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Author Archive for Dave Rees

NKMOS announces latest Kickstarter project: the AirStand


The folks at NKMOS are at it again… they have created a new high end smart-device accessory. The AirStand is a high end minimalistic, CNC machined aluminum universal tablet stand. It is capable of folding flat but has a support that can rotate 360 degrees. It uses the same sticky pad technology that is found in their premium in-car mount Ultima Model S I reviewed earlier this year. The AirStand Kickstarter project goes until Oct 17th. A pledge of 70 AUD ($65.24 USD) will reserve one AirStand. Shipping is estimated for January 2015.

Wicked Lasers Flashtorch flashlight review


A couple of years ago (2012) I reviewed the Wicked Lasers Torch (see Other Articles to Read at end of post), touted at the time as “the most powerful handheld flashlight in the World”, and at a whopping 4100 lumens, it was wickedly bright, extremely hot, but sadly very utilitarian looking.  The designers at Wicked Lasers have recently introduced a next generation of the Torch called the Flashtorch that has much more operational polish and more stylish looks than its predecessor. They have fortunately sent me one to try out. Read More →

T-Mobile/Uncarrier 5.0 Test Drive review

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Well, I did the deed… I signed up for T-Mobile’s new Test Drive program John Legere announced late last month. My hope was that their service really is a more cost-effective, viable option for our family. Verizon has been our cellular provider for nearly a decade. But their Cadillac service has always come at a premium price. Cost, lack of unlimited data, and decline in service quality were definitely the reasons that I wanted to see if the grass was greener elsewhere. T-Mobile’s allowing you to try their service with a high end smartphone, no commitment or strings attached is simply BRILLIANT…  Read More →

Swich wireless charger will make you want to switch to Qi charging


I am definitely a fan of wireless charging and worthy Kickstarter projects. In this case, the folks at Lutman Design have created the Swich, a very unique and innovative Qi charging stand that is currently seeking backing in its Kickstarter campaign that ends later this month. The Swich is constructed of a ceramic base and mount platform with a CNC machined piece of American dark walnut connecting the two. The main face of the Swich has a layer of micro-suction tape to hold your smart device securely in place. The Swich is meant to not only charge your phone in style but hold it at a more functional height and angle as well. Its main face can rotate 90 degrees for either vertical or horizontal orientation of your device. A pledge of $170 reserves your choice of Swich in white or black. If funded, the Swich is expected to ship by end of this year.

TKS: Titanium Key System review


I love the concept of Kickstarter, enabling those with ideas to bring them to life and put them out there for the world to see.  If others agree, they put their hard earned money down to fund the creation of something new and (hopefully) innovative. Occasionally, the Gadgeteer gets to tryout Kickstarter projects before their funding window closes to see if what is being offered is worthy, and if so, let our readers know about some cool new gadget before it hits the streets. In this case, the folks at C4 Labs sent me their Titanium Key System (or TKS for short) to give a try. Read More →

T-Mobile/Uncarrier 5.0 temptation…

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This week T-Mobile announced the latest tweak to their Uncarrier movement – version 5.0. The highlight of Uncarrier 5.0 includes a free 7-day test drive of their network (on a iPhone 5s no less). With supposedly no strings attached. And to sweeten the deal, T-Mobile is also giving its customers free music streaming that does not eat into their data limits.  Read More →

Colonel Littleton No. 18 Tablet Portfolio review


Last year I reviewed Colonel Littleton’s No. 23 iPad Portfolio (see related links for the review), which was a great mix of new- and old-world functionality. The No. 23 portfolio was designed to specifically hold a full-sized iPad and tablet of paper. Colonel Littleton has recently released a sibling portfolio meant to safely transport a wide variety of tablets, while still incorporating the convenience of a pad of paper to write on. The No. 23 and No. 18 portfolios are similar in many ways, but Colonel Littleton’s Tablet Portfolio is designed to remain relevant as technology evolves. With new tablets being released weekly, the No. 18’s is a leather tablet case with the ability to hold nearly any tablet 10-inches or smaller, making it useful for years to come. Read More →

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 review


I love building things with LEGO, from as far back as I can remember to this day, with the Gadgeteer Kid.  I would argue that LEGO are one of the greatest toys ever invented, enabling kids and adults alike to transform their imagination into reality. Back in my day, all we had were the classic bricks, but in today’s world you can build everything from Hogwarts Castle to a real-life, fully functional Braille printer. The Mindstorms EV3 is arguably the most advanced and capable LEGO set ever released. The Gadgeteer Kid and I will be taking a look at LEGO’s latest and greatest technology as a joint review. ;) Read More →

Colonel Littleton leather in tuxedo black…


I was dancing around the Net and decided to swing by the Colonel Littleton website to see if he had designed any new leather creations lately. I was surprised (and a bit shocked) to see that he is now handcrafting many of his classic designs in black leather with brown trim. Some of the products that caught my eye are pictured here. Clockwise from the top, they include the No. 18 Portfolio, No. 48 Phone Holster Belt Loop model, No. 6 Pocket for small tablets and the No. 1943 Navigator Briefcase. These new are very interesting and stunning tweaks to his second-to-none products.

