Reviews Stories April 22

Anker is responsible for some of our favorite smartphone accessories on the market today. And while you may think of its portable batteries or Lightning cables first, it also has a massive backup power supply in tow as well. The Anker PowerHouse delivers 120,000mAh of juice in a portable design that weighs less than ten-pounds.

In day-to-day use, you likely won’t find yourself reaching for the PowerHouse to charge your iPhone or iPad. But as a backup generator or energy source while camping, it brings more than enough power to survive a weekend away. I’ve been tinkering with the PowerHouse over the last month, taking it on trips and using it outside and around my house. At $499, it’s a hefty investment but the peace of mind return is well worth the upfront cost.

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Reviews Stories April 20

Pad & Quill’s hand-made Apple device accessories are easily among the best in the category. The small company takes great pride in the materials and craftsmanship that goes into everything it makes from wooden iPhone 7 cases, to gorgeous leather MacBook sleeves and more. There is even an interesting full-grain leather Apple Pencil Grip, but the company’s dedication to organic and well-made products extends well beyond items specifically made for Apple gear. We recently detailed the new Pad & Quill men’s leather wallets, but it is the company’s Roll Top Backpack that caught my eye.

Head below for our hands on impressions and a chance to get one for up to 25% off… expand full story

Reviews Stories April 17

I’ve had the privilege of going hands-on with the new 14-inch LG Gram over the last month, and wanted to share my impressions. The Gram is a very lightweight traditional-style Windows laptop with a touch screen. It doesn’t do any of the fancy 2-in-one stuff that a lot of Windows machines do these days, but for those of you who don’t necessarily want or need such things, it’s a solid laptop.

The Gram’s headlining feature is its weight, or lack thereof. LG says that the 14-inch Gram weighs in at just over two pounds, which is just under 1 kilogram. Dubbed as an ultra-lightweight machine, I can vouch for the fact that this laptop is ridiculously light in the hand. If you’re used to carrying around a 15-inch or even a 13-inch MacBook Pro, you might be taken aback by the feather-like characteristic of the Gram.

But is being lightweight enough to warrant consideration? Have a look at our hands-on video walkthrough as we briefly explore what this machine has to offer. expand full story

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Reviews Stories April 14

Now that AirPods have been on the market for a few months (although they’re amazingly still six weeks out on Apple’s website for new orders), there are a lot of accessories to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the best products to enhance, protect, and prevent the loss of your AirPods.

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Reviews Stories April 12

We’ve told you plenty of times before about our favorite Apple Watch bands. Adding one of these third-party accessories can be an excellent way to change up the look of your timepiece. It can also save money in comparison to buying Apple’s official bands.

Another nifty way to add protection and style is with a case. If you’re someone like myself or the other writers here at 9to5 that use Apple Watch as a fitness tracker, a little extra shielding can help provide peace of mind.

Today, I’m taking a look at OULUOQI’s new Apple Watch case that’s designed to match Nike’s popular bands. It’s available in Volt Yellow or Gray and we even have a nice exclusive discount for you as well. Head below for more…

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Reviews Stories April 7

I for one have never been a big fan of covering up Apple’s gorgeous product designs with cases and sleeves. Unfortunately, these kinds of devices are just too big an investment to leave out in the open to get scratched and scuffed, or even worse, damaged. Choosing which cover-up to suit my needs and tastes isn’t easy to say the least, so I’m generally quite tough on product reviews in this category.

While I’ve personally opted to go with one of Apple’s slim-line leather cases for my iPhone, I decided to take a closer look at the MUJJO MacBook sleeves for protecting my coveted notebooks… expand full story

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Reviews Stories April 5

As soon as I saw FluidStance’s decks with beautiful designs, materials and a goal to bring motion to standing desks and other settings, I knew that I wanted to give them a try. For the last week I’ve been using two of the three models they offer, and without a doubt, I’m totally hooked.

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If you’re anything like me, traveling these days is a mis-matched adventure of cables, chargers and adapters. I’m currently rolling about five deep on the required accessories for powering up all of my devices. While our smartphones and watches have come a long way, the charging situation has not.

Belkin is looking to remedy this with its Valet Charger Power Pack for Apple Watch and iPhone. Designed with weekend warriors in mind, this battery pack is perfect for a two-night stay away from the comforts of your own home. It simplifies your life with a built-in Apple Watch charging puck and a USB port that has access to its 6700mAh battery. How does it stack up? Head below for more.

