The Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

The Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016

If you’re looking for some unique gifts for the people on your holiday gift list, you might consider purchasing some new tech gadgets. There are plenty of different items available with varying price tags and functionality. Here are some gadget gifts to consider for any tech geeks on your gift list.

Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016

Pocket VR

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Pocket VR

For those who want to experience VR without the high price tag, the Pocket-VR from Speck gives you the opportunity to do just that with your own smart phone. The product comes with a phone case and VR lenses that connect to give you the VR experience from your pocket. The product comes in different models for iPhone 6/6S and Samsung S7 phones and retails for about $70.

Amazon Echo

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo is a product that can potentially appeal to a variety of different recipients. The device can stream music from different sources including Amazon Music, Spotify and Pandora. It also features voice controls so it can answer questions, provide sports scores, order pizza and even control other compatible devices in your home. Retail price is $179.99.

Makerbot Replicator Mini

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Makerbot Replicator Mini

If you have anyone on your list who might be interested in 3D printing, the Makerbot Replicator Mini is a small but powerful option. The device can print small options from the Makerbot mobile app or a digital file. But it’s not a cheap option, starting at around $999.

Cobra JumPack

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Cobra JumPack

For any travelers or outdoor enthusiasts on your list, the Cobra JumPack is a handy little device that can help you charge anything from your phone to your vehicle while you’re on the go. The portable power pack includes a USB port to charge mobile devices, and has enough power to jump start most cars multiple times on a single charge. It also includes a LED flashlight and easily fits in a purse or bag, retailing for $149.95.

Aerix Vidius VR HD

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Aerix Vidius VR HD

The Aerix Vidius HD is the world’s smallest live streaming HD video drone. So you can send up the tiny flying device and then stream live video directly to the VR headset. So for anyone on your list who loves exploring or just playing with fun little gadgets, this could be a decent option at just $75.

Anker Classic Bluetooth Speaker

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Anker Classic Bluetooth Speaker

For any music or audio enthusiasts on your list, a Bluetooth speaker can make for a great gift. This classic model from Anker retails for around $33.99 and has a built-in mic, 20 hour battery life and other useful features.

Fitbit Charge 2

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Fitbit Charge 2

Fitness wearables are becoming more and more popular. And the Fitbit Charge 2 is the latest in Fitbit’s line of wearables that offers heart rate monitoring, multi-sport tracking, call and text alerts and more. The wristband comes in a variety of different colors and starts at $149.95.

Misfit Flash

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Misfit Flash

At just $29.99 currently, the Misfit Flash is another health and fitness wearable device that can make for a more budget friendly gift option. The device offers features like step tracking, smartphone compatibility and even sleep tracking.

Google Chromecast 2nd Generation

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Google Chromecast 2nd Generation

Google’s Chromecast is a small device that lets you stream basically any video content, music and even games from your favorite devices onto your HDTV. The device, now in its second generation, works with many popular apps and mobile devices and is available for $35.

WeMo Switch Smart Plug

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - WeMo Switch Smart Plug

From Belkin, this smart plug device lets you turn basically any electronic device in your home into a smart device. You can turn the plug on and off from your smartphone. So if anyone on your list likes being able to control their home appliances or other electronics even when they’re on the go, the WeMo Switch can be an easy way to do so. Pricing starts at $34.99.

ecobee3 lite

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - ecobee3 lite

Or if you have anyone on your list who is more into smart home features, a smart thermostat could make for a great gift. The ecobee3 lite starts at $169 and connects to WiFi so you can control your home temperature from anywhere.

Sony MDR-1000X Headphones

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Sony MDR-1000X Headphones

For anyone who wants a really high quality pair of wireless headphones, the Sony MDR-1000X headphones can be a good option. They feature high-resolution audio, noise-canceling features and Bluetooth compatibility. Pricing starts at $399.99.

Fossil Q Wander Smartwatch

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Fossil Q Wander Smartwatch

There are more options than ever in the smartwatch market. This holiday season, if you want to buy a smartwatch with practical features that’s also stylish and comes in a variety of different colors and styles, there’s the Fossil Q Wander smartwatch. The device comes in six different colors and starts at $295.

Fujifilm Instax SP-2

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Fujifilm Instax SP-2

You no longer need an actual instant camera to print out instant photos. In fact, since many people use their smartphones as their primary way of taking photos, a smartphone printer like the Fujifilm Instax SP-2can be a great option. The device connects to smartphones via WiFi and even works with popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram to print photos. Pricing starts at $194.99.

