Gadget roundup: Retrotastic gear takes us back to the future


Weekly gear roundup

From ax player Jack White's new high-tech vinyl album to a high-tech wood-chopping ax from Finland, here is everything you missed in product announcements this week.

Scandia Senior Easy Chair

Designed in 1957, discontinued in the 1970s, and now back in production, the Scandia Senior Easy Chair is fashioned from laminated and lacquered American walnut with a chrome base and a leather cushion. Who wouldn’t want to take it easy in here, senior or no? $2,850

Vipukirves Lever Ax

Chop chop! No ax will reduce a stack of logs to a pile of kindling quicker than this Finnish take on the woodsman's tool. The weighted, curved head weighs 4.2 pounds and the off-center shape twists it to the side once the tip has cut the wood. And see the little tang on the side? That stops the ax from going too deep. Cheap? Nope. But no other ax will “Finnish” the job faster. $269

Veho M6 Mode

There’s nothing new about this battery-powered Bluetooth speaker from Veho – but that’s the point. The retro style is the reason you’ll buy this, although the 8-hour, 1,800-mAh battery, the microphone for taking phone calls and the two speakers can’t hurt. $180

Jack White’s Lazaretto Ultra LP

I totally can’t wait for Jack White’s new album, Lazaretto, but I’ll probably just buy the download like everyone else. If I had a record player, though, I’d be totally into this crazy 180-gram vinyl LP. Side A plays backward, the album conceals two hidden tracks under its center label, and there’s “an electric or acoustic intro for 'Just One Drink' depending on where needle is dropped.” $20

Rechargeable Apex Fine Point Stylus for iPad

The Apex is a stylus with a battery, but it doesn’t actually connect to the iPad or iPhone you’re using it with. Instead, the power just amps up the strength of the contact with the capacitive screen, which gives better contact, according to its maker. $70

Tanner Goods Courier Saddle Bag

Look at this frikkin’ saddle bag. Just look at it it. Canvas and leather give it an old-school look, but the fittings are perfect for any bike. It has a strap to hold it under any saddle, even a Brooks (and believe me, getting any saddle bag to fit under a Brooks is a pain), plus a loop to grab the seat-post and stop the bag from swinging around. There’s even a place to hook a blinkie light. $125


Rickshaw Bike Basket Bag

This bag sits in your bike's basket and clips into place. Carrying straps turn it into a tote when you’re off the bike, and a padded base keeps the contents protected when you’re riding. And if it’s like all the other Rickshaw bags, it’ll be super-light and super-well-designed. You can choose from a zillion color schemes when you customize it on the site. $99

Böker Plus Albatros Table Knife

This little knife is meant for eating and camping, but you could keep it in your cowboy boot and use it for whatever things people who wear cowboy boots use knives for. It’s titanium, and the blade is 5mm thick VG-10 steel and of course slims to a sharp edge. The whole package weighs just 6 ounces. $198

This week our inboxes filled up faster than a tummy at an all-you-can-eat crab leg buffet.

The theme that emerged from this week’s plethora of product press releases was “everything old is new again.” From the stunning leather-and-canvas bike bag from the talented folks at Tanner Goods to the retro speaker from Veho, it seems our fascination with yesteryear and retro continues unabated.

May your thoughts of relaxing in a cushy easy chair, whittling away with your new table knife while listening to Jack White’s new Ultra LP, helps you get through the weekend.

Until next week.