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February 2013 Archives

February 7, 2013

SKECH Flipper Case for iPad

SKECH has a fun and colorful variety of cases for iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Samsung Galaxy, with hard and soft shells.

But it's not all about colors and patterns, there's also a place for simplicity and sensibility, as in the SKECH Flipper case for iPad and iPad mini.

The Flipper provides the basics of full-body protection for your tablet, in a well-executed design. It combines a slim hard shell back with a magnetic front flap with the on/off feature of the Apple Smart Cover.

The result is better protection for your iPad or especially the smaller mini, in a slim fit with full access to the controls and connectors.

The SKECH Flipper case for the iPad is available in seven colors for $44.95 and for the iPad mini in five colors for $39.95. There's also a Fabric Flipper with a soft fabric covering.

See my Holiday Gadgets 2012 coverage of Portable Accessories for more cases and other useful and fun ideas.

Find the SKECH Flipper Case for iPad on Amazon.com

February 12, 2013

Toast Etched Wood Covers for Smartphones and Tablets

It seems a contradictory combination -- covers for high-tech devices made of wood. But in this age of metal and glass and plastic, Toast has turned to natural materials with laser-etched designs on real wood veneers that protect and enhance your devices.

These wood covers provide a more secure grip from the texture of the grain, and protect the back of the case and camera lens from scratching.

Even better for those looking a custom and personalized look, the different woods -- including walnut, ash, and bamboo -- develop a unique patina over time in response to your handling.

Toast offers a variety of etched designs for the smartphone cases, plus you can add your own text in three point sizes. Some designs include cut-outs, including the bird on a branch or deer or skull eyes. Toast also can work with you to design custom covers.

The thin wood covers attach with a removable adhesive, so you can peel them off and reuse them without leaving any sticky residue.

Toast currently has covers for the iPhone 4 / 4S and 5, iPad 2, 3, 4, and mini, and Galaxy S3. Its designs including flat covers for iPhone backs, wraps that extend to the sides of the iPhone, and iPad covers that curve around the sides.

Plain smartphone covers are $25, and etched are $5 more, plus $5 more for custom text. iPad mini covers start at $35, and iPad at $45.

Toast products are made in Portland, Oregon. The idea began as a Kickstarter project in December 2011, created by industrial designer and furniture maker Matias Brecher who found a wonderful new application for his wood design skills.

See my Holiday Gadgets 2012 coverage of Portable Accessories for more cases and other useful and fun ideas.

Find the Toast wood covers on Amazon.com

February 16, 2013

KAVAJ Leather Cases for Smartphones and Tablets

Continuing the theme of using natural materials with high-tech devices (see previous post), KAVAJ creates leather cases for smartphones and tablets that combine great look and feel with functional designs. Leather provides protection that is thin and soft, with the interiors lined with soft flannel to protect against dirt and scratches.

KAVAJ offers smartphone cases for the iPhone 5 and 4S, plus the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S2.

- With the Miami pouch design you can park your phone securely, and then pull the tab to pull out the phone for use.

- The Dallas wallet style wraps around the phone, and flips open to use the screen. Both also have side compartments to hold small business cards and cash. These are $29.90 and $ 34.90, respectively for the iPhone 5.

The tablet cases are for the iPad 4, 3, 2, and mini, plus the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 and Tab 2 7.0 / 10.1.

- The clean Berlin design wraps around the tablet with magnetic cover, starting at $44.90 for the iPad mini.

- The London design for professionals and students (shown here) adds slots inside the cover for business cards and papers, plus a closure tab with pen loop (an ink pen with stylus tip also is included), starting at $49.90 for the mini.

The KAVAJ leather cases are available in classic black or cognac brown. They provide attractive and functional protection for your high-tech tools.

See my Holiday Gadgets 2012 coverage of Portable Accessories for more cases and other useful and fun ideas.

Find the KAVAJ leather cases on Amazon.com

February 19, 2013

TYLT BAND Flat Ribbon Car Charger

TYLT is focused on clever and colorful charging products for your portable devices, including batteries, cables, and some extras like backpacks and cases.

They do seem to have a knack for fun and functional ideas, like the TYLT BAND flat ribbon car charger.

This is a car (cigarette) charger designed with a wide flat ribbon cable that is tough and flexible for extended use with your driving.

The BAND comes in two models, with a micro USB or Apple 30-pin connector (Lightning is coming). Plus it has a standard USB port at the base to charge a second device.

It provides 2.1 amps, so you can fast charge a tablet (including iPods) or two smart phones simultaneously.

The TYLT BAND is available for $39.99, in vibrant black, red, blue, or green. It rolls up for storage, or extends two feet so you can power up on the go without fuss or tangles.

See my Holiday Gadgets 2012 coverage of Portable Accessories for more cases and other useful and fun ideas.

Find the TYLT BAND Car Charger on Amazon.com

February 28, 2013

New Crop of Consumer Video Editors

With the proliferation of smartphone cameras we're shooting more video than ever. Often it's just to grab quick clips to post on YouTube, but with a little effort today's PC-based video editing tools can help you create rather polished productions.

These consumer-focused applications make it easy to get started, with simple editing modes separate from a full timeline, assistance from templates, tutorials and guided editing, and especially with links to online resources for additional help, more content and effects, and connections to a community of other users sharing their discoveries.

These products include:

  • Adobe Premiere Elements 11, leveraging Adobe's powerful professional tools and bundling with Photoshop Elements.

  • Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12, with robust production tools for consumers.

  • Corel VideoStudio Pro X5, providing consumer-friendly editing with strong technology including HML5 authoring.

  • Corel Pinnacle Studio 16, a major revamp of a powerful name, now integrated with cloud sharing and the companion Pinnacle Studio for iPad.

  • CyberLink PowerDirector 11, expanding the dominant bundling of PowerDVD player tools into a full-fledged media suite.

  • MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 2013, continuing the focus on delivering strong technology at affordable prices.

  • Nero 12, expanding the smorgasbord of media and disk tools built around the venerable Nero Burning ROM.

  • Roxio NXT, updating the digital media suite with Paint Shop Pro and bundling other applications for photo and music enhancement.
Even novice users can get started easily with entry-level tools down to around $69, with simplified interfaces and automated assists. And yet the basic tools still provide support for HD editing with hardware acceleration, including import of common formats from mobile to desktop, and sharing to the desktop, disc, mobile, and the Web.

These tools also grow with your experience, providing more traditional timeline editing with impressive advanced features. Many also offer tempting step-up versions of the products with advanced features and additional plug-ins, for around $99 to $129.

So take a look, consider the type of editing that you'd like to do, and download the trial versions to check out how this new crop of applications can help you cultivate your video editing chops.

See my full article on Consumer Video Editors in Videomaker Magazine

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About February 2013

Entries posted to Manifest Tech Blog in February 2013, listed from oldest to newest.

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