Posts Tagged Hardware

Griffin Moto TC Rally – App Controlled RC Car Review

A fun gift for the kid of any age. Who doesn't like a remote controlled car?

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Seagate Wireless Plus 1T Wireless Hard Drive Review

A fantastic drive for those willing to give up physical size and deal with a couple hiccups for storage space. This 1TB drive holds hundred of movies all streamable to any iOS device with the Seagate Media app.

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Olloclip 3-in-1 Macro Lens for iPhone 5 Review

A great creative lens set from Olloclip. Will be great for creative photographers and others looking to get a lot closer to their subjects.

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Those out there who are familiar with Apple’s movements around this time of year will know that we’re just a few days out from Apple’s annual one-day only Black Friday shopping event. Set to kick-off this Friday, November 29, the day will mark one of the only times in the year that Apple offers significant discounts on its many hardware products – both online and through its physical retail stores.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 15.44.31While specifics on what hardware we might expect to be discounted come this Friday are still a little sketchy, we can take a quick look at the company’s Black Friday events held in previous years for clues as to what type of discounts shoppers should expect to see emerge towards the end of this week.

Last year for example, we saw the firm drop its iPad with Retina Display by a cool $41. Meanwhile, the iPod touch 4th Generation was slashed by $21, the iPad 2 saw an average drop of $31, and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display was available for $101 less than its usual retail price.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 16.22.43

[image credit: MacRumors]

As significant as some of the above discounts may sound though, Apple is almost always beaten in its online holiday discounts by third-party vendors. One of those third-party vendors is Target, who will be offering shoppers a free $75 gift card with any purchase of Apple’s iPad mini ($279), and the chance to bag themselves a free $100 gift card with the purchase of any iPad, (including the iPad 2 – which starts at $399), when doors finally open this Thursday. The retailer will also be offering $30 gift cards for those who purchase the iPhone 5S (staring at $180) with a 2 year contract.

target_black_friday_ipadsRetailer Walmart will be running a similar promotion, seeing all shoppers receive a free $75 gift card with the purchase of either an iPhone 5C ($45, with a 2 year contract) or iPhone 5S ($189, with a 2 year contract). Meanwhile, if you opt to buy Apple’s original iPad mini (without “Retina” display), you could even grab yourself a free $100 gift card.

The last of the biggest retailers – Best Buy – will be offering Apple’s iPhone 5C for the lowest upfront cost we’ve been able to find at just $48 (a $51.99 savings). The firm will also be slashing the cost of Apple’s just-launched 16 GB iPad Air to $450, providing a super-neat saving of $50.

Other smaller retailers, such as RadioShack, will open their doors at 8AM. The purchase of Apple’s iPhone 5S, (starting at $200 with a 2 year contract), will see you receive a free $50 gift card, while opting for the iPhone 5C – (starting at $50 with a 2 year contract) – will also see you receive a free $50 gift card. Pick up an Apple TV for $100 on your way and you’ll get a free $20 gift card. Plus, those looking for some extra in-store credit to spend on even more Black Friday deals will probably appreciate the chance to bag a $10 RadioShack gift card with the purchase of any $50 iTunes Card. Those looking for some added protection to add to their iOS devices might also be pleased to hear that RadioShack will be offering 30% off all Zagg Screen Protectors, and a further 10% off all Otterbox cases.

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 16.18.17Sam’s Club will be opening its doors for black Friday super-early, this year. 7 AM to be exact. If you get down there quick though, you might just be able to bag yourself a few $100 iTunes Cards for $79.88 each.

The lowest prices for iOS devices available for Black Friday 2013 are listed below.


Continue reading Don’t Miss Apple’s One-Day Shopping Event – This Friday, November 29 »

MOGA Ace Power Gamepad Review

The first official MFi gamepad is here, from the maker of the best Android gamepad on the market, but does this gamepad make the grade?

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Sandisk Connect Wireless Media Drive and Flash Drive Review – Portable Wireless Media Storage for iOS Devices

These little devices help alleviate the problem of having an always-full iPad. Offloading large movies to this device, they can then be shared amongst multiple devices.

