If you have ever attended a trade show, you have probably picked up more than a few freebie USB flash drives with various company’s logos emblazoned on them. If you have your own company, club, event or group and have thought about buying a bulk order of flash drives with your own logo to use for giveaways, USB Memory Direct is a company to consider. They sent me some USB flash drives with the Gadgeteer logo printed on them so I could share what I thought about their service.
Many people install pet doors so that their pets can take care of business without having to wait on their owners. However, many pet doors may not be energy efficient and are not secure. The Power Pet Door by High Tech Pet aims to eliminate the problems of other pet doors. This door slides up and down when activated and opens only two ways: when your pet approaches the door directly, the ultrasonic waterproof collar opens the door (no more stray pets or animals!) or when you manually push the button on the door. The door is made of a bullet-proof resin and has an automatic dead-bolt locking system to keep the door from being forced open for increased security. It is also air-tight, thus it is wind and weather-proof. The collar works for months using a single lithium battery and the door works using three power modes: “standard AC wall adapter (included), optional auto-recharging battery backup protects against power outages (requires an optional battery) and battery only (requires optional charger kit)”. The Power Pet Door comes in two sizes: small (28.625″ H x 12″ W x 2″ D) and large (40.625″ H x 16″ W x 6″ D) and is available from Wayfair for $325.03 (large).
Wouldn’t it be nice if people didn’t steal our stuff? You could just leave things on your table, backyard deck, or car seat, walk up to the counter for coffee or whatever, and not have to keep watch on your stuff. OK, Leave it to Beaver moment is over. Fact is, everybody is trying to grab your stuff. Everyday. All. The. Time. Deal with it. But, like any good gadget technodream, there is a solution: the Dog & Bone LockSmart. It’s a heavy-duty padlock that can be used to protect your property, yet allow you to give others access. I was sent one for review, and was quite impressed.
I haven’t been fishing in decades, but the Wor.my compact fishing pole has me wishing it was summertime and I was standing on a dock soaking up the sun and catching Bluegills! This compact fishing pole system was designed in Hungry, and was a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign that raised over €16,186. Now it’s being offered through Indiegogo for InDemand pre-ordering with shipping due in April. The fishing rod system features stainless steel spring poles, a CNC machined – sea water-resistant 6061 T6 – aluminum reel seat and hardwood handles. It has no plastic parts and is being touted as unbreakable. Everything is modular, so you can choose the pole and handle that best fit the type of fishing that you like to do. FYI: the system doesn’t come with a reel, you have to supply that yourself. Interested? Then paddle over to Indiegogo and check out the different package that are being offered. Prices range from €159 for the nano pack, up to €399 for the mega pack which comes with all the poles and handles. In US dollars, that’s about $172 to $431.
Wallets, like gear bags, are an every day necessity. But they can easily become stuffed with items that you don’t really need or use, becoming more of a burden to carry than a useful accessory. I think that’s why we’re seeing so many minimalist wallets on the market right now. People are tired of clutter and bulky wallets and are looking to unload and go basic. Bellroy who are well known for their high quality leather wallets, have recently introduced a new minimalist model called the Micro Sleeve Wallet. Let’s see if it’s the right fit for your pocket.
When I want to listen to music, I prefer over-the-ear headphones, but those are not really a good fit when out and about. I’ve used both of Apple’s earbuds/pods that came with the iPhone’s I’ve owned over the years, plus many others, trying to find that sweet spot of durability, good sound, and sound isolation. (Different from active noise-cancelling, which is a whole ‘nother thing!) I think I’ve finally found a set that will last longer than their predecessors – the RBH EP-3 sound isolation earphones. I was sent a set to test, and have been using them with various devices within my day to day work and personal life.
Hello loyal Gadgeteer readers. It’s Saturday evening, so you know what that means… t’s time to catch up on any articles from the past week that you might have missed. We had a little of everything this week, from my EDC update and T-Mobile coverage articles, to a headphones, earphones, and dash cam reviews. Click through to see the full list.
About a year ago, I was in a collision caused by a driver who suddenly turned in front of me. I took a lot of pictures, one of which eventually proved that I was not at fault, but a dash cam such as the Yada Dash Road Cam HD would have given the insurance company instant proof.
[click to continue…]
Today (January, 23rd) is National Handwriting Day, an annual celebration which was started three years ago in 2013 by Moleskine. To celebrate this occasion, you’re encouraged to temporarily put down your smartphones and computer keyboards, and use your favorite pen and notebook to write a note. Then use your phone to take a picture of your handwritten notes and post them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook tagging them with #HandwritingDay and #Moleskine. These images will automatically be added to a live gallery that you will be able to view in real time. Actors Bruce Willis and Debra Messing, and T-Mobile CEO John Legere, are just a few notable people who will be participating by posting their own handwritten tweets.
