What we love…
Foolproof backup that happens without having to think of it, easy to download backed up items to computer or restore onto phone or iPad
What we’d love to see…
Option to choose to remove select pictures/ videos after backup instead of just having option to remove all or none.
The iXpand Base from SanDisk is an easy way to keep your iPhone and iPad photos, videos and contacts backed up. It is very easy to set up and after the initial set up if you use it as your charging station it will back your phone up every time you charge without you needing to do anything except plug your phone in
If you are looking for a fast, easy, foolproof way to back up your iPhone, the SanDisk iXpand Base is the perfect solution. It can hold up to 256GB of data and is a charging station and back up solution all in one.
Set up is a breeze:
- install the free iXpand Base app on your iPhone.
- Plug the SanDisk iXpand Base into an outlet with the included (6ft) power cord, then connect your iPhone charging cable to the SanDisk iXpand Base (a lightning cable is not included you do need to supply your own). The cable can be left long or wrapped around the cord manager in the bottom of the iXpand Base.
- Open the app and connect your phone via the cable and it will automatically start scanning your phone and backing up your photos and contacts.
- The first time you use it you need to give permission to access your photos, videos and contacts, after that everything is automatic
The iXpand Base has a slightly angled, rubberized surface that works well to hold the iPhone whilst it charges. I keep the SanDisk iXpand Base on my desk and use it every time I want to charge my iPhone or iPad during the day. I never even have to think about backing up my iPhone and iPad photos, videos and contacts – it happens automatically every time I charge it. The first time I used it the SanDisk iXpand Base it took about an hour to fully back up my photos, videos and contacts, but now as I back it up daily it only takes a couple of minutes to update each time. After the first time whenever you plug your phone in to the iXpand Base it will start charging and simultaneously scan your phone. It will then automatically back up any new items it finds.
Once it has successfully backed up for device your are given the option to delete the backed up items from your iPhone or iPad to create space. This is an “all or nothing” option – you touch one button to remove all the backed up files. If you just want to remove select photos or videos you do this in the usual way from within your photo library.
Accessing Backups and Restoring Photos, Videos and Contacts
It is simple to access your backed up files on your iPhone, iPad or computer.
When your iOS device is connected to the iXpand base you can view any of the photos, videos or contacts you have previously backed up from this or any other iOS device. In “Settings” you can see all your backups listed, and choose which one you wish to restore from. Once you have selected a backup file you can “select all” or individually choose which images or contacts you wish to restore onto your device. Once you have selected the items to restore simply tap “restore” and they will be downloaded into your device’s photos or contacts.
Transferring Backed up Items to Computer
The simplest way to move items from the iXpand to your computer is via the iXpand’s SD card. The iXpand has an SD card slot at the back of the unit, pressing on the SD card will eject it. The SD card can then be placed into the SD card slot on your computer where you can simply drag and drop files to download them. The files are in folders labelled by the device name each backup came from with sub-folders for photos and contacts. If you need more storage you can also remove the full SD card from your iXpand Base and replace it with a new SD card.
If you don’t have an SD card reader on your computer you can also access the files by connecting the iXpand Base to your computer using a data transfer Micro USB – USB cable (not included.)
Setting up a new iPhone
If you lose or damage your iPhone and need to get a new one, it is very simple to restore all your old contacts, photos and videos on to your device phone. Simply download the iXpand App onto the new phone, plug it into the iXpand Base, select your old phone’s back up and tap restore.
The iXpand Base from SanDisk is an easy way to keep your iPhone and iPad photos, videos and contacts backed up. It is very easy to set up and after the initial set up if you use it as your charging station it will back your phone up every time you charge without you needing to do anything except plug your phone in !
Price and Availability
The iXpand Base from SanDisk is available in 64GB, 128 GB or 256 GB versions, from Amazon, SanDisk.com or other retailers from US$69.99
K’ablekey from PKParis is a great accessory for your iOS device. It is very small, weighs less than an ounce and can be clipped to your keychain so you always have it with you. It is both a Lightning charging cable and a Flash drive, allowing extra storage space for your iOS device and enabling easy file transfer. Highly recommended.
