Who says a car charger needs to look boring?

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Lust List Tylt car charger
The Ribbn lends a touch of style to your car-charging game.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: Ribbn car charger by Tylt

Simple, elegant and fun, the Ribbn car charger is no-muss, no-fuss.

Offering up 4.8 amps, Tylt’s little Lightning charger plugs into a standard cigarette lighter socket and adds a bit of bright-blue bling to your car’s interior.

Best List: We guarantee these things will make your life better

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I love big glass and I cannot lie. I loved the manual-focus Nikkor 180 f2.8 of my youth. A Canon f1.2 II mounted to any box is a true delight. And I have lusted after a Leica Noctulux for as long as I can remember. Now Sigma is doing some amazing things with fast glass, including the new 50mm f1.4 DG HSM, which is big on heft but comparatively light on the wallet ($949 list). Being able to mount this extraordinary picture-making machine to your digital camera for less than a grand is a real treat.

The Sigma and my black lab Cody get along better than just about any dog/lens combination I have ever used. Cody is notoriously difficult to photograph, but the whippy-fast f1.4 lens I was able to capture the little bugger in the best and worst lighting situations I could put him in, with the autofocus working near silently and grabbing about as well as can be expected, considering the subject matter.

The 50mm lens is sometimes referred to as a portrait lens, but I find using a 50mm like a “normal” lens for street photography, product photography and as a general all-arounder is much more satisfying. The Sigma lens is a delight to stalk subjects in near darkness, which is what you really should be doing with this lens. It is most satisfying when you find yourself on the edge, wondering if anything is going to work out at all. Sure, the percentage of useable frames decreases, but the frames you land are worth the risk. Long live the big glass. – Jim Merithew


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Gadget roundup: The week’s best gear for travelers, campers and chefs

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The week's best gadget announcements, rolled up into a nougaty gallery.
The week's best gadget announcements, rolled up into a nougaty gallery.

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Cooking, charging, camera-ing and generally staying out-of-doors are the themes this week. But if you are stuck inside out of the sun, don’t worry – we have you covered too.

This week we get cooking with a gadget-charging camping stove and a slick, iPhone-friendly food thermometer. We also do DIY projects (without tenderizing our thumbs) with the German Latthammer, charge our flagging phones with a purse that packs a built-in battery, and record everything using the super-dorky Lifelogger camera. Is the sun shining? Yes it is!

TYLT RUGGD: Premium Protection For Your iPad Air [Review]

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The TYLT RUGGD is an iPad Air case that makes protection its priority. Its tough outer shell, triple reinforced corners, and “micro energy absorbing cushions” make it ideal for clumsy commuters who want to make sure their beloved tablet doesn’t get damaged on the train to work.

RUGGD by TYLT
Category: Cases
Works With: iPad Air
Price: $49.99

It’s also practical, with a built-in kickstand for watching movies on the go, and its two-tone design aims to provide a striking look that’s “more awesome that any other [iPad] case on the planet.”

The RUGGD is available in gray and green, and it costs $49.99. Let’s find out if it’s worth it.

Wonky Screen Protectors Are A Thing Of The Past With ALIN For iPhone [Review]

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I’ve applied dozens of screen protectors to my iPhones over the years, and I’d say less than 10% of them actually went on straight. They almost always go on wonky first time, and that means pulling them away and applying them again.

ALIN by TYLT
Category: Screen Protectors
Works With: iPhone 5/5s
Price: $25

Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about this anymore, because I have the ALIN from TYLT. The ALIN plastic alignment tool that clips into the side of your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s and ensures that every single screen protector you apply goes on completely straight first time.

It takes the hassle out of the whole process, and it turns a ten-minute job into a two-minute one. And as you might expect, ALIN is reusable, so you can keep hold of it and put it to work every time you need to apply a new screen protector.

ALIN costs $25, and for that you get the alignment tool, plus four screen protectors — three clear ones, and one anti-glare one. Is it worth your money?

Tylt’s Energi Battery Case for iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 is The One I Want Most at CES [CES 2013]

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CES 2013 bug LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – I always pack two cases when I’m about to embark on heavy travel with my iPhone: a battery case and my trusty Incipio Feather Ultralight case. I realize toting extra juice is a necessity I have to live with, but I haven’t yet found a serious battery case with dimensions I can live with — I simply hate the bulkiness. This means I’m often stuck balancing my need for my juice with my want for less bulk by constantly swapping cases, and frankly, it’s a pain in the ass.