Tech21_Classic_Tactical_1

When I (finally) upgraded my iPhone 5 to the 6, the first thing I did was buy a case for it. I will not ever go without a case for my iPhone … period. I am basically clumsy and always dropping things. I’ve seen too many iPhones with cracked screens to ever want to take a chance with my own overpriced toy with that fruity logo.

When the iPhone arrived in the mail, I already had the case and was happy with my choice. It’s highly rated and deserves it. Then I got the chance to try the Tech21 Classic Tactical Black iPhone 6 case and the obvious question popped into my head: Will the Tech21 case make me want to switch?

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Posted in: Cases, Covers, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Reviews

bluesmart-suitcase

The Bluesmart carryon is actively seeking funding on indiegogo, although it’s already raised more than 650% of its funding goal with 33 days left in the funding period.  This piece of luggage connects to your smartphone via an app and tells you all about itself and your travel – and it charges your devices, too.  It’s made of three layers of polycarbonate, so it’s damage-resistant and lightweight, and it has waterproof zippers to help protect its contents.  It has four spinner wheels for easy moving, and it has a anodized aluminum telescoping handle.  There’s a special locking pocket on the front to protect your mobile devices while still keeping them within easy reach for security checkpoints.  It even has a built-in battery with two USB ports for charging your devices.   [click to continue…]

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Posted in: Bags, News, Travel Gear

scottevest-2-pocket-underwear

It will take a special, ultra-determined, and skillful pickpocket to snag your phone or passport while they are stored in these SCOTTeVEST Travel Boxers.  The underwear is made of a nylon/lycra blend with Aegis Microbe Shield, an “antimicrobial treatment that inhibits the growth of microbes, such as bacteria, mold, and mildew that can cause stains, odors, and deterioration of a product.”  In addition to being cool and comfortable, the Travel Boxers have two pockets – right front and rear left – to hold a phone and a passport, respectively.  (Click the image for a bigger view.)  They have a buttonfly front, and SCOTTeVEST even says you could wear them as shorts in a pinch.  The Travel Boxers are available in black and gray.  They are normally $20 a pair, but you can get them at a 40% discount if you place your order at SCOTTeVEST before October 30 and use the promo code BESTBOXERS at checkout.  (No returns on this product, even if they are unopened.)

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Posted in: Gear, News

Ricoh WG-M1 camera

Portable action cameras are almost a dime a dozen now days, and with so many models, designs, features and accessories it can be hard to choose. Ricoh, a well-known name in imaging has dropped their hat into the action video camera race with the WG-M1. What makes the WG-M1 different from a lot of other models is the fact that it is waterproof up to 10 meters. The Ricoh WG-M1 has the following features listed on their website:

  • 14 megapixel CMOS sensor for high-resolution images
  • Fast f/2.8 ultra-wide angle 160° lens
  • Air-tight waterproof construction allows underwater shooting at a depth of 10 meters for 1 hour – using underwater lens protector
  • Shockproof, ruggedized design protects from drops up to 2 meters
  • Cold-resistant to sub-freezing temperatures of 14 ° F (minus 10° C)
  • The waterproof / dustproof design protects the camera for outdoor-oriented adventures
  • High-resolution 1.5 inch color LCD monitor with approximately 11,000 dots
  • Full HD video in widescreen 1080p resolution (1920×1080) with efficient, high quality h.264 compression at 30 frames per second
  • Change perspective with 4 different angle-of-view settings
  • Large control buttons for easy access to camera functions
  • Dedicated APP for capture control by smartphones and tablets; image editing and sharing available
  • Versatile mounting accessories available

The WG-M1 is available for pre-order on the Ricoh website for $299.95 and will be available in orange or black.

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Posted in: Camera Gear, News

wellograph-5

The Wellograph Wellness Watch is an activity tracker disguised as a fashionable wrist watch or visa versa. The Wellograph is a unisex watch that features a sapphire crystal, always on display and a heart rate sensor. Let’s put it through its paces and see how it shapes up. See what I did there?

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Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, Reviews, Watches, Clocks

incase-sling-bag-for-ipad

Years ago, when the iPad first was released, I reviewed the Incase Travel Kit Plus for iPad and found it was perfect for carrying the iPad, Apple Bluetooth keyboard, cables and chargers, and the included stand.  Well, perfect if it only had a shoulder strap, in my opinion.  Incase has updated the iPad travel kit and added a shoulder strap.  Their Quick Sling Bag for iPad has a single strap so you can throw the bag over one shoulder, and it has an extra zippered pocket on the front to carry a phone or other small item you’d like to get at quickly.  The body has a zippered padded pocket to isolate the iPad from everything else you carry.  The biggest compartment has a sleeve for the Apple Bluetooth keyboard and plenty of room for chargers, cables, and other gear.  The Quick Sling Bag for iPad measures 13″ X 9″ X 3.5″ and weighs 1.4 pounds.  It’s available at the Apple online store for $89.95.

