by Gregg Ellman
It might sound crazy, but I’m living proof that sound machines are ideal for a quiet, restful sleep.
You get a choice of 11 built-in digital sleep sounds, including two ocean surfs, five digital fans and four variations of white, pink and brown noise sound options.
While the sounds are playing your mind gets relaxed and in tune with the sleep noise, eliminating sudden and constant sounds and noises, which might keep you awake or prevent you from ever falling asleep.
Using the tiny bedside speaker is as easy as any gadget you can find. Inside is a USB rechargeable battery, which can last for up to 40 hours in sleep-sound mode.
The LectroFan or – any other sound machine – takes trial and error for the sound selection and volume. The pop-up swivel design allows you to direct the speaker’s sound right at your or whatever you find works best.
The sounds can and are ideal for use during the day, helping concentrate on work tasks or just a pleasant background while around the home or office.
Bluetooth is also built into the speaker, enabling it to pair with a smartphone and stream music off your device. The battery runs for about six hours in Bluetooth mode.
I’d love to live beachside but as long as I don’t, I guess the ocean night sounds keep those thoughts and sounds in my dreams.
www.soundofsleep.com $34.95, available in color choices of chalk white, charcoal and metallic red
Measuring 4.5-3-by-0.7-inches (6.1-ounces) it’s easy to see the portability with a body mirroring a deck of cards. Inside is the camera and printer and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to power it.
The zero ink technology prints are 2-by-3-inches, water-resistant, smudge-proof and tear resistant. They have a peel off sticky-back for displaying the prints anywhere you want.
And before you ask, there’s no ink or toner needed. With the zinc technology, everything you need is in the paper, which is available in packs of 20, 30 or 50 sheets. Loading the paper is instant and easy, just open up the paper and slide it in.
Using the printer is simply fun. It’s not going to replace a regular camera or your desktop printer. Bet then again, you not going to take those in your backpack on the go.
The 16-megapixel camera can store photos on a built-in microSD memory card (supports cards up to 256 GB) and takes about 40 pictures on each battery charge. A low battery indicator lets you know when a USB charge is needed and a small LED flash will go off automatically when the camera detects it’s needed.
Images can be taken with three different modes; color, black and white or sepia along with adding the classic Polaroid frame, which as I and many others know existed long before the social media world.
A selfie mirror is on the front and the timer helps you jump around to get in a group photo and a small viewfinder helps you frame your image in a vertical or landscape view.
There’s also Bluetooth built into the Mint so you can print pictures from a smartphone.
The quality of the images is really good. I’ve used zinc technology in other small printers and for instant prints and for what it is, it’s impressive. The Polaroid Mint is the first time I’ve combined the portability of the prints with a pocket sized camera and it didn’t disappoint. I even found it hard to stop creating what seems like an endless amount of stickers for my refrigerator.
www.polaroid.com $92.09, available in black, white, blue, red or yellow