I've had my Retina Pro since it first hit the market in 2012. I create content for a living, so this laptop with a luxurious screen is a special treat -- it makes my work look good, my photos look amazing and watching Netflix a joy.
- Lindsey Turrentine, Editor in Chief, CNET Reviews
You had me at wireless.
Sonos wireless speakers will appeal to anyone who wants to bring more music and sound into their life, but doesn't want to connect wires or use up a lot of home real estate. The speakers can be set up in a few minutes and are controlled via an app on your smartphone (I have an iPhone). You can then stream music off the Internet from services like Pandora and Spotify or play tunes from your personal music library on your computer or tablet. I had the Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night" playing within minutes after taking the speaker out of the box. Easy, with great sound quality.
- Connie Guglielmo, Editor in Chief, CNET News
My picks are the Chrome Messenger bag and Brompton folding bike. My bag was handmade in SF, has reflective piping, for biking safety -- and I use it for a diaper bag, work-briefcase, overnight bag, and carryall for soccer game days! Custom colors are available; mine is purple with glitter accents.
The Brompton folding bike is great for a busy professional. Portability allows me to put it in a bus, train or car whenever I need to. At restaurants -- just leave it under the table folded. Opens and closes in less than 20 seconds. Custom colors are also available for your style; I picked magenta and blue for mine.
- Liz Carrasco, Chief Technology Officer, CBS Interactive
I like my Kindle Fire and Bose noise-canceling headphones because I use them in a variety of ways -- to watch shows in bed with my kids, or on a road trip the kids use the headphones and the Kindles and my husband and I can chat unheard and uninterrupted.
Also for work travel, I always bring my noise-canceling headphones -- no matter how long or short the flight, they make it a lot more relaxing. I load up my Kindle Fire with books and TV shows for an easy escape.
And at the end of the day I can curl up with the Kindle and headphones to listen to music or just read and enjoy the silence.
- Courtney Cochrane, Global VP of Media Sales, CBS Interactive
My gadget pick is the iPad Mini. To have a tablet that is big enough to view things like movies and videos, and to keep all my lists -- the practical ones to the impractical ones: from groceries to chores to bucket lists and random ideas on a device that I can hold in one hand -- makes it indispensable for me. I don't have stickies all over my purse any more. I have resisted the embarassing iPad photo-snap-parenting so far, but it's nice to have that emergency option. It is my GPS when I'm driving, my babysitter when my brain is otherwise occupied, my access to Web queries when I can't remember things I used to know. And the fact that it is all this incredibly important-only-to-me info is backed up to the cloud, so I'm not entirely lost without it makes me love it all the more. I've had it for years, and remember thinking "I don't know why I'd ever need that" when it came out...but now I know.
- Gabby Medecki, Director, CNET en Español
I’ve been looking for a portable speaker for a while, but never found anything that I was willing to commit to. When I discovered the Mini Jambox at a friend's BBQ party, I was immediately captivated by its sleek design, vibrant color and amazing sound quality. I knew this was a product that I HAD TO HAVE. It’s light and portable so you can take it anywhere, battery life lasts a long time and, best of all, its Bluetooth, keeping messy cords at bay. I currently keep mine in the kitchen so I can listen to music while I cook. It's so small that it doesn't take up any room or get in the way. For a little speaker box, this one rocks!
- Anna Munoz, Executive Assistant, CBS Interactive
Access is everything. When I went back to work after having my twins, I wanted to install a device that would allow me check in on them from a variety of devices, whenever I felt the urge to do so. We did a ton of research on all the different baby video monitors out there and eventually chose the Dropcam Pro. I use it every day and would consider it to be one of the best baby-related products we bought.
I simply open the app on my smartphone, tablet or desktop computer, and it allows me to visually see what they are doing in real time, plus I can hear and speak to them directly via the application. You can also choose to review and record video for an additional monthly fee if you wish. I love the accessibility of being able to peek in on them when they are taking a nap, or having a conversation with them between my meetings at the office. Plus, you can reuse the device as an internal or external security camera for your home after you no longer need it for the babies. Bonus.
- Katy Davies-Perez, Director of Partnership Development, CBS Interactive
There are a few reasons I love my iPhone 6 Plus as a mom. It takes great photos and video, and the larger screen is perfect for movies and entertainment. It's got great battery life, and allows me to be always be connected while on the go.
- Ladan Nafissi, VP of Business Intelligence, CBS Interactive
Yes, I really love our Bose Soundlink Mini bluetooth speaker. I actually bought it last year for Christmas because it was highly rated on CNET. We love it and use it all the time to stream Google Music. It helps get my daughter to eat her dinner (she is a big fan of Willie Nelson and sometimes won't eat until she hears "City of New Orleans.") We also have lots of dance parties at my house thanks to the Bose Soundlink.
- Maggie Reardon, Senior Writer, CNET News
I'm the one at family gatherings, holiday parties, birthdays, baby showers, and weddings taking all of the pictures. And the reality was that I was getting tired of the low quality photos from my snap and shoot and out-of-date smartphone -- especially as they compared to those of my friends with dSLRs. I wanted a dSLR that I could use straight out of the box, that was affordable, and that I could do artistic shots with once I was ready to learn how to use all its features. I'm by no means a good photographer, but when you have the technology to capture the joy in the two people you love most, you've done your job as mother, wife, and family photo historian.
- Wendy Dittamore, Senior Director of Audience Development, CBS Interactive
Top 3 things that I love about my Vitamix?
Powerful burst settings that break down even the tiniest bits of spinach and kale...and peanut butter and chocolate and coffee, ingredients which also somehow mysteriously find their way into my protein shakes.
Super easy cleanupfor my latest baby food concoctions. Question: Is pureed meatloaf considered baby food?
Salsa, Guacamole and Margaritas? No sweat for the Vitamix and perfectly paired with outdoor grilling and baseball (or in my case T-ball, which is really just running after the dog to get the ball back and yelling "there's no crying in T-ball.")
- Kristen Riemersma, Senior Director of Production, CBS Interactive