First on your phone, tablet, and then television. Now Android’s also on your desk with the Remix Mini Android PC. Remix Mini turns on with a press of its touch sensitive top and runs Remix OS, a custom engineered version of Android Lollipop. Specs include a 64-bit 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 Allwinner processor, 1 to 2GB of RAM, 8 to 16GB of flash storage, and a slew of connectivity including an HDMI 1.4 port, ethernet, two USB 2.0 jacks, a micro SD slot, plus of course both WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. And with over 1.5 million Android apps that only get easier to use with a taskbar, multi-window multitasking and mouse and keyboard support, this thrifty PC is definitely worth a bit of your money.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $30+
Inspired by Eames’ Lounge Chair in both looks and refinement, Davone’s Ray-S Speakers probably sound even better if you’re kicking back in the former. Ray-S’s curved laminations — made of real walnut wood — are stiffer than fiber board and eliminate parallel facing surfaces to reduce inner cancellations, allowing its 8″ hand built woofer along with tweeter and midrange drivers to shine through and produce extremely detailed sound. Each comes mounted on a 1-inch thick water cut steel stand, with a well-researched design that minimizes energy loss of the speaker into the floor it’s standing on.
Learn more at Davone – $8,600
Probably the loudest telephone on Earth thanks to two front-facing speakers, the Android Lollipop-running Marshall London Smartphone is all about facilitating the way you consume and create music on the go. An M-button on top gives you one-click access to your music playback on the fly, even on top of other apps, and unlike all other smartphones its volume is controlled via a precise scroll wheel, perfect for finding that optimal sweet spot of loud but not deafeningly so. It’s also got two 3.5mm stereo jacks each with independent volume control for sharing with a friend, a Cirrus Logic WM8281 Audio Hub with an independent audio processor, Bluetooth aptX support, dual mics for stereo recording, and a global equalizer.
Hit up Marshall Headphones for details – $TBA
Small projectors usually project small images, lest they be too dim (or too low res) to enjoy. The UO Smart Beam Laser Projector uses a laser diode instead of traditional LEDs to drive a LCOS engine and push out a bright 720p projection at up to 100-inches across. Use the HDMI port, Miracast, Airplay, or DLNA to connect your preferred device and fire it up, with built-in speakers or an audio out for bigger sound. And at a size of 2.2-inches cubed, it’s more than small enough to throw in a bag and carry with you anywhere, operating either on its rechargeable lithium-polymer battery or plugged to a wall.
Grab one at Amazon – $425
Apple’s MagSafe adapter was revolutionary, but surprisingly the concept wasn’t carried forward to non-laptop devices. The Znaps Magnetic Adapter does just that for Lightning and Micro USB equipped devices. Plug the tiny connector into your phone or tablet (or camera, etc) and insert the adapter on the head of a Micro USB or Lightning cable. The two sides then connect with a satisfying magnetic snap, offering full charging and data transfer functionality while reducing wear on the port itself.
Learn more at Kickstarter – roughly $9
Your smartphone running out of power is either a drag or liberating, depending on who you’re asking. We’ll side with the former, and so Yolk Solar Paper excites us. Incredibly efficient for its size, Solar Paper comes in 5, 7.5 and 10 watt versions with 2, 3, and 4 panels respectively, though even the 5 watt version can fully charge a smartphone in bright sunlight within roughly two and a half hours. Since the panels are just 0.15-inches thin, they’re small enough to squeeze in between folded pages of a book, with its top segment — which includes an LCD amp meter and the USB output — sticking out. And if you need more power than one panel can manage, snap on extras magnetically, upping output while cutting charge time.
Hit up Kickstarter for details – $70
It comes as nearly no surprise that a bad drop or a hard hit could end your Apple Watch. Designed by Many’s Banded Classic Case for Apple Watch adds seriously dependable protection to the fragile timepiece, ideal for individuals who rough up their products a little more. The case itself is crafted of aerospace aluminum with an inner rubber lining, forming a protruding (and protective) bezel over the screen and a bumper covering the sides — including the button and dial — all without interfering with any of its functions. It’s available in six colors ranging from silver to gun metal to rose gold plated, each coupled to a handsome Italian leather strap.
Check it out at Kickstarter – $90
If you’re willing to compromise on compact size and highly hyped brands the Fluance Fi50 will more than deliver, at least as far as expectations from wireless speakers go. The Fi50 employs an audiophile grade MDF wood cabinet for its touted acoustic properties and sports dual 5-inch full-range woofers plus dual soft dome coaxial tweeters, all powered by a 40 watt amplifier, to deliver serious sound. And while it’s fuelled by a wall outlet instead of batteries — not surprising given its size and power — the Fi50 boasts Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and aptX, delivering solid performance seamlessly from a connected Bluetooth device without having to fiddle with auxiliary cables or leave your smartphone stranded by its side.
Buy one at Amazon – $200
Grado Labs hand built products have been coming out of Brooklyn for over half a century. Surprisingly, the Grado GH1 Heritage Series is their first to be built using wood sourced a fallen maple tree found in Brooklyn — Sunset Park, to be more specific — that would otherwise be turned into furniture. Limited in quantity to the yield of this single tree, these headphones are solidly constructed and output forceful bass, accurate midrange, and impeccable highs. Each also includes a signed letter from Jonathan Grado, making these cans perfect for Grado aficionados looking to immortalize a little piece of Brooklyn that also just so happens to sound amazing.
Pick up a pair at Grado – $650
Most high capacity charge packs are short but bulky. The solar panel-equipped Solartab was designed differently, instead measuring at about the size of a tablet for slipping into a slim backpack unnoticed. Its built-in cover shields it from bumps and bruises when closed and also works as a stand to maximize exposure to sunlight: just choose from three different angles and point it right. It’s also got a massive 13,000mAh lithium-polymer battery for recharging devices several times over, two 2.1A USB outputs for simultaneous charging, and a Micro-USB input to pre-charge it up when waiting for the sun isn’t really an option.
Preorder at Solartab (use code GEAR_HUNGRY_20USD_OFF to save $20) – $120