Hardware

Review: ROMOSS 10000mAh Aluminum Power Bank

We’ve reviewed Romoss products in the past – and most of those have been portable power banks. However, this brand continues to impress and the company behind the hardware somehow continues to improve with each generation of devices. This latest device I’ve been testing is the 10000mAh power bank. Its a bit heavier than those I’m used to testing, but it still fits in the hand. The extra heft is due to the enormous battery capacity that allows it to charge two devices at once. This is an awesome power bank for those that either currently don’t have one, or for those looking for a portable power bank that can charge two devices at once with lots of varying port options. Incidentally, we’ll be giving one of these away (among other things) during the IT/Dev ...

Review: DBPOWER T21 1500 Lumens LCD Mini Projector

I’ve often thought about acquiring a mini-project for home theater so when I got a chance to test and review this one from DBPOWER I was more than thrilled. Though this projector has a number of port and connection options, for my testing I wanted to see if I could turn this into a portable home theater. For my testing, I attached an Amazon Fire TV stick to the HDMI port. This worked perfectly. Though I tested with the Amazon Fire TV stick, you can connect just about any device to this projector. It includes ports for VGA, HDMI, USB (in and out), AV, headphones, and an SD card. So, with the proper adapters you can connect your smartphone, your PC, or even just play a slideshow from your camera memory card. The projector seems to run a little hot. Of course, at 1500 Lumens, you have t...

Review: iksee WiFi Wireless Endoscope

I recently tested and reviewed a USB endoscope. You can catch that review HERE. I guess because I did post that review, I’m now a target and have been sort of typecast as an endoscope reviewer. I get off-the-wall products just show up periodically at my doorstep for review. Some of them I’m not even sure how best to approach testing since I might never personally use the device again. However, the last endoscope review was a bit more popular than I had imagined it would be and more people than expected decided to acquire their own after that review. So, here’s a brief update. I’ve looked at a few other endoscopes since the original review, but have finally come across one that delivers enough of a unique value proposition to make it even more interesting than the fi...

Best Buy’s Amazon 1-Day Deal Has Echo at $89, Dot at $35

Best Buy is hosting an Amazon 1-day sale today only. The deals end at 11:59pm CT today. Here’s what you can find… Amazon Echo = $89 Amazon Echo Dot = $34 Amazon Tap = $79 Amazon Fire Tablets = save $20-$30 Amazon Kindle = save $30 Link: AMAZON 1-DAY DEALS Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

Alexa-enabled Product of the Week: GUESS CONNECT Smartwatch

With Alexa’s ever-increasing popularity, new Alexa-enabled products deliver almost daily. Some are duds – some are interesting and valuable. Each week, we take a look at new and important Alexa add-on hardware you might want to consider adding to your Alexa device farm. Alexa is available for Amazon devices Echo, Dot, Tap, Echo Show, Echo Look, Dash Wand, Fire tablets, and Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Edition TVs, but also on iOS, Android, and the web with Reverb.ai. This week’s hardware: GUESS CONNECT Smartwatch Description: Seamlessly integrated with Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service. Just tap and ask Alexa, to enjoy thousands of skills on the go, such as hearing the latest news, weather and traffic reports, check sport scores, and much more. Real world use: Ma...

Review: dodocool Foldable Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports

The summer just got away from me. I’ve kept up with my running, as usual, but I had awesome plans to do some short weekend trips for hiking. I love the outdoors and I love exploring. It just didn’t happen this year and school starts back up for our kids in just a few short weeks. And, to make matters worse and add insult to injury… First, I have a friend that is hiking guide in the great Northwest and his trip pictures this summer have been amazing. But, also I have another friend that recently decided to go completely minimalist. She and her husband sold everything to move out west and they are both now working for a national park and looking to get fully park ranger certified. I tell you…that is a really appealing move these days. And, then – wouldn’t ...

