Welcome to the latest installment of Staff Picks. Each week, we’ll tell you about the tech we’re currently testing — everything from cameras to headphones, 2-in-1 laptops and home appliances — as well as the grail items we wish we could buy. For last week’s selections, visit here.
Wahoo Kickr Power Trainer
I’m more of a minimalist than a maximalist with tech, and so when I add a $1,000+ tech item to my life, it better be damn worth it. The Wahoo Kickr direct drive trainer checks off the good-tech boxes — it’s simple to use and extremely reliable, syncing easily and perfectly with my smartphone and tablet every time. But what makes it truly great is that it’s actually making me a healthier human being. They say the best workouts are the ones that get you working out every day. With the Kickr, I’ve been riding my bike more than I have ever before. The system is fluid, the apps pair perfectly (I use TrainerRoad or Zwift), and the ERG mode on the direct drive (meaning the resistance can be controlled by the app’s preloaded workout) is making me a better cyclist and a healthier person. I can’t think of a better way for tech to influence my life. – Matthew Ankeny, Deputy Managing Editor
SteelSeries Arctis 3 Gaming Headset
I play a lot of FIFA 17 on Xbox Live with my friends — specifically Pro Clubs — late into the night. I’d been using Microsoft’s cheap first-party headset, but recently I started using SteelSeries’s latest model, the Arctis 3. It’s not a USB headset, boasting a traditional 3.5mm jack instead, and it works with my Xbox One (with a $25 adapter). It can also work with the new Nintendo Switch. Bottom line, it’s comfortable and has a great mic, and I can get full 7.1 surround sound without anything coming out of my TV (which I’m sure my roommates appreciate). — Tucker Bowe, Associate Staff Writer
For the past few weeks I’ve been attempting to become more than just a novice photographer. I abandoned my point-and-shoot digital camera, Sony’s RX100 Mark III ($698), and upgraded to Nikon’s newest entry-level DSLR, the D5600. It’s pretty inexpensive and has a touchscreen for fast tweaks to the settings, but its most convenient feature is SnapBridge, Nikon’s Bluetooth image transfer service for fast uploading photos. Has the camera made me a better photographer? Look out for my full review in the coming weeks. — Tucker Bowe, Associate Staff Writer
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