Did you visit The Gadgeteer every day this week to get your fix of gadget related news and reviews? If you answered no, then here’s a quick way to catch up. Click through to see the full list of news, reviews and articles from this past week
When traveling it’s all about getting the maximum amount of items into the minimum amount of space. When it comes to computer peripherals we see that with small external hard drives and keyboards. The mouse seems to be the one device that although has gotten smaller, is still a bit bulky. The Recon Wireless Folding Mouse designed by Visenta has changed that. The Recon Wireless Folding Mouse is just that, a mouse that lays flat for travel and storage and allows the front 1/3 of the mouse to fold over for use like a conventional mouse. The Recon Wireless Folding Mouse has the following features listed:
- Microsoft Arc Touch style
- Laser Tracking
- 4 range selectable DPI – 800, 1200, 1600 and 2000
- Compact and slim design – profile only 9mm thick
- Power saving technology with automatic standby mode – auto sleep after 3 minutes of no movement
- Full function Touch scroll wheel. Double click touch area equal as click the mouse wheel.
- Super mini Nano USB receiver
- Built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery – 1 charge for up to 3 months battery life
- 2.4G anti-interference AFH – up to 10 meter range
Available in black or white from the MeetIDEA website for $42.50, and with dimensions of 5.61(L) x 2.204(W) x .354(H) inches, the Recon Wireless Folding Mouse may be your new favorite traveling companion.
Do you ever dream about the perfect smartphone? Of course you do, you are visiting The Gadgeteer after all. Well that’s the question I posed to my team of cracker jack gadget writers this week and here are their answers, including my own thoughts on the features that would make my dream phone.
I just love the concept of LEDs. They save so much on energy and energy costs, run at a much cooler temperature than other lighting options (cool!), work forever (well okay, so not forever, but a REALLY long time), and now they have a softer yellow light available in lamps – take my money! The OxyLED T120 Dimmable Eye-Care LED desk lamp is just that, an LED lamp. It’s silly I know, but even just the simplest devices that work great are often my favorite things. Will this lamp be another of my favorite things? Let’s take a look.
Is there anything worse than drinking a beverage that’s less than frosty and tasty? I think not, and the creators of the Chillsner agree, too. The Chillsner’s stainless-steel frame is filled with a proprietary non-toxic thermal gel; you keep it in the freezer until you need it. When you’re ready for a beer, just insert the Chillsner into the bottle and drink right through it to keep each sip as cold as the first. It fits most 9″ or taller long-neck beer bottles, and it has an airtight seal so you don’t have to worry about leaks as you drink. It cleans up easily before going back into the freezer to get ready for the next beer. The Chillsner is available for $16.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond; they also have a 2-pack for $29.99.
With all the nifty bells and whistles being added to new portable Bluetooth speakers lately, is it still possible to get excited anymore about a new speaker? Especially one that isn’t the best looking, isn’t the best sounding, doesn’t have the longest battery life, won’t charge your smartphone and can’t be thrown from a balcony while rocking a party with 50 of your BFFs? Maybe it is possible.
Truffol is a maker of many accessories; cases, chargers, thumb drives, cables and speakers. Their DuraSound Bluetooth speaker won’t win any contests as the best in anything. It’s like a perpetual bridesmaid who is never a bride with unassuming wallflower looks that won’t garner much attention. Place the DuraSound speaker on a table in any room and it will promptly blend into the decor and disappear.
Intel, working with Opening Ceremony, have created MICA, My Intelligent Communications Accessory for the “stylish, connected woman”. If a typical smart watch is too boring and bland for your taste, check out the “premium finishes, 18K gold coating, and curved sapphire glass touchscreen display” used to craft MICA. This bracelet uses AT&T’s wireless service to deliver “text messages, Google and Facebook notifications, and local business recommendations powered by Yelp and TomTom” to your wrist, even when you don’t have your smart phone with you. It also acts as a ” personal concierge”, letting you use Yelp to locate nearby businesses and restaurants and even reminding you of when you need to leave to make it to your next appointment on time.
