Articles by Joel McLaughlin

USBFever Foldable Multi Notebook Stand Review

Have you ever wanted to use your laptop but couldn’t stand how hot it is when sitting on your lap?  How about using a notebook in bed?  The USBFever Foldable Multi Notebook Stand may be just the thing you need for those two situations and more. I was sent the black version of the Multi Notebook Stand. The Multi Notebook Stand is very adjustable and will work for almost any notebook, except maybe desktop replacement notebooks.  You can also adjust it to lie flat, so you can use it to support a projector or act as a dinner tray. 

Motorola S9-HD Headset Review

Since I abhor wires, when the opportunity to check out the next version of the venerable Motorola S9 headset line, I jumped at the chance.  Is it as good as the original?

HBI DreamKeeper 400 Review

When this device came to us via press release, I of course felt obligated to check it out since I have Sleep Apnea and issues getting sleep.  Does the DreamKeeper 400 keep its promise of increased deep sleep and 78 percent longer sleeping time?  Let’s find out.

Hauppauge HD PVR Model 1212 Review

Would you like to record video from HDTV without having any DRM(Digital Rights Management)?  If so, the Hauppauge HD PVR may be for you. Similar in size to the Mac Mini, the HD PVR is a small and light box.  In the front, you have a SVideo, Composite Video, Left and Right Audio for connectors.

Face-Off Frenzy PowerBand Hockey Review

As a child who grew up through the arcade era, one popular game we played a lot of was Air Hockey.  That was a game that required a big table, power and lots of quarters.  Imagine playing Air Hockey in your home without even needing power?  Enter Face-Off Frenzy Powerband Hockey.

TravelRest Pillow Review

I just recently got back from a business trip to Reston, VA.  Along with me I had meant to take the pillow I’m reviewing today, but for some reason it did not make it into my bag.  Fortunately for me, my flight wasn’t that long. When I go to Tennessee for my holiday in the Smokies, I fully intend to make sure that the TravelRest Pillow is in my bag. This is what the TravelRest Pillow looks like when it’s not in use.  Unlike most of those horseshoe shaped pillows, the TravelRest is inflatable.  When you’re not using it, the…

Medis 24-7 Power Pack Review

Do you live in Florida, Texas, or anywhere else along the Gulf Coast?  Do you live in a area that is prone to power losses?  Would you like a way to charge your devices that lasts a long time or is suitable for emergency use?  If so, then the Medis 24-7 Power Pack is for you. The Medis 24-7 Power Pack is not just battery powered charger, it is the first consumer fuel cell based charger.  Yes you heard that right, it’s a fuel cell.  The Medis 24-7 Power Pack is not a battery, and it doesn’t use any batteries…

Review: Nextar I4-BC GPS

I am a GPS nut, and  I have been since I won my first one, a Garmin GPS-12 at the Dayton Hamvention as a door prize.  That Garmin had no maps in it, but fortunately it’s almost unheard of to not have included maps on a GPS unit these days.  So what makes the Nextar I4-BC special?  Let’s find out.

Review: Digital Foci Photo Safe II

It’s becoming more and more rare as the price of flash memory has come down, but it’s still possible to fill your flash cards when on vacation taking pictures.  A lot of people, including myself, have taken to carrying a laptop with them on vacation.  I am currently typing this on said laptop.  But what if you fill your available cards and you’re not near your laptop? Then you’re out of luck.  Enter the Digital Foci Photo Safe II.

Review: Wicked Lasers Executive Series

Sure we’ve all seen laser pointers; they are a favorite for playing tricks on people, playing with your pets at home and even for pointing out details during a presentation.  However, not all laser pointers are created as equals, and I am here to say that Wicked Lasers have NO parallel in the laser pointer arena.  Wicked Lasers are huge step above any laser pointer I have ever seen; in fact, what they create are not just laser pointers, but a tool that can be used in various situations. I was sent the 95mW version of the Executive Series direct…

Review: Stereo Bluetooth Headset from USB Fever

USB Fever also sent me a Bluetooth headset.  Is it as good as my Insignia headset?  How does it stand up to the Jaybird?  We’ll find out! The USB Fever Stereo headset is a simple affair; it wraps around the back of your head like a lot of Bluetooth headsets do.  Initially, I had to struggle to get these on.  It’s a bit weird, as the cable which connects the two buds is springy: it kept springing out of my hand all of the time when I tried to put them on.  The upside is once they are on, this…

