Laptop Gear

StarTech USBVGA Dock Review

I’ve been a portable computer advocate for YEARS.  In fact, until my most recent job, every computer that I’ve used for work AND personal use over the last 12 years has been a laptop.  Personally, aside from a cost perspective and justification, I don’t know why corporations continue to buy desktop computers.  Laptop/portable computers tend to make a workforce more productive, and more efficient. When I got my MacBook Pro in 2006, the one big problem that I thought I saw with it was the lack of a docking station for it.  While its nice that its pretty much a…


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.


Reviewed: Tom Bihn Organizer Pouches

It never fails that when I pack my gear, there are always small items which will sift to the bottom of my bag’s cavernous pockets. This doesn’t even take into account all of the times when I have needed a particular something, and no matter how neatly I thought I had it packed, I couldn’t find it when it was time. Well, no more. Tom Bihn makes a variety of Organizer Pouches, and I think that it would be safe to assume that there is something for everyone. Let’s take a look… Cordura Organizer Pouches


Jetart Coolstand 3 (NC 6000) NoteBook Cooler and Stand Review

When I bought my laptop a few years ago, I proudly brought it home, tore open the box, and set it up on my desk.  I was so excited to give it a try.  With a crack of my knuckles, I sat in the chair and reached for the keyboard, which sat flat on my desk.  I had to slouch a bit and sloop my shoulders inward in order to reach.  I then craned my neck to view the screen, which was below my eye level and slightly askew.  While this setup did result in many fantastic articles and reviews,…


The Tom Bihn Horizontal Freudian Slip Review

I tend to think of a “Freudian Slip” by its commonly known definition: “a verbal mistake that is thought to reveal an unconscious belief, thought, or emotion.” Tom Bihn has recycled the term by cleverly (and I daresay unforgettably) naming their horizontal and vertical organizing pocket panels “Freudian Slips.” Both styles are basically “an insert that gives you eleven extra pockets to provide total organization of your files and accessories,” and they are made to perfectly fit inside Tom Bihn’s Zephyr or Empire Builder briefcases, or ID, Ego, or Super Ego messenger bags. A nylon loop attached to the top…


LapStrap Review

Lapstrap is a simple concept. Take a length of wide nylon “strap” (comfortably padded – with a nice inner rubber grippy surface), buckle the strap for form a big loop. Now sling the loop through your laptop and close it. What you have is a quick and easy way to carry your laptop without the hassle of opening and closing your laptop bag. What you don’t have is any of your laptop accessories like the charger or external drives. The makers of this device sent me one yesterday, and I’ve been trying it around the office. My initial impression: Great…


The DecoCases EcoDesign Case for MacBook Pro Review

I tote two different laptops between locations these days, switching them out (or sometimes bringing both) depending upon what my needs will be once I’ve arrived. For the most part, I’ve been content to slip my MacBook Air into a bag, a sleeve, or the Agent 18 shell that Dan recently forwarded to me, but I hadn’t yet found a similar slim and protective MacBook Pro shell. Bear in mind, the type of transport I usually do involves grabbing my laptop, throwing it into my Louis Vuitton Alto tote (along with a couple days’ worth of clothing), and then driving…


Spire Edge 15 Computer Sleeve Review

When I bought my MacBook Pro back in 2006, I was all over needing a case for it. I tried regular notebook cases, and those didn’t work for me. I tried a backpack case, and that seemed to work ok, but I couldn’t help but feel that my baby was still a bit on the naked side.  When Judie offered me the opportunity to review the Spire Edge 15 Laptop sleeve, I jumped at the chance. The last thing I wanted was another ding on my MBP (see the last picture, after the break) Front of the Spire Edge 15…


The Ultimate Receipt Organizer? A Review of The Neat Receipts Scanner

I travel. A lot. While I’m sure that some of you reading this travel more than I, by then end of 2008 I fully expect to have covered well over 75,000 airline miles this year. The fact that I’m writing this review from the comfort of my townhome is, well, rare? Most of the reviews that I write both for Gear Diary and Clinton Fitch (Dot) Com! are written from hotel rooms… but I digress. You get the point. As you can imagine, with as much travel as I do, receipts – and more specifically receipt management – can be…


The Jetart NP8800 miniStand Notebook Cooler Review

We’ve covered quite a few laptop coolers and stands here on Gear Diary, and a fair share of them have been from Jetart. The one I am reviewing today is their latest NP8800 miniStand, which is certainly one of the smallest and most totable fan-cooled stands I have ever tried… Made to work with 7″ to 15.4″ laptops, the miniStand features a single USB driven fan which is housed in its red and black plastic body. Measuring approximately 8.6″ long (when closed) x 3.5″ wide x 0.75″ thick, and weighing 4.6 ounces, the miniStand is small enough to easily tuck…


The Cricket Laptop Stand Review

If you use a laptop as your main machine, chances are that you catch yourself slumping in front of it more than you would care to admit. The key to ergonomic bliss is to lift the laptop so that the monitor is across from your line of sight, not under it, and to attach an external keyboard. While a larger stand (perhaps one with extra USB ports and other attachables makes great sense at home, a simple laptop riser and portable keyboard are necessary to replicate the experience on the road. For times like that, the Cricket Laptop Stand might…


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…



Deskinacar and Accessories Review

Lee from Deskinacar.com 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…


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. …


USBFever 2-in-One Car/Home 2 port USB Charger

The folks over at USB Fever are now offering a 2-in-one car/home charger for USB devices. The nice thing about this one is that it offers swappable adapters for the U.S./Japan, U.K., Australia/China, and Europe, as well as a standard 12v/24v car lighter connection able to charge 2 USB devices at once.


Kensington C170 Keyboard with USB Ports REVIEW

Is it time to replace the keyboard that came with your original desktop? Or perhaps the white keyboard that came with your iMac is so junked up that a black keyboard might be a nice alternative… The Kensington C170 Keyboard with USB Ports is the newest offering from Kensington. This keyboard features three built-in 2.0 USB ports; one on the back and at the top rear along the back concealed behind a sliding door which also houses a mini-USB connector.


LapLogic Aerogel Extreme – Keepin’ It Cool

If you have a laptop built in the last couple of years, then odds are good that you’ve experienced the heat, maybe even the burn, of having the laptop sit on your lap. Many of the newest laptops get extremely hot, even with internal fans trying to keep the heat down.  LapLogic is offering a cooling solution called the Laplogic Aerogel Extreme that is made with Aerogel (from a company called Aspen) that promises to offer you a more pleasant, cooler, computing experience.



Review: USB 4-Port Hub with Thermometer and Clock

Are you the type of person who always asks what time it is?  Do you have a clock on your desk even though you have a clock staring you right in the face every time you look at your computer?   Do you always wonder why your office is so darn cold?  Do you need a USB hub?  Well if all of these apply, then the USB Fever USB 4-Port Hub with Thermometer and Clock is for you!


Apiotek Combo Express Card Adaptor Review

So, I guess it has been a while since I tried to work with any of the video I shot with my Sony camcorder.  A few weeks ago, I decided to capture and edit some video from my son’s school concert.  After about a half hour of fruitless searching, I realized a critical fact.  My Toshiba Satellite laptop does not have an IEEE1394 Firewire port.  Of course, this is a critical feature if you want to work with video.  Without a Firewire port, there is no way to connect the camcorder to your computer.  Now, I know I have done…