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April 26th, 2012 - Rod Lott

Tech check


Departing with some disposable income? Consider these high-tech toys and tools


 


SUPERTOOTH DISCO

Supertooth

$149

For all the cheap and not-so-cheap iPhone/ iPad speakers I’ve tried over the years, the SuperTooth Disco has them beat handily. Via Bluetooth, the portable, skinny speaker streams your music, and it sounds glorious. While its footprint is small enough for ideal office use, this one lives in my dining room, from where it fills an open floor plan with ambiance, thanks to Pandora’s classic jazz station. Works great outside, too.

SNORKELING MASTER

Pyleaudio

$99.99

While the Snorkeling Master is designed for divers, it does just fine for landlubbers like me. The design is stylish, the face is clean, and if I should happen to fall into a body of water, it’s protected up to 330 feet. I received an instant compliment the first time I wore it in public. From a woman. Sorry, miss, I’m taken ... with this watch!

ULTRA-SLIM BLUETOOTH KEYBOARD

Verbatim

$49.99

Believe it or not, I write a great deal of articles like this from home, on an iPad. No longer am I doing so with two fingers, however, now that Verbatim’s Ultra- Slim Bluetooth Keyboard has revolutionized my life. Compact enough to almost fit in your back pocket, the surprisingly lightweight keyboard folds out and connects easily via Bluetooth. Two months later, the battery still holds its charge, but your fingers may be confused at first by the smaller-than-normal keyboard. They’ll get used to it, and love it.

H1 HANDY RECORDER

ZOOM

$99

I was amazed at how much audio content this digital recorder holds: nearly 14 hours on the highest quality MP3 setting on the included 2GB memory card. I was less amazed at how it sounded played back: while far from muddy, not exactly crystal-clear, either.

PORTABLE CHARGING STATION

AVIIQ

$79.99

This is a simple, but brilliant idea: a zip-up charging station that’s smaller than an iPad and allows you to power up three USB devices at once, all feeding into one AC plug, all organized to avoid tangles and mass hysteria. For trips or out-of-office work sessions, this is ideal and super convenient. Now if only it were solar-powered ...

CUBIT

X-DORIA

$29.99

Another simple, but brilliant idea: Cubit is an iPhone 4/4S case whose waffle-grid pattern is customizable by a handful of included orange, green and blue cubes that snap snug. Do you need it? Not at all. Is it fun? Oh, totally. Is it overpriced? Probably.

PEEL

PEEL

$99.99

VOOMOTE ZAPPER

ZERO1.TV

$69.99

Peel and VooMote Zapper would like you to ditch your remote control(s). In theory, that’s great. In reality, we’re not quite there. Both operate via a free app you download to your iPhone or iPad ... which is easier said than done, considering the update rigamarole I had to go through. Peel also requires the “fruit,” which is cute, so expect kids to break or misplace it. All VooMote requires is the “dongle” (teehee), a tiny nub that plugs into the top of your device. As far as interfaces go, both are easy and visually pleasing (with an edge to Peel), but also had an unpredictable tendency to crash or not respond immediately. I like Peel’s TiVo-like personalization experience and social-media interfacing, but I also like VooMote’s near-invisibility. Choices, choices ...

 
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