It really doesn’t matter at all how much you spend, have spent or will spend on that hot new tech gadget at all if you don’t take care of it, folks. Sure, there are those who dispose of stuff as soon as a new model ships out or if there’s even the hint of an issue with it, but I’d bet most consumers don’t have that luxury in this economy and would be more than happy to have their tech last longer and even work better in some cases. This year’s CE Week was packed with some really cool new and returning products I can highly recommend, so pull up a chair if you haven’t already and maybe take some notes or click away on the following links at your leisure…
STM Bags: I’d only heard of STM about a year or so back from a friend of mine who said they were “the best made laptop bags you’ll ever see”, which I promptly took with a grain of salt, as I’ve seen plenty of well-made carrying bags in my day. Anyway, he showed me the new laptop case his wife got for his birthday gift and I had to agree after poking through it thoroughly that there was some merit to his hyperbole.
These Australian-designed bag, cases and sleeves just look like they’re going places, even if you’re just hoofing it a handful of blocks to the nearest coffee spot to grab a cuppa and work on that great novel you think will rocket you to fame and fortune. Of course, if you walk in with your gear in an STM, people may think you’ve already made it. I guess that’s a sign of accomplishment, that looking successful stuff, as some of us have trouble finding a pair of socks that properly match (raises hand and waves it around)…
STM actually gave away that same model this year as a freebie to anyone who popped up at their booth with either the postcard they’d sent out or a mention of the email they shot around to a bunch of lucky attendees. As my own laptop is bigger than the bag handed out, I ended up getting someone who’s birthday was coming up a little replacement for his bag when it finally needs replacing and I’m betting he’s going to be surprised. My eyeball is actually set on that STM Sequel bag in the photo above, as it’s got everything I’m looking for and then some.
Whoosh! Screen Cleaner: If you’ve got a phone, tablet, computer or anything else with a touch screen, you know that smudgy screens are a big issue we’ve all pretty much taken as a given. I’d bet most people who aren’t particular about their screen’s cleanliness have given up on maintaining their device just because wiping can become a constant thing if you obsess over it. Well, Whoosh! is here to save the day and it not only works well, it’s guaranteed not to damage your formerly fingerprint covered device. Available in three sizes ($5.99, $10, and $20 respectively) and packed with a special microbial cloth, this stuff cleans your screen and protects it with a coating that resists smudges and actually seems to make swiping, pinching and zooming faster.
At the show, stepping up to the company’s booth got your phone or other device’s screen spritzed and I decided to be a rebel and whip out my PlayStation Vita to get Whooshed and yes, was sold on this stuff. It’s 100% natural, non-hazardous, non-toxic, environmentally friendly and not animal tested at all. I got a sample bottle to try out and my laptop, phone and a few gaming handhelds are all smiling back at me (or at least they certainly look a lot cleaner now). Anyway, grab a bottle of this and give it a try – I bet you’ll get hooked on using it as often as you hop in the shower. A little Tech Hygiene is actually REALLY good for you!
Bodyguardz ScreenGuardz Pure: I’ve seen a lot of screen protectors over the past couple of years and some aren’t worth the money at all while others are well-made but a hassle to install. When I stepped up to the BodyGuardz booth, I was floored by not only how amazing the ScreenGuardz Pure was, but how anyone with a supported device was going to be getting such an excellent product for so little money.
That tempered glass is not only smudge-proof, it allows a much more tactile feeling to your device’s screen (which, of course is an excellent thing whether you’re texting, web surfing or playing a game). Additionally, the extra protection that glass offers is pretty amazing. I saw that demo phone hit with a screwdriver handle a few times and look brand new afterward, but I was already sold. The company also makes phone cases, a few types of all-body skins and even headphones, but I’ll let you check those out on your own time. At least snap up a ScreenGuardz Pure for whatever you own if they have it for sale – you can thank me later (or BodyGuardz, actually – I’m only the messenger!)
LokSak Waterproof Phone Bags: I got sample of one of LokSak’s Waterproof aLOKSAK storage bags at last year’s CE Week, but it was a wee bit too small for my phone (I’d forgotten to bring it with me, oops!) and I gave it to a friend of mine as a gift. Amusingly enough, that gift saved his phone from a watery doom no fewer that four times last year, including twice on his vacation when his phone ended up in his hotel room shower and a restaurant toilet respectively (yuck!).
This year, I got a bag to try out for myself and can report that EVERYONE with a phone or device that can fit into one of their bags NEEDS a few LokSak products, period. Sure, it may look like a simple zip-top bag you’d snap up at a dollar store, but as soon as you hold one in your hands and feel how much better made it is, how strong that hermetic seal is and how you can submerge your bagged and sealed tech under water (up to 60 meters!) and still make/take calls and photos. Of course, if you’re about that far underwater and not in scuba gear, I’d gather you’re not making any calls or taking any at all, but maybe wearing cement shoes or some other deadweight attached to your body. But at least if you have a phone with in a secured LokSak, you’ll be somewhat easy to locate and perhaps the last photos you took will clue the cops in on whodunnit.
Comic relief aside, there are so many uses for that aLOKSAK bag that you’ll be amazed and yes, you’ll end up stocking up on a few and recommending them to a few friends. The company also makes a nice range of other protective gear including aLokSaks in assorted sizes, OPSAK (Odor Proof barrier bags), SHIELDSAK (the hack-proof/track-proof miracle phone/device bag) and SPLASHSAK (if you want a nice carrying case to match your aLOKSAK bags, you outdoorsy type, you!).
There were a bunch more items I saw at the show (and yes, I’ll get to those soon enough), but on the “let’s take care of my stuff!” department, these were the standouts this year.