You carry a tablet, phone, cables, chargers, backup battery, and EDC things like a wallet and keys. You don’t want to use a huge gear bag to carry your things, and you want a stylish handbag instead of something more utilitarian. If these things describe you, The Elektronista Digital Clutch Bag might be what you’re looking for. The Elektronista is made of soft, smooth-grained, lightly-tumbled full grain leather; it has a grosgrain lining and gold-toned hardware. It measures about 8.1″ X 11.2″ X 0.8″. It looks like a moderately-sized, stylish handbag, and it is, but it’s so much more.
The Elektronista was designed by KNOMO and Danish blogger and broadcaster, Christiane Vejlø. When you open this bag, you discover the true beauty of this beautiful purse – it’s organization. There are pockets and compartments inside that can hold up to a 10″ tablet and your phone. It even has a 3000mAh battery, with a micro-USB charging cable, inside that can charge your devices as you carry them. (You’ll need to provide your own Apple cable, if needed.) There are slots to hold your cards, a change pocket for coins and folded currency, and still more room for keys, makeup, or other daily items.
The limited edition Elektronista has a unique identifier on the KNOMO label inside the bag. KNOMO can use this unique ID to return your bag to you should you lose it. The Elektronista is €289.00, or about $329 US.
The USB Touchlight is a small pendant light that is powered by any USB power source, even a battery pack. Turn the light on/off and toggle it through three lighting levels by pressing on the patent-pending lens. You can hang it anywhere and use it indoors or outdoors. The light is 114-132 lumens at 350 mA, and the color temp is “neutral white” at 3,700-5,000K. You’ll need to provide your own power source. The USB Touchlight is $35 at Voltaic.
We live in a world where almost everything is connected and I love it. Whether it’s my Dropcam cameras, my Withings WiFi Body Scale, or even being able to check the temperature of the chicken I have baking in the oven with iDevices thermometer, connected devices are convenient and fun to use. Today I want to tell you about the CREE Connected LED light bulb. With this light bulb and a Wink or ZigBee hub, you can control the lights in your home with a tap of smartphone app. Let me show you how this connected bulb works. [click to continue…]
If you have a Mac, an iPad and also use Photoshop, you’re going to be very interested in Astropad. Astropad is a new Mac and iPad application that turns your iPad into a professional graphics tablet for your Mac and Photoshop. When you install Astropad on your Mac and the iOS app on your iPad, the two devices link together allowing you to have a shared workspace when using Adobe’s Photoshop. What you do on your Mac will show up in real time on your iPad’s display and what you do on your iPad shows up in real time on your Mac’s display. It’s really easy to setup using WiFi or a USB cable. The awesome part is that you can use your favorite stylus to draw and edit photos. Active styluses, regular capacitive styluses or even your fingertip can now be used to edit and draw. You can even use pinch and zoom gestures on the iPad to zero in on the area you want to work on. It’s all really fluid and fun to use. The Astropad application is priced at $49.99. For more info visit astropad.com.
If winter won’t go away and take the ice and snow with it, you can at least keep it off your car’s windshield with the Quick Removal Windshield Snow Tarp. The tarp measures 79″ wide X 47.5″ long X 1/8″ thick (56″ wide excluding the flaps), so it’s big enough to cover the windshield of most cars and trucks. To use, you just spread it over your windshield and close the side flaps in the front doors of your car. The tarp also has seven magnets sewn between layers of fabric to hold it in place on your car without scratching the finish. It’s long enough that it covers and protects the wipers and the washer fluid nozzles, too. Instead of having to waste time and gas running the defroster while you scratch away at the built up ice and mounds of snow, you just open up the doors and flip the snow away. The tarp folds up to fit in a pouch that you can store in the glove compartment of your car. When winter’s over, the Quick Removal tarp will also work as a sun shield to keep the cabin of your car a little cooler.
The Quick Removal Windshield Snow Tarp is $19.99 at Hammacher Schlemmer. At that price, I find myself wondering if a second one would fit over the back hatch of my Outback…
We want to make sure that you didn’t miss any of the great posts we published this week by taking a quick look at this list of all of our reviews, articles and news from the past 7 days.
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The Bead Bracelet Micro USB Cable and Bead Bracelet Lightning Cable are wearable bead bracelets that double as micro USB or Lightning cables. No more scrounging around in your gear bag when you need a cable to charge or sync your Android and iOS devices. You’ll always have a cable at hand (or wrist) when you need one. The bracelets are available in white, pink, black and red. The style is decidedly feminine, but if guys want to wear one, we won’t say anything. The Bead Bracelet Micro USB Cable and Bead Bracelet Lightning cable are priced at $13 from Brando.
