We covered Belkin laptop accessories in January and appreciated the fact that its designers had taken into consideration the needs of home laptop users. To further heat up the competition in this segment comes a new entrant - the LapDawg Laptop Stand. The company behind the product claims that the lapdawg is "designed to change the way our body interacts with laptop computers by simply holding our laptops to a more comfortable, natural angle." Essentially, with this stand, you can comfortably use your laptop, without the use of your hands or laps to prop it up, while in bed or outdoors or any such traditionally unconventional laptop position.
The Lapdawg (I would have personally preferred a less canine sounding name) is made out of durable yet light-weight wood. The stand weighs only 1.5 lbs and that's a big plus. Moreover, in the looks department, it scores very well with its classy mahogany finish. If you are not in the mood to work on your laptop while in bed, you can also use it as a book holder or a bed tray. The best part, for a mobile person like me, is that you can just collapse it and stash it in your travel bag with the least fuss. All this comes at a premium cost though - a cool $99.99 (includes shipping).
Many of you are reading this buried under 3 feet of snow and cursing the weather, so let's fantasize for a minute that we're at the beach, under the warm sun, holding a cocktail with an umbrella in it and ... your brand new inflatable speakers! Yes, you read that right.
Just blow these up like a beach ball, and when you're done they deflate to a mere two inches so you can throw them in your beach bag. Hook them up to the Mini Amplifier if you're near an outlet, plug in the AC adapter, but continuing our beach fantasy, you'll use the included battery pack (Requires 6 AA Batteries). Plug the Mini Amp into your CD, MP3, Cassette, DVD player, Hi-Fi, TV, PC, MAC, and rock out.
With a 10 watt RMS audio output, I can't testify to the sound quality but at $11.95 for the pair, you can't go wrong. Available at Vacation Gadgets.
Why are those stress-relieving squeezable toys always on display next to cash registers? Shouldn't they be placed next to, say, headache medicine or antacids? These therapeutic squishies by Banpresto, on the other hand, can only be found in Japan (or in the U.S. with the help of an importer).
They're officially licensed by Nintendo and come straight out of the world of Super Mario, which is probably why they're priced at about $8 each. Unlike in the game, the mushrooms and question-mark block don't make you bigger, give you an extra life, or score you any extra points. Standing 2.4 inches tall, their sole purpose is to withstand your aggravation-induced fist-clenching. The squeezing action is supposed to be calming, but I think it can lead to carpal tunnel if done too often.
This key chain, adorned with a midi plug, won't play you any cool tunes, but your midi-geek friend will probably still like it anyway. Featuring a male or female midi plug attached to a split ring via a 10 gauge wire terminal the key chain arrives in a small anti-static bag, making this nicknack seem like it was the product of a DIY project rather than a store-bought accessory. Get two, one for your musician friend and one for yourself, and make sure they "mate." It's a cute way to stay connected to someone.
While I've never really had a green thumb, the idea of being able to easily grow my own vegetables and herbs is really attractive --- at least I'd know how exposed they were to fertilisers, pesticides and other interference. But I live in a small apartment without even so much as a flower ledge, which leaves me with very slim plant-rearing possibilities.
Electrolux's alternative: VEGE, a new appliance that allows you to grow your own vegetables through hydroponics, i.e. by using mineral solutions instead of soil. I like that it looks sorta like a refrigerator, which means that despite its height, it won't stick out like a sore thumb in the kitchen. The VEGE can hold up to 40 plants, with a digital display that helps you to keep an eye on how each row of plants is doing and how much longer you'll have to keep watering them (or refreshing the mineral solution anyway) before you can taste the fruits of your labor. That's essential for someone like me, who isn't exactly attuned to the natural rhythms of plant-growing.
I suppose the design of the appliance, by Thai student Teeravit Hanharutaivan for Electrolux Design Lab, could be a little slicker, but the VEGE is still at the prototype stage. Maybe they'll come up with smaller models too, so that people with small kitchens can still fit one in a nook somewhere.
Via Gadget Candy.
I do have a weakness for skulls; I think it's one of the many left-overs of my teenage (and post-teenage) years when everything I possessed had to have a skull printed on it. I still have a couple of items featuring skulls, which to my surprise are still perceived as something out of the ordinary and provoke all sort of comments. So if a pair of socks or a hat with a skull can raise so much wonder and interest, I can't wait to hear the comments on the skulled toasts I will be serving during my next brunch, because one thing is for sure -- I will buy this toaster.