Archive for July 2013

Gadgets:: New Card Made for Speed

By GREGG ELLMAN— Twitter.com/greggellman

SanDisk Extreme microSDXCSanDisk Corp. has announced what it calls the fastest microSDXC card to hit the market with SanDisk Extreme microsSDXC, which has read speeds up to 80MB/sec and write speeds up to 50MB/sec.

Combine this type of card with the advanced digital SLR cameras today and photographers will get continuous burst modes along with lightning-fast transfer speeds.

With a high performance speed class rating of 10, it is also ideal for capturing video in full HD or 4K recording.

The microSDXC card can be used in any device that accomodates the fingernail-sized memory, or use the included adapter for an instant SD/SDHC/SDXC supported device.

The cards come with a lifetime warranty (not any lost digital content), are shock and waterproof and come with a download offer for SanDisks RescuePro Deluxe recovery software to recover images that may have been accidentally deleted.

www.SanDisk.com 16GB to 64GB capacities carrying MSRPs of $59.99 to $199.99

Jabra MotionThe Jabra Motion headset is promoted by the company as a high-end Bluetooth (4.0) and it’s true to its word.

It’s a little larger than most Bluetooth headsets but after using it for a few minutes you forget it’s even there.

It’s built with an over-the-ear design and a boom microphone for the big-time talkers of the road.

The in-ear speaker can be adjusted (includes three different ear gels) for the perfect fit and when it’s not in use, just fold it up and you have a pocket-sized portable device.

Pairing for Bluetooth devices should never be difficult but the Motion seems to do it easier with it’s Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. This includes connection it t smartphones, tables or computers.

The impressive technology continues with built-in motion sensors to control just about everything in the headset. including battery life, voice controls and audio.

The headset allows multimedia streaming including audio from a GPS and or your favorite tunes.

In addition, with it’s latest Bluetooth features, you’ll have a range of of up to 100m/300ft from your your connected device, which is 10 times the range of similar headsets.

A microUSB charge should be good for about six hours of talk time or 10 days on standby.

The free Jabra CONNECT app (iOS and Android) lets users customize the headset from your LCD.

www.Jabra.com $129.99

Magellan RoadMate 9250TEvery time I see a new handheld GPS unit, such as the Megellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB, I’m amazed that fold-out maps ever existed.

Every feature you would want from a device like this is included, including the option to add a back-up camera. When you add the camera, the navigator automatically switches to it when your car goes into reverse.

Physically, the RoadMate 9250T has a 7-inch HD display with responsiveness and clarity second to none and connects to your Bluetooth phone to work as a handsfree device.

Magellan’s Bluetooth SafeTexting helps in the handsfree mode, which lets a driver respond to a text or call with a pre-written text message along with estimated time of arrival and your location.

After you plug in where you want to go, the directions are read to you well in advance of your turns along with naming local landmarks as turning points.

You can program the routes to avoid specific roads, stay on highways and it even tells you where parking lots are near your location along with the hours of operation.

The 9250T comes with free downloads of lifetime maps and traffic alerts. A windshield mount and car charger are included.

www.magellangps.com $222.29

 

Gadgets:: A mouse that does double-duty when needed

By GREGG ELLMAN— Twitter.com/greggellman

IRIScan MouseWith the I.R.I.S. IRIScan wired mouse you get all the basics want including scrolling, left and right clicks.  But what makes this mouse stand out is the option to use it for simple scanning.

The Windows (8/7/Vista/XP) compatible mouse takes a quick setup with the included software CD; then plug it in your USB port, mouse-N-scan.

It looks and measures just like any other mouse, is built with an ergonomic design to fit in your hand comfortably and has a small scanner visible on the bottom.

To scan, press the scan button and roll it over whatever you want scanned into your computer. It only took me a few scans to get the right speed down.

Scans are done at up to 300 dpi so it won’t make an ideal solution for scanning your family photo archive. It does do a great job with business cards where you can drop them directly into programs such as Microsoft Word or Outlook for instant editing.

Also included is I.R.I.S. OCR software to edit your scans into PDF’s, JPGs or most any format your programs will need.

For me, I see this as a great work travel accessory to keep up with the never ending expense report receipts.

www.irislink.com $79

Pro DSLR Battery HolderThink Tank Photo understands the accessory world for digital photography is never ending. Earlier this spring the company introduced a few handy accessories to kelp your keep your camera bag organized so you can easily find what you need.

The Pixel Pocket Rocket folding memory card wallet ($18.75) holds up to 10 Compact Flash or smaller (SD/SDXC/XQD, etc.) memory cards.

Each compartment has a clear covering to identify what card is where and the whole wallet folds up to fit in a pocket, camera bag and even tethered for extra security with the included hook.

The Pro DSLR battery holder ($17.50) is built to hold a pair of the bigger camera batteries in similar designed pouch and also folds up for easy storage.

