How I'm Wired
Emily Hsieh, Writer/Editor, San Francisco
Covering tech for Lucky over the last decade, I've been exposed to just about every kind of gadget out there. Cool as it is to get to test all the latest tricked-out gear, the products I love most are unfussy, sleek, and easy to use—stuff that simplifies my life without requiring hours poring over electronics manuals. Like the genius new portable hard drive. Or the most gorgeous radio ever. Here's my roundup—and almost all of it comes with those blessed words: Plug and play.
HP Envy Printer
"I've been holding off buying a printer-scanner-copier combo for the last few years because the options were all clunky and overly complicated—but this slick, compact model is the antidote. It prints wirelessly from my laptop, iPad, or Blackberry no matter where I am."
HP Envy 100 E-All-in-One, $249, shopping.hp.com
"This camera is tiny enough that I can always have it in my purse. It takes crisp, lush pictures even in low light and has an image stabilization feature so the shots are never blurry."
Canon Powershot SD1400 IS, $229, shop.usa.canon.com
Clarisonic Cleansing System
"A facialist turned me on to this motorized brush for washing my face, and my skin has looked so much better ever since. I've had fewer breakouts and a softer and more even-looking complexion overall."
Clarisonic Classic Sonic Skin Cleansing System, $195, clarisonic.com
"Genius—this teensy contraption tracks how far you walk and how many calories you've burned throughout the day and also functions as a sleep monitor, so it actually tells you if you've gotten a good night's sleep.
Fitbit, $99, fitbit.com
"It's kind of unbelievable how something the size of a postage stamp can be so feature-packed. The new touch screen on the iPod Nano makes accessing all my music, podcasts, and photos that much easier—and the clip-on style means I don't lose it."
8GB iPod Nano, $149, apple.com
"Having learned the hard way how important it is to back up my files, I've actually started traveling with a spare hard drive. This pocket-size model has a ton of memory and is specifically built to withstand being dropped and jostled, so I never worry about banging it around in my suitcase."
Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive Superspeed USA 3.0 1TB, $160, go.iomega.com
"The thought of my daily cappuccino is what gets me out of bed every morning. This does the job fast, flawlessly, and mess-free every time, plus it hardly takes up any room on my kitchen counter."
Nespresso Citiz, $279, nespresso.com
"I've been toying with ditching my cable package for a while now, and this would make streaming shows and movies from both Netflix and iTunes so quick and easy I think I might just do it."
Apple TV, $99, apple.com
Niles Remote Control
"After going through the trouble of mounting my flat-screen TV on the wall, the last thing I want is a tangle of wires and boxes sticking out. This kit comes with everything you need to hide all those unattractive extras—the only thing you'll see next to your TV is this minuscule remote sensor."
Niles Remote Control Anywhere Kit, $89.99, crutchfield.com