Berlin Backpack Carries Your Tech in Style

Toffee is an Australian company that offers many sleek and stylish bags of different types to carry your laptops, tablets, phones, and anything else. Their cases and backpacks offer padded protection for your gear, while adding a classic look. In this review, we’ll talk specifically about the Berlin Backpack.

credit:Toffee

What You Should Know About the Berlin Backpack

From the Toffee website:

  • Outer Fabric: 100% waxed cotton canvas and genuine leather
  • Side pockets: 100% genuine naturally milled leather with a subtle pebble grain
  • Lining: 95% Cotton, 5% Spandex
  • Bag Size: 260 mm/11.4 inches (L), 410 mm/15.3 inches (H), 14 cm/5.5 inches (W)
  • Compatible With: MacBook Air/Pro, Surface Pro 3 & 4 and other similar sized notebooks up to 13-inch.

 

Design

This backpack is very nicely designed. Pulling it out of the plastic wrap it came in, I can smell the leather and cotton canvas. It has a new, clean smell. The straps are slightly padded, but not as thick as most backpacks. Still it provides comfort. The Berlin Bag seems like it would be a bit awkward looking on a big person, as it’s size is really not that substantial.

The backpack comes in these three colors. We received the green one to review. As you can see, there is a leather cup holder on the side, and the front pocket could hold some small things like pencils or calculators.

The inside has a winning craftsmanship with pinstripes, and a quilted pocket to provide some nice cushion for your (13 in.) laptop. The smaller pocket in front of that is just the right size to hold a tablet. Of course, there’s also the additional room in front of that to carry books, or other essentials you might need to take along.

The bottom of the bag has four metal feet, which will allow the bag to better sit upright, and also keeps the material up off the floor. The whole build of the bag looks to be very durable, which is good because:

Berlin Backpack Price

The sleek design and durable build will come with a pricetag. You can buy the bag for about $165, which looks to be in the mid price range for the backpacks/carrying cases offered by Toffee. It does qualify for free shipping off their website.

We would recommend this backpack to students looking for a fashionable way to carry their devices. While Toffee sent us this backpack for free to review, we will remind everyone that we are not sponsored by this company, and our review is done without bias.

Landing Zone USB Type-C Hub for the new MacBook Pro Review

For our 2nd Landing Zone review, we will be covering the USB Type-C Hub for the MacBook Pro. If you don’t need all the extra ports that the Thunderbolt 3 provides, read on to find out how this device could be useful for you.

 

This hub is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand (4 1/2 x 2 inches and about 1/4 inch high), but gives you several different ports to plug in all your devices, therefore eliminating the need for a bunch of dongles. Using the hub is as easy as plugging it into the ports on the side of the MacBook Pro. Similarly easy to unplug and slide in a pocket while carrying the MacBook. You could leave it plugged in, but it might not fit in your carrying case.

Featured:

  • 2 USB Type C ports, which will support 5K video output, 40 gigs of data transfer, and up to 100 W power
  • A port for HDMI cables- up to 4K capacity
  • A USB Type C 3.1 Gen 1 port with a transfer rate of 5 Gb/s
  • 2 USB 3.1  Type-A ports- again with 5 gigs of data transfer rate
  • and a SD card slot that supports up to 104 Mb/s data transfer rate

Landing Zone has thoughtfully included a Micro SD to SD card adapter.  There are rubber feet on the bottom of the all-metal casing- providing for stability and a decent quality.

If you have a 13-inch or 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar released in 2016 and 2017, or the 2016/2017 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar, we think this product will be a good deal for those looking for some ports to plug things into.

You can buy it on their website for $99, and get a discount if you qualify under their student/educator deal.

We thank Landing Zone for providing a free review model in exchange for our fair and unbiased evaluation.

Landing Zone Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station for 15 inch MacBook Pro Review

Landing Zone is a Silicon Valley company that is dedicated to make docking stations designed for Apple users. They were generous enough to send us three products, which we’ll cover in three separate articles today. In this review, we’re going to look at another Thunderbolt 3 product- a Docking Station For 15.4″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

This isn’t the first time we’ve reviewed a Thunderbolt 3 product. The last review of one was by Promise Technology- just last week. Landing Zone’s docking station has quite a different look and set up, but many of the same features. This Thunderbolt 3 actually fits the MacBook Pro on it which gives you a bit of an angle on your keyboard, but it has some good ergonomics.

