Stanley Stand by Distil Union – Review

Stanley Stand by Distil Union – Review

What we love…

easy to use portable stand for your iPhone, iPad or other device

What we’d love to see…

better way to carry it around – I currently put it back in the box each time I use it although it can be flattened.

Summary

Overall, this is a great flexible stand which is perfect for anyone with tech in your life.  It’s held up very well during my testing and multiple uses.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The Stanley Stand by Distil Union is a leather device that bends to hold your device and accessories while cooking, serving as a portable charging station, holding your tablet and more.  Stanley Stand is made of leather, merino wool felt and heavy steel.  The Stanley Stand is covered on the outside by leather in your choice of color (black, brown, gray, lime, aqua, red) and on the inside is Merino wool felt.  They cover up a piece of steel inside which bends to make the Stanley stand usable in so many situations.  Each stand has light grey Merino wool felt which has white stitching, and the darker stand (black) has darker grey felt with black stitching.  The stand features a small hole in the back designed to feed your cables through so they are not in the way of your device.

You can use it as a non-traditional dock on your desk at work, on your kitchen counter to hold your device while cooking, to act as a small typing stand or simply to get your device up from a flat spot.  It will hold phones and tablets up to 8″ tall and held my iPad Mini in a Griffin Survivor case quite comfortably.  You can bend the stand to your viewing angle (so you can watch movies while it is on a table or use it for cooking) or a low angle so you can use it as a typing stand.  Inside the box is the Stanley Stand in your choice of color and a USB extension cable which is six feet, this plugs into your lightening charger for your iOS device and works with any USB cable you already use to charge your device by giving it a bit more length.

When I got my Stanley Stand I started coming up with great ideas of using it.  The Stanley Stand is  small enough to toss in my backpack and bring with me when I’m out with my kids, so I can stream a Netflix movie while they are having an appointment or while I wait in the car for the time of the appointment.  I also brought it along as a portable charger – I like many have my iPhone go dead sometimes.  This can be frustrating – especially when you find a plug but it’s a little bit too far away or perhaps you don’t want to be limited by the length of your standard issue Apple cable.  Thankfully using the USB extension you can now comfortably sit in a char while having your device plugged in!  I also liked the Stanley Stand when cooking – I have lots of recipes on my device but I hate touching my iPhone with dirty hands to check the ingredients.  Now, I simply prop it on the Stanley Stand, turn off sleep mode and get cooking!  My husband also recently brought the Stanley Stand to a conference he attended where he had all of the slides on his iPad – instead of having to hold his device while listening to the lecture he simply propped it up and could easily follow along.  One of my favorite things was that I could adjust the Stanley Stand to almost any direction to make it suit my needs – it was nice that it was not molded plastic and static.

In terms of enhancements – right now I put the Stanley Stand back into the box each time I take it somewhere with me – and the box is getting a bit tattered.  I haven’t figured out a better solution – it’s pretty small and fits in tight spaces but I don’t want to mistakenly stretch it out.  It does fold flat – and I have done that a few times to slide it into a tight space in my bag – but I’m not sure if that is a good idea long term.

Overall, this is a great flexible stand which is perfect for anyone with tech in your life.  It’s perfect for kids who may be using a tablet to do reading and need to prop it up, adults who need a desktop charging stand or anything in between.  It’s held up very well during my testing and multiple uses.  In fact, if anything the leather has gotten a nice patina to it.  At a cost of $49.99 USD I feel the Stanley Stand is worth it and is a great gift for someone on your list who may be hard to buy for!  You can buy it direct from Distil Union for $49.99, Amazon and other retailers.

Product details

  • Compatibility: Phones and tablets up to 8″ tall
  • Bend to your viewing angle, or low angle for ergonomic typing
  • Premium materials, skilled craftsmanship, and 1-year warranty
  • Materials: Leather, Merino wool felt, and heavy steel
  • Included: USB extension cable (6ft) – Note: Cable is NOT an iPhone cable. Instead, it works with any USB cable you already use to charge your device.