Are you constantly running out of space on your iPhone or iPad ? Or can you never find a charge cable when your iOS device is running low on charge? The new K’ablekey from PKParis is a small but stylish device that solves both these problems.
K’ablekey is designed to fit on your keychain so it’s always with you. It has two halves held together by strong magnets and connected via a short cable. Open it out, remove the caps, and it is a cable with an Apple Lightning connector for charging your iPhone or iPad. The connectors have bright orange caps to protect them when not in use. The caps are magnetic so they stick to each other and to the K’ablekey so you don’t loose them, genius !
Not only is K’ablekey a charging cable it is also a flash drive, allowing you to free up space on your iOS device and easily transfer files to and from your iPhone, iPad and computer (Mac or PC.) On your computer you simply plug the K’ablekey into a USB port and drop and drag files to transfer them to or from the K’ablekey. To use it with your iPad iPhone or iPod Touch you need to install the free PK memory – PKparis app.
With the app you can access music, photos, videos and documents stored on the K’ablekey. You can download them onto your iOS device or view them directly from the K’ablekey. You can also back up your photos, videos and contacts from your iPhone/ iPad and even move them onto the K’ablekey to create more space on your device.
You can view your photos and videos in a list or thumbnail. When copying or moving documents, movies, photos, videos or contacts you can select individual items or select all in a particular category. You can also create folders on the K’ablekey to organize your content.
The K’ablekey has USB 3.0 and the specs boast read speeds of up to 100MB/sec (120 for the 32 and 64GB models) and write speeds of up to 20MB/s. I found that the files copied quickly and that the whole process of reading, copying and moving files was smooth and easy.
For extra security K’ablekey offers the option to password protect some or all of your content. It is also designed to be tough, hard wearing and water- resistant so you don’t have to worry about how it will stand up to use.
Overall, the K’ablekey from PKParis is a great accessory for your iOS device. It is very small, weighs less than an ounce and can be clipped to your keychain so you always have it with you. It is both a Lightning charging cable and a Flash drive, allowing extra storage space for your iOS device and enabling easy file transfer. Highly recommended.
Available online from PKParis website in 16, 32 and 64GB versions from E59.99/ $63.67
iTunes Link: PK memory – PKparis
This application allows to access the content of your iPhone/iPad/iPod and of the PKparis flash drives (K'ablekey, K'Save etc ). It is a smart and simple way to view / save / copy / share / edit any files.
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.
With Black Friday coming up very soon, the rush begins to get our loved ones the perfect Xmas or Holiday gift. At The iMums we love seeing all the great new technology that is being created, and seeing how the connected home is evolving year upon year. We have been busy creating all our Holiday Gift Guides to showcase some of our favorite products and help you choose the perfect gift for your loved ones. Here are 17 of our favorite Tech products for the adults on your gift list, be sure to also check out our kids gift guide, our gifts for health and wellness, our gifts for parents and our gifts under $30.
Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!
Orbi- Whole House Wi-Fi
The single most important thing to keep all our connected home, computing and entertainment technology working well is a strong internet signal. With all the connected devices a typical household has competing for bandwidth, it is important to have a great router to optimize your Wi-Fi signal. The Orbi Home Wi-Fi system is designed to meet high demands for Wi-Fi connectivity, and comes with a base unit and a satellite. It is a mesh Wi-Fi system with a difference- the world’s first Tri-Band Wi-Fi system that has one channel dedicated entirely to connecting the router base unit and the satellite. What this means in practical terms it is delivers fast internet speeds without dead spots over a 4,000 square foot area. It is also incredibly easy to set up. As you move around your home your devices automatically switch to whichever unit is giving you the best signal, and the dedicated channel makes sure the Wi-Fi from the satellite is as strong as from the router. The Orbi router and satellite create a single high speed network where your devices can move between bands and to different parts of the home without ever having to reconnect. I love how the Orbi has eliminated Wi-Fi dead spots from my home, even in hard to reach areas where the signal has to go through interior and exterior walls. Available from Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers RRP US$399
SingleCue Gen 2
Until recently the idea you could control your home entertainment with the hand movement was the stuff of science fiction but with SingleCue it is a reality. The newly released 2nd generation Singlecue allows you to control your TV and a whole host of other devices including Media Streamers such as AppleTV, Roku and Hulu; Cable TV boxes, audio systems; soundbars, and even your Nest Thermostat or Phillips Hue lightbulbs. A full list of compatible devices can be found here, it doesn’t yet work with game consoles or DVD players but the manufacturer is working on adding new devices (Nest was only added this month.) You can set up shortcuts for your favorite combinations such as turning on your TV & Apple TV together and automatically switching the TV to the right output for the AppleTV. You can also mute your TV instantly with a simple ssh gesture. You don’t need to wear any special ring or have anything in your hand, it is all controlled via simple finger movements picked up from the SingleCue box. SingleCue is a really cool device for your living room and saves hours of hunting under the sofa cushions for lost remotes! Available from Amazon for US$149
