The Verge Creators Gift Guide Blind React - Holiday Gift Guides 2021 - Show Notes

The Verge Creators Gift Guide Blind React - Holiday Gift Guides 2021

Friday Nov 12, 2021 (00:28:33)


Here are the products we thought were the most interesting from the Holiday Gift Guide 2021 for creators from The Verge.

These are some items that don't seem like a great deal.


Scott Ertz


Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.

Allante Sparks

Special Correspondent

Allante - also well known as Wolff - is the newest member and co-host for PLuGHiTz Live! Radio. A gifted artist, he is usually found drawing up a character or two or sketching up whatever comes to mind. Do not think that he is not a hardcore gamer because he is about as hardcore as it gets! His favorites range from fighting games to RPGs, adventure and even a racing game here and there. Fighting games are his forte and he relays this message for all who oppose: You mess with the Wolff and you get the fangs!

Xbox Live - Enigmatic Wolff

PSN - Tsukuyomi_Okami

Live Discussion

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Scott Ertz (00:06)

Let's see. Who else have we got? We want to take a look at The Verge. See what they've got to say. They always agree with everything The Verge says. Why are we laughing? No sarcasm.

Allante Sparks (00:19)

Oh, no.

Scott Ertz (00:21)

No pictures. No code. So back we go. All right. So we're on The Verge. Now. Let's take a look at what they've got. Okay. I think we've made our feelings on

Allante Sparks (00:44)

IKEA Gaming

Scott Ertz (00:46)

on the Rode. Pretty sure, pretty well known.

Allante Sparks (00:50)

That it's solid.

Scott Ertz (00:52)

Okay, so the IKEA Gaming Hand is weird. Very weird, but I'm not going to knock it. Because depending on what weird aesthetic you have for maybe streaming studio. That might be appropriate.

Allante Sparks (01:08)

I would say this as an artist. If you're doing art stream.

Scott Ertz (01:13)


Allante Sparks (01:14)

That's that would be really fun to have on display

Scott Ertz (01:18)

Yeah. For 25 bucks. That's not a bad prop. It's less than the $95 for the-

Allante Sparks (01:26)

Nope. This, LaCie.

Scott Ertz (01:32)


Allante Sparks (01:33)

Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Scott Ertz (01:34)

Sorry, garbage.

Allante Sparks (01:35)

Honestly, I'm not even gonna talk about it for its product.

Scott Ertz (01:38)

I am. Never buy a hard drive from LaCie. Okay. They are absolute garbage. And you're gonna do it. Get a Western Digital, something like that. Do not get LaCie. If you want to keep the data that's on your drive. That branding name makes me think of Final Fantasy 13. It was the name of a race of people. They were called Fal'Cie. And a buddy who had 10 of those for his Photography 9 failed. I would have expected a 11. They are absolute hot garbage. Yes. The Elgato GameCapture. Yep, yep. For simple stuff, it is industry standard. Obviously, for like what we do, we've got a pretty big capture card in here for inputs and all that comes in SDI. But-

Allante Sparks (02:31)

There's a smaller one though, right? That's like a little less expensive. I'm surprised that that one's not like the gift, the HD60 Plus? I think so too. I feel like that there's definitely three. I feel like that one would have been the better choice to say like, this is a gift for someone.

Scott Ertz (02:53)

They do specified. This is the high end capture card. So there are other versions. There's, I think there's an HD60. So this one can do. I think this is the one that does 4k 30. The S does 1080P 60 and then the HD 6 and there's an HD 30 I think that does 1080P 30 So, but yeah, Elgato when it comes to standard capture cards, Elgato is it good? There's also one of those around here somewhere.

Allante Sparks (03:33)

I have one somewhere

Scott Ertz (03:37)

Everybody has their opinions on cameras. I have not liked Sony's cameras since the 90s. Plain and simple.

Allante Sparks (03:47)

Like it's always a Nikon.

Scott Ertz (03:51)

I am 100 at Canon

Allante Sparks (03:53)

Canon that was the other-

Scott Ertz (03:55)

Shooter. We've got a ton of cannons here.

