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Author Archive for Julie Strietelmeier

Grace Digital Encore Wi-Fi Music Player Internet radio review

gracedigital-encore-7 We review a lot of speakers here on The Gadgeteer. Some of them have Bluetooth, AirPlay or NFC. The speaker I’m reviewing today doesn’t have any of those features. What it does offer are some things that most of the speakers we review don’t have including a color display, physical remote control and the ability to play 1000′s of internet radio stations. Let’s take a closer look at the Grace Digital Encore Wi-Fi Music Player Internet radio. Read More →

Amazon Fire TV, Ninja blenders, LEGO and more – Weekly roundup


Did you miss one of our posts this week? We covered quite a few topics from Janet’s and my review of the Amazon Fire TV streaming video device, to Dave’s trip report when he and his son (the Gadgeteer Kit) attended a LEGO build challenge event and Mark’s news post about the Smartbean Bluetooth dongle. Check out the full list after the jump.  Read More →

ZAGG introduces Auto-Fit keyboards for 7-10″ Android tablets


The new line of Auto-Fit Bluetooth keyboards from ZAGG offers one-size fits all compatibility with a wide range of Android tablets from multiple manufacturers. The keyboards feature a spring-loaded cover that can expand to accommodate the specific height of the Android tablet. When inserted, the Auto-Fit keyboard turns the tablet into a pseudo mini laptop, with a cover that allows 135-degree viewing angles. When closed, the Auto-Fit offers protects the tablet against scratches, dirt, and drops. One of the best features is the keyboard’s battery which provides up to one year of use without the need for a charge.

The 7-inch Auto-Fit keyboard is priced at $79.99. The 8- inch model will be available at the end of May and the 10-inch keyboard will be available in June. Visit ZAGG for more info.

Aero-Tray allows you to maximize airplane tray table space


Traveling by airplane can be great for getting to your destination quicker than by car. I enjoy almost every aspect of air travel except for one – cramped seating space. I always feel like a sardine that has been crammed into a metal tin. It’s tolerable when all I want to do is play a game or read a book on my smartphone or tablet, but when I want to use my laptop, it’s really uncomfortable. The Aero-Tray is an interesting solution for this problem. It’s a portable, ergonomic work area for laptops, mobile devices, books, magazines and more. The Aero-Tray can be used on planes, trains, automobiles, in bed, on your lap – you name it. This collapsible tray creates room for tech gear, food and beverage, and entertainment materials to be used in a comfortable manner in even the tight spaces. The Aero-Tray is available in two colors and retails for $59.95 USD. For more info or to order, visit

Faveable provides gaming mice recommendations


If you’re wondering which gaming mouse you should to go for, our friends at Faveable have compiled a list of awesome gaming mice to give you an edge while gaming. If you thought gaming mice are just for FPS games like Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite, Call of Duty and likes, think again! Today’s gaming mice feature several programmable buttons, multiple user profiles, user-adjustable weights and top-notch accuracy. There are also options specifically for those who play MMORPGs like World of Warcraft. Check out the article below at for some gaming mice suggestions.

nanoblock miniature building block kit giveaway


LEGO bricks are fun to build with, but if you want a change of pace, check out nanoblocks from The Ohio Art Company, makers of the famous Etch A Sketch. Nanoblocks are miniature building blocks that let you build detailed models that will fit in the palm of your hand. The folks at Nanoblocks is letting us give away 2 building kits to 2 lucky Gadgeteer readers. It’s their way of generating interest for their first-ever national nanoblock Award: Build It Your Way Competition. Builders of all ages can put their imaginations to the test and build their very own unique creations using only nanoblock bricks. The winner will be crowned TATSUJIN: Master of nanoblock along with many other prizes!

Visit nanoblock on Facebook and Twitter for more info about their Build It Your Way competition:
Twitter: @nanoblockUSA
nanoblock on the web:
nanoblock’s contest page

Click through to submit your entry for a chance for our contest to win a nanoblock building kit!

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Snag a copy of “Best Android Browser: Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Opera vs. Dolphin”

Best Android Browser: Chrome vs. Firefox vs. Opera vs. Dolphin is a free 17 page guide that talks about Android web browser applications. In addition to Chrome (Android’s default browser) this guide looks at three other popular third-party browsers: Firefox, Opera and Dolphin. The browsers are graded on their user interface, speed, special features, standards and syncing capability. Which brwoser do you think wins the battle? I was surprised! With this free download you will also receive free weekly coverage on the latest technology news and developments from Laptop Magazines eNewsletter.

There are a few hoops to jump through to get this guide, but it helps The Gadgeteer to earn some some affiliate fees that can help us to bring you more cool product reviews.

Faveable focuses on cool gadgets with huge discounts


Thanks for tuning in to another partnered posts from Faveable. Over the last couple of months, we’ve posted some collection articles related to gadgets and men’s stuff provided by Based on feedback received, folks over a Faveable have decided to focus on discounted products at least once a week. This will ensure that you don’t pay full price on some products if you really liked them. What better way to kick things off than a limited-time Amazon offer on Kingston products. Some of the best offers include $16 32GB Class 10 microSD memory card$13 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive$35 Wireless Flash Memory Reader$8 Gaming MousePad and more (all these ending tonight 4/15/14, so act FAST). If that’s not enough, here are few more!

