Mac Sources Digital media blog for resources and reviews 2017-07-21T20:32:51Z https://macsources.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Nicholas Calderone https://www.macsources.com/team/ <![CDATA[DODOcase iPad Pro 10.5 Durables Sleeve REVIEW]]> https://macsources.com?p=46450&preview=true&preview_id=46450 2017-07-21T20:32:51Z 2017-07-21T20:32:51Z Where style meets long lasting protection When I picked up my 10.5-inch iPad Pro, I knew that it might be a long wait before great third party cases and sleeves would come along. I was happy with just having the Apple Smart Keyboard until I was in my truck one day and noticed that the […]

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Where style meets long lasting protection

When I picked up my 10.5-inch iPad Pro, I knew that it might be a long wait before great third party cases and sleeves would come along. I was happy with just having the Apple Smart Keyboard until I was in my truck one day and noticed that the back of the iPad Pro wasn’t being protected. I also realized that my Apple Pencil was just magnetized to the Smart Keyboard and could easily be left behind somewhere. I knew if I wanted to take care of this amazing iPad and its accessories, I was going to have to invest in Apple’s Leather Sleeve to carry it all. This was problematic as Apple never seems to have it in stock and neither does Best Buy. Luckily for me, DODOcase has other options like the Durables Sleeve. DODOcase is a company we have worked with in the past and have found that the quality of their products is impeccable so I was excited to try out their newest iPad Pro sleeve.

DODOcase iPad Pro 10.5 Durables Sleeve REVIEW

Once DODOcase sent out the Durables Sleeve, I found myself less nervous on taking my iPad out and about. DODOcase designs wonderfully crafted products for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. They also have a new Apple Pencil Sleeve that Robyn will discuss in her review next week.

The Durables Sleeve besides having not much of a name is just that — a super durable sleeve with a slim profile that houses your Apple Pencil, iPad Pro, and the Smart Keyboard. Its exterior is made from a waxed canvas and genuine mahogany leather while the inside liner is a cotton twill. The padding is recycled felt and you can keep your goodies secure by using the snap closure. The stitching on this sleeve is immaculate and because of the raised lip after the stitching, I feel that it’s a hard enough surface to protect the iPad Pro from small bumps. The canvas gives the sleeve a classy feel while also providing daily working sturdiness.

DODOcase iPad Pro 10.5 Durables Sleeve REVIEW

The cotton twill is a different color than the outside and I find this to be a good look inside of any case or sleeve. Something that I read before getting this sleeve but forgot about was the handy interior elastic loop that fits the Apple Pencil. Honestly, when I first got my hands on it I slipped my iPad with Smart Keyboard inside and was surprised how nice of a fit it was. We review lots of cases and some are made to only hold the iPad. If you’re rocking a Smart Keyboard well, you’re just out of luck.

I used the Durables Sleeve for a while before catching the loop for the Pencil. The elastic loop does a good job of keeping the Pencil in place perfectly. I wish the first day of using it I would have remembered this as I left my house and decided against taking the Pencil with me because I was afraid I would lose Apple’s $100 drawing tool. I spent four hours wishing I had the Pencil that day and now that I’ve found this wonderful little loop, it’s like the Force and a Jedi’s Lightsaber — the Pencil will always be with me.

DODOcase iPad Pro 10.5 Durables Sleeve REVIEW

If you’re in the market for a quality-made iPad Pro sleeve that looks great while doing its job of protecting your gear, then DODOcase has the product for you.

For more information, visit DODOcase
Find DODOcase on Facebook and Twitter.

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Robyn https://www.macsources.com/team/ <![CDATA[Monster Firecracker HD Bluetooth Speaker REVIEW]]> https://macsources.com?p=46314&preview=true&preview_id=46314 2017-07-21T18:45:49Z 2017-07-21T18:40:00Z Firecracker is a high-quality, rugged, easy-to-use speaker for all occasions. No matter how many Bluetooth speakers I come across, there seems to be a plethora of reasons to have more than one. Even though I have a waterproof speaker, I still like to search for ones that might be a bit more versatile and portable […]

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Firecracker is a high-quality, rugged, easy-to-use speaker for all occasions.

