For the past six year that I’ve owned an iPhone, not once have I thought about buying a dock. What’s the point? You’ve got your cable right there anyway, and unless it adds some great functionality to the iPhone, I’ve never seen much point in them. But the Projectone from Karas Kustoms has changed my opinion on the usefulness of iPhone docks.
Projectone by Karas Kustoms Category: iPhone Dock Works With: iPhone 5 Price: $45
The Projectone is a machined aluminum dock for your iPhone 5 that passively amplifies sound like a megaphone. Its simplistic style and industrial stylings make it one of the best-looking iPhone docks we’ve seen in a while, but is it actually worth its $45 price tag?
Switch 8 by Goal Zero Category: Solar Chargers Works With: Anything with a USB port Price: $99
As travel chargers go, The Goal Zero Switch 8 kit is about as convenient as it gets. The two panels fold into one easy-to-carry pack, and on the back is a zippered mesh bag in which the battery pack and USB converter sit. There’s space in that bag for a phone or other small device, and there are enough paracord loops around the edges to secure the pack, open or closed, to just about anything.
Kanam by Davarg Category: Cases Works With: iPhone 5 Price: $45
This is the first part of a two-part review. When you see the case I’m writing about, the reason will be obvious. It’s the Castello Davarg Kanam, and it’s a wraparound case fashioned from full grain leather in the good old U.S of A. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that it was thrown together by unionized slackers with one eye on the time-clock: The case is clearly put together with some care.
Why the tow-parter? Because this is a chunk of cow, and as such it’s meant to age gracefully, getting better over time. So today is more of a first look, with a long-term write-up to follow.
mŌna by Kubxlab Category: Stands Works With: iPads 2, 3 and 4 Price: $30
There would be but one way to make the mŌna iPad stand seem more like an adult toy, and that’d to make it in pink. As it is. The suggestive-looking stand comes in black, white and red. I have been using one on and off for a few months (strictly for iPad support purposes) and found it to be excellent in some aspects and silly in others. Would you like to know more?
Infuse by FireCore Category: Entertainment Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: $4.99
For several months I’ve been beta testing an iOS app called Infuse. Support for 14+ file formats, an intuitive interface, and some slick details make Infuse the best third-party media player out there.
Sometimes, a product can really sneak into your heart. Such was the HEX Drake Origin backpack, which I gave a positive review.
Cabana Laptop Duffel by HEX Category: Laptop bag Works With: Up to 15-inch laptops Price: $100
Although I loved it from the first for being a backpack that a fashionably-inclined, full-grown man could wear without looking like a slobbering, buffoonish manchild — no mean feat — the Drake Origin has become even fonder to me in the months since, until I found that I was more inclined to hoist it up onto my shoulder as I left the house than I was some of my other cherished messenger and satchel bags.
What I loved about the HEX Drake Origin wasn’t just its incredibly solid stitching and construction, but the way it made me feel when I picked it up, I felt as if I suddenly went back in time, and becamed a dandyish Oxford student in the 1910s lugging a tweed backpack full of natural philosophy texts across a blustery, autumn-strewn quad. This may seem precious, and is in fact precious, but the way we all look at fashion is through the romanticized lens of nostalgia. Fashion is a way we tell other people a story about ourselves, and I liked the story I thought the HEX Drake Origins told about me.
I don’t feel the same way about the HEX Cabana Laptop Duffel, but it’s not really the bag’s fault. If the Drake turned me into an Oxford student from a hundred years ago, the Cabana Laptop Duffel turns me into that Oxford student’s girlfriend on a day out at the beach. It’s a very feminine bag that I love, but perhaps not the right bag for me.
Hidden Radio by Hidden Radio Category: Bluetooth Speakers Works With: Anything with Bluetooth Price: $150
The Hidden Radio was an early Kickstarter success, blowing past its original $125,000 goal to hit almost a million bucks. I was, apparently, the first gadget writer to post about it, and a the end of last summer — shortly after the speakers started shipping, I met John and Vitor here in Barcelona.
SurfacePad for iPhone by Twelve South Category: Cases Works With: iPhone 5 Price: $35
Back in February, I reviewed the The SurfacePad from Twelve South and called it the “Best iPhone Case Ever.” And had it stayed pristine and continued working like it did for the first few weeks, that would be it.
But it didn’t. The lovely, minimalist leather cover certainly kept working, but while it might be a great design for something like an iPad, for an iPhone – which is constantly being shoved in and out of pockets – it’s just too fragile. That, and it sucks for taking photos.
Smarter Stand by SmarterFlo Category: Stands Works With: iPhone 5 Price: $12-ish
Don’t you hate it when your earbud cable gets tangled? I know I do (but not as much as I hate Apple’s stupid earbuds themselves). Luckily, Dotan Saguy has come up with the Smarter Stand for the iPhone, a pliable plastic widget which not only acts as a place to wrap your earbud cable, but also as a handy-dandy stand for the iPhone.
I have been using one for a little while now and it turns out to be a pretty useful little gadget.