Let’s be honest, battery life on just about any mobile device is anything but ideal. Light to average users may make it throughout a day or two without needing a charge, but for the power users out there, carrying a charger/extra battery/juice pack/etc. is a necessity.
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A few Cruzerlite Androidified Clone Army TPU cases for the Nexus 7 crossed my desk recently and so I figured why not take a quick look at them and give a couple away. It’s no secret that we’re fans of Cruzerlite products. We love their designs, their quality, and best of all — their price.
You’d think a handcrafted Nexus 7 tablet case made in the U.S. using time tested bookbinding techniques would be a rare occurrence, yet here I am, reviewing my third product of its kind. It’s not only surprising, but quite refreshing. I’m actually quite proud to see American craftsmanship being used to mesh old world techniques with modern day products. It’s both nostalgic and, well… modern.
This next case comes to us from Portenzo, a tried-and-true company known for creating fantastic made-to-order iPad cases. While I can’t promise the Portenzo BookCase for the Nexus 7 will be the last hardcover case I review, I can say this: it’s one of the best I’ve reviewed.
Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset: Smaller, Better, Smarter — But New Quirks Too [Review]
Plantronics has a long and storied past making headsets, with their devices even gracing the heads of Apollo astronauts. Here on Earth, it seems impossible to avoid noticing one of their iconic Voyager line of Bluetooth headsets protruding out of someone’s ear while walking down, say, New York City’s Broadway or Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The latest incarnation of their legendary line, the aptly named Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset ($100), gets some high-tech upgrades, a slimmer profile and improved sound.
Logitech UE 900 Earphones: The Next Generation From A Legendary Name Deserves High Praise, But Also Some Ridicule [Review]
When one company swallows another, it’s common for a slow shift in rebranding and design to occur as the two entities thrash out their roles and relationship. The latest shift in the Logitech-Ultimate Ears story — Logitech purchased UE in 2008 — occured a month or so ago, when Ultimate Ears was rebranded as Logitech UE and launched a suite of high-end, blue-tinged soundware, with a product selection that reached far beyond the in-ear monitors the company has thus far been known for. In fact, out of seven new gadgets, just one new IEM was introduced: the Logitech UE 900 ($400), a quad-armature earphone that now sits at the pinnacle of UE’s non-custom earphone line.
The UE 900 has lineage, of course; we loved the snug fit, solid build and amazing sound of its antecedent, the TripleFi 10. But the TripleFi 10 is gone, and the UE 900 has stepped into its place with new ergonomics, a new sound — and a lot of blue.
It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for robots, especially our adorable little Bugdroid. That’s why I had to get my hands on the ROBO iHome Ri-26 from eKids. I’ve never owned a desktop/portable speaker (I use two Mackie SRM450 speakers I have leftover from my DJ days – wowzers) so I was extremely curious to see what kind of sound could come out of a speaker so tiny.
eKids has a reputation for bringing cute and colorful iHome products that appeal to our inner child and ROBO is no different. It’s small, portable, adorable, rechargeable, and comes in an assortment of colors. The important question is how does it sound? Well, we’ll get into that and other things in the review so read on and see if ROBO should have a place alongside all your other Android accessories.
The Jabra Freeway ($100) is Jabra’s flagship bluetooth car speakerphone. The Freeway has loads of top-rung features like hands-free voice commands, caller announcements and FM music-streaming, wrapped around three loud, powerful speakers accompanied by noise-cancelling dual microphones — making it a very attractive option for drivers who want to add a hands-free speakerphone to their cars.
The Patagonia MiniMass commuter bag ($69) is my first taste of Patagonia’s gear, and I’ve always wondered if their stuff was worth the hype. The company has a bit of a reputation — perhaps fair, perhas not — as the outdoor industry’s bourgeois player, probably due to generally higher prices than the competition, an innovative design ethic and the use of green materials throughout their line.
But Patagonia has also spawned a fanatical following. I once worked with someone who literally camped outside the company’s Southern California headquarters (it sits literally right aross the road from the beach) in the hopes she’d be hired. She wasn’t, but toting around my tablet in the the fantastic little MiniMass let me grasp why she tried.
The MiniMass is the smallest sibling in Patagonia’s family of courier bags (all of which end in “Mass” — a nod to the Critical Mass bicycle movement). This makes the MiniMass a perfect tablet carrier. And even though it isn’t explicitly to ferry tablets, it excels in the task.
There’s an important list every serious outdoor junkie has at least heard of — it’s called the Ten Essentials, and it lists gear no adventurer should journey into the wilds without. But it was codified long before the digital age arrived; now that power-hungry electronic gadgets are a part of adventuring, a relaible backup fuel tank is pretty important. It could even make the difference between life and death.
That’s where Mophie’s Juice Pack Powerstation Pro ($130) comes in. It’s a monstrous 6000 mAh chunk of a battery guarded by a ruggedized, military-spec housing — and it’ll charge practically anything short of a laptop.
Monster Inspiration Headphones Actually Sound Better Than They Look (And They Look Magnificent) [Review]
I remember saying something to the effect that these Monster Inspiration headphones (passive noise isolation, $300) looked like fluff when I first encountered them at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. Boy was I wrong.