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Sonos Play:1 Review – Top Streaming Music System Gets Affordable and Maintains Amazing Sound

The Sonos system is the number one choice for music playing in the home. It's super flexible, sounds great, and can go in any room in the house.

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MOGA’s new MFi controller, the MOGA Ace Power, is set to offer full console-style controls for your iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, and iPod 5th generation. It comes with dual analog sticks, a d-pad, action buttons, and L1/R1 L2/R2 shoulder buttons. It also features MOGA Boost: an internal battery which helps power your phone while you play, extending the battery life so you can enjoy all your favorite games for a longer period of time. Pretty nifty, yes?

The early reviews are good, but not great. CNET mentions that it “feels more like a $50 device than a $100 one.” Don’t be too excited yet, even the developers that have added support for controllers haven’t had time to test their games with an actual controller. Pocket Gamer reports “Judging by games like Trouserheart and Into the Dead, which are supposed to have controller support but barely even work in practice, it’s clear that developers need more time with the actual hardware to get their games feeling good.

The MOGA Power Ace should be available for pre-order this week at mogaanywhere.com and will reportedly cost $99.

MOGA_ACE_POWER_sliced

via: Pocket Gamer source: MOGA

NeatConnect Cloud Scanner Review

A great document scanner for people wanting to go paperless. Either with or without the NeatCloud service it's quick, accurate, and flexible.

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Olloclip Quick-Flip Case Review

The Quick-Flip case from Olloclip is a case that allows use of the Olloclip lens without removing the whole case.

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Automatic: Your Smart Driving Assistant is now available in over 250 Apple retail stores for $99.95. It’s a device that attaches to your car and teams up with your iPhone to help with all of your driving habits. This means it can help you save gas, decode and clear the check engine light, and remember where you parked. It can also detect a crash and automatically call for help and alert loved ones. The best part, it’s all subscription free.

“Apple sets a high bar for the quality of products they carry in their stores. We’re thrilled to make Automatic available to the millions of people who trust Apple to curate beautiful and easy to use products,” said Thejo Kote, CEO and co-founder of Automatic, in a press release.

via: Automatic

Anki Drive is set to release next week, October 23rd, bringing artificial intelligence and robotics to your living room. It’s a video game in the real world, and can be purchased in Apple stores for $199. Players can use their iOS device to control their character’s position, speed, weapons, and more as they compete against other players or against an AI car.

“Anki Drive in its current form would never have been possible five years ago. We’ve been able to take advantage of a unique ecosystem of components that are more capable and affordable than ever before, and benefit from the prevalence of powerful mobile devices. Even with this, it required a great deal of exploration and creativity to combine such diverse technologies to enable a truly intelligent product, at a tiny fraction of the cost typically seen in robotics.” said Boris Sofman, co-founder and CEO of Anki, in a press release.

Check out the video below to see just what is possible with Anki Drive!

Dodocase Folio for iPad mini Review

The Dodocase Folio for iPad mini is a impeccably-made protective and functional case for the iPad mini.

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Sonos Controller for iPad puts new features at your fingertips in its latest update. You are now able to play and pause music with the push of a single button, and press the button twice to skip to the next track. Another feature makes it easier for you to control Sonos from multiple households without the need to reset the controllers.

Lastly, Sonos has released PLAY:1, a mini wireless speaker with quality sound that you can control through the controller app. PLAY:1 can be purchased for $199, putting the sound of music in any location inside your home.

Dodo Leather Wallet for iPhone 5/5s Review

The Leather Wallet case for iPhone 5/5S from Dodo is a very sturdy portfolio-style case with an extra insert on the front for credit card storage. In spite of the name, it is only partially made of leather. The back is made with a thick cardboard and plastic frame. The result is a super heavy duty iPhone wallet. Highly Recommended.

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earHero Headphones Review

When safe earphone use is a concern, and it probably should be in more instances than we normally make it, earHero is a great option as it allows users to monitor surrounding sounds as well as output from an iPhone. The downside is that they are not really great for music due to their tinny sound.

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ZaggKeys Cover Keyboard Case for iPad mini Review

The best iPad mini keyboard case I've ever tried. There are still problems, but this case gets so many things right they are easy to ignore.