For users of the standard size DSLR batteries, the company previously announced the DSLR Battery Holder 4 ($16.50).

Low Rider StrapThe innovative Low Rider Strap ($29.75) brings everything together when traveling.

At first glance it looks like a standard shoulder strap, and works great as such. But after attaching it to your shoulder bag, a unique split-pad strap design lets you attach the same strap to most rolling luggage handles.

After they are combined you’ll have a much better balanced set of rolling luggage with a low-set load.

As with any Think Tank product, they are incredibly well designed and constructed with strong stitching, hardware and water resistant covering.

www.ThinkTankPhoto.com

Ferrari by Logic3When you buy a Ferrari, you would expect to get luxury and for a whole lot less than the four-wheeled version, $399 will get you luxury over your ears with the new by Ferrari Cavallino T350 headphones by LOGIC3.

First the design and look: according to the company they were inspired and designed by the car’s careful craftsmanship, sumptuous leather and beautifully honed surfaces and a quick glance at them confirms this.

They are stunning in design and back up the design with what’s most important; a dynamic crystal-clear sound.

Inside each ultra-soft padded ear is a 40mm driver, which has a closed-back design to seal the ear pads, preventing loss of music dynamics.

Along with the headphones come 1-button and 3-button in-line remotes for mobile and media players, designed with anti-tangle woven fabrics. A few other cables and attachments are included for just about any connection you need.

A hard carrying case (with the Ferrari logo of course) is included and a pair of AAA batteries.

www.ferrari-by-logic3.com in black or tan

 

 

Gadgets:: Making a case for extra power

By GREGG ELLMAN— Twitter.com/greggellman

myCharge Freedom CaseThe new myCharge Freedom Power Case for iPhone 5 is built with a 2000 mAh battery inside the case, which can give your more then double the power of your existing phone battery.

Depending on what you use your device for, it can give you upwards of extra power for 44 hours of audio, 11 hours of video or 9 hours of talk time.

Whats unique about the case, in addition to the power is a proprietary Apple Lighting charging cable, which is built into the case and tucks away in the back when you are not using the additional battery power.

When you do need the boost of power, just take it from the case and plug it into your phone.

As for the one- piece protective case, it’s built with a high-density foam interior, rubber sidewalls and a hard exterior shell to wrap around the iPhone 5 like a glove.

A microUSB cable is included for charging the myCharge battery itself.

www.mycharge.com $79.99

UE BOOMUltimate Ears, a brand of Logitech has launched the UE Boom portable speaker, which offers incredible 360-degree sound.

The 2.5-inch rounded speaker is just 7-inches long so it’s built for portability with a 15-hour battery built inside.

After you make your Bluetooth wireless connection there’s nothing to do but cranking up the volume.

You can even connect two UE BOOMs together, using the UE BOOM app (free for iOS and Android devices). This allows the pair to play in a traditional left/right stereo or stereo-to-stereo modes.

The top of the speaker has a microUSB port for charging, a clip to hang the speaker and a 3.5mm input port.

The speaker itself is designed with a specially developed water and stain resistant acoustic skin – not waterproof.

www.ultimateears.com $199.99

ChillOut FanMy first thought after opening up my Chillout mini tower fan was “what am I going to do with this?”

With the 100-degree days upon us for the summer season I have found a few uses for it, both indoor and outdoor, although it is not weather resistent.

It works off standard AC power, has 2 speeds and a carrying handle on a 10.5 x 3.5-inch rounded body.

www.Kaz.com $16.99, exclusively at Target stores, in black, blue, green or pink

Onehundred PucsA recent Kickstarter project from OneHundred are stainless steal Pucs, which you freeze and then use as regular ice cubes.

They keep cools for enough time to consume your beverage without melting down and diluting whatever your mixture is.

According to the companies site, the Pucs are Precision machined from solid stainless steel, will not add or subtract from the flavor your drink in any way, will not absorb smells or flavors from your freezer and will not degrade or dissolve.

www.onehundred.co available in sets of 3 ($19.99) or 6 ($29.99)

Gadgets:: Get Healthy & Power from anywhere

By GREGG ELLMAN— Twitter.com/greggellman

Withings Smart Body AnalyzerIf you’re serious about  your health, the Withings Smart Body Analyzer is so smart, it can tell the world its findings almost instantly.

It looks like a standard bathroom scale, which you could tuck away in the corner of any room but does a whole lot more.

Along with the basics of recording up to eight topics such as users’ body weight, heart rate, air quality and fat mass percent, the device can connect to WiFi or Bluetooth and send out a tweet or a Facebook post with the results.

You can use the Withings Health Mate app (free in iTunes) or more than 80 other third-party apps (iOS and Android) and websites with a computer or handheld device.

