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Author Archive for Karen Nelson

Black & Decker Laser Level BDL100AV Review

The All-In-One Laser Level (BDL100AV) from Black & Decker makes it easier than ever to hang pictures, paintings, shelves, or mirrors.  It can also be used to space any items evenly apart on a variety of surfaces.  Let’s give it a closer look. Read More →

Samsung’s Take On Robotic Vacuums – The NaviBot SR8855

Samsung has a created their own version of a robotic vacuum called the NaviBot.  It is to offer a more efficient and intelligent way of cleaning your home.  NaviBot features a visionary mapping system, multiple cleaning modes, a triple brush system, and auto recharge and resume.

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The New Technology In Eyewear: EmPower!

EmPower! is the largest optical advance in the last 50 years.  It is the first electronic-focusing eyewear.  A tilt of the head or touch to the temple activates a layer of liquid crystals in each lens that focus as fast as you can blink an eye.  The mastermind behind EmPower! is PixelOptics, a Virginia-based company.

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Noisehush NX26 HD Stereo Headphones Review

The NX26 HD Stereo Headphones from NoiseHush boasts to deliver deeper bass, lower distortion, and wider dynamic range with advanced engineering and featuring neodymium magnet drivers.  NX26 can be used for home hi-fi systems and mobile sources.  It has an in-line microphone that is built to insure filtering out of external noise and ensure that callers hear clearly.  Let’s give them a look. Read More →

Plantronics M50 Review

Plantronics released the M50 Bluetooth mobile headset mid-October 2011.  This sleek-looking headset features extended battery life, streaming music and podcasts from smartphones, and blocks noise and wind from calls, to name a few.  It comes with a 1-year limited warranty.  Contents of package are: Bluetooth headset, AC charger 11-240v.  The M50 is to have up to 11 hours talk-time, up to 16 days in standby, up to 33 feet for range, and weighs 11 G. Read More →

Zazoo Photo Clock Review

I am guessing pretty almost every parent has had a moment where your little one has decided to wake just at the sight of sunlight in the morning, ready to take on the day hours before you would like him or her up.  Zazoo Kids has created the Zazoo Photo Clock to help alleviate some of these moments.  The Zazoo Photo Clock has recently received 2011 awards from The National Parenting Center and the Parent Tested Parent Approved organizations.

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iTwin Secure and Private Internet File Access Device Review

The iTwin, “two ends of a cable, no cable”. The idea for iTwin came about with the belief that remote access to a second computer was found to often be too complicated for most users.  USB drives, on the other hand, are pretty simple to use for almost all users. They do have the pitfalls of not enough storage to share an entire computer hard drive or do not have enough security.  Thus, creation of iTwin.  Let’s give it a closer look. Read More →

Cooler Master NotePal U Stand Review

Cooler Master has recently released the NotePal U Stand, a multi-functional cooling pad/laptop stand for hassle-free cooling.  It comes as a ergonomically designed five angle stand, has two removable 100mm fans, and has a three port USB hub.  U Stand is firmly constructed of brushed aluminum and can accommodate up to a 17″ laptop. U Stand weighs 3.3 lbs and comes in black only.  Let’s give it a closer look. Read More →

Great New Safety Gadget from Eton, the American Red Cross AXIS

Eton Self-Powered Safety Hub with Weather Radio and USB Cell Phone ChargerThe AXIS is a new addition to the TurboDyne Series by Eton.  The AXIS has some great features to help you when at home or away and left without power.  It features a digital tuner with AM (520-1710 KHz) and FM (87-108 MHz), NOAA weatherband – all 7 channels plus “ALERT”, direct USB power transfer, white 4 LED light source that is built in, and flashing beacon red LED light.  There is a TUNE knob to adjust stations and it is equipped with a telescopic antenna for FM and WB stations.  The AXIS also comes with the feature of a digital alarm clock, connectors with rubber gaskets/plugs to seal out moisture, 3.5 mm headphone output, USB cell phone charger, and AUX-IN input.  This little buddy weighs about 1 1/2 lbs. is roughly 6″x6″x2″ (WxHxD) in size.

The AXIS can be powered in three different ways: from 3 AAA batteries (you must provide), aluminum self-powered hand turbine technology, or AC power.  One minute of self-powered cranking equals a 30 second phone call.  If your phone is plugged into the AXIS to charge for 20 minutes, it equals roughly 20-25 minutes talk time.  The AXIS has DC 5V input and features a rechargeable NiMH battery.