Handwriting and Moleskine fans can also join the fun at Moleskine retail stores in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, and Sarasota where a special Handwriting Day station will be provided for customers to handwrite a message in a Moleskine notebook, upload to their social media, and receive a FREE notebook as part of the event. Other special deals and promotions will also be available. Check with your local Moleskine store for more info.
Ever since purchasing my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ I have enjoyed the benefit of rapid charging. I can charge my phone for 30 min using the rapid charger that came with the phone and get 50% in battery capacity. The problem is that I have to use the charger that came with the phone to do that. Until now. Built into my phone is the ability to use Qi wireless chargers so I purchased one of those to use at work and it works great. But it isn’t a rapid charging Qi pad so when I saw the Choetech Qi Fast Charging Pad, I jumped at it. But is rapid wireless charging as convenient and fast as rapid wired charging? Let’s discuss.
How many devices do you own that require charging via a USB cable? As you can probably imagine, I can’t even count all the devices that I have at my house. We have charging cables in the kitchen, cables in the bedroom and cables in the Gadgeteer HQ office. There has to a tidier and easier way to keep our gadgets charged without stringing cables all over the place right? Right! Griffin’s latest charging dock is now shipping. It’s the PowerDock Pro and it features five charging bays with self-switching ports that provide a full 12 watts that will charge up to five iOS or Android devices at once. That includes smartphones, tablets and other USB-charged devices. The dock has built in cord management and a power supply, but it’s up to you to provide the USB cables for your devices. The PowerDock Pro has a MSRP of $129.99, but is currently priced at $76.99 through Griffin’s exclusive launch partner, CDW.com. For more information on the PowerDock Pro, visit griffintechnology.com/us/powerdock-pro.
I am a relative newcomer when it comes to the fitness band scene. While I reviewed one almost two years ago, I didn’t find myself using it after the review was finished. Last summer I picked up my first all around fitness band and I have been using it ever since. The Adidas Micoach Fit Smart seemed very similar to my current band, but what peaked my curiosity was the sports-specific workouts tailored to your fitness level. With tennis season coming up, I had to give it a try.
If you’ve ever been caught a situation where your car battery has died on you in an inopportune moment, then perhaps it is time to purchase the INNOVA 3721 Battery and Charging System Monitor. This device plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter of 12-volt negative ground systems’ cars and will report the battery’s voltage on the LCD screen. It also provides a simple bar graph to indicate the battery level as well as red, yellow, and green indicator lights for quick identification about your battery’s status. If this piques your interest, you may purchase the INNOVA 3721 Battery and Charging System Monitor from Amazon for $11.88. This seems like a handy device to keep in your glove compartment to check on your car battery’s status periodically to prevent those “Surprise! Dead battery!” moments.
Back in 2014, Dave Rees wrote about his positive experience when he switched to T-Mobile. He would regularly suggest that I also try T-Mobile’s Test Drive kit, which at that time provided an iPhone and a SIM card on loan for a week’s worth of testing. In May of last year, I finally ordered my own Test Drive kit but was disappointed with the results, which I wrote about in three consecutive gadget diary posts. Long story short, my coverage was good at home and at my day job, but on my drive to and from work there was a 5 mile stretch with no signal at all. I returned the Test Drive kit and remained with Verizon. Fast forward seven months… Dave started prodding me to try again to see if coverage had improved.
I can’t explain why, but I’m fascinated by drones. I think it may be because I’ve always harbored the idea of being a helicopter pilot, but could never afford the schooling. I guess flying a miniaturized version is the next best thing.
Previously, I reviewed the Axis Aerius quadcopter, supposedly the world’s smallest drone. I had a blast reviewing that drone and was thrilled when I was given the chance to review a second, larger drone in the Xtreem Quadforce 720p video drone. Not only is it bigger, but it has an integrated HD camera for added fun.
I love a good pen. It’s something that I use every day along with a good notebook, so having a good writing instrument is important to me. Olixar has released the Hexstyli 6-in-1 pen that has various gadgets built into it. Let’s take a look and see what it has. [click to continue…]
I’ve always liked Phiaton’s earphones and headphones, Their MS 100 BA balanced armature earphones are one of the best bargains available. The Chord MS 530 headphones are a comfortable pair of Bluetooth/Noise canceling headphones that look as good as they sound. Phiaton has adapted the noise canceling tech for their BT 100 NC earphones. Bluetooth quality, range and shrinking electronics make it possible to wear Bluetooth earphones without looking like a dork.
