The Michael Kors Crossbody Case is a wallet with room for your cards, cash, and a phone in a central storage pocket. It’s made of the finest quality full-grain, premium saffiano leather (both interior and exterior). It has a leather and metal chain strap that’s long enough to wear crossbody. I’ve found two versions available. The one at the Apple online store is available in black for $145.95. It’s said to fit the iPhone 5 through the 6 Plus (that’s a 6 Plus in the photo), and it can accommodate a phone in a slim snap-on case. The version available at Nordstrom is available in pearl gray for $158.00; this one has a phone pocket, but they don’t specify that it’s for iPhones only.
The iFlashDrive from Brando we reviewed yesterday allowed you to share data between your computer and your iOS device. The SanDisk Ultra MicroUSB Flash Drive lets you transfer data between your computer (Windows PC or Mac) and your Android device. It has a standard USB plug on one end for use with the computer and a microUSB plug on the other end for use with the Android device. Download the SanDisk Memory Zone app from the Google Play Store to “make it simple to manage, organize, and back up files stored in your Android phone’s internal and external memory and transfer them to your SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive.” Amazon has the SanDisk Ultra MicroUSB Flash Drive in 16GB ($12.95), 32GB ($13.99), and 64GB ($27.99) capacities.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you have surely seen the movie trailer for Episode VII of the Star Wars Saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The biggest buzz about this movie sneek peak is the awesome new lightsaber that has two mini lightsabers that project from the hilt after the main blade extends. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t open in theaters until December 18, 2015, but our friends at Wicked Lasers have already created a concept of the crossguard lightsaber. These guys know all about lightsabers because they sell one that is about as close to the real thing as you can get. Check out our review of the S3 Arctic Laser. They have decided that it’s probably not a good idea to manufacture and sell a crossguard lightsaber because having lasers shining in 3 directions is crazy dangerous. But hey, if you want to make one yourself, you can! Wicked Lasers is giving you the 3D printer files and technical drawings for free. Visit Wicked Lasers for more info and just remember that it’s all fun and games till someone loses an eye
Because we have three people who always get iPhone upgrades, we always buy the lowest storage capacity to keep our costs down. That wasn’t a problem before, because we mostly used our iPhones for calling, texting, emailing, and navigation. We typically used our iPads for gaming, creating files, and other activities. This upgrade, I’ve regretted buying the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus, but exchanging it for a larger capacity would have meant another unbearable wait, so I’m stuck with it this time. My next iPhone will have at least 64GB of storage, but until then it would be nice to find a way to increase the storage on the iPhone I have. That doesn’t seem possible, because Apple doesn’t allow you to use memory cards. It would also be nice if I could exchange files between my iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and my computer without involving iTunes. I don’t want to have to sync one device with my computer and then sync the other to get the files on, nor do I always want to have to email files between devices. It might also be nice to have some room for a song or two on my iPhone without filling up the tiny amount of storage still available on my 6 Plus after loading up the apps I need to have.
Brando has just the device that promises to fulfill my wishes. The i-FlashDrive external storage for iOS devices is basically a flash drive/microSD card reader with a standard USB plug on one end and an Apple Lightning plug on the other. You can use it with an iOS device or with a computer to transfer data between them. The packaging promises that the i-FlashDrive is “external memory expansion for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch”. It promises to let me play music or video files from the external storage, create/edit text files, make voice recordings, support Dropbox, and more. I’ve seen similar devices that promise these functions, but they are usually very expensive. Brando’s i-FlashDrive is only $30, plus you’ll need to supply your own microSD card. Can it live up to its promises? [click to continue…]
Of all the new gadgets introduced over the last few years, the Cicret Bracelet has to be one of the most unique tech thingies I’ve seen. One look at Cicret’s kickstarter-like campaign video made me think they are onto something here. The bracelet connects wirelessly to a smartphone and projects a live image of your smartphone screen on your arm with just a flick of the wrist. Not only that, but you can tap, swipe, pinch or do anything else on the projected image just as you would do on the phone’s screen itself. Whether all of this magic will happen seamlessly without glitches or other bugs remains to be seen.