With purchase of the American Red Cross AXIS, a USB cable, owner’s manual and warranty card are also included.  Never fear being left in the dark again with the AXIS.  Check out http://www.etoncorp.com for more information.  Suggested retail price for the AXIS is $70.00.

Never Complain Of the Couch Eating the Remote Again With the L5 Remote

small_101028-L5-Remote-iPhone4.jpgThe L5 Remote, released by L5 Technology and debuted in 2010, can be used with your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.  It connects to your device with a universal dock connector.   L5 Remote is a tiny accessory and free app (from iTunes App Store) that acts as a  powerful universal remote, helping you control the cable box, TV, DVR, DVD, and most devices that come with an IR remote.  The L5 does not need WiFi, batteries, or external batteries to run.  After plugging in the accessory and downloading the app, you can drag and drop any buttons to customize, keep the ones you want and delete the ones you don’t.   Then select a signal to each button by pressing the same button on your old remote while pointing in at the L5 Remote.  The L5 will study the signal and store it in your device.  Once you are using your L5 Remote, stash away your old remotes.

L5 Remote needs to be within 1 foot of old remotes for programming and then can be used as your universal remote with a transmitting range of up to 30 feet.  Input/output technology is infrared and input carrier frequency is 29-58 kHz.  L5 Remote capacity: holds up to 100,000 buttons and holds up to 1000 rooms.  List price for the L5 Remote is $60.

Check it out at http://www.l5remote.com.

Milwaukee’s New Tool-M12 Heated Jacket

2331Now you can bite the bitter cold a bit better while on the job site or off doing other activities with the Milwaukee M12 Cordless Lithium Ion Heated Jacket.  This jacket utilizes M12 Red Lithium battery technology to warm the body and stimulate blood flow during cold conditions.  The battery is concealed in a back pocket and the Red Lithium battery can deliver up to 6 hours of continuous heat on one battery charge.  The jacket has a multi-layered soft shell with three sewn in carbon fiber heating zones to distribute heat over core body areas, over right and left chest, and back.  It has three heat settings: low, medium, and high, plus a warm-up mode.  To turn on, simply press a button located on the upper left side of the jacket, above the Milwaukee logo.  To turn off, simply press the button down for three seconds. Read More →

Pack Away Kettle – A Collapsible Teapot

Pack Away KettleWacky Practicals has developed a new take on the conventional tea kettle, a collapsible version that is made of silicone.  The Pack Away Kettle has a stainless steel base that does conduct heat so it will stay hot after boiling.  It is safe for all heat sources, electric, conduction, and gas stoves.  Now you can be sure to have tea wherever you go or have a new way just to boil hot water, be it abroad or even on a camping trip.  This tea kettle shrinks down to 5.5 cm and expands to 14 cm.  It is dishwasher safe too.  The capacity of the Pack Away Kettle is 1.1 litres (just under two pints).  Enjoy your favorite drink wherever you are.  If you are attracted to a tea kettle that whistles, this one will disappoint you.  Pack Away Kettle is FDA food safe and weighs 350 grams.  To get it shipped from the UK to the USA, it will set you back approximately $81, about half is shipping fees.  Please go to http://wackypracticals.co.uk for more information.

Kelvin.23 Multi-Tool Review

I am sure all of you have had a moment where you’ve been in a pinch to find tools to hang a picture, tap in a nail that has stuck out on a piece of trim, or needed to get a quick measurement.  These are some of the projects the Kelvin.23 can help with. Read More →

Being Green and Beautiful

PLUMEN 001

London brand Hulger and designer Sam Wilkinson have designed a CFL bulb named Plumen 001, the world’s first designer low energy light bulb.  Plumen is a bulb that finally doesn’t need to hide behind a lampshade.   This bulb consumes 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and life expectancy is eight years.  Plumen 001 can be used in most standard light fixtures, can be used shaded or bare, and will produce a warm white light.  It is 11 watt, 680 Lumen, has a color temperature of 2700k (warm white light), and is non-dimmable.  The bulbs run about $30 each and come in 120V for U.S. markets and also 220V for other countries.  For more information, visit http://www.plumen.com.

Know Someone Is At the Door With Pressure Activated Doormat Chime

Swann Wireless has developed an indoor/outdoor doormat unit that is simply placed under a mat or carpet at your home or business entrance.  The chime unit is to be placed within 100 ft (30 m) of the mat.  It features three customizable chimes that can be adjusted to the volume of your liking.  The doormat chime features a 120 + decibel siren that is activated when pressure is applied to the doormat or carpet.  This unit is 100% wireless and is powered by 3 AAA batteries for the chime unit, which are not included.  There is 1 A23 battery included for the doormat unit, which is 19.2″ x 12.6″ in size.  The batteries can last up to six months, depending upon use.  The Swann Wireless Doormat Chime does come with an additional doorbell unit, which would trigger the chime unit.  It has a Ip45 waterproof rating.

