Hey guys, I'm Range and I've been a contributing writer for Unplggd for the last 4 years. Time flies! I've also been in Asia since 2006, teaching ESL. I'm currently a graduate student in pure mathematics. This year was a big change, technologically-speaking. I made the change from a PC to a MacBook Pro, and recently got some more Apple gear. I tend to enjoy tech that's streamlined, works well and lasts a long time. It takes me a long time to decide what to buy, but when I do, I tend to pay cash for my purposes and use them as long as possible.
MacBook Pro 17: Over the last year, I've gotten used to my MacBook Pro 17. The weight is a trade-off to the power and versatility of this laptop. I've found the transition quite easy and straightforward, and I'm meticulous about keeping it updated, uninstalling apps that I don't need, and trying out new things. I'm considering converting it into my main workstation, with a ACD 27, dock, keyboard, and Magic Trackpad.
iPad 2 3G 64GB: I started reading a lot of ebooks this year, and it made me want to get something that would make reading them a lot easier than lugging around a laptop. The iPad was a great addition to my daily pack. I got the highest-spec version, simply because I needed the space and I know that this will make the device last longer. I mainly use it to read, tweet, and to consult mathematics ebooks in class. The iPad has allowed me to leave my MacBook at home most of the time, unless I need its processing power to run MATLAB.
Logitech Keyboard Case: This is definitely a useful case to have when you use your iPad a lot. While I've learned to actually like typing on the iPad screen, whenever I take this case with me, I can type as fast as on a normal-sized keyboard. I like the fact that it also acts like a pretty sturdy case for my iPad.
Dr. Dre Beats Studio Headphones: This was my first foray into active noise-cancelling headphones and I have to say that I'll have trouble going back to non-active ones. The Beats Studio allowed me to rediscover some music on my computer. They definitely work well. They are also foldable, so they can be used when you're mobile.
'08 iPod Classic 160GB: I bought this about 3 years ago and it's still going strong. Some users have reported that their iPod Classics broke after a short while, but I've been using it a lot over the years, especially when I run, and I've had no problems. Since it's the iPod that offers the largest storage, and Apple has yet to offer one with more, I'm content with this.
Shure SE110: The model I have was replaced by the SE115, my earbuds still work fine. They were bought on special in 2008-2009 and I've noticed that the cord might break down soon. Nonetheless, they have served me well.
Garmin Edge 500 GPS: I still use this GPS every time I go out for a run or a bike ride. It works well, although it takes some time to establish a connection with the satellites if you don't have a direct line of sight. It's compact, light and stealthy, meaning that you won't notice it in your pocket.
Nikon D200: My D200 is still going strong, but I've noticed an improvement on the D700 when I used that one. I will upgrade once the D800 comes out. Until then, this camera will have served me well over the last 5 years.
Nikon SB-800 Speedlight: This has been my go-to flash for the last couple of years, and it has served me well since Nikon only recently released a new flash. It works great when you need that extra bit of light to make a photo or portrait really pop.
EMTEC 4GB Flash Drive: My old Transcend flash drive is long gone, but I luckily found this one lying on the street. It's a bit cute for my taste, but it works fine since I rarely need to carry more than 4GB. While in previous years I've carried a USB flash drive around almost all of the time, I have rarely done so this year, mainly because I usually have my laptop or my iPad with me.