Monday
Jun212010

Twelve South BookArc Stand & Dock For iPad

The BookArc by Twelve South is yet another incredible piece of accessory made for an Apple product, this time it's the iPad. The BookArc is made out of anodized solid heavy steel and aluminum that easily goes along with your other Apple products and of course the iPad. Not only does the BookArc look great but it also works very well. The BookArc is a stand for the iPad and can also be used as a dock. There are two soft silicone inserts, one is designed to work with your iPad without a case on, and the other is designed to work with most slim cases. The insert that will hold your iPad without a case will allow you to position your iPad in both vertical and horizontal positions while keeping your iPad in an upright angle. You can also position your iPad in a slightly tilted position. 

The second insert that allow you to use your iPad with most slim cases including the Belkin Vue Grip, will only allow you to position your iPad upright in both vertical and horizontal positions. The BookArc is very sturdy and securely holds your iPad in place. While touching and pressing on the iPad's screen, you will notice that is sits in place and will not tip over like Apple's iPad Dock. The BookArc has rubber feet that work great on any surface and will provide great traction. After using the BookArc for a while, I realized that it's the best stand and dock available for the iPad. It's a great alternative to the Apple iPad Dock and it works great, whether you want to dock your iPad neatly on your desk or pair an Apple Wireless Keyboard and work with your favorite typing app, the BookArc is just a beautiful and well designed stand for the iPad. The BookArc is also available for any Macbook. Price $39.99.

TwelveSouth.com

Friday
Jun182010

Neat NeatReceipts For Mac

NeatReceipts for Mac by Neat is a very portable scanner for receipts, documents and business cards. NeatReceipts comes with software that organizes your scans and picks up information on receipts like types of services and vendors, dates, prices and more. This also works the same way with business card. NeatReceipts works very well with scanning receipts and saving them on your computer with the supplied NeatWorks software, however the software itself does need some work. The scans at first don't some out very well at all, you must calibrate the scanner with the supplied tools and tweak the settings inside the NeatWorks software. After that's done, the scan quality improves much more (see sample in the video). 

NeatReceipts scans quietly and quick for a mobile scanner. I would not recommend getting this scanner mainly for documents as the quality is not great. You can scan documents directly to a PDF format with a single push of a button, which is very useful. NeatReceipts connects via USB and does not require any power source other than the USB connection. The design is very sleek and slim with a white glossy finish. The build quality of the NeatReceipts is very solid and built well. On the bottom, you will find rubber feet that provide great surface traction. NeatReceipts only has two buttons on the front, one to scan and one to scan directly to a PDF format. In the box you will the NeatReceipts, a travel bag, NeatWorks for Mac software, calibration tools and documentations. Price $199.99.

Neatco.com 

Monday
Jun142010

Everki Commute 15.4" Sleeve Review

The Everki Commute sleeve for 15" laptops features memory foam padding to protect your laptop and stow-away carry handles. I have never seen stow-away carry handles like the ones on the Commute before, while they are very useful they are also not so comfortable. They carry handles are very simple and without any padding to ease the weight of your carry for travels. The Commute can be used as a sleeve when you stow-away the carry handles but once you want to use those handles you might question the way Everki decided to go about this feature. Once you pull out the carry handles, the two zippers on both ends will not fully close but that's when the flap comes in-between the handles to form a seal and keep your laptop securely in place. The flap just uses Velcro to lock in place. 

I would rather have my zippers fully close and have carry handles available on the outside. But this is just the design of the Commute, and it seems to work. The Commute has one large outside pocket for documents, cables and or your power brick. The insides of the Commute are lined with soft felt on both sides to help protect against scratches. The overall design of the Commute is very simple, effective and modern. The Commute sleeve is available in 10.2", 13.3", 15.5" and 17" sizes. The Commute is also available in a basic sleeve without handles for 15.5" laptops. Price $19.99 - 29.99.

Everki.com

Sunday
Jun132010

Freecom Mobile Drive XXS External Hard Drive Review

 

The Mobile Drive XXS by Freecom is the world's smallest 2.5" external hard drive. It's ultra small and compact thanks to the way Freecom have built the drive's enclosure. The XXS enclosure is made out of protective rubber that's pretty thin and forms tightly around the bare 2.5" drive making it almost the same size of just a bare drive you would put inside your laptop. Also, with the rubber enclosure, you get great grip both on a surface and in your hand. With this black rubber enclosure, you will find it attracting a lot of dust and lint. The XXS is super silent and does not vibrate at all. There is no need for an external power source to power up this drive, it's fully USB powered. The Mobile Drive XXS comes with a very short USB cable to keep things organized and even more compact. However there is an issue with this short USB cable being way too short for some tasks you might be needing. That could not be an issue for most people who have longer mini USB cable around the house though.

The Mobile Drive XXS is both Mac and PC compatible, you will need to fully format the drive if you'll want to use it on a Mac or as a Time Machine backup. This is done in just a few seconds. After you've erased and formatted the XXS drive to a Mac Extended Journaled format, Time Machine will begin using it as your primary backup drive if you wish to do so. The Freecom Mobile Drive XXS is made and designed in Germany, and the overall quality does not disappoint as it feels solid and grips any surface with its tightly wrapped rubbery enclosure.

The Mobile Drive XXS is available in 250GB, 320GB, 500GB and 640GB capacities while retaining the same 2.5" form factor at 640GB, which is just amazing. If you need a fast drive you might need to look elsewhere because the XXS only comes in a USB interface with a slowish 5400RPM drive, however that is perfectly enough for most users. On the plus side, this drive operates extremely quiet for how minimal its enclosure is. Freecom does offer many other drive options as well. Prices for the Mobile Drive XXS range between $85 and $169.99 respectively. 