New Competition For iPad 2 – The HP TouchPad

HP TouchPad Wi-Fi 16GB, front facing imageHP has created a new competitor for the iPad 2, the TouchPad.  The TouchPad comes in 16GB and 32 GB for internal storage space and is priced similarly to the iPad2, $499.99 and $599.99, respectively.  It features webOS 3, has Adobe Flash-enabled web browsing, 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon, WiFi, and features BeatsAudio.  With webOS, TouchPad allows you to easily multitask.  Begin just about anything without starting an app, receive text messages and answer calls, print via wireless to compatible networked HP printers, use pre-installed software of Quickoffice, Google docs, or Box.net, and receive notifications without disruption, to name a few.  The HP TouchPad weighs 1.6 pounds, measures 13.7 mm thick, and has a 9.7 inch LED back-lit multi-touch display . It also has a front-facing 1.3 megapixel webcam, support for video calls, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.   There are a few accessories that are sold separately:  HP Touchstone charging dock that charges the TouchPad automatically with nothing to plug in (~$79), a case (~$35), and an optional HP wireless keyboard(~$66).  You can check out more details at:  http://www.hp.com.

ClamCase updated for iPad 2

ClamCase has developed a nifty product to make you iPad 2 seem and feel more like a netbook.  This product has been around for the iPad, but has  received a makeover to become iPad 2 specific.  The case’s shell has cutouts to accommodate the back camera and built-in iPad speakers.  It has four unique positions:  keyboard case, touchscreen stand, portrait stand, and tablet case.  Soft 3M pads on all four corners will cushion and protect your iPad.  The ClamCase also has integrated magnets to signal to your iPad 2 if the case is open or closed.  It also automatically wakes and sleeps your iPad.  The keyboard with ClamCase is full bluetooth QWERTY.  Clam Case gives you the best of both worlds, using your iPad 2 yet as a tablet  when you flip the keyboard over or flip it back for the look and feel of a portable laptop.  ClamCase for the iPad 2 can be ordered for $149 in a matte black finish and will ship in 4-5 weeks.  For more info on ClamCase, please visit http://www.clamcase.com.

Next Generation Portable Gaming – PlayStation Vita

Sony announced on June 7, 2011, their next portable gaming system, PlayStation Vita.  Vita means “life” in Latin.  The Wi-Fi model will be available for $249 or $299 for the 3G/Wi-Fi version.  AT & T will be Vita’s exclusive 3G partner. The Vita has a 5″ multi-touch organic light emitting diode (OLED) (960×544 pixels) as its front display and has a multi-touch pad on the rear.  The PS Vita allows game play like never before, featuring three-dimension-like motion through finger motions of push and pull, trace, push and pull, and grab. PlayStation’s Vita has two analog sticks which create a larger genre of games for the portable gaming experience. It will also have 6-axis motion sensors and dual front and back facing cameras.  This device is supposed to run on a quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor. Vita will be preloaded with a new application called “Party”, which enables the user to engage in voice or text chat  while online gaming and also when playing different games, or even performing different applications, like surfing the internet.  PS Vita will also come with an application called “Welcome Park”, which is a user’s guide to accustom them easily to the features of Vita and to easily learn the three-dimension-like  finger motions on the PS Vita.

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Space Saving BBQ and Herb Garden

Black + Blum (http://www.black-blum.com) have recently designed a terra cotta pot with a wealth of features.  Not only can you grow herbs in this pot to season your food,  you can grill with it too!   The Hot-Pot BBQ  has a grilling surface made from stainless steel 430, includes stainless steel tongues that discreetly store in the base of the pot, and features a heat insulating ceramic coating for the grilling feature.   The cooking area of the grill is 11.4 inches.  This turns up the heat in BBQ design for small spaces. It’s available now for $124.00

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Gone Are the Days of Remote Start From a Key Ring

9516348 Front LargeViper has created technology that allows you to start your car from virtually anywhere with your smartphone.  Viper SmartStart works with iPhones, Blackberrys, and Android.  SmartStart allows you to heat/cool your car, lock/unlock doors, control multiple cars, personalize settings, and start remotely from practically anywhere.  There are three configurations:  VSM200, VSS3000, and VSS5000.  The configurations range from a stand alone keyless entry/remote start module to a fully loaded remote start/security system bundle.  You can learn more about Viper SmartStart at http://www.viper.com