Yubico Yubikey 4 Security Keys Provides Extra Security for Passwords

In a world where computer hacking and phishing seem to be commonplace problems, web users need some added security in their pocket. The Yubikey 4 series by Yubico can help solve this dilemma in a simple little device that attaches to your keychain or lanyard.

In reviewing this product, I got a bit of an education on internet security. Today it’s easy for people to get hacked, and sites like Google are suggesting 2FA (or Two Factor Authorization). This key will provide that 2FA without the extra hassle.

This handy little key is super secure and easy to use. You simply plug it into your device, and tap the button (which is NOT a biometric reader).  You can use it to log into Windows, Google, Facebook, e-mail, and all kinds of other sites. This can give your laptop some extra security if someone comes across it in the public, they won’t be able to get access to anything on your computer (unless you have left the key in it).

It looks like this little key could get easily damaged, but it can withstand being run over by a car, and even make it through the washing machine (although, we didn’t test this on our sample we received at CES this year).

At $40 for the USB-A form, the pricetag on this little key might seem steep for some, but for those who want and need that extra security, it can be well worth it. There are other forms you can get that serve the same function, but can be used semi-permanently in your device. The most expensive one is the USB-C nano, and that is $60. It is meant to stay in the port.

You can find this and other Yubikey products on their website, and even on Amazon.com.

Turn Your iPad into a laptop with the Brydge 10.5

If you are the owner of an iPad Pro 10.5, iPad Pro 9.7 , or iPad Pro 12.9, this product will help turn your device quickly and easily into a laptop. This could be good news if you are a writer like us and need a little versatility in your tools. We’ve reviewed the 12.9 and the 9.7 in the past, and we were fortunate to receive the 10.5 in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Brydge is a keyboard designed to fit the iPad Pro. It slips in the patented hinge, and gives you the option to view your iPad at all different angles from 0 degrees to 180. Well, you might not be able to view your iPad when it’s closed, but you get the idea. It’s easy to attach, and also easy to remove when you don’t need to use the keyboard and want to use your iPad as a huge camera.

The keyboard has a great feature of back-lit keys, and there are 3 different degrees of brightness on those keys, so you can choose the level you need. The aluminum body also is amazingly light weight- making the combo lighter than a MacBook. The battery life lasts up to 12 months (2 hours per day) depending on backlight usage.

You can purchase the 10.5 keyboard on the Brydge site for $139.99 at this time. It comes in Space Grey, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold so you can match it with the color of your iPad.

ZAGG Invisible Shield Glass + Luxe 360/ Invisible Shield Glass Curve Elite

This review will cover two different kinds of glass cell phone protectors from the same company, which is Zagg Invisible Shield. This company is known to be the top seller in screen protection according to a study done from 2011 to 2017 by the NPD Group Retail Tracking Service.

The first one I’m reviewing is the Glass + Luxe 360. This product that we were sent to review for the iPhone X is different from most protectors that we’ve reviewed- in that it has protection for the front AND the back of the phone. When you hear 360, you might think that the protection would completely surround the phone, but it doesn’t get the sides. Still, this product protects the delicate iPhone X on the screen and on the back of the phone- up to 3x an unprotected screen, and those who don’t want to deal with a case on their phone might enjoy this lightweight bonus protection.

The glass borders come in black or black/silver for the iPhone X. It looks like this:

Other features:

It comes with an “EZ Apply Tray,” microfiber cloth, cleaning wipe, and dust removal sticker. I highly suggest checking out the video I’m posting for more tips on applying these protectors. You want to make sure that they are accurately applied so you don’t get the bubble effect or peeling. Make sure to register your product when you get it because there is a lifetime warranty on the screen protector for as long as you own your phone.

The glass + luxe 360 protector runs a pretty penny at $69.99 on their website, but they have free shipping…

The same company sells the Glass Curve Elite for the S8, S8+ and Note 8. The curved glass protection that Zagg offers is probably the best out there. Many companies in this market are trying to figure out how to get the best coverage on these infinity screens, and Zagg probably got this right with their adhesive that covers the whole glass, so there is the precision touch sensitivity all over the phone. There is also no weird effects around the edges like other products.

The package comes with all the stuff that I listed above for the 360 (well, different protector, of course). Also, as with the other glass protector, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

The Glass Curve Elite runs about $50, and you can find it here.

