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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Booq’s Boa Folio iPad Case

Booq Boa Folio iPad Case (Image courtesy Booq)
By Andrew Liszewski

I prefer using all of my gadgets naked, however, when it comes to the iPad, I definitely see an advantage to using Apple’s official iPad case. After endless attempts to balance it on my lap or lean it up against a pillow at night, I’ve been sorely tempted to pick up Apple’s solution which lets you easily prop the iPad up for hands-free viewing. The only problem is that I think it’s the ugliest, crappiest looking case I’ve ever seen, and I’m shocked it came from Apple.

So I’m quite happy to see that Booq hasn’t just copied the design and functionality of Apple’s case with their own Boa Folio, but have slightly improved it too. For starters I don’t have the urge to turn away in disgust when I look at it, which is a big thing for me, but in addition to letting you prop up your iPad in two elevated positions, it’s also got a pocket on the outside for holding your phone, and a thinner pocket on the inside for holding documents. Three of the five Booq Boa Folio cases come in at $49.99 which is just $10 more than Apple’s, but you’re welcome to splurge on the other two ‘luxurious’ versions and treat yourself with leather accents for $89.99.

[ Booq Boa Folio for iPad ]

2nd Generation Kobo eReader Adds Wifi And Other Improvements

2nd Generation Kobo eReader (Image courtesy Kobo)
By Andrew Liszewski

After spending some time with the original version Kobo’s eReader back in April I felt that even though it was lacking certain features that made Amazon’s Kindle extremely popular, its ~$150 price tag would shake up the eReader market, and sure enough it did. Since its release we’ve seen drastic price cuts for all of the most popular eReaders on the market, and while I still really like the Kobo, with its price advantage gone it quickly became hard to recommend.

But yesterday the 2nd generation Kobo eReader was announced, vastly improving on the original model with the most notable addition being built-in Wifi allowing users to shop and download new titles without having to connect the eReader to their PCs. The Kobo also now uses a faster processor (the same as the Kindle they point out) making page turns 2.5x faster, and a sharper 16-level gray-scale e-ink display. Battery life has even been improved with an expected 10,000 page turns before needing a charge, though a better battery was definitely a necessity with the added Wifi hardware. Best of all though is what the new version doesn’t come with: a price increase. The 2nd generation Kobo eReader will sell for $139.99 in the US, and $149.99 in Canada, available just around the corner in October. We’ll be getting our hands on one in the next week or so, and will be posting our thoughts soon so stay tuned.

[ Kobo eReader ]

Fast Track Slot Cars In A Case

Fast Track Race in a Case (Image courtesy Firebox)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m not quite ready to dedicate an entire room in my home to an epic slot car setup (yet!) so for the time being I’m happy to settle with portable sets like this. Not only do they let you race everywhere from the bathroom to the kitchen to even the lounge at the airport while waiting for a flight, but they also come with everything you need including a figure 8 track (assembly required) a couple of miniature Formula 1 cars and two pistol grip controllers. The only thing missing is 8xAA batteries and a willing competitor. ~$31 from Firebox.com.

[ Fast Track Race in a Case ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Deal Of The Day: HP Envy 17 For $1,249

By David Ponce

Remember almost a year ago when we gave away an HP Envy 15 notebook? That was one sweet laptop and even a year later, it’s no slouch. Now you can pick up it’s slightly bigger brother, the HP Envy 17 for as lost as $1,249 after $50 web-only coupon. The Envy 17 is highly customizable, with either a Core i5 or Quad Core i7 processor and a slew of other attractive options:

The 1.25″ thin, 7.5 lbs ENVY 17 features brushed aluminum chassis in carbon relic (metal). Also equipped: 1 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, optional Blu-ray, dual hard drive bays (SSD available), backlit keyboard, TrueVision HD webcam, Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer, mini DisplayPort, HDMI, Beats Audio and optional high-resolution Full HD 17.3 HD+ LED (1920 x 1080) display.

Heck, even the Core i5 model comes with a 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 card and 6GB of ram. If you’re in the market for something like this, follow the link to get your $50 off coupon.

[ HP Envy 17 For $1,249 ] VIA [ LogicBuy ]

Belkin Conserve Smart AV Power Strip

Belkin Conserve Smart AV Power Strip (Images courtesy Belkin)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you’re worried about your home theater components sucking phantom power when you’re not watching anything, Belkin’s Conserve Smart AV power strip will make sure they’re not wasting juice while your TV is off. You just need to ensure your set is plugged into the lime green socket which is smart enough to know when it’s on or off, and that any components you want powered down are plugged into the next five. However, you probably don’t want everything to get powered off with the TV, so the strip has two extra sockets that remain constantly on for devices like DVRs. Now looking at the… um… ‘action shot’ the Conserve Smart AV isn’t the slimmest power strip out there, but according to their site your $29.99 investment could actually end up saving you an estimated $76 per year.