Amazon Fire TV review


Three years ago, Janet and I posted a dual review of two of Roku’s latest video streaming devices at that time, and we’ve been using those devices ever since.  Over the years, I’ve used similar devices like the Apple TV (original model), Boxee Box, Popcorn Hour and WDTV. Of all those devices, my favorite has been the Roku due to size and ease of use. But when I heard that Amazon was going to jump into the same product category with their own video streaming device, I knew I would want to try one.  I ordered one on the first day they were announced and have had a few days to try it out. Janet did the same and now we’re ready to share our thoughts.

My comments will be in black; Janet’s will be in blue italics.

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How to find past product reviews and articles on The Gadgeteer


Since we updated the website layout at the end of last year, I’ve tried a couple different search plugins  that didn’t end up working very well, so I finally decided to go back to using Google’s search because it’s faster and works better than all the others I’ve tried. Here’s a quick tutorial that I posted a few years ago on how to use the search feature. All the same info applies now, so I thought everyone could benefit from a quick refresher.  Read More →

Faveable helps you pick a compact smartphone


Are you in the bigger is better camp when it comes to choosing a smartphone, or do you prefer a phone that will fit in your pocket? These days it seems like manufactures are pushing the limits of how large a phone can be before it’s no longer a phone. That’s where the word “phablet” originated. Large smartphones are considered a hybrid of a phone and a tablet. Not everyone wants or needs a phone with a six inch display. If you prefer a more compact phone, Faveable’s latest article might help you find one that is right for you. They highlight seven phones from the Blackberry Q10 with its handy built in QWERTY keyboard, to the Motorola Moto G for the budget minded shopper.

Read Faveable: Best Compact Smartphones Worth Considering in 2014

Lightning Rabbit USB cables review


If you’ve ever looked at your USB cables and thought “Ugh, these cables are not worthy of my gadgeteer greatness”, I have some cables that are several steps above all those generic cables you have stashed in your drawers and gear bags. Lightning Rabbit cables are the Cadillac of USB cables, but are they worth their matching Cadillac price? Let’s see.

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Faveable helps you choose a laptop


Finding the right laptop for your special needs can be a very difficult process, especially in today’s market when there are dozens of brands and confusing specs to deal with. The team at Faveable have compiled a list of great laptop options to serve different needs. The list covers super-affordable Chromebooks, powerful gaming laptops, ultra-portable business machines and even a flagship offering from Apple running Mac OS X with a super-high resolution display.

Check out: Top 10 Best Work Laptops

Logitech launches the G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse


If you are serious about your gaming. I mean REALLY serious, I’m not talking Angry Birds or Flappy Bird serious. Then you’re sure to drool over Logitech’s latest gaming peripheral. It’s the G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse, and it looks like a gamer’s dream gadget. This is a customizable mouse with the world’s first 12,000 DPI sensor that can go from 200 to 12,000 DPI when you need it.

Key features:

  • Surface tuning calibration: Featuring exclusive Delta Zero™ technology, the Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse lets you tune the gaming sensor to work better on any surface, so you can achieve maximum accuracy, precision and responsiveness.
  • Weight and balance tuning: The overall weight as well as the center of balance of the mouse can be customized based on the placement and number of a series of small weights. Add up to five 3.6g weights for personalized mass and balance.
  • 11 programmable controls: Great in default mode, but built to adjust to your style, the Logitech G502 Proteus Core lets you set up one-button triggers, put push-to-talk in easier reach, temporarily down-shift DPI for sniping, or reassign any command or macro to one of the 11 programmable buttons.

The Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse is available for $79.99. For more info or to order, visit Logitech.

BugsGear Aqulele plastic ukulele review


Plastic ukuleles can be considered to be both retro and modern. They were really popular back in the 1950′s with plastic ukes from Maccaferri and other brands. Over 60 years later, plastic instruments are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why would you even want a plastic ukulele? Because it’s an instrument that you won’t have to worry about. You can throw it on the couch, leave it in the back seat of your car, give it to a child to play with, take it camping, etc. All things you might not what to do with a nice solid wood ukulele. I’ve only tried three plastic ukuleles, so I’m not an expert on them by any means. But I do have a real interest in owning one, so when the opportunity was presented, I volunteered to review the new BugsGear Aqulele plastic ukulele from EleUke.

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This 50 cent piece might help you escape from evil doers

This coin from 5ive Star Gear might look like an ordinary Kennedy half dollar, but I assure you that it’s not. Go ahead, take a closer look… The genuine US coin has been modified into two pieces that pull apart to reveal a razor-sharp Japanese steel blade. This covert escape coin has been designed to blend in with the rest of your pocket change – although I can’t remember the last time I carried a 50 cent piece… If you get nabbed by some baddies, you can use the blade to slice through rope, cord, duct tape, etc. The 5ive Star Gear 50 cent escape coin can be purchased from for $39.


YEZZ Freestyle Mobile smartphone giveaway!


