Wednesday
Jul212010

Devotec Solar Sound 2 Solar Powered Portable Speaker Review

Devotec's Solar Sound 2 is probably the best portable speaker for travel currently. There are some issues with the Solar Sound 2 but we will get to those later on. The Solar Sound 2 can both be used over Bluetooth or 3.5mm audio cable. The best thing about the Solar Sound 2 speaker is the fact that it's powered by the sun! Yes it can be charged via USB but who wants to do that when you have a big solar panel built onto the top. I've used the Solar Sound 2 for days without having to charge it over USB, the sunlight has kept this ting going and going. I have yet to actually charge it myself, and this I really like. So we covered the biggest function about this portable speaker which is the fact that it can be powered by the sun. 

Now onto the sound quality -- The Solar Sound 2 is pretty compact and portable with two speakers at each side that provide stereo sound at very high volumes. I was able to get a very loud sound level in a big living room, so sound level isn't the issue really. The sound quality is much better than what your iPhone or other mobile phone can produce. The Solar Sound 2 has a nice clear sound at normal sound levels. However, once you go beyond the 80% mark, you will start to get sound distortion effect on most songs. The bass quality isn't bad but nothing too exciting, definitely not punchy. I would say Devotec needs to improve the sound quality a bit here. The sound quality improves if you directly connect your audio source with the supplied 3.5mm audio cable but it isn't something really noticeable. The Solar Sound 2 has touch sensitive control buttons that work very well but you will mostly find yourself not using them. 

The build quality is very solid and doesn't feel cheap. If you want to use your Solar Sound 2 over Bluetooth with anything other than an iPhone or a different mobile phone, you will not be able to as it will not be compatible. You can directly plug any audio device right into the Solar Sound 2 without any issue though. The Solar Sound 2 could definitely benefit those who need a mobile speaker that does not need any batteries or the hassle re-charge times. With the Solar Sound 2 you will get a USB wall charge with a USB and 3.5mm audio cables as well as a travel case. Price $99.99.

DevotecIndustries.com

Wednesday
Jul212010

Speck CandyShell for iPhone 4

The Speck CandyShell is one of the best hybrid cases on the market for iPhone 4. Speck's award-winning design is what really make this case a must have in my opinion. The CandyShell has a hard outer shell with a soft "gummy" type of material for the interior. It offers protection for the best of both worlds! It also comes in a wide variety of colors. Watch my video review for a more detailed look at the Purple CandyShell then you can head on over to the Speck Products website or your local AT&T store to purchase one for yourself for $34.95. 

SpeckProducts.com

Monday
Jul192010

In Win AMMO 2.5" HDD Enclosure 

In Win's AMMO is an external hard drive enclosure that is made from 0.8mm steel to give you much more protection against drops and bumps. You might notice right away that the AMMO enclosure looks exactly like an Ammo magazine you would find on rifles. The design of the AMMO is the most unique out of all the hard drive enclosure out there. Not only is the AMMO made out of steel it also features a rubber insert which protects your hard drive against shock impact and from the vibrations your hard drive might produce. I have tested the AMMO with a 2.5" 7200RPM drive and did not notice any vibrations or sounds at all! The AMMO really does a great job being what is it but if that's not enough, the AMMO also features RFID security chip that's built into the AMMO enclosure that will protect your data if you carry the supplied RFID Dog Tag neckless chip with you. 

The AMMO enclosure does a great job with dispensing heat from the drive with it's cold steel construction while staying cool to the touch. The AMMO is a little bulkier than most of the 2.5" hard drive enclosures on the market however they do not have the added rubber shock insert which is a big plus. Also, the AMMO is a little heavy even without a drive installed and that's because of it's steel construction. I would not recommend the AMMO as a portable hard drive enclosure, but you definitely can carry is with you. The AMMO can power a 320GB 7200RPM drive by only a single USB outlet and while the drive is operating a little blue LED indicator will always be lit. Installing a drive into the AMMO takes about a minute and is very simple and just requires taking out two little screws with the supplied screw driver. 

Overall the AMMO is simple to use and gives you great protection from drops and bumps, all in a military themed steel hard drive enclosure. Price $29.99.

