Category : Tech News

This Week’s Gadgets – Aug. 21, 2012

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman
When I got an email announcing the new General Imaging ipico, which is referred to in the message as “a sleek hand-held projector for iPhone or iPod touch,” I was skeptical about how well it would work.

After using if for a few seconds my opinion was that this is a really cool gadget and right now is on my leader board as an early entry for gadget of the year.

The setup is nothing; just open the box, fold out the Apple 30-pin connecter (it’s Apple certified) and slide your device on. I hooked it up to my iPhone without even glancing at the directions, which just about everyone else will do.

It’s cable-free, fan-free, pocket-sized (4.25 x 1.75 x .5-inches), lightweight (just over 3 ounces) and its rechargeable Li-polymer battery (3.7V 1500mAh) will power about 90 minutes of use before a USB charge is needed.

It has a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and, depending on the amount of light in the room where it’s being used, can project up to 50 feet. The bulb itself can be changed but has a lifespan of more then 3,000 hours.

After it’s connected movies, slide shows or YouTube videos can be projected in seconds.

An Ipico app will be available later this year for supporting. support other media formats like Facebook, web browsing and enhanced photo features.

It’s simple, cool and you need one, but you can’t just yet. It’s expected to be available next month, so just let it be the first entry to your holiday shopping list because it’s worth every penny.

It’s also worth noting that while the hand-held projector is advertised to work with the iPhone or iPod touch, I gave it a try with my iPad and it worked just as well.

www.beabigshowoff.com $129.99

 

The Top Dawg Bluetooth Dual Ear Stereo Noise Canceling Headset has an incredible amount of features packed into the reasonably price package.

These won’t match up against many of the expensive noise canceling headsets but for the price it definitely holds its own.

Some of the great features include comfortable padded ear cups that make you forget you are even wearing them, enabling hours of use especially since the Bluetooth has a nice range for wandering away from you device.

Top Dawg rates with a 30-feet range and I found that to be pretty close in most situations; sometimes it being a few feet less but in some situations a few feet more.

Pairing the device to a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone for hands-free use is simple and 3- hour (AC, DC and USB cables included) charge gives you up to 250 stand-by hours or 13 hours of chatting but that number can vary depending on the user.

The specs include 4X anti-noise cancellation technology and digital signal processor, which produces the crisp stereo sound for both your media and phone calls.

Callers will hear you crystal clear from the flexible boom microphone, which includes a windscreen.

Other features include voice dialing/text to speech capabilities and it can fold in half while in use so only one ear gets the stereo signal.

www.topdawgelectronics.com $79.99

 

With all these products, it will be easy to run down your iPhone’s battery and that’s where the Seidio Desktop Cradle comes in.

In addition to charging, the docking station lets your device sit upright for hands-free viewing and can also be connected to a computer for syncing, loading up music or videos and alarm clock use.

It comes with removable plates enabling some phone cases to stay on while docking the phone. With the endless amount of cases available it’s impossible to say what cases will or won’t work but I tried it with several and had no issues.

The USB connection lets it connect to a computers port or a wall outlet charger (not included).

www.seidioonline.com $27

 

Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.
2012, Gregg Ellman.

1575

Latest Tech Gadgets – Aug. 14, 2012

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman

I’m a big fan of multi-functional gadgets and there’s no question that the iLuv SmashBox Pro (iSP123) fits this category.

It’s a portable speaker and smartphone case built into a protective case, which includes a built-in microphone enabling it to be a hands-free speakerphone. In addition it has controls for some functions, depending on the device including volume and power.

Your device sits in the case and is attached to the system through the 3.5mm headphone port. A pair of AA batteries (not included) power the speakers.

It’s not pocket sized (6.3 in. x 4 in. x 2-inches) but it does come with an carabiner attachment and Velcro attachments for added portability.

As for the sound, I was impressed with the quality and found it to be a nice innovative product to the saturated smartphone accessory market.

In addition, iLuv has new earphones called FitActive (iEP416), which are described as “secure fit hands-free sports Earphones with SpeakEZ Remote” on the back of the box.

What this means to you is that they stay in your ears during the most active of activities and the microphone lets you stay hands free.

www.iLuv.com $19 for the speaker, $26.99 for the earphones both at Amazon

 

The Ego Hybrid USB Case claims to be the world’s first iPhone case with a built-in and removable USB drive and I’ll just take their word for it.

It’s available in 4, 8 or 16GB in 36 color combinations if you mix and match the color of the case and drive, including sky blue, pink, yellow, light green, red or black choices.

The drive is on the bottom of the backside of the case, and slides in and out easily but clips into place for easy storage.