SKY Technologies Blue Handheld Laser review


It is interesting and humorous how thoughts and opinions differ between men and women on certain topics. Many times there is a black and white line separating their perspectives on some things. In this case, (overly-) powerful handheld lasers… the kind that can pop a balloon from across the room, melt plastic, and need eye protection to use. So far, every female has either asked me what is it used for or reminded me how dangerous it is. Whereas, every guy has smirked, asked to see it, try it, participate in my reviewing of it, or said they would take it off my hands when I am done. In this case, I am referring to the SKY Technologies one watt handheld blue laser I was sent to review / (smirk) play with. Read More →

ZAGG invisibleSHIELD GLASS screen protector review


I am a huge advocate for screen protection and when available, full-body protection on my electronic devices…from my smartphone to my laptop. For years, ZAGG invisibleSHIELD films have protected my smart-devices, even now one of their full-body films protects my MacBook Pro. But in the past few years, glass screen protectors have become increasingly more prevalent and in many cases, the norm. To be candid, I am surprised it has taken ZAGG so long to get into the game, but with their new invisibleSHIELD GLASS they have done just that. Read More →

Pad & Quill Field Bag review


Pad & Quill have been creating handmade tech-accessories with old-world craftsmanship for many years now. Kari and Brian (Mr. and Mrs. PQ) pride themselves on not creating “cheap, mass produced crap” but incredibly well constructed items they would be proud to give their “discriminating” friends and family…and thankfully the rest of us as well. Recently, they introduced a line of leather bags; The Field, The Messenger, and The Satchel bags meant to carry your tech-gear around with you throughout your world. P&Q have sent me one of their Field Bags to give it a look/try for this review. Read More →

LEGO MINDSTORMS Build 4 Good Robo Challenge event report


This past week, the Gadgeteer Kid and I had the opportunity to attend the “Build 4 Good” LEGO MINDSTORMS Robo Challenge at The EMP Museum here in Seattle. The premiss of the competition was to use MINDSTORMS to solve real problems or otherwise improve someone’s daily life. I have been playing with LEGO as far back as I can remember and the Kid & I love building with them regularly to this day. It is impressive how once simple blocks have evolved into being able to create actual machines/robots capable of helping real people with real problems. Read More →

NKMOS Ultima S car mount review


One of the perks of being a Gadgeteer is occasionally receiving (aka getting our grubby tech-loving hands on) a prototype of a product before the rest of the world. In this case, NKMOS has sent me one of their new all aluminum universal car mounts to give a try even before their Kickstarter campaign has closed. The Ultima Model S is similar in many ways to the original Ultima but with an all new a “front sticky-pad system” that, according to NKMOS, can securely hold devices the size/weight of an iPad. I love the original Ultima I reviewed awhile back and I continue to use it daily on my commute. My hope is that the new Ultima S only improves on an exceptionally designed product. Read More →

Adidas miCoach SMART RUN watch review


Winter is nearly over and it is time to get mentally prepared/excited for getting outside and exercising. For me that means tennis and running. As I age, the latter being less appealing than it use to be. Each year I do my best to augment my excitement for pounding pavement with fun and interesting tech, engineered to help me run more efficiently and train more effectively. That said, wearable health fitness tech is all the rage these days and recently Adidas has gotten into the game with their Android based miCoach SMART RUN watch. They sent me one to give it a go and see how it fairs against my rainy/sweaty get back into running shape training regime. Read More →

iDevices iGrillmini review

idevices_igrillmini-1The Gadgeteer Kid and I are huge carnivores, as are many of our friends and family members. We barbecue year-round, especially during the summer months. As many of you aficionados of the grill know, cooking everyone’s meal to perfection can be a challenge. Well, the folks at iDevices have recently introduced the iGrillmini, a smaller, more tech-rich follow-on to their original iGrill meat/temperature monitor engineered to help you do just that. Read More →

