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All posts tagged "accessories"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Eye-Fi launches Eye-Fi View

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:00 PM

"Eye-Fi today launched Eye-Fi View, giving people a new way to access their photos and videos from virtually any computer or mobile device. By simply logging into their Eye-Fi account from any device, users can view photos or publish them on the web."

Given that Eye-Fi supports direct publishing to various photo sharing services like Flickr and social media services like Facebook, I'm not seeing the point of this. Maybe someone can enlighten me?

PocketWizard Announces FlexTT5 and MiniTT1 for Nikon Cameras

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:00 PM

"PocketWizard, the industry leader in wireless control and synchronization of cameras, flash and light meters, demonstrates its MiniTT1 Transmitter and FlexTT5 Transceiver for the Nikon DSLR camera system. Sales are expected to start in fourth Quarter 2010."

PocketWizards have been used by many pros to trigger their flashes wireless, but the downside is that you lose TTL flash metering; you'll need to manually calculate the flash and camera settings. PocketWizards released a new series of transmitters to allow TTL flash metering to be used, but they were only available for the Canon system, with Nikon compatible transcievers "coming soon". Well, looks like "soon" is now. I'm curious to find out if the TTL system works better than the crappy CLS system...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nikon Announces My PictureTown 3D and 3D Digital Photo Frame

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:30 AM

"2D to 3D conversion techniques -- whether cinematic or otherwise -- don't have us jumping for joy, but Nikon's new NF-300i display sounds like a concept we could get behind. It's a 7.2-inch digital photo frame running Android 2.1 on an autostereoscopic (glasses-less) screen, which sports a special double-density lenticular lens to display images at full WSVGA resolution (800 x 600) whether in 2D or 3D modes."

Well, a few days back I was saying that the Fujifilm W3 lacked options to display 3D images beyond 3D TVs, and now Nikon (who do not have a 3D camera in their lineup) comes out with this. Can someone please tell them to get their act together if they want to see 3D take off? Oh, and the photo frame runs Android too. Nikon DSLR with Android in the future, anyone? If you want the frame, you're out of luck; it's only available in Japan, and needs a subscription to My PictureTown 3D.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sonos Launches Wireless Dock for iPods and iPhones.

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:30 AM

"Sonos, the leading developer of wireless multi-room music systems for the home, today announced that the Sonos Wireless Dock (WD100), an accessory to the award-winning Sonos Multi-Room Music System, is now available for purchase. The Sonos Wireless Dock is available for $119 at all Sonos authorized retailers and at"

This reminds me of the Creative X-Fi wireless docks for the iPods. Whatever happened to them? I just checked on Creative's websites and they're gone. These seem handy, but does anyone really use them? Integrated speaker docks are more convenient, and for quality who connects a media player to their hi-fi systems anyway? Press release after the break.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

IDAPT i4 Universal Charger Review

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 PM

"The i4 delivers a supremely convenient means of charging four handheld devices at once, and it gives you the opportunity to leave your devices' factory chargers at the office. And given the short battery life that most smart phones exhibit today, having a charger at both locations--or carting one back and forth--is almost essential. In the final analysis, $60 is a high price to pay for convenience, but it's probably less than what you'd pay in aggregate to buy second wall warts for each of the four devices you need to charge on a regular basis."

I've tried different variations on "universal" charging stations before and all have left me somewhat wanting. Luckily all the devices I frequently use charge via mini or micro USB, making everything pretty universal.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

iHome iB969, For All of Your Charging Needs

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 10:00 AM

"iHome has just come out with the iHome iB969 Charging Station to help you "Charge Your World!" The charging station is a compact device that will charge up to four devices."

The hard thing to find these days, with so many electronic devices that have different connectors, is a charging solution that works for anything. But it appears iHome has come up with one. The iHome iB969 [affiliate link] is truly an all-in-one solution, with capability to charge just about anything, from iPods to Kindles in a compact device. It will also, depending on the type of protective covering, charge devices without having to remove the case. And it comes with two Apple docks built in that can also be used for iPods or iPhones, to allow for charging and/or syncing. The device is supposed to be available later this month for $59.99 USD, which seems pretty reasonable to me for an all-in-one device such as this one.

Sunny Days: Staying Connected with the Monaco Solar Cell Charger

Posted by Don Tolson in "Windows Phone Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Accessories -- Solar powered cell phone charger
Manufacturer: Monaco
Where to Buy:
Price: $79.95 USD (regularly, but may be on sale...)
Specifications: Battery Capacity: 1800mAh; Weight: 93.5 grams / 3.3 oz; Dimensions: 55.5 x 105.8 x 14.5mm.