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Dodo Hardcover for iPhone 5/5S Review

The Hardcover from Dodo is a well built, sturdy portfolio type case for the iPhone 5 or 5S. It feels good in the hand and does a good job of protecting the iPhone when in a pocket or bag. Highly Recommended.

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Wahoo Fitness is terribly close to bringing their RFLKT+, the enhanced device that turns an iPhone into an advanced bike computer, to fruition thanks to Kickstarter. With the campaign over on Friday, September 20th, the team took time to answer my questions about the RFLKT+ and how it improves over the original RFLKT accessory.

RFLKTPlus-1148Apps: What are you trying to do with the RFLKT+? How are you trying to improve it over the RFLKT?
Wahoo Fitness (WF): The RFLKT+ adds in ANT+ connectivity. ANT+ is used in over 60 million devices on the market and is the current standard for wireless technology in the cycling industry. Most cyclists are currently riding with some sort of ANT+ device, whether it be heart rate, speed and cadence, or power. RFLKT+ gathers all this info via ANT+ and then using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sends the data to the iPhone and integrates it into your cycling App. The iPhone combines the ANT data with GPS info and then BLE’s it back to your handlebar mounted RFLKT+.

148Apps: For those who aren’t well-versed in the specific protocols, why should cyclists, even those already using RFLKT, be excited about RFLKT+ and the ANT+ protocol?
WF: It connects the iPhone to basically every cycling sensor on the market. Whether it be BLE or ANT+ the RFLKT+ will harness that data and put it to use in your app and on your handlebars. Makes it extremely easy to get everything you need pre, post, and during your ride all in one place on the iPhone. By allowing cyclists to leave the iPhone, screen off and in the jersey pocket, you keep it safe and save your battery.

RFLKTPlus-3
148Apps: Why turn to Kickstarter to fund the RFLKT+?
WF: It presents an amazing opportunity that you rarely have, to validate demand prior to hitting market. The Kickstarter community provides high level and immediate feedback for your product and your company. It’s one thing if Wahoo thinks they’ve come up with a great idea, it’s another for Wahoo to have thousands of outsiders say prior to the product hitting shelves ‘Yes we want that!’. Two, it also provided a chance for Wahoo to reach beyond the target consumer and out to a more broad group that will also have an important use for Wahoo products.

148Apps: How much does trying to promote and appeal to backers for a fitness Kickstarter compare to other types of Kickstarters, if you’ve researched this? Was the success of something like the Pebble an inspiration to go with crowdfunding?
WF: Yes. The Pebble watch kind of put Kickstarter on the map. Its very enticing to think that something can just really hit like the Pebble. Definitely with being something specific to cyclist, you do limit yourself a little more than a smartwatch or say a Bluetooth speaker. But in general cool, smart technology seems to resonate with people on KS.

RFLKTPlus-2
148Apps: As a company working in the field of fitness technology, how much has the market changed since you launched RFLKT, both in a business and a consumer sense? Where do you see the future going?
WF: It’s changing everyday. Sleeker wearables, more data, and most importantly “valuable” data will shape the future. Its not tracking everything, its tracking the data that helps you reach your goals and tracking it in the most seamless way possible. Most people are already running and riding with their iPhone, why also have a $500+ bike computer? The iPhone is the most powerful bike computer on the market when paired with our tools. Harness that power and get your music, text, calls, fitness info, cycling data and run log all-in-one place. No need for syncing, transferring, etc. The iPhone is with you all the time anyway, might as well put it to work.

Thanks to the team at Wahoo Fitness for their time.

IK Multimedia is at it again with yet another device that fits the needs to musicians who are on the go. The iRig Pro is an all-in-one universal audio/MIDI interface for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac that allows musicians to connect their mics, guitars, line instruments, or MIDI devices while on the road. This means you can record vocals, harmonies, acoustic instruments, electric bass or guitar, and more without having to adjust the interface.

iRigPro

via: iRig PRO

traceActiveReplay is trying to provide “action sports” enthusiasts with the kind of data collection most runners and bikers have been making use of for years already. Their answer to the problem? A (almost fully-funded) Kickstarter campaign for Trace.

