March 2, 2024
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Brad Bennett’s 5 favourite things of 2023

Brad Bennett’s 5 favourite things of 2023

This year I did fewer reviews than usual, but I still found time to play with some gadgets and experience some new tech. These are my favourite things of 2023.

MagSafe

This year, I fully committed to the MagSafe ecosystem and never looked back. With Qi 2 on the horizon, I thought 2023 would be a big year for magnetic charging — it wasn’t, but 2024 is looking better. That said, I spend most of my time on an iPhone, so having the magnetic charging solution on my desk and nightstand is perfect with iOS 17’s new Standby mode. I alternate between the Anker 3-in-1 MagSafe Cube and the Ku Xiu X40 folding stand. Both are pretty great, but neither will fast charge an Apple Watch Ultra, which is mildly inconvenient.

Brad Bennett’s 5 favourite things of 2023I also acquired a portable MagSafe battery pack, which my partner Alex and I found extremely convenient. Two years later, I’m still using a MagSafe Popwallet, and I’ll buy another in a heartbeat if it breaks. Going into 2024, I’m excited to see the rise of Qi2 so more phones can partake in the fun world of magnetic accessories. It’s hard to put my finger on, but there’s just something satisfying about using magnets to charge and dock your phone.

Barbie

Brad Bennett’s 5 favourite things of 2023Barbie/Oppenheimer‘s release was one for the history books. It offered an excuse to let loose and have some fun in the summer at the movies, which led to a memorable day and my favourite theatre experience ever. People dressed in pink everywhere, and my showtime was so packed with people laughing that it made the experience unforgettable. This is my Jaws, and it was fantastic.

That being said, I have one qualm with Barbie. I recently ordered the 4K Blu-ray copy of the movie, and it shipped without director commentary. It’s my fault for not researching what special features came with the disc, but it was disappointing to see that most of the bonus features are locked to the digital iTunes version of the film instead of the physical releases.

Orange stuff

Brad Bennett’s 5 favourite things of 2023

If you’ve seen my phone reviews in the last few months, you may have noticed that I recently adopted an orange cat named Pumpkin. There’s not much to say, but I’ve had him for about six months now, and we’re pretty fond of each other.

Beyond the orange cat, I also reviewed the Apple Watch Ultra and Ultra 2 this year and really started to become obsessed with orange accessories to match my watch bands. A few years ago, I was all about yellow because of the iPhone and the Switch Lite, but in 2023 and leading into 2024, I’m all about orange.

PC living room gaming

Brad Bennett’s 5 favourite things of 2023I’ve done a fair amount of gaming this year, and for the first time, 90 percent of it has been from my PC attached to my TV in the living room. I’ve been a PC gamer for a while, but adding some wheels to make it easy to cart between my office and my living room has been a game changer. I also built a beater PC early on in the year that I used for a few months, but my lust for better graphics has made me sideline that PC and move back to my original gaming build.

Adding in the official Xbox controller dongle has made connecting controllers a breeze, and lately, I’ve even been testing out some Mac gaming in the living room with Baldur’s Gate 3.

Plex

I feel like I don’t need to explain this one — Pretty much every streaming service had a price hike or no longer allowed groups to share affordably, so yeah, I’m back on the seven seas of the internet running a Plex server to watch content. Overall, I love the intentionality it brings to my viewing, but some shows are tricky to find, so it’s not all roses. That said, I think I’ll be sticking with this form of watching content for another year at least.

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