There are several different ports to use:

  • 3 USB 3.1 Type-C Ports
  • 1 USB Type C Passthrough Port
  • 3 USB 3.1 Type A Ports (one with high speed charging)
  • an HDMI port
  • a Mini DisplayPort or HDMI Port (depending on how you want to use it)
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • SD card slot
  • Micro SD card slot
  • a 2 way audio jack
  • a slot for a Kensington Security key to lock up your MacBook Pro
  • and, of course a port for the power cord (a 96 W adapter is included)

Your MacBook Pro could be working for you like this one:

Note, while the docking station looks very metallic, it is actually made of a plastic material, which makes it lightweight, but it still feels sturdy and of reputable quality. It is easy to set up and use right away.

The cost of this device is $299, but if you are a student, you could qualify for a discount by purchasing it on the Landing Zone website.

Thanks again to Landing Zone for sending us a free model in exchange for our fair and unbiased review.

UAG ICE Case for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touchbar

UAG macBook Pro 15So, it is another time to review another UAG (Urban Armor Gear) product. I have reviewed cases for their various products, and they are quite good at providing protection for mobile products. Today, I am going to be reviewing the ICE (a clear case) made for the MacBook Pro 15-inch with touchbar.

The UAG Case for the MacBook Pro 15-inch is essentially two hard plastic sheets joined by a piece of rubber. The part that covers the back of the keyboard has a lot of holes for ventilation as well as some rubberized “feet” for non-sliding purpose.

As for the part the covers the back of the screen portion, it is almost completely transparent, with a window ready for making certain that the Apple logo shows. I think this is all part of the contract that Apple has.

Also, there are some impact resistant bumper that are hard and rubber. By the way, all of the case is shaped for structural rigidity. If you want to purchase this, check it out on the UAG site for $79.95.

FINsix Dart, the “World’s Smallest Laptop Charger”

dart-1I must say that there are a lot of products that I have seen for months, but finally get a chance to try for myself. I believe that I saw the Dart at CES 2016 last January, and I faintly remember seeing it at CES 2015. Of course, I could be mistaken, but this is the FINsix Dart, which is the world’s smallest laptop charger.

I’ll go ahead and talk about its main purpose. You plug it into the wall to charge it, and you have a battery that you can use to charge your laptop. I am told that it will work on 95 percent of laptops, and it has charging cord with nine interchangeable power tips. Just to let you know, that 5 percent includes the Apple MacBook and Microsoft Surface (you’ve been warned).

It delivers 65 W of power, and it can charge a laptop just as good as the charging cord that your laptop came with. Not only is it good for charging your laptop, but it has a USB device charger with 2.1 A output. By the way, you can charge a laptop and a USB powered device at the same time.

By the way, the Dart includes overvoltage, overcurrent, and overheating protection, in case you are worried about stuff like that. It has a 90 percent power conversion efficiency as well.

You should be able to pick up the Dart on the FINsix site for a price of $99.99. I will have to say that it is worth it. I mean, it is light, and useful. In short, it is something that we all need, and should make a good gift this year.

Lander Brenner MacBook Sleeve for MacBook Pro 15-inch

IMAG0360Well, we have reviewed Lander products before, as they have that black iPhone case that looks like the bottom of a plastic raft. Now, I had a chance to review the Lander Brenner MacBook Sleeve for MacBook Pro 15-inch.

This particular case for the MacBook has one of those Magnetic clasps, and it can give your MacBook some “weather resistant” powers. Yeah, I’m not certain if you want to use this sleeve and throw your MacBook in the lake, but you get it.

Apparently, this thing has “heat molded edges”, and it is “thermaformed” to fit the MacBook. This Illumaweave has a reflective jacket material for quick location in the dark.

Hey man, it is a tough world out there, and if you need this particular product for your MacBook, and you have one that is 15-inches, head over to the Lander site and pay $49.99 for it.