Here is Cicret’s pitch:
We need 700,000 euros to finish the first prototype of the CICRET BRACELET. Feel free to donate an amount of your choice. If everyone gives us 1 euro, we will make it and release our product!
The donation campaign is headquartered in Europe, but the video has gone viral worldwide, so here’s hoping the US will get it if it gets produced.
Now, I don’t know if this bracelet will ever see the light of day and I don’t know if will work as advertised and I don’t know what smartphones it will or won’t work with, but man, oh man, I want one. Visit Circet for more info.
This universal phone stand has a business card holder/reader built in so the card’s info can be easily read in and added to your contacts database. Put the business card on the card holder and use the WorldCard app to photograph the card and import its information. The app synchronizes with Gmail’s contacts, so you can manage your contacts on your iPhone (including iPhone 6 and 6 Plus), Android phone, Windows PC, or Mac computer and store them in Dropbox and iCloud. The WorldCard Mobile Phone Kit business card reader and phone stand is available for $59.95 from PenPower. You can download the WorldCard Mobile app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.
I am always on the lookout for quirky or unique tools and gadgets that look like they could be useful in an everyday carry situation. When it comes to pocket multi-tools I have my fair share, so in order to catch my eye you need to be a little different. The LOOPY belt loop multi-tools and power bank, a Kickstarter project from Tom Leszczynski is just a little different. So, what makes this set of multi-tools and power bank (backup battery) different? First there’s the size, they are small and light weight (the multi tools weigh 0.3 oz and the basic power bank comes it at 3.4 oz). The second is the unique way they are designed to be carried, hooked to your belt loop. The belt loop tools come in two varieties, the PATH and the LAKE. The PATH is a metric version of the belt loop tool with 12 functions, the LAKE version is the same as the PATH with English/inch measurements. Both feature such items as a saw, wrenches, bit holder and bottle opener. Both are made of hardened tempered Stainless/Titanium alloy, designed to fit onto your belt loop and can be machine washed. The LOOPY POWER is a small backup battery also designed to be worn on the belt loop. The basic battery capacity is listed as 1800mAh. The funding for this project runs through January 4, 2015 with a pledge of $7 getting you a LOOPY PATH or LAKE. If successfully funded the product will start shipping in the May 2015 time frame.
We haul lots of gear ’round these parts, some of us more than others. I like my gear-hauling bags to be durable and multi-purpose, and to include at least a few organizational features. Oh, and to look good too. Cargo Works has several products that seem to fit those criteria for me. I recently had the opportunity to try out an item from Cargo Works, and instead of requesting a backpack or messenger bag—both of which are fairly frequently reviewed here at The Gadgeteer—I requested to look at Cargo Works’ Utility Carry All and 3 X Utility Pouches. Gadget on!
Need a stocking stuffer for that diehard Firefly fan? How about getting him or her an 8 G capacity flash drive in the form of a three inch diecast metal replica of the Serenity? It has a loop for your keychain, a push button to eject the drive, and the engines even light up. In the above photo, it can be seen docking at a laptop having narrowly escaped the Alliance and Reavers to offload or collect goods. It’s useful, rugged, shows you’re a fan of the show, and it’s available for $29.99 from ThinkGeek.
Most wallet-style phone cases have only one or two slots to serve as your wallet, but the Jstyle Leather Wallet iPhone Case for iPhone 6 Plus is an actual wallet. The wallet has two flaps that have a total of eight card slots and an ID window; there are also two pockets to hold cash or receipts. One flap is always closed over the wallet contents when you are using the phone, so you don’t have to worry so much about the security of your cards and ID. The iPhone 6 Plus snaps into a polycarbonate frame, so it’s held securely. All ports and controls are accessible while the iPhone is in this case. The Jstyle Leather Wallet is made of genuine leather with a Saffiano finish. It’s available for pre-order now in black for $69.99 from iLuv.