Freecom.com

Friday
Jun112010

Incipio Tek-Nical iPad Sleeve

Incipio's Tek-Nical iPad sleeve is a great carrying solution that also provides storage to carry your little power brick, USB sync cable and some more. The Tek-Nical has two open pockets on each side that can also easily store away they carrying handles. I would have liked for those two pockets being able to securely close with velcro at least. The Tek-Nical sleeve looks like it's made out of neoprene but it's not, it has somewhat of a rough texture and feeling to it. The outside material is not very soft but a little stiff. On the inside of the Tek-Nical you will find a nylon lining, and I think a material like microfiber would have been better to use on the inside. The Tek-Nical provides great protection for your iPad with it's cushioning memory foam padding all surrounding your iPad. 

While the Tek-Nical sleeve is thin, it will not be compatible with cases and will only fit a bare iPad which is an issue because most people use cases on their iPad's. The Tek-Nical is currently only available in black with a price tag of $34.99.

Myincipio.com

Thursday
Jun102010

DachaWorks Module iPhone 3GS Case Review

Dacha Works really wanted to make the Module iPhone 3G/S case different from others. While the Module case is supposed to change they way you hold your iPhone and make it more ergonomic, I did not really adapt to it that way. The Module adds some curves to the tempered back of the iPhone and it does add some grip but it does not make it more comfortable or ergonomic. The Module case has a clip-on style and provides very little protection. The Module has a wavy design on the front to supposedly help protect your iPhone's screen and metal bezel, but that is not the case. The wavy pattern is not even raised above the bezel and screen leaving both unprotected.

The back of the Module has a cut-out to give you a better grip, however that also isn't actually helpful other than pushing out your iPhone out of the case itself. Cut-outs on the Module case are perfect because they do not even cover the top and button giving you an easy access and less protection. The Module case is smooth, glossy and also very lightweight. Dacha Works came up with a nice concept but did not deliver a functional protective iPhone case. The Module case is available is four colors, black, pink, white and red. Price $19.95.

Dachaworks.com

Wednesday
Jun092010

Jays v-JAYS On-Ear Headphones Review

v-JAYS by Jays are the most sleekest and most simple headphones I've seen and used by far. The v-JAYS are on-ear headphones and are extremely lightweight and portable. The v-JAYS also fold up by collapsing each side except for the headband making them very portable and usable while traveling. The construction and build quality is very high but there are some small issues.

The foldable design does not click or lock into place, so you are left with two parts that always want fold inwards. However that does not actually affect comfort but it would be nice to have those two ear piece parts click into place. The v-JAYS are extremely comfortable and have very simple but comfortable ear pads that are replaceable. I can see these ear pads not lasting very long though. Each speaker unit has a ball joint that enables them to tilt and conform onto your ears. The audio cord is nice a thick and is also detachable from the middle point of the cord itself. This is a great thing to have if you need to leave you sound source quickly without taking off your headphones. 

The v-JAYS sound really great. The sound quality is amazing and very clear. The v-JAYS pack some nice tight and very noticeable bass. Nothing seems to distort or muffle out any of the sounds which is fantastic. The v-JAYS have fantastic crisp highs and mids as well. The overall sound quality is very "lightweight" with great bass. It's amazing how these thin lightweight headphones produce such great sound. With the v-JAYS, included are extra foam pads. Price $98.

Jays.se

Thursday
Jun032010

V-Moda Crossfade LP Headphones Review

The Crossfade LP are V-Moda's newest and first headphones added to their very popular line of in-ear earphones. The Crossfade LP feature V-Moda's unique style of design and they certainly do not disappoint, from outstanding packaging to their exoskeleton hard carrying case. The Crossfade LP feature patent-pending 50mm High-Definition drivers that produce fantastic deep and strong bass without any batteries. The bass is just outstandingly clear and not muddy or overpowering. The sound quality is very clear and warm with deep lows and clear detailed highs. I think V-Moda has made an outstanding pair of headphones that are definitely worth taking a look at. I have listened to many great headphones in the past and the Crossfade LP are one of the best sounding headphones out there. Also, sound will even improve with burn-in time and use.

The Crossfade LP headphones isolate outside noise very well with their memory foam ear cushions and surprisingly leak very little sound making them great to use in public and quiet areas which is a huge plus. The Crossfade LP are over-the-ear headphones and while being very comfortable, after a few hours of using them my ears started to hurt from the ear cups. After looking into the ear cups, I found out that there is no padding for when your ears are inside and touch against the insides of the driver's hard wall except for a thin mesh screen.

The build quality is very solid with lightweight metal accents and steel frame. The headband is very flexible and well padded, it also features memory foam. With the Crossfade LP, provided are two long detachable Kevlar-reinforced fabric cables that are supposedly meant to be very durable however I can see future issues with those cables fraying. The cables are 69" long and may tangle up sometimes but not always. One of the two detachable cables features a three-button remote control and mic that transforms your Crossfade LP's into headsets and lets you control calls, music and even your Mac. The audio jack is 3.5mm gold-plated with a 45 degree angle that is compatible with many devices. 

The Crossfade LP headphones are not foldable but can still be portable when using V-Moda's special and great looking exoskeleton hard carrying case which is somewhat portable depending on your travel. 

V-Moda's Crossfade LP headphones are very attractive in style and sound just as good. The Crossfade LP are available in three different colors that include Gunmetal Black, White Pearl and Phantom Chrome (which is the color used in this review). The Crossfade LP are a little pricy however they are a great alternative if not better to the Beats By Dr. Dre Studio by Monster that need batteries, leak a lot of sound and poorly isolate outside noise. Price $249.99.

V-Moda.com

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