Even Santa is a techie, how else to explain the sophisticated lighting system at the head of his sleigh’s propulsion system? In that spirit, here are some cool stocking stuffers. Stocking Stuffers from Meater, Kingston, WORX, MyCharge, 1MORE, & ShedRain, for the Techie in your life! Here is a short list of products deserving a serious look to make sure you don't get lumps of coal in your stocking.
Meater Probe Wireless Smart Meat Thermometer
We tend to overcook chicken, especially on the gas grill. With salmonella in the news, and almost certainly in the chicken you but at the market, striking a balance between health and taste is difficult. Normal meat thermometers are pretty accurate, but for a truly accurate and easy to use tool, we recommend the Meater. The Meater is a slim silver pen like object. It’s metal, and ships in a small block of handsomely finished wood. But that block of wood is more than a holder, it’s also holds two batteries in the bottom, and when you put the pen sized probe into the slot in the top of the wood block, it charges the internal batteries. To use, just stick it in the center of whatever you are cooking.
The magic isn’t just in the actual probe, but the Android and iOS apps that take the data from the probe to let you know the temperature, not only of the inside of the food, but also the ambient temperature. By having access to both readings the app can predict the time to cook, if it meets FDA guidelines, and a variety of other data, and access to a larger community. You can choose the type of food, how well done you want it, and it calcuates the precise time. It's tough with Stainless steel construction, and wireless up to 33 feet (10 meters) with a Bluetooth LE connection to your smart phone or tablet. The internal temperature sensor range is 212°F (100°C) and the Ambient temperature sensor range is 527°F (275°C). The rechargeable battery is rated to last 24 hours of continuous cooking between charges.
This is a very cool use of technology for the kitchen, where most tech is a hindrance with an invented need, the Meater is a tool we think you will grow to love. The Meater Probe Wireless Smart Meat Thermometer is highly recommended!
For more information on the Meater Probe Wireless Smart Meat Thermometer visit: https://meater.com/
As hard as it might seem, the world still runs on traditional spinning disk media. But, that tends to be the case with large amounts of mass storage, where the price of Solid State Drive memory (SSD) is magnitudes more expensive. But for your laptop or desktop, an SSD is now affordable, fast, and reliable. With no moving parts, and far more efficient controllers, the move to an SSD is easy, and with a kit like their SSDNow KC400 Drive line, you have all you need for the change. The kits come complete with a USB case, an adapter bracket, and cables. So, just clone (on the Mac we recommend the legendary Carbon Copy Cloner for the clone) your boot drive to the Kingston SSD, then swap out, using the bracket if necessary, and boot up your new computer. New Computer? Yes, because when you move from even the fastest spinning disk media to a fast SSD, it will feel like a new computer. The most important difference you will experience is in start-up and boot times. They utilize a Phison PS3110-S10 8-channel controller and quad-core processor to speed up daily tasks and improve productivity. Kingston states that these SSD drives are typically 15 times faster than a spinning media hard drive, so other tasks that rely on the I/O system are markedly faster as well. A good example is Adobe Lightroom Classic, which is normally setup with the app on the boot drive, but with the actual image files on another drive, with the bottleneck being the I/O system. Since image files are so large now, and so numerous, there is only so much you can load up on the boot drive. So, you might not expect the SSD to be that important, but it’s not the case, as the image data is cached on the SSD when you are working, while changes are writing to the image file, wherever it’s located. The KC400 is available in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities, as a bare drive or as a kit. If you want a slightly slower (10 times faster) and more affordable consumer based solution consider their SSD Now UV400 line. Kingston has an enviable reputation in the field, as one of the most respected memory vendors, from their SSDNow drives, to the darling of the gaming community, their HyperX line of memory, headsets, and gaming accessories, Kingston can speed up your workflow. With a Five-Year warranty, the Kingston SSDNow KC400 Drive line of Solid State Drives comes highly recommended for speeding up Santa’s trip down your chimney!
For more information on Kingston SSD’s visit: https://www.kingston.com/us/ssd/business/skc400s37
Ok, let’s face it, rechargeable power tools are far from a new invention, so it’s a pleasure when a new design makes so much sense. The WORX line of tools use a 20V MaxLithium battery that powers their tool line and can be shared among products. We tested the 20V Hydroshot Portable Power Cleaner, 20V Axis Cordless Reciprocating & Jig Saw, and the 8V Cordless Impact Forcedriver. The 20V Axis Cordless Reciprocating & Jig Saw is a convertible saw, pivot the head one way, and you have a powered jig saw, and the pivot it the other way, and you have a reciprocating saw. Perfect for a variety of tasks, especially with its rechargeable battery. This will absolutely charm the DIY builder in the house. It’s powerful enough to trim a serious branch, and then do delicate work as a jig saw, and it has a nice balance in the hand. The 8V Cordless Impact Forcedriver is a small affordable powered screwdriver, perfect for assembling those IKEA products with endless screws, or for hard to reach screws. It has a three position handle, so it can act like a driver, and also as a powered screwdriver. We think it’s the perfect accessory for apartment dwellers, as well as homeowners. At the Pepcom Press Event in New York, many of my fellow journalists were taken with the 20V Hydroshot Portable Power Cleaner, their unique battery powered power washer. We love power washers, and the most powerful are gasoline powered, and tend to require regular maintenance. Electric models don’t have the oomph of the gasoline models, but require no maintenance, no oil changes or spark plugs to change. But, they require electric cords, which always send a shiver down our spine when combined with water. So, the 20V Hydroshot Portable Power Cleaner is a great solution, and also one that lets users wander as far as their garden hose will reach without the worry of cords or gasoline. For the tool lover in your life, we bet that Santa would use the 20V Hydroshot Portable Power Cleaner to clean off his sled after his round-the-world jaunt. The WORX line of rechargeable tools comes highly recommended.