As for the case, it’s your typical hard shell case with access to all the device’s ports and buttons. What makes the case stand out is the USB storage, which does not add extra storage to the phone itself.

www.egoncompany.com $34.95 (4GB), $39.95 (8GB) and $49.95 (16GB)

2094

Latest Tech Gadgets – Aug. 3, 2012

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman
The custom SLR Glide strap system makes it easy to carry the bigger and bulkier digital cameras comfortably.

What makes it a system instead of just a camera strap is that it can be customized for any users style or type of gear. This includes a small SLR with a simple wide angle lens all the up to high-end category with longer telephoto lenses.

The main ingredient in the system is the Camera Slip Strap ($28.95), which is adjustable to any length, won’t slide off your shoulder but most importantly is padded for comport when worn around your shoulder or neck.

Every camera has a threaded socket on the bottom of your camera and that’s where the system’s accessories attach.

The M-Plate Pro ($74.95) Universal Tripod Plate System has a rubber gasket on the backside where it will face your camera to keep it scratch-free when it’s attached.

The company describes it at a universal camera tripod system and does work with specific manufactures listed on their website.

Now add the C-Loop attachment ($39.95) to the M-Plate or just to the tripod thread itself to attach a strap to make your camera easily accessible from your waist that keeps the strap out of the way while shooting.

There is also the M-Plate hand strap attachment ($12.95) if handheld is your choice.

The system as a whole worked great during a recent weekend of car race photography. It’s built well to work flawlessly and keep your camera scratch-free, which many other accessories do not.

www.customslr.com

1932

Cool New Gadgets – July 30, 2012

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman

Zagg’s new privacy screen film for the Apple iPhone 4/4S keeps your phone to yourself, away from neighboring eyes.

The razor-thin film features what they call a four-way privacy filter that prevents prying eyes directly next to you on planes, trains or automobiles from seeing your screen.

Applying the film is simple but in the event you mess it up, you can lift it up, reposition and re-apply.

After I applied it to my 4S, it obviously dimmed the screen, but after turning up the brightness about 20 percent everything was readable.

Many Apple purists refuse such protection but it’s great for keeping your device clean and scratch-free.

Currently it’s only available for the new iPhone models but keep checking the Zagg site for updates on other devices.

www.Zagg.com $24.99

 

Canon’s new Wi-Fi enabled and compact SELPHY CP900 makes printing simple from hand-held devices or computers sharing the same network.

With the Canon Easy-PhotoPrint mobile app, compatible Android or Apple iOS devices (smartphones or tablets) can print wireless to the printers.

Minor adjustments such as brightness correction, sharpness and contrast control can be made on the images, which can be printed on 4×6 paper as quickly as 47 seconds.

The printer works on standard AC power but an optional battery can be purchased ($79.99) for printing on the go.

If you purchase the battery pack and combine that with the built-in card reader (SD//SDHC/SHXC) and it’s 2.7-inch LCD screen, prints can be made from just about anywhere. PictBridge printing can also be done.

A set of paper and ink for 108 prints is $34.99 or for 36 prints $14.99.

www.USA.Canon.com $99.99

2076

Latest Tech Gadgets – July 9, 2012

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman

Western Digital (WD) has launched a handy home networking product with its Fastrack technology that let’s you choose specifically who and what gets priority for speed when multiple users are on the same network.

This includes narrowing it to specific devices such gaming consoles, smartphones, tablets, computers or any device sharing the Wi-Fi.

With the WD exclusive technology the new wireless N routers will  “intelligently and automatically prioritizes Internet favorites like Netflix, Hulu Plus, VUDU, YouTube, Xbox LIVE, Skype and others, to create a smooth streaming experience in up to Full-HD 1080p quality,” as stated in a recent press release.

On a recent call, WD representatives stressed that advance settings even let you choose specific websites for priority to maximize bandwidth for faster speeds based on who in the family needs it for work or just for fun.

They said that it will be an easy setup for wireless and wired devices, taking just minutes and includes parental control settings on a friendly and intuitive user interface.

The new routers have speeds up to 900 Mbps and choices that include internal storage (up to 2 TB) for a centralized backup and automatic wireless backup, which is accessible for all the computers on the network that essentially creates a personal cloud.

http://wdstore.com pricing starts at $69.99 for the My Net Switch or up to $349.99 for the My Net N900

2061

Latest Gadgets 06.29 – Summer BBQ

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman.

 

I have to admit, writing a column on barbecue tools has ended up being very high on my list of the most enjoyable gadgets I’ve tried.

While there  might not be as many BBQ gadgets as iPhone covers to choose from, there still are a lot of great choices to flip your meat.

By far my favorite of the grilling gadgets is the Slider from Quirky, a company known for creative and innovative tech gadgets. Quirky is now taking its creativity to the heat of the coals.

The Slider is a stainless steel double-prong 14-inch skewer you can load with meat, peppers, squash, onions or whatever you want to cook. The greatness is that it is built with a heat-resistant slider, which you use to get your food off struggle-free in just seconds. They come in a set of 4 for $24.99.

