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Author Archive for John Schettino – Page 2

MEElectronics Air-Fi AF9 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Headset with Microphone Review

The Air-Fi AF9 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Headset with Microphone from MEElectronics is a small Bluetooth receiver (with controls and mic) and stereo headset. It provides hands-free talking and Bluetooth stereo media playback/control in a convenient-sized device providing unconnected (to your phone, anyway) use with any Bluetooth-enabled device. Read More →

Intellinet Wireless 450N Dual-Band Gigabit Router and Wireless 300N Dual-Band USB Adapter Review

The Intellinet Wireless 450N Dual-Band Gigabit Router and Wireless 300N Dual-Band USB Adapter are two high-performance, if somewhat bare-bones dual band MIMO 802.11n devices from Intellinet Network Solutions. For this review I swapped out my existing 802.11n router for the Intellinet 450N and tested its performance with a number of different clients. To test the 300N USB adapter I compared its performance to the built-in wireless on a Acer netbook with a single antenna 802.11n 2.4ghz radio. Read More →

BookWedge Reading Pillow Review

The BookWedge inflated wedge is, well, a wedge. A wedge that inflates. At this point you know just about everything you need to know about the product, including its website. I’ll go ahead and prattle on for a few hundred more words anyway, because not only is this a wedge that inflates, it’s actually a great wedge that inflates. Since I’m sitting here in row 19 at 39,000 feet with one, let me walk you through the BookWedge.  Read More →

ePillow Tablet and eReader Stand Review

The ePillow by Veyl Products LLC is a large, soft pillow with a U-shaped ridge designed to comfortably and securely hold a tablet or e-reader in a usable position for extended periods. If you have an Android tablet, iPad, or one of the heavier eReaders (for example, a Kindle Fire which comes in at about a pound), you’ve probably discovered that holding one of these in a “view a film” or “read a book” position for more than a few minutes isn’t really pleasant. In fact, you’ve probably propped yours up against a pillow or other object to try and ease the strain of holding it up… only to have it slide down (or off!) after a while. In a plane or car it’s even worse, since you’re far more limited in available space to make some kind of prop. This is the problem the ePillow is trying to solve – and it does so simply and effectively. Read More →

Sena iPad 2 Ultraslim (Smartcover) and Kutu Cases Review

Sena makes a full line of iPad 2 cases – the two reviewed here are a “basic sleeve” design, the Ultraslim (Smartcover), and a more substantial “box” design, the Kutu. Both claim to work with an Apple smart cover in place, but in actual use only the Kutu really delivers on that promise. Both cases are made with quality leather that certainly gives your iPad 2 a more upscale, professional look while providing ample protection. Read More →

OGIO Squadron RSS Backpack Review

The OGIO Squadron RSS backpack (reactive suspension system – more on that later) is, as you can see in the photo above, a beast of a bag. You can put a lot of stuff into it, and thanks to all the various pockets and compartment, all that stuff will stay put. There’s a dedicated section for your laptop with a protective sleeve (that’s the RSS bit) which will keep it protected, as long as it’s not too big or too thick. Read More →

Nyrius NAEB500 Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones Review

NAEB500 Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones from Nyrius are a refreshing departure from the run of the mill $10 in-ear earphones one usually runs into. They’re priced at $49.95 but are widely available around $30, and as such they cost about as much as 2 or three of those knock-off earphones you’ll find in the big-box store. What you get for that premium are earphones that are built like wee-little tanks, and that provide (after a bit of fiddling and fitting) clearly better sound than those cheaper options. Thanks to the “deep” in-ear/angled design the NAEB500s provide a decent amount of noise blocking as well. Read More →

Newer Technology NuGuard GripStand/GripBase Bundle Review

The NuGuard GripStand/GripBase Bundle from Newer Technology  is a combination base (the GripBase) and iPad case/stand/handle, bundled into a single package. This version is specifically for the first generation iPad – if you have a second generation iPad, you can assume the GripStand 2 version is essentially identical to the version reviewed here – except it will actually fit the iPad 2. This version will not fit the second generation iPad, and visa-versa. In either case (get it?) the GripStand/GripBase combo provides a lot of options for holding or standing up your iPad. You can use the pair together to create a media display, or just the GripStand for a more portable carry/prop combo – or even just the GripStand “case” portion for heavy duty drop protection. Read More →

