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Neat Stuff Weekly - March 2nd, 2020

Neat Stuff Weekly
Neat Stuff Weekly - March 2nd, 2020
By Graham Barber • Issue #3 • View online
Hey everybody, I hope you had a great weekend. I know many of us are on the accelerated downward slope towards the end of final projects and finals week, so best of luck to those of you who need it! Maybe save a bit of luck for me too, though.
On to the stuff!

Caldigit TS3 Plus
The Caldigit TS3 Plus in vertical orientation
The Caldigit TS3 Plus in vertical orientation
In the last few years, I understand that device upgrades have been difficult to stomach for some, particularly due to the consolidation of USB-A, HDMI, Displayport, and various other ports into one: The USB Type-C port. This is understandable, since very few people have the cables needed to utilize these ports, and even fewer people still have Type-C peripherals. Granted, it’s still USB, so if you pick up the appropriate cable, you’re good to go—but that’s a new investment you have to make to utilize your old “perfectly good” gear. Personally, I’ve dumped just about everything to live an entirely USB Type-C life, but I know that’s not for everyone.
Enter: The Thunderbolt 3 hub—specifically the Caldigit TS3 Plus, since it’s the best hub of its kind on the market. It’s a device that sits on your desk, and when plugged into one(!) Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port on your computer, it gives you back 11 of your legacy ports, plus 4 more Type-C ports, charges your device, and even allows you to daisy-chain additional TB3 devices. I’ve set up my desk at home around one of these, and it makes the stationary/portable workstation transition easier than ever.
While the Caldigit TS3 Plus is a bit on the pricey side, it’s absolutely worth it as a long-term investment—particularly seeing as USB 4 will be a compatible spec with Thunderbolt 3, so it will work with your devices for years to come. And for those of you who are married to the idea of taking your peripherals everywhere with you: Give it up and buy a device that does a proper job of integrating those peripherals, or invest in Bluetooth. Type-C is here to stay, and setting up a dock will make your upgrade experience a lot better.
TS3 Plus | Thunderbolt 3 Dock – CalDigit
iPhone 11 Pro
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max in Midnight Green
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max in Midnight Green
I’ve been an Android user for the last 6 years, but this year I’ve made the switch to iOS. As much as I love the open ecosystem ideals of Android, I wanted to try having a device that was more well-integrated with my Macbook Pro and my iPad Pro. Frankly, I think it was the correct decision.
First of all, the hardware of this phone is wonderful—and I say that coming from an Essential Phone, which I also thought was a great piece of hardware. The iPhone build quality is as solid as ever—just as it should be, considering that this is their premium product. I also love how crisp the haptics are; I think that might be my favorite thing about the device overall.
More interestingly, I’ve had a great experience with the software. I view my apps as long-term investments, so I don’t really have an issue with the fact that I need to pay for most of them now. What really surprised me though is that whether you pay for your apps or not, the overall application quality on iOS is way above the quality of Android apps. Apps like Snapchat, Simple (my banking app), and Lastpass are VASTLY superior to their Android counterparts. I’d attribute that to the software development tools that Apple provides, but no matter what, I’m enjoying the apps on my phone in a way that I never have before.
I also think it’s worth highlighting the iPhone Upgrade program, which is how I’m paying for the phone. As long as you activate your phone on one of the four major carriers, you can get a 24-month loan at 0% APR, and after 6 and 12 months, you get to upgrade your device. That means that at the cost of one device, you get to actually use three iPhones over the span of the repayment period. It’s a stellar deal if you’re like me and you prefer to be using the latest tech as often as possible. That’s mostly what sold me on the switch.
iPhone 11 Pro - Apple
Teenage Engineering OP-Z
The Teenage Engineering OP-Z
The Teenage Engineering OP-Z
Look! It’s the most gorgeous synthesizer that you’ve ever seen! From a product design perspective, I really respect Teenage Engineering’s work—from the fiberglass casing to the flat magnetic encoders and the LED-backlit buttons, this is one spectacular piece. It’s also got a USB Type-C port and modular functionality—and most of you know how I feel about those things! Best of all, though, is that the OP-Z is not only sleek, but it’s incredibly powerful too. You can watch Red Means Recording demo a bunch of the OP-Z’s functionality below.
Teenage Engineering OP-Z Walkthrough (Overview)
Teenage Engineering OP-Z Walkthrough (Overview)
teenage engineering - OP–Z
Signing Off
That’s everything I’ve got for this week. As always, reach out to me if you have thoughts on the newsletter. Some people have been using the thumbs-up/thumbs-down functionality in the last couple of issues, and I really appreciate that! I love hearing from y'all, and I’d love to answer any questions you have about products or what I’ve written.
Until next week!
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Graham Barber

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Graham Barber, 307 SW 7th St Apt 102, Corvallis, OR 97333