For more information on WORX tools visit: https://www.worx.com/
1MORE VR Spearhead VR Gaming Headphone
1MORE is known for its line of affordable audiophile grade earphones, and their newest product, the 1MORE VR Spearhead VR Gaming Headphone are designed to give gamers and music lovers a 7.1 channel surround sound experience. The specs include a 50mm Maglev Graphene driver, Environmental Noise Canceling with dual microphone technology to eliminate background noise, and stainless steel construction with cushioned suspension band for long-lasting durability and comfort. It also sports a VIVID LED DISPLAY capable of displaying 16 million customizable colors for personalizing your gaming style and experience. Included are an additional 3.5 mm connector, as well as a USB connector to use with your Windows PC to utilize full features and the 7.1 surround sound features. Unfortunately for Mac users, the surround sound is only available using a Windows driver at the moment, but they work for all other audio tasks. The LED lights can be adjusted in a variety of ways, and can even respond to the content. We think the 1MORE VR Spearhead VR Gaming Headphone will please the serious gamer in your life.
For more information on 1MORE VR Spearhead VR Gaming Headphone visit: https://usa.1more.com/products/spearheadvr
MyCharge HubMax & AdventureUltra Rechargeable Batteries
MyCharge manufactures an extensive line of rechargeable batteries to keep you tablet, laptop, or phone charged up instead of dying as the battery drains. As you know, there are lots of company’s manufacturing these units, and it’s almost a given to have one with you if you carry a cell phone, so how do you figure out which ones work best? We started reviewing the MyCharge units a few years ago, and discovered they were consistently solid performers with a great set of features. The HubMax sports a large 10050mAh battery, an integrated AC plug, and two charge cables, an integrated Apple® Lightning™ cable, integrated micro-USB cable, and a built-in USB port. So, nothing to lose, misplace or break. We really like the HubMax and in fact as I write this, I have our review sample charging my iPad, which dropped down to 5% power, and the battery in 10 minutes not only can I keep working, but it’s up to 12% in just a short time.
If you need even more power on the go, the new AdventureUltra is unique in that it has a USB port for charging, as well as a built-in AC inverter with a socket for plugging in a 110-volt plug. Unlike the HubMax it doesn’t have an integrated 110 volt plug for charging up the unit, but has an external power supply with a cord to the unit. It also doesn’t have the built in iOS or Android cables for so you need to remember those. We did wish it would have included a carrying case to keep all the bits together, but this is designed for the elements, with rubber seals over ports, plugs, and more, so you can bring it on a camping trip, the beach, anywhere you might need either 110 Volt AC power, or iOS and Android power. According to MyCharge It’s “designed to replace the heavy and bulky generators used when tailgating or camping, the AdventureUltra is a streamlined power source that can run a 42-inch television for up to three hours. The AdventureUltra has a maximum power output of 45 watts, enough to run a fan or recharge a drone battery. It can also be used with 2 in 1 laptops and new laptops, such as the 12-inch MacBook, that require less than 45 watts either when powered off and solely charging or when powered on and charging simultaneously.” With a 13400mAh battery, we think the AdventureUltra is a great product for the great outdoors.
For more information on the MyCharge HubMax and AdventureUltra visit: https://mycharge.com/
ShedRain e-Motion™ Motorized Open & Close Compact Umbrella
Most of us have a love-hate relationship with umbrellas, when they work they are fabulous, when they don’t, and bend or break in the wind, they become instant junk, filling trashcans during rain storms when you need them the most. Umbrellas range in size from small compact ones that will fit into your bag or backpack to large Golf umbrellas. Most aren’t made too well, no matter the brand, but a few are carefully designed for the long-haul. One of the most innovative is the ShedRain e-Motion™ Motorized Open & Close Compact Umbrella. With a rechargeable battery, designed to last on one charge for months, the umbrella opens and closes completely on its own in one smooth motion, easily operated with one hand! When we first received our review sample, we kind of thought, “who needs a motorized” umbrella?” but after using it, we really like it, and concluded "We Do!" It’s solidly made, has Teflon coated fabric, is reliable and able to work even if the battery is dead. The ShedRain e-Motion™ Motorized Open & Close Compact Umbrella come highly recommended.
For more information on the ShedRain e-Motion™ Motorized Open & Close Compact Umbrella visit: https://shedrain.com/products/e-motion-motorized-open-close-compact-umbrella-2/
Happy Holidays from Mac Edition Radio!
Nancy Burlan, Harris Fogel, Ken Kramar, and Frank Schramm, posted 12/15/2017