sent the troops and Navy "across the pond" and attacked first. I don't recall any attacks from the colonies directed against military or civilian targets on English soil. But then History is always written by the winners so I could be wrong about that. Grin.
  • Stream files from iPad to Chromecast!

    Just tried out Stratospherix FileBrowser app's new ChromeCast support, and it works great! Linux Computer as a file server (the app found it on its own!), then iPad stream to Chromecast. No stutters through a long movie!
    Tony Burzio
  • Northgate Omnikey 102

    I've been using this keyboard for 28 years an the keys have not worn at all. And the function keys are on the left where God wanted them to be.
  • My Logitech Trackman Marble...

    ... is the one device that's followed me from PC to PC. Even better, I have the wireless version
    Brian Steele (2014)
  • Ha

    No love for Microsoft in this list I see.
    Rann Xeroxx
  • Copy

    The ZDNet Team should be ashamed of the atrocious English used by their so-called copy editing team of ALL the newsletter articles they publish from the individual writers.

    If I were a writer submitting articles for publication then I would expect to review what was being published by ZDNet under my name before it goes to print. But, after hearing from some of the newsletter authors, they don't get that chance from ZDNet and consequently 100% of everything ZDNet publishes is done with numerous grammatical errors by their so-called copy editing team! UGH!
  • Harmony Remote

    I have 4 of them and love them all (mostly). You would think Ed's comment about saving marriages would make sense... but since when do women make sense? I can't seem to get my wife (or her sister) to realize that "Watch TV" will make the TV work. (Or that pressing Help may assist you, for that matter.)