Running low on desk space due due to that external hard drive, cables and other clutter? Check out the mBack from mLogic, a “Zero-Footprint Hard Drive for iMac and Apple Displays.” Designed to attach to the circular cutout in the display stand of an Apple iMac or Apple display via a threaded cap, the mBack connects via a short cable to the USB port and is bus-powered, so no desk-cluttering AC power adapter or cable is required. Combined with Apple’s automated Time Machine software, the mBack provides an out of sight, out of mind solution for keeping your hard drive backed up. And its styling is visually consistent with the iMac’s as well—that is, in case you ever need to look at it again. Pricing starts at 500GB $79.99, 1TB $149.99 and 2TB $249.99. Visit mLogic for more info.
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Ever wanted to bring your DSLR or mirrorless camera somewhere, but thought twice because you were either worried about protecting it, or didn’t want to lug it in a bulky case? Three chaps named Ohad, Yuval and Guy wanted to solve that problem, so they designed miggo, your “Camera’s Best Amigo,” which is current nearing the end of a crowdfunded Kickstarter campaign. Made from impact-absorbent Neoprene foam interior padding and a flexible Lycra exterior skin, the miggo’s cleverness is that it wraps around your camera to protect it for transport, then unwraps to become a quick carrying solution. I was provided some samples of miggo for review, so let’s check it out.
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Many people leave their DSLR or mirrorless camera at home because they have no effective way to protect their expensive device other than shoving it into a bulky camera bag. Well, three chaps named Ohad, Yuval and Guy wanted to solve that problem, so they designed Miggo, your “Camera’s Best Amigo.” And they’ve just launched a new Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund it. Made from impact-absorbent Neoprene foam interior padding and a flexible Lycra exterior in multiple color schemes, the Miggo’s cleverness is that it wraps around your camera to protect it for transport, then unwraps to become a quick carrying solution. It is available in two versions, Strap & Wrap, a padded strap that acts like a neck or shoulder strap, and Grip & Wrap, a padded strap that acts like a wrist strap, and each of these is available for DSLRs or mirrorless (CMC) cameras. Miggo attaches to your camera via a threaded screw into the tripod mount (which allows it to adjust for various camera sizes) and includes a small lens cap pocket. Backing levels start at $30 and increase from there. The Kickstarter campaign just launched today and ends in 30 days (March 2, 2014).
Surveys may show that wristwatches are less popular than ever due to people carrying mobile phones, but I for one am glad they are still around. My favorite watch styles tend to be big, bold and heavy-duty. That’s why the Mouve M01 caught my eye. Currently in a crowdfunded Kickstarter campaign, the Mouve M01 features a 27-jewel automatic mechanical movement (visible through an exhibition back), a PVD-coated stainless steel case with 10ATM/330ft water resistance and a domed sapphire crystal. Its large face numerals are Super-LumiNova-enhanced for low-light viewing and, as a special twist, “0″ at the at the 12 0′clock instead of the typical “12″. A stitched leather band rounds out the look. Available in three styles, Matte Black and Gun Grey (both starting at $260) as well as Stealth (already all spoken for!). Get your pledges in now, because the Kickstarter campaign only has 11 days left (ends Feb 8, 2014).
A Star Wars fan, I am. A ThinkGeek fan, I am as well. A great match, this is! Ahem. Well, you’ve all seen the little white stickers that adorn the rear window on so many minivans. Typically stick figures, there will usually be one for Dad, one for Mom, one for each of the kiddos and sometimes even ones for Fido and Whiskers, all in order of descending height. Cute, but let’s face it: booooring. ThinkGeek helped me find something better. No, not just better. Awesomer. I now show off my Star Wars fanship (Is that a word? It is now.) by spicing up my famship (Is that a word? Same deal.) with these Star Wars Family Car Decals. They are impressive. Most impressive. If I do say so myself. I am quite impartial about such things. Let’s take a fly-by.