Pantech Breeze III and Pursuit II (AT&T) Review

The Pantech Breeze III and Persuit II phones are two low-end GSM phones available on the AT&T network for under $100 (currently and often just under $50 with rebate) for new customers with a 2 year term. While both offer decent (and different)  functionality, they have significant limitations when compared to current and last generation smart phones at similar price points. Read More →

Data Watch DataTale PAIR 2.5-inch 2-Bay RAID Enclosure Review

The Data Watch DataTale PAIR 2.5-inch 2-Bay RAID Enclosure is an external dual-2.5″ drive enclosure with just about every interface possible, along with actual hardware RAID capabilities. It comes at a hefty price premium, but if you’ve got the need for external speed, and the right interface option on your target device, it delivers the speed. Alternately, it delivers two 2.5″ disks worth of space, should you need that more than speed. Read More →

GearZap 15″ Notebook Sleeves Review

The Built NY 15-16″ Laptop Sleeve and foofbag MacBook Pro 15″ Sleeve are two of the many Macbook/slim notebook sleeves available from GearZap – “a specialist online retailer of Netbook and Laptop accessories.” This retailer only ships to the UK and most EU member countries, so be sure to check their delivery information page if you’re thinking of ordering from them. With that caveat out of the way, lets look at the Built NY microdot and the foofbag tsunami sleeves. Each provides decent protection to a MacbookPro or similarly sized Notebook, with the Built roomy enough to accommodate thicker (somewhere under 2″ thick) notebooks as well.

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Level8 15” & 17” Atlas Backpack Review

The Level8 15″ & 17″ Atlas Backpack is a workhorse backpack that will haul your 15-17″ laptop along with a small mountain of additional “stuff” with a bit of style, a ton of protection, and a lot of comfort. Thanks to it’s adherence to TSA standards, your laptop can ride through the X-Ray screening station while remaining in the “checkpoint friendly” laptop section. There are four things that are critical for a travel/daily use laptop backpack – rugged construction, ample and organized storage, protection for the laptop, and comfort (when overloaded!) The Level8 Atlas is a winner on all of these. Read More →

Energizer Inductive Charger and iPhone 4 Qi Sleeve Review

The Energizer Inductive Charger and the iPhone 4 Qi (pronounced chee) Sleeve is the newest wireless charging system promising to simplify your charging experience for your myriad rechargable devices. It uses the Qi standard for charging, which is a global standard for wireless charging systems. What this should mean is that as more devices ship with integrated induction charging using this standard, you’ll be able to use them with this charging pad. In the meantime you’re stuck using sleeves to add the necessary charging magic to existing devices, and this is where the promise of easy cable-free charging meets the stark reality of not having any native support in a sleek device for such charging. Read More →

iHome iDM12 Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker System for iPad/iPhone/iPod Review

The iHome iDM12 Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker System for iPad/iPhone/iPod is iHome’s entry into the every growing portable/battery powered Bluetooth speaker market. Like the Monster iClarityHD speakers I reviewed in January, the iMD12 aims to give you mobile sound without the headphones. Unlike the iClarityHD, the iDM12 doesn’t bother with a microphone – it’s not a substitute hands-free system, it’s just a speaker. The overall package is a bit more portable thanks to the combination speaker cover/iPad base – when snapped on the front you’re left with a 7″ cylinder that’s about 2 1/4″ wide – easy enough to toss into a gear bag or luggage. Read More →

Monsoon Multimedia Vulkano Flow Review

The Monsoon Multimedia Vulkano Flow is the latest version of the Vulkano product line, and represents a simplification of the feature set to focus on “place shifting” (streaming) of live television while greatly simplifying the setup of the device and software. I reviewed a pre-release version of the Flow, so there may be very minor differences in the final software, although any differences should be minor. The Flow, like the other products in the Vulkano line, take advantage of the analog loophole in the modern digital era of television. To use it, you’ll need a set top box (either cable or, satellite) that outputs component or composite analog versions of whatever it’s receiving. If you’ve got that, you’re good to go with the Flow. Read More →

iWrap Dry Body Wrap Protector for iPhone 4 Review

The iWrap Dry Body Wrap Protector for the iPhone 4 (Verizon and AT&T) is a full coverage (more or less) wrap system that applies without any liquids. This is a much saner method than those previous wet-application systems, as in the Wrapsol review I did a few years ago, and the results are at least as good, if not better. The iWrap system uses a simple two piece backing method of separating the large front and back panels from their backing for application without fingerprints, and it includes small bits that wrap around the outside edge to provide scratch protection and coverage of the antenna gap for the AT&T iPhone. Read More →