PlayStation VR

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - PlayStation VR

For the gamers on your holiday gift list, the PlayStation VR headset can potentially take their gaming to the next level. The basic headset starts at around $400. And the recipient must also have a PlayStation console and other equipment to get started. So you should make sure they have the necessary equipment or spend more on the launch bundle.

Tile Mate

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Tile Mate

With all the tech options available today, there’s no point in constantly dealing with lost keys or other household items. The Tile Mate is a small device that can easily attach to keys, luggage, remotes or other items. Then it connects to a mobile app so you can easily find what you’re looking for.

Petcube

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Petcube

For any pet owners on your holiday gift list, the Petcube camera system offers a way to keep an eye on pets while you’re away. The device starts at $149 and comes with a wide angle lense that can stream video content to your phone through the Petcube mobile app.

Pronto Smart Remote

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - Pronto Smart Remote

Instead of needing to use different remotes for every TV in your home, the Pronto smart remote lets users turn mobile devices into remotes for various TVs or other devices. So if you have any entertainment enthusiasts on your list, this product retails for around $32.99.

iGrill Mini

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - iGrill Mini

For any chefs or grilling enthusiasts on your list, the iGrill Mini provides a high-tech way to cook food outdoors. The device has a LED indicator that shows the progression of the meat temperature from start to done. The product retails for $39.99.

360fly 4K

The Bests Gadget Gifts for Geeks in 2016 - 360fly 4K

If you have someone on your list who is more interested in creating their own VR content instead of watching it, you could opt for a 360-degree camera like the 360fly 4K. The device has a powerful image sensor and other innovative smart camera features. But at $499.99, it’s a rather expensive gift option.

VR Goggles Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Juice Your Apple Devices with this Fun Juice Box Charger

apple juice charger main

What’s the best way to give your iPhone some battery life? With the 100 percent Energy Apple Juice Power Pack, of course.

Apple Juice Power Pack juice box charger

This compact backup battery pack is a charming and playful way to charge your USB-powered devices.

Created by and sold on Photojojo!, it is designed to look like an apple juice box, making it the perfect accessory for your Apple gadgets.

Apple Juice Power Pack juice box charger

The product description for the 100 percent Energy Apple Juice Power Pack reads:

“As your phone slowly drifts off after a busy day, plug it in with your charging cable and get back to business. Each box contains 2-3 full servings (a.k.a. full charges) of phone juice. Next time your battery decides to throw a low-battery temper tantrum give it a hug and a juice box.”

Apple Juice Power Pack juice box charger

Grab your juice box and get charging!

juice-box-battery-5

Images: Photojojo

More in: Publisher Channel Content

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8 Innovative Devices, Gadgets and More for Small Business

When you’re on the road, whether locally or internationally, sometimes you just need that little device, gadget or thingamajig to make your work life easier.  These tools are not just for road warriors, but for anyone who appreciates elegant lifehacks.

Here are eight of my favorites:

Breffo spiders are absolutely amazing. Simple, but super cool. You can mold one into a stand for your iPad, iPod, Droid, mobile phone or whatever else it can wrap itself around. My only advice: Do not play around and set one up to look like a giant spider to scare your friend on a dark night. It will scare them, and you won’t like the outcome (nor will your friend).

LoJack for Laptops.  When my laptop was stolen a few years back, how I wished for LoJack-type technology to get the data back–never mind the laptop. Now it’s here. Instead of a silly cable lock that can be easily snipped, load the LoJack software if you are wandering around anywhere where your machine is out of sight.

