Although I am not a great handyman I get by. I know my circular saws from my reciprocating saws, my regular drill from my hammer drill, my sledge-hammer from my claw hammer. So when new ideas or technology comes on the market and we get a chance to review it I jump at the chance. That’s the case with the DualSaw Destroyer CS 650, a new type of circular saw.
Orbitkey is yet another way to corral your keys to make them more compact in your pocket and to keep them quiet. The Orbitkey consists of either a leather strap ($39.95) or an active elastomer strap ($29.95) and a locking post that your keys will fit over. Most any flat key with a hole bigger than 4mm will fit on Orbitkey’s post; it will hold up to seven keys. Simply fold the keys into the cover created by the strap to keep the keys from jingling together and from scratching your phone or other items in your pocket. Since the Orbitkey only accommodates flat keys, the straps will come with key holder (D-shaped piece in upper right image) that you can use to attach your car keys or security fobs to the Orbitkey strap. You can also purchase accessories for the Orbitkey. There’s a bottle opener ($7.50), an 8GB USB key ($19.95), or a 32GB USB key ($34.95). The straps are available in a variety of colors, and you can even buy extra straps at a reduced price if you like to change the look of your accessories periodically. Check the Orbitkey website for more information or to order.
We hope you’re all having a great weekend. To make it even better, click through to see the full list of news, reviews and articles from this past week.
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Last fall I purchased a road bike so I could start getting my stamina up for my next belt test in karate. After procrastinating for a little over half a year, I finally started riding. Normally when I go out I am in my biking shorts and some sort of t-shirt, since I always thought bike jerseys were expensive and not worth the extra money. When a cycling jersey from Brainstorm Gear was offered to review, I decided it was the perfect time to see if a cycling jersey was worth it. [click to continue…]
Digitizing notes and drawings can be done a few different ways. You can snap a picture with your phone and upload the picture to Evernote, you can scan pages with a flatbed scanner, and you can also use special pen/paper combos like those from Livescribe. All of these methods work, but each have their own drawbacks. You have to remember to snap or scan, and with Livescribe you are tied to using their special notebooks. Now there’s another solution that will be available soon. It’s the iSketchnote from iskin and from what I can see so far, it looks pretty interesting. Instead of using special paper, you can use any paper you like with this digitizing slate. Use single sheets of paper, Field Note notebooks, Moleskine notebooks and others just by placing the notebook on the special slate. The Slate pairs with an iPad via Bluetooth, then using their special non-electronic pen, start writing and drawing. Whatever you write or draw on your paper will show up on the iPad in the iSketchnote app where you can enhance and share with your friends.
I much prefer writing on real paper with a pen or pencil than using a stylus to draw and write on the glass display of my tablet. Writing on glass with a stylus (even the new pressure sensitive ones) doesn’t feel natural to me, so this looks like a great alternative for capturing drawings and notes.
The iSketchnote will be available in four colors and can be pre-ordered now for $179 with shipping estimated for October 2014. Visit iSketchnote.com for more info.
For those of us old enough to have noticed, it’s amazing how quickly phones have transitioned from stationary devices to portable toys for the rich-and-famous to in-case-of-emergency gear to essential, inseparable extensions of ourselves. Along with that dependency, we’ve developed a primal fear of, running down our life-giving phone batteries. One of the many companies providing products to save us from this catastrophe is Innovative Technology, with their line of Justin Power Products. They sent me a travel pack to review that includes the means to resuscitate my phone via wall outlet, car outlet or battery backup – all in a little black zip pouch. Read on for details and my impressions. [click to continue…]
The official iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus release date was September 19, 2014 – at least for the lucky ones. Some of us stayed up until 3:00am ET on pre-order day to place our order, and we still have to wait until October 14 to get our new iPhone 6 Plus. While I contemplate the unfairness of this situation, I have also given some thought to how I want to outfit my new iPhone 6 Plus. Here are some ideas to consider if you, too, are getting a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. [click to continue…]
It’s Friday which means you probably just got paid. If you have some money burning a hole in your pocket and would like to do your civic duty to boost the economy, we have a list of gadget deals for you that run the gamut of computers and tablets to portable hard drives and batteries. Like always, be aware that these deals and coupon codes are only valid for a limited time. If you see something you’re interested and don’t act quickly it’s not our fault if the deal has expired or stock has been depleted.
Dell XPS 12 Core i5 1080p 2-in-1 Touch Laptop w/ 256GB SSD for $674.99 with free shipping (normally $1,199 – use coupon code: VPFLKN84PHS5DP).