The MICA will be available in early December 2014 exclusively through Opening Ceremony and Barneys New York for $495. Read the press release at iQ by Intel for more details.
Logitech has introduced new protective cases for both the iPad Air 2 and the mini (all three versions). These cases also function as a horizontal stand that can hold your new iPad at any angle. Your device is held in a rubberized frame that protects the iPad from bumps or drops; the back is clear so you can see your iPad. The front cover has magnets that hold the cover closed to protect the screen and also activate the iPad’s sleep/wake function. The front cover also has an integrated hidden hinge that holds your iPad at any angle you select (500 range of movement), without slipping or sliding. There’s an AnyAngle case for both the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 1/2/3. Both sizes are $59.99, and both are available in black, red/blue, teal, gray, yellow, or violet. Logitech is taking pre-orders for the AnyAngle cases now.
In just a short time, NudeAudio has become known for good-sounding, no-frills Bluetooth speakers that are also reasonably priced. However, NudeAudio was not satisfied (are successful companies ever satisfied?), so they decided to do something a little different. They went public with a Kickstarter Fund for the development of their next project: The NudeAudio Super-M wireless, Bluetooth 4.0 speaker. The fund was exceeded within 24-hours and the speakers is now ready for sale. [click to continue…]
Sleep is very important to health. If you don’t get sufficient sleep, you’ll find yourself unable to deal easily with everyday life, because lack of sleep can negatively impact your emotional state and your mental acuity. With long-term sleep disruption, you’ll also increase your chances of developing life-threatening illness, like diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. Knowing these things and actually getting enough sleep don’t always go hand-and-hand, though. I have a lot of trouble getting to sleep at night. My problems are more than just bad habits, like wanting to read “just one more chapter”. A lot of people don’t have insomnia or other sleep disorders; they do suffer from not wanting to put down that book or turn off that TV, or maybe they just don’t have a pattern for getting ready for bed that primes them to fall asleep easily. Young children can be particularly resistant to wanting to go to sleep, and struggles to establish and maintain a schedule for their bedtime can be difficult. Having a set routine can help a child or adult fall to sleep more easily, and the Drift Light bulb from Saffron can help you establish that routine. [click to continue…]
Here’s a holiday gift idea for all of the iPad and other tablet fans on your shopping list. They are universal tablet stands from the French company Ninki-UP. They offer six styles of stands that are compatible with tablets ranging in size from 7-11 inches. These acrylic stands feature flexible arms that can be adjusted to provide the perfect viewing angle for using the stand on your table, your leg, your bed or your couch. Each stand is priced at $37.41 each plus $12.90 for shipping to the US. However, they are offering Gadgeteer readers a 15% discount that will be valid for the next three days. The 15% discount code (expires after 11/23/2014) is: the-gadgeteer.com15off and if you place an order for more than $40, the shipping is free. Visit Ninki-UP for more info and to order.
The Kisai Clone watch from Tokyoflash Japan doesn’t claim to be Star Wars related, but I can see a bit of Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper in them. The Clone has an ABS case and adjustable silicone strap with a metal buckle. There are two time display modes, date, and alarm functions, plus an animation mode. The watch has a USB-rechargeable battery, which should only need recharging monthly. It’s available in black or white with your choice of blue or green LEDs. The Kisai Clone is available at a special price of $99 until Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11am Japan time from Tokyoflash Japan.
If you happen to be one of the lucky gadgeteers who have been able to get your greedy little mitts on Google’s new Nexus 6 or will soon get a Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Android smartphone, the Urban Armor Gear Maverick case will keep these new phonse protected from drops. It features an rrmor shell and impact resistant soft core that is backed by military drop-test standard (MIL STD 810G 516.6). The UAG Maverick case features an ultra light impact resistant design that protects without adding too much bulk to your phone. This case has oversized tactile buttons and ports so you won’t have trouble plugging in charging cables or your favorite earphones. UAG’s new cases for the Nexus 6 and Galaxy Note Edge are available for $39.95 at urbanarmorgear.com.