This guy gives some good tips on how to avoid getting dust trapped under the screen protector, and how to apply perfectly…

Now Featuring White Marble iPhone X Case From The Casery

We’ll take a break from our reviews of rugged, practical looking cases to bring you a different design. This White Marble case comes to us from The Casery- a website that sells fashion cases for phones. In particular, they sell iPhone cases.

This is the design of the iPhone X case that we were sent to review. It’s got a nice, sleek design that will make your phone look like an elegant countertop. In fact, if you have a similar countertop, you might want to be careful when you put your phone down on it, or you might lose your phone.

It really is a nice design, though, and the case itself has been drop tested from a 4 foot drop. In fact, my husband was watching an indie-film called Ingrid Goes West, and he noticed the case that the main character was using…

Is that Aubrey Plaza using a Casery case? Not only that, she’s got the white marble model that we had a chance to use. We don’t have confirmation on that, so we can’t say for sure.

This case is not the only design you can get. Check out The Casery website to see all the different designs you can get. This case and others for the iPhone X have a $32 pricetag attached. If you want other cases, The Casery has deals of thirty percent off when you buy a 2nd case, and free shipping.

 

Urban Armor Gear case reviews- Plyo Series and Monarch Series

Today we’ll review a couple of cases from the popular brand of Urban Armor Gear.

The first case is from the Plyo Series. We were sent one for the Galaxy Note 8, but this series is also available for iPhone X, 8, 7, and 6s Plus. The case looks a lot simpler than most UAG cases we’ve reviewed. They are translucent, and come in Crimson(red), Ice(clear) and Ash(grey) colors for the Samsung Note 8, and an added Glacier(blue) for iPhones.

The cases are sturdy like other UAG cases and meet military drop-test standards like others. They also have soft, cushion anti-shock corners to help protect from phone drops.

And good news for those who use Apple Pay and wireless charging- the cases are compatible for these activities.

These cases retail for $39.95 and come with a one year warranty.

Now, on to the Monarch series. These cases give me the UAG design vibe. The classic armor frame with the UAG name on the back, and the alloy metal screws holding things together in the four corners. It’s very rugged looking- reminds me of a truck tire.

Notable about the Monarch is the five layer protection, and that it has been drop tested to 2 times military standards- which is saying a lot.

These cases are available in just the black case for Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, but adds a red color for the Galaxy Note 8, and even more colors for iPhone- the most colors for iPhone X. You can get a better idea of all the colors on their website here.

All this protection will run you higher in cost than most cases at $59.95 USD, but there is a 10 year warranty, which is a good long time to protect your phone.

 

 

Anker SoundCore Boost Bluetooth Speaker

For those who like portable sound, or just want to have some good sound for their blue-tooth enabled devices, Anker has given the answer in this SoundCore Boost Bluetooth Speaker.

The size of the speaker makes it nice and portable, and it’s comparable to similar speakers like the JBL flip. There are semi-raised buttons to help you navigate in an easy, tactile manner.

If you need a little more bass in your life, the BassUp™ button will intensify your bass. The range on the boost is 66 feet without walls. If you are separating your device from your speaker, it might start skipping at 56 feet if you’re in a different room with walls in between. That’s still an impressive reach!

Most important, of course, is sound quality, and the sound is very good. I enjoyed the comparison of sound on different portable speakers that this YouTuber did, so here you go:

Some other good features of the SoundCore Boost is that the battery lasts up to 12 hours. Included in the box is a micro USB cable, but no charging adapter, so you will need to have one already. It does not support Qualcomm Quick Charge. The included cord is also a short one, so you have to charge your speaker pretty close to the charging source.

It uses Bluetooth Version 4.2, which makes pairing with devices pretty simple. It is water resistant, and that’s a nice feature if you’re taking it out and about. The cloth wrapping around the outside might attract a lot of dust, though. I’ve heard that it’s not the sturdiest speaker, so you should be careful not to drop it. Anker does have good customer service, though.

The normal price for this speaker is $79 on the website. You’ll find it for the same price on Amazon.com.

Element Case Rev Review

This phone case I’m reviewing has a design that looks stylish and rugged and made for speed. It is really designed for speed. It was car tossed at 65 MPH. So not only does it look like a sports car, and can survive being thrown out the window of a fast moving one. This one is a different Element case, but I can guess that the results would be similar to that of this video:

The Rev comes in three colors- a translucent red, blue and black. The corners may look big and bulky, but they are designed to protect your phone from extreme bumps and drops.