I have a strong preference for over-the-ear headphones, rather than earbuds or on-ear models. I also tend to get so involved in whatever I’m listening to that I tend to walk away from the source without disconnecting. This is not good for cables or lighter music sources that are not attached to my person. So, when Julie offered the team the Bluetooth Avantek headphones, I jumped at the chance, knocking my iPad out of the stand yet again. I hate wires! [click to continue…]
Do you remember the cute Danbo robot charger we featured last year? It was an external battery pack that was made to look like the Danbo cartoon character; see the links at the bottom of this article to read about the charger. Well, these Robot Head Charging Cables are the perfect complement for that charger. These 39″ cables have your choice of either a microUSB or a Lightning connector; the USB end has Danbo’s face on the plug. The eyes light up to show you when your device is plugged in (red) and when actively charging (green). The woven cables prevent tangling, and they are suitable for both charging and syncing your device. The Robot Head Charging Cables are $20.09 for either the Lightning or the microUSB cable at Firebox. By the way, you can still pick up a Robot Head external battery while you’re shopping at Firebox, too. Worldwide shipping is available.
If you’re obsessed with organization, tightly wound with tidiness and creeped out by clutter, Buoy Tags will make you a happy camper. What are they? Buoy Tags are plastic snap on labels designed for Apple products like the MacBook Magsafe power adapter, Apple earbud cables and USB charging cables. These neat little tags will let you put mark your cables with your initials so you’ll always grab your earbuds instead of your icky kid brother’s. They are also handy for adding your name and phone number in case of loss. Each $12 pack comes with a set of 3 Buoy Tags, 3 sets of letters and 3 sets of color inserts. Visit buoytags.com for more info. An less expensive alternative is the Dotz Cord ID Pro Cord and Cable Identification System. You get 12 of them for less than $8 from Amazon and they fit a variety of cord sizes.
Seems like everyone is getting into the fitness band market these days and as a runner, I find them nice enough but limited as a ‘get in shape/get off your butt’ tool in many respects. To bridge this gap between fitness and training, the engineers at Polar have created a hybrid device designed to, not only track your activities 24/7 but your runs or rides as well. The Polar M400 GPS-enabled running/biking watch tracks your pace and distance when pounding pavement plus monitors your daily activity (i.e. steps and sleep) theoretically making it a great all-around workout companion. [click to continue…]
If you have trouble coming up with the perfect gift for the men in your life, head on over to Mancrates for some great, fun ideas. Many of these gifts are packed in actual wooden crates that require a crowbar to open. (Don’t worry if you don’t have a crowbar laying around; one is provided with the package.) Once he rips his way inside, he’ll find a selection of gifts that will be right up his alley. Mancrates offers gifts that will please the old-school gamer (top left), the whiskey or beer aficionado, the poker player, the man who wet shaves with an old-fashioned double-edge razor (bottom left), the man who enjoys some snacks and some beef jerky, and even the new dad (bottom right), and everyone in between.
As mentioned, many of the gifts are packaged in the wooden crates, but some of them, like the poker set or the cigar humidor set (top right) come in old ammo carriers. The new-dad kit comes packed in a canvas bag that will work great as a diaper bag. Many of the kits come with snacks to set the mood for playing video games or watching sports or even a Red Bull to keep the sleep-deprived dad going.
The one thing I noticed in all the customer testimonials was the description of the enjoyment all the recipients experienced in cracking open their gifts, whether it was figuring out how to open up the ammo carrier or ripping into the sturdy wooden crate. The things packed inside were certainly better received that yet another tie would be, too. The kits range in price from $25 for the Jerkygram packs to $180 for the Zombie Annihilation Crate. Check Mancrates out today, so you’ll have plenty of time to get just the perfect gift for Father’s Day or upcoming birthdays.
And hey! Remember that there are a lot of women who will also enjoy many of these same gifts, too!
It seems most everyone has a fitness tracker these days, and most of them have a very utilitarian, sporty look. If you’d rather have something a bit prettier than a silicone wrist band or a belt clip, you can purchase jewelry for your Misfit Shine tracker. The Bloom Necklace has a pretty, stylized floral look, but it’s sturdy enough to standup to your workouts because it and the included chain are made of stainless steel. You just pop your Shine into the back of the filigree holder, and it will convert the Shine into a pretty pendant. The Bloom Necklace is normally $79.99, but it’s available now for $59.99 from Misfit.