Right now you can get a 1byone 3500 mAh Rechargeable Battery Case for your iPhone 6 (6.2 x 3.1 x 0.6 inches; 4.6 ounces) for only $13 using the code FX98WN9K. This case will protect your phone from scratches and wear and tear as well as adding 100%+ extra battery life. You can charge the battery case at the same time as you charge your phone without having to take the case off (it first allows your phone to fully charge, then charges the battery case). The case is Apple MFi certified – “Each case contains a unique authorization chip issued by Apple to ensure 100% sync & charge compatibility with any iPhone 6.” You can purchase the 1byone 3500 mAh Rechargeable Battery Case for your iPhone 6 for $13 from Amazon. It comes in red and black, red and white, and yellow and black. Just remember to use the code FX98WN9K. I don’t know when the code will expire, so if you’re interested, I would hop right to it!
Traveling with all your electronic gadgets can be a loathsome affair. Between packing chargers, charging cables and backup batteries, you may need an extra carry on bag just to tote them around. TYLT has come up with a good solution to this problem with their ENERGI 6K+ smart charger.
I guess it’s my turn to review a Bluetooth headphone. There’s a bunch out there and we’ve looked at several of them at The Gadgeteer. I’m not an audiophile, but I can tell the difference between good and bad sound for the music I enjoy, so I’ll share my experience with the 808. [click to continue…]
The Quiver Pro is a specially designed 100% American leather holder for the iPad Pro & Apple Pencil. It fits over existing iPad Pro covers like the Apple Smart Keyboard and Apple Smart Cover, and provides a convenient way to carry and store the Pencil stylus along with the Apple Lightening Cap, power adapter and replacement Pencil tip. The holder will prevent loss of your expensive iPad Pro accessories by incorporating a cover that is held closed with an elastic strap. The holder will initially be available in black Nappa leather with black stitching. You can pre-order the Quiver iPad Pro Stylus Holder for $39.95. Visit quiverglobal.com for more info.
I was brainstorming for article ideas yesterday, when I realized that I haven’t posted an EDC update in almost year. It’s time to remedy that situation! This will be part one of my EDC update as I audit what I carry each day and decide if there are items that I can drop and items that need to be added. Let’s get started.
For those of you like myself, who enjoy using a paper journal / notebook, do you love the notebook that you’re currently using? Joe and Ryan of First Draft Co. set out to create a notebook that they would love to use. They sent me one of their US made notebooks to see if I would love it too. Let’s find out if it was love at first doodle.
Google is offering a short-term incentive program called Tap 10 to encourage users to use Android Pay. If you use it 10 times from now until February 29, you have the possibility of winning “credits in the Google Store/App Store for a song (e.g. music track from Google Play), movie (e.g. video from Google Play), subscription service (e.g. Google Play Music Subscription), digital device (e.g. Chromecast Device), etc.” or “no Reward at all” according to the terms and conditions of this offer. “To participate, individuals must first have set up the [Android Pay] App on their compatible Android device and then opened the App to view the Offer’s welcome screen… Any Rewards that will be available for a given individual participant to acquire over the course of the Offer will be listed in the App at the start of the Offer Period.” If you should win anything, you will be notified through the app and all rewards will be delivered to you as a promotional code that must be redeemed by March 31, 2016. According to droid-life.com, not everyone in the U.S. is currently seeing the promotion within the app and I happen to be one of those that does not see the offer – but you might. So, be on the look-out for that offer in your Android Pay app – you could win some music or a Chromecast device!
If I can find one product that can do five things, the minimalist in me will choose it over five separate products that can only do one thing each. That’s why the Kickstarter project for the PACE lid caught my eye. The PACE lid replaces the existing lid of wide mouth Nalgene, MSR, and Klean Canteen bottles and provides a storage place for your small EDC items like first aid gear, snacks, matches, fire starting gear, etc. It’s great for outdoor runners, campers, hikers, and even urban warriors. It gets small items out of your pockets or bag and puts them on top of your water bottle which you’re already carrying or hanging off your belt. The PACE lid will be made in Colorado of BPA free materials and a $20 pledge will pre-order one PACE lid with estimated availability in July 2016. The campaign is seeking $130,000 and has already earned $40,000 with 27 days left in the campaign. For more info visit the PACE Kickstarter page.