InWin-Style.com

Monday
Jul192010

Simplism Leather Vertical Flip iPad Case

Simplism is a company based out of Japan that strives to make Apple products and other peripherals for many devices. The key to their products is to make them as simple as possible, but with a unique twist the enhance the value of products.

The Simplism Leather Vertical Flip iPad case is very simple and unique because it doubles as a shoulder bag! Simplism has really put a great deal of time in designing this iPad case from the 100% genuine leather to the stitching from inside out it is absolutely perfect. Simplism has even gone the extra mile to line the case with a suede material to prevent the back of the iPad from scratching. 

This product is offered in four different colors - black, white, red, and tan - Retails for $59.99 from Amazon.

Simplism.jp

Wednesday
Jul142010

Rockford Fosgate Punch Plugs w/Mic & Button Control 

Audio for Rockford Fosgate isn't something new, they are the pros of audio sound systems mainly for cars. And now they have produced the Punch Plugs in-ear earphones. Iv'e had great expectations from these and they definitely did not disappoint. I have received the newest model of Punch Plugs that include an inline mic with control buttons to control your music and calls. The Punch Plugs deliver outstanding bass performance that will make you not want to stop listening to your music. The bass is very clear and solid, very similar to what you will find on the Monster Beats Studios by Dr. Dre headphones. So all of you who just can't get enough of great bass, I would highly recommend the Punch Plugs for you. The overall sound quality is very warm and clear sounding, no distortion or muffled sound to be found. Inside are 15mm dynamic drivers.

The Punch Plugs really let you enjoy your music, whether you are listening to some great heavy bass songs or vocal and acoustic songs. They really do a great job with sound quality. Now how is the build quality? The only con I see with the Punch Plugs is their flat tangle-free cord. Yes the cord does a great job at not getting tangled however it's too thin and flimsy. It would be better to make it a little thicker to add more strength to it. The housing of the Punch Plugs are made out of strong plastic and are very solid. 

Sound isolation is great once you find your perfect silicone ear tip. The silicone tips that come with the Punch plugs block out a good amount of outside noise, also sound leakage is at zero which is a great thing. The Punch Plugs are very comfortable even for long hours, you just forget they are even in your ears. The Punch Plugs will not sit flush in your ear but stick out some bit, so this might be an issue for you if you plan to lay in bend listening to some music. With the Punch Plugs provided is a nice compact semi-hard carry case with silicone tips. Price $129.99 and $99.99 for the non-headset model.

RockfordFosgate.com

Saturday
Jul102010

iBallz For iPad

These balls are not something you see everyday that's for sure, the iBallz for iPad consist of four balls that are made from a very firm foam like material with a rubber cord connecting them all. What iBallz actually are supposed to do is protect your iPad from drops and spills, but there are big issues with these balls it turns out. First I will talk about how they actually work with your iPad. The iBallz slip onto each corner of your iPad and in order to keep them on you need to pull tightly (but not too tight) on the rubber cord and secure it. Once the iBallz are installed on the iPad, they will securely stay in place and you could even grab your iPad only by the rubber cord if you wish. You can use this rubber cord when you play game and you might find it pretty comfortable but it does need getting used too. Also, when the iBallz are installed on the iPad, you are able to lay it on a flat surface on both sides with having your iPad actually touching the surface, this is nice is you spill your drink on the same surface. A nice and quick feature that iBallz let's you do is position one ball out of the four right near the edge of your iPad's back in order to give your some tilt for a better hands free viewing angle or even typing. This works both in landscape and portrait positions, however there are some cons to this.

Now like I said earlier in the review, there are issues with the iBallz's functions. When you want to start typing, the two button balls will always interfere with your hands and you will then find typing isn't an option anymore. You will also find yourself looking for your headphone jack and that's because the iBallz fully cover the headphone jack port as well as the power/sleep button, you will have to remove a certain ball to use it, which isn't useful at all. Another thing that will really irritate you is the actual rubber cord the goes along the side of your iPad and it will make it uncomfortable to actually hold you iPad and use it's functions, and not to mention the excess cord with the secure button that just dangles to the side. 