If this design is too frilly for your taste, they also offer a Sport Necklace with a rubber necklace and a simple metal holder for $49.95 and various “watches” with leather bands for $40-50.
This week Raul Sanchez adds updates to five of his past reviews to let us know how the products are still working for him. Click through to see his list of updated reviews and then scroll to the bottom of each of the listed reviews to read his latest update.
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There are hundreds and maybe even thousands of car mounts on the market for your smartphone. But have you ever seen a phone case that has a car mount built in? Me neither, but the Zuna Drive case for the iPhone 5, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus has this unique and space saving feature. Your iPhone snaps into the protective bumper case and on the back you’ll find a hook that bends out from the back of the case and hooks securely into the AC vent of your car. The Zuna Drive makes it easy to switch from car to car while always having a quick and easy way to keep your phone in view for GPS and other uses. Available in white, orange, blue and black, the Zuna Drive is priced at $39.99 (you can save 20% by using the checkout code of: TESTDRIVE). The iPhone 5 version is shipping this month, with the iPhone 6 version to follow in April.
I hate winter with a passion. I think snow is pretty to look at from inside a warm house, but I loathe being outdoors when the temperature drops to less than 40 degrees. I usually get my gloves out by the end of October so I can keep my hands warm when I’m going to and from work. Gloves help make the cold bearable – barely. But gloves introduce an annoying problem – not being able to interact with my smartphone. Some smartphones can be used with regular gloves, but my LG G3 isn’t one of them. That means when I get in the car I have to pull off one of my gloves if there is some reason that I need to interact with my phone. The best solution to this problem is to wear touchscreen gloves. Over the years we’ve reviewed a variety of them (see related links at the end of this article) but most are thin and won’t keep your hands warm at very cold temps. So I went looking for a pair of touchscreen gloves specifically for winter temps and found Glider Gloves Winter Style Touchscreen Gloves. Let’s take a look. [click to continue…]
Pyle Audio just introduced a new Bluetooth Infrared Ear and Body Digital Thermometer that easily and accurately reads your body temperature from the ear canal or the top of the forehead. The thermometer has a digital display to show the temperature reading, and it can wireless send the information to your mobile phone (devices with Bluetooth 4.0 and later) when you use the free Pyle Health app (for iOS 6 or Android 4.3 and later devices). With the app, you can create user profiles and automatically save and chart records. If you want, you can share the data via Facebook and Twitter or password protect it for privacy. You can also email the data to your healthcare provider. The Bluetooth Infrared Ear and Body Digital Thermometer is $65 at Pyle Audio.
The Sightseer’s Argentinian Leather Carryall is made of luxurious, full-grain leather crafted by expert tanners in Buenos Aires. The bag measures 10.5″ tall x 8.5″ wide x 4″ deep and weighs 2 pounds. It has a grab handle on the top and a shoulder strap for comfortable wearing. The nylon-lined interior is divided into two main pockets: one to hold a tablet and the other to hold a camera, binoculars, or other gear. Both compartments have pockets to organize cables, maps, wallets, a phone, and other small gear. Other pockets on the exterior keep often-used items easily at hand. The Sightseer’s Argentinian Leather Carryall is available in brandy or black for $199.99 from Hammacher Schlemmer.
I have never liked to eat avocados by themselves or prepared in guacamole. But I recently found a recipe that uses an avocado to make healthy chocolate pudding. I was skeptical at first, but after trying it I was surprised at how good it is! Every time I make the pudding, Jeanne asks me to save the seed so she can try to sprout it. She’s the gardener in our household but hasn’t been able to successfully grow an avocado tree from seed. Maybe it’s because she leaves the seed on the kitchen counter for so long that it gets soft and icky and I end up throwing it in the trash. Or maybe it’s because she doesn’t have an AvoSeedo. The AvoSeedo is an avocado seed holder that has been specially designed to float in a glass of water in such a way that the seed will sprout and roots will grow. The AvoSeedo is a crowdfunding project that has already met its funding goal. $7 US will reserve one AvoSeedo seed sprouter for you with anticipated shipping in June. This seed sprouter might be a fun gift for kids or others who think they have a green thumb. For more info visit https://avoseedo.com/ and the AvoSeedo Kickstarter project.
Let me state right up-front that I am not an eco-warrior or anything close. I own 3 chainsaws and don’t hesitate to use them on my 2 acres. That said, I do appreciate companies who use recycled materials where possible. Thinksound is such a company—and then some. They go out of their way to be as socially responsible as possible by using natural materials in their products and packaging. Their new On1 on-ear (supra-aural) studio monitor headphone is a classic case of green-listening. [click to continue…]