Think of Trace as a kind of advanced pedometer. It’s packed with all kinds of sensors that allow it to track complex movements such as a snowboarder catching air off a jump or surfer taking sharp turns in the water. The tiny device simply snaps on to a mount that can be installed on a skateboard, surfboard, snowboard, or skis. Then you just go out and do your thing while it collects all the data. Once you’re finished, just open up one of the three free apps for Skate, Surf, or Snow and all the information from your session will be displayed automatically. It even shares that info online so you can compare your own speed, height, and so on with other users from around the world.

As of now, Trace is well over two-thirds of the way to reaching its $150,000 goal with 9 days remaining. If you’re into any (or all) of these action sports, or if you know someone who is, it might not be a bad idea to stop by ActiveReplay’s Kickstarter page and contribute.

trace2

Tech Specs
– Bluetooth 4.0
– 2.0 inches diameter, 0.86 inches tall
– 7 hour rechargeable battery
– Mounts to any hard surface
– Durable, Shockproof, Waterproof
– Ridiculously adhesive
– Exports GPX data

source: Kickstarter

I have very fond memories of seeing the sights of the world through a View-Master, with its fancy stereoscopic imagery. In a way, that’s the sort of thing that Poppy is set to offer, with the added bonus of users being able to create and share their own 3D videos, rather than be constricted to pieces of cardboard acting as film.

poppy

It’s the brainchild of Joe Heitzeberg and Ethan Lowry. Both previously have a solid background in software, with Ethan having co-founded Urbanspoon, and Joe establishing Snapvine and MediaPiston, but this is their first step into physical products.

“I’ve always been interested in products that let people express themselves and be creative,” explained Ethan. “At the same time, I love how the Viewmaster lets you lose yourself in another world. Poppy really came out of a desire to let people capture and share their own experiences in that same immersive way.”

It’s certainly proven to be a wise idea, given that Poppy hit its Kickstarter goal of $40,000 in less than 9 hours. As Ethan told us, “The success on Kickstarter has definitely exceeded our expectations. We’re thrilled that there will be thousands of people with a Poppy. [We] can’t wait to see how they use it.”

Sketches of the Design's Evolution

Sketches of the Design’s Evolution

The excitement is understandable, too. Poppy is set to be an inexpensive solution for those who love the look of technology such as the Oculus Rift, but not the price. Currently, for Kickstarter backers, Poppy only costs $49 with the full retail price set to be a respectable $69.

Despite that low price, Poppy looks like it’s going to offer a lot of functionality. A matter of placing one’s iPhone inside the device, the Poppy’s mirrors capture two stereographic images with the iPhone’s camera, before combining them into a single 3D video. It’s clever stuff, indeed.

Besides the photographic potential, users will be able to take in 3D imagery, such as the 3D videos available on YouTube, with future possibilities in the realm of augmented reality and in the use of other 3D applications. Indeed, numerous game developers have expressed an interest in the technology, so there’s the hope that Poppy could be used as part of a virtual reality world game in the future.

whitepoppy

Currently, there’s still a little time to order the Poppy at the Kickstarter promotional price of $49 plus shipping, but for those who miss out on the offer (the campaign ends on Friday), Ethan told us that a pre-order system should be up after it ends. Bear in mind though, the price will be higher at $69 and Kickstarter backers will be shipped to first. The current plan is that Poppys will be shipped to backers around November/December time, with pre-orders to be shipped after that time.

Learn more about the project at the campaign page, and we’ll be sure to keep an eye on the Poppy’s progress in the future.

Besides there being something intrinsically cool about having a projector and showing off imagery on a huge screen, it’s also immensely useful for a variety of different purposes. Portability isn’t a projector’s strong point, though. At least, that is until Bem Wireless came along with their new product: the Kickstand.

kickstandconcept

Currently, and rather appropriately, part of a Kickstarter campaign, the high-definition projector is both portable and packs quite a punch. It’s set to offer 720p resolution, with it possible to view media almost 96 inches across from 10 feet away. More conveniently, the light source used to project images will boast a 20,000+ hour lifespan, which should prove plenty of time for its users.