YEZZ wants you to learn more about their line of unlocked Android smartphones and to help get the word out, they are going to give away one of them to one of our lucky readers. The winner will get to choose from either the YEZZ Andy 4 or the Andy 4.5. These phones are unlocked and can be used here in the US on T-Mobile and AT&T. Either would be great as an extra phone for those of you who don’t want to deal with 2yr contracts.

Click through to submit your entry for a chance to win one of these phones!

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Faveable helps assemble gear for your first hike into the wilderness


If you’re new to hiking and other outdoor adventures, preparing for that first excursion can seem like a daunting task. Even if you’ve prepared yourself mentally and have assembled a group of friends to accompany you on your first hike, you still have to get past the barrier of selecting the right gear. No amount of planning can prepare you for all the scenarios that you may face while hiking, especially if you’re a newbie – but the Faveable article linked below goes through several different types of hiking gadgets and gear that will come in handy on your expedition. It covers various hiking essentials from apparel like jackets, pants and boots, to watches, lighting, first aid and more.

Check out: Top 25 Essential Gear for any Hiking Checklist

Dyson DC65 Animal vacuum review


I must have the cleanest carpets in the country by now due to all the vacuums that I’ve been testing lately. In the past few months I’ve reviewed three different vacuums from three different manufacturers (see related links at the bottom of this review). Two of them were cordless vacs and in the end I decided that maybe having a cordless vacuum really isn’t all that it was cracked up to be. The latest vacuum to show up for review is the Dyson DC65 Animal. A huge sticker on the front of the vacuum says that it has twice the suction of any other vacuum. Since I have a long haired cat, the name of the vacuum gives me hope that it will work well to keep the cat hair tumble weeds at a minimum.

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iPhone selfies made easier with the HISY Wireless Smartphone Selfie Remote


For all those selfie addicts out there who can’t go even one day without posting a picture of themselves to Facebook or Instagram, I have a tiny gadget that will make it even easier for you to annoy all your friends with your attention seeking photo habits. It’s the HISY Wireless Smartphone Selfie Remote for the iPhone (and other iOS devices). This small quarter sized clicker pairs with your iPhone using Bluetooth. It doesn’t require a special application. Just pair it, launch the camera app, set the phone in a convenient location, strike your favorite “I’m too sexy for this selfie” pose and click the remote. Done! When not in use connect the attached 3.5mm mini connector plug to your iPhone’s headphone jack. The HISY Wireless Smartphone Selfie Remote has a  90-foot range, 2-year battery life and is available through for $24.95.

ADATA DashDrive Durable UD320 USB OTG flash drive review


Here’s another portable and relatively inexpensive way to expand the memory of your Android device. It’s the ADATA DashDrive Durable UD320 USB OTG flash drive, which comes in 16 and 32GB capacities. I was sent the 32GB version to test. Let’s see how it works.

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Withings launches new Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor


Three years ago Withings introduced their first blood pressure monitor for the iPhone and now their latest version of this convenient health tracking gadget has been updated to be completely wireless. Hypertension is know as the silent killer because there are often no symptoms until it’s too late. Regular blood pressure checks will allow you to track your levels to make sure they are under control and help prevent a major medical incident like a stroke.

The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor consists of a Bluetooth enabled arm cuff and a smartphone app. When turned on, the BPM will automatically connect with your iOS or Android smartphone and open the Withings Health Mate application. By tapping the start button within the application, the cuff will inflate and record your systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as heart rate. Results are then saved to show trends over time, and comparisons to population standards. The Withings Health Mate application also allows users to set reminders to take regular BP measurements and send readings to a medical professional, family member, or caregiver.

The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is available today exclusively from Withings for $129.95

Leef Access microSD card reader for Android review


If you’re an Android user with a device that lacks a microSD card slot, you need to pay attention to this review. Don’t worry, I won’t take much of your time because there’s not a whole lot I can say about the Leef Access microSD card reader for Android, other than it’s tiny and only does just one thing very well. It adds a microSD expansion slot to your Android phone or tablet. Let me show you.

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Faveable wants you to know what time it is with these ultra cool watches

Welcome to the weekend edition of our partnered posts from Faveable, a gadget discovery site for men. Today’s list is a collection of 14 unique and awesome watches. Several of these watches appear to have landed straight from sci-fi movies. And then, there are the “smart” watches which interact with your phone so that you’ll never miss a call. Let’s also not forget the totally weird and funky watches that have non-traditional ways to tell the time. The Faveable team has tapped into their inner-geek self and researched the best sci-fi, futuristic watches for men.

Check out: 14 Extraordinary Futuristic Watches for Men 

ADATA Elite CE700 Wireless Charging Stand review


Some people will scoff, but I love wireless charging. Not having to plug a micro USB cable into my phone every time I need to top off the battery is a hassle, when wireless charging is an alternative. Once you’ve experienced the luxury of simply placing your device on a flat charging pad or a dock, you’ll be forever spoiled. Luckily more and more phone manufacturers are starting to add Qi charging to their devices. One of the newest wireless charger that I’ve had the opportunity to try, is the Elite CE700 Wireless Charging Stand from ADATA.

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