Cell Phone Accessories Displays

NexDock looks like a laptop, but it’s powered by your smartphone

Manufacturers keep trying to make laptop computers that are more affordable for consumers.

NexDock is a new twist on that concept –- a docking station made up of a 14-inch monitor with a built-in battery and a full-size, Bluetooth keyboard that works with Microsoft’s Windows 10 Continuum feature for mobile phones and tablets. The result is basically a laptop that’s powered by a smartphone or a tablet at a fraction of the price of a traditional laptop.

Video Games

GPD Win palmtop offers modern PC games and apps to go

Many people rely on PCs to get important work done wherever they are, but don’t necessarily want to drag around a laptop everywhere they go. After all, a laptop can’t fit in anybody’s pocket. Many PC gamers, meanwhile, would also like to carry around their computers to play games wherever they are, but face the same issue.

GPD Win is a 5.5-inch Windows 10 PC that includes a keyboard and traditional game controls, along with a 1280 x 720 HD display. The pocket-sized device also touts an Intel Atom Cherry Trail X5-Z8550 quad-core processor. It can be connected to a TV using a Mini HDMI cable and wireless controller (both not included).


Recoil Power Maze cuts the cord clutter

Life today comes with strings attached. And those strings are cords that plug into the wall. While some devices are going cordless, laptops, monitors, modems, and phones all need to be plugged into the wall. This leads to an unpleasant tangle of cords below the desk that no one wants to see or deal with.

The Power Maze gets the cords off the floor and organizes them on the top of a desk or table. It’s designed to fit a full-sized power strip and up to fifty feet of cords. Plug into the power strip as normal, then wrap the cords around the “Cord Lock Patches”. These spaces have alternating polyethylene protrusions that hold the cords in place. The Power Maze also has space in the sleek design to house the large blocks that come on many laptop chargers to protect from power surge. The campaign hopes to raise $40,000 by August 17, 2015, and is selling the Power Maze for $40, with expected delivery in October 2015.

The Power Maze is great for fixed objects like desktop PCs, but might not be very practical for anything you might need to charge on the go like a laptop given the amount of wrapping around that has to happen to fit the cords inside the small box.



Slidenjoy gives your laptop multiple slide-out screens

Today, laptops can do just about everything that a desktop computer was once able to to do. But there are still a few differences. For one, monitors on desktop computers tend to be larger, offering more space to work. And advanced users often connect two or even three monitors to extend their work space even further.

That’s not something that’s been practical on laptop monitors despite the availability of many portable displays. However, Slidenjoy is hoping to ease the task. The product sits behind a laptop screen and makes one or two extra HD displays available, allowing up to three including the one built into the laptop. They are connected via USB using a standard called DisplayLink.


Remix tablet offers a cure to Android users with Surface envy

When it comes to traditional laptop-style computing, Google has pushed Chromebooks for the world of keyboards and mice. Nonetheless, some companies such as HP have taken a few stabs at putting Android in a 2-in-1 laptop-style device.

Now, Beijing-based Jide Tech is looking to infuse Android into a device that’s a dead ringer for the Microsoft Surface with Remix. Like Microsoft’s spin on a tablet-laptop hybrid, the 11,.6″ Remix has a kickstand and a removable cloth-textured keyboard/trackpad cover that attaches via magnets. And the similarity doesn’t end there. The company has added the ability to run apps in windows as well as a Windows-like file manager and taskbar.

Jide Tech seeks $100,000 by April 24 and the Remix is available in limited quantities at prices up to $349. A ridiculous $39 early bird sold out quickly. Units are expected to be delivered by May 2015 and the company assures that the product is already in production in China and it simply needs to bring it to the U.S. and other markets.  What appeared to be a simultaneous campaign on Indiegogo turned out to be fraudulent and has been removed.

As noted, Android-based keyboard devices have not seen the level of success that Chromebooks have despite having so many apps available. It’s also somewhat surprising that the new device wlll not have the latest version of Android — Lollipop — that is rolling out to new devices. While the Remix  was a clear value-based alternative to the Surface Pro, the recent introduction of the Surface 3 at $499 makes the original far more competitive although that price doesn’t include the Type Cover.


Librem 15 open source laptop keeps your digital life liberated with quality parts

Ever since revelations of spying corporate and governmental have become widespread, the tech scene has become a hotbed for the privacy issue. For the most part, though, everything is business as usual. There are choices, but they either treat privacy with the same attitudes, or don’t and offer hardware that isn’t up to snuff. Hobbyists can build their own computers, but even loose components can have shady links to the companies that made them.

The Librem 15 is letting users have their cake and eat it too. Each and every single piece of hardware is specially selected to make sure it is completely devoid of any unknown code, because the company believes in respecting the fundamental right to privacy people have. The Librem 15 combines an open source approach with high-end, quality parts. The laptop runs with the best of them, sporting a 15″ 1920×1080 screen, a 720p camera, an 8 core Intel i7, 4GB of ram, 500GB of storage, 3 USB 3.0 slots, an SDXC slot, and a CD/DVD-rom driveand it all weighs in at 4.4lbs.

