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

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