  • Convenient, lightweight;
  • Charges quickly in sunlight;
  • Suitable for almost any type of USB-powered device.


  • Regular price is a bit high, but vendor seems to be having discount sales;
  • Depending upon the consumption of your unit, the battery may only provide one day of use.

Summary: There are lots of emergency power accessories and options available for phones, games systems, music players, etc. but most suffer from a common shortcoming -- lack of power when you need them most, far away from a wall socket. Enter Monaco, with a different spin on a solution. Instead of providing just a battery or set of solar cells, why not combine them into a single package - a wall or solar chargeable battery pack!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The 50 Worst Inventions?

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Talk" @ 09:00 PM,00.html

"From the zany to the dangerous to the just plain dumb, here is TIME's list (in no particular order) of some of the world's bright ideas that just didn't work out."

We all need a good chuckle every now and then, and here is your opportunity to enjoy a few: Time's list of "The 50 Worst Inventions." The list ranges from serious mistakes - at least in hindsight - such as DDT and CFCs; through decent ideas that flopped in the marketplace (Betamax); and then on to downright silly inventions, such as Hair In A Can, Smell-o-Vision, and the Comfort Wipe. Lest you think that the article is entirely off-topic, please note that the technology field is well represented by such entries as the Nintendo Virtual Boy, Clippy, Smile Checks (!), Phone Fingers, and the CueCat (I actually have one of these, courtesy of Radio Shack, but have never found any use for it). For even more edification, you can check out Time's other lists, such as the "Top 10 Technology Bans," the "50 Best Websites 2010," or the "Top 10 Celebrity Sesame Street Songs - which has some topical relevance, given recent news reports.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultraportable Family of Products

Posted by Chris Baxter in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Portable storage device
Manufacturer: Seagate
Where to Buy: (affiliate)
Price: $90 to $170 USD depending on storage size of hard drive, $99 for the Net Media device, $130 for the GoFlex TV HD, and $20 to $40 for the different cable options
System Requirements: Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, Windows® XP (32-bit & 64-bit) operating system or Mac® OS X operating system 10.4.9 or higher and a USB 2.0, USB 3.0, FireWire 800, or eSATA port.
Specifications: The GoFlex Ultraportable drive: Height - 111mm (4.39 in), width - 83mm (3.19 in), length - 14mm (.57 in), and weight - 150g (.33 lb).


  • Wide variety of attachments and accessories that actually extend the capabilites of the drive;
  • The GoFlex Net Media Sharing Device is an easy and fun way to share your files on the network;
  • Using the optional cable attachments can greatly increase the performance of the drive.


  • User Interface for the GoFlex TV HD Media Player needs work;
  • Taking advantage of all the accessories the product has to offer can get expensive.

Summary: Seagate has a family of portable storage devices and accessories that are aimed at keeping up with technology, making networking your storage devices easy, and delivering the media content on that storage to the place it is most useful, your TV. I got the chance to test and review these products to see if they can deliver what they promise. Was I disappointed or did they succeed at what they were designed for? Read on to find out. Read more...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Toshiba Crashes Panasonic's SD UHS-I Party With Faster Cards; New Standard Still Confusing

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:30 AM

"Panasonic must be mighty annoyed right about now, because Toshiba's seemingly got it trumped -- when the first batch of lightning-quick UHS-I cards ship in November, Toshiba's chips will be faster and larger on day one."

Toshiba is usually second to Panasonic when it comes to SD Card announcements, and so here is their announcement. The new cards are actually faster than what Panasonic has announced, with the full sized SD cards doing 95MB/s read versus Panasonic's 60MB/s read. Writing speed is not shabby at a stated 80MB/s, though we have yet to see how it will be in actual use. There are also microSD versions doing 40MB/s read and 20 MB/s write. Again, remember that the device also has to be UHS-I, else the cards will not perform at their full perfomance.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

GGS Third Generation DSLR LCD Screen Protector

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: DSLR LCD Screen Protector
Manufacturer: GGS
Where to Buy: Ebay sellers
Price: $15 to $20
Supports: Currently available for Nikon D3/D3s, D700, D300/D300s and D90; for Canon, it's the EOS 1DIV/1DsIII, 5DII, 7D, EOS 40/50D, and EOS 500/550D (Rebel T1i/Rebel T2i)


  • Hardened glass resistant to scratching
  • No worries about air bubbles like soft plastic protectors
  • Easy to clean


  • Does not cut down glare
  • The other two protectors are stick-ons and feel a little superflous
  • Canon DSLR users might not like their version of the product

