I’ve reviewed many portable power options, as well as a dock or two, but this is a first, and something that we may see more of: it’s a USB charger for up to ten devices! Talk about Nerd Nirvana! It’s from a company called Sanrao, who makes industrial-grade USB chargine stations for testing labs and commercial applications. Brando sent us a unit for review. This is not a USB hub, so there’s no syncing or other connectivity offered, so let’s take that off the table right away. This is not a computer peripheral. Once I had this revelation and moved it off my desk, my appreciation of this device changed completely. While not for everyone, if you’re a little gadget-crazy and have infected – um – passed that happiness on to other members of your household, you may need one of these, if not now, then soon. It’s a huge boon to a gadget-happy lifestyle! Read More →
Flashlights are a long-time geek obsession. Recently, we’ve had to add USB chargers, just because so many of our devices charge this way. Imagine combining the two into a single, portable device. Mmmmmm… Geek heaven! Well, that’s what the fine folks at RAVPower have done. The Dynamo On-the-Go Power Bank is a flashlight, a reading light, and a 7800 mAmp charger for your smartphones and such. I was sent one to try out in the only color available – camo! Read More →
If you visit certain Home Depot stores in California, Illinois, or New York in the next few months, you may notice something new on sale that could prevent you from having to go back there for little widgets and such: they will be stocking three models of MakerBot 3D printers in those states soon! For Gadgeteers, this means there will be an easy place to see the units in action, purchase filament replacement spools and such.
According to The Verge, this is a pilot program, which will include in-store demos and give-away trinkets printed on the spot. They even theorize having a customer print out a replacement part for things that are not in stock or difficult to come by. And, hopefully, if things go well, this trend will grow to Home Depot stores across the country!
So, have any of you Gadgeteers used or purchased a 3D printer yet? Are you interested in picking one up next time you shop for a box of nails and some paint? Let us know in the comments!
There are many types of stands for tablets. Some are a single angle, built for either reading and movies, or for typing and heads-down work. Others (such as those from Apple and the kickstands on Microsoft’s Surface) mandate that you cannot change the orientation – it’s horizontal (usually), and that cannot be changed. But if you’re reading news or a book, portrait gets more info on the screen at a time with a shorter line-length and is more like reading a traditional “dead tree” source. New entrants in the portable stand market from Gibson Holders are the Fold & Go tablet stand and the Smartphone Lounger for phones. They sent one of each of these stands, so that I could test both.
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Portable sound and power. That’s what it’s all about today, it seems. Everyone has enough storage, or knows how to access it in the cloud. Everyone knows you need several cases and bags for all your stuff in varying situations. Now, it’s how to hear music (or whatever) in your chosen working area, and how to stay in places devoid of power outlets. SoundBlaster, the venerable audio hardware company, set out to do both – and much more – with their Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200. I was sent a test unit for review, as well as the separate charging base, and have put them through their paces. Pretty spiffy bit of kit, I’ll have to say. Read More →
When we’re out and about, most Gadgeteers carry a few things: smartphone, wallet, keys, tablet. Maybe a tin of mints. Oh, sure, if we’re gone for the day, we’ll have a bag of other stuff including power adapters, charging cables and batteries, energy bars, and enough EDC stuff to survive a moon landing. But when you’re just gonna bike to the library or the bank, or run out for lunch, do you still grab all that stuff? The folks at Quivvers think not. They have designed a variant of Robin Hood’s tool carrier in two sizes for more modern tools. I was sent a black & brown “Big Rig” model to test. Read More →
Flashlights come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, and LED technology has enabled blindingly bright units to be smaller than some coins. But, for longer distances, there always needs for a good reflector and lens system involved, in order to amplify the LED’s glow. Enter the ArmyTek Barracuda, a powerful, rugged, handheld light with a 520 meter throw. (Yeah, that’s over 1700 feet!) I thought this was impossibly powerful at the price of $160. They sent us a review unit, and I’ve been disturbing neighbors and wildlife in my area of the state for several weeks now. It’s probably good that I’m not in a major airport’s flightpath!
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Portable speaker systems range in price from $20-30 for the little pocket-sized ones to huge $600-800 units that can become your entire stereo. Where’s the sweet spot? We’ve reviewed many here at The Gadgeteer, and the ones I actually consider for purchase or gifting usually fall somewhere in the $100-$250 range. I was sent Sherwood’s Excape EXM-30, and have been listening to it for a few weeks now, using it around the house and out on the deck (when it’s not snowing or raining!), so thought it was about time to share my thoughts on it. Read More →
As our devices have shrunk in recent years, so, too, have carrying cases. Sling bags, messenger bags, and even the trusty backpack are slimmer, more focused on those slimmer devices, and more attuned to organization and ease of access, rather than capacity. Blue Flame, a fairly new entrant into the market place, has developed an entry into this growing space, and dubbed it “The Pack.” It comes in one size, one color combination, and one fabric. Let’s take a closer look. Read More →
Getting power on the go used to mean carrying a bag-phone the size of a large loaf of bread and a power port plug to keep it juiced. Nowadays, we have much better battery chemistry, but for us power-users, the battery in a gadget may not last through a full day of use. If you’re spending any time in a vehicle with a 12-volt power system, plugging in an adapter to get a midday top-up can mean the difference between missing messages and easily making it through the day. WirelessGround offered the Gadgeteer team the Dual Car Charger with Lightning to USB Cable from Belkin, and I was selected to get it. Read More →
With the change in mobile listening habits from stored music to streaming and Apple’s move from their 30-pin connector, we’ve seen a huge increase in wireless portable speakers. Used to be, everyone wanted an iPod or iPhone dock, but as Bluetooth has become more robust, so, too, have the speakers being offered. Today, you visit any electronics store in person or online, and you’ll see an almost endless variety of sound-producing gadgets. Carbon Audio entered this crowded-yet-growing field a while before last year’s holiday season with their Zooka, a stereo Bluetooth unit designed to clip onto the edge of a laptop or tablet. It’s designed to provide good stereo separation by having the speakers point out each end of the bazooka-like structure that gives the unit its name. I was sent one in a deep purple/wine color to test. Read More →
Ah, leather! One of the oldest and most durable materials humans have found to use, yet it still causes us to react warmly when we feel the texture or smell the scent. Whether it reminds us of new school shoes as a kid or that folio we were given at graduation, we all have a special reaction to it. So when Julie asked the team about reviewing some of a collection of bags from LederMann, a new vendor, they didn’t stay available for long. I was sent a traditionally-shaped Bridle Leather Camera Bag. Let’s dig deeper, shall we? Read More →