Laptops & Desktops
14″ Lenovo U430p 4th-gen Core i3 “Haswell” Laptop w/ Backlit Keyboard, 500GB Hybrid Hard Drive for $439 with free shipping (normally $599 – use coupon code: U430LIQUIDATE | make sure you leave no space at the start/end of the coupon code when applying).
17.3″ HP ENVY 17t-j100 Leap Motion 4th-gen Core i7 Quad Edition 1080p Laptop w/ 4GB GeForce GT 750M, Blu-ray, 2TB storage & Backlit Keyboard for $1,074.99 with $9.99 shipping (normally $1,299.99 – use coupon code: PC599Q4).
Dell XPS 8700 Core i7 “Haswell Refresh” Desktop w/ GeForce GT 720 for $656.99 with free shipping (normally $799 – use coupon code: VPFLKN84PHS5DP).
Dell XPS 18 Core i3 1080p Touchscreen All-in-one Mobile Desktop w/ Stand for $764.99 with free shipping (normally $999.99 – use coupon code: VPFLKN84PHS5DP).
Mobiles & Tablets
Apple iPhone 5S 64GB Factory-unlocked Smartphone (Gold) for $599.99 with free shipping (normally $599 for 32GB Unlocked model | this model has been discontinued by Apple).
Lenovo K5923 Wireless Windows 8 TouchPad for $9.99 with free shipping (normally $29.99 – use coupon code: USP1SP444530).
Note: This is a sponsored post.
The Collapsible Compact Chopsticks from Integral Design will make sure you always have a set of eating utensils when you need them. No need to use those paper wrapped wooden chopsticks at your favorite noodle shop when you have this set. They measure 4″ when collapsed and 8″ when assembled and are available in six colors. They are made of stainless steel and food grade plastic, and are dishwasher safe. They even have a hole at the end of each of the tubes so that they dry quickly after washing. The plastic clip that keeps them together doubles as a rest while they are being used. The Collapsible Compact Chopsticks are available from Amazon for $16.
No matter how portable all those boxy Bluetooth speakers are, they are still boxes that need to be carried either by hand or thrown in a bag with other stuff. Whether you are going on a hike or doing yard work,, you still have to pick up the speaker when you move around. But what if the speaker could stay with you? That’s the idea behind the JBL Clip Bluetooth Wireless Speaker. Once again a company has added something unique to a Bluetooth speaker to set it apart from the crowd–a clip. Get it?
Fans of Harry Potter are sure to find the Marauder’s Map case of interest. The BeanBeanCase shop at Etsy offers this case in sizes to fit: iPhone 5/5s, iPhone 5C, iPhone 4/4S, Moto X, Samsung Note 3, Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, and S5, and even the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The case is made of PU (polyurethane) faux leather, and the design is printed directly onto the case, so it won’t rub off as a decal could. The phone snaps into a frame on the inner back cover, and the front flap has some card slots to hold your ID, cash, or cards. Of course, the camera and all buttons and controls on the phone will be accessible. The cases are made to order and ship worldwide from Hong Kong. All sizes of the Marauder’s Map Case are $12.99 at the BeanBeanCase store.
Unlike a spork with just the suggestion of fork tines on the front of the spoon’s bowl, the Ramen Spoon/Fork has a spoon bowl with actual tines sticking off the front. MOMA says this fork is designed for eating ramen noodles. It was designed for MOMA by Masami Takahashi and originally “created for use at the popular Sugakiya ramen noodle restaurant chain in Japan”. When eating ramen in a restaurant, often both a spoon (to scoop up the broth) and disposable chopsticks (to grab the noodles) are used. These spoons will eliminate the waste of the disposable chopsticks, because you can grab the noodles with the tines. The MOMA Store offers the Ramen Spoon/Fork in a set of two for $28 for non-members or $25.20 for members. Buy several and give them to all the college students you know for the holidays this year!
Say what you will about Apple’s choice to use proprietary cables with their devices instead of generic micro USB cables, but their Lightning connectors are one of their best innovations. Lightning connectors can be inserted in either orientation making them simple and quick to plug in. Now the other end of the cable has the same capability. REMAX KingKong Lightning and micro USB cables have been designed to allow the USB end of the cable to be inserted in USB ports in either orientation. Finally, no more trying to insert the cable only to realize that you have it turned the wrong way. Bout darned time! These REMAX KingKong cables are 39 inches long and are available in black or white and either micro USB or Lightning versions. They are priced at $14 each and are available from Brando.