Summary: LCD screen protectors have come a long way since they first came along with PDAs, but they always have been pieces of plastic stuck onto the screen. GGS brings something new with their glass protectors, and the newest version is even removable. How does it fare? Read on! Read more...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Flexicord Mini Synch and Charge Cable Reviewed

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

We are approaching cable nirvana. Micro USB is becoming fairly standard for charging and synching lots of devices, meaning that we can now leave our giant bundle of cables at home when we travel. This also means that charging cables are pretty much just a commodity item and we just go for what's cheap. So I was pretty excited when I found the Flexicord Mini since it looked to bring something else to the table and really didn’t ask much in return.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Build a Home Theater PC Inside an Ikea Besta Cabinet

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:00 PM

"Many of us use computers to power our home theater experience, but the last thing anyone wants is a noisy PC tower uglying up the living room. Here's how [a] reader... converted Ikea's Besta media console into a well-hidden, well-ventilated HTPC."

This is one of those DIY projects that most people will look at and exclaim either a) "What a cool idea!" or b) "Why would anyone want to do that?!?" Having helped to convert an old console television into a stereo cabinet, I found this project intriguing, but ultimately I fall closer to category "b" above, if only because there are a number of nice looking HTPC cases that should make the task much simpler. Still, given a suitable donor computer and a (less expensive!) cabinet, I could easily understand the appeal of being able to show off such a project. Read the full story at - which includes a number of pictures of the project in various stages of completion - and then let us know what you think: Is this the type of weekend DIY task that you would be willing to undertake?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Displex display cleaner from

Posted by Don Tolson in "Windows Phone Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Accessories -- Display polish/cleaner
Where to Buy:
Price: Starts at $19.95USD (regularly, but may be on sale...)
Specifications: Comes in a 5g (0.175oz) tube, which should be enough for 8 to 10 screen cleans, depending upon how much you use. Note: this product is only for use on non-coated surfaces and plastics (i.e. the transparent part of the screen. Do not use on the painted portion. The product is non-returnable.


  • Easy to apply;
  • Very gentle abrasive, so unlikely to do damage to the screen on most applications.


  • Regular price is a bit high;
  • You'll need a number of applications to see results;
  • Probably won't remove deeper scratches.


Getting scratches in your screen display is always annoying -- especially when you remind yourself that you had meant to get that screen protector installed, but never got around to it. There are numerous 'old wives tales' about using toothpaste, etc. to remove scratches, but it's definitely better to use a product that is specifically designed for the job. Displex, from WirelessGround, is sold as a display polish. But how good is it at taking out scratches? Let's take a look.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Amazon Kindle DX Graphite Wireless Reading Device

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:00 PM

"Just over a year ago, we reviewed Amazon's jumbo-sized Kindle, the Kindle DX. And just a few weeks ago, Amazon outed a new, $379 Graphite gray version of the DX. This time, it's got the new Pearl display from E Ink, which supposedly boasts a much higher contrast ratio and a faster page refresh rate over its predecessor. Other than that, you're looking at pretty much the same unit as before, and if you like a large e-reader, that's probably a good thing. Read on for our full impressions of the device."

Laura June, at, has written a thoughtful review of Amazon's new Kindle DX Graphite - the "Latest Generation" - in which she includes an impressive number of product photos, along with the type of usage details that any prospective buyer will appreciate. Sitting at the top of Amazon's Kindle line, the DX Graphite features a large display with improved contrast, free 3G wireless (but not WiFi), and up to 3 weeks of battery life (with the wireless off), in exchange for its rather hefty weight (18.9 ounces) and price tag. If the idea of a large format e-reader appeals to you, take care to note that the "2nd Generation" Kindle DX is still available, in white and at a slightly lower price, but without the new Pearl display technology. Even though I am not drawn to e-readers - a notebook seems a much more sensible purchase - the improved screen on the "Graphite" appears well worth the modest cost difference over the older DX model.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Pebble In Your Pocket: The Jabra STONE Bluetooth Headset Reviewed

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Bluetooth Headeset
Manufacturer: Jabra
Where to Buy: Expansys [Affiliate]
Price: $116.99
System Requirements: Bluetooth Headset Profile 1.1, Handsfree Profile 1.5, Right Ear
Specifications: 10 meter operational range; Pairing with up to 8 devices, 2 simultaneously; 2 hours talk time, 8 with charger; headset weighs 7 grams, charger weighs 26 grams; Charges through MicroUSB.


  • Small & Stylish;
  • Charges while in STONE portable charging unit;
  • Charges through MicroUSB.


  • Those missing a right ear need not apply;
  • Slightly tinny & lackluster sound when streaming audio;
  • Price is on the high side.

