Gadgets: MoviePeg helps your Apple device stand hands-free
Sometimes a company spends years developing what they will think will be the world's greatest gadget and the end result is a dud.
On the other hand, sometimes a product is so simple, you see that a company gets it and hits hit a homerun.
The latter is the case with the MoviePeg from magneticNorth.
The simple gadget helps your iPhone or iPod stand hands-free for video watching or using just about any app.
Measuring about 2 1/8 -by-1 1/2 inches and about a half-inch think, this is a simple pocket-sized product that can hold the player in a horizontal or vertical position.
The only assembly required is to take it out of the package and connect your player.
The company designed it to work on the devices without a case, but I've found it works just fine with the case I have on my iPod. Others might have to force the media player to go case-free.
The MoviePeg for iPhone/iPod sells for $7.98 and the company is taking pre-orders for the iPad version, which will sell for $19.99.
They come in six colors: Black Rain, Yellow Submarine, Soylent Green, Blue Velvet, Pretty in Pink and Red Dawn.
Users might want to get the Targus Premium Laptop Charger even before they lose or break their existing charger.
With it, users can charge a PC laptop or older Mac (iBook or Powerbook G4) units along with a cell phone, digital camera, Bluetooth headsets, GPS units or an MP3 player.
Apple MacBook laptop users are out of luck, since the tip for MacBooks is proprietary and patented to Apple, according to Targus.
The charger (2 3/4 -by- 3/4 -by-4 1/2 inches) doesn't have the bulky weight or size of typical chargers and works in standard wall outlets or 12V outlets in cars and many airplanes.
Since everyone has devices with different tips to plug into the device for charging, a drawer full of chargers is not uncommon.
What makes this charger unique is the Targus tip system; users get the tip for their specific device, not a whole charger. The tip attaches to a cable, which connects the device for charging.
Included with the charger are 11 tips -- nine for laptops, a mini-USB and the all important iPhone/iPod tip.
If your device isn't included, the Targus web site is user-friendly to find the right charging tip for your device.
The Premium Laptop Charger includes the Tips From Targus Program. This lets users get unlimited free (shipping and handling fees not included) tips for future electronic devices you might own.
Another smart feature: the AC prongs rotate up to 180 degrees, making it convenient to fit into a power strip without clogging up space blocking the other outlets.
Details: Targus.com, $139.99
The digiZoid zo is the first portable pocked sized subwoofer I've ever seen.
The subwoofer improves the sound quality you get out of portable music players by simply connecting your player and earphones to the device.
Users will find the improved audio quality is a nice alternative to purchasing new earphones.
For years I've been using VModa earbuds on my iPod but for this test I used a lesser pair, which sells for around $10.
While I didn't expect the cheap ones to equal the sound of my VModa's while using the subwoofer, they definitely were greatly improved.
According to digiZoid, the zo is based on digiZoid SmartVector sound contouring technology. This is a fusion of intelligent electronics with advanced materials that dynamically adjusts and presents tailored sound energy to a speaker and the ear for optimized audibility.
This adds up to improved sound, no matter what type of earphones being used.
Measuring just 2 3/4 -by-1 1/2-by- 1/4 inches and weighing less than an ounce, users can attach the subwoofer to any player with Velcro or double sided tape.
A ligthscale indicator on the front of the rechargeable device indicates what contour level of sound is being used.
A smartvector control lever on the side adjusts these levels. Users have a choice of 32 selectable subwoofer intensity and frequency response contouring profiles loaded for use.
Each zo comes with two 3.5mm stereo cables, a mini USB cable for charging and a SmartStart guide.
Details: digizoid.com, $99
(c) 2010, Gregg Ellman
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.