Essentials at the time of COVID-19
Updated: Jun 3, 2020
I always wanted to write a blog reviewing products (mostly electronics) since a long time. I felt this was the best time to begin as I found myself constantly giving recommendations to friends & family for electronics, appliances and floor-mops and what not.
So I decided to write my First Blog on things I found useful (and personally own) at this time of lock-down and work from home. Hope this can be of help to you all !!!
1. Backup Phone - Redmi Note 8 Pro
The first thought that came to mind after hearing about lock-down was - "what if someone broke his/her phone now !!!". Normally we do have old handsets at home but if you don't, it may be a good idea to arrange one just in case. And remember you won't be able to survive 2 days on old / feature phone so your backup phone should be up to the task of heavy messaging, video calls and your office productivity apps.
2. Hair & Beard Trimmer - Mi Trimmer
Social distancing guidelines will make it impossible to visit places like salon for next few months. Hence we will need to groom ourselves at home (with help from family & friends). This model has 3 features that sets it apart from other models in this price range:
IP67 waterproof - easy to clean under running water
1-20 mm cutting length (Most other models have 1-10 mm)
1. Deep Freezer - Godrej 100L Deep Freezer
For all of us who don't have a second refrigerator, vegetable and dairy supply stocking is a problem in 1 regular sized fridge. Also freezer space limitation makes it even worse. This is fridge / freezer with temperature selector. It can be used to store veggies, fruits and other perishables for a long time. I like its small footprint (2x2 ft.) and understated design with top loading so it can be put in any unused corner of the house without worrying about hatch blocking.
2. Kitchen Fan - Crompton Air Buddy
This is an uncommon product but i found good use of it in my kitchen. You realize how hot the kitchen can get in Mumbai summer while cooking only if you do it yourself. Ceiling fan can only do the job to a limit and you this little tangential fan gives steady breeze of air that you can direct straight on your face to keep you cool. It has options of wall mounting and foot stand but I found its place on the top of refrigerator.
3. (a) Dishwasher Large 12 Plates - AmazonBasics ABDW2019001
Dish-washing is one area where automation is fairly mature and We are finding dishwashers in many homes, specially in metro cities. For appliance with many moving parts I would always prefer German brands due to high reliability. This is a mid level dishwasher with some Indian specific features like "Kadhai Mode" :)
3. (b) Dishwasher Small 8 Plates - Voltas Beko DT8S
I came across this product recently and found it very good value for money. For nuclear families and bachelors, this is sufficient size. Also cost saving is in proportion (~60%) with size saving. Also if you think you will only use dishwasher for few months until this lock-down phase remains, it is still a good investment.
4. Clothes Dryer - IFB 5.5 kg Dryer
With monsoons round the corner, and maids not in sight, this is another useful appliance that will make life simpler. Especially people of coastal region (read Bombay) face high humidity and clothes keep cluttering small apartments for days together. Unfortunately only IFB sells standalone dryer in India, so that's our only bet.
5. Steam Iron - Philips GC1905
I believe in Murphy's law, and hence would like to create backup of small, inexpensive things that are used daily. Iron is one of those items that can breakdown and is unrepeatable. I already faced this issue in this lock-down and thankfully I had ordered a spare one which saved the day.
Work from Home:
We all know how difficult it is to work from home for extended duration. Following items can help improve efficiency during these distant times.
1. Wireless Keyboard & Mouse - Logitech MK275
A must have for heavy coders / excel users and please if you have old wired keyboard / mouse, just get wireless once and you will never go back.
*Not needed of you are only watching movies on your laptop
2. External Monitor - LG 24MP88HV
One more item I can't work in my home setup. A decent Full HD monitor (I miss my 4k office monitor) with IPS panel for crisp text and lots of pixel real estate. I don't care about speakers in monitor but this is a 2020 model with inbuilt speakers so no harm in trying.
3. Printer - Epson L4160
Sometimes I still prefer to read a paper / article / book after printing. It is just more indulging and distraction free as compared to a monitor / tablet etc. Also for people with school going kids a colored printer is a must have during this time. Print books, puzzles, art projects and what not. Must have feature of a printer are:
Duplex print - Save paper
Wi-Fi interface - Place it anywhere
Ink-tank - Low cost per page and self refill
4. Bluetooth Earphones - Redmi Earbuds S
While most of us may already have headphones / earphones (wired / wireless), long calls throughout the day could make you invest in newer product. This Redmi wireless earphone has Bluetooth 5.0 that significantly improves range and audio quality while reducing power consumption. It has playback time of 4 hours with a single charge and total of 12 hours with the charging case.
5. W-Fi Router - TP-Link Archer C1200
My home has a 100 Mbps fiber internet connection but my workstation is Wi-Fi dead spot. If you relate to this, you need to invest in a new router with higher power and antenna gain. Also you need to make sure that router supports dual band (2.4/5GHz) and 802.11AC protocol, generally known as Gigabit Wi-Fi.
Personal Protection & Sanitation:
1. Disposable Gloves - Hand Pro Nitril Gloves
Decent disposable gloves for your grocery trips.
2. Vegetable Liquid Cleanser - MeeMee / Marico
The more paranoid ones like Me are washing all fruits and vegetables and found these veggie cleansers useful and gave me peace of mind.
3. UVC Chamber - Coming Soon !!!
1. Tyre Infrator - Amazonbasics Digital Tyre Inflator
With staggered opening of shops, you regular tyre pressure checkup point may not always in open. Also any tyre emergency at late night and longer trip may cause trouble due to unavailability of mechanic. A simple tyre inflator can at-least get you care to nearest open shop safely. This works on 12V car socket and has an inbuilt flashlight for convenience.
2. Car Duster - Jopasu
With regular manpower absent including your car cleaner, the paint on your car will deteriorate quickly specially once the monsoon sets in. A good quality microfiber cloth can do teh trick but having brush form factor with long handle makes it easier to properly clean dust off large surfaces including hood & roof.
1. Spin Mop - Scotch-Brite Spin Mop
This one is my favorite and the first item I orders on anticipating lock-down. I knew mopping would be my department and this spin mop with dual bucket makes the job very easy without getting my hands dirty.
2. (a) Food Vacuum Sealer - Fresh World 2150A
Looking at the current scenario (20 May 2020), I expect lock-down to continue throughout monsoon continuously or in phases. Rainy season and humidity in Bombay makes it tough to store any perishable item for more than 1-2 weeks. Hence this is my recent investment to process and store veggies & fruits for long.
*Most Food Stay Fresh For At Least 3 Months After Sealed
2. (b) Plastic Roll for Vacuum Sealer - VACUUM PACKERS
Special food grade plastic roll is required for vacuum sealing. The plastic is rough on 1 side and smooth on other to create perfect vacuum seal.
*Please check specification carefully before ordering.
3. 3D Printer - Creality Ender 3
This is the fun stuff !!!
Ever wanted to try designing and making new things. Especially if you have kids you can have a lot of fun with a small 3D printer. This is world's most popular entry level 3D printer for everyone. It takes same space as a laptop on your table and can be kept away from PC also, as it used SD card for printing STL files. You will fins tons of ready-made models online to start and can slowly get into designing using tools like Sketchup & Tinker-CAD.