It’s no secret that using laptops on your lap, or even directly on a flat surface like a table or a desk, isn’t ergonomically optimal. Easel makes it easier to prop up your 11″ to 17″ notebook comfortably, particularly on the go, thanks to its two-piece bamboo design that splits apart and rests under either side of your device, boosting its screen by a little under 3 inches. Easel’s also lightweight at 5.5 ounces, small enough to stuff into a pack, and clever, clipping together thanks to neodymium magnets on either piece.
Find it at BiteMyApple – $40
In this day and age, choosing a pair of headphones depends as much on your tastes in sound as it does aesthetics. Equally subjective, however, is fit and comfort, and that’s where Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay H2 headphones really shine. These sleek on-ear headphones are held together by a durable, textile-covered composite frame that adapts to the shape of your head, forming a perfect fit within minutes of sliding them on. Importantly, they also boast 40mm drivers in each leather-padded can, an inline 3-button remote with mic, and a lightweight design that stays comfortable all day long.
Preorder on Amazon in three colors – $200
Craving old-school arcade gaming but could do without the bulk of a full-fledged system? Analogue’s Neo is an all-in-one NeoGeo arcade system designed with all of the latter’s original features, including memory card compatibility, an original SNK MV1C motherboard that eschews emulation, genuine Seimitsu Joysticks & buttons for two players, and an ebonized ash cabinet to contain it all. It’s also compatible with modern as well as decades-old televisions thanks to RGB, Component, S-Video, plus Composite connectivity, and ships in time for the holidays, albeit limited to a 20 unit production run.
Learn more at Analogue – $1,500
Going paperless just got easier with Doxie Go Plus. This tiny, standalone scanner hides in your pack or a nook of your desk until called upon, scanning at 300 or 600 dpi when fed paper. Its built-in battery lets you scan up to 300 pages per charge, storing up to 450 on its internal memory (or many more onto an SD card). Then, use Doxie’s included software to create images, multi-page searchable PDFs, send to Evernote/Dropbox/Onenote, and more. And if that’s not enough, try Doxie’s Go Wi-Fi, which boasts four times the memory and WiFi functionality to sync wirelessly to your computer or mobile device.
Learn more at Doxie or preorder at Amazon – $180
We all know a guy who’s a single wire or gadget short of being plugged into the Matrix — you might even see a little bit of that in yourself, and we’re not judging. Granted, modern devices are pricy and go obsolete rather quickly, but a steady stream of new blood keeps The Techie wholly satisfied.
Admittedly, we’re a little blind to our electricity usage. We typically plug things in and round down our estimated cost of running said device to “negligible” since we don’t really know better. Quirky’s Outlink aims to help educate us to our usage, at least for our non-appliance devices. Outlink features one smart outlet (the top one) and one traditional outlet to track energy consumption, turn on and off at the click of a button on Wink’s app, and set up schedules to give greater control over what’s on and when. Granted, it’s just one drop out of the sea of outlets nestled in walls around your home and requires a Wink Relay or Hub to function, but it’s a start.
Preorder at Amazon or Quirky – $50
Apple’s iPhone 6 might bear striking aesthetics, but there’s no denying the thing is slippery. Radius v2 protects your device without covering up its painstakingly designed enclosure. This barely-there case is composed of four machined aluminum corners held together by an X frame, creating an unobtrusive protective perimeter around your device no matter how you lay it down or drop it. It also leaves cellular reception unaltered despite its all-aluminum design, weighs nearly nothing, and finally lets us set our phone down on its back without worrying about its protruding camera.
Grab one at BiteMyApple – $80+
Unsurprisingly, action cams have a way of getting us in the moment. Dive even deeper with Kodak’s PixPro SP360, the first big name action camera to shoot in full 360º glory with its 16 megapixel sensor at up to 1080p and 30fps. The device’s dome-shaped lens captures footage in a variety of immersive modes such as ring, dome, 360º panorama, and simultaneous front 180º / rear 180º, which acts as two ultra wide angle cameras facing both forward and backwards. It’s also rugged with its shockproof enclosure and waterproof case, works with your smartphone (and the 360 Remote Viewer App) just as well as without it, and features motion sensing and time lapse modes for setting and forgetting.
Learn more at Kodak or Amazon – $350 to $400 (with Extreme Pack accessories)
Most smartphone docks aren’t very flexible. They usually won’t fit more than one specific model, need to be held down as the phone is pulled off, and always leave an unsightly trail of wires. Not so with the oak and wool felt Spool Dock, which is compatible with all Lightning iPhone models as well as the iPad Mini and iPod Touch. The trick lies in its low-profile, three contact point docking element that’s adjustable in width to accommodate any device, with or without just about any case. Else, as its name suggests, the dock also features an internal spool that keeps wires no longer than they need be, and boasts a weighty metal base plus micro-suction pads that keep it firmly affixed to your desk for one-handed removal.
Grab one at BiteMyApple – $65
Bose’s SoundLink Color rounds out their portable speaker lineup, bringing a touch of liveliness to their otherwise drab grey and black devices. This compact, lightweight Bluetooth unit weighs just 1.25 pounds and puts out a full, lifelike sound for up to 8 hours per charge. It also pairs easily with voice prompts that talk you through the process, boasts an auxiliary input for wired connections, and comes in 5 colors — Black, White, Mint, Red, and Blue.
Find it at Amazon – $130