We often get review items that do not merit their own review for a variety of reasons. Some might have gotten to us late after we have already read reviews, while others might be smaller niche items or some bigger ticket items that might not have blown us away, but they are still interesting nonetheless. Still, we think these guys are all noteworthy…
Joli Originals MacBook Air slip cover. I received this lovely 13-inch MacBook Air cover a few months ago, and it looks great as you can see. There is stylish neon color wool inside with soft Italian leather textured outside. The Air slips in and out very easily against the felt, and you can pop the MagSafe charger on without removing the cover. Carrying it around is a joy either on its own or inside a backpack/bag. It is very light, very svelte but still adds a layer of protection from both dust/dirt and dropping. Handmade in Holland, they come in black, brown or purple leather, with orange, green, aqua and red on the inside, and they start at €55. There are also more versions for iPads, iPhones, and MacBook Pros.
iAM Double-tipped magnetic pressure sensitive stylus. If you are an iPad stylus user, this is the Ferrari of the artificial finger set. It comes with two different sized heads molded to a light aluminum base that feels like a pencil in hand (vs. most round styli). Even better, there are magnets that affix the stylus to the side of the iPad 2/new. Keeps your screen clean, gives you precise control…and only $29.99.
StarTech 10 foot iOS device cord. I feel a little weird recommending a 30-pin adapter when they will likely be phased out starting next month but StarTech’s 3 meter cord impresses. With heavy gauge wire, you can now charge and sync your iPad, iPhone or iPod from 10 feet away. For me, it worked great in the car on long trips where the kids have the iPad in the back and the charger is on the dash of the car. StarTech’s cord reaches all the way back there with plenty of room to spare. And, with the heavy gauge wire, it charges just as quickly as when connected to the 3 foot cables. Also good for the bed. $28
Satechi Apple-esque 4 power unpowered USB 2.0 Hub. We love the look of this thing on our desk, particularly near our Apple Keyboards and displays. While it mostly worked out great for me, I would have obviously preferred USB 3.0 and a bit more power (it only could charge one device at a time). Also some more space between ports would have prevented tight squeezes from bloated USB keys. Otherwise, we’re still big fans. $28
Satechi Bluetooth Media Remote. Great for remotely snapping picts using the iPhone, iPad or even iPod touch, this Bluetooth media remote is a jack of all trades. You can also conjure up Siri using the remote home button on an iPad 3 or iPhone 4S and speak into the included Mic – up to 33 feet away from your iOS device. Also makes a great presentation tool: $39.99
ioSafe 500GB USB 3.0/Firewire 800 portable hard drive. If you take important files or backups with you on the go and can’t risk dropping, crushing or submerging your drive, iOSafe is about the most rugged portable hard drive we’ve ever heard of. As you can see from the picture, it adds a thick layer of waterproof, light aluminum which purports to keep your drive safe under 30′ of water for 3 days, crush protection up to 5,000 lbs. or dropped protection up to 20′. While that’s already a pretty bad day, you have to step up to a desktop version to get protection from Fire. $190 for 500GB (as tested) and $290 for 1TB. (compared to Toshiba portable drive at right).
Kogeto panoramic video attachement for iPhone 4/4S. I was able to play with this iPhone attachement at a trade show last October and I really liked the idea. I wasn’t able to get my hands on one until recently and found it pretty close to what I had seen before. Kogeto has been improving its Looker Software with some new tricks but the imagery doesn’t look as good on an iPhone 4 as it does with a much higher pixel count iPhone 4S. $30
Big Jambox portable speaker. I am a huge fan of Jambox and we reviewed the original back in February, I was pretty smitten except for the amplitude or volume of the sound. So, I was pretty sure my prayers had been answered when Jawbone announced the Big Jambox in May. Honestly, though the sound, while certainly louder, didn’t knock me off my feet. I was expecting lots of base. Instead what I got sounded like what you’d get if there were 50% more volume in the original Jambox. Add to that, the proprietary AC charger (instead of Micro-USB) and it falls out of my “must have” category. Still, the Big Jambox makes a pretty good portable speaker. Get yours for <$300 in a variety of colors.