Review: Just Mobile’s TimeStand is the $40 metal Apple Watch stand we’ve been waiting for

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If you want an Apple Watch stand, you can choose from three major materials: plastic, wood, or metal. The universally affordable plastic options tend to look a bit cheap when paired with the Apple Watch — particularly non-Sport models — while the pricey wood ones are somewhat polarizing, sparking a roughly equal mix of “love” and “hate” responses. From what I’ve gathered from readers, metal is the most popular Apple Watch stand option, with options starting at $20 and climbing sharply; most of the best metal stands are hovering around the $60 mark. For months, I’ve felt that the sweet spot for a nice metal Apple Watch stand was right in the middle of that range, but there hasn’t been a worthy option to test the viability of the $40 price point.

That’s part of the reason Just Mobile’s TimeStand ($40) feels inevitable. It was merely a matter of time until the metal masters at Just Mobile weighed in with their take on an Apple Watch stand, and given their design history, it’s no surprise that the result is an elegant little desktop sculpture. TimeStand is machined from a single piece of aluminum with a weighted, rubber-padded base, distinctly modern and substantial, yet $20 less expensive than options I’ve previously reviewed from Mophie and Nomad. Moreover, TimeStand’s unique shape offers compatibility with all Apple Watch bands, though there are also a couple of caveats you might want to be aware of…

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Just Mobile shows super-thin Lightning LED cable, reversible USB car chargers, new Bakpak batteries

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Up until recently, Apple accessory makers were unable to make Lightning cables with plugs as thin as Apple’s — they were required to use thicker plugs that sometimes had problems connecting to cases. At the 2015 CES, Just Mobile showed AluCable LED ($25), which uses newer Apple connectors to create the thinnest metal-jacketed Lightning cable yet, removing case compatibility issues while adding metallic style. Markedly improved over the prior AluCable at the same price, the new gold version matches the latest iPhone and iPad colors, as well.

The USB plug notably has a MagSafe-style LED built in that shifts color to indicate charging status, just like Apple’s laptops. Photos of that feature, plus details on a new reversible USB car charger, a new iPhone battery pack, and a golden version of Just Mobile’s iconic Encore stand, are all below…

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Review: Just Mobile’s TopGum adds glam + a magnetic charging base to a 6,000mAh battery

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The secret to understanding USB battery pricing is that you tend to get what you pay for: cheap batteries lose their charges faster and can bulge and leak over time. Other companies specialize in selling atypically nice batteries that last longer and work better. Just Mobile is a leader in quality batteries: for the past six years, its Gum series (shown below) has spanned every Apple device type, size, and speed, but it has never built a Lightning cable into a battery before. That changes with the January release of TopGum ($80), which advances the company’s prior state-of-the-art Gum++ model in two ways: an authentic Lightning cable’s integrated into the battery’s left edge, and a matching magnetic battery charging dock is included.

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Of course, these features – and a choice of gold or gray metal exteriors – come at a premium over typical all-plastic batteries, so if you don’t need the cable or dock, you’ll be equally well-served with the company’s earlier batteries. Read on for the full story.

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Jeremy’s holiday gift guide: Mac, iPhone & iPad gear you can trust

Holiday Gift Guide 5My first post for 9to5Mac is on a topic near and dear to my heart: best-of-breed Apple products and accessories. Why should you trust me? I’ve been a professional product reviewer for 23 years and an Apple user for 28 years. Last week, I finished an 11-year stint running the editorial side of iLounge, the leading Apple product review site, where I tested literally thousands of Apple accessories from every major company on the planet. Readers have praised my reviews as accurate and insightful, and I always put my readers’ needs first when testing new products.

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