Believe it or not, Christmas is almost here, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much. Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category.
From now until Christmas, Cult of Mac will be putting together holiday gift guys full of ideas for the special ones in your life, no matter what their interests or your budget. Today, we’re looking at gifts that cost less than $100, for people you like quite a lot, but not that much.
It’s August, which means two things. One, there’s no news to report on, which means that most of a gadget blogger’s workday is taken up with siestas and refreshing beverages. And two, it’s vacation time! That’s right: The whole northern hemisphere likes to take a break at exactly the same time, all the better to enjoy congested roads, overpriced plane tickets and overcrowded hotels.
To ease your pain, we’ve put together a list of the best travel gadgets. You may not enjoy spending a hot and stuffy month with your in-laws, but at least your tech won’t let you down.
A Changers panel in action. Photo Charlie Sorrel (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
I spent most of last week riding my loaded-up bike through the north of Spain, and as any self-respecting geek would do, I was carrying gadgets, including a power-hungry iPad 3, and a Changers solar-powered charger. I’m planning a longer post on how this worked out, but right now I’m going to tell you about a new accessory for the Changers charger which should make it even more effective on road trips.
How do you like the idea of a solar-powered iPad keyboard case? Sounds pretty neat, right? What’s even better is that it comes from Logitech, a company that already makes some great iPad keyboards, so at least we know that the keyboard itself won’t be marred by mushiness.
This morning we reported that Apple had provided some more details to the Cupertino City Council about their proposed plans to build a new “spaceship” campus, including a render that showed a roof entirely tiled in solar panels.
How much power would that generate, though? Enough to power a million Apple TVs.
Another sign I should move to San Diego: After playing around with their 15-watt solar panel and a 6oWh HyperMac battery, the folks at Voltaic have found the two perfectly compatible — meaning a MacBook can be taken completely off the grid, and theoretically used without ever needing to be plugged in. Voltaic says you should get about 45 minutes of runtime for every hour in the sun for a 13’ MB/P (much less for more power-hungry units). You can even use the HyperMac to power your MB while it’s charging.
The 60Wh HyperMac battery is $170, and Voltaic’s 15-watt solar charger is $200; that’s just under $400 to create a MacBook that’s perfectly happy out in the boonies (as long as the boonies are bathed in lots of sun).
LAS VEGAS, CES 2011 — Still a day to go before CES is officially at full steam, we found a few nuggets at a Tuesday night press event.
First up is a pair of solar-powered goodies from Eton. The Soulra 2 is the pumped-up version of the original Soulra dock (which was featured in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide). It’s got eight speakers, a massive flip-up, high-capacity solar-panel providing eight hours of tunes on just five hours of charge, and a facelift — we think it looks much more refined than its predeceessor.