Jaybird JB-200 Bluetooth Headphones and Adapters

Bluetooth stereo headphones are really starting to proliferate.  Not all headsets are created equal, that much is certain.  While I do like my standby headphones, the Insignia Bluetooth headphones, sometimes I wish I had a lighter set for when I am working out; this set fits the bill nicely. Jaybird sent me the JB-200 headset with adapters for the iPod and for standard stereo headphone jacks.  The JB-200’s come with a nice dock.  To charge the headphones, you plug the USB cable into the USB charger; I have also tried a standard USB port and the Ted Baker charging kit,…

Review: Verizon Wireless Palm Centro

Whether you believe it or not; I, the super duper Linux geek, have never used a smartphone…until now.  Yes, during the writing of this review was the first time I have everbeen able to use a smartphone for an extended period of time.  Yes, the Centro was covered by Gear Diary when Sprint brought it out and when AT&T brought it out, but here’s my take on the Centro, written as a first time smartphone user.

Deskinacar and Accessories Review

Lee from had gone through a lot to get his products to me for review.  Anyone setting up an e-commerce site knows the  headaches involved, but Lee also had to deal with Mother Nature’s wrath: Lee’s fulfillment center was struck by a tornado, its roof was torn off, and Lee lost a third of his inventory.  Sometimes it makes you want to give up if you’re the one suffering from this type of adversity; thankfully, Lee hung in there and I can bring this review of Deskinacar to you. Lee actually sent me much more than the desk in…

Designer Sleeves Review

How often have you taken your laptop to work, but then had to go to a meeting where you wanted to bring your laptop but not its full-size bag?  Sleeve cases are a awesome item that allow you to keep your laptop protected, but let you leave the bulk at your desk.  I was sent a new Designer Sleeve in the Cars pattern to check out… As you can see, it’s very brightly colored.  The sleeve is made of neoprene like material; it is a bit squishy and provides some protection, but I still wouldn’t want to drop my laptop…

Review: Proporta Gadget Bag – Asus Eee PC

When Asus brought out the Eee PC, they did think to include a case.  The neoprene case holds just the Eee PC itself, but if you need to carry the Eee PC and a few things, you’ll need something else. Enter the Proporta Gadget Bag. As you can see, it’s barely as wide as the Eee PC itself.  This case is the most ideal carrying solution that I have found for the Eee PC 701.  It is lightweight, very durable, and each compartment is padded so you won’t have to worry about bumps damaging your Eee or anything else.

Review: Ted Baker Charging Kit from Proporta

I actually received Proporta’s Ted Baker Charging Kit by mistake when asking Proporta for the Gadget Bag.  I offered to review it for them, and they accepted! 😀  So, what makes this charging kit special?  Let’s take a look. According to Wikipedia, Ted Baker is a clothing store in the UK; they are known for applying twists to their products.  I have never been to the UK, but on the Ted Baker website I learned that they are a designer clothing company, and the wikipedia entry reveals that they have been coming to this side of the pond as well. …

Review: SmartShield Sunscreen and Insect Repellant

Have you ever had a bug problem and a problem with the sun at the same time?  This happens often when you’re on a camping trip or at an amusement park.  In the past, you had to slather on sunscreen and then spray some insect repellent.  It was a messy and goopy process, and sometimes you would still be swarmed by bugs or burnt to a crisp; not any more. SmartShield isn’t the first combination sunscreen and insect repellent, but it’s one of the best smelling ones I have tried.  I have used Sawyer’s SunBlock with insect repellent, and while…

Review: Digital Concepts Portable Lighting Studio

Have you ever had to take pictures of something you were selling on eBay, but you kept getting a horrible glare from the flash  I have had this happen many a time, and I have even had to struggle with this when taking pictures of things I review.  Well, I will struggle no more now that I have the Digital Concepts Lighting Studio, sent to me from Sakar International. As you can see by the picture, this is the smaller version of the studio suitable for taking pictures of smaller things like iPods, LED Headlights and Watches. 

Review: Insignia Pilot 8GB and the Insignia Bluetooth Headphones

I have a confession to make: I am a iPod owner who dislikes his iPod. I don’t hate the iPod; quite the contrary, I really like it but am frustrated by it’s caretaker, Apple. For everything Apple has done right, there’s lots of things that it has done wrong. For example, if you look at the files on the iPod itself you’ll see undecipherable file names for each of your music files. Plus there’s Apple’s Love/Hate relationship with DRM. Then there’s codec limitations. You can listen to MP3, AAC,Protected AAC, Apple Lossless, Audible, WAV and AIFF, but what about open…