This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – March 19, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

Airport CommuterI’ve had the ThinkTank Photo Airport Commuter backpack sitting around for a while but since I finally got to test it out on a trip and I was thrilled about it, I’ll still report my findings.

I’ve tried a lot of backpacks, which claim they can really hold a lot of gear, keep to form and not be a strain on your back but end up not coming through.

The Airport Commuter is on the other end because I filled it up and it held up as advertised and more.

I filled it up with a pair of DSLR cameras, 3 lenses, a flash, extra batteries and memory cards. In addition, I put a 15-inch MacBook pro and an iPad in separate compartments along with chargers and lots of cables and accessories.

If I organized it a little better, I’m sure I could have added even more.

The harness straps are padded and adjustable and include hardware to attach small accessories.

As with most of ThinkTank products, a built in rain coat is included along with lot’s of weather proofing throughout the bag, which includes material coated to be water resistant.

A medium sized tripod or monopod can be attached to straps on the side of the bag.

Other features include a cable lock, business card holder, water bottle pocket and an endless amount of storage compartments along with cell foam dividers, which create an endless amount of possibilities.

According to ThinkTank, the bag is “Sized to meet international carry- on size requirements,” which I can say I had no problem with. $199.75


X-mini CapsuleThe X-mini capsule speakers are one of those “wow” devices I come across now and then.

They are every bit of pocket-sized and portable just as they are advertised to be but when you crank them up the sound is far from small.

Each speaker measures about 2-inches in diameter by 1.5-inch high, but expand to 2-inches when you twist open each speaker.

Unless you use the Bluetooth, the 3.5 mini audio jack connection cable that comes out the bottom of each speaker is easy to access and is easy to hide when not in use.

For setup, just connect one speaker to your tablet, smartphone or any device playing your audio, and then connect a speaker to the first.

Each speaker is magnetized on the bottom, so you can attach them together for easy storage.

They come in many colors in three different setups; wired mono ($39) or wired stereo ($59)  choices (as tested) or a Bluetooth stereo system ($79).

It’s powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, which has a playback of up to 18 hours. A USB connection in on each speaker for charging it back up (cable included).

SUBJEKTAnother choice for Bluetooth sound is the futuristic looking Subjekt Pulse Headphones.

After a while you forget your even wearing the great sounding over-the-ear styled headphones, which pair up in seconds and have a flexible metallic headband connecting a pair of soft padded ear cups.

One side has a few control buttons for power, volume, track skipping, pairing, an LED light and a microphone for handsfree cell calls.

Depending on your volume level, expect about 10 hours of playtime out of the crisp sounding headphones or 11 hours of talk time. $99.99


Mini Bluetooth KeyboardThe FAVI SmartStick Wireless keyboard is pocket-sized and pairs up with Bluetooth devices to give you a standard keyboard in the palm of your hand.

It’s designed with hotkeys, a laser pointer and other specific functions for the Kindle Fire HD and other Android powered devices, although I connected it to an iPad and it worked just fine.

If you’re not a fan of the virtual keyboard this is for you since the backlit letters and numbers are all where you’re used to from a standard keyboard along with shift keys on both sides.

A small touchpad is also built-into the right side, which includes full mouse control, tap to click and scrolling. $39.99

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2013, Gregg Ellman.