Category : Tech News

This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – April 14, 2014

By Gregg Ellman

Reviews of the Grove Dock for iPhone, Innergie Lifehub USB charging hub and Beanco Tech’s Mobile Home.

Grove Dock for iPhone

Without knowing what was in a box I recently received in the mail, one would think it was a brick.

Grove Dock for iPhoneActually, it was the three-plus-pound solid steel Grove Dock for iPhone, which works with the iPhone 4 up to the new iPhone 5/5s lightning cables.

Built into the base is a cable management system to run your cable up to the device. Once it’s there, it wedges in place (and stays there) to let you dock your phone for charging.

The steel base comes in black or plated silver, but actually what makes this an attractive piece is the wood covering available in bamboo (my review unit), walnut or maple.

All your phone functions are accessible when docked and there are rubber bumpers on the bottom to prevent any surface scratching.

The dock costs more than the average, but it’s really a great item and even works with most iPhone cases.

It’s also 100-percent USA made in Portland, Ore., and personalized engraving is available with orders of 10 or more. $79 for Bamboo, $99 for maple or walnut


This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Feb. 10, 2014

By Gregg Ellman @greggellman The GoSmart RestPad is furry computer accessory designed to sit on your desk. Aside from the great feel, it helps prevent wrist pain associated with the endless amount of daily hours we spend looking at computer screens and mousing, which results in repetitive wrist injury or carpal tunnel syndrome. Like any […]


This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Jan. 14, 2014

By Gregg Ellman

Over the years while covering the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas I’ve had massages, shaves and just about every other industry gimmick you can think of – all right on the show floor.

This year I sat in a Lamborghini to list to an incredible sound system designed by Monster and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to destroy a brand new smartphone.

The company ProtectCELL sells annual insurance for your phone, covering just about everything. This includes getting lost, stolen, dropped in a toilet (very common insurance claim) and even if you get your phone gets caught in a blender.

A week before the show they sent me a brand new smartphone and invited me to come by the booth and destroy it.

After talking with some company representatives, who explained how the insurance policy works, they invited me to toss my new phone in a blender and whip it up.

Without hesitating I accepted and if you want to see a series of the photos just email me.

The blender destroyed the phone, creating millions of pieces from my brand new hardware.

If that was your phone, you would then call ProtectCELL, explain what happened and they would send you a new one immediately, no questions asked.

The company started in 2006 with 91 participants and now has more than 700,000 with a 25 percent renewal rate.

Your phone can be a personal one or company-issued with plans ranging from $199 for two years of coverage for an iPhone 5s to $59 for simpler phones.

ProtectCELL will even back up your contacts and other data to help restore them in the event a new phone in needed.


The Cellfy SticOver the past year or so we have all become familiar with the smartphone photography term of “selfie.”

A company called Cellfy has designed a hardware kit to help users take quality self-photos and videos using smartphones or tablets.

For the smartphone model, the patent-pending Cellfy Stic is a universal mount with suction cups on both sides to work in portrait or landscape modes.

First download a timer for your device, they suggest. TimerCam for iOS or CameraZoomFX for Android.

Then attach your phone to the front side and attach the backside to any clean, smooth surface such as mirrors, windows, clean car panels or glass.

Set the timer, choose your pose and photos will now be better composed with the hands-free hardware.

They also have a tablet model ($24.99), which doubles as a accessory to mount on the back of a headrest for back seat viewing. It also has a built-in kick-stand for use on a flat surface in addition to the front and rear suction cups. Cellfy Stic $9.99, available in orange, pink, gray and white


This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Jan. 6, 2014

By Gregg Ellman

MagiCable Duo 1

If a USB cable can be called amazing, Innergie’s MagiCable Duo is the one. It’s a unique 2-in-1 cable with a charging connections for both the Apple Lightning iPhones, iPads and iPods and Android mobile devices, all in one.

One end has a standard USB connection to plug into your power source.

MagiCable Duo 2The other has the Lightning tip on the outside, which slides out (and stays attached) to expose the microUSB tip. If your confused, just buy it. Once you see it, you’ll know how cool this is. $29.99


The Phiaton Chord MS 530 headphones cut the cord with Bluetooth technology connecting the fancy headphone to your music source.

Once paired, the padded ear cups with 40mm titanium driver technology brings you amazing sound. An internal battery (needed for both the sound and noise canceling features) gives you up to 30 hours of use before needing a USB charge.

There’s also a dual-microphone built-in so they can be used for handsfree phone calls. You can try them on your next flight but the attendants might catch on to the Bluetooth, which you still can’t use inflight. $349


This Week’s Latest Tech Gadets – Dec. 23, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

SanDisk Connect
My 2013 gadget of the year can easily be classified as simply what I like best, since the judging committee consists of me.

It would be all too easy to name the latest iPhone or iPad the winner, but let me also say as I did in my recent review of the Microsoft Surface that I think it is a great tablet and came in a close second in the voting.

Without a drum roll I’ve chosen the SanDisk Wireless Flash Drive as my 2013 McClatchy Newspapers gadget of the year.

The main reason I have selected it is it’s a really useful device when you combine it with all the other gadgets we use in our life, from smartphones to tablets to computers.

It’s available in capacities of 16GB ($49.99) and 32GB ($59.99) and works just like any other USB flash drive.

But it’s far from ending there.

Hidden on the end of the storage device is a little slot that opens to reveal a microsSD memory card. The slot enables your storage media to be limited to however many extra memory cards you choose to have.

The Sandisk wireless flash drive works with the  iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Kindle Fire and Android devices, as well as PC and Mac computers. Since many of these devices do not have a USB port (the Surface does), you’ll need to get the free SanDisk Connect app from your device’s store.

