Our Favorite Gadgets of 2022: The staff at Engadget sees a lot of cool techs, and we also buy a lot of cool tech for ourselves. While some of us replaced our televisions in 2022, others splurged on high-quality cooking tools and time-saving office equipment. However, there are many items that we have recently enjoyed that haven’t yet been included on the site. Here, we take stock of the last year by reminiscing about the best purchases our employees made.
Nest Hub Max
Over the past year, my Nest Hub Max has offered me the most delight of any electronic device I own. Every day, I get to relive the best moments from my son’s childhood thanks to a slideshow I created in Google Photos and uploaded to an album I linked to the Nest Hub. They say children mature rapidly, and that’s absolutely true. The Nest Hub max is not only a vital component of my smart home but also a photo viewer that I can operate with my voice. – Reporter on Staff Sam Rutherford
55-inch LG B2 OLED smart TV
When deciding what major expenditures to make for our new house, I knew I wanted a new television as soon as possible. We needed a new one for the living room right away because my fiance had moved our old one to the basement to use as a man cave, and I was hoping to get a decent deal during Amazon’s October Prime Day sale. When the price of the 55-inch LG B2 OLED smart TV dropped below $1,000 around that time, I decided to spend on it. To say that we were shocked by the quality as soon as we set up the TV compared to our old LED TV would not be an exaggeration. Compared to our previous TV, this one has significantly deeper blacks and more vivid colors.
So far, we’ve used it to watch a wide variety of content, from live sports to documentaries to comedies, and have been impressed with the picture quality. The webOS on LG’s devices likewise exceeded our expectations. We’ve never had a TV like this before, but how to use it was a breeze. We appreciate the flexibility of the home screen and the ability to move around the screen with the directional buttons on the remote or the on-screen mouse. My fiance now prefers to watch the weekend’s sporting events on the B2 rather than in his basement man cave, earning it the nickname “excellent TV” in our household. Authored by Senior Business Editor Valentina Palladino
Chase Bliss Gen Loss v2
I haven’t been coy about the fact that I enjoy shabby or damaged media. To say the least. For my part, I enjoy warbles. I’ve tried a lot of different things in my quest to make all of my instruments sound like they’re coming from an ancient tape player, but after pre-ordering the Generation Loss MKII in June, I think I’ve finally found what I’ve been looking for.
The Cooper FX founder Tom Majeski, who designed the legendary lo-fi pedal known as the Generation Loss, has been collaborating with the restless tinkerers at Chase Bliss for the past year. The first thing he did was upgrade his vintage pedal. Although it is advertised as a “VHS duplicator,” that grossly underestimates its capabilities. The original Gen Loss was more of a generic tape simulator, but the MKII version delves into the finer points of how different tape-based devices sound.
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The business dissected VHS players, Tascam Portastudios, and dictaphones to learn their secrets. It ranges from the faint frequency drop of an antique 1/4-inch tape being played on a reel-to-reel machine to the squished hum of a copied VHS cassette. Throw one of Chase Bliss’s iconic dip switches to engage vintage mode if you’re not into the newer version that meticulously recreates specific tape formats. Editorial Director Terrence O’Brien.
Apple MagSafe Duo charger
I’ll come right out and say it: the gadget I got last year is my favorite of the year. I purchased Apple’s MagSafe Duo charger in the spring of 2021. It has a foldable design and can charge an iPhone and an Apple Watch simultaneously. I bought this as a portable charging kit for when I travel, but I could (and have) used it at home to charge my Apple devices overnight. Traveling the world in 2021 was not a possibility, as we all know. This year, however, I was able to test out whether or not the expensive charger was worth the cost, as previous limits on travel were abolished.
Using only one wire and being far more compact than most competing Apple Watch upright chargers justified the high price tag of $129 for this dual charger. It unfolds like a tiny mirror, making it easy to store in any suitcase. There’s a chance I could use the Apple Watch cord, however it has a USB-C connector rather than a USB-A one. Unfortunately, many hotels still do not offer those (or charging plugs), and there is a limit to how many devices I can charge at once using a travel adaptor while I’m in a foreign location.
While I unfold the magnetic puck for charging my Watch, it may be attached to the wearable and I can see the time when it’s in place. Due to its compact size, it may be conveniently placed on hotel or guest room nightstands, as well as on window sills. If you only need to charge one gadget, like your watch or iPhone, you can fold it in half and store it away. If my AirPods are in the right place, I can use the MagSafe charger location to charge them wirelessly.