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Posted in: Bags, iPhone, iPad, iPod, News

nova-blox-backup-battery

Juno Power offers the new Nova BLOX backup batteries.  They are cased in a smooth-finish aluminum shell that Juno Power says is about half the size of the palm of a hand.  Inside, they store 4000mAh of power that can give you hours of extra power for your phone or other USB-chargeable device.  The Nova BLOX has four LEDs that serve as charge-level status lights, and it has a built-in flashlight, too.  They are available in silver, gray, or gold for $24.99 from Juno Power.

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Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, News

savel

It goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway, that I love gadgets. I even love gadgets that I’d never buy and that have been designed to fix a problem that is best fixed with a solution that is much less expensive. Today’s example is the Savel by Dreamfarm. What we have here is a colorful foldable plastic base with an attached silicone strap. The idea behind this product is that it can be used to keep cut fruit fresh longer. The base can be used flat or folded to conform to the shape of the cut fruit. Savels come in four bright colors, are dishwasher safe and are priced at $7.95 each. I’m fascinated by products that people invent, but I can’t see myself or many people buying this gadget when a roll of plastic wrap or a box of baggies solve the same problem for much less money. If you want to check out more info about this fruit saver, head over to Dreamfarm. Tip: they do offer some other products that actually look useful.

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Posted in: Home, Kitchen, News

arctic S111BT-01
I’ve had the chance to review a few Bluetooth speakers now, but the Arctic S111BT is the first pair I’ve tried that’s designed as two separate speakers, wired together as a left and right pair. [click to continue…]

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Posted in: Audio, Video, TV Gear, Bluetooth Gear, Reviews

tokyoflash-kisai-adjust-wood

The new Kisai Adjust Wood watch from Tokyoflash Japan lets you select from six colors for the LED display, choose 12- or 24-hour time mode, and select whether the time is displayed horizontally or vertically.  It also has date, alarm, and animation functions.  The case and band are made of either dark sandalwood or maple; the clasp is stainless steel.  Tokyoflash Japan is offering the Kisai Adjust Wood watch at a 48-hour special release price of $109 until Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 11am Japan time.

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Posted in: News, Watches, Clocks

spigen-air-skin

Spigen’s Air Skin cases for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are only 0.4mm thick and weigh only 4 grams and 6 grams, respectively.  That’s hardly bulkier than a sticker skin, but the Air Skin cases are made using a new technology which compresses polycarbonate “to a stable form that can protect a device from bumps and scratches.”  The case has a smooth matte finish and is coated with a layer of urethane to resist fingerprints and to prevent the colors from fading.  The opening at the bottom of the case is big enough that you should be able to use most charging and audio cables with the case.  The Air Skin cases are available in five translucent colors:  soft clear, mint, gray, champagne, or azalea pink for $24.99 for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.  Spigen requires an extended handling period of 7-10 days for these products.

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Posted in: Cases, Covers, iPhone, iPad, iPod, News

zepp

A while back I had an opportunity to review the Zepp golf sports sensor. The Zepp sensor is designed to help you improve your tennis, golf or baseball swings by being attached to your racket, club or bat. As good as the Zepp is, they have just upped their game by adding new features to their golf and baseball apps. Features such as the ability to video record your swing and the ability to compare your swing to professional golf and baseball players. Some of the pros who you can compare and analyze your swing against include: David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Hunter Pence, Jennie Finch, Keegan Bradley, and Brendan Steele. The new app is available today on iOS devices and will be available at Google Play in two weeks. So if you are a Zepp users or want to see what it’s all about, download the free app or check out the Zepp web pages

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Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, News

h-tang

Most smartwatches on the market are chunky, bulky and definitely not feminine. Enter the H.Tang smartwatch, which is currently seeking funding through Pozible.com. This smartwatch looks more like a fancy bracelet than a watch that can track your activity, calorie burn, display the weather and notify you when you have an incoming call or text message. It even has an embedded UV sensor that will keep you notified of the intensity of the sun so you won’t get burned. It features a sapphire-crystal display and is even  waterproof. The crowdfunded project’s goal was $8156 (odd total…), which they’ve already surpassed with a current total of $20,457. A pledge of $82 will reserve a H.Tang silver smartwatch without Swarovski CZ stones. If you want more bling, a $98 pledge will reserve a silver smartwatch without Swarovski CZ stones. For more info visit Pozible.