Compared to products like the Novena, the Librem 15 is the pretty much the sleekest, most powerful Linux-based laptop available, and its price reflects that. But as there’s a market for high-end Apple laptops, there is sure to be one for a high-end open source laptop, too. The earliest birds can grab a base model for $1,149, while those later on can spend upwards of $1,899 for the same. Purism is looking for $250,000 in funding to have the laptop shipped by July 2015.


Twist caps the MacBook wall adapter, offers USB charging

Keeping mobile devices charged while overseas can be a challenge when one doesn’t have the right adapter. Twist offers users the opportunity to keep everything juiced up in over 150 countries. The charger twists to offer the appropriate plug, and then the user has four USB charging ports available for use. Its unique design makes it a more stable option, especially in older, worn out outlets.

The product is specifically intended for MacBook only, and it appears as if there is only one spot on the adapter for non-mobile device power, a definite drawback. The folks at OneAdaptr would do well to consider adding other models of laptops into the mix to make their product more versatile. Twist is reminiscent of the PlugBug, but offers more options in its usage. This campaign seeks to raise $30,000 CAD (~$26,300 USD) by December 19, 2014. For $22 CAD, (~$19 USD) backers get one product with an expected delivery of February 2015.

Tech Accessories Technology

Dragonfly Futurefon blends Android, Windows, tablets, folding keyboards, insanity

We live in an amazing age where communication, information, productivity, and entertainment are never far away thanks to laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Yet, for reasons beyond explanation, we somehow have a need for all three, each offering a slight edge over the other two but feeling incomplete all the same.

The Dragonfly Futurefon by Idealfuture is a product that is attempting to merge these similar tech niches into one single device. Folding, twisting, and transforming, the Dragonfly can function as a standalone phone, fold out into a tablet display, or flip again to provide a full keyboard and a dual screen display in a single portable device. The Dragonfly comes in two versions: one that runs entirely on Android and one that splits the Slingshot (the detachable phone) onto Android and the base on Windows, creating a dual OS device that can sync up to a single OS when connected together.

The Dragonfly offers all of this without missing key elements as well, with an illuminated keyboard, slide out touch pad beneath that, smart pen that nests perfectly in the device’s side, and all manner of charging ports. Even with those ports, it only takes one cord to charge the Dragonfly when the Slingshot is connected. Idealfuture is asking for $10,000 to show interest in their design and make a statement to existing mobile manufacturers. Models start at $300.

Taking just a short look at the Dragonfly makes it hard not to see the future in this all-in-one approach, much like Microsoft’s Surface managed to blend two products together. At the same time, having to fold the device this way and that, connect or disconnect the Slingshot, and keep track of all the different options make the Dragonfly somewhat daunting. It would be a little easier to believe in the Dragonfly if they were closer to actual production. Purely on speculation however, there’s a lot here to be excited for.

Displays Tech Accessories

Packed Pixels adds extra displays to your sadly single-screened laptop

Extra monitors at a workstation seems like the height of excess at first glance, but once a second screen has been added for work or play, going back to a single-screen setup is like riding a moped. Unfortunately, laptop users have to deal with this situation every day on the road, unless they pick up Packed Pixels. Packed Pixels is a combination of quality technology and good old-fashioned simple rigging. Using brackets and an elastic strap, Packed Pixels wraps around the back of any laptop screen. From there, the included screen can be mounted and plugged in on either side of the device’s existing screen.

A third screen can be added as well if the laptop supports it, creating a sort of cockpit effect of one main screen flanked by two smaller screens. The displays themselves use the same technology as Apple’s retina displays and are up to the task of streaming video or even playing games. Packed Pixels is created by Dovetail Technology, who is asking for £60,000 (~$94,000) to attract suppliers and handle moulding and testing. Supporters in need of an extra screen can strap one on for £120 (~$194) in May 2015.

Tech Accessories

Reversible USB Adapter lets you be smug about your plug

The tyranny of the USB port has finally come to an end with the Reversible USB Adapter. There are no surprises here: the product does exactly what it says. Attach it to any USB connection to instantly tame its fickleness and reclaim the few hours out of the year spent trying to jostle those connections into place. With so much time spent trying to do such an inane task, it sure is welcome. This adapter is part of trend of making what used to be a daily headache just a bit easier to handle: just compare this adapter’s good deeds with what the Super Motor USB Flash Drive does for storage. With both of these products, the utility is certainly there — it just needs to make sure it’ll last. If not, what would be the point of purchasing one now with the advent of USB 3.0? The Reversible USB Adapter is priced at just $7, while the campaign itself is looking for $10,000 to relieve your connection woes. Backers can expect this cure-all by December 2014.