The use of laptop stands has greatly improved this writer’s workplace posture. Only one issue: it took two, plus a thick book, to get the screen to the right height. The new Roost Laptop Stand 2 gets it done single handedly, and is portable to boot. Roost is compatible with all laptops with a front edge of less than 0.75″ thick — essentially all of them — and folds or unfolds with a single linear motion, collapsing down to a sleek 1″ x 1″ x 13″ package to slip away in a backpack. Once set up, it securely grips your notebook computer using its Pivoting Grip mechanism and quickly adjusts in height anywhere from six to eleven inches. It’s also made durable of glass-fiber reinforced nylon plus Delrin and is fitted with high-tack, non-marking thermoplastic elastomer feet to stay firmly planted in place.
Pledge for one at Kickstarter – $50
Our individual tastes in music differ, but software solutions like equalizers can only do so much while popular bass-heavy headphones only suit a certain subset of listeners. So instead of a one-size-fits-all solution, Axel Modular Headphones are offered as one of three specifically engineered “Soundscapes”: Deep, Pure, and Core, each distinct in inner hardware and thus adept at reproducing audio optimally over several music genres. Selecting the most appropriate Soundscape for your listening preferences is mindless if you use Spotify and still straightforward if not — just plug in a few of your favorite artists. Then, build your Modular Headphones to your liking by choosing on-ear or over-ear cups, a headband, and headband insert. They fold for portability and include a universal in-line mic for conveniently answering calls.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $125+
Phone battery keeps copping out and your portable backup charge is never with you when it happens? Make sure it is next time with Unikia’s Seyvr Wallet. This black or tan leather trifold wallet holds 6 cards, cash, and 1,400mAh of power thanks to an integrated Li-Po battery. It also boasts a built-in Lightning or MicroUSB cable to recharge your device and can be recharged itself using its pop-out USB plug.
Find it at Seyvr – roughly $67 to $80 [via]
For all their design prowess, Apple sure did put the back button on most iPhone apps out of reach, particularly on the new, bigger devices. The Halo Back Smart Screen Protector promises to add an Android-esque back button to the left of the home button without the need for powered electronics. While it seems impossible, the theory is actually simple: a transparent circuit layer added to the back side of the Halo Back leads current from your finger to the upper left corner of the screen where the UI’s back button traditionally resides, triggering it remotely but in much the same way that a normal touch would. And, importantly, it also functions as a decent screen protector, offering high clarity tempered glass, scratch resistance, and a feel that closely mimics that of the screen below it.
Find it at Kickstarter – $17
USB outlets are easy to find if you’re at your desk. On the sofa? Not the case, unless you’ve got a Couchlet between the cushions. Shaped like a wedge, Couchlet stably nests between cushions, mostly out of sight and mind until called upon to charge your phone, tablet, or console controller. It works with your existing wall charger thanks to the included removable 6 foot long USB cable, charges two devices thanks to dual USB ports, and sports a fold out arm that even lets you wedge it vertically under a mattress or couch cushion.
Learn more at Indiegogo – $16
Intricacy stripped down to its essence, JAYS’ u-JAYS On-Ear Headphones were designed with providing detailed acoustics and lasting comfort in mind; the fact that they also look good is simply function projecting form. Each cup boasts 40mm dynamic neodymium drivers within 360° vented enclosures and behind viscoelastic ear cushions that conform to the shape of your ears while worn and create a tight, fitting seal to reduces sound leakage. They also feature a replaceable three-button remote cable, a spring steel headband for a balanced fit, and core parts made of stainless steel to better withstand everyday wear and tear.
Coming in Q3. Learn more at JAYS – $200
Smartphones are ludicrously distracting. Occasionally disconnect with the Light Phone, a 4mm slim, credit card-shaped phone that does nothing but make and receive calls. Each Light Phone includes its own SIM card, comes pre-charged with 500 minutes, and includes an app to use with your existing phone for forwarding your normal number. It also comes unlocked, lasts for up to 20 days on a single charge, and stores up to 10 speed dial numbers in memory. And, optimistically, it can even slip away inside your wallet, freeing up another pocket.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $100
With their rigid incompatibilities or, worse, swappable inserts, we’ve never been a fan of Apple’s docks. Until the iPhone Lightning Dock. This clean, white slab boasts a slightly reclined Lightning plug and no recession whatsoever to cradle your phone, making it compatible with every past, present, and future Lightning-equipped iPhone. The backside also features a Lightning input to which to plug for power and sync, plus a single 3.5mm auxiliary port to connect to speakers for playing music.
Find it at Apple – $39
With their large, power-hungry displays and small batteries, most smartphones struggle to run for more than a day on one charge. The Android-running YotaPhone 2 takes a different route to extending battery life, instead combining both a traditional LCD screen with a power-sipping Electronic Paper Display, or EPD, on the flip side. This touchscreen-capable EPD makes possible 5 days of reading time on a charge and also doubles as a customizable dashboard to show you your email, music, calendar, stocks, twitter feed, and more at a quick glance. YotaPhone 2 also comes unlocked, includes all expected modern connectivity and features (plus GLONASS), and sports durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on both sides.
Preorder at Indiegogo – $525
Hard drives are delicate. Shield them with the G-Technology G-DRIVE ATC, an all-terrain case and drive solution that can withstand shock, dust, pressure, and even water. The included 7200rpm drive offers thunderbolt connectivity for blazing fast transfer speeds, though removing the drive — which can be done rapidly thanks to the handy side mounted clip system — also exposes USB 3.0 and a typical SATA interface for more options.
Grab one at Amazon – $230 [via]