Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Jumper Card - The Swiss Army Knife of Portable Chargers

February 10, 2014

The Jumper Card is a very unique portable charger that meets just about every portable charger requirement - it's small/portable, it has decent power for its size, and it sports multiple connector types, including MicroUSB, Apple's Lightning, and iPhone 30-pin connectors. Launched on Indiegogo, the founder Eli Regalado sent me a review unit to check out.

Looking at the Jumper Card from the top with the connectors popped out, sporting 3 different connection types, you can see why I call this the "Swiss Army Knife" of portable chargers:

It measures 3.54 x 2.24 x 0.25 inches. By comparison, a credit card is 3.34 x 2.12 x 0.030 inches. So how well would this do in a wallet?

Smartphone Shortcomings - Graphene Supercapacitors to the Rescue!

January 8, 2014

It's the start of a new year and surely we've all read several "Best of 2013" lists ad nausem. But I thought I'd share an interesting infographic I was sent titled 'Smartphone Shortcomings', which examines one of the biggest complaints about smartphones - namely battery life. Count me in as a complainer. Nothing worse than playing Hill Climb Racing or Jetpack Joyride and feel your smartphone getting hot enough to fry an egg (sorta) due to the higher CPU & GPU utilization and watching the battery drain from full to zero in just 3 hours of game play.

Microsoft Store Sells Out Dell Venue 8 Pro in Minutes & Website Crashes

December 9, 2013

Microsoft has a sweet $99 deal for a $299 Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet. However, it was only the first 20 at each Microsoft Store will have these tablets available at that price, after which it becomes a still pretty reasonable $199 for the next 10 units and then full price after that. Well, the deal got some pretty good press coverage, and everyone was looking to cash in on this door buster deal, which is part of Microsoft's Christmas "12 Days of Deals".

I went to the Danbury Mall's Microsoft Store at 8am this morning to try and snag one but the line was already 40 people long , so I headed to work to try and get one online, since the promo also applies to the online store, with the $99 price for the first 100 orders and then $199 for the rest of the day while stocks last.

I had multiple Google Chrome tabs open to try and get the $99 deal and the Microsoft Store website was unbearably slow!

Check out the errors I received from the website:

First the tantalizing red spinning arrow, indicating it's adding me to the placeholder.

Jackery Air Rechargeable Battery

August 13, 2013

Jackery, provider of premium rechargeable battery products for mobile devices, today officially launched the Jackery Air, the company’s latest innovative battery pack product to extend your gadget's runtime. Currently offered in a bright orange color, the Jackery Air will be available in additional colors later in the year. As of today, it is now available for purchase on for $79.95.

They claim the Jackery Air is the world’s thinnest rechargeable battery. Similar in size to the iPhone 5, the Jackery Air provides users with up to five days of usage and up to 6 months of standby time!

Blazar Wireless Speaker Review

July 29, 2013

I took Beacon's Blazar ($149.99) wireless portable speaker for a test drive and compared it vs. the Jawbone Big JAMBOX ($179.99$199), a popular wireless speaker. The first thing I noticed was how heavy the JAMBOX is compared with the Blazar. My co-worker, Rich Tehrani loves his JAMBOX and takes it wherever he goes.

The Blazar Wireless Portable Speaker Launches on Kickstarter

July 23, 2013

The Blazar Bluetooth portable speaker now has a Kickstarter project page. The Blazar is a wireless speaker with a few innovative features, including stereo pairing and NFC. The Blazar comes from Beacon and features Bluetooth and a microphone that enables speakerphone mode or talking to Siri. It sports a 12-hour rechargeable battery and 1,000 day warranty.

Uniquely, you can pair two Blazars to get true left and right stereo separation. You'll need to purchase two to do so since they're sold separately, but having a portable stereo setup with access to your full Android, Apple iOS, or Windows Phone music library means you get retire your 80s boombox when headed to the beach - if you haven't already!

The NFC feature is used to pair your NFC-compatible phone with the speaker.

Logitech H650e Headset Review

June 28, 2013

The Logitech USB Headset 650e "corded" stereo headset is the sister to the H820e "wireless" headset I recently reviewed. Both models target unified communications (UC) with some call control functions like mute and answer call. Like the H820e, the H650e sports a call indicator LED to let co-workers know you're on the phone, as well as wideband audio. Curious how the H650e compared to the H820e I took the H650e for a spin.

One of my observations when testing the H820e was that the bass response - low frequencies was missing from the speakers when playing music.

Logitech Sets Sights on Unified Communications

June 14, 2013

Logitech said in their February corporate report that "Some of our other peripherals product categories are experiencing significant market challenges. As the quality of PC-embedded webcams improves, we expect future sales of our PC-connected webcams in mature consumer markets to continue declining. We intend to address this market decline by enhancing our webcam product line-up to enable experiences that cannot be easily achieved with an embedded webcam and by targeting webcam applications on non-PC platforms."

Indeed standalone webcams have been declining because desktops have been replaced with laptops that usually have an embedded webcam that is "good enough" for the consumers needs. So how does Logitech diversify or differentiate from embedded webcams?

One answer is unified communications (UC) which targets businesses and not consumers.

Logitech Wireless Headset H820e Review

May 9, 2013

The Logitech Wireless Headset H820e targets the UC space nicely, sporting an amazing 300 foot wireless range, call indicator LED to let co-workers know you're on the phone, and wideband audio. The H820e is available in mono and dual versions and I took the dual version for a spin.

After initially charging up the headset I made a test call using Skype. After putting on the headset the first thing I noticed was how well this headset seems to block out ambient noise. They did a good job with the speaker padding and it's also worth mentioning they were kind enough to put padding on the underside of the TOP of the headset so you have some cushion and comfort when the headset is on your head all day. 

Nokia Lumia 928 Camera Shootout Against Galaxy S III & iPhone 5

May 8, 2013

Nokia put up some comparison footage from the PureView 8.7MP camera of the Nokia's Lumia 928, which is rumored to be the Verizon version of the popular AT&T Nokia Lumia 920. The video shows how it compares against the iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S III when capturing video on a New York roller coaster. The results show the 928's superior color saturation, sharper focus and fewer overexposures from bright light sources than the competition. You can see how well the optical image stabilization works in the Lumia 920 by checking out this article and video.

The website also confirms rumors that it will feature 8.7 megapixel resolution and optical image stabilization, which surprisingly is identical to last year’s Lumia 920.

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