It’s that time of the week where we give you a list of all the reviews, news and articles that we’ve posted during the week. It’s your chance to get your full gadget fix. Click through to see the whole list.
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My love for styluses goes way back to the good old days of the Palm Pilot PDA. If you know what that is, you’ll also remember the plastic “toothpick” stylus that started it all. When the iPhone and iPad came on the scene the stylus disappeared for awhile because touch screens changed from resistive to capacitive and were designed to work with a finger tip instead of a plastic stylus. But it didn’t take long for people to want to do more with their devices, like taking hand written notes and drawing. Fingers don’t really do the best job with those tasks, so styluses made a comeback. First there were wide tipped styluses, which gave way to styluses with special metal disks as tips and now more currently, active styluses. The Dot-Tec DotPen is an active stylus that I’ve been testing for the past few weeks. Let’s take a closer look.
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Last year, we told you about a Kickstarter project for a small, foldable, portable photography studio called Foldio. People who sell products online or who review gadgets need a clear, well-lighted area to take photos for their postings. Foldio was designed for the person who needed a home studio, but who didn’t have much room to work with and who couldn’t dedicate a space to just one purpose. The Foldio was made of laminated paper and was held together with neodymium magnets. It folded down into a compact carrying case, so you could store it in a desk drawer or pack it in your gear bag. It had a battery-powered LED light strip for good lighting for better pictures. Foldio met its funding goals, and you can purchase one now. It’s perfect for many, but at 10.2″ X 10.2″ X 10.2″, it’s a bit too small for photographing bigger objects.
Orangemonkie, the makers of the original Foldio has brought their new project to Kickstarter. The Foldio 2 has all the best features of the original, but it’s “bigger and smarter”. It’s made of plastic and still uses neodymium magnets for assembly. The volume has been increased by 200% (15″ on a side instead of 10″). There are two LED strips now, each twice as long as the one used in the original Foldio, and they are now powered by an AC adapter for brighter, more consistent light (daylight, 5700K, white light). It’s still designed with the smart phone photographer in mind, but it’s also perfect for people with compact or even DSLR cameras. (I know I want a Foldio 2 for use with my Nikon D5100.)
Funding has already far exceeded the goal, but there are still 42 days for you to get your order in. A pledge of $65 gets you the Foldio 2 with dual LED strips, three backgrounds (white, gray, and black), and the Foldio photo editing app. Funding continues until . Delivery is expected for March 2015. Read more about the Foldio 2 project at Kickstarter.
Even though we’ve lived in our new place for just over a year now, we still don’t have enough artwork on the walls. I’m trying to find some Mid-century prints and metal art for the walls, but I still like to leave room for pictures of loved ones. When Picture It On Canvas offered The Gadgeteer the opportunity to create a custom canvas print using a personal picture, I quickly asked for the opportunity. I had some beautiful images from my daughter’s senior year that were just begging to be enlarged! After I was assigned the review, I selected an image and sent it off to Picture It On Canvas. I had my beautiful artwork in just about a week. [click to continue…]
There are only a couple of gadget specific TV shows that I know of and Shark Tank is my favorite. I always love it when I’m watching the show and someone comes on to pitch a product that we’ve written about or even reviewed in the past. It’s fun to see people who I’ve interacted with on television. That’s why I’m going to be watching tonight’s episode, because it is going to feature Stephen Hersh of Biaggi. Last year I reviewed the Biaggi Contempo 28″ Expandable 4 Wheel Spinner Upright folding luggage and I’m still using it today.