Sengled Pulse Link
With TV screens getting bigger and bigger we often find ourselves sitting further from the screen for an optimal viewing experience but that can lead to a less than optimal audio experience. The Sengled Pulse link is a simple solution providing surround sound without the need to wire in new speakers. The Sengled Pulse link starter set combines 2 products- a pair of Sengled Pulse Bulbs and a Pulse Link. The Pulse is an innovative smart bulb which combines a dimmable LED light and a JBL Bluetooth Speaker. The Link is a box that connects to your TV, via included 3.5mm or RCA cables. and allows it to remotely connect with the Pulse bulbs. They work with the Pulse app allowing you to control your lights from the app, listen to your TV through the Pulse JBL speakers and play music via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet. A really simple, flexible way to bring surround sound to your living room and play audio from your TV or audio device to JBL speakers . Available from Amazon for US$179.99
The newly released Petcube Play might just be the ideal gift for the pet lover on your list. This new version of the Petcube is more compact and has an upgraded 1080 HD camera with night vision, 2 way audio and 3x digital zoom. It also features a built-in laser pointer controlled via the Petcube app so you can play with your pets when you are away from home, keeping them active and entertained. Even when your schedule is busy you can still get them playing by using the autoplay mode. The camera can recotrd 24/7 and for an extra fee you can subscribe to Petcube care for 10 or 30 day storage of recording history. Available from Petcube.com , Amazon , Best Buy and major retailers RRP US$199 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $50 OFF! $149
Drop Connected Scale
The Drop Connected Scale is the perfect gift for the home baker or chef. The smart scale connects to the Drop Recipes app on your iPad or iPhone. Drop Recipes is an interactive cookbook with hundreds of tested recipes for Cooking, Baking and Cocktails. The Drop Scale weighs your ingredients accurately and can scale a recipe based on how much of an ingredient you have on hand. If you are out of an ingredient I will suggest substitutions, and there is even a community section in the app where users can upload and share their own recipes. Available from Amazon, Target and other retailers from RRP $99.99 Currently US$78.99 at Amazon
Arlo Pro by NETGEAR
If you know someone who wants to keep a secure eye on their home inside or out, but wants the freedom to quickly and easily install cameras with the minimum of fuss the new Arlo Pro system from NETGEAR is a great gift. Like the original Arlo the cameras are totally wireless and mount via magnetic ball and socket style joint- making them a snap to install and move. The new Pro cameras run on rechargeable batteries with a staggering 5 MONTH battery life in normal use! The cameras are weatherproof and have 2 way audio, night vision, motion detection, 130° camera angle, a smart siren, local backup option plus 7 days free cloud storage. A great gift for use in or outside the home – for home security, watching a babies room, checking on a pet or elderly relative when you are away from home or a myriad of other uses. Available from Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers systems from US$249
JBL Pulse 2 Portable Speaker + Light Show
The JBL Pulse 2 is a great sounding. splash proof, portable speaker with colorful light effects that make it fun to take the music with you where ever you go. It has a battery life of up to 10 hours and you can use it as a standalone speaker, or wirelessly connect multiple speakers via the JBL connect app. The Pulse2 can be used to answer calls and connect to Siri or Google Now. I really enjoy its interactive light show, which is also controlled via the JBL Connect app. There are 8 different light shows to choose from including fire, rain, fireflies, stars, fireworks, traffic, hourglass and canvas- where you draw the light pattern. You can interact with each of the shows, for instance increasing the size of the flames, or the intensity of the rain or adding shooting stars. Many of the light shows also have accompanying sound effects. If you switch off the music you can listen to the sound of a fire crackling or rain pouring down as the light show mirrors the sounds. You can also change the light color to match a color in your environment by scanning it with the light sensor. The Pulse2 is a 84mm diameter x 195mm tall (approx 3″ x 7.7″) and weighs 775gm (approx 1.7lb) A great gift for the music lover, this speaker sounds great, has a good battery life and some really fun interactive light shows with accompanying sound effects. Available from JBL.COM, Amazon and other retailers RRP US$199.99 (currently on sale for $119.95)
Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater
