Gadget Watch Apr 10 2014

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Each week we pull the best Apple-related gadgets from the Cult of Mac and collect them here for your perusing pleasure.

Luxi, The Little Light Meter For the iPhone

The little Luxi turns your iPhone’s front camera into a light meter. A what? A light meter, a device that measures the amount of light falling on a subject so that you can set the exposure correctly on your camera.

But wait, doesn’t you camera already set its own exposure? Doesn’t it have a light meter built in for when i want to kick it old school in manual mode? Yes and yes, but this $30 widget might still be handy.

Buy it $30

COVR Photo Case Lets You Shoot Around Corners

COVR Photo Case Lets You Shoot Around Corners
Ever wanted to take photos of people without them knowing? Perhaps a sneaky shot of a pretty girl to help you “remember” her later, or some equally creepy bit of deceit? Well then, we have good news for you, you pervert: it’s the COVR Photo, an iPhone case which lets you shoot in secret.

The COVR has a little prism stuck on the back, and when want to use it you slide it into place. Now you can hold your iPhone like a TV remote and shoot whatever is in front of you while looking down at your iPhone’s screen.

Buy it $75

The New Das Keyboard Looks So Cool Your Desk Will Feel Ashamed Of Itself

The New Das Keyboard Looks So Cool Your Desk Will Feel Ashamed Of Itself
Here’s the Das Keyboard 4, possibly the most bad-ass clacky keyboard in existence. No keycap markings, USB 3.0, Cherry MX switches and a huge knob. All that plus Das’s trademark feature: it’s as big as a boat. A “Das Boat” if you will.

You know how when you leave a pack of cookies open instead of sealing them in an airtight jar? They still taste the same, but they get all mushy: the satisfying snap has gone out of them. That’s how I feel now when I use even Apple’s excellent keyboards. They’re mushy compared to my clackety Filco keyboard.

Buy it $169
Elgato Thunderbolt Dock Great For Podcasters, Video Pros

Elgato Thunderbolt Dock Great For Podcasters, Video Pros

Elgato’s Thunderbolt Dock has a few unique features that are appropriate for a company that makes video accessories for Apple devices. First, there’s an HDMI port around back, and second, the USB ports put out enough juice to charge your iPad at a decent speed.

Buy it $230

Pad&Quill Traveler Case Looks Like It Feels As Good As It Looks

Pad&Quill Traveler Case Looks Like It Feels As Good As It Looks
Pad&Quill is at it again, this time with a low-profile rear-shell style case for the iPhone 5/S. While calling anything from Brian Holmes’s P&Q “minimal” would be a stretch, the Traveler Case gets pretty close. It is also gorgeous to look at, and would surely be just as lovely for the hands. It looks like the kind of case you couldn’t stop fingering.

Buy it $80

Baron Fig Confidant Is The Best Paper Notebook I’ve Used [Review]

Baron Fig Confidant Is The Best Paper Notebook I’ve Used
The Confidant is a 192-page notebook, packed with blank, ruled or dot-grid paper. It opens flat, has its own cotton bookmarker, is covered in pale gray fabric and has neat, extra-wide pages.

There are also 12 perforated pages at the back of the book so you can tear them out without ruining the binding. My copy doesn’t have these, so maybe I have a beta version.

Buy it $16

Baron Fig Confidant Is The Best Paper Notebook I’ve Used [Review]

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Yes, we’re reviewing a paper notebook. The thing is – spoiler – this one is awesome. Forget Moleskine, which is nice marketing wrapped in faux leather wrapped around thin, porous, easy-bleeding pages. The Baron Fig Confidant is what you want.

The Confidant by Baron Fig
Category: Notebooks
Works With: Pen or pencil
Price: $16

It’s packed with clever “features,” and yet you don’t notice the book at all when you’re using it. Does any of that sound familiar to you Apple users?

Mod Notebooks Sync Your Paper Notes With The Cloud

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Do you get creeped out by the fact that Google reads your emails in order to serve you ads (even though every time you search any web-based email it’s doing the exact same thing)? Then you should leave now, because the Mod Notebook is a service that scans your filled-up paper notebook and sends you back the digital version.

Baron Fig’s Amazing Confidant Notebook On Sale At Last, And Worth Every Penny

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The Baron Fig Confidant notebook started out on Kickstarter, and is today available to buy for just $16 – $4 less than the original price. I have one here on the desk, laying open at a fresh two-page spread without anything to weigh the pages down and stop the book from closing (that’s a Baron Fig feature by the way).

This isn’t a review – that’ll come later when I’ve filled the book with words and doodles. I just thought you’d like to know you can buy one, becasue it’s a pretty amazing notebook. In short, Moleskine can go suck it.

Portable Laptop Stand Renders Portable Computers Less Portable

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stand

You know what you need when you go away on a weekend trip? Along with your two suitcases worth of clothing, a laptop, a pair of iPads, a speaker maybe, plus case of shoes (rain or shine… Who knows?), chargers, your own personal pillow and, well, you get the point. Now you can add to that list the Traveler Laptop Stand from Magma. That’s right: a folding, portable stand for your folding, portable computer.

Aluminum Case For Notebooks. *Paper* Notebooks [Kickstarter]

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Oh Lord, the end is clearly, nearly nigh. Why? Because Kickstarter is now hosting a project to make aluminum notebook covers. No, not covers for your notebook computer. Covers for your hardcover paper notebook. The pull quote at the top of the pitch page says it all:

5052 Aluminum-Magnesium Alloy notebook & journal covers to keep your corners and pages straight.

Cult of Mac Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts Under $50 [Updated]

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under50 updated

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 $50. Yes, you can appear to be a big spender, but without actually spending that much.

Gorgeous ‘Archival’ Wooden Case For Field Notes Notebooks

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I used to be a diehard Moleskine fan. I still love them, but I realized that I was spending too much time worrying about what to write in those precious pages that I never actually wrote much. So I switched to completely disposable (and easily scannable) index cards and I never looked back.

Well, apart from the time I found an index card written to me by my future self which said “Look behind you… NOW!” But that just turned out to be a drunken prank I played on myself.

So I have little time these days for Moleskine, Field Notes or any other fancy book that gets in the way of my scrawlings. But that’s not to say that this Field Notes Archival Wooden Box isn’t tempting.

Neat, Slot-Together Notebook Stand Folds Down To Nothing

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It has been brought to my attention that people still use laptop computers when they travel. Instead of tossing a keyboard in with their iPad and calling it good, these masochists lug along an entire MacBook with them, just to do some work.

For these people, the Stukk stand exists. It is super-light and folds up ultra-small, helping you to not break your shoulder as you lug your behemoth around with you, and can be quickly assembled to keep your hot-running machine cool. Or cooler, at least.