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December 21st, 2011 - Rod Lott

Tech check


Got some holiday gift cards burning a hole in your pocket? Consider these high-tech toys and tools


 


3 in 1 Microdock XtremeMac
$59.99


















It happens to the best of us: Our iPhone runs out of juice during the workday, and our charger cords are at home. XtremeMac’s Microdock is a perfect workplace solution, offering a recharge at a moment’s notice and without hogging precious desk space (or car dashboard). Its tiny front speaker offers decent-enough sound for the price, and the simplicity of controls (one button) is matched by the simplicity of assembly (one power cord, bam!). Its free alarm clock app is nice-looking, but unnecessary against the iPhone’s built-in one, unless you really like falling asleep to nature sounds ...

Time Command Mini Compact Audio Alarm Dock Stem
$79.95
















... but for just $20 more, I’d recommend springing for Stem’s Time Command Mini. It also provides a compact solution for iPhone charging, but its sound is bigger and surprisingly crisp for such a small product (7.265” in diameter and 3.32” tall). Buttons number three, but upon first docking of your device, the Time Command Mini automatically sets its own time, synched straight from the phone. It also has a more helpful app (also free) that not only displays time, but provides a bigpicture view of the weather and allows for access of your iTunes library.

SensoGlove
$89





























Kinky-sounding name aside, SensoGlove may be just the trick for those who conduct a lot of business on the links. Available in different sizes and for each hand, it’s a leather golf glove with a built-in computer that monitors your grip pressure finger by fi nger, and instantly corrects it. The small unit gives visual and auditory cues, so if you don’t mind looking like you raided the “TRON: Legacy” costume closet, the SensoGlove may result in a better game. (Is such a thing considered cheating? I don’t golf.)

The unit is removable, allowing for it to be switched out to replacement gloves, which are available for $22.48 each.

WINGStand
$14.95














The WINGStand is not a bad idea. It allows you to set your iPhone or iPad upright to leave your hands free to do other things. Ideally, its best use is to prop your device up like a screen in front of a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard for on-the-go work. But it’s just two little pieces of plastic. True, it may work better than whatever jerryrigged solution you currently use, but it also may break

easier, too. The two pieces snap together for portability, but mine didn’t snap tight enough, increasing the risk for losing one. Again, WINGStand: not a bad idea, just terribly overpriced for something less than groundbreaking.

The Callet
$19.95













Also in the category of “simple but overpriced” is The Callet. Like any protective cover for your iPhone or BlackBerry, it’s snug and available in a number of eye-catching colors. The Callet’s difference — and it is a big one — is the addition of two slit-sized pockets, perfect for storing your driver’s license, a credit card and maybe even a Benjamin. It’s definitely handy.

Pac-Man 2012 Weekly Notebook Diary/Planner Moleskine
$21.95


















Admit it: We procrastinate. Some of us haven’t yet secured our planners and datebooks for this new year. If that’s you, go a tad retro — but forever hip — with 52 weeks of Pac-Man. The legendary notebook maker Moleskin has a limitededition hardcover whose foil-embossed front and full-color endpapers (not to mention the enclosed address book and postcard) re-create the look of the 1980s arcade classic, making it the definition of 2010s cool. “Bonus” features include an elastic closure and ribbon bookmark (both yellow, natch), and acid-free paper with plenty of space for scrawling. Pages with maps, measurements, holidays and all that good stuff are included — even a ruler. The back has a built-in folder that can be used to store your quarters.

 
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