What are your favorite underrated products?
So, I thought it'd be fun to share our favorite "underrated" products. "Underrated" doesn't necessarily mean they have poor reviews or that no one anywhere knows about them - I'm talking about those products that don't typically get reviews on tech sites like this one, but are still indisputably part of your everyday life as a gadget lover. If any of these broke or failed, your life would be more that much more complicated...but they're so reliable that you've used them for a year or more don't even think much about them anymore, and while that's mostly a good thing...now is the time to pay them homage.
I have some personal examples below. As an idea of stuff I excluded, I thought about including the Logitech Keyboard Cover, because I use it every day and so far it's been incredibly solid...but it's gotten plenty of love on this site, amongst others.
I've gone through several car mounts, starting with the iPhone 3G. Arizona heat tends to kill these things pretty quickly, either by destroying the bond that holds them onto the dashboard/windshield, or burning off the "padding" that protects your phone from parts of the mount.
I got this one last year, and so far it's proven rock-solid with both the iPhone 4 and the HTC One X. I use it pretty much daily, and it's now officially survived two Arizona summers...I would easily recommend it to anyone.
It might seem odd to mention a car charger, but since I use it daily, I felt it was worth the nod. It's $5, and keeps my One X charged even while running GPS and streaming Bluetooth music from Slacker Radio. Not much else to say about it, except that I've seem more expensive car chargers fail under a similar test.
Kenwood KDC-BT945U - $249.99 (discontinued)
My first, and so far only, Bluetooth stereo. Again, I use this daily to make and receive phone calls, as well as stream music from my phone. It has worked flawlessly with my iPhone 4 and One X, and I have no real complaints. Unfortunately, this particular model has been discontinued.
OGIO "Street" Messenger Bag - $49.99?
Oh man, this bag and I have been through a lot together...and I didn't even know what it was called until I looked it up to make this post. I got it during an overstock/clearance thing when looking for a bag that would be good for San Diego Comic Con back in 2009. Since then, it has survived two more Comic Cons, several hikes, at least half a dozen vacations, and almost-daily usage as my iPad/general gadget transporting bag.
There always seems to be just enough pockets to hold everything I want to bring, and the little phone pocket in the upper right is just big enough to hold my One X. During this year's Comic Con, I had my external battery pack (Anker Astro 3) sitting in the rear pocket with a Micro USB cable providing constant power to the phone sitting in the phone pocket, while it acted as an LTE hotspot. It was a pretty slick little system, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, I don't think this bag is available anywhere anymore, though I did find an Ebay auction to a similar-looking bag.
The Anker Astro 3 is another Honorable Mention on this list. In a year or two, it might even earn a spot, but since I've only had it for a few months, I don't feel comfortable praising its reliability.
Another set of gadgets I use pretty much daily, and part of the reason I still have my old iPhone 4. I've discussed my workout routine before, but needless to say, I use these as part of it. This exact bundle isn't available anymore, and these days you're almost certainly better off with a platform-agnostic Bluetooth 4.0 heart rate monitor (which Wahoo also makes), but I'll continue to use these until they stop working, since they've just been so damn reliable.
Like car mounts, I went through quite a few Bluetooth headphones before settling on these. I remember how excited I was when my iPhone 3G finally got A2DP support, and so I was quite the headphone slut for awhile. Ultimately I settled on this due to the price, sound quality, comfort, and reliability.
I've been through several pairs, which sounds bad - but I've put them through a lot over the years, especially with daily exercise. They aren't designed as exercise headphones, so I can't really complain when excessive sweat kills the off. I always make sure to have a fresh pair of these sitting in a box somewhere, in case something terrible happens to my current pair.
Anyway, that ends my list of examples. I can't wait to see what you guys share!