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5 tech gadgets I never leave home without (and they make great gifts)

My iPhone and Apple Watch aside, these five things are the gadgets that I make sure are with me every time I leave home.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Tech gadgets on blue and green background
Apple, Apricorn, KeySmart, Rolling Square, and YubiKey.

I get to handle and review a lot of gadgets over the course of a year. Some good (this is the stuff you get to read about), a lot of it entirely forgettable (you don't get to hear about this).

But many people are curious about the tech that I use and find invaluable in my day-to-day life.

I'm leaving my iPhone 14 Pro Max and my Apple Watch Ultra out of this list. While these are my most-used bits of tech by far, they're rather dull.

So, this is the other stuff that I use. Most of what I'm listing here is platform-agnostic, but if anything is specifically Apple-centered, I'll offer an alternative.

Also: These are my 5 must-have devices for work travel now

So, let me empty out my pockets and take you on a quick tour of the gadgets that have been the most useful to me in 2022.

YubiKey 5 NFC

YubiKey 5 NFC

YubiKey 5 NFC.


If you're not using hardware two-factor authentication (also known as multi-factor authentication or two-step verification), then you should. This combined USB-A and NFC security key replaces getting sent SMS messages by online services to authenticate that you, are indeed, you.

I keep a USB-A to USB-C adapter handy, so I can attach this to more modern devices. Since it has both USB-C and NFC, the key works with a whole host of devices, from iPhone to Android, to Windows and Mac systems.

Also: Using the wrong USB-C cable can damage your tech

This key can be used for hundreds of online services, from Facebook, Google, and Twitter to more specific services, such as Coinbase, Salesforce, and Login.gov. Your YubiKey can also be used to secure password storage services such as Bitwarden, Password Safe, and LastPass.

Highly recommended.

Apple AirTags

Apple AirTag

Apple AirTag.


I have these on everything -- on my keys, my luggage, my laptop bag, my e-bike, and even my car. 

They take all the stress out of misplacing stuff. I've forgotten what it's like to lose my keys or wonder where my luggage might have wandered off to.

Also: 5 ways AirTags can help you, beyond tracking keys

To attach the AirTag to my keys, I use the KeySmart Air holder.

Perfect for anyone who has an iPhone!

I used to be a massive Tile fan and still recommend it to my Android-using friends (truth is, I still have a number of Tiles in use, but I'm phasing them out over time).

KeySmart MultiTool 5-in-1

KeySmart Multitool 5-in-1

KeySmart Multitool 5-in-1.


I've had this on my keys for a couple of months now and I love it. It's a small slab of stainless steel that features a Phillips screwdriver, box cutter, ruler, prybar, and flat-head screwdriver.

When combined with the KeySmart NanoScissors, it's a brilliant, lightweight combo of tools that I can keep on my keyring. 

Rolling Square inCharge 6-in-1 Cable

Rolling Square inCharge 6-in-1 Cable

Rolling Square inCharge 6-in-1 Cable.

Rolling Square

This is a tiny cable that has it all when it comes to connectors. While I don't rely on this for regular charging, it's the perfect backup cable for those times when I've misplaced the cable I need. It includes: 

  • USB to USB-C
  • USB to Lightning
  • USB to microUSB
  • USB-C to USB-C
  • USB-C to Lightning
  • USB-C to microUSB

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3 NXC

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3 NXC

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3 NXC.


Nothing gives you a sense of security like having a copy of your most important data with you at all times. Better still, to have it encrypted such that you can access it, but no one else can.

This offers just that -- a really high level of security, yet the ease and convenience of a USB flash drive.

Also: The best USB flash drives

This flash drive might seem like overkill, but this takes the concept of the ordinary USB flash drive and elevates it to James Bond status.

Nobody's getting at any data you have on this.

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