Tech Accessories

Expand your MacBook’s memory with the HyperDrive microSD adapater

For the most part, MacBooks have pretty stellar reputations. That is, of course, until users start to bump up against the storage limits of most of them. With eager consumers being charged crazy prices for more storage at the point of purchase, most opt for the least amount and face headaches down the road when needing more. Cloud storage is an answer, but lots of users like hard data easily accessible without the limits of internet connectivity.

The HyperDrive microSD adapter for the MacBook Pro and Air allow users to easily expand their storage by with any microSD, microSDHC, or microSDXC card. With these cards costing considerably less than brand new hard drives, a product like this is an easy decision. It’s attractive, too, fully blending in with the help of an aluminum cap that sits flush with the laptop. No tools are required to install or take it out, either, so having a collection of cards won’t be an issue.

For the most part, though, similar products exist, so it may be tough for the HyperDrive to gain notice. The Pro and Air versions of the HyperDrive are either $25 or $29, with both expected to be delivered in December 2014. The campaign is looking for $10,000 in funding.


Jolla Tablet fires on competitors with impressive specs, open source OS

Jolla, a company founded by former senior Nokia team members, has made a splash in the smartphone market with its user-focused Jolla Smartphone powered by their proprietary Sailfish OS. The company constantly harps on about the effect user input has on the finished product and this, along with the phone’s Other Half functionality, resonated deeply with users. Now, they’re back at it again and looking for some of that same magic with their Jolla Tablet.

The Jolla Tablet is outfitted with a 7.85″ IPS screen boasting 330 ppi, a quad-core Intel chip, 2GB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera, a 4300mAh battery, and 32GB of storage with expandable microSD memory. However, the Jolla is more than just the sum of its parts. While the tablet does sport specs comparable to leading tablets, its Sailfish OS differentiates itself with gesture controls and full multitasking capabilities unlike those from competing brands, letting users easily control native Android apps or those from the Sailfish OS app store. Jolla’s open source nature and desire to make their products better using suggestions solicited from their users reinforce their people-centric belief and is a far cry from the lockdown-like policies in effect at other companies in the field. The Jolla Tablet clocks in at $209 and is expected to be delivered by May 2015. The campaign goal sits at a lofty $380,000.

The Jolla Tablet is a pretty piece of tablet that can stand up to the giants in the field. Giving exactly what consumers want can never be bad business, so barring poor exposure or lackluster tablet performance, Jolla should be able to sway some over to their ship. Novena is similar in that it gives users the option to create something personal with high-end specs, but with a laptop instead. High power, customized hardware gave the Jolla Smartphone a bit of mindshare, so their tablet should experience similar success.

Tech Accessories

GoDrive lets your phone or tablet read microSD cards

The Achilles heel of most devices is their lack of storage. Even if we find ourselves in 2014 with SD cards that have incredible capacities, our smartphones and other device most likely don’t have more than 64GB — a paltry amount comparatively speaking. In addition, transferring these files from device to device is more of hassle than it should be.

The GoDrive wants to smooth that process out just a bit by offering an extremely portable USB micro SD card reader that works with your smart devices, GoPros, and even drones. To achieve this, the GoDrive is compatible with both USB 2.0 and micro USB connections so that you can easily manage up to 128GB of additional storage on-the-go.

The device’s portability will definitely come in handy, but just don’t go sticking your new toy everywhere without considering a USBCondom first. A donation of $16 will get you a GoDrive in August of 2015. Pilot Electronics, the company behind it, just needs $40,000 to get started.

Cell Phone Accessories

ComboZip zips together USB cables for on-the-go charging, syncing

The Premise. People use their smart phones all day and everyday because they’re convenient. They become inconvenient when the battery dies or when the memory becomes full. Because of this, it is necessary to keep USB cables and even memory cards close at hand to avoid losing important information.

The Product. ComboZip is a bracelet with a built-in USB charger cable and microUSB cable for Android phones. The USB cable has a microSD card inside of it that allows for OTG file transfers on the Android. The bracelet looks like a giant zipper and comes in five vibrant colors: black, blue, pink, yellow and white. But the benefits of the zipper literally extends beyond aesthetics or wearable utility, enabling the cable to join source and target up 40 cm apart. The exterior of the bracelet is made with plastic silicone for a durable, splash-proof product.

The Pitch. ComboZip’s campaign kicks off with a straightforward video of the creator, Gary Lap Kei Tao, talking about what ComboZip is and how to use it. He states several times how fun and fashionable his product is,. but that probably applies only to pre-teens. The rest of the campaign shows the prototyping process, the several different ways to wear ComboZip and the materials used to create the battery-bridging bangle. Gary and his two partners (pictured in unenthusiastic photos) seek  a relatively low £2,000 after canceling a first campaign attempt seeking thrice that amount.

The Perks. For £8, early-bird backers will receive a ComboZip that has only charge/sync functions. For £10, early-bird backers get the ComboZip that has OTG file transfer capabilities. Later backers pay a little more for each version; £10 for the charge/sync ComboZip and £12 for the OTG ComboZip. Estimated delivery is currently set at April 2014.

The Potential. ComboZip makes sense for students and businesspeople who run around all the time with their phones and laptops. Sometimes, it is entirely necessary to recharge or back up important files throughout the day. ComboZip provides a way to carry around a charging/memory cable without it getting all tangled up. As a fashion statement, it’s doubtful that many will want to actually wear ComboZip because it’s a bit clunky and gaudy, though the campaign states it can easily be kept in a bag or clipped onto a backpack. Indeed, it faces plenty of competition from other compact cables such as the most stylish popcord, versatile Torso or jigsaw puzzle piece-like LifeLink as well as many commodity retractables. Younger users into colorful plastic bing may not appreciate ComboZip’s OTG file transfer feature and card reading capability, but its place on a wrist should make it worthy of a Snapchat photo from the mall food court.