I live for gadget miniaturization. Always have and always will and that's not just because I live in New York City, which limits the amount of space I have. But because tiny, powerful gadgets are proof of technological progress. It's a modern miracle whenever we can take one piece of technology and make it smaller and ridiculously more powerful.
15-year-old me would have killed for a 1TB microSD card or high-performance DJI drone that folds up and fits in your jacket pocket. 🤯 x 100.
My life-long obsession with small, powerful gadgets has culminated into a collection that I'm very satisfied with. Everything below is a dope piece of kit that I own, or have tested, and can vouch will take up as little space as possible either in your bag or home. They're not always the best value when it comes to price, but I'm willing to pay extra to get big power in tiny packages. Mini gadgets forever!
Aerial footage always looks epic. Not so epic: bulky drones that are a pain to get up in the air. The Mavic Mini is the smallest foldable drone DJI makes. It records video in 2.7K resolution, has a 29 mph max speed, and last up to 30 minutes. Best of all: it fits in your jacket pocket.
Sometimes you need to move a ton of data between computers REALLY fast. Like, every second counts because the FBI is probably on their way. Samsung's X5 SSD is a slightly larger than the T5 (and newer T7) SSD, but it's way faster at transferring data. Plus, it maxes out at 2TB, which is enough to back up most laptops.
Chances are nobody is spying on you through your webcam or selfie camera. But if you're paranoid or concerned about the possibility, these little stick-on covers are the easiest way to physically block your device cameras. Mark Zuckerberg covers his laptop camera, why shouldn't you?
Big power adapters are for suckers. Since I've switched all my cables to USB-C, I've been able to consolidate. This 61-watt charger is 50 percent smaller than the one that comes with my 13-inch MacBook Pro and charges it at the same full power. It also fast charges my iPhone 11 Pro and other devices.
Yeah, I know. How unoriginal that I use an iPhone 11 Pro. But there's literally no other smartphone with a "small" 5.8-inch OLED display AND three rear cameras, and bells and whistles like IP68 water resistance, wireless charging, and AirDrop. The crop of "small" flagship phones shrinks every year.
When I want to get more cinematic video with my iPhone 11 Pro, I usually pop on one of Moment's high-quality mobile lenses. They sell wide, fisheye, and telephoto lenses, but the anamorphic is my favorite because it shoots video in 2.40:1 aspect ratio and produces nice J.J. Abrams-esque lens flares.
You can't do ray-tracing on this 8.7 x 5.6 x 1.5 inch desktop. But it does run games like "Bioshock Infinite" at decent graphics — the AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH is about as powerful as a GTX 960/980. There's also an insane number of ports. Until the new Ghost Canyon NUC comes out, the Hades Canyon packs is the tiny gaming PC of my dreams.
Many people might look at the GoPro Max and think "yuck, a 360-camera." But you'd be overlooking two things: its super steady video stabilization (better than a Hero 8) and the ability to flatten and reframe a POV from its 360-degree footage. The Max does the job of multiple GoPros and that's truly incredible.
Apple discontinued this laptop (it's still available elsewhere) and many people hate the flat butterfly keyboard (it's fine to me), but it's still the most powerful 12-inch laptop there is. No joke: it runs full macOS, can edit 4K video with Final Cut Pro X, and weighs two pounds. TWO POUNDS. I never feel it in my backpack.
Technically, Google's Recorder app isn't a gadget. However, because its on-device live audio transcription is so powerful (and searchable) I have to include it because it's the one app that feels like it's really changed my work. I used to spend hours transcribing audio. Now, I have more time for Netflix. The only downside: it's Android only.
Sometimes I expect to haul stuff home (shopping!) after a light solo trip. This 30 liter duffel bag that compresses down into a little zipped pouch is perfect for packing newly acquired stuff. I have an older discontinued version, but this one's improved in every way.