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Posted in: News, Watches, Clocks

ematic-tablet-1

I’ve been an Apple product user since 1987, and wear that badge with honor. So I’ve never really used Android more than just flicking around on demo models in stores or using a friend’s device. That’s why, when Julie offered this unit to the team, I thought I’d take it for a test spin. What is it? It’s an Ematic 7″ dual core tablet with Android 4.4 KitKat. It goes by the catchy moniker EGD172. Here’s the inside story. [click to continue…]

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Posted in: Android related, Reviews, Tablets, Ultra Portables

bt4000
Remember the 80’s and 90’s before there was such a thing as the iPod? In those days, the music player of choice was the boombox. Now you can relive those days with the RichardSolo BT-4000 Rechargeable Wireless Boombox. It might look retro, but it’s packed with technology too. The BT-4000 features 90mm poly driven stereo speakers, a Bluetooth so you can pair with your smartphone or tablet, and a dedicated SD card slot and USB slot so that you can play music directly from flash memory. This boombox even includes an FM radio with a built-in telescopic antenna and 20-station memory presets. The 2100mAh Lithium polymer battery makes this a mobile speaker / radio that plays up to 5 hours on a single charge. It even has a stand on top to hold your tablet or smartphone. The RichardSolo BT-4000 Rechargeable Wireless Boombox is priced at $99.95 and is available now from RichardSolo.

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Posted in: Audio, Video, TV Gear, Bluetooth Gear, News

apple-iphone6-1
Last week Janet posted a great review of the iPhone 6 Plus. Go check it out of you haven’t read it yet. Verizon Wireless was nice enough to send me the smaller iPhone 6 to try out for a few days. Instead of writing a traditional review, I thought I would do something a bit different. I’m going to chronicle my experiences with the iPhone 6 for the next three or four days and report back here daily with a new section.

First of all let me provide a little background regarding my smartphone history. I was a diehard Apple fan for several years starting with the original iPhone all the way through to the iPhone 4S. During what I like to call my Apple years, I flirted here and there with Android but the relationship never worked out until I met the Samsung Galaxy S3. From then on I’ve shunned iPhones and have been happily using Android smartphones ever since, the latest being an LG G3. That’s why this will be an interesting experiment.

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Posted in: Articles, iPhone, iPad, iPod

dropcam_diy_enclosure

It is not that the Logitech Alert video surveillance system we use has become all that long in the tooth. It still works well enough. The fact is I want/need to expand my coverage and their outdoor cameras are difficult to get ahold of and surprisingly costly when you do. Julie and I have been discussing surveillance cameras for a while now and the Dropcam Pro comes up regularly. With the conversation usually ending in the sad note that it is a shame Dropcam does not have a solution for mounting their cameras outdoors. So, I started looking for an aftermarket outdoor enclosure for the Dropcam Pro and discovered how few there are. However, I did come to find out that folks were creating DIY (do-it-yourself) enclosures and decided to give it a try for myself…  [click to continue…]

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Posted in: Articles, Do-It-Yourself, How-To, Home, Kitchen, Outdoor Gear

LG Banner 2

Post sponsored by Lunchbox but all opinions are my own. It’s autumn, and that means cooler weather, kids are in school, and college football is in season.  Do you know what the above collegiate teams all have in common?  The University of Georgia, Ohio State University, University of Texas, Arizona State University, University of Michigan, University of Southern California, University of California (Berkeley), Nebraska,  and Tennessee have all teamed up with LG,  the official corporate partner of NCAA® Football.  LG and these teams want to make sure you have the best GameDay experience possible.  [click to continue…]

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Posted in: News

archosvr

Due next month, affordable ARCHOS VR Glasses paired with an Android, Windows Phone or iOS smartphone up to 6 inches will provide users with a lightweight virtual reality experience that will transform games and movies into fun and educational adventures that will allow such things as:

-Transform gaming and more with the upcoming ARCHOS Bluetooth game controller
-Turn videos into 360° 3D videos and allow users to be a real part of them
-Make it possible to achieve Icarus’ dream and feel like flying thanks to drones
-Send people to time travel to ancient Egypt, actually giving the feeling of being there

With the upcoming ARCHOS Video Player update, users will also enjoy 3D videos in a stereoscopic mode on their mobile, creating the illusion of seating in a 3D movie theater. Due in November, these glasses will be priced at $29.99. Visit ARCHOS for more info.

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Posted in: Audio, Video, TV Gear, News

kidfit

Activity trackers are very popular right now. Every tech company under the sun seems to be announcing a new tracker every week or so. These trackers are almost exclusively designed for adults, but younger kids can definitely benefit from motivation to get more active too. The latest kid centric activity tracker to come on the market is the KidFit Wireless Activity & Sleep tracker from X-doria. The KitFit has been designed for children ages 5-13 and features a one size fits all slap style bracelet strap and splash proof casing. The tracker doesn’t focus on tracking the number of steps walked or calories burned in a day, but emphasizes a 100 point daily activity goal. It’s not clear if the LCD display on the band provides daily fitness info or just a status indicator, or if parents have to sync their kids daily progress through the free iOS or Android app using Bluetooth 4.0 technology. The app helps kids earn badges as they get close to their goals and helps parents associate those goals with actual rewards. The KitFit tracker is available in four colors and is priced at $49.99. For more info visit X-doria.

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Posted in: Health, Fitness, Sports, Kid Gadgets, News