Wednesday, March 20, 2013

4 must have gadgets in a smartphone era



If you want to be wise about the gadgets you buy post-smartphone, keep the following items in mind. 

Jambox Bluetooth speakers
The Jambox is a brick-shaped wireless audio speaker. It can play sound from any device with a wireless Bluetooth connection, including smartphones and most laptops and tablets. It is small, lightweight and has decent audio quality. 
Want to listen to radio while showering? Put the speaker on the side table in the bathroom. Along with the Jambox there are plenty of similarly priced bluetooth speakers to buy from companies like Logitech, Soundfreaq and Jensen. 
Backup battery
Almost every time I have friends at my house, someone asks to borrow my phone charger because of a dead phone battery. Other times I have been on the run, juggling text messages and e-mails , and my phone died. Smartphones typically do not have great battery life. You will be lucky to have power by dinnertime if you use yours to play a few games or post some Instagram photos throughout the day. 

Internet-linked storage device
Not many people own a network attached storage device because they can be expensive, but they make life much easier. It's basically a hard drive connected to the Internet. I use the Synology DS213 NAS to do wireless backups for MacBook Air, and to add bulky files the notebook can't hold, like movies and big audio files. 

The connected drive can also stream videos and music to any multimedia player. For example, if you have an Xbox or Apple TV in the living room, you can wirelessly stream media from the Synology onto those devices. 
It's been a nice way to keep my backups and entertainment media all in one place, and make media accessible from any device. 

Some might argue an external hard drive is unnecessary now that we can live in "the cloud." But most people have at least some sensitive files they don't want to store on a company's online server, so I think a network attached storage device is still a solid investment. 

MacBook Air
I use my MacBook Air every day and take it with me to cafes and wherever I travel. Like the iPad, it's extremely thin and light. But unlike the iPad, it has all the tools I need for work and goofing off, including Microsoft Word and Adobe Flash.

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