Tekkeon myPower for iPhone 4 Review

The Tekkeon myPower for iPhone 4 case/battery system is a complete solution for extended iPhone 4 use and protection. With a hot swappable battery component, you can extend your iPhone’s battery life into days, at the expense of a little more thickness and the need to remember to flip a switch now and then. Read More →

Monster iClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth Speaker 100 Review

The Monster iClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth Speaker 100’s name might be bigger than the speaker itself, but it packs a lot of sound into that small space. It also makes a fine hands-free audio bridge (speaker & mic) for your Bluetooth-enabled devices. It does this in an attractive and very portable package that will grind out sound for many hours on a charge. Read More →

MEElectronics M9P Hi-Fi Sound-Isolating In-Ear Headphones with Microphone Review

I’m one of those people who have ears that just don’t work with the Apple earbud headsets. I really prefer the in-ear style, which is why I was eager to review the MEElectronics M9Ps. They’re priced just above the bulk earbud prices, have an interesting style, and looked like they’d be a good solution for those looking for an in-ear wired headset. I’ve been using them for a couple weeks in my normal routine, and overall they’ve performed admirably.

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SGP iPhone 4 Leather Case – Valencia Swarovski Series Review

SGP sells a wide range of mobile device cases and protectors, with a focus on style. At least, that’s the message delivered from their web site. I received a white Valencia Swarovski Series leather iPhone 4 case for review, and immediately turned it over to my resident bling expert, my 14 year old daughter. I’ll walk you through the technical evaluation, and then pass along her “coolness” assessment at the end. Read More →

Cirago USB Micro Bluetooth 3.0 Adapter Review

This might be the shortest review ever! I reviewed a pair of Cirago USB Micro Bluetooth 3.0 Adapters – the BTA6310, a class 1 device rated up to 330ft of range, and the BTA3310, a class 2 device good for the more typical 33 foot range for Bluetooth. They come in nearly identical packaging, and other than the range and slight size difference, they perform identically.

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OrionGadgets iPhone 4 Sync & Charge Flexible Cradle Review

The OrionGadgets iPhone 4 Sync & Charge Flexible Cradle is a simple and effective combo charging stand and/or sync stand for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPod – despite the name, it will happily accommodate any iDevice with a standard dock connector, thanks to an adjustable and fairly deep dock connector, it can even do so with many cases/bumpers in place. Read More →

Cirago USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station Review

The Cirago USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station is one of those standard external USB docks for the drive freak in all of us. If you’ve got a small pile of SATA drives collecting dust because you’ve upgraded your laptop, or desktop, or both, and you don’t really need yet another USB drive enclosure, this docking station will let you pop a drive in and use it for backup, moving files, whatever, with ease. Support for USB 3.0 means that eventually, you’ll be able to do that a bit faster, too. Read More →

NewKinetix Rē iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch Universal Remote Control Review

The NewKinetix Rē universal remote control is a combination of hardware and software that aims to turn your iOS device into a high end universal remote control. If you’ve ever been tempted by one of those $200 plus touch screen programmable remotes, you’ll find the Rē to be a capable substitute. In many ways, it surpasses the performance of those other remotes. Of course the drawback is you’ll need to use an iOS device as your remote! Read More →

AGF Beetle Case for iPhone 4 Review

The AGF Beetle case is one of many iPhone 4 clam shell cases available. There is nothing exceptionally remarkable about the AGF, either good or bad, to distinguish it from all the others like it. It’ll do what it’s supposed to do – protect your iPhone (and keep your skin off the antenna, to boot) as you would expect a case to do, and it will look OK while doing it. Read More →