Covid related hardware purchases ?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by desertlap, Nov 4, 2020.

  1. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I have a couple of questions for the group regarding tech purchases you have made or are considering making due to the pandemic and what is looking to be with us for awhile. As you know partially due to my job I pay attention to this type of information.

    I believe i have shared that there have been large spikes in monitor keyboard and mice purchases according to most sources. (and something you can confirm just by going to an Office Depot. I have no doubt many of those are due to increased use of what might have been to this point more casual/personal use of a laptop versus day to day actual work.

    Also there has been a more recent jump in sales of low end laptops and tablets. I think those are likely driven by zoom calls or kids doing school work at home.

    So my question is what and why for anything tech you may have purchased that was driven by the current situation.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
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  2. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Personally I was away while in the initial lockdown, and I ended up buying
    - a large Dell monitor. Would have loved one with built-in webcam and USB-C hub, but was impossible to get quickly
    - a nice little thinkpad wired keyboard
    - a wireless mouse
    - a USB-C hub for like $25 (enough to drive one large monitor) with power passthrough
    - a quality microphone (for zoom, and to double as music recording toy - gotta have fun somehow)
    - a little external monitor to put the Zoom gallery (many participants visible without blocking my main screen)
    - Apple Airpods Pro to drown out some of the noise in the shared environment

    Meanwhile back home I was lucky to have a bunch of stuff ready
    - a quality webcam
    - a powerful tablet for annotating and sketching in meetings
    - a good Wacom AES pen (Lenovo pen Pro?)
    - a decent TB3 dock
    - quality speakers

    I did splurge on some more entertainment related tech, and I was this close to getting a new e-ink device for more comfortable markup, but haven't yet.

    Anyway, needless to say this pandemic has not been cheap! But so far: no healthcare costs, so I count myself lucky.
     
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  3. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    My biggest Covid related Purchase was the iPad Pro 12.9 with Magic Keyboard & Pencil. Its the 2018/3rd gen model with the meager 64GB storage, but B&H Photo had a really good Labor day deal on it....where the Ipad itself was $679 (which is a steal for the 12-incher)

    My reason for getting it, during the summer months when NJ did not have indoor dining yet (it was delayed due to the spikes in other states.) All coffee shops near me adapted to limited outdoor seating. Most of them with overhead coverings for the outdoor section....but even with that most laptop/tablet screens aren't really well suited for daytime outdoor use. My Mobile Studio Pro and Zbook X2 with their dimmer 200-300-nit screens were useless for most anything since their screens got washed out by all the outdoor light. My Surface Pro 5 faired a bit better since it hits around 400-ish nits, but it still wasn't ideal. The iPad Pro has 600 Nits of brightness, so that was my main reason for getting it. Even though Summer was ending, temperature wise Outdoor seating is mostly still viable till early November. (Today its hitting 60F), so despite summer ending, with indoor dining no where in sight at the time, it seemed like the best purchase for me. My main uses were coding and drawing, and where as coding was largely disaster on it, it did serve well for drawing, and the screens brightness did help considerably.

    Of course as Karma would of course arrange, days after I got the iPad....NJ opened indoor dining to 25%...As I type this, I am indoors at a coffee shop right now. And now that November is here, outdoor options will be less and less viable. Kind of praying they don't take away indoor dining at this point, cause outdoor is now no longer an option beyond the occasional warm day.

    Now other Covid purchases.....I did pick up two USB webcams to use with two different desktop rigs.

    And up to a few months ago, my Desktop setup was three 29inch/21:9 aspect ratio monitors (2 landscape, 1 portrait) and a Cintiq 21ux. I actually decided to retire the 21ux...(I just didn't use it anymore, the screen quality is subpar, and it takes up too much desk space) and so, I went and bought another 21:9 aspect ratio monitor which I now have set to portrait mode. So my desktop set up is 4 - 29 inch monitors, 2 landscapes, and two Portrait. I felt I was going to do this for a while (when I bought the 3rd 29-incher last year, I knew a 4th was inevitable ), so Covid itself didn't play much part in me doing this set up. However the monitors are three LG and one AOC. The AOC one is the oldest and you really can't buy it anymore. LG has been the lone company putting out 29inch/21:9 aspect ratio Monitors. Since I had the idea for getting a 4th for a while, I've checked the prices weekly looking for a good deal...and one disturbing trend I noticed was LG didn't seem to be putting out the 29-inch anymore. It was becoming harder and harder to find...presumably because LG is sort of shifting towards the 34 inch 21:9 size. But with three 29-inchers....a 34 incher would throw my whole setup off...So I snagged the 4th 29-incher while I still could. Its a really awesome setup, I'll post a picture once I clean my desk.
     