Summary: I've been a Jabra user for many years, and with my older headset beginning to show its age, I wondered if the small STONE could suffice for this large man. What I found was much more than I was expecting, with only a few "gotchas". Read on to hear more! Read more...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Another Walk Down Memory Lane

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:30 PM


"Many people today either are too young to have ever seen some early pc's or have forgotten what they looked like.... Here are 30 Old PC ads that will make you laugh and possibly appreciate what you have today."

The advertisements in the article cover a variety of computers and peripherals, and starts out with a personal favorite: a $3,400 (US) 10MB Hard Drive - although the Isaac Asimov Radio Shack ad also rates high! For some of our readers, the ads show equipment that is before their time, while for others of us it is indeed merely a walk down memory lane, as we actually used (and paid for!) equipment of similar vintage to the ones shown in the ads. The Kaypro 2 shown above, circa 1984, is not included in the main article, but rather is a bonus from my personal collection, and is representative of a number of "portable" computers such as the Osborne, early Compaq, and Columbia VP (one of which I still own). Which of the 30 Old PC ads do you find most illuminating - or laughable? Are there any you can personally relate to?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Technocel's PowerPak: Universal Charger and Battery Pack

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:30 PM

"This ultimate universal charging solution combines a backup rechargeable battery pack with a rapid home charger. Providing the extra juice when you need it, the PowerPakTM will recharge your handheld device at the same time as it recharges itself via the wall outlet. If you're a frequent or long talker who constantly runs out of battery in the middle of the conversation, the PowerPak was designed for you, providing up to 3 hours of extra talk time."

This may be the ultimate accessory for the road warrior, allowing you to leave both your device charger(s) and extra batteries at home in exchange for a single unit. Although not inexpensive at around $50 MSRP (US), the PowerPak ships with a number of interchangeable tips that promise "compatibility for 95% of all handheld USB devices," with replacement tips available individually, and has 4-LED display that provides an estimate of its own charge status. The PowerPak contains a 1000 mAh rechargeable battery and a single USB port, and is also sold as the "Universal PowerPak." If you require more reserve battery power, Technocel has announced the PowerPak XT, with a 1600 mAh lithium ion battery, as well as the PowerPak DUO, which features a 2000 mAh battery along with dual USB ports (both of these newer products are still "coming soon").

Friday, July 9, 2010

Linksys E3000 Wireless-N Router

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:30 PM

"Cisco's new Linksys E-series routers look a lot like the WRT-series routers they replace, complete with the weird flying-saucer motif and internal antennas. All the new features are under the hood and in the setup software. As befits a flagship product, the E3000 is a dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) router that enables you to operate two discrete wireless networks simultaneously. You can also operate a virtual guest network on the 2.4GHz band that limits clients to Internet access, isolating them from the rest of your network."

Sitting at the top of their current home router line, the Linksys E3000 High Performance Wireless-N Router looks like a winner on the basis of style alone (although apparently at the cost of a vertical stand option). Toss in 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, dual-band capability "optimized for streaming HD video," 6 internal antennas, and a built-in UPnP AV media server, and it would appear to be an easy purchase decision. Still, Michael Brown, at, notes several shortcomings in its performance and control software, and feels it falls short of their category winner. Read his review for more details, including comparative performance test results!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Webcams for Hi-Def Video Chat

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:30 PM

"[I]t wasn't long ago that VGA was good enough for online chatting. No more, and with the release of SkypeHD going high-def is easier than ever. To find out which multi-megapixel movie maker you want to clip onto your display... we gathered three cameras at a range of prices. Two will work with some particularly advanced TVs, while the third cam shuns Skype, offsetting that shortcoming with a middle-ground price and superior video quality. Which is your ticket to HD chat bliss, and how do they all compare to plain 'ol VGA?"

If you are in the market for a Hi-def Video Chat Camera, Tim Stevens has posted an article that will help you get started at, looking at models from FaceVision (TouchCam N1), Freetalk (Everyman HD), and Logitech (HD Pro Webcam C910). The article is fairly brief, but it does a nice job of summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of each model, particularly as regards their use with the SkypeHD service. Furthermore - and in addition to a number of useful photographs - an included video shows the HD output from each of these cameras, along with a section shot at standard VGA for comparison. Alas, each of these models presents at least one inherent flaw: the Everyman HD lacks a built-in microphone, the TouchCam N1 is relatively expensive, and the C910 lacks an onboard decoder and is - apparently - not compatible with SkypeHD (Logitech does offer instructions for using the C910 with "Skype," and also provides its own free HD video chat software, VID HD). These are not the only choices available, but the article provides a nice starting point for making an informed purchase. If you use video chat, is this the right time to go Hi-def?

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