iSpy: Get plugged in to your techie’s Christmas wish list
by Chris Pittman
cpittman@annistonstar.com
Dec 15, 2013 | 2210 views |  0 comments | 76 76 recommendations | email to a friend | print
1. Bluetune-Bean by Divoom

Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen these days, but Divoom’s Bean puts its competition to shame with a creative new way to stream music.

Bluetooth 3.0 streams tunes at an incredibly high rate with great success. Each pocket-sized speaker has more than 30 feet of wireless connectivity, and the sound quality is incredible.

I was also pleased with how great the speakerphone function works. You can take and make phone calls with crystal-clear audio. A carabineer clip is attached to each speaker for easy toting.

Six color options are available — blue, yellow, pink, red, white and black — to please everyone on your list, girls and guys, the flashy and the understated, and the included clip comes in different colors as well.

Divoom’s Bluetune-Bean is the best Bluetooth speaker I have ever tested. It’s small, easily transportable and has fantastic battery life — an easy stocking stuffer choice for the holidays.

Feel free to blast “Call Me Maybe” on Spotify while walking through Wal-Mart. I’m sure nobody will mind. $29.90, www.divoomusa.com

2. Lithium 4400 Battery Bank by The Power Pot

We’ve all had our phone’s battery die at the absolute worst moment. The Lithium 4400 Battery Bank was created for just such an emergency.

The small device boasts the ability to charge your phone up to three times, no electricity necessary. Simply connect your phone to the Battery Bank and it’ll charge completely within 90 minutes. You can even continue using your phone as it charges.

Each Battery Bank comes with a fast-charge cable that has ports for iOS devices as well as micro and mini USB. The version that I had did not, unfortunately, have a lightning connection cable attachment. However, you can simply use the one that came with your phone and it should work flawlessly.

The product itself is charged via USB hookup to a computer. Most if not all USB wall outlet connection plugs will work as well.

There’s also a lantern mode that shines a bright light for battling the darkness, which offers no real functionality other than helping you see in the dark.

The Lithium 4400 Battery Bank will be a much appreciated gift for anyone who relies on their mobile devices staying full of juice. Simply throw it in a bag or pocket and they’ll never worry about the dreaded dead battery again. $59.99, www.thepowerpot.com

3. Portable Projector by Favi Entertainment

Favi’s Portable Projector is one of the more interesting products I’ve seen in some time. The image quality is fantastic, especially when you consider it’s a projector with a price tag under $1,000.

The machine has plethora input and output methods including HDMI, USB, component, AV, VGA and S-Video.

Each unit comes complete with a remote control and cables. A screen for showing in areas without a blank white wall is sold separately.

Favi claims the bulb lamp has a life of 20,000 hours, but this was not something I could test to completion.

This projector is perfect for anyone on your list with an upcoming tailgate party. Alabama and Auburn have huge matchups coming up, and this is the perfect product for entertainment before the gates open.

I also see immense value in the Favi projector for traveling business associates. They can combine it with an Apple TV hooked up via HDMI to AirPlay presentations no matter the situation. Plus, the small footprint makes it easy to carry on a car or plane trip.

Anyone looking for a mobile projector would be hard pressed to find a better deal than Favi’s newest model. The price tag is fantastic and the build quality is superb. $299.99, www.favientertainment.com

4. Viper Hardcase 11 by Booq

Booq’s latest case is one of the best I’ve seen for multiple device users. The Viper Hardcase 11 was created as the perfect travel companion for the 11-inch MacBook Air, a purpose it serves without problem — but it can also handle a bit more.

The case features zippers across the middle that opens up clamshell-style. Pockets on both sides provide a safe haven for the MacBook Air. I’ve actually been using it to hold my notebook computer and an iPad. This becomes a little difficult if you need to carry the cables for the devices, but you can still safely zip the case up with both inside. There are no handles, which is a bit of a disappointment.

The multi-functionality allows the Viper to be the only case you need in many situations, but handles would make it easier to tote around. The case’s minimalistic body does make it easy to throw into a bag, though.

Booq’s Viper Hardcase 11 is a fantastic companion to toting your computer or mobile device. The durable design and affordable price make for an easy recommendation. $49.99, www.booqbags.com

Contact Chris Pittman at cpittman@annistonstar.com.
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iSpy: Get plugged in to your techie’s Christmas wish list by Chris Pittman
cpittman@annistonstar.com

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