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I’m a fan of the slim wallet craze. I’ve tried a few of them, and it’s been good to minimize the amount of clutter in my wallet and to be able to carry it in my front or back pocket easily. One drawback of many of these slim wallet designs is that you miss out on the traditional look and feel of a leather wallet in favor of man-made materials. The Clean-Cut Wallet, a Kickstarter campaign by Troy Christiansen from Provo, UT, combines both by featuring a vegetable-tanned leather exterior and including a subtle, expandable elastic gusset in its slim, simple design. Troy wanted the wallet to fit in just about any pocket, including the small 5th pocket in jeans, so he made the profile narrow and included a small grab tab for easy removal. Its elastic gusset allows it to holds from 2 up to 10 cards, as well as folded cash. Made in USA and available in five colors – brown (pictured), blue, black, burgundy, and camel. With only 11 days left, you can become a backer on the Clean-Cut Wallet campaign for a slim starting pledge of $12.
Magnets are useful and fun, affixing grocery lists and kid artwork to refrigerators the world over. Brian Conti was tired of the work-issue magnets he was using to hang items from his office white board. They were boring in appearance and weak in magnetic strength. So he fired up his CAD software and designed, then built, some improved magnets that were so popular with his co-workers that they suspiciously began to disappear. Thus, Strong Like Bull Magnets were born, and after a successful Kickstarter campaign, an updated version of them are now available to order on an ongoing basis. Let’s check ‘em out!
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One of our favorite topics here at The Gadgeteer are wallets. And of course we gadget junkies have an affinity toward items that are multifunctional. So when I was perusing the goods on a site called Huckberry a while back, and stumbled upon the form•function•form Architect’s Wallet with its minimalist design of rich, handmade leather, miniature Moleskine notebook and Fisher Space Pen holder, I took notice right quick-like. Given the opportunity to evaluate one, along with the Bow Shackle Bracelet (x), another item from form•function•form, I immediately agreed. Let’s check them out.
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There are a lot of laptop bags and packs out there, but not all of them can effectively organize and carry lots of gear in a streamlined, compact package. As a long-time messenger bag user, I’ve not had much interest in backpacks until my business travel picked back up this past year, and lugging a backpack through airports and hotels seemed easier on the shoulders and back than a messenger. I’ve been somewhat selective about which backpacks I’ve tried out, and a few features of the Everki Atlas Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Backpack, like its adaptable laptop sleeve, put it onto my short list. Let’s check it out. Read More →
GORUCK is all about rucks – commonly known as backpacks. Their bread and butter are simple, yet thoughtfully-designed, nearly indestructible, made-in-USA backpacks like the classic GR1, along with other types of bags and accessories. But one style of bag, one of the most requested since the company’s founding, has been conspicuously missing from GORUCK’s product offering. Until now. The GORUCK Shoulder Bag is here. With its signature simple style and “bombproof” construction, the Shoulder Bag is made from 1000D Cordura nylon and features two interior compartments, one for a laptop, the other with a mesh zip organizer for accessories. It also includes an external pocket, MOLLE webbing on the ends to attach modular accessories, a shoulder strap, and a Velcro strip to attach patches. Available in two versions, the 15L for $195 and the 20L for $205, both of which can hold up to a 17″ laptop. Expensive? Yes, sir and yes, ma’am. But I have a GORUCK GR1, and I can attest to the quality and durability of their products.
We like our tunes! And as much as we like our personal earbuds, sometimes we don’t just want to keep the music to ourselves, we want to jam out loud or share it with the folks around us. The Divoom Bluetune-Bean Bluetooth portable speaker and speakerphone does this in a fun, compact shape and size. It connects to all kinds of devices via its Bluetooth connection and includes a clip to attach it to your pack or belt loop for mobile, hands-free use. Let’s check it out!