No matter how many Bluetooth speakers I come across, there seems to be a plethora of reasons to have more than one. Even though I have a waterproof speaker, I still like to search for ones that might be a bit more versatile and portable than my giant UE Mega Boom. I happened to be turned onto the Firecracker HD Speaker from Monster Audio and I’ve really enjoyed using it.

Monster Firecracker HD Bluetooth Speaker REVIEW

The Firecracker comes in an impressive Monster-branded box. The box describes the contents well and features some it’s more special features. Once you get into the box you will find the speaker encased in plastic and a wrist strap, Micro USB charging cable, a carabiner clip, and paperwork. The speaker has a striking red finish to it well-suited to the Firecracker name. On one end of the speaker is a LED Photolite, which is meant for augmenting lighting for photos you are taking with your mobile phone. On the other end of the speaker is the control panel where you will find the multifunction button, volume up/down, and the Photolite on/off button.

Monster Firecracker HD Bluetooth Speaker REVIEW

When you power the speaker on for the first time, it will enter pairing mode and you can easily connect to it through your mobile phone’s Bluetooth menu. The Firecracker is also NFC compatible so you can tap your device on the NFC sensor when it’s in pairing mode to connect to it. You will know that pairing is successful when the LED in the center of the Monster logo. Even though the speaker sort of has a rounded triangular shape and you can set it to any angle, there are two semi-adhesive feet on the side that does not have the Monster logo or the cable connection door.

The volume control is not separate from the mobile device it’s connected to — meaning that it will control your device’s volume rather than amplifying it further with its own volume. That said, I have been impressed with the quality of the sound and the volume I do get from it. I started out listening to some gentle crooner music from the 50s/60s and then switched to some 90s hip-hop. I usually turn to the hip-hop to get a good idea of how well a speaker handles bass. Surprisingly enough, the music was crisp, clear and had a great deep bass sound.

Monster Firecracker HD Bluetooth Speaker REVIEW

Finally, I switched off to Netflix to test out how the speaker would handle a diverse soundtrack like the one from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. In my experience, sometimes external Bluetooth speakers muddy the sound quality from a movie and it makes it hard to hear different parts of it. Sometimes you can’t hear the voice track over the sound effects and so on. POTC has a very strong sound mix complete with vivacious music, rich sound effects, and a wide range of vocals in the voice track. That’s why I use it so much when I test out movie sounds on speakers and headphones. I’m very pleased to say that the Firecracker did a great job of playing the blended mix clearly and with lovely depth.

The Photolite is a directional beam. It is very much like a flashlight, but it presents a 5000-degree Kelvin color temperature, which is ideal for cool, vivid tones in photographs. In my opinion, it looks like it’s a bit strong for most photographs. It’s great for a flashlight, but unless you can widen the beam or bounce the light from another source, the Photolite will simply create a ‘hot spot’ in your photograph.You can see this issue from the example below.

Monster Firecracker HD Bluetooth Speaker REVIEW

The Firecracker is a high-quality speaker that is compact enough to travel with you anywhere. I love it’s rugged nature and easy to use functions — and the fact that it’s a vibrant red color doesn’t hurt. I feel as though its price point is in-line with other speakers this size and quality.
BUY FROM AMAZON

For more information, visit monsterproducts.com.
Find Monster on Facebook and Twitter.

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Nicholas Calderone https://www.macsources.com/team/ <![CDATA[NAIPO Shoulder and Neck Massager REVIEW]]> https://macsources.com?p=46347&preview=true&preview_id=46347 2017-07-21T17:49:45Z 2017-07-21T17:48:00Z Massager great for working out tired muscles after a long day. If you have the type of job where you sit at a computer all day, you are no doubt familiar with the concept of a neck and should massage. I have to admit that even I have visited the kiosks in our local mall […]

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Massager great for working out tired muscles after a long day.

