Holiday gift round-up: Part Deux

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Date: Friday, December 20th, 2013, 08:16
Category: Accessory, battery, Consumer Electronics, Gadget, Hardware, Holiday, retail, Review, Software, The Apple Core

Christmas-GiftHere’s part 2 of my Gift Guide, which may turn into that “what I get when I return my Christmas gifts for credit” list, seeing as how it’s only 6 days until Christmas. The second half includes a number of gift ideas that I’ve stolen borrowed from some other gift guides because they are really good suggestions for things I’d like to get for myself. I’ll throw in a couple more of my own at the end.

 

mujjo-touchscreen-glove

Mujjo Touchscreen Gloves

First we have an item from Jordan Kahn’s list over at 9to5Mac. He recommends the line of touchscreen gloves from Mujjo, a Dutch company making several products for mobile devices. As Jordan notes, “Unlike others, Mujjo’s gloves allow you to use your knuckle, palm, fingertips or just about any part of your hand to interact with the display, opposed to others that have a small touch area on the fingertips only.”. This is exactly the problem I have with most touchscreen gloves, I want to use more than just the fingertip, and I’d like some kind of selection. Mujjo makes a completely capacitive ‘leather’ version of their gloves, although they’ll set you back $101.67 (USD). The gloves are mostly unisex and start at $28.20 up to the leather ones at $101.67. Shipping is around $11 USPS, but will vary depending on your location. BONUS: If you like any of their white iPad, iPhone, Galaxy S3/S4, or MacBook Air/Pro sleeves, they currently have a Holiday Sale to get 25% off. Just use the code #HOLIDAY at checkout.

 

JackeryAir_battery

JackeryAir external battery

From over at The Apple Core, Jason O’Grady recommends the JackeryAir external battery ($59.99, Amazon). I’ve been on the hunt for a good general purpose backup battery for my many mobile, and mobile supporting devices. According to Jason , the JackeryAir is “[...] the world’s thinnest portable charger which measures a svelte 4.9 x 2.3 x 0.3 inches and weighs only 5.4 ounces. It’s almost the exact size of an iPhone 5 and could hide directly beneath it.”. ” [It...] packs 5,000 mAh of juice which will charge a dead iPhone 5s just over three times and it’s made of aluminum for that high-quality feel. There’s also a status LED, which indicates how much power remains.”. For a low-bulk battery solution, this looks like the one, and looks pretty nice, as long as you like orange.

 

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Fenix’s E05 flashlight

I suspect that I may have one of the largest flashlight collections of anyone I know. Granted, one is a Dalek from Doctor Who and another is Lego Darth Vader, but I also have at least 4 large Maglites among my horde. Even so, I may have to make room for one more. , also from The Apple Core, recommends the Fenix’s E05 flashlight. David says, “I have had a Fenix E05 on my keychain for years. It’s just a bit longer than a AAA battery and is very lightweight. It puts out a solid light, not super-bright but more than sufficient.”. Currently, you can get one of these over at Amazon for $19.95. The blue one is almost out of stock, but unsurprisingly there are plenty of the pink ones.

 

ifixit_prokit

iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit

This one is for the tinkerer in your life, that guy or gal that insists on building their own gaming rig and refuses to go the Genius Bar unless it’s absolutely necessary (and probably wears a disguise to go). It’s the iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit and it probably has every precision tool you would need for working on computer innards and mobile devices. There is a list of all the tools on the web site, but to name just a few; there is a 54 Bit Driver Kit, Precision Tweezers Set, and a Anti-Static Wrist Strap. There are 70 tools in all and you can get it at the iFixit web site for $64.95. I bought this kit to replace the screen on my iPhone 4 and everything I needed was there, and the correct size so I didn’t end up stripping out any screws. This recommendation is kind of a twofer because iFixit’s site is a great tool in itself. Everytime a new gadget comes out, they get their hands on it and tear it apart. Not only do you get to see what’s on the inside, but they also create free repair guides for most of them.

 

neatconnect

NeatConnect scanner

Whew, finally, we’re at number 10 in the list. I found a few more items, but I think 10 is sufficient. Lastly, I’d like to recommend an item that breaches my below $100 rule for this list, but I was pretty impressed by it. The item is the NeatConnect scanner from Neat. There is a bit of a story behind this one, but I’ll try to keep it brief. Several months ago I decided once and for all I was going to go paperless. This was predicated by the tendency to miss bill payments because the bill had gotten buried under one of many piles of paper around my desk. I looked at numerous solutions and finally decided to get the NeatDesk scanner, also from Neat. The NeatDesk connects to your computer via USB, as with most scanners, and scans and does OCR on everything you scan in, turning it into a searchable PDF and storing it in the Neat software for easy organizing. The scanner itself is fast, can scan both sides of a page simultaneously, and has a relatively small footprint. Unfortunately for me, after upgrading to a newer iMac, the scanner stopped working. It worked fine on other computers, but not on my primary one. This began a series of troubleshooting over a few months which still has yet to be solved, so currently the scanner is useless to me. I also had to deal with the fact that Neat removed an important feature that allowed me to scan certain documents as a greyscale image. Since I couldn’t find a better solution, I decided to pull the trigger on Neat’s recently released NeatConnect scanner. What makes this scanner unique is that it doesn’t have to be connected to your computer. The scanner connects to your home wireless network and scans everything into the cloud. The scanner’s touchscreen interface allows you to set up several destinations that you can choose to send the file to, which include Dropbox, Evernote, email, or to Neat’s online service NeatCloud (starting at $5.99 per month). If you use the NeatCloud service, your documents sync with the Neat software on your computer. Not only did this solve my scanner connection problem, the scanner’s software allows me to do the greyscale scanning I want. Win-win! Also handy is that fact that I don’t need to have the scanner at my desk. I can put it anywhere and still scan in my paperwork, which vastly reduces my desk clutter. The NeatConnect costs $499.95 and comes with a free 3-month trial of the NeatCloud service. I hate to do this to the Neat people, but I recommend getting it through Amazon rather than directly from their site. For some reason they charge an exorbitant tax on items from their online store, almost $50. Sheesh. I got one on Amazon for a little bit under the normal list price, with no tax and free shipping.

 

So there you go, just in time for…New Years? All of these items are good to purchase all year round, so they’d be just as good for that next birthday or baby shower, because if you are going to go paperless, you ought to start as a baby just to keep up with it.

 

 

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