 

 

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.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
 Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids-Review

Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids-Review



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What we love…

Uses total immersion method of language learning. Has real life video clips of kids, variety of activities and lessons build on previous ones

Cons …

Can only use in landscape orientation, would like to be able to use in portrait also. Buying all parts of the program can be pricey

Summary

Early Lingo Spanish is a well made program to introduce Spanish to children from 3-9 years old . It uses total immersion with video clips, interactive workbooks and flashcards

Our Rating

Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids Early Lingo is a company that produces language learning educational products for children. They have produced a series of language learning DVDs since 2011 and now have their programs available via iOS apps. They currently have programs available in Spanish, French, German,  Italian, Mandarin and English.  We are reviewing the Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for kids app. It is free to download and contains in-app purchases to unlock content. Jojo the monkey and Lulu the bird are the children’s guides throughout the app. In the app there are 6 different adventures, each one targeting different vocabulary topics. Each lesson builds upon the last and reinforces previous activities. When they complete an adventure it unlocks a corresponding game.

 

The app uses the Total Immersion Method i.e. there is no translation. It is suitable for children from approximately 3-9 years old. In an Immersion Program kids learn the language much the same way as we learn to speak our native tongue – by seeing the language in action by native speakers. My oldest son attended a Spanish Immersion Elementary School for 6 years, and I really think the immersion model is the best way for children to learn a second language. He started Kindergarten knowing no Spanish at all and rapidly learned to understand, speak, read and write in his new language. He was taught 100% in Spanish from the first day, half of his classmates were native Spanish speakers and half native English speakers, the English speaking kids learnt what to do by watching the Spanish speaking kids. The Early Lingo app works on the same principle, it includes videos and learning activities and throughout the app the only language spoken is Spanish.

 

The Early Lingo Spanish app is free to download for a limited amount of content, and then you can choose to buy the six adventures individually, or as a bundle. An adventure consists of a series of video clips with learning activities in between the clips, that reinforce the vocabulary words they have just learned. There are both cartoon videos of Lulu and Jojo and real life video clips of children. Each time a vocabulary word is introduced the child not only hears the word and sees a picture or video clip that represents it, but also sees the word written on the screen.

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In the first adventure Jojo and Lulu go to the park. Whilst at the park they learn about colors and things at the park, but also learn other vocabulary terms such as balloons, painter, sun, girl, apple, cookies, crackers, milk, dog, eating, drinking and playing.  After watching a video clip there are reinforcing activities in the form of an interactive workbook. There are 4 videos in the first adventure with workbook activities in between each clip. The first clip introduces colors, the second things that happen in the park such as children playing and eating, the third focuses on shapes whilst reinforcing colors and the last video expands upon the vocabulary of objects that can be found in a park such as play equipment, trees, butterflies and flowers.

The workbook exercises start very simply- touching pictures to hear the name of the object or concept, and gradually increase in complexity- such as touching a picture that matches what is said. Towards the end of the adventure the child leans to answer more complex questions such as “De que colores es?” (what color is?) “un pez anaranjado.” To answer first they touch the correct object (fish) from a choice of 6, then they pick the right color (orange) from an artist palette that pops up when they correctly identify the object.

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I like that each new object or concept  is presented in a variety of ways which helps generalization. The real life videos of children playing are a nice addition to the cartoon videos and still pictures. Although the app concentrates on teaching simple objects and actions these are brought together to form phrases and more complex concepts.  For instance after learning food, shapes and actions such as drawing and eating, they see  a child drawing a circle and Jojo drinking milk and hear how to describe these actions in Spanish.

As the child completes the workbook activities Jojo’s face at the top of the page is gradually colored in. Once he is in full color (all activities completed for that adventure) this unlocks a learning game such as a motorcycle race where Jojo’s progress depends on the child correctly identifying the named object from 3 choices.

There are also flashcards that the child can use to practice the words they have learned. For more mature learners there is also the option of creating their own vocabulary book by writing in the names of the objects in an interactive book. I did find that this didn’t save well from visit to visit though- when we wrote the names initially they were under the correct pictures but when we returned to use the book later the names were written randomly across the page so we had to erase them and start again. The app appears to be only useable in portrait orientation, it would be more convenient to also be able to use it in landscape, especially as some cases and stands don’t work well in portrait.

