Archive for November 2015

Gadgets: 2015 November 23

By Gregg Ellman (#greggellman)

SanDisk is once again taking portable storage to new levels with the introduction of the Extreme 500 Portable SSD (solid-state drives).

First, when using a SSD vs a standard hard drive you get the highest standards of durability and much faster download and upload speeds.

With the Extreme 500 USB 3.0 SSD, there are no internal moving pieces like in standard hard drives so it can withstand drops, extreme hot or cold temperatures and being banged around.

As for speed, the solid state drives lap the field vs the others. SanDisk rates it as up to four times faster than portable hard drives and it doesn’t get hot or noisy.

It measures a hair less than 3 x 3 x .25-inches and weighs just 1.8 ounces with the removable cable, so it’s pocket portable.

Past the specs, it works great and as advertised. I love the portability, whether it’s stored in a pocket or my computer bag.

It mounts instantly on Mac and Window operating system computers without needing drivers. Included on the hard drive is SanDisk SecureAccess software, which uses 128-bit encryption to keep private files just that: private.

The Extreme 500 comes in 120 ($59.99) (240 ($79.99) and 480 GB ($273) capacities and has read speeds up to 415 MB/S (megabit per second) and write speeds up to 340 MB/S.

What this means to you is lightning fast for transferring photos, videos or any digital files.

SanDisk has also rolled out a thumbnail-sized (actually a little smaller) Ultra Fit USB 3.0 flash drive.

It comes with SanDisk SecureAccess software, which you can use to create a password-protected private folder on the flash drive.

It also has lighting fast USB 3.0 read speeds up to 130MB/s and is available in 16 ($6.81), 32 ($9.99), 64 ($19.70) and 128 GB ($37.37) capacities.

The Ultra Fit comes with a free year’s subscription to SanDisk RescuePRO software to recover lost or corrupted files.


Grain Audio’s wooden – yes wooden – in-ear headphones are gonna attract a lot of curious eyes just by the look, design and the wood. It’s made of solid walnut, advertised by Grain Audio to help ensure the crystal-clear highs and booming lows.

Please don’t think the unique design is just another pretty set of earbuds since they have great sound as well.

The sound has the right amount of bass, even at high levels.

There’s an inline mic/remote on the flexible jacketed cable and four pairs of ear tips for getting the right fit to stick the wood in your ears. $99


Instead of holding your cellphone at arm’s length to shoot selfies, give the NanoHold a try this holiday season.

It’s a small (and temporary) adhesive with millions of micro-suction cups to adhere your cellphone to a wall or window while you pose for the camera.

It sticks to glass, mirror, stainless steel, plastic, tile, granite – you get the message. After it’s removed, there is oohing left behind.

I tried it with and without a case on my phone and it held equally well while attached to a window.The company suggests after a few uses to clean the suction by rubbing it with a damp cloth for 10 seconds to get it strong again. $6

Gadgets :: 2015 November 16

If you don’t have any aches and pains today, you’re lucky but stand by since they are on the way.

In the mean time, for my middle-aged aches and pains I gave the BioCare Systems, Inc. LumiWave a try to get some relief.

It’s a simple device, easy to use, works well and pretty much provides immediate relief.

Let me also add, I’m not a doctor, I don’t want to be a doctor and I’m not attempting to be a doctor. I just have a lot of aches and pains.

According to BioCare Systems, this is “The first medical grade LED-powered pain relief device available at an affordable price, FDA cleared for over-the-counter purchase by all.”

They have also noted, “LumiWave produces no known side effects. When used as di-rected, LumiWave safely reduces pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.”

The device has patented LED infrared technology, which you apply to the area where you feel pain. In my case, I used it on my lower back where it heated and stimulated that area.

It’s recommended to use for 20 minutes, twice daily and I’ll be honest, I used it longer because I liked it.

To get it going, plug it into a standard AC wall outlet. A few beeps told me to choose how long my session will be and a few beeps when it’s over.

The infrared lights apply a small amount of heat to the area, which in theory helps stimulate blood flow and pain relief.

The AC powered LumiWave is available in two versions: the original 200 LED has four pods of 50 LEDs each and a double 400 LED with eight pods of 50 LEDs each for a larger coverage area available for pre-order now through December with delivery by Christmas, $299 for the single version and $449 for the double

Monster, the company that created the Beats sound and related products, now rolls out another winner with the SoundStage speaker system.