There’ll be an assimilated remote control too, doubling up as a lens cover for convenience and functionality. Connectivity is assured, as well, courtesy of an HDMI port, USB port and Auxiliary Audio Out.

The Kickstarter campaign has 17 days to go to reach its $100,000 goal. It’s a little distant at the moment, but for those keen to pledge, there’s quite a significant discount involved. Set to usually retail at $799, those who pledge now can get one for $750, along with a limited edition embroidered bag and a Bem t-shirt.

kickstand1

Mike Nakamura, co-founder of Bem Wireless, told us how going the Kickstarter route seemed like “a very interesting channel to speak to the consumer”, citing the “real passion” amongst those who get involved with the site. That passion is something that’s clearly come through in the design process at Bem, given the 5 months of “high energy” work it took to achieve the stylish look for the projector, and the strong focus on being inspired by what “made sense from a portability factor [as well as] ease of use”.

Bem Wireless seem pretty confident that regardless of what happens with the Kickstarter, the Kickstand will go ahead. As Mike put it, “One way or the other, I believe it will get to the consumer!” For those keen, though, I’d recommend taking the plunge now. The discounts available through pledging are quite good for a potentially invaluable device, both for business and personal purposes. Lower pledges can also reap users some great mobile speakers, as well as helping towards the Kickstand.

kickstand2

The Kickstarter currently has just over 2 weeks to run with plenty of useful backing options to consider. We just can’t resist cool looking product design here, so we’ll be sure to keep an eye on its progress. Check out the prototype testing video below.

IK Multimedia already offers a plethora of great products for iOS device-owning musicians. Now, the firm has extended that selection with the introduction of five new accessories as part of the iKlip range.

In each case, the new iKlip models provide ways in which to mount and position the iPad or iPad mini, thereby enabling users to operate devices hands-free as well as set up the perfect viewing angle towards a microphone stand, tabletop or anything else of use in the studio. It’s the kind of solution that’s ideal for presentations as well as music studio work, or just around the home.


The iKlip 2 offers such a solution for iPad users, enabling them to attach any type of iPad (from the 2nd generation and later) to a microphone stand securely, as well as be able to adjust the device to just the right viewing angle. For iPad mini users, there’s the iKlip 2 for iPad mini, offering the same potential.


Tabletop stands are also available in separate iPad and iPad Mini versions, with the iKlip Stand making things much simpler. It’s the ideal stand for connecting the iPad above the desktop so that it’s easy to position equipment, such as a musical keyboard or mixer underneath, but it can also be used in the home. Too small an office desk to fit all the devices easily? Use the iKlip Stand to solve such a problem and revel in the extra space!


The iKlip Studio offers a similar solution but is specifically designed for use on flat surfaces, and aimed at those apps that require “energetic tapping and beat making”, tying in nicely with the many DJ based apps already out there. Non-slip rubber grip feet, as well as adjustable viewing angles keep the iPad safe and secure, plus it folds flat, lending itself perfectly to easy storage.

The iKlip 2 for iPad and iKlip 2 for iPad mini will be priced at $39.99 or €29.99 excluding tax, while the iKlip Stand for iPad and iKlip Stand for iPad mini will be $59.99/€49.99. The iKlip Studio for iPad mini is priced at $29.99/€24.99.

We’re big fans of IK Multimedia’s accessories and I suspect these new iKlips will be quite the hit when they ship during the first quarter of 2013.

When a week starts off with New Year’s Eve, it’s bound to be a good one, and this week was no exception at 148Apps.com. Site founder Jeff Scott started us off with a bang by saying, “We are proud to announce the nominees for the fifth annual Best App Ever Awards. The awards that celebrate the best apps available, not just the best selling. This year we saw an amazing response with over 715,000 nominations submitted for 6,755 unique apps!

Voting is now open and will remain open through January 31st, 2013. Winners will be announced in February and details on that are to come.”

Want to see the complete list of nominees, and get in on the voting? Head to 148Apps.

Over at GiggleApps.com, Amy Solomon took a closer look at Hansel & Gretel: Lost, saying, “Hansel & Gretel: Lost is a well crafted re-telling of this classic story for iPad, wonderfully illustrated with animations as well as including top-notch narration, music and sound effects. Auto-play is also an option as well as silencing the narration to read this book by oneself.

