This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – March 5, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

Brolly rain umbrellaI never thought an umbrella would enter my “to do” list for gadget reviews but the Brolly Rain Umbrella made the cut.

It features a ergonomic handle and grip, enabling users to hold the umbrella to keep you dry and hold your phone at the same time.

Brolly calls the technology in the handle, Grip-ology, which gives each finger hold a lining of rubber for comfort, grip and flexibility. The finger holes are built inside an ABS plastic casing for a strong and comfortable grip.

It’s pretty simple but a great idea and works well.

As for the umbrella part, its just like any other to me and if we ever have rain in Texas, I’d be happy to try it out.

Just watch where your walking, it’s bad enough to be walked into by someone with their head in their phone on a sunny day, being hit by an umbrella won’t add any joy to the collision. $19.95


World Time SportI’m a big fan of gadgets that pretty much work without having to read the instructions, but with the World Time Sport Red watch from Phosphor, you’ll have to break out the piece of paper.

After you figure out how to set the time in the very cumbersome process, you’ll have a pretty neat watch to display local and world time.

The display uses the easy-to-read E-Ink technology, which is more commonly known from the Amazon Kindle tablets.

Everything is controlled by the set and mode buttons, which are right below the display on the front.The watch is advertised as buttonless, so all you do is swipe your finger across these control points

Once you get into the settings, you’ll find lots of choices including 24 time zones and settings for five display modes, which are changed by swiping the watch over the lower part of it.

The watch is curved for comfort on your wrist, and is water and sweat resistant.

The silicone band, flexible and water resistant, is available in black, orange, red or white with a matching watch. $99


Energizer LED Folding LanternIt’s amazing how Energizer comes up with ways to carry around light, but they have struck again with new devices that feature Light Fusion Technology.

According to Energizer, this technology transmits light throughout slim acrylic panels manufactured through a laser-etching process. What the user gets is a clean, uniform light unlike anything on store shelves and more compact for easier packing and carrying.

The Energizer Folding Lantern comes in two models; LED Folding Lantern ($29.99) has up to 300 lumens, which I used for testing.

In addition to the nice clear and smooth light it broadcasts, it pivots open and stand upright for hands-free 360-degree lighting. When you’re done, just fold it up and use the carrying handle for portability.

The Mini Pop-Up Lantern ($19.99) has up to 150 lumens. Both are powered by AA batteries for up to 100 hours of run time.

The new LED 3-in-1 flashlight ($29.99) also has a bright, daylight-looking shine with the Light Fusion Technology.

It works like any flashlight: press a button and it shines (up to 100 lumens) but what makes this model unique are two fold-out legs on the back.

This enables it to stand like a tripod and use the pivoting head for lighting in any direction.

A secondary light is on the flashlight bod’s side (1 1/4 x 4-inches for 150 lumens of light) and is activated by pressing the power button twice.

A 2-in-1 model flashlight is also available with just the pivoting head and side area light (no folding out legs) for $19.99 and has up to 100 lumens of light.

All of the new lanterns and flashlights are water resistant and will be available in early April.

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2013, Gregg Ellman.