If you have the type of job where you sit at a computer all day, you are no doubt familiar with the concept of a neck and should massage. I have to admit that even I have visited the kiosks in our local mall from time to time to undo some of the knots that have worked their way into my neck through out the day. But, who really has time (or money) to do that on a regular basis? There are a lot of alternative options out there for electronic massagers and today I want to introduce you to the Shoulder & Neck Massager from NAIPO.

NAIPO Shoulder and Neck Massager REVIEW

NAIPO is a company that specializes in affordable, comfortable, and reliable massage products. They use modern technologies to support healthier lifestyles and focus on traditional as well as contemporary therapy options to maximize customer health and well-being. They offer a wide variety of massage products and I’ve been lucky enough to try out their Shoulder & Neck Massager over the past week. The device is a Shiatsu kneading massager that includes heat to ensure maximum results for your particular needs. It has 8 deep-kneading Shiatsu massage nodes and has a built-in heat function that improves blood circulation.

NAIPO Shoulder and Neck Massager REVIEW

The massager comes packaged with a user manual, car charger, wall charger, and a washable dust cloth. It weighs close to 4 pounds but isn’t horribly inconvenient to pack around. I would love it if a carrying pouch was included, but seeing as how it folds up nicely, I can slide it into most any backpack and be comfortable carrying it. The car charger was a welcome surprise. When the massager arrived I was just about to leave on a road trip that would take about 5 hours to drive round trip. It made it easy for all of us to keep from becoming too sore while on the road and I could see this being invaluable on a longer road trip for that very reason.  To get started using it, you simply plug the power adapter into the massager cord extension and then press the power button. Heat is automatically engaged, but you can turn it off by the simple controls on the side of the massager. There are built-in handles for you to slide your hands into. This not only helps to keep the massager in the correct place, but it also provides additional pressure for the massager.

NAIPO Shoulder and Neck Massager REVIEW

NAIPO rates this massager with a 4 out of 5 intensity level. I would have to agree with that assessment. When I first put it on my shoulders, I thought that maybe I didn’t have the correct placement because it seemed to be rubbing in an uncomfortable way. I readjusted it so that it was more on my neck and I loved it. Sitting in an office chair seems to be the easiest way for me to enjoy the comfort of the massage, but NAIPO indicates you can also use this massager on your back, abdomen, buttocks, calf or thigh. My fiancé has some pretty severe back pain and she decided to try it on her lower back. After about 30 seconds, she turned it off and took some ibuprofen instead. I believe that the Shoulder & Neck massager will work differently for different body parts on different people. For me, I loved having the intensity focused on my neck and shoulders. It helped me relax and make it through the rest of my work day.

NAIPO Shoulder and Neck Massager REVIEW

The NAIPO Shoulder & Neck Massager is a really nice option for working out tired muscles and relaxing after a day behind the computer.
BUY FROM AMAZON

For more information, visit naipocare.com.
Find NAIPO on Facebook and Twitter.

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Robyn https://www.macsources.com/team/ <![CDATA[Brainful iOS App REVIEW]]> https://macsources.com?p=46438&preview=true&preview_id=46438 2017-07-21T17:19:56Z 2017-07-21T17:19:56Z Brainful tests your reflexes and patience with a colorful, intriguing game. I don’t really consider myself a ‘gamer’. I like games, but I don’t use my phone or iPad as a gaming machine. The few games that are lucky enough to find themselves a part of my app library are ones that have stood the […]

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Brainful tests your reflexes and patience with a colorful, intriguing game.

I don’t really consider myself a ‘gamer’. I like games, but I don’t use my phone or iPad as a gaming machine. The few games that are lucky enough to find themselves a part of my app library are ones that have stood the test of time with me and they are ones that I keep coming back to time and time again. So, when I am introduced to a new endless runner or puzzle game, I am left wondering, “Will this one make the cut?” I found myself asking this question once again today when I downloaded Brainful, a creative brain teaser game for iOS.