  4. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    COVID-19 Tech Purchases -

    Me:
    • Surface Duo
    • Surface Pro X SQ2
    • Logitech K750 Keyboard
    • Logitech MX2 Anywhere Mouse
    • LG 34" WUHD Monitor
    • Surface Headphones 2
    • Surface Buds
    • Ring Light
    Wife:

    • Pink Wireless Mouse
    • Mechanical Keyboard (with Cherry Brown Switches)
    • LG 34" WUHD Monitor
    • Inherited my Pro X for patient notes and research
    • Bose Noise Canceling Headphones
    • Desk Lamp
    Household:

    • Gigabit Internet Upgrade (Comcast)
    • Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Network (RBK852)
    • DOCIS 3.2 Modem to support Gigabit Internet
    • 2 Additional Firestick 4K for upstairs TVs
     
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  5. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thanks all for the responses :)

    @JoeS I purchased noise cancelling earbuds or earphones for each member of the family as we were getting on each others nerves:eek:

    @jnjroach How do you like the surface earbuds especially the sound quality ? I have and like quite a bit ,the first gen Surface headphones, but I'd like something less bulky for certain uses.

    @darkmagistric your desktop setup puts mine to utter shame...:oops:I do have a 4k LG monitor, but.....
     
  6. nyb72

    nyb72 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Would a motorized standing desk count?
     
  7. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    In a sense, I think I've actually gone backwards! During the COVID period, I did buy my Duo, but I had signaled my intention to do that last year, so it really doesn't count as a COVID purchase.

    What has happened, however, is that I have reduced my hardware usage to just a few devices because I'm almost always around the house these days. About 50% of my time is spent using my desktop computer, about 30% is spent using the Surface 3 floater in our family room, and the remaining 20% is spent on the Duo (especially, of course, when I'm out of the house running the few errands that we need). I'm also reading a tremendous amount, both ebooks and hard covers. My wife continues to use the Studio 2 every day, so no change really for her. I keep the Pro 7, Pro X and ZBook X2 up to date, but they are largely idle right now...
     
  8. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Your story matches my wife. She's using her X360 more than ever, and far less of her iPhone or the family iPad. The things she did upgrade were her office chair and her external keyboard.

    A couple of other anecdotes that have been shared with me from my industry contacts that line up with some comments here. @jnjroach , You are among many that has updated their WIFI infrastructure. My peers at NetGear tell me they are selling their Orbis as fast as they can make them and my Best buy contacts tell me that DocSIS routers and the google Wi-Fi stuff is selling better (and selling out) than ever as well as Logitech keyboards and mice as well as any monitor 24 inches and above.

    I personally haven't really made any Covid specific purchases . I was going to buy the Duo anyway for instance. However the degree to which I have integrated it in to my daily workflow is surprising. And I still am very pleased with it, fingerprint reader not withstanding.

    One last comment, with our customer base, there has been a tsunami of inquiries around the back end hardware and software that enables or enhances remote working.

    That tells me that they believe or current situation is more than just a blip and will be with us at least in the medium term. And I wonder how many are like my wife who has told me she'd be fine if she never had to go back in the office again?

    Thanks again for the responses:)
     
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  9. nnthemperor

    nnthemperor Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    If using the coronavirus as an excuse for buying a new device counts, then here's mine:

    - 15" Surface Book 2 (i7 with DGPU). Told myself I needed a more powerful machine for my online zoom and Skype lectures.
    - cheap knockoff apple ear buds from AliExpress. (It said Lenovo, though but still a knockoff).The wired earpiece during my classes was getting annoying.
    - Surface Go 2 me with LTE on Swappa. Still haven't come up with a good covid-19- related reason to justify this one. Just told myself I couldn't be breaking out the SB2 each time I had a meeting or needed to do some work. Even though I have the original SGo, I shut down any reasoning questioning this.
    - Deco Mesh WiFi router because the girls were complaining of weak WiFi signal in their room for online classes. This one is definitely a genuine purchase.
    - 46mm Oppo wear OS powered smartwatch to congratulate myself for surviving the first wave of coronavirus infections . That's a valid reason, isn't it?

    So, there you have it.

    Sent from my SM-P205 using Tapatalk
     
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  10. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Ha! That's the excuse I need to update our smart TV:cool::D
     
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