Gadgets :: October 12, 2016

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

If your gardening skills are anything like mine, you have gone through an endless number of electrical extension cords the got cut and destroyed by hedge trimmers.

The Dewalt 20V Max Hedge Trimmer eliminates the cord cutting problem (and associated costs) since it operates off of a 5.0Ah Lithium Ion battery, letting you work cord free.

Using the 7.5 pound tool is as easy as attaching the charged battery, removing the protective cover from the blades and turning it on.

It’s designed to trim branches up to 3/4-inches thick with the 22-inch laser cut, hooked-tooth steel blades. The long-reaching blades enable high-reaching trimming, otherwise not reachable for many.

The trimmer is designed with a comfortable wrap-around auxiliary handle with an easy to reach lock, on/off switch.

A charger is included with the trimmer and battery; additional batteries can be purchased.

www.dewalt.com/ $199 for the trimmer/battery combo, $135.49 for just the trimmer and $99 for extra batteries

Think Tank Photo’s Shape Shifter backpack has been an industry leader for photographers lugging around big, bulky and expensive equipment in a low profile form.

Based on input from pro photographers, Think Tank upgraded the backpack with the recent release of the Shape Shifter version 2.0, which gives it a narrower profile when empty, allowing photographers to configure it and have it expanded only when filled.

Even when full, expensive camera gear is well hidden from the public eye until it’s removed and it’s really amazing how much you can store in the backpack.

Like all Think Tank Photo products, the backpack has a comfortable design, top notch hardware, and numerous pockets and compartments with smooth rolling zippers.

Pockets are inside of pockets to carry photo gear, laptops up to 17-inches, smartphones, tablets, chargers, cables and it also has detachable water bottle pouch.

If you want to carry a tripod, an attachment keeps it easily accessible and weight centered.

A padded shoulder hardness is adjustable to make it simple for carrying the backpack in comfort and a removable rain cover and waist belt.

www.thinktankphoto.com available in three sizes, for 15 and 17-inch laptops; the Naked Shape Shifter can be totally customized

The innovative Yantouch EyE Bluetooth speaker works great as a standalone speaker, but it has additional great features.

The colorful bass enhanced speaker has a 10 hour battery life inside a flat, rounded design, which features a top side app controlled smart light. With the app you get the choice of 16 million glowing, changing colors, according to a press release. I only tried a few due to time limits.

I really liked the Natural Sleep/Wake-up feature, which lets the light and music gradually dim during bedtime and then wake me up with the sound of canaries singing.

If you have more than one Yantouch, they can easily be paired to form a left/right stereo system while sharing the same Bluetooth connection. The linking was as simple as described, automatically linking together with a beep.

The speaker is 6-by-2.3-by-3.7-inches and is available with black or white bottoms.  A remote control is included along with a stand for use on a flat surface or wall hanging.

www.yantouch.com $99

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