The Best Summertime Gear

For most, Summer peaks sometime between the summer solstice and the fourth of July, but in San Francisco, it never comes.

The Best Water Bottle

Water is delicious and good. Bottled water is delicious and bad--it's costly for the environment and consumers alike. After hours of research, I decided the $18 Klean Kanteen Classic is the bottle I'd use to tote my ice cold water in this summer.

I’d Like A Big (Cheap!) TV, Please

Our pal Brian Lam knows that if we want a big TV, we'll want the one that's good, but also priced as low as possible. This is the TV he recommends.

The Best TV (For Now)

The ST50 by Panasonic is the best TV for the money right now.

Maybe You’re Thinking About Buying an Air Conditioner

If you’ve got a small to medium-sized room you want to keep cool this summer, you should buy a LG LW8011ER 8000 BTU Air Conditioner.  Priced at $259, it offers a great combination of features, a five-year warranty and enough power to easily cool a 225 − 350 square foot space with some people in it.

If you’ve got a medium to large sized space you want to drive the temperature down in, you should think about stepping up to a 12000 BTU unit like the LG LW1212ER 12000 BTU Air Conditioner. It’ll keep a space up to 550 square feet cool for $319.

Why am I recommending two different air conditioners to you? Well, air conditioning is a complicated technology.  What I found over 15 hours of research, is that what works for one room or house may not be a good solution for another.

You Probably Need a Standing Desk

But first, why would I want to buy a standing desk at all?

The Perfect Flower Bouquet for Your Mom (by a White House Florist)

We generally focus on being awesome at finding your next piece of gear at Wirecutter but since it's mother's day and the gear of mother's day tends to be flowers, here's a quick and dirty guide to an excellent and not-ugly bouquet for mom. Of course, every mother's taste will be different, but we trust Wendy Elsasser's opinion on the subject. Why? Oh, she used to do flowers...for the White House.

This is the best way to get cheap surround sound (in a box)

Most Home Theater In a Box kits are super chintzy. This one isn't.

Let’s Be Mindful Together About This New Apple Stuff

Apple just came out with some upgrades to their computers and gave the world a look at the new tricks that macs, iPhones and iPads will soon be able to do. It’s exciting to think about all the shiny new gear but here’s a sober look at what will make a difference in your life.

A new High Res Notebook: There’s a next generation 15-inch Macbook Pro that has a super high-resolution display that has more pixels than most 27-inch monitors. That is useful for working from the field and getting enough desktop space to fit lots of windows side by side, but I don’t know how readable that is going to be. It’s a 15-inch notebook that is about as thin as a Macbook air, weighs as much as a lot of 13-inch notebooks (4.6 pounds) and has no optical drive. It’s surprisingly not as expensive as I thought it would be at the $2200 starting price. But then I remembered it’s not 2002 and lots of solid laptops cost around a grand and change. Here’s the thing: Since it has got a lot of hardware built from the ground up, you should wait a few months to get one if you are really interested while they shake the bugs out. That’s it.

The Fan You’ll Want to Have When It’s Hot

When the heat and humidity set in this summer, I'm going to thank my lucky stars that I'm able to work in an air-conditioned office.

Don’t Buy This Stuff Right Now

Right now is an awkward time to buy some kinds of electronics. The wise will wait on these types of things.

TVs, Home theater etc. Wait until when? Mid Year 2012 The 2012 TV lineups should all be reviewed by mid year. Wait until May if you can to see what Samsung’s Plasmas are like. For now, the Panasonic ST50 is better than last year’s bests, at the price of last year’s middle ground. The same kind of goes for blu-ray players and receivers, which haven’t been reviewed yet in 2012.

 

The iPhone: The new one only a few months away! If you think about it, the current model is only a variant on a design that is nearly 2 years old at this point. What’s another 5-6 months?