So, I finally broke down and bought a Pebble Smart Watch the other day. Just rolled into Best Buy and looked at both the FitBit Force fitness tracker and the Pebble. At just $20 more than the Force, I figured I’d get a fun geeky gadget that would do more than tell the time and count my steps.
Pebble Smart Watch by Pebble Category: Wearable Tech Works With: iOS, Android Price: $149.00
What I got for my $150 was a geeky gadget that tells me the time and passes notifications–usually–from my iPhone. And that’s about it, really.
If you’re shopping for a new iPhone wallet case, you’ll be hard pushed to find one as suave and as strongly-built as the Fulki Pocket for iPhone 5 and 5s. Handmade from thick, belt-grade Italian leather, it’s the kind of case that’ll still be looking good and going strong long after the iPhone you slip into it has died out.
Pocket by Fulki Category: Cases Works With: iPhone 5 & 5s Price: €85
The Fulki Pocket is designed to provide your iPhone with protection from scratches, scrapes, and bumps at almost every angle. It also has a small pocket that’ll carry your credit card or some cash, and the v-shaped cutout in its top edge will allow you to grip your iPhone with your thumb and forefinger when you’re pulling it out of the case.
The Fulki Pocket is available in tan, coffee, and cognac colors, and it’s priced at €85 ($116). It’s pretty pricey, but it’s worth it.
If you upgraded your old iPad for an iPad Air late last year, you probably did so for several reasons — but I’ll bet one of the biggest was its new form factor, which is substantially thinner and lighter than any of its predecessors. The last thing you want to do with it, then, is slap a big chunky case on it that makes it even bigger than the iPad you owned before it.
Gauntlet by Thule Category: Case Works With: iPad Air Price: $54
Thule took that into consideration when designing its new Gauntlet folio case for the iPad Air. Although its main focus is clearly on protection, so the case is tough and robust and ready to absorb any impact, it’s also surprisingly light, and much thinner than you’d expect a case of this ilk to be.
It’s also practical, with rubber grips that provide a built-in stand for typing or watching movies, and a “stability clip” that keeps its front cover securely closed when your iPad’s not in use. There’s a soft interior lining that prevents scratching, and the Gauntlet provides easy access to all of your iPad’s buttons and ports.
WorkFit-A by Ergotron Category: Desks Works With:iMac Price: $650
If you own a laptop, it’s pretty easy to up and move to a more comfortable workplace when your joints start to stiffen. But if you have a giant 27-inch iMac or Cinema Display, you’re kinda stuck at your desk. You could opt for a standing desk, but what if you want to sit? Or you could go for one of those adjustable numbers, but what about the perfectly good desk you have already? That’s where the WorkFit-A comes in. It’s a big robot arm that lets you swing around even a 27-inch (2013 model) iMac as if it were an iPad. A really, really big iPad.
Livescribe 3 Smartpen byLivescribe Category: Works With: Price: From $150
Spoiler: Writing with ink on paper is still way better than stabbing at a hard glass screen with a soft rubbery tip. Double spoiler: writing with a ballpoint pen which records your every stroke for searching and editing on your iPad is amazing, and way better than taking photos of every page you finish just to feed into Evernote. Third spoiler: No matter how good the hardware and the AI behind the scenes, a crappy app lets everything down.
iOgrapher by iOgrapher Category: Photography, Cases Works With:iPad Mini Price: $65
I turn down a lot of offers to review gadgets, either because I figure that you folks won’t care about whatever it is the PR folks are trying to hawk, or because it’s obvious that the product is too lame even to ridicule on these pages.
And sometimes it’s because I’m not equipped to review the item in question. I almost turned down the iOgrapher for this reason, as I have no LED lighting rigs; I recently gave away my tripod and I almost never shoot video. But I’m glad i didn’t, as the iOgrapher turns out to be a pretty excellent all-round iPhoneography case for the iPad mini.
There are tons of wireless keyboards on the market these days for all sorts of prices. Those for portable devcies like the iPad are even more numerous, and of wildly divergent quality. I’ve long been a fan of the Logitech series of bluetooth keyboards, as it lights up and can connect to any device, Mac or otherwise, with a quick tap.
BluBoard by MiniSuit Category: iPad Bluetooth Keyboards Works With: iPad, iPad mini Price: $39.95
The MiniSuit BlueBoard is a nicely designed keyboard that connects via Bluetooth to any computing device, but it is primarily designed as an iPad (or other tablet) stand. It’s solidly constructed from aluminum and the keys are responsive and accurate. The price to be paid, here, though, for a full-sized keyboard, is one of size and bulkiness: I wouldn’t want to have to carry this around as a permanent bit of kit.
Curb by m Category: Stands Works With:Any notebook computer Price: $17
Using a laptop on your lap is a pretty bad idea. Not only does it get hot, it also forces you to hunch your back or neck, and if you have any kind of carpal-tunnel problems they’ll make themselves painfully obvious pretty quick.
The Curb only fixes one of these, but it does do a pretty good job.
PROTKT byWahoo Category: Sases, sports Works With:iPhone 5/S Price: $60
Take a look in your local bike emporium and you’ll see zillions of options for mounting your iPhone onto your handlebars. Wahoo’s PROTKT, as its name suggests, goes for boxy protection above all else, although the iPhone within remains quite usable. But should you go for this coddling case, or would you be better off with a super-simple silicone band?
In order to make the Retina MacBook Pro so thin, Apple had to make some sacrifices. One of those was doing away with its optical drive — which is no longer an issue for most in the digital age — and another was using flash storage rather than old-fashion hard-disk drives.
Lockable Cover by Maclocks Category: Locks Works With: Retina MacBook Pro Price: $24-$31
But Apple made another, slightly more subtle change that the average consumer may not have noticed. It did away with the Kensington lock, providing users with no way to secure their device to their workstation to prevent it from being stolen.
Fortunately, Maclocks has a number of solutions to solve this problem, and I’ve been testing two of them over the past few months. First up is the Lockable Cover, a protective case that covers the top and the bottom of your MacBook Pro, and adds a lock to its base that you can plug a universal security cable into.
The Lockable Cover costs $24.71 on its own, or $30.90 if you need the security cable as well. That’s a small price to pay to protect your beloved notebook when you can’t always keep an eye on it, but is the Lockable Cover worth it?