Skype Mobile has saved my neck a bunch of times. Last year, Skype sent me a DroidX to test and play with, and having VOIP on a mobile phone simply rocks. When I’m close to my call minute maximum or I just feel like making a free call, the Skype Mobile app via the Verizon cell network cannot be beat. You can IM, call Skype-to-Skype and make international calls at Skype rates (not higher cell phone rates).

iTwin looks like a USB-drive, but it is really a device to set the world free from cables. You plug one half into your computer and the other half into any other computer and you can access your files from your home network or the Internet. Pretty sweet.

ioSafe Rugged Portable Hard Drive just commands respect. Rodney Dangerfield could have gotten respect if he had one of these. You can bake ’em, submerge ’em, drive over them with your Ford F150 pickup truck and still get the data out. We gave a couple away after testing them last year. I used a nonportable one as a boat anchor, an anvil, a meat tenderizer (don’t ask), and a spoof on Will-It-Blend where I crushed a blender. Plus, you can bolt them to the floor and make them hard to steal. But the little portable hard drives from ioSafe are amazing and sleek.

iGo provides a variety of eco-friendly chargers and battery boosts. This iGo device has to be one of my favorites for mobile devices (not laptops). You plug it in and charge it up, then if you’re not near an outlet it will continue to run your device on its internal battery. Hat tip to Matt Kostanecki of Archon Systems.

If you need a portable hard drive with above-average security, check out ROCBIT FXKT.  This device has one of the most secure encryption modes available and is both bus-powered and bootable with key-token technology. What does that really mean? The hardware itself is doing the encryption, which makes it more effective and less “hackable.”

The last item I want to share is a neat little compound called Sugru invented by Jane ni Dhulchaointigh. Sugru is like modeling clay, but made from silicone. Once it’s exposed to air, it cures to a tough, flexible silicone overnight.

sugru

It is designed to stick to as many other materials as possible. It forms a strong bond to aluminum, steel, ceramics, glass and other materials including plastics. A friend of mine used it to pad the corners of his new iPhone. Another made a thin power cord adapter more “grippy.”  Trust me and check out the Sugru site for more ideas.

What are your favorite gadgets and devices to enhance your productivity, protect your devices, or just plain help you in your work?

When you’re on the road, whether locally or internationally, sometimes you just need that little device, gadget or thingamajig to make your work life easier.  These tools are not just for road warriors, but for anyone who appreciates elegant lifehacks.

Here are eight of my favorites:

Breffo spiders are absolutely amazing. Simple, but super cool. You can mold one into a stand for your iPad, iPod, Droid, mobile phone or whatever else it can wrap itself around. My only advice: Do not play around and set one up to look like a giant spider to scare your friend on a dark night. It will scare them, and you won’t like the outcome (nor will your friend).

LoJack for Laptops.  When my laptop was stolen a few years back, how I wished for LoJack-type technology to get the data back–never mind the laptop. Now it’s here. Instead of a silly cable lock that can be easily snipped, load the LoJack software if you are wandering around anywhere where your machine is out of sight.

Skype Mobile has saved my neck a bunch of times. Last year, Skype sent me a DroidX to test and play with, and having VOIP on a mobile phone simply rocks. When I’m close to my call minute maximum or I just feel like making a free call, the Skype Mobile app via the Verizon cell network cannot be beat. You can IM, call Skype-to-Skype and make international calls at Skype rates (not higher cell phone rates).

iTwin looks like a USB-drive, but it is really a device to set the world free from cables. You plug one half into your computer and the other half into any other computer and you can access your files from your home network or the Internet. Pretty sweet.

ioSafe Rugged Portable Hard Drive just commands respect. Rodney Dangerfield could have gotten respect if he had one of these. You can bake ’em, submerge ’em, drive over them with your Ford F150 pickup truck and still get the data out. We gave a couple away after testing them last year. I used a nonportable one as a boat anchor, an anvil, a meat tenderizer (don’t ask), and a spoof on Will-It-Blend where I crushed a blender. Plus, you can bolt them to the floor and make them hard to steal. But the little portable hard drives from ioSafe are amazing and sleek.

iGo provides a variety of eco-friendly chargers and battery boosts. This iGo device has to be one of my favorites for mobile devices (not laptops). You plug it in and charge it up, then if you’re not near an outlet it will continue to run your device on its internal battery. Hat tip to Matt Kostanecki of Archon Systems.

If you need a portable hard drive with above-average security, check out ROCBIT FXKT.  This device has one of the most secure encryption modes available and is both bus-powered and bootable with key-token technology. What does that really mean? The hardware itself is doing the encryption, which makes it more effective and less “hackable.”

The last item I want to share is a neat little compound called Sugru invented by Jane ni Dhulchaointigh. Sugru is like modeling clay, but made from silicone. Once it’s exposed to air, it cures to a tough, flexible silicone overnight.

sugru

It is designed to stick to as many other materials as possible. It forms a strong bond to aluminum, steel, ceramics, glass and other materials including plastics. A friend of mine used it to pad the corners of his new iPhone. Another made a thin power cord adapter more “grippy.”  Trust me and check out the Sugru site for more ideas.

