Synology gets even better w/ version 5.0: Why every Mac & iOS user should have a DiskStation

I’ll admit, I’ve never felt the need to purchase network-attached-storage (NAS) hardware for storing and accessing my media or backing up my files. These days most of my content, from photos and movies to back ups of important files for work, are already stored in the cloud. My photos are (supposed to) auto backup to Photostream in iCloud, iTunes has all of my music downloadable from all my devices from the cloud, and any important files and everything else go directly to Dropbox or Google Drive. Around 90% of my content is already stored and accessible from anywhere in the cloud.

That being said, for the last year or so I’ve been hearing more and more about Synology DiskStation products. Coworkers can’t stop talking about them, and the products have received a lot of praise from many other reviewers as well.

I’ve been putting the Synology DiskStation hardware and brand new DiskStation Manager 5.0 software to the test in recent months to see if I could really benefit from a NAS solution despite all my content already being on the cloud and backed up. With today marking the release of 5.0, the company’s biggest software update yet, I thought now would be as good a time as any to share my experience.  Read more

Review: The nicest iPhone case I’ve ever used — Pad & Quill’s leather Luxury Pocket Book

Pad&Quill Luxury Pocket Book

If you’re looking for the best iPhone case ever made, look no further.

When it comes to iPhone cases I’ve tried just about all of them: Protective cases from companies like Otterbox, Lifeproof, and HardCandy, super-slim cases that add barely any bulk to the device, wallet cases for holding cash and cards, and just about everything in between. It’s true I’ve long preferred the look and feel of the naked iPhone in my hand opposed to a case, but I’ve now found a case that truly does the Jony Ive-designed hardware inside justice. It’s a case that’s converted me from one of those annoying blowhards constantly boasting about not using a case to someone that won’t leave home without it.

I’ve finally found the perfect case… Read more

Review: How I transformed my workspace w/ LandingZone’s MacBook Pro Dock

Think of it as an iPhone-style dock for your MacBook. At home you might have several things plugged into your MacBook’s various ports (hard drives, USB products, speakers, etc), which means disconnecting and reconnecting everything each time you leave or return with your MacBook. With LandingZone, everything gets connected to ports in the back of the dock, allowing you to simply place your MacBook in the dock and instantly connect to all your peripherals. When you leave, you can pop out your Mac and walk away in seconds without thinking twice about all the connected cables. It also packs in a 5-port USB hub, ethernet adapter, HDMI, and Mini DisplayPort all while reducing cable clutter on your desk. I’ve been using the latest LandingZone Dock model for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro for a couple weeks and it has truly transformed my workspace. Read more

Bluetooth portable conference speakerphone smackdown: Philips WeCall vs. Logitech P710e

As we begin to rely on our mobile devices for more and more of our business needs, I found myself needing a “portable Polycom” which would allow me to make quality speakerphone calls from my Mac or iPhone. Sure, the built-in speaker and mic are top notch on Apple products for their size, but I’d often have a hard time hearing what was on the other end of the line. Even more importantly, people couldn’t understand what I was saying, especially as I moved around.

I’ve decided to take a look at two similar solutions:  Philips WeCall ($150) vs. Logitech P710e ($140) pictured above… Read more

Review: SteelSeries ‘Stratus’ Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod Bluetooth game controller

I previously reviewed the first two Apple authorized game controllers to hit the market under Apple’s new Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch program from Logitech and Moga. Both used Apple’s form-fitting design that docks an iPhone or iPod touch directly into the controller via a Lightning connector. However, Apple’s program also allows another breed of standalone controllers that connect over Bluetooth and therefore also work with iPad and Mac. Unveiled at CES, this week I’ve put one of the first Bluetooth, non-form-fitting designs to the test with the new Stratus wireless controller from SteelSeries. Read more

Editors Keys turns Apple’s wireless keyboard into the first Logic Pro X shortcut keyboard

Logic-Pro-X-wireless-keyboard-01

Editors Keys today announced the first ever wireless shortcut keyboard for Apple’s recently released Logic Pro X audio suite.  The keyboard sports 150 shortcuts and the company notes it was also able to fit in some extra shortcuts as icons sitting behind the text on each key. Perhaps the best part of the new Logic Pro X keyboard is the fact that Editors Keys used an actual Apple wireless keyboard for the product, which means you’ll be able to swap out your current Apple keyboard without sacrificing the look and feel. The company says it worked with the Logic Pro X community to develop the best experience possible for users:  Read more