I recently received a Bakbone, a unique accessory for holding a tablet in one hand, and a HMDX Jam Wireless Bluetooth portable speaker. Here are my thoughts on these new gadgets!
Want to easily carry your tablet safely with one hand while you use the other hand to tap, swipe and type on it? The Bakbone is an ingenious new accessory that works perfectly for this purpose! It is a great solution for those of you (or your students) who carry a tablet around the classroom or use the device to teach or present.
The Bakbone includes two pieces. The first is a round magnet that you attach to the back of your tablet, or more likely, to the back of your tablet case.
The second piece looks like a jewelry ring that attaches VERY strongly to the magnet. Once the ring is attached to the magnet, you simply put a finger through the ring and it is easy to hold the tablet with one hand. The best part of this solution is that you can easily rotate the iPad between the landscape and portrait orientations. The ring itself rotates-- there is no need to separate the ring from the magnet or take the ring off of your finger.
(I know there are other solutions out there that have some type of strap you slip your hand into to hold the tablet, but, to change the orientation of the iPad with that type of solution, you have to remove your hand and slip it back on it to work in the other orientation.)
The ring detaches from the magnet pretty easily, and instructions are also included in case you ever want to remove the maget (which is about 1/4" thick) from the back of the device or the case you have mounted it to.
The Bakbone comes in white and graphite colors right now, with a pink one coming out soon. The compay plans to donate $1 to Breast Cancer Awareness for every pink one sold.
You can watch a video about the Bakbone here to see it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLubSqH3OJ4
And to order one, simply visit his page: http://www.holdyourtablet.com/
The HMDX Jam Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Okay, I admit it. I am a sucker for new shoes, tech bags, and portable speakers. I saw the Jam Wireless Bluetooth portable speaker at my local Bed, Bath and Beyond. The display caught my eye since the speakers are all packaged in "jelly jars" and come in many colors-- red, bright green (my choice), bright blue, purple, and some others. I did a little online research while I was deciding what color to purchase, and the reviews were mostly positive, especially in the areas of sound quality and loudness. (As with any Bluetooth device, there were mentions of some erratic connections, but I have not had that experience at all.)
The speaker comes with a USB charging cable and a small how-to booklet. Once charged, the speaker is said to last about 3 hours using a Bluetooth connection and 12 hours if you use the audio-in jack on the speaker. I charged it up, turned it on, and it paired flawlessly to my iPad via Bluetooth. (There is no pairing code needed, so I wonder what would happen if there was more than one BT audio source in range?)
I was very impressed with the sound quality and the volume of the speaker. I could hear it from quite a distance, as you can see in the video. (Please don't think that the iPhone video recording does justice to the sound quality to the Jam-- it doesn't. The audio quality is much better in person!)
I was also able to roam throughout the house carrying the speaker, straying far away from the audio source, so one could listen to music easily in various rooms.
The HMDX Jam is available on Amazon here: (or at your local Bed, Bath, and Beyond for the same price if you have your 20%-off coupon!).
Anyone have any experience with either of these devices or questions? Please leave a comment!