Gear Live has reviewed bags made by the Washington State based Tom Bihn, and we have been quite impressed by them. We recently had the opportunity got to check out two more of their bags - the Monolith and the Brain Bag. The review is being done as a two part series and this first part is focusing on the laptop toting Monolith - a great solution for todays widescreen laptops. For a through review of the Monolith and our impressions over the last two weeks, read on.
Gotta love the oldie-but-goodies. Check out the Powerpizza. Simply put, it’s a pizza box which has a couple of layers of foam in it, making it ideal to use as a laptop carrier. Obviously, not as good as a high-quality solution of course, but still - I am sure there are a lot more laptop bag thefts than pizza box thefts going on in the world. Well, maybe. Score yours for about $16 USD.
Read More | Powerpizza Product Page
Do you ever have that problem where you are listening to music and nobody notices because they don’t understand that your frenetic movements are really intricate dance movements and not a massive seizure of some sort? Well then the iBeat earbuds are for you - they feature Elwire connectors that light up the cord and can either steadily illuminate the night, or pulse in time to the music. Now nobody can miss the fact that not only are you listening to music, but because you can afford glowing headphone wires you are probably listening to music on an expensive iPod (or are at Burning Man). As much as this idea seems cool in a few ways it just seems to be screaming out either “Mug me!” or “I’m a candy raver” to every one you see when you go grooving around late at night sporting your new iBeats.
Freedom Input just might be my hero at the moment. They have announced their Mini Bluetooth Keyboard - a credit card sized thumb board similar to those on the Treo, or Motorola Q - the difference being that this is a stand alone unit and could theoretically be used with Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, PDAs, TabletPC’s, and other devices. The problem is that it does not support the Bluetooth HID profile, so whatever device you want to use this on will require special drivers. Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows XP already have support built in. This seems like the perfect solution for someone who does a lot of SMS or email on their phone, and wants a QWERTY keyboard without having a huge handheld to carry. The Mini Bluetooth Keyboard features backlit keys and features an innovative backlighting system for your “after hours” data entry needs. The Mini Bluetooth Keyboard is available for $60 and can run on 120 hours on two AAA batteries. The website says it will be available in Q3 2005 - not soon enough if you ask me!
If you’re anything like me, your living room is probably cluttered with remotes. OEM remotes, “universal” remotes, and remotes for the air conditioner you left behind when you moved. Men love ‘em; there’s nothing like the feel of a plastic remote (or five) in your hand to make you feel like you’re in control. Women, on the other hand, see the remote as a bone of contention and the more of them there are, the more contentious the bone.
We asked our friends at Logitech if they could solve the problem, and they sent us their top-of-the-line programmable remote: The Harmony 880. Logitech has designed the remote to be used in conjunction with HDTV and PVR devices, and makes the process of doing things like changing the aspect ratio of your HDTV from 16x9 when on a DVD source, to 4x3 Expanded when on a TiVo. Most importantly, they tout the remote as being easy to set up and easy to use. We’ll just see about that.
Some creative lads have posted instructions on how to make a Frankenstein creation using a Microsoft optical mouse, and a standard classic NES controller. This DIY project involved taking the guts from the mouse and transplanting them into the controller. Other than a hot glue gun, Dremel, and soldering gun, nothing special is needed. While the NES mouse does not seem to be the most ergonomic option available it sure does seem one of the coolest ideas for that hardcore retro-gamer in your life.
The Marc Ecko Case for A Cause by Monster is a protective iPod case which helps those in need with every purchase. The Ralph Lauren designed case is quite stylish, and for each $30 case sold, the net proceeds go to charity- the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer non profit organization to be specific. The light blue all-leather case features a wrist strap with a bullseye style tussle, and a metal belt clip. It’s available in mini, small (20GB) and large (iPod color), so you can protect any size iPod your heart desires. It will be available for purchase soon at Monster Cable, or at an Apple store and other fine retailers.
Read More | Marc Ecko Case For A Cause
We have always been fond of Vaja due to their high quality product offerings, which are basically leather cases for common gadgets. They have now launched a customization service which will allow a purchaser to have text, an image, or a combination of the two printed right on the leather. You can also customize the colors of your new leather case as well. Finally, you can choose whether or not to have a clip added to the case. Each option has a cost associated with it, but it is certainly a great way to get a unique product. We will see if we can get our hands on one.
Read More | Vaja Choice
For those of you still refusing to get rid of your old iPod, Newer Technologies has released its most powerful replacement battery kit to date for 1G and 2G models. The battery, which comes with an installation kit and detailed instructions, is rated at 2200mAh, which is a 78% capacity jump from the batteries shipped with the original iPods. The 2200mAh kit costs $34.95 and along with this newest release, the rest of the NuPower line of batteries has dropped by $10.
Read More | Newer Technologies
Apple today finally caved to it’s millions of users who make daily use of a two button mouse with OSX and introduced the Apple Mighty Mouse - along with some significant improvements to a normal mice of a non-mighty variety. The Mighty Mouse has the look and feel of a normal Apple mouse, but hidden touch sensors record the right and left click events from the mouse. The Mighty Mouse also features a touch sensitive ball at the top enabling scrolling in any dimension easily with the touch of a finger. Finally the Mighty Mouse
is pressure sensitive meaning you can gently squeeze the entire mouse in your hand
has two side triggers to zoom in and out in applications such as Final Cut Pro or Photoshop or presumably navigate forward and back in a browser. The Mighty mouse will work with OS X 10.4.2 and above, as well as With Windows 2000, XP, and supposedly Vista. Years ago Microsoft “built a better mouse” when they introduced the scroll wheel - could this be yet another innovative step in the mouse world? I won’t know for sure until the one I just ordered to replace my Logitech MX900 Bluetooth two button mouse that I’ve been using with my Powerbook. What do you think?
Of course, this will change many opinions on why Apple made a one button mouse in the first place.
Read More | Apple Mighty Mouse
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