I love photography. There isn’t a day when I don’t have my camera with me, ready to capture something beautiful. I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III full-frame dSLR and my workhorse lens is the 24-105 f/4L. A top-quality lens on a top-quality camera. Of course, slapping a cheap filter on the front of that lens turns your wundergadget into a piece of garbage. If you are serious about photography, avoid the cheaper filters and go for something good.
I have been using a B+W MRC 007 UV filter to protect my expensive glass. It’s not cheap itself! It has done a great job of cutting down on its own internal reflections, especially when compared to the Tiffen filter it replaced. I’ve used it to excellent effect for nearly two years now. When the opportunity came to try out filters from a new optics company called Breakthrough Photography, I could not pass up the opportunity. Will the B+W pass the test, or will I have a new mainstay filter on my workhorse lens? [click to continue…]
It’s not going to wake your iPhone when you open the cover, of course, but STM’s Flip Folio Case for iPhone 6 or 6 Plus will cover your phone like a Smart Case covers an iPad. The Flip Folio holds the phone in a molded plastic back cover; all ports, controls, and the camera are accessible in this case. The back and the front flap are covered in microfiber material. Inside the front flap are two slots that will hold a couple of credit cards (one each is recommended) or cash. There are two small suction cups inside the front cover that hold it closed. You’ll hear a little click as the suction cups grab or let go of your screen. The case will also fold into a horizontal stand for hands-free use. Read more about the Flip Folio Cases for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at STM Bags. You can purchase a Flip Folio in charcoal, black, or red at RadTech in the USA for $34.95 for either iPhone 6 model.
Once you’ve opened those old-fashioned soda bottles or a beer bottle, there’s not usually a good way to keep a cover on your drink while you’re finishing it. These Linden Sweden Bottle Caps will snap on the open bottle and keep the fizz in. They’re also a great way to keep insects out of the drink at picnics, and to keep unwanted things out of your beer or soda while you’re at the bar or a party. A pack of 10 Linden Sweden Bottle Caps in assorted colors is $6.57 from Amazon; Prime shipping is available.
How would you like to own a 100+ year old piece of railroad steel from the Louisville and Nashville Railroad? Nashville based Rail Yard Studios takes chunks of reclaimed forged rail steel and turn them into unique hand-made tablet stands that can be used to display your iPad, Android and other tablets. Each stand is built to hold a full or mini sized tablet in both landscape and portrait orientation. Be aware that these stands are the real deal, complete with pits and gouges, which means they can scratch the finish on your tablet if you don’t use a case. But don’t worry because you’ll get the case of your choice when you buy one of these stands from Griffin Technology who are partnering with Rail Yard Studios to sell the Rail Slice and Rail Artifact tablet stands. Both stands are priced at $129.99 from Griffin Technology. For other cool railroad steel creations be sure to check out Rail Yard Studios.
I received an email from Verizon this morning that said I could double my existing data allowance from 3GB to 6GB for FREE just by calling a phone number. I just got off the phone with them and now I have 6GB of data and it didn’t cost me a cent. Seems a little too good to be true and I was slightly worried that it might be a scam, but it doesn’t appear to be. I asked if the deal was available to everyone and the Verizon guy said yes, but I didn’t get details if it’s only available for people on the More Everything plan like I have. They didn’t pressure me to add any new paid services or switch to the EDGE plan. He did say that the extra data would drop off if / when I change my data plan for any reason. If I decrease or raise my data allowance, the free 3GB will vanish. I just logged into my Verizon account on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that I’m reviewing and it does indeed show that I now have 6GB of data. Nice! I love free stuff!
Be sure to check your email inbox and text messages. Apparently they are contacting select Verizon customers using these two methods.
It’s been over three years since I’ve reviewed or even used a Sony smartphone. The last time was back in 2011 when Verizon Wireless sent me the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Android smartphone. In the three years that have passed, Sony has dropped Ericsson from their name, but the company is still making high end Android smartphones.Last week Verizon sent me the Sony Xperia Z3v Android smartphone. Let’s take a look at their latest offering and see if this is a phone that makes other Android smartphones weak in the knees.