The SoundStage line comes in three speakers, the S1 ($249.95) as tested, the S2 ($299.95) and the biggest of the family, the S3 ($399.95).

They all sound great, looks great and are simple to use. After an easy pairing setup you’re done. S1 is a party in a box with big time sound from a portable desktop speaker.

Bigger is bigger for sure in this case since the bigger speakers have more features and more sound.

When I first read the press release, I loved how Monster described the sound as “ex-treme clarity, tight articulation and deep pounding bass,” which is a perfect description.

While this is a Bluetooth speaker first and foremost, it’s a whole lot more if you combine it with the Monster SoundStage app (free Apple App Store and Google play).

After a simple easy setup with your existing WiFi, the SoundStage shows up on your list of wireless networks and it’s just choose and play from there.

You’ll have the ability to stream your audio by using your smartphone, tablet or anything you connect to your home network as your wireless remote.

You can also stream with Bluetooth or the old fashioned analog system with the 3.5 mm audio cable connection.

Another aspect to the system is that it allows up to 10 speakers to be used together let-ting you play different songs to different speakers (hopefully you put them in different rooms) or the same song to every speaker in the house.

Up to four streaming music sources can be used simultaneously.

While the looks have nothing to do with the sound, the curves, lines and design of the speaker make it look like a work of art. The S1 measures 11.5 x 4.875 x 3.5-inches and can sit flat or comes with wall mounting hardware.

There’s also a USB charging port on the backside to use with your own cable.

~Gregg Ellman


Gadgets :: 2015 November 15

By Gregg Ellman

To some, key rings are a fashion statement. To others (like me), they are a necessity only used simply to start the car or open the house.

The ObrbitKey is a gadget that kind of combines both, helping you carry your keys in a somewhat fashionable manner while giving you quick and easy access.

When your keys are securely attached to the carrier with the custom-designed locking mechanism, they are secure, hidden and quiet.

The ObrbitKey is available in leather or rubber versions and are able to hold up to seven keys, depending on the thickness.

If you only have a key or two in your life, a bottle opener ($7.50 ) and an 8 or 32GB USB flash drive ($19.95/$34.95) can be purchased and added just like keys. With the system, they can easily be added or removed as needed.

The system has a D-Ring attachment for carrying larger car keys and it also keeps your keys quiet from that annoying rattling key sound. $29.95 for the Elastomer or $39.95 for the leather, extra bands of each in a variety of colors can be purchased

If you give the Amped Wireless high power AC1750 WiFi router a try, you’ll find it works so well to extend your WiFi signal throughout your house, with an easy setup, that you’ll be the neighborhood expert on home router setups.

A great feature, which got my attention, is the touchscreen. I don’t know if it’s the first of its kind, but it’s the first I’ve seen. And I’m well aware that the tech world today just loves touch-screens.

The 4-inch front-facing screen takes you through all the setup steps. No one really reads instructions and in this case you really don’t have to.

Just plug in an ethernet cable from you’re existing modem and then run the setup wizard on the router’s LCD takes your signal and amplifies it to help with dead spots in your house.

Dead spots can be causes by doors, walls or distance. Everything can’t be a 100-percent signal but the TAP R3 definitely increased my coverage.

You can have up to eight different networks and access can be restricted to specific users.

Inside the unit are 12 advanced amplifiers, two high gain antennas and a Qualcomm processor. Just remember that line when you really want to impress your friends and neighbors.

Specific speeds are 2.4GHz 450Mbps, 5GHz 1300Mbps making it great for home surfing, downloading, gaming or watching HD video.

Obviously to hook up the router it has to be assumed you have a high-speed Internet line run into your house. $199.99

One of my personal favorite MacBook accessories just got better.

Twelve South has redesigned the BookArc for MacBook (Apple for those who didn’t know) to work with the latest and greatest versions of those laptops.

Many people use the laptops for on-the-go work, but when you pair it with the BookArc it becomes an outstanding desktop unit. All you do is slide the MacBook into the holder to keep it standing vertically, while also giving you valuable real estate on your actual desktop.

The accessory lets you have access to all the ports on the sides of the laptop, enabling any accessory, power supply, external keyboard and most importantly an external monitor connected.

A silicone insert for each specific laptop holds it in place and keeps it scratch free. A cable-catch feature keeps all cables in place and clutter free. $49.95

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