Allante Sparks (03:59)

It's always between those two

Scott Ertz (04:00)

Yeah, all of our floor cameras are Canons. The ones that we use in the studio or not anymore, but all of our floor stuff is Canon. And I've got two Canon still cameras as well. It's all I'll shoot with but you know Sony has its has its place in the market, I suppose. As does Nikon. I'm not a fan of Nikon. I think they work wrong. I think the interface is wrong. Sure. You were forced into one recently and you couldn't figure out how to make it stop making noise-

Allante Sparks (04:37)

did not like it

Scott Ertz (04:39)

-with the Canon. You know exactly where it is on the Canon who've done it before. So you know, I think they work backwards. If you want to gimbal the DJI is it? Their stuff is unbelievable for consumer stuff. I mean, they're so- depending on what you're doing the different DJI stuff is different. Right? If you're doing big photography or video stuff, the the Ronin is great but it's expensive. They have a little handheld self-gimbaled for 4k recording and streaming camera that retails for like 249. And this thing obviously this gimbal is based on what they put on their high-end drones. Right. And you know if the thing that it's filming from is Jake is doing this all day long and it's still able to get a stable shot.

Allante Sparks (05:47)

It's pretty good.

Scott Ertz (05:48)

Pretty solid. The sure MD seven when it like when it comes to microphones for USB is decent. Again, I wouldn't probably go with a USB microphone. I think at this point it's XLR all the way. I would do, I mean, if you're just doing a single one and you really want good quality or something like this and a USB interface for XLR would be the way to go. But if you want to go with Shure, the SM 7B is the way to go. It is industry standard it is massively expensive. Any radio station you've ever listened to is using an SM 7B plain and simple. You I think you and I were talking about this recently. If I'm not mistaken everybody from from Joe Rogan to Ben Shapiro uses seven be like everybody in the industry uses it. The famous images of Rush Limbaugh and his golden microphone. Yeah, it was like golden SM 7B originally. So like everything, everybody uses a 7B for radio it is the microphone.

Allante Sparks (07:15)

Back to Rode.

Scott Ertz (07:15)

That's a great microphone for a camera. Peak Design Everyday Backpack. I don't know 260 bucks for backpacks.

Allante Sparks (07:25)

That's a lot of money for a backpack. I mean, I'm sure it's real neat. And I'm sure it's got all the compartments that your little heart will just desire. But 260 for a backpack? I don't know about that, Chief.

Scott Ertz (07:41)

I gotta go back to the micro quick - the Lord's mic. If Jesus preached today, it would be on an SM 7B. Very true.

Allante Sparks (07:49)

Oh, man.

Scott Ertz (07:51)

Absolutely, very true. Zoom H6, industry standard. If you're doing portable audio recording, we literally recorded a 3000 brigade show. With one of these from under the stage, we got the entire crowd audio with that.

Allante Sparks (08:14)

It's really cool.

Scott Ertz (08:17)

The Beyerdynamic.

Allante Sparks (08:19)

We almost thought that said "Birdynamic" I'm gonna leave it at that.

Scott Ertz (08:25)

Shock and Terror.

Allante Sparks (08:26)

I was sure certainly shocked.

Scott Ertz (08:31)

Beyerdynamic makes really good headphones. We've interviewed them at CES a number of times over the years. They make really great headphones. They are reference headphones, which is important to note they are not designed for consumer use. They're not you know, they're not beats, like you're not gonna you're not going to get all the extra bass and all of that you're going to get proper

Allante Sparks (09:02)

reference audio. Sure. You're not going to fill your kidneys rumble with this one.

Scott Ertz (09:06)

Exactly. Unless the original audio is that sure that's the thing. They have a wide reproduction range. But they're not adding anything to the mix.

Allante Sparks (09:19)

And that's a are what they are. That's a really good price to for some-

Scott Ertz (09:23)

They really are.

Allante Sparks (09:25)

That's a real good price.

Scott Ertz (09:30)

Okay, so I'm aware of the Lume Cube. They are massively expensive. Yeah. But I've heard very good things about them over the years.

Allante Sparks (09:45)


Scott Ertz (09:47)

And they're full color. So you know if you needed to do, like you could put them back here. And do a wash light and stuff like that. So They're interesting, but you have to really want them.