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Without a doubt the best aspect of the Nintendo Switch is the ability to bring it along with you wherever you go. However, since the entire device is a bit scratch-prone, you’ll probably want to carry it around in a case. If you’re looking for something premium, or just gorgeous, look no further than the CitySlicker case from Waterfield Designs.

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Reviews Stories March 31

Generally speaking, I don’t play on consoles. I’ve got a PC built with gaming in mind so when I want to have fun for a few hours, it’s spent on the PC. However, the one brand that has always had a spot plugged into a TV in my family’s home is Nintendo. We’ve bought the Wii and Wii U, and never regretted either one bit.

Then, came the Switch. When it first debuted, I was giddy with excitement just from the tech demoed alone. Then, I saw the gameplay. Still, I was somewhat skeptical. The Wii U didn’t quite meet my expectations, and it seemed like Nintendo was promising more than it could deliver with the Switch. Then, I got my hands on one… Long story short, I haven’t done much else since…

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Reviews Stories March 24

Standing desks have made impressive headway into home and professional offices in recent years as the market has been flooded with different options. One such brand making a mark is Autonomous, who claims to have made the world’s best convertible workspace.

As someone who spends hours at a time slouched in a chair in my home office, I was anxious to finally see what the standing desk phenomenon was all about.

The Autonomous SmartDesk 2 did not disappoint.

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Reviews Stories March 14

Update: The special pricing at B&H has expired.

SmallHD produces some of the best on-camera monitors in the business, but pricing may be a barrier, as most products in the lineup tend to trend closer to the $1000 mark (and above) than not. The good news is that SmallHD’s most affordable monitor, the 701 Lite, is on sale for only $399 shipped at B&H — that’s a whopping $300 off the regular price for today only.

But why should you consider a monitor from SmallHD? Watch my brief hands-on video with the SmallHD 501, a smaller unit with higher resolution, for a quick look into what makes these monitors so special. expand full story

Reviews Stories March 8

Most companies wouldn’t market their products to be used as little as possible, but that’s entirely what The Light Phone is all about. The Light Phone is a credit card-sized phone that’s designed to be used only for phone calls, and nothing more than that. That’s right, no pictures, no apps, no games, no texts. Phone calls only.

Deemed as being a phone away from your phone, The Light Phone is designed to operate as distraction free as possible, yet still provide the necessary functionality to make and receive phone calls.

It’s an interesting concept that can serve to complement, not replace, an iPhone. It’s a secondary phone that’s built to be an extension of your existing smartphone — a phone that allows you to leave your iPhone at home, yet still maintain some vestige of basic communication.

Normally, I’d use a cheap Android phone, or an old iPhone as a secondary phone, but The Light Phone adds a new twist to the idea of having a second device. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough as I explore The Light Phone and discuss who might be in the market for one when the $150 device officially launches later this year. expand full story

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Reviews Stories March 3

We first introduced you to Audioengine a little over a year ago with our review of its HD6 speakers. At the time, the combination of sound and wireless connectivity made that pair one of our favorites on the market. Fast forward a year later and many of the same features can be found in the smaller HD3 Wireless. The Texas-based Audioengine is responsible for a wide range of powered and passive audio solutions. How does its latest stack up? Hit the jump for more…

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Reviews Stories February 17

Haiku Home first rolled out its residential line of fans in 2016 as a subsidiary of Big Ass Solutions, the brand behind those huge air-movers you’ve probably seen at a local gym. Designed with maximum efficiency in mind, these fans aim to marry high-end looks with lessons learned from the industrial space.

There are four different models in the Haiku residential line with prices starting at $550 and going up to $1,550. Sure, these are pricier than your standard ceiling mount from Lowe’s, but these aren’t your average fans. A slick blend of design and technology are what make Haiku standout from the competition…

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Reviews Stories February 3

Since the Apple Watch was first unveiled, accessory makers flooded the market with third-party add-ons. From watch bands to docks, the options are nearly endless, yet Elago has managed to standout from the competition with its W3 Stand that looks like a vintage Macintosh 128K.

By leveraging Nightstand Mode on your Apple Watch, Elago is bringing back memories of the iconic Mac. And at $15, it’s affordable too…

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Reviews Stories January 27

We first featured the Fabriq Wireless Speaker last fall as one of our New Toys of the Day. What particularly struck us about this product was its wide range of connectivity. We aren’t just talking Bluetooth here. It is also has AirPlay, multi-room connectivity, and support for Amazon’s popular Alexa Service. And at $50, it has big-time value.