Once it’s downloaded it takes only a few seconds to make a wireless connection to the drive. You now have access to whatever you stored on it: movies, music, photos or documents.

It’s that easy. (Other steps you must take include turning it on with the front-facing button and loading your content, etc.)

This gives you extra storage on the go without having to make a wireless internet connection or hooking up a USB drive with a cable.

The Sandisk wireless drive charges via USB and is good for about 4 hours of streaming.


ibitz 1The iBitz Unity from GeoPalz is a wireless device to monitor your family’s health.

It’s a small device you clip onto your waist, or wherever you want, to track your step count, the distance you have gone and even how many calories you burned.

ibitz 2Just download the free iBitz Unity app and connect it to your compatible iOS device running iOS 6 or higher. The app will read the your results for up to 30 days. $34.99



This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Dec. 9, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

BookBook Travel Journal

Odds and ends, a little office cleaning or just call it another in the endless holiday shopping gift guides. Any or all of the above translates into a bunch holiday suggestions for gift lists.

TwelveSouth’s BookBook Travel Journal is more then a great looking vintage world book-style case for an iPad Air, mini or any other table that fits.

It’s has a leather-covered hardback outside and the inside is soft-lined to keep your tablet safe and scratch-free, but it doesn’t end there.

A dozen pockets and adjustable bands are great for keeping your headphones, mouse, cables, chargers, cables and documents in place and within easy reach.

It measures 8 x 10.3 x 1.9-inches and weighs just 16 ounces before you load it up. $99.99


PowerFlaskDigital Treasures PowerFlask is a portable battery with an incredible 13,000mAh of power, which you can use for charging just about any portable electronic gadget.

Up to three USB devices can be charged simultaneously including tablets, smartphones and gaming devices.

The internal lithium battery is surrounded by a flask design with an aluminum finish wrapped in a black leather coat.

The top has a pair of USB charging ports (1A and 2.5A output) and a single mircroUSB charging port. A dual LED illuminator there alerts you of the remaining power. $69.95


This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Nov. 25, 2013

By Gregg Ellman @greggellman I’ve tossed around several ways to approach my review of the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, but it’s impossible to make an iPad comparison since I’ve owned several over the past few years. After coming to grips with the conclusion that I really liked the Surface 2, I was upfront on a […]


This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Nov. 5, 2013

By Gregg Ellman

Garmin VIRBGarmin has entered the field of rugged action photography cameras with the recent launch of the VIRB HD ($299.99).

The camera is built with an aerodynamic design in a rugged waterproof housing, enabling users to run the camera without purchasing extra housings for extreme weather conditions.

The case has an IPX-7 waterproof rating enabling it to withstand a depth of one meter of water for up to 30 minutes, which Garmin describes as “accidental immersion.”

Using it is simple as any camera I’ve seen. Move an external sliding button forward and the camera is recording. Video’s are captured in formats up to 1080p HD and a 1.4-inch Chroma color display helps in composing your recordings or for playback.

Built-in digital image stabilization helps you get still footage by eliminating some of the camera shake.

If you want still photos, the VIRB can take 16 megapixel images, even while the video is recording. Both formats are stored on your microSD memory card. Still image features include time lapse and burst modes.

The features of the compact camera seem, endless including a 2000mAh Li-ion battery good for up to three hours of HD recording, ports include HDMI output, USB 2.0 and an internal microphone.

The VIRB weights just 1.4 pounds and measures about 1.25 x x 2 x 4.3-inches.

If underwater photography is your desire, a dive case is available for $39.99.

A variety of accessories are available including cables, adapters, mounts and extra batteries.

Garmin has an additional model in the series, the VIRB Elite ($399.99). It has all the features of the VIRB but adds WiFi and GPS features.

And finally Garmin has recently released VIRB Edit, a a free desktop software for Mac or PC systems. It allows you to edit and share video footage recorded with the VIRB cameras.

The download is available at the Garmin site.


RAVPower WirelessI’m a big fan of multi-functional devices so it’s a no brainer I would be a fan of the RAVPower (RP-WD01) FileHub.

The pocket-sized device (4.6 x x 3.11 x .55-inches, 4.2 oz) has a 3000mAh battery for on-the-go power and can be set up as a WiFi or hotspot for setting up a network to share videos, music, photos or documents with multiple devices.

A built-in SD card reader lets you store your digital files on the memory cards and access the contents on an smartphone, tablet or computer via WiFi.

Flash drives or bigger external hard drives can be connected through the built-in USB port.

Setting up each device is different but the step-by-step instructions make it problem-free. I would mostly use a device like this for my iPad, since they (Apple) doesn’t allow directly plugging in expandable media.

This allows those or any devices to have never-ending expandable media, which in my case gives me access to my full movie and TV show library.

Up to five devices can connect simultaneously and LED status lights on the front show (l-r) batter level, read/write, WiFi level and WAN. $44.99


This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Oct. 28, 2013

By Gregg Ellman @greggellman The annual Photo District News Photo Plus Expo at the Javits Center in New York City always brings out some innovative products for the photo industry and here are a few that caught my viewfinder’s attention. DxO Labs has announced the ninth version (v9) of its popular image processing software DxO […]


This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Oct. 21, 2013

By Gregg Ellman @greggellman Think Tank Photo, the premier camera, computer and accessory storage maker has launched a few new product lines aimed at Apple users. I’ll be upfront and come clean that I’ve been a Think Tank fan and user since the company launched about nine years ago. Right out of the gate it […]