We’re teaming up with Verizon Wireless to give away a brand new HTC 10 Android smartphone! This is HTC’s latest flagship smartphone and it’s a nice one – I know because I’ve been working on a review of this phone and plan to post it soon. It has a premium look and feel with some nice features under the hood. Entering the contest is easy, just take a selfie or a picture anywhere that you can get a Verizon signal and tweet it with the hashtag #MyVZSelfie. Then come back here and add a link to your picture. Click through to read all the details and rules. Good luck!
Standing desks have been around for years, but they are making a comeback, due to some recent studies. The studies revolved around the dangers of sitting for prolonged periods. I’ve recently seen news reports of schools that are replacing traditional desks with standing desks, and the energizing effect they’ve had on students. So, with my Apple Watch badgering me to stand up several times a day, I thought I’d give a standing desk a try. The folks at Beyond the Office Door offered “The Duke” adjustable desk to The Gadgeteer, and I was given the task of reviewing it.
Most WiFi routers are flat boxes with flashing lights that you setup, stash under your desk and mostly forget about except for grumbling about dead spots when you’re trying to surf from your back porch or your attic gadget cave. AmpliFi from Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. is a 802.11AC plug-and-play, multi-radio plug and play system that you will not want to hide. You’ll want it to be front and center because it not only looks great with its cube shape and glowing LED base, but it houses an advanced antenna design and a color touch screen display that is constantly updating to show your network speed. The AmpliFi system includes the router base and two wireless extenders that plug into an open wall socket to create a mesh network throughout your house that puts an end to dead spots and blankets your home with WiFi coverage. Signal strength LEDs are integrated into the wireless extender design to help you position them for the best network performance possible. AmpliFi is currently available for pre-order with prices that start at $199 and go up to $349, with shipping is scheduled for this summer. You can find more info at AmpliFi.com
The Invoxia Triby is a connected speaker for the kitchen that can respond to voice commands like Amazon Echo devices by using Amazon’s Alexa voice service. It’s the first non-Amazon device that has this capability. On paper, Triby looks like a portable version of the Amazon Echo Dot but with more features. But how well does it work in real life? Let’s find out. [click to continue…]
I have been using a LandingZone dock with my Macbook Pro and 29″ LG monitor for the past two years. I haven’t had any real complaints about the LandingZone until I saw the new Satechi Aluminum Mini Docking Station and started thinking that maybe there is a better way to organize my connections. The Satechi docking station has an Apple-esque design but can be used with Windows and Mac computers, comes in three colors and features four USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm audio output, Ethernet, 4K HDMI output and DVI output. It connects to your computer with a single USB cable, which is simpler than the LandingZone dock I’ve been using which requires me to position the Macbook between two connectors and then close a latch on the back. The Satechi Aluminum Mini Docking Station is priced at $149.99 and is available now from Satechi and Amazon.
Writing relevant posts for The Gadgeteer could be a full time (and overtime) endeavor. Since this isn’t realistic for me, I focus on writing about things that can make a difference in people’s lives. I stumbled on this item during a recent lunchtime excursion into the internet, and although it’s not new, I don’t think it’s well-known and it could mean the difference between life and death. The Elide Fire Ball is a dry-chemical fire extinguisher that may be installed in potentially hazardous locations, rolled, or thrown into a fire. The ball measures 6 inches across and weighs about 3 lbs. Once the outside skin is burned or heated to 85°C it melts and causes an automatic detonation of the ball from within. The detonation occurs with a loud bang (> 120 dB, useful as a fire alarm) and creates a 322 square foot cloud of environmentally-friendly ammonium phosphate that covers up to a 14 ft diameter. The ball has a 5 year active duty lifespan after which the unit may be disposed of normally. I think the fact that the Elide Fire Ball can be used as a sentry system for protecting remote property, like a cabin in the woods, or near potentially hazardous areas, like a furnace makes it a unique and valuable invention. The Elide Fire ball may be purchased from http://elidefireusa.com/shop/ for $129.99 with flat rate shipping included.
Another option is the ICEKEY Fire Extinguisher ball which is available on Amazon for only $49.99.
Mujjo’s Carry-On Folio Sleeve for the 12 inch Macbook combines full grain vegetable tanned leather, felted wool and gun-metal hardware to create a stylish case that looks great while protecting your laptop and other daily essentials. This is a compact case that has been designed with portability in mind and features a unique handle that allows you to keep a firm grip on the case while walking throughout your day. Even though this zippered folio is small, there’s still room inside for cables, earbuds, papers, business cards, etc. The Mujjo Carry-On Folio Sleeve is priced at €99.13 ($112 USD) from Mujjo.
