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The most clichéd tech nerd gear - you've probably seen all these before!

There are some examples of cliche tech that you just see everywhere - particularly across YouTube. Lets take a look at some of the most common gadgets.

Published onJuly 14, 2017

Sometimes an OEM just gets it right. There are a few examples of devices on the market that just work, that are a pleasure to use and that offer a reliable service. When that happens, and if the tech also has that ‘desirable factor’, well .. then you start to see it everywhere.

And that is particularly true for those of us working in the tech industry. We are tech nerds, undoubtedly. We have chosen jobs that involve sitting in front of computers, writing about other computers. And so we tend to gravitate to certain gear… Which probably gets a little cliché for those of you at home watching the same items pop up in every video!

Just what are those same headphones that appear time and time again? In this post, we’ll look at the biggest clichés in tech gear!

Mechanical keyboard

If you’re going to call yourself a content developer, then you’re going to need yourself a mechanical keyboard. This let’s everyone know you are a writer and you’re into your tech and especially anyone who is within earshot – these things are noisy. If you’d like to be a little more ostentatious, then you can choose something gamery like the RGB Strafe from Corsair. Mine literally pulses every time I hit a key, because that’s what I learned from Random Frank P. (I saw the rhyme coming and I went for it).

For those not in the know, a mechanical keyboard is a keyboard that uses old-style switches with more travel and a clicky feel. These come in a variety of flavors (Cherry MX-Red, Cherry MX-Blue) and I have it on good authority that the only acceptable choice is the MX-Blue. This is the switch of champions and also the loudest and most obnoxious, of course.

A mechanical keyboard is supposed to provide a more comfortable typing experience and feel more satisfying to use. It’s only slightly less hipster than using a retro-fitted typewriter. With a DVORAK layout.

MX Master Mouse

I do not own this mouse, seeing as I’m cheap. And I’m fairly new to the biz. I have some goofy mouse with number buttons on the side instead.

But if like me, you enjoy watching videos from the likes of Jonathan Morrison – of well-lit tech slowly panning in and out of camera – well then you’ll probably have come across the MX Master Mouse. This is the mouse that seems to be used and recommended by just about everyone. Why? Well, it’s very ergonomic, highly customizable and supports side scrolling. Also it is terribly in vogue. Seeing as my wrist is in constant crippling pain from my mouse, it’s probably time I coughed up!

Blue Yeti Mic

The Yeti Mic from Blue appears to be the USB microphone of choice for legions of gamers and plenty of podcasters, along with the Blue Snowball (the multi-directional, cheaper option). When I started researching how to improve video quality on my own channel, I found this was recommended in a ton of ‘how I make my videos’ vlogs. Marques Brownlee recommends the Yeti and describes it as classic YouTube gear. So there you go.

Can’t imagine why this didn’t work!

It turns out it’s not all that handy when you need to move around on camera, so my Snowball just kind of sits there on a long arm. But it makes me look like a pro. So: worth it.

Manfrotto Pro Video Head

Speaking of behind-the-scenes tech, another mainstay of countless vloggers and YouTubers is the Manfrotto Panning Head. This is how you get those smooth panning shots of phones lying sexily on park benches. This attaches to the tripod – which is very often some variation on the Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 – and then provides just enough resistance to allow the camera to turn smoothly while the camera remains on the spot. It requires a certain finesse however, otherwise footage comes out inconsistent and jittery.

The camera set up is pretty cliche. But the GPD Pocket is special…

A while back when I attended my first tech conference, I remember feeling like I was in a Manfrotto commercial, or a sponsored Michael Bay movie, as everyone pulled out their same tripods, with the same panning heads.

Panasonic GH5 or RX100

Of course you’ll also need an actual camera to go on top of that tripod and panning head. Unless is it literally just for show. Here, many tech nerds will pick the Panasonic GH5. It’s a solid mirrorless camera that comes with all the features you might want for creating YouTube videos or just any solid footage. These include 10-bit 4K, as well as a rotatable selfie-screen.

Also popular is the RX100 in its various permutations. It has another articulating screen and delivers truly pocketable 4K, making it another strong contender among tech nerds!

Surface Pros

While we might have a strong Android-centric bias here, there still isn’t really a suitable Android or Chrome device capable of coding, video editing and publishing. That means we need to turn to other devices. Macbook Airs are certainly popular but more and more Surfaces have been popping up over the last couple of years.

Wrong headphones. I have failed as a millennial.

In fact, I am rather partial to working in coffee shops and libraries and slowly, I’ve seen my fellow mobile workers get completely overtaken by Surface Pros (the 4 to be specific, though the new 2017 model will likely now take its place).

The Surface Pro is light, it’s versatile and its surprisingly powerful. I just wish I had more of a valid reason to use the pen-input.

Audio-Technica ATH M50X Headphones

These headphones are comfortable, they provide a great sound quality and they’re suitable for use as studio monitors. Importantly, they also fold up nice and small, for sticking into a bag and taking on the move. For the money, they’re up there with the best and so they’ll often crop up conspicuously in the background of those gadget shots. Though I have heard some rumors that the cheaper M40X is equally as good.

Marvel Legends Full Scale Iron Man Helmet

I don’t really know why, but this helmet pops up in a whole ton of gadget review videos on this channel and on plenty others. I guess it’s partly to do with the fact that it looks so glossy and shiny on film and partly to do with the fact that Tony Stark is the coolest fictional nerd (sorry Dexter).

Again, I am letting down my fellow nerds on this one – I don’t own one. But I do have a pretty sweet ‘holographic’ Iron Man display and a Hot Toys figure that I’m rather partial to. I think it’s fine, so long as it’s Iron Man.

Of course on this channel, that little Android figurine is also known to put in a few appearances!

And there you have it! That’s some of the most clichéd tech circulating right now. Why not have a good game of tech video bingo? Load up your favorite tech review and see how many of these gadgets you can spot!