Articles in Personal Tech

Braven 850 Bluetooth Speaker – Review

How does a product stand out in a market that is already overflowing with devices that perform the same functions?  In the case of the high-end portable Bluetooth speaker market, you dial in gorgeous industrial design, superb sound quality, long battery life, and the ability to jump start myriad devices.
A futuristic-looking Bluetooth-equipped speaker with an outer shell of aircraft-grade aluminum, the Braven 850  also functions as a portable electronic device …

Dyson AM06 Desk Fan – Review

With winter long gone and summer temperatures fast approaching, people are coming home anxious to cool off, and a desk fan is bound to help. For those who believe that it is sometimes better to be seen and not heard, a quiet desk fan may be an even more desirable solution.
James Dyson, a British industrial designer who is perhaps best known for his bagless vacuum cleaner, is a pioneer in …

LoungeBuddy Airline Lounge Locator App – Review

For frequent travelers, the most important thing next to getting one’s preferred seat on the plane is having a few minutes to relax and check e-mail in an airline lounge before or after a flight.  If you have a long layover, finding the “right” lounge becomes critical.
Enter LoungeBuddy, a travel app that locates and recommends airline lounges at specific airports based on user-defined criteria.
Setting up LoungeBuddy is simple.  First …

How to Build Your Own ‘Internet of Things’ – Part I

If you haven’t come across the term “Internet of Things,” don’t worry. You will.
The term refers to taking everyday objects, such as light bulbs or door locks, and giving them network connectivity through which they can be controlled.  But it doesn’t stop there – companies are actively developing standards and platforms that enable users to turn on and off lights, unlock doors, close shades, play music, and more – all …

Ogio Newt 13 Backpack – Review

Frequent travelers not only need to transport themselves from one city to another, but they also need a way to safely and conveniently tote their belongings on their voyages.  Every traveler has his own idea of the perfect piece of luggage, and while some have found their dream suitcase, others are still on the search for the ideal portmanteau.
Obviously, suitcases come in all shapes and sizes, tailored to a variety …

Nikon Nikkor 18-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens – Review and Test Report

Having previously paired a Sigma 18-250 mm zoom with my Nikon D90, I lusted after Nikon’s new 18-300 mm, the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR.  I used the 18-300 with a Nikon D7100 and spent several months using it.
Superzooms, it turns out, are burdened by compromises, mostly involving size and weight.
First, the 18-300 is the longest-range superzoom currently available as an interchangeable lens.  It outdistances the competition, …

Nikon D7100 Digital SLR – Review and Test Report

When Nikon introduced the D90 digital SLR in 2008, it brought with it some groundbreaking features and functionality including support for high-definition video and a sophisticated new CMOS sensor.
Nikon added the D7000 in 2010 as a D90 replacement (although the D90 continues to be produced) and last year debuted the D7100, which adds a new 24.1-megapixel sensor, an updated 51-point auto-focus system, wireless connectivity, and noticeably better build quality.
I paired …