[ Belkin Conserve Smart AV Power Strip ] VIA [ GadgetGrid ]

Super Fettio Bros Tee Raises An Important Question – Have Boba Fett And Mario Ever Been Seen Together?

Super Fettio Bros Tee (Image courtesy TeeFury)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m not the type to endorse conspiracy theories. I mean it’s a pretty wild claim that the moon landings were shot on a soundstage! It could have been in a parking lot somewhere at NASA, or even in their cafeteria as far as we know. So I’m hesitant to even mention this theory, but I know I’ve never seen Boba Fett and Mario together in the same room, so they could very well be the same person. And while I don’t have a scrap of proof, let me just say this 8-bit inspired tee designed by ‘MankindRam’ over on TeeFury is pretty hard to just dismiss. I’ll let you think about it and come to your own conclusions, but don’t spend too much time if you want one of these tees, since they’re only available ($9) for about another 6 1/2 hours at the time of writing this.

[ TeeFury - Super Fettio Bros ] VIA [ TheForce.Net ]

BotJunkie Reviews The Evolution Robotics Mint Sweeper

Evolution Robotics Mint Sweeper (Image property BotJunkie)
By Andrew Liszewski

The big downside to all the toys and gadgets you get to see and play with at CES is that often times it takes a while for them to officially hit the market. Such was the case with Evolution Robotics Mint Sweeper cleaning bot, which was one of the cooler things I saw at CES 2010 back in January, but has only recently become available for sale.

Evolution Robotics Mint Sweeper (Image property BotJunkie)

Over on our sister site BotJunkie, Evan Ackerman has just posted his review of the Mint Sweeper and if you want to know what he thought about the $250 alternative to the Roomba and other robotic vacuums, you’ll want to head on over and read all about it.

[ BotJunkie Review: Evolution Robotics Mint Sweeper ]

WeWOOD Watches

WeWOOD Watches (Images courtesy WeWOOD)
By Andrew Liszewski

Over on Gizmodo the other day Joel Johnson expressed his love for his imperfect $70 wooden iPhone case, and while I prefer to carry my phone naked, I can understand why he likes it so much. Now it’s not easy to precisely pinpoint the appeal of something made from wood, but whatever it is makes me want one of these beautiful wooden watches from LA-based WeWOOD.

Their current collection comes in two different styles: ‘classic’ with an analog-only watch face and ‘crono’ that features an extra LED digital display. And besides looking just fantastic, the watches should also appeal to the eco-friendly types since all of the wood comes from unused flooring scraps that are free of harmful chemicals or stains of any kind. The variety of colors you see are just the natural shades of the wood used, like maple, ebony, guaiaco and red wing celtis. There are currently 11 different watches to choose from on the WeWOOD site, and each one is a very reasonable $119.

[ WeWOOD Watches ] VIA [ Cool Hunting ]

Nintendo 3DS Gets Priced And Dated – Start Saving Your Coins

Nintendo 3DS (Image courtesy Nintendo)
By Andrew Liszewski

So it turns out that November release date rumor for the Nintendo 3DS was wrong, wrong, wrong. The 3D version of their dual-screen portable gaming system will actually be available starting in Japan on February 26, 2011, with a slightly vaguer ‘March 2011′ for North America and Europe. Not that long of a wait, particularly since it will give you an extra few months to save up ¥25,000 or around $300 which is what the 3DS will retail for in Japan. Hopefully that will be a little cheaper elsewhere, but still, ouch.

It will initially be available in two color choices, Aqua Blue and Cosmo Black, and will come with a charging cradle, telescoping stylus, 2GB SD card and some augmented reality cards that can be used with the 3DS’ cameras. Other revelations include the ability to jump to the home screen and access other features at any time without having to end or shut down a game in progress, the ability to transfer purchases from your DSi to the new system, and the one that’s got me most excited, a mini Virtual Console letting you buy old Game Boy, GBC and GBA titles!

At this point I guess I’m supposed to complain that the 3DS is going to cost more than a Wii, but I’m not going to kid anyone, I’ll have my pre-order in on the first day and will be there with credit card in hand when it’s finally released in North America.

[ Tiny Cartridge - Nintendo 3DS hardware compendium ]