For the movie lover or serious gamer the Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater is the ultimate gift. With the Royole Moon you can enjoy an immersive 3D cinema or gaming experience anywhere you wish. Two Full HD 1080p AMOLED displays at over 3000 ppi resolution simulate a giant 800” curved screen with stereoscopic 3D, and active noise cancelling headphones complete the experience. Moon’s screen is scalable, allowing full control over the screen size for a personalized viewing experience. It features a patented foldable design, ultra-soft headphone covers, and a premium breathable eye cover to ensure comfort even after long periods of continuous use. It also includes 32GB of internal storage and battery life of up to 5 hours of continuous video playback. Advanced optics allow most eyeglass wearers to enjoy Moon without their corrective lenses. Available www.royole.com and Amazon MSRP $799
01: The World’s First Dimensioning Instrument
01 from InstruMMents is billed as the world’s first dimensioning instrument. This makes it a great gift for anyone who wants to easily measure things- crafters, home handymen, and anyone who wants to design or create .01 rolls over straight, curved or contoured objects to intuitively capture, log, and share dimensions. Elegantly carved in aluminum, 01 is contained within a pen, pencil or stylus, and wirelessly connects to smartphones. Although it is currently being launched via Indiegogo it is already fully functioning and due to ship in time for the holidays. Available from Instrumments.com or Indiegogo from US$159
Custom Made iPad or iPhone case from Dodo Cases
Every tablet or smartphone deserves a case to protect it. A really personalized gift is to have a case custom created just for your loved one’s iPhone or iPad. Dodo Cases is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases, and offers a custom case making service. For the iPad cases you can choose from a range of solid or patterned fabrics or 4 colors of leather. You can choose a single or two-tone exterior. For the interior fabric you can choose from a variety of solid colors or patterns or from a selection of city maps. The maps are a great way to personalize if you choose a city that has particular significance to the recipient. You can add final touches by picking the color of elastic and even have a name or message embossed on the front on gold or black letters. A truly one-of-a-kind gift! Available from DoDoCases.com custom iPhone cases start from $49.99 and custom iPad cases from $79.99.
SanDisk iXpand Flash storage for iPhone and iPad
A problem most iPhone and iPad users suffer from is lack of storage space- unlike Android phones you can’t just slip in a micro-SD card to increase storage and it costs a lot to buy iOS devices with large amounts of internal storage. The iXpand Flash drive from SanDisk is a simple solution to this problem. It is a very small, light flash drive that connects via the Lightning port of your iOS device. It is very easy to transfer content from your iOS device to the drive to create space and you can then use its USB connector to transfer them to your computer. You can also set it up to automatically backup your camera roll whenever it s connected. If you are traveling and want to take a movie with you, you can load it on the drive from your computer and watch it directly on your device without ever downloading it ! It has a flexible connector that allows it to be used with most cases, and is available in 32GB, 64GB and 128 GB versions. Available from Amazon and other retailers from US$59.99
RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge
One of the cool features about the new MacBooks is that they can now to powered via a USB-C instead of needing a proprietary Mac charger. This opens up more possibilities for charging on the go. The new RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge has a built-in USB-C port and enough power to recharge a MacBook as well as USB-A port for your other devices. This 13400mAh Lithium Polymer battery has ultra fast charging and recharging. It measures 6.5 in x 4.8 in x 1.1 in and weighs in at under 1lb, making it very small and light for a battery of this capacity. Available from MyCharge.com and Best Buy for US$99.99
One noticeable trend in the Connected Home market in 2016 is that more and more connected home devices are having Amazon Alexa integration . This means that if you have an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot you can control them via your voice. The Amazon Echo is a pretty cool device all by itself but with the integration of other connected home devices its uses keep multiplying. The Echo has immersive 360º omni-directional audio with far-field voice recognition so it can hear you from across the room even while music is playing. It plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice, and controls a whole host of connected home devices. Echo also answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and lets you shop on Amazon using the Alexa Voice Service. Available from Amazon for US$179.99 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $139.99
Amazon Echo Dot
If you already have a speaker system in the room you are using your Echo in, you may prefer to get the more affordable Echo Dot, as it can connect to your existing speakers via a 3.5mm cable. Apart from the large speaker it has all the other features of its bigger brother the Amazon Echo. Like the Echo it has far-field voice recognition and can plays your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more. It also controls a whole host of connected home devices, answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and lets you shop on Amazon using the Alexa Voice Service. It has a small built-in speaker and you can use Echo Dots in multiple rooms to provide Alexa enabled control throughout the home. The Echo Dot is Available from Amazon for US$49.99 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $39.99 and is also available in 3 packs at a $20 savings or six packs where you buy 5 and get one free.