It has some flaws. Even if the slow charging pace of my iPhone is not an issue when charging overnight, I am becoming increasingly frustrated by it. Apple may release a newer model that is more affordable and charges more quickly. Apple will have to redesign its Lightning connector when it finally abandons the technology. – Mat Smith, Chief of the UK Bureau
Bissell SpotClean Pet Pro
The second-floor carpet in our new house is in decent condition overall, but there are a few stains we’d like to get rid of before moving in. As for the rest, I’m guessing you can figure it out on your own. I’m relieved that I made the decision to purchase the Bissell SpotClean Pet Pro spot cleaner. At only 13 pounds, it’s easy to move around the house and store in whatever room I choose thanks to the convenient carrying handle. Simply mix the recommended amount of cleaning solution with water, pour it into the machine’s solution tank, plug it in, and turn it on to scrub away stubborn stains with the supplied handle.
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As a preliminary test, I used it on some of the carpet’s existing mystery marks, and after a few minutes of elbow-greased scrubbing, they were gone for good. The amount of cleaning solution sprayed may be adjusted with a button on the SpotClean’s handle, and as it operates, it continuously vacuums up any surplus water and deposits the soiled remnants into a separate tank. Scrubbing is the most time-consuming component of using it, and you can load it with as much or as little as you like. Most little spills came out without much work on my part, but I had to put in more time and effort to remove the more stubborn ones. What I really appreciate about it is that it can be used to thoroughly clean upholstered furniture, such as our shabby couch. This may not be the most visually appealing purchase I’ve purchased for our new house, but it will go a long way toward maintaining its appearance of cleanliness. — V.P.
Tushy Classic Bidet 3.0
A tidy john is appreciated by all. That’s not a particularly contentious statement, in my opinion. While toilet paper is effective, it may not always be sufficient for a thorough cleaning. So you flush more toilet paper down the drain, risking a clogged toilet, and you still might not be satisfied that the toilet is clean. So, I went out and bought a Tushy Classic 3.0, a low-cost bidet that is compatible with my current toilet.
For a very long time, I had yearned for one of those high-tech Japanese bidet loos. I can’t justify the expense right now, especially because installing one would also need adding an extra outlet to my bathroom. However, the Tushy Classic 3.0 can be had for under $130 and does the same thing at a far lower price. It’s simple to set up. In less than ten minutes, we had it hooked up to our preexisting plumbing. It also doesn’t require any power outlets. The water pressure may be changed by turning the knob, while the spray nozzle’s angle can be changed by sliding the toggle.
Our team has been using it for a while now, and we couldn’t be happier with it. It may sound unusual, but we actually look forward to using the restroom. As a woman who menstruation once a month, I find it quite useful because it allows me to feel much cleaner than when using just toilet paper. We may save on toilet paper as a result, too. In the long run, I foresee myself wanting a more high-end bidet, but in the meantime, the Tushy Classic 3.0 is more than adequate. Nicole Lee, Staff Writer for the Business Section
Blueland hand soap
Our apartment was practically full with our belongings before we moved into our new home. Since there wasn’t much room in the bathrooms for extra bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and other toiletries, I resorted to cramming them all into the linen closet, to the point where I had to lean on the door to shut it. Since most of the recipes at Blueland are plant-based, vegan, and more ecologically friendly than cleaners you’ll find at big-box stores, I started buying all my cleaning supplies from them. To use, simply place the formula tablet in the water, give it a good shake, and wait a few minutes for the tablet to completely dissolve.
For a number of reasons, the foaming hand soap caught my attention right away. Firstly, the packages were much more compact than the refill jugs of soap I had been purchasing, and secondly, I appreciated the environmental benefit of using fewer plastic bottles. Second, the soap did what it said it would do. Before this, I had tried a few eco-friendly hand and dish soaps, and I was usually left feeling dissatisfied because I didn’t think they cleaned as well as conventional soaps. When compared to other brands, Blueland’s hand soap lathered up well and actually cleaned my hands thoroughly without leaving any odd residue.
Before switching to Blueland’s own heavy and luxurious glass hand soap bottles, I used the tablets in a mason jar fitted with a foamy pump cover. In the end, Blueland helped me out in a number of ways: I no longer have to take up valuable storage space with hand soap refills; I no longer have to contribute to landfills by purchasing those one-time-use plastic bottles, and I no longer have to remember to buy hand soap whenever I go grocery shopping; refills are automatically delivered to my door every few months. — V.P.
Fujifilm XF 27 mm F/2.8
Blueland hand soap
This year I decided to take up photography as a pastime, and I figured carrying around my Fujifilm X-T30 would be the ideal way to practice and get better. The main drawback was that the very lightweight XF 35mm f/2 lens purchased was still a bit too large to go anywhere. A used Fuji 27mm pancake lens that I picked up a couple of months ago has seldom been removed from my camera. More importantly, I haven’t stopped carrying my camera around since.