Brainful was developed by The One Pixel, creators of the App Store featured Color Magnet and Super Flip Game, and was designed to be a brain teaser that actually stimulates your brain. It’s designed to test your reflexes, memory, and power of association and it does so with a mind-boggling color, number, and symbol sequence. The game features two game modes — Stepper and Endless. Stepper is designed to provide the user with a progressive introduction to the game. There are 18 levels to complete — three levels for each recognition method. Each level (easy, medium, and hard) increases in difficulty by adding more steps to the level. The Endless mode continues without end until you get a progression wrong. The goal is to beat your high score.

Brainful iOS App REVIEW Brainful iOS App REVIEW

Brainful is a very colorful, simple, clean app to look at. The concept is very intriguing and I’ve never really seen anything like it. I realize that up until now, I’ve been very vague about the mechanism of the game. On the Stepper mode, you start with the Colors method on Easy. Before you start the level you will see a screen that says:

Each of the buttons below represents the column they’re in.
Always remember the button you tap, it indicates which column to select next.

Brainful iOS App REVIEW

So, when you start the level the first button you see is the color pink. Pink is the first column. So, the next button you tap is in the pink column. Whatever color it is — in this case, yellow — that is the next column you move to. This is how you progress through the level until you beat all the steps. If you miss a step or tap the incorrect button, you have to start the level over again. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, your brain plays tricks on you because you see the column color and the button color at the same time so you get easily confused. Fortunately, there is no timer so you can take your time to tap the correct column.

As you move to the different methods — arrows, numbers, letters, dice, and negation — you will have those methods added into the level. Trust me, it gets complicated. I did find, however, that the more I played, the more my brain became relaxed and the more I was able to move easily through the levels. You can easily become distracted and when you do, you may have to start retraining your brain again. I mostly played the Stepper mode, but did try the Endless one as well and found that it was nearly impossible for me to get further than about 10 steps.

Brainful iOS App REVIEW Brainful iOS App REVIEW

Brainful is free to download and play, but there are ads. The ads pop up after you play for a few levels and they can really throw you off your game. You can, of course, eliminate the ads by paying to remove them. The cost is $1.99 and you also get color customizations along with that. It’s a one-time fee, but for me, I’d rather just play the free version. There are some games that put an ad up every 30 seconds. Brainful isn’t that bad and they don’t have the ads plastered all over the screen while you play.

Brainful isn’t a bad game. I enjoyed playing it, but don’t think it will be one that I keep on my app shelf.

DOWNLOAD – Brainful – iOS – FREE

For more information, visit theonepixel.com/brainful.
Find The One Pixel on Facebook and Twitter.

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Jon Walters http://macsources.com <![CDATA[OxyLED Desk Lamp T35 REVIEW Sleek, Modern, Art Deco designed desk lamp.]]> https://macsources.com/?p=46430 2017-07-21T16:38:11Z 2017-07-21T16:38:11Z From home to office, to emergency situation, the OxyLED T35 will provide a convenient LED lighting option. The original incandescent light bulb went through various tests, throughout the 1870’s, and ultimately was patented in 1879, by Thomas Alva Edison (History of the Light Bulb).  I find it amazing that it took nearly 100 years before […]

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From home to office, to emergency situation, the OxyLED T35 will provide a convenient LED lighting option.

The original incandescent light bulb went through various tests, throughout the 1870’s, and ultimately was patented in 1879, by Thomas Alva Edison (History of the Light Bulb).  I find it amazing that it took nearly 100 years before we had the first LED.  Nick Holonyak, Jr. was thirty-three years old when he inadvertently created the very first red LED in 1962.  According to theatlantic.com (Inventing the LED Lightbulb), GE started selling LED lamps in 1963 for $260.   By the 1970’s a green LED was invented, followed by yellow LED.  It took nearly another 30 years for three Nobel prize winning inventors to create a blue LED.  Without the blue LED, to be combined with the Red and Green LED, we would not have the white LED that we have come to enjoy.  Thanks to the work of the above individuals, and many others throughout the world, the LED is finally starting to flourish.  With prices of LED bulbs dropping, and smart home features becoming more abundant, I have started to replace my bulbs with LEDs.  Personally, the color scheme of LED bulbs are more enjoyable and are easier on my eyes.  This is the reason that I have LED lights at my work desk.  Recently, I have turned to the desk lamp from OxyLED to illuminate my projects.