It is easy to tell from the first page that this app is something special. The illustrations are lush with color and beautiful to look at with a marbled textured style that I always find appealing. Every element in this book is at a superlative level of quality that adults will greatly appreciate, as will their children.”

Read Amy’s complete review at GiggleApps.

$3.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-10-05 :: Category: Books

Finally, AndroidRundown.com writer Carter Dotson took on the establishment and challenged the conventional wisdom about “iPhone Killer” hardware: “Well, it took a bit longer than expected, but it seems like Google is finally going to use their Motorola acquisition to actually make a standout phone for themselves, the “X Phone.” Or whatever the next Nexus device will be called.

The immediate speculation swirling around is that this is finally Google’s “iPhone Killer.” You know, like the other Nexus devices that were iPhone killers. I don’t think that anything at this point will be an iPhone killer. It just isn’t going to happen.”

Read more of Carter’s missive at AndroidRundown.

And so begins 2013! Keep track of all the latest happenings, including developments in the Best App Ever Awards, by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook and following us on Pinterest. And from all of us across the 148Apps network of sites, have a Happy New Year!

iWALK Link 1700i Review

Manufacturer: iWALK
Price: $49.99
Device Reviewed With: iPhone 5, iPod touch 4

Usability Rating: Rating: ★★★½☆
iOS Integration Rating: Rating: ★★★☆☆
Hardware Design Rating: Rating: ★★★½☆
Reuse Value Rating: Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

So iWALK came out with a useful little external battery pack recently, the iWALK Link 1700i. It claims to offer just about a full phone charge in an adapter that could fit on a keychain. It’s more convenient than lugging around a separate power brick with USB cable, or using one of those bulky Mophie cases. For iPhone 4S and earlier owners, it promises to be an extremely useful device. Just one problem: it’s got the “old” 30-pin dock connector, not Lightning. So, iPhone 5 owners are out of the loop with the Link1700i, right?

Well, not necessarily. Apple does make a 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter, which provides charging and audio support to the iPhone 5. Which means that the Link 1700i may just be useful for iPhone 5 owners just yet.

Using it with the adapter on the iPhone 5 gives it one big advantage: it’s actually more comfortable to use it in portrait versus on a 30-pin device, as the Lightning adapter provides enough space to grip the phone and do things like typing and scrolling with the Link 1700i safely out of the way. Landscape is a different story, as the i-Walk already provides a bit of an uncomfortable barrier; it’s ludicrously bigger on the iPhone 5. I’d suggest not playing games while charging with this thing, though I could hold it in a way where my thumb was not reaching over the battery. Still, I don’t recommend it.

While the box claims that it has 1700 mAh battery capacity power, in practical circumstances, I could rely on it to recharge about 3/5 of my battery, particularly with it being used occasionally in that time. Part of the problem could be the connection: I noticed that the iPhone would act as if the Link 1700i was being occasionally disconnected and reconnected when unlocking the screen, or even just periodically while it was in my pocket. I haven’t noticed this when using the adapter otherwise, and haven’t seen it in testing on my iPod touch 4th gen either. Using it with the dock adapter does leave some space for headphones, but it’s a tight fit, and would likely cause damaged headphone connectors.

The Link 1700i comes with two lids by default: one with a slot for the loop to be put on a keychain and one without. As well, it comes with the micro-USB cable to recharge it, the port being conveniently located on the side of the battery.

While it’s hard to measure the device’s actual effectiveness because it’s working in a roundabout way on the iPhone 5, it is far from an ideal solution. However, this is in part thanks to Apple: by using a new proprietary connector and then only selectively licensing it and not giving it to peripheral manufacturers before its unveiling, those looking for a convenient external battery are forced to turn to less-than-ideal options. Have an iPhone 4S or earlier? This seems like a perfectly fine solution. iPhone 5? Be prepared to deal with the imperfections thanks to Apple.

Skylanders Bluetooth Portal of Power Hardware Review

The Bluetooth Portal of Power makes the iOS Skylanders games more like the console ones, but is it really worth it?

Read The Full Review »
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