Setup depends on which app is chosen, but regardless it’s pretty simple. It uses four AAA batteries (included) for power.

www.withings.com $149.95

Goal Zero Yeti 400Goal Zero’s Yeti 150 and Yeti 400 Solar Generators are the company’s latest portable power solutions designed to keep lights, phones , laptops, tablets and just about anything else needed a boost of power away from an AC power source.

The bigger 29-pound Yeti 400 (459.99) delivers a whopping 400 watt-hours of power on the go, equivalent to recharging a smartphone more than 30 times, a laptop 5 times, or running a TV for 3 hours

It features an internal pure sine wave inverter (grid equivalent) with 2 AC outlets, 2 USB ports, and 3 12V ports. The Yeti 400 itself is powered from a wall outlet in 5 hours or from the sun in 30 hours with the Nomad 27 Solar Panel.

The 12-pound Yeti 150 Solar Generator ($199.99) can provide up to 15 smartphone charges, 50-hours of light, 6 tablet recharges or 2 laptop recharges.

Overall with the Yeti 150, you get 150 watt hours of power from two 12V ports, a USB port and an AC port.

It can be fully recharged in 24 hours of full sun with the Nomad 13 Solar Panel or just 5 hours by plugging it into a standard wall outlet.

www.GoalZero.com

Carbon Audio ZookaCarbon Audio’s Zooka wireless speaker is a handy device that works with any Bluetooth enabled media player.

Although it’s well designed to fit on the side of an iPad or other tablet to function as a speaker and a hands-free stand, the usefulness doesn’t there.

Most any other handsfree player will slip into the open slot, slip it over the top of your laptop screen and it makes a great partner for movie watching. If you don’t slide your device it you can pair ’em up and just let them work as a pair up to 30-feet apart.

It’s rounded in an egg-shaped oval and measures just over 9 inches long so it won’t take up much space in a laptop bag. A pair of 30mm speaker drivers are on opposite ends to create an omni-directional soundstage, as the company calls it.

A built-in rechargeable battery is good for about eight hours of play, depending on your volume settings.

Volume controls, a charging port and 3.5mm aux in for non-Bluetooth devices, are all on the back.

www.carbonaudioinc.com $99.95, available in nine colors

 

 

Gadgets:: A powerful cup, second to none

By GREGG ELLMAN— Twitter.com/greggellman

Energizer 180WAs important as your cup holders are in your car, gadget-crazy families will find it easy to give one up for the Energizer 180W Cup Inverter to charge up to five portable devices at once.

After you plug it into your 12V outlet, it transfers the power to the cup, which has a standard AC outlet along with an amazing four USB ports.

With all these plug outlets, it’s more than you should need while on the road but to test it I had my GPS unit, iPhone, iPad and an older cell phone all charging simultaneously from the compact coffee cup-sized (3.3 x 3.3 x 3-inches) device.

A thermal fan built into the device keeps it running quiet. It produces an output of 180W of continuous power so running a refrigerator, microwave or other high power devices won’t be an option.

The Energizer inverter also comes with terminal clamps to run directly off your car battery.

www.energizerpower.com $36

Rayovac 2 HourIf you need a burst of power on the go, Rayovac has a few new innovative charging solutions with the Portable Power Family.

The pocket-sized 2-Hour Power ($8.99) mobile charger provides a fast burst of power to micro USB and Apple portable devices to give you a few additional hours of talk time.

There’s not a lot to it;, just plug it in and charge away. When the battery itself needs a charge, any USB source will do the trick.

Rayovac 7 Hour PowerThe 7-Hour Power charger ($14.99) is outlet-free since it works with four AA batteries. Obviously they want you to use Rayovac’s, but others will also work fine to give your device a full charge on the go.

Both chargers worked great to power up an assortment of USB gadgets and come with an amazing 10-year warranty from Rayovac.

www.Rayovac.com

Bracketron: NanoTek StandThe Bracketron NanoTek stand can be used with any smartphone for hands-free use or just to get a charge.

What makes this stand as handy as any other is an exclusive mounting technology with NanoSuction pads to hold your device in a portrait or landscape position.

When your phone is removed the pads do not leave anything sticky or messy on your device.

The base is made with aircraft-grade aluminum with a matte finish and sits on any flat surface. A cable management system is built into the bottom to let any charging cable run through the stand for easy access.

www.bracketron.com $34.99 in black or silver
MA350The RHA MA350 earphones are a good choice in the very crowded earbud category, which can sometimes cost you as much as a house payment.

The cost-friendly MA 350‘s sound great, delivering a nice crisp sound with the right amount of bass.

A 10mm driver is the root of the great sound, along with a very comfortable fit of a great looking earphone.

They even look good with an aluminum finish and one of my favorite feature for headphones; a fabric braided cable, which won’t get tangled.

You get three size tips (small, medium and large) for the right fit along with a carrying case.

www.rha-audio.com $39.95