Allante Sparks (10:03)

That is real expensive.

Scott Ertz (10:08)

I don't know anything about the Elgato Master Mount L except that it's a mounting tripod of which we have many

Allante Sparks (10:17)

Adam has something on that though, -

Scott Ertz (10:20)

Really hit or miss I have three one no longer releases or lowers, which is a common issue with the product.

Allante Sparks (10:27)

I thought I recognize this.

Scott Ertz (10:29)

Otherwise, they're really nice. So when they work, they're great. But when they don't sad story.

Allante Sparks (10:33)

Real bad.

Scott Ertz (10:34)

That's a shame. So you got to know that going into it, I guess. The Philips Hue Smart Lightstrip. If you want to program your lights, if you're creating an application and you want, then they're great. Otherwise 80 bucks for an LED strip. These things in here retail for 12 bucks. They're Wi Fi. And they're great. And they're they're controllable. They're not Bluetooth, they are Wi Fi, which is even better. But they're really designed for programmers. Because they're fully programmable. Sure. But you've got to have a base station for it. There's a whole ecosystem around the Philips Hue stuff, which is interesting, but-

Allante Sparks (11:35)

it's expensive,

Scott Ertz (11:36)

but like the Monster Smart Illuminessence stuff doesn't require any ecosystem, right? And the app is capable of doing products that are outside of just monster like we were talking about earlier.

Allante Sparks (11:49)

You just can't beat that.

Scott Ertz (11:50)

Yeah. So, the Philips Hue products are really nice, but I have not been able to justify their cost. The Wacom One Drawing Tablet. I think we have said, yes. Wacom is the industry standard.

Allante Sparks (12:14)

That's pretty much all that can be said about that. I mean,they're good, good quality. I mean, you there are alternatives that this is really the one that you want to get your hands on.

Scott Ertz (12:31)

Just because if you're going to do anything, professionally, this is the one that everybody uses. Yep.

Allante Sparks (12:36)

So get get yourself acquainted with one of these. Yes, I agree with the XP10. That's pretty good. I mean, even if there's another one i heliyon. That is pretty, it's pretty decent. I would say. It's not nearly as good. It doesn't have the same amount of like points of articulation and things like that. My favorite to answer your question I'd probably still, I'd probably still have to go with Wacom. Because

Scott Ertz (13:31)

the Wacom 1 or something, something bigger than that. Because the welcome one is like, well, a bit of an entry level one, or it's still really good quality. It's not the bamboo-

Allante Sparks (13:45)

It is not the bamboo

Scott Ertz (13:46)

-because it's a screen. It's not the bamboo. But it's also not the $1,300 one we interviewed.

Allante Sparks (13:55)

That was my favorite. If I mean like if you if I had to give a truthful answer, the big one, that is a computer is my favorite. Just because of the amount of flexibility that you get. I'm just gonna be real with you. I do have a problem with Wacom a little bit. They've got a problem with their drivers. That has been a constant. It's been a constant problem over the years where the computer loses the Wacom drivers, and it messes everything up or you randomly lose pen sensitivity, and it's really annoying. I'm not gonna lie. That's that's a really annoying problem. But it's not like a braking problem. You just get annoyed by it. So and I have used different products like I've used an iPad for drawing, which I don't know how people get really good at it, but I guess it's kind of the same as using a mouse to draw. Right? You just when you're hindered, you get good at it. Sure.

Scott Ertz (15:10)

If you lose your right arm at some point, you can start writing with your left

Allante Sparks (15:13)

Yep. If you lose both you learn how to use your feet. Exactly.

Scott Ertz (15:16)

It may not be world class, but you get good at it.

Allante Sparks (15:20)

Yeah. I have been using my Wow, man, what is it called? My surface? My surface Pro for four years for drawing. It's not the best. Because the surface is too smooth. And it makes it difficult to

Scott Ertz (15:41)

So current the brand new surface pens, which I want to put my hands on, apparently add haptic texture. Weird.

Allante Sparks (15:54)

Yes. Weird. But that would help. Yeah, but I wonder Would it give you grip? Because that it's two problems and one, okay. You're not getting haptic feedback. And you're also losing your it's hard to explain.

