By Gregg Ellman
It looks like a standard bathroom scale, which you could tuck away in the corner of any room but does a whole lot more.
Along with the basics of recording up to eight topics such as users’ body weight, heart rate, air quality and fat mass percent, the device can connect to WiFi or Bluetooth and send out a tweet or a Facebook post with the results.
You can use the Withings Health Mate app (free in iTunes) or more than 80 other third-party apps (iOS and Android) and websites with a computer or handheld device.
Setup depends on which app is chosen, but regardless it’s pretty simple. It uses four AAA batteries (included) for power.
Goal Zero’s Yeti 150 and Yeti 400 Solar Generators are the company’s latest portable power solutions designed to keep lights, phones , laptops, tablets and just about anything else needed a boost of power away from an AC power source.
The bigger 29-pound Yeti 400 (459.99) delivers a whopping 400 watt-hours of power on the go, equivalent to recharging a smartphone more than 30 times, a laptop 5 times, or running a TV for 3 hours
It features an internal pure sine wave inverter (grid equivalent) with 2 AC outlets, 2 USB ports, and 3 12V ports. The Yeti 400 itself is powered from a wall outlet in 5 hours or from the sun in 30 hours with the Nomad 27 Solar Panel.
The 12-pound Yeti 150 Solar Generator ($199.99) can provide up to 15 smartphone charges, 50-hours of light, 6 tablet recharges or 2 laptop recharges.
Overall with the Yeti 150, you get 150 watt hours of power from two 12V ports, a USB port and an AC port.
It can be fully recharged in 24 hours of full sun with the Nomad 13 Solar Panel or just 5 hours by plugging it into a standard wall outlet.
Carbon Audio’s Zooka wireless speaker is a handy device that works with any Bluetooth enabled media player.
Although it’s well designed to fit on the side of an iPad or other tablet to function as a speaker and a hands-free stand, the usefulness doesn’t there.
Most any other handsfree player will slip into the open slot, slip it over the top of your laptop screen and it makes a great partner for movie watching. If you don’t slide your device it you can pair ’em up and just let them work as a pair up to 30-feet apart.
It’s rounded in an egg-shaped oval and measures just over 9 inches long so it won’t take up much space in a laptop bag. A pair of 30mm speaker drivers are on opposite ends to create an omni-directional soundstage, as the company calls it.
A built-in rechargeable battery is good for about eight hours of play, depending on your volume settings.
Volume controls, a charging port and 3.5mm aux in for non-Bluetooth devices, are all on the back.