A perfect laptop messenger only needs a few features. It needs to fit your laptop and accessories, it needs to be comfortable, and it needs to not be so brain-numbingly ugly that you don’t want to wear it for fear of humiliation. So it’s with great delight, and a small dose of irony, that we present to you the “Moderate Embarrassment” messenger, a bag that fills all three criterions.
After dropping a few hundred dollars on an iPod or iPhone, then raiding the App Store for all the great tower-defense games, it’s hard to come up with the scratch to drop on decent earbuds. And even if you do have deep enough pockets, it’s difficult for some folks to go hog wild and buy $100 earbuds that’ll eventually end up forgotten in the pocket of your hoodie and take a ride in the washing machine. Ouch! Of course there are tons of inexpensive earbuds overflowing from the shelves of your local gadget emporium, but most of those end up sounding like you stole your great grandfather’s transistor radio, shrunk it down with some sort of shrink-a-fying ray, and shoved it in your ears. Tinny sound with absolutely no bass.
The iPhone’s iPod functions replaced an actual iPod in my pocket long ago. But as great as it is to have one device I can use to tweet, listen to music, check my calendar, and make the occasional voice call, for me, the iPhone is a less than perfect music player. Without hard buttons for navigation, I can’t skip to my favorite tracks without having to look at the device. Luckily, Etymotic’s new hf3 headset has an inline remote for playback control (and taking calls), and this time around, they’ve added volume buttons as well for the ultimate in control.
Cocoon’s Gramercy bag tries to make carrying your iPad into a fashion statement of its own. And hey, why not? The iPad is sleek, sexy, and undeniably cool--shouldn’t it have a case to match? As if in answer to that question, this bag nicks its name from the crazy-fashionable Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan, but its overall stylishness is more plain and pedestrian. It’s available in black, grey, or red, and provides just enough space to schlep an iPad and the included Grid-It accessory organizer.
We’ve seen some fairly ridiculous iPhone and iPod accessories in our day, so it’s extra refreshing when we find one as useful, well designed, and...well, sane as the P-Flip. It ably fills three roles: a dock for charging and syncing to your Mac, a travel stand that works in landscape or portrait, and a powerful external battery.
Every time my day deviates from the normal home-to-work-and-back routine, I have to plan a strategy for iPhone power. Car chargers are an option, as is keeping a spare charging cable in your go-bag. But what are you supposed to do if your day’s travels aren’t going to include time in a car or in front of a computer?
Guitar amplifiers have been going through an identity crisis lately. For years, one amp with a good sound was all fine and dandy, but then digital technology figured out how to capture and cram the sounds of many amps into one program--and who doesn’t like choice? Now the realm of digital amp emulation comes to Apple’s handhelds with AmpliTube, aided and abetted by the iRig adapter, and the results are rocktacular.