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Want a wallet with rugged style and tough-as-nails construction, yet is function and minimalist? Then you need to check out the Architect’s Wallet from form•function•form. Hand crafted from a saddle-stitched piece of thick, rugged 5/6 oz leather, it eliminates the multiple layers of paper-thin leather dividers of typical wallets, in favor of minimalism and usability. It incorporates a write-anywhere Fisher Space Pen (a favorite of many for portability and durability) and a take-anywhere extra small Moleskine Volant notebook (tiny but tough and handy) that is slightly larger than a credit card. With space for three cards inside the notebook flap and five to ten in the thumb-slot pouch, and space for some folded cash and receipts in either slot, the minimalist design will easily fit in the front pocket of all but the skinniest jeans (you know who you are). Available in over a dozen leather color and texture combinations. What’s the catch for all this made-in-USA awesomeness ? Price. Once you’ve emptied your thick wallet on its $98 price tag, a minimalist wallet will be all you need. Also see the related Charette Wallet, which has pen loop instead of a pen pocket.
For us road warriors, fitting in a workout while away from home can be difficult. Hotel gyms vary widely in their usefulness, and just plain finding the time for fitness – either while traveling or at home – can be challenging. Only Bodyweight, a web-based, customizable, exercise program that uses bodyweight-only exercises, might help solve these issues. It allows you to generate and save a workout on your computer in four clicks, then access it months later from your phone or other device. Choose from six difficulty levels, three types of workouts, four workout lengths, and 250+ bodyweight exercises that you can do virtually anywhere you have a place to stretch out. Basic membership is $12.99/month, Full membership is $18.99/month, and a full year membership is $189.90/year. Take a tour for more details, or try any of the memberships with a 7-day free trial.
Mobile devices are among the most useful, fun and ubiquitous of all our gadgets. But the one task they can’t perform (yet) is generating their own power. For that, we need accessories like chargers and cables suited to various locations where power is available. The Just Mobile Highway Max is a charger with a 12 Volt DC input and dual USB 2.1 Amp outputs to charge two devices at once and includes a coiled USB to micro USB cable. Let’s take a look. Read More →
Mobile devices are great. They help save us time, enable us to communicate and entertain us, and so we take them everywhere. But their batteries sure don’t last long enough, do they? While we’re on the road we need a way to charge our mobile devices and preferably to charge more than one at a time. The Signature Mini USB Dual Car Charger from Pawtec runs on a standard 12 volt DC power input like that found in a car or a plane, and it can charge two mobile devices up to a total of 3.1 amps. This could be two phones or a phone and a tablet. Let’s check it out.
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I bring my DSLR camera with me to all sorts of places, as I never know when some crazy scene might break out that I would not want to miss photographing. (Actually, my life typically isn’t really quite that exciting. But I digress.) However, a DSLR isn’t a point-and-shoot camera, and most times the bulkiness of a DSLR in a full-sized case is more than I want to lug around. Sometimes I just want something with minimal protection that is slim, lightweight, and provides quick access to my camera. The CaseLogic DSLR Day Holster seemed to fit that description, and I recently tried one out.
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The ancient Greek scientist and mathematician Archimedes is attributed as stating “Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I will move the world!” If so, Archimedes would probably have liked drinking beer with Brian Conti, creator of a crowdfunded Kickstarter project to produce a unique bottle opener. Following his successfully funded STRONG LIKE BULL Magnets project, Brian has carried its brand and design elements forward into the STRONG LIKE BULL Bottle Opener, which is substantial, to say the least. Machined from durable, lightweight aluminum, it is 1/2 inch thick and 6 inches long and able to apply much more leverage than smaller bottle openers. Additionally, it is designed to fit a STRONG LIKE BULL Magnet, so you can hang your Bottle Opener from the ‘fridge or any other metal object. Brian plans to offer the STRONG LIKE BULL Bottle Opener in several anodized colors at the end of the funding period. $35 will get you a single Opener, while $43 will get you an Opener plus a Magnet. But place your order soon, as the funding period ends on September 23, 2013.
While doing a search for a sternum strap to attach to a backpack, I happened upon a company selling some adventurous-looking gear. As a group of folks who have a love of life in the Great Outdoors (their logo even represents an unfolding topographical map), Topo Designs strives to create products that are simple, functiona,l and beautiful. And like the colorful and rugged state of Colorado, USA, where they are designed and built, Topo Designs’ gear appears to live up to those ideals. All products are handmade from 1000D Cordura, ripstop cotton, and other heavy-duty hardware components. While their main products are backpacks and bags in multiple shapes and sizes, like the cavernous Travel Bag ($229), the slim and stackable Trip Pack ($89), and the convertible Mountain Briefcase ($149), each pictured L-R above, they also offer apparel and accessories. Hike on over and check ‘em out.
