Review: Moleskine’s new myCloud Smallpack offers plentiful storage in a tidy design, $150 giveaway

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Last month journal-maker Moleskine released a new line of backpack and messenger bags. Since then, we’ve spent time with one of its newest products: the myCloud Smallpack in grey, which is designed for laptops up to 13-inches in size. This bag is a unique blend of compact design and high capacity storage.

Head below for full details on the myCloud Smallpack and details on how you could win one yourself… Read more

Review: SOL REPUBLIC’s Shadow wireless headphones w/ Bluetooth 4.0 offer an upgraded audio experience, $100 giveaway

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Update (4/18 11:00am): @oneniner is our winner – thank you to everyone that entered our contest!

Bluetooth-enabled headphones are making a run for your ears and it seems like every release is improving on a once dysfunctional and disappointing product category. What was previously defined by empty and unpleasing sound is now finding its stride as Bluetooth continues to improve. Much like any technology, its quality is only enhanced by the standard that guides it. Now is the time to begin considering Bluetooth headphones as a potential replacement for the classic 3.5mm standby.

We’ve spent some time with the SOL REPUBLIC’s new Shadow Wireless Bluetooth headphones and today we are ready to deliver a verdict: Read more

Small States Review: This is Ground’s Mod 2 is the ultimate on-the-go iPad companion, giveaway worth $310

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Update (4/11 9:00am): @jimmiebjr is our winner – thank you to everyone that entered our contest, and for reading!

This is Ground has made another foray into the iPad accessory world, this time updating its Mod case with new styling and inserts. When we last featured the Los Angeles-based manufacturer, it was riding the success of its line of products meant to complement both professional and casual environments.

Since then, This is Ground has expanded and found more ways to bring together form and function into quality America made products. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the newly released Mod 2: Read more

Review: Does Sling TV’s arrival on the Xbox One make Microsoft’s console king of the living room?

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There are a lot of reasons to be excited about Sling TV. Since it popped up in January just before CES, this streaming television service has been making waves throughout the entertainment world. Chances are if you watch television shows or movies, you’ve heard something about Sling.

Last month Dish brought its online streaming service to the Xbox One in an exclusive agreement that nets Live subscribers a one month free trial. The question is, does Sling bring enough to the table to make the Xbox One a complete solution to home entertainment? Read more

Small States Review: TM1985’s Weekend Duffel is the perfect companion for any excursion, $371 giveaway

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Update (4/4 11:45am): @iamcoxnow is our winner, thank you to everyone that entered this week’s giveaway!

Since we last visited with TM1985, the New York-based bag and accessory maker has continued to expand its line of products. This week, we’ll be taking a look at the Weekend Duffel, a new travel solution from TM1985 that aims to put a little more style in your luggage game. Read more

Small States Review: Grado’s GR10e in-ear headphones hit every note, $299 giveaway

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Update (3/28 12:15pm): @IAmTimBaker is our winner, thank you to everyone that entered our Grado giveaway!

Since Grado first announced its newest generation of in-ear headphones, we’ve spent sometime putting the GR10e’s through the paces. Starting at $299 for the GR8e’s and $399 for the 10e’s, these in-ear headphones come at a premium price in comparison to other options on the market. But the magic of the Brooklyn manufacturer is clearly evident in this latest iteration of in-ears. Read more

Small States Review: Carved’s Live Edge iPhone 6 cases ensconce your device in one-of-a-kind raw wood, multiple giveaways

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Update (3/21 12:00pm): @RVDT_ and @chrislazattack are our winners. Thanks everyone for reading!

In a world full of throw away materials, it’s easy to get caught up buying another plastic iPhone case. But Northern Indiana’s Carved is taking extra steps to deliver a one-of-a-kind home for your device. While we’ve covered the company’s more traditional iPhone cases in the past, today we are taking a look at its Live Edge series. Made of raw pieces of wood, from a variety of locations across the United States, these cases truly blend the line between device and nature. Even more, the cases are all one-offs which means that the one you select is truly an original.

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Small States Review: Grovemade’s iPhone 6 dock puts extra emphasis on design and materials, giveaway worth $99

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Update (3/14 9:15am): @schellack wins the Grovemade Dock. Thanks everyone for reading and entering this week’s giveaway.