Our Review of the Drifter Energy 15-inch Laptop Backpack from STM Bags

STM Drifter BagOkay, this is not the first time that I have reviewed something from STM Bags, and this one is just in time for back-to-school. This is the Drifter Energy backpack for 15-inch backpacks.

So it is a laptop backpack, big deal, right? Well, it is has a smart Joey energy supply that is integrated with it so you can charge a smartphone or tablet. What is funny is that it took me a while to find the power source, but it is in the bag.

Get it? It’s deep in the backpack, and on a little hook to take it out. Now, you need to connect a cord to battery pack to charge it, and then use another cord to charge your smartphone and tablet. That is good enough for 15-20 hours of talk time, and give your tablet some extra power as well.

So not only is there some great spot for your 15-inch laptop, there is a lot of great pockets. There’s like three of them, and then on the inside, there is some serious levels of pocket in this guy. Seriously, I love having pockets that are really overdoing it on the pocket.

The Drifter Energy for 15-inch laptops is available in camo, graphite, and navy for about $239.95 on the STM Bag sites.

Asus Unveils ZenBook 3 Ultrabook at Three ZenFones at Computex

AsusRight now, there is a big consumer electronics show known as Computex, and I hope that I will attend it someday. If I was there yesterday, I would have seen Asus unveil four new products.

The first is the ZenBook 3, and ultralight ultrabook that weighs 910 grams with a 12.5 inches, and extremely thin bezel. It also has an aluminum alloy and also have an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of 2133MHz RAM and USB Type-C.

As for the three smartphones, they include the ZenFone 3, ZenFone 3 Deluxe, and the ZenFone Ultra. The base model is 5.5 inches with Qualcomm 625 processor. The Deluxe has the same size, but with a 23 Megapixel camera and Sony IMX319 image sensor, f/2.0 aperture lens, and it is capable of 4K video. The Ultra has a 6.8 inch full HD screen and 4,600 mAh battery. All three smartphones have USB Type C charging ports and fingerprint sensors on the back.

These devices should be out soon, but there is no word on a release date.

Source

Our Review of the Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball

KensingtonWell, it is time again for us to review a fine Kensington product, and today it is the Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball. I suppose that this is a step up from the Orbit Wireless Mobile Trackball, which we reviewed here.

What makes this one different from the Orbit and other wireless mouse is that you don’t need a wireless dongle. If your computer can do Bluetooth, then you can use the Bluetooth 4.0 LE to pair it.

The Expert Mouse Wireless Trackball also comes with some customizable software for some precise cursor control. There is also the possibility of using the Scroll Ring, some award-winning technology to scan up and down web pages or long documents with ease.

All of that, and it has that trackball fun, and makes me want to play Marble Mountain again. Other features include a detachable wrist rest for ergonomic comfort, and there is an ambidextrous design for right and left-handers. That, and it has four programmable buttons.

All in all, it is a pretty sweet deal, and it can be purchased on the Kensington site for about $99.99.

Our Review of the Roost Laptop Stand

Roost028-v1A_2-500heightJust like when I reported on the Moleskine Smart Writing Set, it is difficult for me to report on the Roost Laptop Stand, a Portable, Lightweight, Adjustable, Ergonomic Stand without comparing it to the iFold from Matias. I believe that I used as many descriptors that I could at the beginning, and this image should show you what it is.

As you can see, it is one of these devices that removes “the old painful laptop hunch”. You can see that the laptop screen is at the level of your eye instead of a little below it.

Now, the things that make products like this work is how simple that they fold up. I had to admit with the iFold is that I always had to look at the picture to see how it unfolds. This one actually folds up to something that looks like two windshield wipers into something that has only length and not length and width like the iFold.

Roost Folded upIt folds into a small 1 x 1 x 13 inch mass that weighs about 5.8 ounces. It unfolds by just pulling it apart, and it took a while before I got the knack of it. The Roost Stand is also able to adjust to 3 height settings to math the screen height to the user’s eye level.

The laptop comes in this place where there are some little adjustable hook things to hold it in. What is also interesting is how the user can literally tilt the laptop while in the Roost Laptop Stand, and it won’t fall out. So if you are worried about the laptop accidentally just falling out, that won’t happen.

So, if you are interested in getting this Roost Laptop Stand for yourself, you can get it on The Roost Stand website for about $74.95.