Do you take photos in a hot zone (or just want to look like you do)? If so, Echo Niner has some camera accessories and related products you may want to check out. Offering several camera straps, from the spartan Light Speed to the decked-out Dee Lux (pictured), as well as accessories like the Mini Flat Pouch, each of their products includes various useful features and rugged construction. In keeping with the tactical theme, all of their products are available (when in stock!) in black, coyote, and MultiCam, and prices vary by item starting from $19 on up.
How to keep your business cards safe from the grubby mitts of those pesky Jawas? Store them in the Han Solo in Carbonite Business Card Case from ThinkGeek. Made of metallic zinc alloy, it is jet back and features the haunting likeness of everyone’s favorite scoundrel…er, nice man… in raised 3D sculpt. A spring-loaded tray (yes, you read that right – everything is cooler when spring-loaded) allows quick access to about a dozen business cards. It’s got a price on its head of $24.99.
It’s a constant quest ’round these parts to find the thinnest, lightest wallet. Mark Winstein was tired of his thick, leather wallet and not happy with the duct tape, Tyvek, and rubber band “slim” wallets he’d seen, so he designed the Butterfly Wallet. Made from super-thin ripstop nylon, it weighs only 0.2 ounces (less than the weight of a quarter) and is 3mm thin when empty. Its design is simple: classic wallet style with a full-length bill slot and three card slots that hold multiple cards. It’s available in six colors for $14.95 each.
Ever jauntily toss your keys into your purse or bag only to have to go all Indiana Jones to retrieve them from the bottom once they’ve become lodged under mounds of other items? Me either. But if I did, I might check out the Bobino Key Clip. It’s design is simple: keep those keys up near the top of your bag where you can get at them quickly and easily. It attaches to the inside border or a pocket in your purse or bag, then you just hang your keys on the hook – simplicity. Available in six colors for $2.95 each. Oh, and it’s from the same folks who brought you the Bobino Slim Pen.
It’s good to be environmentally conscious. We have been granted stewardship of this planet, and it’s the only one we’ve got. One way to preserve our resources is by taking the “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” approach, like Alchemy Goods does. Taking their cue from the alchemists of old who sought to turn lead into gold, Alchemy Goods “upcycles” products, turning used items into new products (as opposed to recycling, which makes the same item again and again). In this case, the “lead” is used bike tire inner tubes (400k+ and counting, as of this writing), while the “gold” is a diverse product line that includes items from backpacks, belts, and purses to tablet sleeves, messenger bags, and wallets, as pictured above. All of their items are made in Seattle, Washington, and are built tough to last from inner tubes reclaimed all across the country. Fun fact: The little “Ag” logo on each of their products is more than just a nod to the Periodic Table of the Elements; the small number in the upper right corner of the logo indicates the weight percent of upcycled material that goes into that product – a number which they strive to keep as high as possible. Prices range from the $7 Ag Card Holder to the $168 original Messenger Bag or Mercer 15″ Laptop Bag, with lots of products in between.
Raaawwwrr! What else would everyone’s favorite loyal Wookiee co-pilot use to carry his gadgets (and maybe snacks) besides the Star Wars Chewbacca Messenger Bag? Originating as a Comic Con exclusive item, this bag has been (somewhat) faithfully reproduced by ThinkGeek, with the main portion of the bag made from brown, (perhaps not Chewie-approved) vegan-friendly, imitation leather and a shoulder strap made from tough seat belt material (though the ammunition cartridges are painted on). It also features a fabric-lined interior with organization features that will even accommodate a small laptop or tablet, hidden magnet closure top flap, brass buckle main closure straps, and a Star Wars logo embossed on the front. It’s $89.99.