NKMOS Ultima car mount review


There are countless cheap plastic mounts designed to hold your smart device while driving in an orientation that enables your device to function handsfree while keeping both hands on the wheel. Many of these mounts work just fine and fulfill their intended purpose. But when I can avoid plastic, I do and typically look for a well designed, tech-stylish metal equivalent to get the job done. In this case, the folks at NKMOS sent me the Ultima, their CNC machined car mount which has been touted as the best in its class currently available to give it a try. Read More →

Gadgeteer: Show us your desk series – Dave


I have been a writer here at the Gadgeteer for over a decade. Hard to believe it has been that many years. It all started with a tech question in an email to Julie that led to her eventually asking me to join the team. I believe there were only four of us back in the day. Seems like forever ago… But I digress, I will begin with my desk itself; it is a heavy solid wood, turn of the century behemoth. My wife and I bought it decades ago in pretty rough shape and refinished it together as an ‘us’ project. As you can see, I prefer to keep it as minimalist as possible. I hate clutter and am always fighting the battle of keeping it tidy. Read More →

SCOTTeVEST SeV Revolution Plus jacket review


I have always wanted to try a SCOTTeVEST article of clothing for myself. Julie has reviewed many of their creations over the years.  Jackets, vests, pants, etc…all designed to inconspicuously carry your gear with you, giving each article its own space to ride along in.  I finally get my chance, SCOTTeVEST sent me their SeV Revolution Plus jacket to give it a try. It will be interesting to see how well it does against a wet, damp, windy winter and spring here in the Pacific Northwest. Read More →

Brando STAR WARS Darth Vader Lightsaber Portable Battery Charger review


As huge Sci-Fi geeks and Star Wars fans, the Gadgeteer Kid and I have literally dozens of lightsabers kicking around our house. So, when Brando recently introduced a novelty smartphone accessory in the shape of Darth Vader’s lightsaber, I offered to take a look to see if the PowerBank was worthy enough to represent the Dark Lord.
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RAVPower Qi-Enabled Wireless Charging Pad review


I hate cable-clutter, and oh how I do love wireless charging. It is a shame Apple has not led the way in this technology, and it is one of the many reasons I have recently switched from the iPhone 5 to the Galaxy Note 3 w/Qi-enabled back cover. I have tried the Nokia 901 Fatboy pillow, Brando, and TYLT stands but have yet to try a flat plastic plate/pad style Qi charger. When Julie asked if I would like to try the Qi-enable wireless charging pad by RAVPower…my response was “but of course!!!” Read More →

Did the Cadillac of smartphone car mounts just get even better?


Several years ago NKMOS introduced the Ultima, their top-of-the-line, CNC machined aluminum smartphone car mount. Well the designers/engineers at NKMOS have just raised the bar and are beginning a new Kickstarter project, the Ultima S. The Ultima S is even sleeker, more minimalistic and easier to use than its predecessor. While still made from high grade aluminum, they have simplified how their mount holds your smartphone. Instead of a padded metal clamp, the Ultima S has a “front sticky pad system” that (according to NKMOS) can securely hold devices the size/weight of an iPad. The first 500 pledges can snag the Ultima S for a mere $45.

You don’t need to be a magician to use Scosche’s magicMOUNT


Scosche has recently announced their new magicMount magnetic mounting system. The magicMount system has a cradle-free design that uses high-powered magnets to hold/secure your device where you want/need it. The magicMount was a finalist for the “Best of Show” at CES this year. It is available in surface ($15), car dash/desk ($20), window ($25), and powered ($30) design configurations.

PDair Premium Tempered Glass Film Screen Protector for the Apple iPad mini review


Although many today believe the Corning Gorilla glass on their smartphone is strong enough to protect itself, I love glass screen protectors.  Just the other day, a friend told me the tempered glass protector I gave (aka forced on) him as a Christmas gift had protected his screen from a long gash that some unknown object (I am betting his keys) had put on the front face of his Nexus 5. Thankfully, the screen protector did its job. The folks at PDair have jumped into the frey, creating glass screen protectors for many of today’s smart devices. In this case, they sent me their Premium Tempered Glass Film Screen Protector for the Apple iPad mini to give it a try. Read More →

Is the NKMOS Ultima the Cadillac of smartphone car mounts?


The Ultima is the highest quality smartphone car mount I have ever heard of or seen. NKMOS originally introduced the Ultima as a KickStarter project back in 2012, where it surpassed its initial goal many times over. What sets the Ultima apart from the rest is its all-aluminum body, extra strong suction cup, stylish design, and $100 price tag. The top-of-the-line car accessory is available in black or silver and is able to hold smart devices up to 3.31 inches (84mm) wide.