When it comes to Apple accessories, there are typically two options: materials that are designed to mirror the product and those are meant to complement that product in a different way. The former is typically anodized aluminum, plastic or a metal of some kind, while the latter has been trending towards natural materials like wood or fabrics. Personally, I love seeing natural materials complement modern electronics. There are so many companies manufacturing here in the United States that are taking advantage of the natural resources and skills here.

I’ve been able to spend the last few weeks with Grovemade’s latest dock for the iPhone 6. We’ve covered company’s story before and this time around are able to see its newest home for Apple’s phone.

Head below for full details, our review and to learn how you can win a Grovemade iPhone 6 dock for yourself.

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Small States Review: Bolt Briefcase from WaterField Designs is an ideal work and travel companion, $249 giveaway

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Update (3/8 11:20am): Thanks to all who entered. Our winner is @_boh151

Back in January, San Francisco-based bag and accessory maker WaterField Designs announced its Bolt Briefcase. Since then we’ve had the opportunity to put the Bolt through its paces. Designed to be a professional alternative to the leather briefcases of old, this bag is for travelers and techies in need of a solution for multiple occasions.

Head below for our hands-on impressions and to learn how you could win this Bolt Briefcase.

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Gaming For Couples: Tomb Raider Definitive Edition and NES Remix Pack

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Over the last few weeks, Gaming For Couples has spotlighted the best PlayStation 4 bundles, best Wii U bundles, and best Xbox One bundles — now we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming, looking at great games for couples (including gamers and non-gamers) to play together. This week, we’re featuring two very different titles: a retro game that even casual players will enjoy actively exploring, and the other a modern game more impressively cinematic than the movies that share its name. Each can be had for under $30.

Our Gaming For Couples selections are Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and NES Remix Pack / Ultimate NES Remix for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Here’s why we think they’re worth your time…

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Life Hack: these simple Velcro ties make cable management a cinch

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There are some things you only appreciate once you become a homeowner. For me, Velcro cable ties are one of those things. I discovered them when I was looking for a way to clean up the rat’s nest of cables behind my Mac. Then something happened — I started using these ties for a little bit of everything.

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They are incredibly simple. Just wrap the tie around some cables or any item, tuck one end through the hole on the opposite side, pull through, and the Velcro material handles everything else. It’ll cleanly attach to itself with little effort. It’s so simple, yet works so well.

I bought the 100-pack of 8-inch x 1/2-inch ties for just $5.99, which are specifically made for wrangling cables. They are so versatile it’s crazy. If it’s too long you can cut it to the perfect length or combine a bunch to tackle bigger projects. Either way it’ll attach to itself and secure any cable.

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Aside from managing the many cables coming out of my Mac, I’m also using these ties to wrap loose cables from power adapters.

Call me over-cautious, but I don’t like using the built-in cable hooks on Apple’s MacBook Power Adapters. I’m not comfortable with how tight it has to be wound and how much force it puts on the cable. So I’m using a Velcro tie to keep my MacBook charger power cable under control when it’s not in use.

In the past I’ve used heavy duty nylon cable ties for similar tasks but most aren’t reusable. I also don’t love how rigid and borderline sharp these types of ties are. They’re fine for more durable items, but I like to handle my electronics with kid gloves.

I’m only using the shorter version, but there are tons of different kinds in various lengths and colors. There are seemingly an endless number of uses for these little wonders… Read more

Kitchen Tech: The best wine tools and restaurant-class champagne accessories

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As the last few Kitchen Tech columns on bar tools (part 1part 2) and high-end coffee makers probably demonstrated, I’m a beverage obsessive — over the years, I’ve learned that great dining experiences are as much about what you drink as what you eat. The right beverage can actually improve your entire meal, and if it’s served in the right way, something as seemingly simple as wine or champagne can become the most memorable part of a night. There are great reasons to bring that sort of restaurant-quality experience home.

Today’s Kitchen Tech focuses on Wine Tools, including eight categories of items that range from mandatory to optional. Where appropriate, I’ll explain the benefits and issues of a bargain or higher-end option. To kick things off, I’m starting with something that’s highly optional and just starting to appear in some U.S. restaurants, a Spanish wine tool called a porrón. Read on…

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