The frame of the case is called the X-FRAME™ chassis, and it is engineered to keep it lightweight while resisting twisting and bending. These cases have also been dropped 65 times at 10 feet to prove that they are extremely durable and will protect your phone.

The case we were sent to review is for the Galaxy S8, but they sell them for the Galaxy S8+, as well as other phones- including the iPhone. Most of the cases this company makes, in fact, are not designed for the S8 or S8 plus, so if you want to go with a Element Case for these types of phones, the Rev will be your best bet.

The Rev costs $39.95 on the Element Case website, but you can also find it at Amazon and stores such as WalMart.

Review of ITSKINS Cell Phone Cases (ZeroGel, Spectrum, and Supreme)

Maybe you want protection for your phone, but don’t want to shell out $40 for a high-end case? ITSKINS is a company based in China, and run by a French man that offers protection for various phones. Today we are reviewing 3 levels of cases- ZeroGel(Level 1), Spectrum(Level 2), and Supreme(Level 3).

Starting off with the ZeroGel, these translucent cases are offered in a variety of colors like the above clear case, pink, black, purple, and various colors of blue. They are nice and thin, but still offer great protection- drop certified at 1 meter/3.3 feet. This one is the basic, ultra slim design.

The case is flexible, with raised edges to protect the front of the phone if it is set on its screen side. It has the shock absorbing design that looks like honeycomb.

This style of case is listed at a price of $17.99 USD on the ITSKINS website.

For a couple of dollars more ($19.99 USD), you can upgrade to a Spectrum case, which looks similar to the slim protection, but is Drop Safe up to 2 Meters. The case we received to review fits the iPhone X, and came in a translucent black color, but you can find them for many types of phones in several different colors. You can find the one for your phone here.

Finally, at least for this review, you can get the level 3 protection of the Supreme case. This one runs a bit more at $29.99, but offers even more protection with a droptest level of up to 3 meters! There are other level 3 cases available from ITSKINS, but this one is the slimmest. 

As you can see in the image, there’s a 4 layer protection going on.

These 3 levels of cases were sent to us to review for free in exchange for a fair and unbiased review on our site.

Anker PowerCore II Slim 10000

Another review of an Anker product. They are a top company dealing with chargers, and this product is another great way to charge on the go.

This is the PowerCore II Slim 10000. The slim, portable charger is helpful for the people on the go, or people who play Pokemon Go. No, I’m serious. The portable charger might be the best thing for fighting gym battles and participating in the new community events.

Here is what you want to know about this external portable battery. The 1st generation of the PowerCore was small- about the size of a credit card. The PowerCore II is longer, but slim- comparable to the thinness of a phone- as pictured here:

The PowerCore II has a quick recharge- that is, if you buy a Qualcomm Quick Charge wall charger. Not included. Same issue as the wireless charger I reviewed the other day. It’s nice for sure. I don’t know why they wouldn’t include the item that you need for fast charging, but at least there is an option. It only takes 4 hours to recharge with the quick charger, as opposed to others that take 5 to 6 hours. It will take 5 to 6 hours to recharge if you use a 5V/2A Charger.

The good news is that once it’s charged, you can charge an iPhone 7 up to 3.4 times(according to their internal testing). That could be helpful if you are going to be away from a plug-in for a while.

If you’re interested in buying this product- it is listed at a price of$37.99 on their website.

 

Otterbox Case for the iPhone X- Symmetry Series

Otterbox is a well known company that protects many kinds of phones. People really want to protect those expensive iPhone Xs. Today, we get the chance to review the Symmetry Series.

The particular case we received to review is the Clear. You can also get one in Stardust- if you want to add a little sparkle to your phone.

The case touts the Otterbox drop protection. It claims to be scratch proof as well, but some customers have remarked that their case has received scratches. Otterbox customer service has been quick to offer replacement cases for customers, though, and a scratch on a case is always better than scratches on a phone.

Some customers have also complained about the buttons covering the volume buttons being hard to push. I have seen other people who have said the buttons were easy to push, and Otterbox suggested that it should loosen up over time. Again, Otterbox seems to care about customer satisfaction, so if it ends up being too much of a problem, you only need to let them know.

The Otterbox site offers this case for $39.95. The lip of the case will protect the screen from being scratched up if you put the phone face down, but for extra protection, you can get this screen protector as well.

The Alpha glass screen protector can offer that extra screen protection for another $39.95 on the Otterbox site. Hey, you might as well protect that screen with something clear to go with your clear case. Okay, that’s the best I have.