Check out this animation of the cable:
Have you ever had a great idea for an app? Something that you’d love to have on your iPhone or iPad, but you have no idea how to write it yourself nor how to approach a company with your idea? Even if you did find a company to write it for you, you’d probably lose control of your idea. It would be much better if you could just write it yourself, right? If only you knew how to design and write apps… And if only you knew about the ins and outs of Apple’s newest iOS 8 operating system. [click to continue…]
When it comes to a minimalistic approach to protecting your smartphone, Bumpies takes the cake. These stick-on plastic bits promise all-around protection with as little bulk as possible. How does it work?
I can’t believe I’m going to admit this to the gadget world, but my next computer for home might not be a Mac. I am seriously considering going back to a Windows laptop. Shocking? A little… But we recently received brand new computers at my day job (Cummins Inc.) and I am really liking the Dell Ultrabook that I received. It’s running Windows 8.1 and is very zippy. This new computer has made me come to the conclusion that I don’t need to spend a bazillion dollars on an Apple laptop when I do 99% of my work in a web browser and Photoshop. A Dell Ultrabook might do nicely and I can save the extra $$’s for another gadget. If you’re considering a new laptop, today’s deal might have you covered. It’s for the Dell XPS 11 2-in-1 Ultrabook. This touchscreen machine features a Core i5 processor with a 128GB SSD, a 11.6″ 2560×1440 resolution display with a cool hinge design that allows you to convert it into a pseudo tablet. This thin Ultrabook only weighs 2.5 lbs, so you won’t feel like a pack mule carrying it in your backpack. The XPS 11 is regularly priced at $1279.99, but you can save $470 to bring the price down to $809.99. This deal ends on Wednesday September 24, 2014, so don’t wait too long.
In the world of PC gaming a tenth of a second can literally be the difference between life and death. The folks at Logitech know this and have come up with their latest gaming keyboard: the Logitech G910 Orion Spark RGB mechanical gaming keyboard. The G910 Orion Spark RGB has the following features:
- Romer-G mechanical switches, with up to 25% faster action. Intelligent RGB illumination, to customize your keys with a pallet of 16.8 colors.
- ARX Control integration, allowing you to use the keyboards smart dock, iOS or Android device to add further functionality.
- Nine programmable buttons, allowing you to customize nine keys across three profiles for a total of 27 commands.
- Dedicated media controls, including play,pause and mute controls.
- 113 key anti-ghosting. Absolute comfort, with two palm rest and keys designed to prevent mis-typing.
Available for pre-order now for $ 179.99 on the Logitech website and shipping in the November 2014 time frame, so you may only be a few months away from greater gaming.
I’ve never done drugs or gotten high unless you count snorting the addictive smell of these gorgeous leather wallets from Moose Brand. Hand me anything made of leather and I automatically bring it up to my nose for a sniff. Ahhhhh… There’s something comforting about the smell of leather – good leather though, not weirdly processed leather products from some Chinese companies that will actually cause your nose hairs to fall out and your eyes to water. When the folks at Moose Brand contacted me to ask if I would like to review their products, I took a quick look at their site, saw their unique designs and immediately said “heck yeah”. They sent me their Palm and Rivet wallets to try, so let’s take a look.
The Pickup Power from Quirky does the job done by most other power strips – it protects your attached devices from power surges. It has three AC outlets and 1080 joules of surge protection. The protection sounds good, but three outlets seem a little lacking – until you realize that the extra room that would have had extra outlets on a common power strip contains a portable backup battery in the Pickup Power strip. The battery pack is charged while it sits in the Pickup Power, so it’s ready for use when you pop it out and take it with you on your travels. It’s available in two capacities. There’s a version with a 4000mAh battery; it has a single 2.1A USB jack. The other version is equipped with a 6000mAh battery and two 2.1A USB jacks, so you can charge two devices at once. The Pickup Power is available in white or black. The 4000mAh version is $99.99; the 6000mAh version is $129.99. They are available at Quirky.
booq has a new backpack that they think is perfect for professionals. The Taipan shock bag is made of 1680D tri-weave polyester exterior fabric with a water-repellent coating; the embossed red interior fabric makes it easier to find items stored inside. The bag is loaded with pockets and storage compartments: large main compartment with document storage; separate, thickly padded laptop compartment that fits PCs up to 16.4″ and all MacBooks; front pocket that holds a 7″ tablet; side pockets for sunglasses and a key holder; and multiple accessories pockets for smaller items like pens or charging cables. Reflective logos on the front and on the shoulder straps increase visibility at night, and you can add a bit of personality by changing the front zipper pull using the interchangeable leather zipper pullers in black, red, orange and blue. The padded shoulder straps and the adjustable sternum strap make the Taipan shock comfortable to wear. The Taipan shock is available in black for $95. It’s available at booq and and various retailers.