Scott Ertz (16:19)

It's not solid on on solid. The new ones aren't. They actual tips are textured.

Allante Sparks (16:26)

Okay, that's nice.

Scott Ertz (16:29)

That's so it's not solid on solid, which I know is my one of my charms because the original one wasn't? Yeah. And you and you just the black one that's around here somewhere. wasn't solid on solid. It was textured. I don't know why they went away from that.

Allante Sparks (16:43)

I don't know. But it definitely you glide all over the place. And so you have to you have to make the compensation in your head. You have to tell yourself not to do that. Yes. You know, it's just not comfortable. But you know, overall, I would say that big, big beautiful Wacom, tablets Those are, those are the way to go, ultimately. But one of my friends used to use these smaller one tablets and it worked for her perfectly.

Scott Ertz (17:13)

I know a lot of people that work on ones. One of the guys that was at our CES 2020 coverage, made a thing, basically to turn an iPad into a one, which was pretty cool. Okay. That you, that's me. Okay. Sorry. No worries. Sounded like water. And he based it on the one the whole concept was based on this design to

Allante Sparks (17:44)

get it to that point. Yeah. Which is pretty cool

Scott Ertz (17:47)

that we're already talking about video lights, as far as mechanical keyboards are concerned. I will divert 100% to Avram. Yeah. And that one. He is our keyboard expert. He's not with us tonight.

Allante Sparks (18:00)

But I'm a little baby. When it comes to mechanical keyboards. I love mechanical keyboards. I know them enough to know which color switches I like. I don't know these other deviant ones. Even getting the Logitech keyboard that I have now that one has its own kind of proprietaries switches that I didn't know existed. So Avram is the guy definitely to talk to because I want to learn more from him about mechanical keyboards because that is a fun subject as a fun realm in general. Are we still? Yeah, we're still on. Okay, just making sure. Yeah. I wonder how much that one costs. That's excuse me, that's where I'm always that is a lot of these like, tiny specialty. Excuse me, mechanical keyboards. They're cute. You know, they look nice. And they've might have like a wide variety of switches that you can get for them and they may even have like a whole variety of keycaps that you can get for them but and they may even be heavy. I love when they've got like metal bases and stuff like that the options are wonderful, but they're really expensive. Like I don't want to spend three to $500 on a tiny keyboard that doesn't even have a number pad on it. That just seems absurd. Patriot Viper looks cool.

Scott Ertz (19:50)

Yeah, outside world can't see because it keeps flickering. So I'm on Tom's Hardware right now looking at a roundup done by Avram for gaming keyboards. He's working on a review if you watch the Piltch Point this week he was showing off. He's working on a review of a whatever they call it, not a 60% layout. It was like a 75% layout or something seems a weird format. But he was liking it so far. And I saw that he and his daughter were switching out switches this week.

Allante Sparks (20:30)

So adorable. Oh my God she's got the best life.

Scott Ertz (20:35)

But he's got he's got the Viper. And then Cooler Master 522. I know you guys can't see Corsair K 70 and the Black Widow V3 Pro.

Allante Sparks (20:53)

I liked the one that he had bet 75% Yeah, ever because you don't normally get those. I like the smaller keyboards just for like either I like hooking them up to my consoles. So I have an easy keyboard to type in passwords and bla bla bla and if they look cool and nerdy too then you know that's a that's an added bonus but but it's nice, but I normally get the 60% ones because you know I'm I'm not made of money but but it looks like it actually has the number pad and it has some like I think he even said it had arrow keys, didn't it? Yes, they normally don't. So that's really nice.

Scott Ertz (21:39)

Yeah, that was the thing that was unique about that one

Allante Sparks (21:47)

A separate number pad holy pandas. Which third party number pad that's less than a razor keyboard. Yeah, that Yeah, that's true. I've always tried using like a separate number pad with my little keyboards and always feels just a little I feel stupid. It I just built like a dummy. I'm like I could just be using a regular keyboard but it but then that you know that defeats the purpose. I have seen this brand around though this key Kron

Scott Ertz (22:25)

Yeah. This is a brand that you generally want to avoid.