Review: VAUX Speaker and Portable Battery for Amazon Echo Dot

I could honestly begin and end this review in a single sentence: This is absolutely the most brilliant Alexa device accessory and you definitely need one. And, really, that still wouldn’t do this device justice. The speaker is just a bit shorter than the large Echo and just a tad bit thicker than the Echo Dot, but this could possibly be the best accessory available right now. The speaker is phenomenal. Audio is exceptional. And, considering that the large Echo speaker from Amazon still hovers around the $150 mark when its on sale, The VAUX beats it hands-down. For those that already own a Dot, this is a $49 accessory to turn it into a mixture of the Tap’s portability and the Echo’s solid speaker. If you’re just looking to get into Alexa devices, the VAUX with an Ech...

Review: Oittm Smart Plug for Alexa

I got my hands on a new Alexa-capable smart plug over the past couple days. Like many others I’ve tested, it uses a smartphone app and an Alexa skill to integrate into your Smart Home settings. Like the others, this one also doesn’t require a hub, but connects directly to your Wi-Fi network to communicate with the mothership. This particular one is from Oittm. The company makes a lot of things, but only a couple items (so far) that work with Alexa. There’s a light switch, and aroma oil diffuser, and then this smart plug. Setup is easy. And, truly, you have to credit Amazon for making Alexa integration as simple as possible, because the majority of smart plugs I’ve tested have all been easy to install and have taken less than 5 minutes. Using the Oittm smart plug wit...

Review: iXCC Sports Bluetooth In-Ear Earbuds

I recently wrote up a review for another pair of iXCC earbuds. The ones I reviewed then, I was impressed enough to make them the backup pair to my Bragi Dash. I’ve been using them since that review. You can check out the earlier review here:  Review: iXCC Bluetooth 4.0 Stereo Sweatproof Sport Earbuds Since that review, the iXCC folks tried talking me into trying out a newer set. I complained a bit, based on the specific set they wanted me to test – and for good reason. I’ve tested and reviewed an innumerable number of headphones over the years, particularly for using for fitness activities (mostly running). The company’s latest set, seen HERE, is very similar to the ones before, except that it is manufactured with the audio and call controls on the cord instead of c...

Review: HUD Simulating Smartphone Car Mount

A new design of smartphone mount arrived on my doorstep a couple weeks ago. Usually, I’ll give these types of items a glance and be able to decide quickly whether or not its a valuable accessory. This one was different. At first, the design threw me off a bit. Its a clip design that both clips onto a car dash (or onto a desk – which is where I have it now) and also clips to hold the smartphone in place. After testing, I ended up being impressed by the uniqueness and ingenuity of the design and also how well it is able hold the smartphone solidly. Once you get the smartphone in place, its not going anywhere. And, because of the clip design, you can install and remove a smartphone quickly. Additionally, because its intended to mount on the car’s dashboard, it really puts th...

Review: AUKEY Wireless Headphones

Its that time of year, I guess. I have a bundle of new headphones sitting stacked on my desk ready for testing and review. I recently wrote about the iXCC Bluetooth 4.0 Stereo Sweatproof Sport Earbuds which I’m actually still using each day. But, for the past week or so, I’ve also been testing the AUKEY Wireless Headphones. The AUKEY headphones use the ear fan method of securing inside your ear to help ensure they stay put and don’t jostle out from too much activity. During my trek to source the perfect ear buds for exercise a few years ago, this design was favored. And, its still a great design as long as you take the time to fit the headphones properly. Fortunately, AUKEY provides additional fans and ear-tips so you can get the optimum personalized sizing. The sound on ...

Review: ATailorBird 15-inch Laptop Sleeve

Our 3rd oldest just graduated high school and is off to college in a month, and I’ve been trying to decide the best options for protecting his college designated technologies – particularly his laptop and tablet. I know for sure that the laptop will be used for more than just school work, so it will probably take a few hits between day 1 and . I have my eye on a few laptop bags, but in the interim, I’ve been testing a laptop sleeve from ATailorBird that has proven a worthwhile addition and something I feel comfortable sending to college. As you’ll see in the photos below, the ATailorBird 15-inch sleeve is big enough and has enough expanse to transport a laptop and a few other items across campus from the dorm to the classroom. Additionally, its very plush and thickl...