Great New Gear and Gadgets
Have trouble transferring files to or from your iPad? There are two new solutions for that problem.
Want to play board games that incorporate your tablet? It's possible.
Frustrated by a cramped hand when using your smartphone, or looking for inexpensive ways view a movie on your tablet without having to hold it the entire time? We have an answer for that annoyance, too.
Let's start with a great way to print from your iPad over your office network.
If you use your iPad or iPhone constantly--but are frustrated that you can't print from iOS devices--the xPrintServer may be just what you need. Connect the device, which is about the size of a smartphone, to your network via an ethernet cable. It will then be able to "see" your network printers and enable your iOS device to print to them.
Lantronix xPrintServer | $150
How can you keep your shiny new smartphone, tablet, or Xbox from getting scratched? One answer is to apply an artistic GelaSkin. These clever skins fit smoothly over more than 100 of the most popular electronic devices, including Android phones and tablets, iOS phones and tablets, laptops, e-readers, game consoles, and even the Apple TV 2.
The GelaSkins art gallery is large, and you can even get electronic wallpaper to match your GelaSkin or create a skin with your own artwork. Also new from GelaSkins are hard cases for your tech. Shown here is the Boombox skin for the Motorola Droid Pro, including matching wallpaper.
GelaSkins | Prices start at $15
Maxell AirStash Flash Drive With SDHC Card
The AirStash is a flash drive for mobile devices (like the Apple iPad and the Amazon Kindle Fire) that don't have USB ports. It uses built-in Wi-Fi to beam your files wirelessly to and from your USB-less device.
You can even use it to stream video to multiple devices simultaneously. And if your tech has USB ports, it works like any other flash drive.
Maxell AirStash Flash Drive | $150 for 8GB, $180 for16G
Here's a different take on flash drives for devices that don't have USB ports. The HyperDrive iFlashDrive lets you easily transfer files between iDevices and a Mac or a PC; it comes with 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB of storage and an Apple app.
You can store, view, and manage files, and delete, move, copy, and email media or document files. The iFlashDrive has a USB port at one end, and it plugs in to an Apple 30-pin dock connector at the other end.
HyperDrive iFlashDrive | $100 to $200, depending on capacity
These clever stands for phones and tablets are incredibly versatile. For instance, you can use one to attach your device to the back of a headrest in your car, so passengers in the backseat can watch a movie. Just wrap the Spiderpodium's legs around the headrest's bars. The flexible stands also do a good job of holding your phone or tablet in whatever orientation you like on your desk or table.
The legs on the smartphone stands (shown here) and the tablet stands bend in many directions, and the stands come in a variety of colors.
Breffo Spiderpodiums | Prices start at $20
Using art apps on an iPad even more fun with one of Nomad's innovative stylus brushes. The company offers the Brush (shown here), as well as the Play (just the right size for kids), the Mini (for phones, including Android handsets), and the Compose dual-tip version.
Nomad Brushes | Prices range from $18 to $39
BulletTrain eXpress Keyboard
This stylish, lap-friendly keyboard platform lets you use a wireless Apple keyboard and a Magic Trackpad together, and it enables you to use a desktop Mac while you're seated on your sofa (for example). The platform is potentially useful for running your media center, too. It comes in silver and in nine metallic colors.
BulletTrain eXpress Keyboard | $79 for silver version; $99 for metallic colors
Flygrip Smartphone Holder
This neatly designed gripping device, which attaches easily to the back of most smartphones or their cases, allows you to use your phone one-handed without cramping your hand. The Flygrip sticks onto the back of the phone or the phone's case.
Then you simply flip the Flygrip open and use two fingers to hold the grip's lever. This leaves you with full use of your thumb to maneuver around the screen. You can also prop your phone up using the Flygrip as a kickstand in either portrait or landscape mode.
Flygrip | $30
SoundJaw for Apple iPad
If you find the tinny sound of your iPad 2 intolerable, look into a SoundJaw. Available in black or white, this small plastic part snaps onto your iPad 2 at the back corner where the tablet's perforated speaker ports are located. The SoundJaw then directs audio from the iPad 2's speakers toward you, thereby improving sound quality and increasing volume.
SoundJaw | $13
iControlPad Bluetooth Gaming Controller
Who needs a Sony Vita, when you already have an iPhone? The iControlPad Bluetooth gaming controller for Android and iOS turns your smartphone or tablet into a worthy gaming machine. The iControlPad comes with a large rechargeable battery and receives updates that add even more functionality.
iControlPad | $55
iCade 8-Bitty Game Controller
For anyone who grew up gaming in the 1980s, the iCade 8-Bitty will look extremely familiar. Compatible with both iOS and Android, this retro controller is designed to work with old-school classics like Pac-Man and Missile Defense. The 8-Bitty could be a perfect fit for gamers who hate using touchscreen controls to play games.
iCade 8-Bitty controller | $25
Lark Silent Alarm and Sleep Sensor
Use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with the Lark app and the company's Bluetooth wristband to be awakened almost silently. A sensor in the wristband analyzes sleep patterns. The Lark system may be a good choice if you don't want to wake a spouse or if you have difficulty hearing an alarm.
iGrip Smartphone Holders and Mounts
You've adjusted the settings on your smartphone in the car to turn the GPS or speakerphone on, and you want to go hands-free without using a headset. One way to do this is to put your phone into an iGrip Universal holder, shown here with the Traveler mount, one of several available that attach to your car's windshield with suction cups.
The holder allows you to customize the grip, handy for using it with different-size phones, and the suction alternative lets you move it easily from car to car. The company also makes holders that fit your specific model of phone. Many other options are available as well.
iGrip Smartphone Holders | From $25
The Game of Life Zapped Using the Apple iPad
Hasbro's venerable Game of Life now lets you incorporate your iPad into the game play. Load the game's special app onto your iPad, and you can use the iPad and the game board together with Hasbro interactive features. You can customize your game marker, view videos during the game, and play bonus mini-games online. Coming soon: Monopoly Zapped.
The Game of Life Zapped | $25
Vuzix Wrap 920 Video Display
The makers of the Wrap 920 video display say that it gives you a portable big-screen video experience. The display in the eyepiece supports standard 2D video as well as most common 3D video formats. Two AA batteries support up to 3 hours of continuous use.
An optional video adapter cable connects the 920 to any of a number of portable media players, including your smartphone or your PC. Vuzix includes removable noise-isolating earbuds in the package.
Vuzix Wrap 920 Video Display | $250