Perhaps you’ve seen charging cables with reversible USB A connectors out there, meaning that they can be successfully inserted into a USB port no matter whether they are flipped to one side or the other. But have you seen cables with reversible micro-USB connectors? Scosche has such cables that will fit into micro-USB ports no matter their orientation (unfortunately the USB A connector is not reversible). Scosche offered the Gadgeteer the option to try one of their reversible EZTIP Micro-USB cables so I selected the EZTIP FlatOut LED Micro-USB Charge & Sync Cable to review. [click to continue…]
Saturday nights are always a little bittersweet for me. Bitter because half of the weekend is already over and sweet because half of it is still ahead. In an effort to make your weekend more sweet than bitter, here’s a list of everything we’ve posted on The Gadgeteer this week, just in case you missed something. Enjoy!
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I’m not sure about where you live, but here in Southern Indiana, it’s that time of year when gnats, flies and mosquitoes start making a nuisance of their pesky selves. If you’re not a fan of bug spray and fly strips, the ZappLight might be an alternative worth checking out. It’s a 9W 920 lumen bulb that doubles as a insect killer aka bug zapper. The ZappLight light bulb sized zapper can be used indoors or outdoors if it’s installed under a roof and protected from the elements. It’s been designed to be chemical-free and easy to clean. Individually they are priced at $24.99, but you can also buy them in 3, 6 and 12 packs. For more info visit Zapplight.com and Amazon to order. They will be sending me one to try, so look for a review soon.
Logitech has unveiled the Logi ZeroTouch, a mount for cars that holds your phone and allows for gesture and voice commands. The ZeroTouch is an air vent or dashboard mounted magnetic holder for Android phones (sorry iPhone!) that works with a command app to provide hands-free control of your phone. Hands-free in that you don’t physically touch the phone, but you do wave your hand in front of the phone to activate the voice command app. The app will respond to commands like “Tell Jeanne that I’m on my way home”, or “Call Jeanne”. You can also use the app to respond to SMS and Google Hangouts messages, as well as ask for directions, and control Spotify… all with your voice. The Logi ZeroTouch is battery powered, but you won’t have to worry about replacing the battery for up to two years because it uses very little power. The air vent mount version of the ZeroTouch is priced at $59.99 and is available in three colors. The dash mounted version is priced at $79.99. You can find more info and order from Logitech or pre-order from Amazon.
When you look at one of your electronic devices; your smart phone, tablet or computer screen, assuming your glasses are clean enough to judge, do you react with an “ewww, gross!”? I’m embarrassed to confess that I do. Judging by the smudge prints on everything I own you’d think I’m channeling my inner sticky-fingered three-year-old. Minus the adorable factor.
Usually I try to ignore the smudges because cleaning things just isn’t fun. I especially dislike cleaning screens because it’s 1) a distraction, 2) difficult and 3) futile.
When a chance to review WHOOSH! Screen Shine came up, it was clearly meant for me. [click to continue…]
When you want a truly fast network connection, nothing beats a wired connection. The only issue with that is, traditionally, you either have to cut into walls and woodwork, or you have to leave wiring exposed and lying about. There is a third way, however – Power-line Communication.
“Power-line communication (PLC) is a communication protocol that uses electrical wiring to simultaneously carry both data, and Alternating Current (AC) electric power transmission or electric power distribution. It is also known as power-line carrier, power-line digital subscriber line (PDSL), mains communication, power-line telecommunications, or power-line networking (PLN). – Wikipedia”
We were offered a “Starter kit” of devices from Tenda. It contains two of their AP1002P Gigabit Powerline Adapters, and two small Ethernet patch cables. I gave them a test and found them to be something a Gadgeteer might want to integrate into their home or business network. [click to continue…]
I’ve reviewed my share of Braven speakers and have liked—or really liked—them all. I will soon review the MONSTER (caps mine) Braven BRV-XXL. That’s going to be fun. However, it’s 20 lbs! Not exactly sized for lugging around even though it’s made for outdoor use. Enter the much smaller (and lighter) Braven BRV-1M. At first glance, the BRV-1M could be mistaken for the BRV-1. Yes, it’s close in size, but Braven has added a few improvements.
I’m happy with Android and haven’t used an iPhone as my main phone for years. But dang it if these new leather and wood iPhone cases from tmbr. don’t make me seriously think about switching back. These cases combine two of my favorite natural materials: wood and leather. They are available for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s and come in five color combos that feature a thin leather back cover with a Cherry/Rosewood veneer section at the top. Surprisingly, these cases are priced at only $28 each. tmbr. sells cases for older iPhone models and some Samsung phones, but this new style is currently only available for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s. That means no love for my Nexus 6P. Sniff… For more info visit tmbr.