My keys, a notebook, a pen, a cleaning cloth, and my X-T30 with this lens all fit nicely in my Peak Design Field Pouch. No matter where I’m going, I can just grab everything and go. where we celebrate my birthday with my parents Sure. Want to go grocery shopping? That makes no sense. Taking my dog for a little stroll around the block? That’s an absurd reason not to.
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The size is the main selling point, but you don’t have to sacrifice much to obtain it. With this lens, you can capture images with razor-like clarity. The extreme edges retain their sharpness and contrast even when shooting at F/2.8. Having a bigger lens aperture would have been excellent. Sure. For candid photos or family photos, though, this is more than adequate. Unfortunately, my model lacks an aperture ring, however, the newest version does. The minimum focusing distance of around 13.6 inches is my only major gripe with this camera, as I often find myself wanting to get even closer to my subject. Nonetheless, I think this is the best purchase I’ve made toward developing my interest in photography. — T.O.
Anyday Everyday cookware set
I learned the hard way not to leave any metal in a microwave after an incident on a business trip to Barcelona, where I accidentally started a minor fire. To put it mildly, I was blown away when a friend gave me a set of Anyday bowls and assured me that I could put the metal covers in the microwave and cook entire meals in them.
These glass dishes may be heated in the microwave, which is their intended use. The frosted glass used to make the bowls is thicker and more resistant to thermal shock, making them less likely to fracture if the temperature outside suddenly changes. The lids contain openings to let steam escape while yet keeping steam in the dish for cooking. Anyday claims its products are “100% microwave-safe” thanks to the bent stainless steel in the lids and the silicone rim that stretches to accept additional pressure.
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Cooking convenience is what I value most, thus my Anyday bowls are perfect for me. Using this setup, I can steam eggs and fish fillets, as well as cook rice, veggies, and pasta, prepare nut butter and bake cakes. Of course, you can’t cook anything that needs a sear, deep fry, or broil, and a few of the company’s recipes posted online are too involved for my taste. The Anyday system, however, is a true boon when it comes to cooking nutritious steamed meals (or friends’ end). The best aspect is that they can go straight into the dishwasher after use, so there will be no mess left for me to clean up. Deputy Editor Cherlynn Low.
Madewell Zip-Top Transport Crossbody
For a long time, Lo & Sons Pearl crossbody bag has been my everyday purse because of its convenient size and organization features. However, I needed more space in order to transport the many pieces of equipment I needed. So, I got a new, bigger purse for my birthday this year. I knew I wanted a crossbody since that style makes me feel more protected than a traditional shoulder bag, and I also knew I wanted top handles. While searching online, I came across the Madewell Zip-Top Transport Crossbody and thought it may work.
Now that I’ve had it for a while, I use it almost exclusively as my main bag. It’s crafted from supple, well-loved vegetable-tanned leather with a gorgeous waxed finish. It has removable shoulder straps, so I can use them with another bag or remove them entirely and carry it by the top handles. The fact that it’s only approximately 10 by 10 by 3 inches makes it light enough to carry around all day without feeling like a burden, but its interior is surprisingly spacious. It’s large enough to hold all of my necessities and more. Everything from my cash and credit cards to my phone and keys to my headphones and pencils and even my Hobonichi Techo planner (if I wedge it in there wrong) and my portable batteries.
However, it may benefit from additional storage space. Just two little pockets are found inside. Therefore, smaller goods are prone to be misplaced; I frequently waste time looking for my lipstick or hand sanitizer. At the moment, I use a compact makeup bag that fits within the larger bag to store these products, making them much simpler to get when needed. It has flaws, but the benefits far exceed the drawbacks for me. — N.L.
Purist Mover water bottle
Earlier this year, I dropped $50 on a water bottle, and I still don’t regret it. The Purist Mover bottle has helped me avoid the metallic flavor that developed in my water over a short period of time. The secret is an impermeable, ultrathin glass layer that lines the inside and blocks the transfer of aromas and flavors. To my surprise, this tastes good. Of course, I still need to wash the bottle every so often, but I’ve never had any problem with the water’s taste.
It may seem silly to boast about how great the Mover feels, but it’s true. Its rough finish is pleasant to the touch, and its minimalist design makes it appear luxurious, at least in comparison to other water bottles. The 18-ounce model with the “Union” spout cap has served me well, albeit the lid occasionally makes a whistling sound that is eerily reminiscent of hitting a bong. (Take this as a warning if you ever find yourself out of view of the camera during a business call.) I still wouldn’t recommend such an expensive water bottle to a friend, but the Mover fulfills my needs and has saved me a tonne of money on disposable plastic bottles. Expert Commercial Journalist: Jeff Dunn
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