SMARTvr Virtual Reality Viewer from Dodo Case
With the invention of Google Cardboard there is more and more Virtual Reality content becoming available in iTunes and Google Play stores. This is great as it means more people can access Virtual Reality content without needing to buy an expensive VR headset like the Oculus Rift. SMARTvr is a great way to access the content made available by Google cardboard on your smartphone, but using a more stylish and durable viewer than the original Cardboard. If fits most iOS and Android smartphones and folds to a flat package about the size of an iPhone 5 when not in use. The case is made from cast aluminum and ballistic nylon with a microsuede lens cover & light blocking shield. It is Google Cardboard certified and really simple to use You just unfold it, scan the QR code to link, slip the phone into the clips on the back, fold down the light shield, and you are ready to enjoy your VR apps. It is a great VR viewer- compact, portable, durable, affordable and flexible to fit different size smartphones
Available from DodoCase.com for US$39.99
Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar from Belkin
The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus no longer have an audio jack as they are designed to use Bluetooth headphones. However, not everyone likes Bluetooth headphones, so there are several new headphones on the market that use the iPhone’s Lightning connector as an innovative way around the problem. This does however create a new problem- if your battery starts to run low you can’t charge the phone and continue to use your Lightning headphones at the same time. Belkin has solved this problem with the Lightning Audio Charge Rockstar which doubles your Lightning ports – providing one for listening and one for charging. RRP $39.99 Available from Belkin.com, Apple and other retailers.
VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite
Do you have a friend or relative who still has lots of home videos lying around on VHS tapes or on camcorder tapes? This could be the perfect gift for them. Tapes deteriorate over time and it becomes harder and harder to find ways to play them, so its important to get them transferred to digital formats or you may lose the content entirely. Instead of taking them in to be professionally copied (which can be cost prohibitive if you have a lot of tapes to transfer) you can convert them at home with VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite. To use VIDBOX you need a VCR or camcorder that can play your tapes, and a Mac or PC. The Video Conversion suite comes with a key to download the software or you can install it via the included CD-Rom. The VIDBOX little white box is the key to connecting your video output device to the computer. You wire it to your VCR/ camcorder via RCA to RCA cables (included) or RCA to S-Cable (not included) and connect it to your computer via the included USB cable. Once it is connected launch the VIDBOX software and follow the on screen instructions. The video will record as a digital file on your computer in real time as it plays on your VCR/ camcorder. Once the recording is finished you can preview it and save to iMovie or iTunes (on Mac). The Video conversion suite includes software for both Mac and PC or you can buy Mac or PC only versions for slightly less. Available from VIDBOX.COM or Amazon RRP Suite $99.99 or PC or Mac only $79.99. Suite currently $69.99 on Amazon
For additional gift ideas check out all our Holiday Gift Guides
This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.
I regularly commute into the city with my “travel tech” and I thought I would share some of my favorite tech accessories that are always in my backpack other than my laptop and iOS devices. Being a mom means that I have to have my travel tech packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Some of the products below were provided by companies and if you purchase them our site may earn a small amount. I picked all of these products based on my personal experience and usage of them over time.