The Stake ($29.99) is as accurate as it’s packaging describes it; Grip it, Flip it and Serve it. A true all-in-one device has a spatula, fork and tongs all in a brushed stainless steal tool with a wooden handle.

It might seem hard to think of all of these cooking tools together, but they are all there in the tool, which is 21.25-inches at the longest length. When it’s locked together you have a simple 3.75-inch wide spatula but separate it and you have tongs or slide down the fork to grab your sausage for flipping or removal.

Another multi-functional gadget from Quirky is the Porter Grab and Grill ($39.99), multi-purpose BBQ tray that is the ultimate tool to keep raw food separated from cooked.

The simple gadget (19.5 x 11.5 x 4-inches) has a container on top to hold your meat or anything to go on the grill along with a separate metal mesh caddy on the side for transporting condiments or seasonings.
When you’re done cooking, just lift off the top tray you transported the raw meat in and you have another tray to put the cooked items for serving.
www.quirky.com

2161

Cool New Gadgets 05.28.12

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman.

 

Summer is here so it’s time to take your portable electronic gadgets for a swim _ but only if you include any of the following accessories to make the device waterproof or water resistant.

DryCASE has a full combination to take your cell phone camera or MP3 player in the water up to 100 feet deep with sound.

Once your slip your device into the see-through plastic, lock the pair of clamps to keep it intact. Then take the air out of the case with the included pump, put on the safety cap and let it sit a recommended 10 minutes to ensure it remains   vacuumed air tight.

After the air is removed the  seal keeps your device and any touchscreen controls or buttons fully accessible.

DryBUDS SPORT Waterproof Earbuds & Microphone are built with an over-ear clip to make a perfect companion for hearing any audio being played and are submersible up to 10-feet.

They plug into a pass-through headphone port built into the case.

I see the microphone being a much better use on land during a storm instead of opening my mouth underwater for an extended conversation.

Three sizes of ear buds and a lanyard are included; the newest version of the headphones even has a waterproof microphone, obviously for using above water.

www.DryCase.com DryCASE $39.99, DryBUDS $39.99

3032

Cool New Gadgets 05/18/12

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman.
Kensington has added the KeyFolio Secure for the iPad 2 to its extensive line of innovative tablet accessories.

The KeyFolio case is made of strong plastic, which doesn’t add much bulk to the iPad. It features an easy-to-use ClickSafe one-click locking mechanism and built-in security anchor to keep your tablet locked in place and secure.

It’s constructed from high carbon steel cables with a corrosion-proof steel lock head.

One end locks to your tablet and the other to anything you think is secure to hold it.

A Bluetooth keyboard is included with the case and can be used in the case or removed if you want to back up from the screen a bit.

The case also has a place to hold a stylus or pen, or just get the Kensington stylus, which features a rubber tip on one end for the touchscreen and a ball point pen on the other

The multi-functional case is available for pre-order at Kensington’s site or at Amazon for $129.99.

www.kensington.com

1757

Cool New Gadgets 05/08/12

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman.

A little spring cleaning this week reminded me of a bunch of items I really like but just haven’t had the time to get to.

ZAGG sent an all-in-one press kit of accessories for the new iPad, although many of them can be used with any portable media device.

Included was the invisibleSHIELD ($29.99), the company’s patented protection cover film for the touchscreen.

When using it you still get 100 percent access to the device’s functions, as if you didn’t have anything on the screen.

ZAGG made the cover, which the company says is made from a product that was first used on U.S. Military helicopter blades and is now available for over 5,000 of today’s portable electronics.

My favorite item is the ZAGGsparq 2.0 6,000 mAh portable lithium polymer battery charger ($99), which supplies more power on the go than most any other portable battery I have seen of its size.

I gave a full charge to my iPhone and iPad at the same time with the dual USB ports, and it still had a little juice left in it. To recharge it just fold out the prongs to plug in to any standard household AC outlet.

While it’s recharging up you can charge you devices in the pair of USB ports.

The ZAGGfoam ($9.99) cleans all your devices and the ZAGGsmartbuds ($49.99) let you get the tunes from the devices to your ears in comfort.

www.ZAGG.com

1882

Cool New Gagets 04/25/12

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman.
The NewerTech iSesamo steel pry tool makes the tricky task of opening iPods, iPhones or other gadgets pretty simple.

Instructions are included for opening some devices but caution should be used when opening anything to prevent damage to the case or the contents.

Once you have your device open, it’s simple to replace batteries (also sold at NewerTech) and do other simple repairs.

In most situations just insert the tip of the flexible steel blade into the seam of the device and then widen the cover from the back to unlock the clips.

NewerTech does have a warning about the iSesamo, “This tool is made of metal and can scratch the casing or glass of your device” so caution should be used.

www.newertech.com $9.99

1916