SHARK TANK – “Episode 613″ – A Brooklyn man tries to interest the Sharks in his family-run business of foldable, wheeled luggage; a single woman from Houston, Texas, makes soaps, washes and grooming products, but will she clean up with a deal? A couple from Sapulpa, Oklahoma has a fashion-forward line of gameday apparel for women geared towards college teams, and an entrepreneur from Scarsdale, NY pitches his single serve wine product that comes in recyclable plastic. And Lori Greiner gives an update on her “All-Stars” with Scrub Daddy, Screen Mend, Drop Stop, Fiber Fix, Readerest and Invisiplug on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Check out more info or watch previous episodes at ABC.
The Malektronic Rocket Speaker may look like a water bottle, but it’s filled with a different kind of refreshment. The Malektronic Rocket is a Bluetooth speaker that was created for outdoor activities. It’s drop-proof, dust-proof, and protected against splashing water from any angle. It has a 6W speaker and a battery that provides 15+ hours of music while you’re out hiking, camping, biking, or spending the day at the beach. It has “extra range” and stays connected up to 50 feet away from the audio source. The Rocket Speaker fits in a cup holder or bike rack, and it has a carabiner to hang from your gear. The Malektronic Rocket Speaker is available in black, blue, camo, orange, and pink for $109.99 from Sky Mall.
Many of you have asked for us to update our reviews with our experiences and thoughts weeks, months and even years after the review was originally posted. This way you will know if the product can survive long term. So you asked for it and now we’re delivering. Here are the first batch of reviews that have updates at the end. I plan to post this type of updated reviews link list on a regular basis. Probably once a week. [click to continue…]
Aiaiai is an unusual headphone company in a world full of unusual headphone companies. Design plays a huge part in this Danish company’s approach and it shows in the details. Their minimalist TMA-1 DJ headphones were praised for their sound and ability to take a beating in the sweat and beer soaked world of DJ nightclubbing. Flash forward a few years and Aiaiai has expanded the brand with the specialized TMA-1 Studio, Young Guru, and the Stones Throw DJ editions. Two of the three editions have unique differences and the third—well, we can talk about that one at the end of the review. [click to continue…]
With all the focus on smart watches today, you may find the idea of a pocket watch to be too old-fashioned to contemplate. When you take a look at the Ziiiro version of the pocket watch, you’ll see it’s not your great-grandfather’s pocket watch! The TITAN pocket watch has one of those abstract LCD watches housed in an aluminum case. The TITAN is water-resistant, so it will hold up to everyday life – just don’t take a shower or go swimming with it. It comes with a keychain, and it’s available with a chrome, black, azure, cherry, or purple case. Ziiiro offers the TITAN pocket watch for € 139.00 (about $171 US). Ziiiro watches are available at various European resellers, but you can order from their webstore for international delivery.
I don’t like using the virtual keyboard on my iPad, but I dislike having a heavy, bulky keyboard case on my iPad even more. Of course, another problem with expensive keyboard cases is that they aren’t likely to fit your next device when you upgrade. With the Logitech Keys-to-go Portable Keyboard, you’ll have a Bluetooth keyboard that’s compatible with smartphones and tablets. It’s a little stand-alone accessory, so you won’t have to worry about bulky cases that won’t fit anything else. Of course, like most devices these days, the Keys-to-go keyboard is optimized to work with Apple iPhones, iPads, and even the Apple TV. It has special iOS function keys, but the standard keyboard functions should work with any Bluetooth-enabled phone or tablet.
The keyboard is compact at only 9.5″ X 5.4″ X 0.24″, and it weighs about 6.4 ounces. You’ll be able to throw it in your bag without even noticing the extra weight. It’s a mechanical keyboard covered with FabricSkin. It’s waterproof and shakes off dirt and crumbs, so it’s built for the rigors of the on-the-go life. You won’t even have to worry about charging it frequently, because it’s good for about 3 months on a charge. The Keys-to-go Portable Keyboard is available in black, red, or teal for $69.99 at Logitech. (Santa! I want the red one!)