LL Bean Quad Pack
I’ve had my LL Bean Quad Pack for several years and it’s stood up very well to the test of time and can hold pretty much anything I need since it includes an integrated laptop sleeve, designated spot for my iPhone, waterbottle and more! There are a ton of pockets and places to store things – and using my clear bags from Mia Tui makes finding things a snap! RRP $79.99 for the Quad Pack from LL Bean.
Griffin Survivor for iPad Mini
I really love the durability that this case provides for my iPad Mini which I frequently slip into my bag to take places with me since it is small and portable. I don’t have to worry about the screen getting scratched since the case features a protective covering. I also loved all the color choices (including my favorite pink!) as well as the nice form factor for the case. My iPad Mini has survived drops, falls, drool and more all while staying protected and no cracks! For me, this is one piece of “insurance” that is totally worth it! You can read my full review of the Griffin Survivor for iPad Mini. Available from Griffin and Amazon for approximately $40 USD.
Mp2301 Performance Mouse by Kensington
My next favorite accessory is my MP2301L Performance Mouse by Kensington. This wireless mouse feels great in my hand, is small and portable and has great battery life. One of the best features about it is the ability to track on almost anything – and that it takes standard batteries which are easy to find if they need replacing. No cables, no cords no fuss! That means I can find a place to sit in the office or at a conference table and still have my mouse no matter where I am! The reciever fits nicely inside the mouse so you don’t lose it when not in use! $39 USD RRP. Available from Kensington or Amazon.
LogiTech Wireless Presenter
I also like to bring my Logitech Wireless Presenter as I have spoken at a few meetings recently and it’s so much easier to use a wireless presenter than having to walk over and click on the slide each time I need to move it forward. One of my favorite things about this presenter is that it has a built in timer which allows me to know if I am spending too little or too much time on a specific slide. It also has great range which means I can walk around the room while speaker rather than being pinned at a podium or in the front of the room. RRP $55 – 80 USD. Available from Logitech or Amazon.
Griffin PowerJolt Dual Charger for the car
Since many of my commutes involve travel time in the car, I also use my Griffin PowerJolt Dual frequently. This charger includes a lightening connection as well as a second port where you can plug in an micro-usb or any other USB accessible cable. That means I can charge my phone and tablet at the same time or two smartphones. RRP $20.00 from Griffin or Amazon.
Mobile Hotspot for Wireless on the Go
A mobile hot spot is another must have, especially when you are not sure how good your internet access will be. I sometimes use my iPhone as a hot spot, but really like this Netgear Verizon hotspot as a better alternative and it has great battery life. I enjoy using my Netgear Hotspot from Verizon since I added it to my wireless plan. Easy to use hot spot that works both inside and outside of the United States, provides great battery life and connectivity for your devices. You can either pay for the device and add the service on the go or put it on contract Check out my review of the Verizon Jetpack by Netgear. RRP without contract is $199 USD and with contract it’s $49.99. Available from Netgear and Verizon.
Cord Storage and Organization
Organizing all of my cords is a snap with my Mia Tui clear plastic bag/PVC bag. These bags have a zipper top and make it easy to see everything inside so I don’t lose any small pieces. They are far more durable than the Ziploc bags I was using, but are not totally waterproof. I like that I can pull the medium size one out of my backpack and have my laptop cord, cables/plugs and chargers all in one spot. RRP is $12.50 USD and they are available from Mia Tui.
Cables! Griffin Premium Braided Lightening Cable
This cable lives in my tech backpack and it has stood up to being plugged, unplugged, used abused and re-used! Griffin’s cable is so much stronger than my traditional lightening cables for my iPhone due to the braiding on the cable which means that you won’t need to treat it as delicately! I love that you don’t need to fuss when plugging it in as it resists kinking and is stable so the connectors don’t break. They offer a wide variety of braided cables for iOS and Android. RRP $35 USD. Available from Griffin and Amazon
Pocket Size Bluetooth Keyboard
If I am attending meetings and I decide not to bring my laptop – this pocket size Bluetooth Keyboard is perfect! It’s a tri-fold and folds up to about the size of my hand meaning I can easily slip it into my bag and use the keyboard to take notes instead of having to bring along my laptop all the time. I have it paired to both my iPad and my iPhone 6 and finding keys on it is so much easier than having to use the on screen keyboard. It lasts a long time too – I’ve used it multiple times and have not had to charge it yet! The keys are a little bit smaller than a traditional keyboard, but honestly after using it for about ten minutes I didn’t notice it at all! RRP $36.99 and it’s available at 1by1 and on Amazon.
