Gadgets: Gifts for your No. 1 grad
It's the time of year to reward graduates, many of whom will hit the real world. Here are some tech gift suggestions of useful gadgets for everyday life and even to have a good night's sleep.
Someday, and probably soon, all our gadgets will be cable-free but until then, we must do with the best available.
One of the best universal adapters for charging computers and USB-powered accessories are the Griffin break away wall and car chargers, which Griffin claims save literally millions of laptops from destruction caused by tripping over one's power cord.
The chargers are built with Griffin's patented BreakSafe magnetic connector and adds solutions for cables and devices such as USB-C MacBook Pro, UTS Type C, and standard USB devices.
Once you have all your devices in place and charging as you wish, cords can and will be tripped over. With the quick-release cables, when the cable is jerked away, it releases without taking the charger or your device with it.
It's that simple and probably one of the simplest and cost saving devices you can own.
Several models are available now or in the next few months.
BreakSafe Car Charger and BreakSafe Wall Charger, both $39.99, will be available Q2 2017; BreakSafe Magnetic USB Breakaway Adapter, $19.99, will be available Q1 2017 and BreakSafe Hi-Power Magnetic USB-C Breakaway Cable, $39.99, will be available Q2 2017.
Satechi'a Smart Charging Stand simultaneously charges up four USB-powered devices including smartphone, tablets, wearables and smartwatches.
Three of the USB ports are on the bottom (front facing) of the base, while the fourth has an internal connection but feeds to the top for charging.
You get three interchangeable adapters: Apple Watch 1 & 2, Fitbit Blaze, and smartphone, which are connected on the top to view these devices while charging. Storage inside the stand is great for adapters, memory cards, and other small gadgets.
The AC powered charger supplies enough power and voltage boost combined to charge up to 5V/2.4A max per port, for a total of 6 Amps
The nightstand and travel-friendly stand (3.5-by-3.5-by-3-inches) is designed with smart charging technology to ensure the safest and fastest charge for each device
satechi.net $34.99, available in gold, silver or space gray
The new Kanex Multi Sync Premium Slim Keyboard for Mac and iOS works great as a keyboard but it would be boring you if that's all I had to say about it.
Simultaneously, the USB powered Bluetooth keyboard can pair with up to four devices such as a desktop, laptop, iPad and iPhone. To sync them, just pair each device with a sign key and then to access that device, simply press that key for the keyboard to recognize it.
Apple fans will love the metal body finish, which perfectly matches most Apple devices.
The keyboard has a low profile, small feet to raise it and has a slight front facing angle. A feature I loved was backlit keys. Just fly one time at night and you'll see why.
The keyboard is powered by a USB charged 750 mAh rechargeable Lithium-ion battery.
As for typing, I liked the raised keys; they were comfortable and as mentioned I'm a fan of the backlit keys.
Whether from a rigid work schedule or you getting older by the day, sleep is more and more important.
The iHome Portable Sleep Therapy Speaker (iZBTSW) creates a calming environment anywhere using a combination of light and sound therapy. The sound has six different calming therapy tracks built in. You can also send audio from a mobile device via Bluetooth or a direct wired connection with the Aux-in port (3.5 mm audio cable included).
The sounds include heart beat, ocean, nature, storm, tonal sound Zen and white noise.
While it's on and you're getting ready for bed, the system helps lower your heart rate and breathing to help ensure the right frame of mind for the night.
The therapy speaker also has 200 Lux, full-color light therapy modes for what iHome calls circadian rhythm at night that also helps improve your daytime mood.
All this is designed to keep you calm in a healthy environment to wake up rested and energized.
The compact speaker has all the controls for power, sound and light selections, ports, carrying strap (included), charging and indicators on the back. There's also a timer with choices of 30, 60 or 90 minutes.
V-MODA Crossfade 2 wireless (Bluetooth) headphones have everything; incredible sound, style, comfort and they fold up in a portable hard case.
The sound wins me over hands down in just one note of any song. The powerful sound comes from a pair of brand new dual-diaphragm 50mm drivers.
Comfort comes from the new memory foam ear covers, which were selected from hundreds tested over a three-month period. The larger, deeper cushions are connected to an adjustable Steelflex headband, which slides to get the right fit.
A patent-pending CliqFold design allows them to fold up in the small travel case. There's also room for small accessories and audio cables in the case.
Charging, music selections, pairing and handsfree calls with the built-in mic are all done on the side of one ear. An included in-line mic cable is also included.
Crossfade 2 Wireless can even pair with two sources simultaneously and you'll get about 14 hours music playback before a USB charge is needed.
A Rose Gold model has Qualcomm aptX audio codec, which gives users near CD-quality sound over Bluetooth, for the best wireless listening experience available
V-Moda.com available in matte black and matte white for $330, rose gold $350
Jam's Xterior Max wireless Bluetooth speaker is indoor friendly, outdoor friendly, drop proof friendly and can even take a swim.
The rugged looking, smooth sounding speaker is designed with a rubberized exterior for maximum protection. A screw mount lets it easily attach it to a bike for rides. There's a USB port for charging other devices from the speaker's power. The sound comes from front and rear facing grills and there's a built-in mic for hands-free calls.
You'll get about 12 hours of use from the backpack friendly speaker (3.4-by-7.9-by-2.8-inches) and if you don't like a Bluetooth connection, you can use the 3.5 mm Aux-in port.
©2017 Gregg Ellman
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.