The question is, can its compact design hang with the big boys like JBL and UE?

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Reviews Stories January 12

When Apple unveiled Apple Watch Nike+ last fall, many of us were instantly attracted to the neon band that shipped with this model. We were equally disappointed when Apple announced that this strap would not be available for purchase on its own. Thus, we were left to find alternatives on the third-party market.

Accessory maker OULUOQI has developed a nearly identical version which is now available for purchase on Amazon, alongside a new Metal Stainless Steel band. Over the last month, I’ve been living with both on my wrist throughout the day, including various workouts. Hit the jump for more including an exclusive discount for 9to5Toys readers on both models.

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Reviews Stories November 18, 2016

It was three months ago that DJI first introduced the second generation of its OSMO camera and gimbal. The latest model includes a unique combination optical and digital zoom system. With a promise of delivering professional-grade video, DJI is hoping to turn GoPro-enthusiasts into OSMO believers. But at $649, buttery smooth 4K footage doesn’t come cheap.

Hit the jump for our full video review with comparison footage between the OSMO+ and its competitors.

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Reviews Stories November 4, 2016

Back in September, TiVo introduced the Bolt+ DVR, perhaps the most luxurious set-top box ever created. With a monstrous 3TB hard drive, 4K and six tuners, it staked its claim as the king of the hill. TiVo maintained the sleek design of the previous generation despite upping the price tag to $499. Over the last month, I’ve lived with the Bolt+ as my everyday DVR and now it’s time to share some thoughts. Does TiVo’s high-end feature list justify the price tag? Head below to find out…

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Reviews Stories October 28, 2016

Nomad is known for its unique and handsome Apple accessories made from top-notch materials. This focus extends across the entire lineup of products, from Mac to iPhone and more. Its latest creation is the Silicone Strap, designed specifically for Apple Watch.

After being unveiled earlier this month, we’ve spent some time with this Sport Band alternative. At $40, it’s not only 20% less than Apple’s official options, this Strap packs much more in the area of design too…

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Reviews Stories September 30, 2016

A few weeks back, Twelve South introduced the newest rendition of its popular iPhone dock, the HiRise 2 Deluxe. The focus this time around was on a heavy design that took up less room on your desk or nightstand. In fact, the latest model is 33% smaller than the previous generation. One area of focus was to expand its compatibility with third-party accessories like battery cases. Hit the jump to see how Twelve South’s latest accessory handles the new iPhone and more.

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Reviews Stories September 23, 2016

It was nearly two years ago to the date that we first showed off This is Ground’s original Mod Tablet carrying case. Since then, it’s gone through two extensive revisions resulting in the release of the new third generation model last week. We’ve been able to spend some time with the Mod 3 over the last while in an attempt to apply it in real life scenarios.

Wrapped in Italian Leather and geometrically designed, this carryall screams attention to detail with Mad Men design cues. The latest version is slightly bigger, includes a Tile Bluetooth tracking device and ships with all inserts.

How’d it do? Head below to find out.

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Reviews Stories September 16, 2016

A few weeks ago we rounded up some of the most popular LED desk lamps on Amazon with a focus on Apple-friendly designs. After much reader interest, we decided to take a deeper look at two models from TaoTronics. These are some of the very best-selling lamps at Amazon. Alongside today’s review, we’re also offering an exclusive promo code for 9to5Toys readers…

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Reviews Stories September 14, 2016

The $180 Amazon Echo is a friggen game changer. Put it in your kitchen or living room and after about 5 minutes of setup you have an intelligent speaker that you can ask for news, sports, audio books, and of course music. You can also ask the Echo any question you can think of and more often than not (but less often than Google) it returns a good answer. The magic is in the always-on, far field speaker which happens to be able to understand language as good as any natural language processor out there – even from way across the room. You don’t need to have your phone on and nearby – you are hands free anywhere within earshot.

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Amazon has added a ton of services that connect the Echo over the past year to just about anything in your home. Most smart thermostats, garage door openers, etc. etc now work with Alexa, Amazon’s assistant.  Additionally, Amazon has worked with other partners to do things like order delivery pizza, get rides from Uber, and of course buy stuff from Amazon.

I’ve been using the Amazon Echo Dot which went on sale today (for delivery in October with new colors and combinations now only $50) for the past 3 months and I love it for its portability and its expandability even more than the $130 more expensive original. Let me explain:

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