Jan 13

Instant Read Pocket Thermometer with Backlight by SuCoo

Instant Read Pocket Thermometer with Backlight by SuCoo

Changing the battery on this SuCoo cooking thermometer can be tricky. It’s not as easy as pushing a button. You have to open the battery case, but the switch is hidden behind a metal panel. The battery doesn’t just pop out, either. Look here to see how it’s done.

This product was provided by Ibeato.

Jan 09

Smallcar External USB 3.0 DVD-RW Reader/Writer

Smallcar External USB 3.0 DVD-RW Reader/Writer (Portable CD/DVD Player/Burner)

Sometimes, we really do need an optical disc drive, and not all laptops come with them. Enter the external DVD drive–aka portable CD player/burner, DVD-RW reader/writer (anything else?). The instructions booklet was rather sparse. Actually, no instructions. I played around with the two cables that came with it and the only way my Windows 10 laptop would work with it is if both cables were plugged in. So, you’ll need two open USB ports. No software installation needed on my end. It was completely plug and play. I used it to store files on a CD and watch an old video from my daughter’s six grade class. You can see the opening sequence of that video on my laptop screen showing with the countdown and sound effects.

This DVD burner/player works as it should. I would prefer a motorized ejection mechanism, even though the presence of gears just ups the anty on the number of parts to wear down over time. Non-motorized does mean more lightweight, so that can be a plus.

This product was provided by Smallcar.

Dec 21

FREETOO Sling Bag

FREETOO Sling Bag Backpack: Adjustable Single Shoulder Bag Strap Chest Bag for Outdoor Hiking, Cycling, Camping, Travel

This sling bag sports two compartments containing multiple pockets, including one pocket large enough for an eReader or small tablet. I like the adjustable strap and that bright liner that keeps my things from getting lost in a deep, dark abyss. The material is a little slick for my taste, as I prefer leather or canvas over nylon. It works for me overall, though.

This product was provided by FREETOO.

Dec 16

GM Seating Bodylux Executive Chair

GM Seating Bodylux Smart Genuine Leather Executive Chair

The GM Seating Bodylux Office Chair comes laden with features, enough to make it worth its weight in gold. I’ve owned plenty of leather office chairs–executive chairs–but none quite like this. There are so many options that I don’t think any two people would have this chair adjusted exactly the same way. It’s personalized for comfort. There’s even a posture alarm. I’ve never seen one like it. Still trying to get that to work, but everything else is fully functioning as expected.

This product was provided by GM Seating.

UPDATE 1/11/17: The posture alarm works! I just have to unlock the seatback from the reclined position. The chair doesn’t like it when I’m hunched over my desk. It beeps to remind me I need to straighten up.

Dec 09

Potensic Upgraded UDI 818A HD 2.4GHz CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter

Potensic Upgraded UDI 818A HD 2.4GHz CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter

I love the design of this drone. Blades protected on all sides, big and sturdy, a camera but not lots of extraneous features that make me feel I have to use it to the max. Just fly — headless or regular mode. Take photos and videos along the way. It’s so great that I don’t need to pair the drone with my phone to do that. What? No Wi-Fi or FPV? Nada, but trust me. You’ll learn to appreciate the simplicity.

This product was provided by Potensic.

Dec 06

Mifine Mini Digital Portable Speaker AM/FM Pocket Radio

Mifine Mini Digital Portable Speaker AM/FM Pocket Radio

This radio may be small, but it has amazing sound quality. Frankly, that surprised me, because it has no visible antenna. Nice that the battery powered radio can be recharged with a mini USB cable (included).

PROS:

* small size
* crystal clear sound
* battery operated (battery included)
* rechargeable
* AM/FM scanning to preset channels
* mp3 player (micro SD card slot and flash drive)
* digital display
* headphone jack
* AUX port to turn this into a speaker

CONS:
* seriously none

This product was provided by Mifine

Nov 28

Shinngo 6700mAh Ultra Compact Power Bank

Shinngo 6700mAh Ultra Compact Power Bank

I want a small power bank that won’t weigh me down, and Shinngo fits the bill. This one comes with a super short micro USB cable and a drawstring pouch. There’s even a single-bulb LED flashlight built in. What a seriously great idea for a stocking stuffer.

Just remember, small battery equals lower capacity. If you want more, you’ll have to pay for it in space and load-bearing muscle.

This product was provided by Shinngo.

Nov 25

GRDE Solar Battery Charger

GRDE Portable Dual USB Solar Battery Charger

The GRDE solar power bank is listed on Amazon with a capacity of 15000 mAh. It’s about the size of a large smartphone but more lightweight than I expected. I real world tests, I found the capacity closer to 10000 mAh. That’s enough to charge a smarthphone several times or a tablet once, depending on the device. The charger has a flashlight with six LED bulbs built in, bright enough to light the way in a pinch.

Like many other solar power banks, the solar charging is to be used as backup only, perhaps to extend the life of the battery while outdoors. From my tests, I found that one hour of sun gives about 260 mAh, which is enough to give my phone a 10% charge. That’s impressive for such a small solar panel.

This product was provided by Greentimeszone.