Other adventures follow a similar format, but introduce new vocabulary as Jojo and Lulu visit different locations and learn about new things. The other adventures are: Numbers & Counting at the Farm, Opposites at the Beach, Alphabet at School, At the Market (food and kitchen objects) and In the City.

The app is free to download then $3.99 to complete the first adventure, other adventures are $8.99 each, flash cards are $3.99, or  you can purchase a bundle that includes all the adventures plus flashcards for $48.99.  The full unlock of the adventures includes over 450 words and phrases. For each adventure there is also an option to purchase a longer video version (which are the same as the DVDs sold via the Early Lingo website). They are the same videos that are featured within the apps, just in longer format. These cost $10.99 each or $54.99 for the bundle (we did not test the full length videos.)

Overall, I really like the immersion method of language learning for kids. I think Early Lingo Spanish provides a good introduction to Spanish for kids in pre-school and early elementary school. It has a good range of videos and interactive activities and I like how the concepts are reinforced and built upon as the adventures progress.  It can get pricey by the time you have bought all the adventures, especially if you also buy the full length videos. It can also be a little tricky working out what is included in your purchases, so it would be nice to see the addition of a separate locked parents area (in English) that explains everything included in the app and the purchasing options with links to buy them. If you have a child in the target age range that you would like to introduce to Spanish, my recommendation is to download the free content and try it with your child. If they enjoy the content I would pay the $3.99 to unlock the first adventure, after your child has completed that you can decide if they are enjoying it enough to invest in the rest of the adventures.

iTunes Link: Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids – Early Lingo

Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids
Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids
by Early Lingo

Category: Education, Games, Word, Educational
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 698.58 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
Review of the World Adapter MUV Micro USB Plug and Buzz 2 in 1 Charging Cable from SKROSS

Review of the World Adapter MUV Micro USB Plug and Buzz 2 in 1 Charging Cable from SKROSS

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World Adapter MUV Micro USB
Pros…

Can be used in over 150 countries and accept inout plugs from all these too. Adapter plug plus a dual USB charger.

Cons…

2A max output so can’t charge smartphone plus an iPad simultaneously at full power

Buzz 2 in 1 Charging Cable
Pros

Use for Apple Lightning and Micro USB charging.Lets you know when device fully charged, theft deterrent.

Cons

Can’t switch off alarm feature so poor choice for overnight charging

 

recommended-by-the-imums

When you travel internationally it is important to have the right tools to charge your smartphone, tablet and accessories whatever corner of the globe you are in. As a frequent traveller I am always on the lookout for products that will make my life easier when traveling and on a recent trip to Europe I tested the World Adapter MUV Micro USB Plug and Buzz 2 in 1 Charging Cable from SKROSS.

 

World Adapter MUV Micro USB Plug

This adapter plug has slide out prongs of varying shapes and sizes which allow you to use it in over 150 countries! It is very simple to use–just slide out the correct lever when you want to use it, for storage you press the large black button on the side and you can then slide the prongs back safely inside the adapter. The input plug has a variety of different slots so it can accommodate plugs from the same range of countries. As well as acting as a plug adapter it also comes with a 2 port USB charger. This can be used by simply plugging it into the MUV Micro adapter plug. As an added bonus if you are in the UK or Ireland it can also be plugged directly into the wall socket, leaving the MUV Micro adapter plug free to be used for another device. I used this extensively on my recent visit to the UK and Ireland and loved that it did double duty- I had 2 devices charging via the USB charger plugged directly into the wall at the same time as using the adapter for my regular Apple charger. In other countries I could still use the USB charger by plugging it into the adapter. The one downside of the USB charger is that it has a maximum output of 2A- so you can use it to charge 2 smartphones at once or an iPad but it won’t charge a iPhone plus an iPad simultaneously at full power. The MUV Micro USB costs approx $35 and is available from Skross.com, Amazon and many travel shops.