Allante Sparks (22:32)

I thought so.

Scott Ertz (22:33)

Yeah. They're not. They're not a brand that's a thumbs up. When it comes again, when it comes to keyboards, Tom' Look at Avram's keyboard roundups. That's always your best way to choose a keyboard.

Allante Sparks (22:52)


Scott Ertz (22:55)

I don't know Kanto so I can't speak to it

Allante Sparks (23:00)

Separates the first region you start in playing Pokemon

Scott Ertz (23:12)

so I don't know. I've had indeed poking around I've had some really great Edifier speakers some Altec Lansing Speakers that were really good. Even Rosewell we did a product review on some rose wells. Six or seven years ago that were really high quality. I don't know this company though. Sure. A Fender amplifier?

Allante Sparks (23:43)


Scott Ertz (23:46)

Yep. Adobe CC Yeah, that's a pretty good pretty good recommendation for somebody who's getting into content creation. Sure.

Allante Sparks (23:54)

Yeah, that is a good idea. Actually 10 bucks a month. That's not bad. You're not chucking out 100 some bucks. Yeah, for a sweet so I think that's pretty solid.

Scott Ertz (24:09)

Numerous green screen. Yeah. Again, yeah, Neewer is a company that we're big fans of again, they're powering our studio right now. Logitech stream cam I believe the general consensus on this from Tom's Hardware was that it was a skip not that it was a bad camera but that it just for most people did not add anything that the 920s who didn't already do. Then a Leaf Shapes Triangles Smarter Kit. Yes, they're nice. I will still recommend The Prisms.

Allante Sparks (24:50)

I was about to say I don't think they're nice for that price though.

Scott Ertz (24:53)

Yeah, no, they're so expensive. And they don't do what The Prisms do. That's it

Allante Sparks (25:01)

If they were, if they were less expensive than the prisons, then you know, we could talk. Mm hmm.

Scott Ertz (25:07)

But they're less capable. Mm hmm. They're physically smaller. They have only one color zone, as opposed to The Prisms that I think have 16. From what I can tell. So yeah, it's also

Allante Sparks (25:27)

one of those things of like, okay, well, let's say you guys get a bunch of monster products in your house. I know, this is sounding like we're

Scott Ertz (25:38)

I haven't been, I guess, talking while wearing a monster shirt.

Allante Sparks (25:44)

This in the sounds like we're showing. But I mean, I've seen this in action. So like both products, both products and action, and one of them just make sense to me, we're in a time where you do have all of these, you might have all of these LED products that are different divergent there, yeah, in your house. But let's say you have a lot of monster products. And some other, you know, LED or, you know, light bulbs, smart bulbs, stuff like that around with Monster stuff, it just, they all work together. Even the prisons. They're all within the same ecosystem, you can literally control all of them from one single application.

Scott Ertz (26:35)

And they're not. They're not a closed marketplace. Right. We had something, something I bought a year ago came with a free smart bulb. Yep. And we plugged it in a couple weeks ago. And the monster app went, Hey, there's a light bulb. Do you want to add it? And we're like, Oh, yeah. And it was the same thing with those those USB plugs. There's like, hey, there's a USB plug. Do you want to add that? Yeah, I uninstalled the app from the manufacturer.

Allante Sparks (27:13)

Which is sad. But I mean, that's awesome. You know, like it just once you see something like that happening, it just makes sense. Yeah.

Scott Ertz (27:23)

It's hard to then say, well, you know, this more there's this there's this Nanoleaf triangle and the people that Nanoleaf are friends too. Yeah, I want to put that out there. I've known them longer than then. I've known Jennifer, who's in charge of the monster luminescent stuff. I've known the people in LA for way longer. They make a great product. Yep. But it's just not as capable. And it's way more expensive. Yep. So the drop alter that's here. Adam, is this the one that you have? Because I know you have a you have a 60% drop keyboard. Is this it? Or is this an altered one?

Allante Sparks (28:10)

Hope he's not at jail.

Scott Ertz (28:14)

Yeah, you might be. As he was just talking about an m&a And that takes us to the end of this one.

Allante Sparks (28:24)

That would be the last thing witness.

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