So how do the iBallz really protect the iPad against drops? Well I'm certinally am not going to test that out for myself because my common sense tells me I shouldn't. But than again I would rather have iBallz on my falling iPad than no balls at all. iBallz are currently available in black, blue and gray. Price $19.95.

iBallz.info

Thursday
Jul082010

Noreve Tradition Leather Case For iPad

Noreve's Tradition iPad case is fully made out of leather of your choice of texture and color. The Tradition case has a folio style design that has some functions to let you use your iPad in both landscape and portrait positions. Once you slide in your ipad from the top into the tradition, you will notice that you iPad is fully usable and uncovered. When inserting the iPad into the Tradition case, you will get a very tight fit that is very secure so your iPad will stay safely in the case without you wanting it to come out. The overall design of the case is very simple and without any writing of logos except a very little badge on the front bottom corner which is a nice touch. The finishes on the outside of the Tradition case will vary depending on your choice, you have the choice between various finishes of leather and textures. On the inside there is a nice embossed texture of Noreve writings on the surface where the iPad slides into the case. Also, this part is lightly cushioned to help protect your iPad's back side. Surprisingly the Tradition case has a slim form factor and keeps a low slim profile.

Protection: The Tradition case is a great protective folio case all around. When your iPad is inside the case it's protected from front to back. The front side is of course protected once you close the flap over the iPad. The Tradition is lightly stuffed with padding. The Tradition fully covers and does not expose your iPad when fully closed. I still cannot say that you can drop your iPad with this case on and hope for the best however, it will give you great protection considering it's a folio style case that fully protects the glass screen once closed. 

Functionality: The Tradition case offers some great useful functions, however I found that only one single function actually works correctly. The landscape function works the best and is very stable when type and touching the screen. This is done by flipping out the stand that is located at the back of the case that is held in place by two small clips. The landscape angle cannot be adjusted but it is set in a perfect viewing angle and stays very stable on flat surfaces and works very well. With that same stand you are able to set your iPad in a portrait position but because the stand does not click into place or securely latches it will eventually fold back if you touch your iPad's screen a few times. Also, the Tradition's flap will have to stay opened to the side and it will be in your way of work. Another function you can use is for typing in lanscape by flipping over the front flap and setting your iPad on a flat surface to start typing at a low angle. All your ports and buttons are always accessible even when the Tradition case is fully closed with a magnetic closure.

The Tradition case also has four slots on the inside of the flap for business cards, credit cards and also slip pockets for small documents. I would not recommend using credit card and such because once you decide to open up the flap, your card will be exposed. I would recommend the Noreve Tradition B for more security or even the Noreve Sleeve if you don't plan on using those slots and pockets. The Tradition is available in various colors and leather textures. Price $81.

Noreve.com

Monday
Jul052010

Quirky Beamer Case For iPhone 3G/S

Feeling left out since the new iPhone 4 now has built in LED flash? Well you can now get a little closer to enjoy the experience of the iPhone 4's LED flash with the Beamer case by Quirky. The Beamer case is a slider style case with a built-in LED flash that is so blinding bright, it's not even funny. The Beamer case has a very nice soft touch finish with a matte texture that also gives you a great grip. There are some downsides to this case, starting with the big side button that is used to turn on the LED flash. This button is very big and positioned right where you hold the case in your hand, making it very uncomfortable to hold. The button sticks out and is very noticeable. To turn on the LED flash, you just click the button and the LED flash will turn on for 4 seconds and then will turn off by itself. You cannot turn the LED flash off, so you will always have to wait 4 seconds until it turns itself off, which is very limiting. So basically this LED flash can be used as a flashlight as well and does a fantastic job at it. 

The Beamer case is nicely made and feels very sturdy. You have full access to your ports and buttons. The Beamer's LED flash is powered by two coin type batteries that are located inside the case and are user replaceable. The Beamer case does add bulk to your iPhone because of the built-in LED flash and batteries, but it does not add any weight and using it with your iPhone on an every day basis could get a little uncomfortable to some because of the button on the side. Because of the 4 seconds that the LED with stay on, using it as a flash isn't really going to work and instead it will act as just a very bright light. The Beamer is available is both black and purple. Price $38.

Quirky.com

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