My Tech Gear — Creator Edition
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. In an effort to reach the widest possible audience, I have not metered this post and you do not need a Medium membership to read, so I hope you won’t mind that it may contain affiliate links, so that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
Show a brother some love!
I’ve always been a frugal person, and by that, I mean I’ve always been broke, so I tend to be a cheapskate. When I find a product that works as it is supposed to, I hang on to it until it is no longer useful or breaks.
I used a Dell laptop for a long time for editing video, and it was a nightmare because it had limited video capabilities and kept crashing. But I was broke, so I used it until I was able to save enough to buy some decent gear.
That time finally came, and I’m happy to say that the purchases I made were worthwhile because I did months of research and agonized over what equipment to buy with the money I had.
So, here it is.
Laptop | Apple MacBook Air (2020 M1 Version)
- 13.3-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1600
- Apple M1 chip, 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, 7-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine
- 8GB unified memory/256 GB SSD
This was the first Apple product I ever bought, because I’ve always been a PC guy. I spent months researching the best laptop for my needs based on quality/specs/value/price, and the MacBook Air with the new Apple Silicon M1 chip was by far the best choice I could make.
This machine is a beast, like me! It has more than enough power for what I need it for, after all, I’m not editing 8K RAW or compiling huge amounts of code.
Like many, as we all have our preconceived notions about RAM, I agonized if I should get 16 GB unified memory, and after consulting with some people in the know about these type of things, decided to go with the base model.
I’m glad I didn’t wait an extra month and pay another $200 for more memory because this machine cuts through every task like butter, and damn, does it look good doing it.
Keyboard | iClever BK10 Bluetooth
When I write, I tend to beat the keys senseless, and the keyboard on the MacBook Air is such a fine piece of engineering that I didn’t want to ruin it right away, so I purchased a separate keyboard so I could hit it and not worry.
I bought a mouse too, but it has been having issues and I cannot recommend it right now.
The iClever keyboard has amazing battery life, mostly because it is not backlit, which is my only complaint. My keyboard is keyed for both the PC and Mac and works flawlessly on up to three devices.
If the MacBook is weak on one thing, it’s ports. With only two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, it leaves a bit to be desired. I added this Anker hub and now have more ports, an additional charging point, and a place to attach a 4K monitor when I decide which one I want.
After using it for a while I can say this hub does exactly what it is supposed to and that is all I ask of my tech.
Podcast Microphone | Sudotack ST-820 USB 192kHz/24bit Studio Cardioid Condenser Mic Kit
I am a huge fan of tech that is cheap but works like its more expensive brothers and sisters, and this microphone is a dream. I bought it for less than $60 as a kit, with a stand, pop filter, and carry box, and from the moment I plugged it in, I have been delighted.
I used it on my PC with no trouble, and when it came time to plug into my MacBook, it was ready. The sound quality is amazing, and I must do very little compression and EQ after recording a podcast or voiceover.
If you don’t want to spend the money for a Rode or Shure right now, this one will do whatever you need it to.
Video Microphone | Rode VideoMicro
When I make videos for YouTube, I don’t have a fancy DSLR or Mirrorless yet, so I just use my Samsung A71 smartphone attached to a tripod holder with a cold shoe on top. I attach the Rode microphone to the cold shoe and plug it into the phone and my sound quality dramatically increases.
This is an awesome shotgun mic for a smartphone or camera, and it often on sale for less than $60.
Key Light | MountDog Softbox Lighting Kit
Since I only use a smartphone to film my videos, I knew the lighting had to be better than average. I found this softbox for cheap on Amazon, and it made a huge difference.
I also plan to start using it to take product shots for my reviews, because it is just an amazing soft source of light that is diffused. It was easy to set up and easy to use and came with the bulbs and stand.
Don’t Spend Too Much
Except for the MacBook Air at $1000, everything else I use would qualify for cheap, but I know it will all last because I researched to find quality at a low price.
I am still waiting to buy a 4K monitor and 1 TB external SSD, but when I do, I will make sure I review them here.
You don’t need a lot of money for gear if you know what to get, and you don’t have to buy the cheap knockoffs that break after a week.
Do your research and picture yourself using the product to make sure it will fit in your tech ecosystem.