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Buzz 2 in 1 Charging Cable

As someone who travels with both Apple and Android devices,one of my a must have travel accessories is a charging cable that can be used for both. I carry this in my hand luggage or daypack and know I’ll always have the right cable for whatever needs charging, without the need to carry two cables. I’ve used many different brands of dual charging cable but the Buzz 2 in 1 cable has a feature I haven’t seen before – a built-in alarm. This small device puts out a loud alarm anytime that it is plugged in but no charge is flowing through the cable. This gives it 2 practical uses. It lets you know when your device is finished charging- which is useful if you are juggling charging multiple devices with a limited number of chargers. I’m regularly juggling chargers when traveling with 3 kids- each with their own iPad plus my phone, tablet, backup batteries and more. Its other application is as an anti-theft device when charging your phone or tablet in a public place such as a coffee shop or airport terminal- you immediately know if anyone unplugs your device to steal it. This is a useful enough feature that I’m using this cable for charging when I’m out and about back in the USA too. The one downside of the cable is that  it isn’t a good choice for overnight charging, unless you want to be woken in the middle of the night when your device is fully charged! The cable costs approx $40 and is available from Skross.com, Amazon and many travel shops.Buzz.1

 

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.

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
Performance Mouse MP230L  by Kensington – Review

Performance Mouse MP230L by Kensington – Review

What we love…

uses batteries that you can easily change, works for both left and right handed users, works on almost any surface, good range

What we’d love to see…

bag or something to hold the mouse and USB plug in – currently you pull the back off the mouse to store it

Summary

Easy to use mouse with great battery life, works on almost any surface, very comfortable in your hand.  Perfect as an everyday and a travel mouse.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

 

Kensington Introduces MP230L Performance Mouse for Wireless Freedom and Precision TrackingI cut the “mouse cord” several years ago and am always hunting for the best cordless mice.  I tried the Kensington MP230L Wireless Performance Mouse and was surprised at how much I liked it straight out of the box.  The mouse includes batteries and once you plug in the USB nano receiver you are ready to go in less than 3 minutes from opening the package.   It uses a 2.4 GHz Wireless connection meaning you can move the mouse without the cord using the nano receiver and it automatically installs once you plug it in for the first time.  It is universal and works with both Mac and Windows and easily switches between computers.  It also features two side buttons which you can use when browsing the web as well as DPI adjustment which allows you to fine tune how fast or slow the cursor moves while using it.

Wireless mice these days often don’t come with batteries, which means that your brand new tech is forced to sit in the box while you go out and purchase batteries.  I loved that this one had batteries right in the box.  It’s got an amazing battery life – and goes to “sleep” when not in use or you can switch it off on the bottom.  I also liked the ergonomic shape and ability to use it either left or right handed.  The best feature by far is the fact it works on pretty much any surface I tried including glass, a patio table with bumps, a wooden desk, and even a notebook cover.   I liked it for both my everyday desk mouse as well as a travel mouse – the size is small and it fit easily in my travel bag when I needed to use it.  I also liked the DPI adjustment because I could use it to scroll fast when I was skimming a webpage or slow it down when I was looking for more specific content.

In terms of enhancements, I’d like to see a bag for the mouse as there were a few times I went to put the receiver in it and didn’t latch the cover fully which left me digging in my tech bag for the mouse and receiver.  I’d also like to see some sort of a “battery alert” if your batteries are getting low, because I don’t always carry backup batteries (even though I should).  There is no charging port, but you can use it with rechargeable batteries and just charge them in a separate location.

Overall, this is an easy to hold wireless mouse that works on both Mac & PC as well as being easy to use and install within moments.  Features fantastic battery life, very ergonomic and works with both left and right hands.  It is priced at $35 49.99 on Kensington and Amazon.  Easy to use mouse with great battery life, works on almost any surface, very comfortable in your hand.  Perfect as an everyday and a travel mouse.

 Dimensions

  • Height: 132mm / 5.2″
  • Width: 84mm / 3.3″
  • Depth: 38mm / 1.5″

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.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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