OxyLED T35

The OxyLED LED Desk Lamp arrives in a triangular shaped box with a picture of the lamp on the cover.  The lamp appears very futuristic and techie. Rotating the box ninety degrees counterclockwise, you will be presented with the features of the lamp: Color temperature 3800K-4500K, 160 Lumens, DC 5V/1A input, step-less dimming, no dazzling light, USB port, soft LED, no mercury or lead, uses 1/3 lower power, adjustable angle and 20,000 hours of life.  Turning the packaging another ninety degrees counterclockwise, you will notice that the rear of the packaging details the lamp measurements: 290 mm tall by 135mm wide. You will also notice that the lamp has an open and closed position, swiveling about the back of the lamp head.  To remove the product from the packaging, you will need to open the box from the bottom.  Unfortunately, the top opening is too small to slide the lamp out of the box.   Once removed, you will notice the lamp, a very generous 61″ USB A to micro-USB cable, a very short instruction manual and a warranty card.  The white cable is a standard cable, without any advantages to other cables.  The manual is well written and has a very helpful diagram on page 1 with the operational guide.

The lamp is composed of a 5 1/4 inch diameter base and stands 11 1/4 inches tall. When the lamp is removed from the packaging, it comes in its folded position.  If you gently grasp the wider end of the lamp head (end closest to the base), you will be able to lift the head of the lamp.   The lamp will swivel from 0-180 degrees in a single plane.  There is no swivel to the lamp, but you can rotate the base if desired. The lamp head has a plastic feel, and the metallic base feels metallic.  There is a very little flare or embellishment to the design, which honestly plays to the strength of the device.  They did strategically place a white OxyLED logo along the base.  There are no toggles, switches or ports available along the front or side of the lamp.  To charge the lamp, you will need to plug the included USB micro cable into the micro-USB charging port along the back of the lamp.  I love that the power cord is hidden in the back of the lamp, but was disappointed that there was no cable management.  The sleek metallic look is definitely offset by the glaring white USB cable.

OxyLED T35 Desk LampJust above the charging port is a little power icon, which serves as the on/off/dim switch.  Through capacitative touch, you can short press to turn on/off the light, or you can hold the button to either brighten or dim the light.  Beautiful in its simplicity, the lamp takes up very little space in both the folded and unfolded states.  The lamp is perfect for a home desk, work desk or a bedside table.  One of the unwritten strengths is the lower power consumption.  At first, I questioned the use of the USB to USB-Micro cable and the lack of an included power brick.  However, I quickly realized that the lamp can be powered by USB battery packs.  Upon initial thought, this may not seem like that big of a deal.  However, if you think about this utility during power outages, camping trips etc., then you have light as long as you have portable battery packs.  It is my personal rule to have at least 1 10,000 mAh battery charged for emergencies anyway.  This setup serves a dual role and other than the charging cable complaint is incredibly well designed.  The flat base allows you to rest a book or keyboard directly under the light.  This negates the lack of height adjustment to the lamp.  In summary, the lamp has many benefits and only a few set backs.  The design is very artistic/futuristic and the color scheme should blend with just about any ensemble.  I love the portability, the ability to use the light in an emergency, but am not a fan of the USB charging port choice.  This should have been better integrated into the light.  The color of the cable should have been gray and it should have had a recess to plug into the light at an angle or up through the base.   I would rate the lamp at 4.5/5 stars.
BUY FROM AMAZON

Visit Oxyled.com to learn more about the products.
Follow OxyLED on Facebook and Twitter.

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