Tech Armor Portable Power Bank
With all of these devices, I’d be lost without a portable power bank to ensure that they had power. I’ve recently starting using this power bank from Tech Armor and really like how fast it charges my devices with a small size! I can charge my iPhone (if it dies unexpectedly) or give my iPad a boost so that I can watch a movie on the train. This works with all devices that use USB chargers, and I’ve passed it around a few times to coworkers and friends whose cell has died. Avoid the dreaded “low power mode” that your iPhone goes into just before shutting off! RRP from Tech Armor and Amazon is RRP of $40 USD.
JayBird BlueBuds Headphones
On the train, these headphones are a must since others don’t want to hear my music, my apps or my movies! JayBird BlueBuds X Premium Bluetooth Headphones simply put ROCK! These Bluetooth earbuds pair to a variety of devices without the need for a cord to tether you to your device. They include a filtering system which allows you to hear the music more clearly and feature playtime up to eight hours which means you can use them all week without having to worry about charging them. These earbuds charge using a standard micro-USB connector and for those using Apple devices include a icon on screen telling you how much battery is left so you are not left without your earbuds at the wrong moment. The earbuds fit either in the traditional under-ear which allows you to listen and take calls as well as the over ear which means it doesn’t even feel like you are wearing earbuds. The package includes three pairs of ear tips as well as ear cushions, a micro-USB cable and a carry case to hold your earbuds and the cords. Jaybird has introduced an updated version since my original review, but I still use these a lot and they stand up great! Sold by JayBird and Amazon for RRP of $150 USD.
Apex Fine Point Stylus by Lynktec
When attending meetings, I love to use my Lynktec Apex stylus, as I can use my iPad Mini and the stylus to take notes instead of having to pull out a pen and paper! I can draw and handwrite my notes which is perfect in a meeting, plus everything is stored in one spot so I don’t have to worry about having the right notebook with me. You can use it with or without Bluetooth – without it’s mostly for sketching or note taking within specific apps but if you want to jot down notes it’s best to link it to your device. I loved the fine point and how it learned what I wrote using Notes+. RRP $50 USD available from Lynktec and Amazon.
Wireless Storage – by Seagate Wireless Plus
Do you have memory woe’s on your devices? SeaGate Wireless Plus is there to help! This small drive which is about the size of your hand holds a whopping 1 terabyte of data and works with a variety of devices and smartphones including iOS, Kindle Fire and Android. It includes the ability to pass through Wi-Fi and you only need to connect your devices to the drive rather than having to connect to Wi-Fi which is especially handy if you are out and about or in a conference room at the office and don’t want to connect multiple iPads, iPhones or other devices to the drive. That means you can use your hotspot and not worry about if you are using your laptop, phone or tablet! Read my full review about this “must have” accessory. RRP $140 USD for 1TB (other sizes available) Available from Seagate and Amazon
Leitz Mini Bluetooth Speaker
Have you ever tried to do a presentation in a conference room only to find the tinny speakers on your laptop are not loud enough for others to hear? I stash this small Leitz Mini Bluetooth Speaker in my backpack for those moments! You can connect it to your smartphone, tablet or laptop via Bluetooth and people won’t have to strain their ears to hear sound any longer. It charges using micro USB and will last up to six hours of complete use. You can even use it when you are using your smartphone as a speaker without sounding far away! I like it better for work rather than music! Compact design fits into your bag for on the go use! RRP $35 USD. Available from Amazon.
These are some of my travel “must-haves”, what are yours? I’d love to hear what products you use when you go to work or on the train.
Note: Some of the products included in this article were supplied by the companies for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received. Some of the posts may include affiliate links Their inclusion was the decision of the author, all opinions stated in the article are those of the author and have been offered honestly. This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small amount if you purchase the products.