What are your favorite gadgets and devices to enhance your productivity, protect your devices, or just plain help you in your work?

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Holiday Tech Gadgets Gift Ideas

tech gadgets gift ideas

As we gear up for the holidays, we ultimately start thinking of what to get people. Whether you are traveling for the holidays, are one of those people who have a hard time making a holiday gift list or you’re doing some holiday shopping for the businessperson who seems to have it all, there are many new gadgets available. The following is a list of tech gadgets gift ideas I recommend for you or any other businessperson on the go.

Tech Gadgets Gift Ideas for You

GlobaTrac: Trakdot Luggage Tracker

This palm-sized device fits into your luggage and has worldwide location reporting through your cell phone. You can connect multiple cell phones to one device or track multiple devices from one cell phone. It will send you an SMS text message or email upon arrival with the location of your luggage and help you find it when you are within 160 feet of it at the baggage claim. You can also track your luggage location history online at the Trakdot website with your PC. The cost is $59.95 with an $8.99 activation fee and $12.99 annual fee.

  • Optional Mobile Application: There are mobile apps available for iOS and some Android devices (Note 2, Galaxy S3, S4).
  • Battery Operated: Requires 2 AA batteries.

Kensington Tough Case “BlackBelt”

tech gadgets gift ideas

What to say? This tough case for iPad is what you need if you worry about dropping your iPad on a hard surface. I have tested a lot of cases and this one was built to take some punishment, inadvertent, of course. It is a bit heavy, but took the bounces and hard jolts I gave it. Comes in pretty colors, too.

Bracketron: Twist & Charge USB Charger

If you are tired of trying to decide which device you want to charge first, this offers an option to charge two devices via one electrical outlet. They created a flat plug, in essence, that nestles flat behind anything else you want to plug in. This surge-protected USB outlet rotates 270 degrees for convenient charging. Price: $17.95. It’s pretty cool.

  • Mobile Devices: Supports most mobile devices including MP3 players and Smartphones.
  • Tiny: Fits into any briefcase, purse, laptop bag, or backpack.

Griffin: SkyView Travel Seatback Mount for Mobile Devices

Whether you are traveling by airplane, bus or train, you can use this device to mount your Smartphone, media player or compact ereader tablet on the tray table of the seat in front of you. It fits over the seatback latch and grips it to provide a secure stable mount or acts as a freestanding device stand on tray tables. This gadget can allow adults to have one more hands-free data sources open or keep children entertained. It’s $29.99.

  • Adjustable Angle: Allows you to position your device for comfortable viewing.
  • Adjustable Cradle: Fits devices up to 5.25” x 8” (13.3 cm x 20.3 cm).

New Trent: Travelpak

The Travelpak is a sleek, powerful external battery with an integrated AC adapter that is compatible with most USB-based devices. It is also an integrated AC adapter that allows users to charge two USB-based devices concurrently while the battery is plugged into an outlet. The USB ports are compatible with most tablets (2.1A) and smartphones (1A). The price is $44.95 to $49.95. I included these guys in a previous battery roundup.

  • Two battery strengths: You can purchase a 4,000 mAh or the longer lasting 7,000 mAh (Travelpak Plus).
  • LED: There is an ambient status indicator lights that can double as a nightlight or mini-flashlight.

Safe Skies: TSA Luggage Locks

tech gadgets gift ideas

Safe Skies offers a wide variety of cable locks, luggage straps, combination locks and padlocks to protect your luggage. Their locks give travelers peace of mind while traveling and come in a variety of designs, colors and styles to meet every need. These all come with a guarantee that they will not be clipped at the airport. If your lock is clipped, it will be replaced by Safe Skies free of charge. They range in price from $8.95 to $20.95.

  • Baggage Screener Torch (this is the logo/symbol that stamps it as TSA approved): Allows baggage screeners to identify, open, inspect and relock your luggage with ease.
  • International Recognition: Locks are accepted and recognized by TSA and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs of the United Kingdom. Who can argue with the Queen?

Seidio: Innotraveler Universal Car Mount

This car mount allows you to position your Smartphone or similar device in an easy access position on your windshield. The locking suction cup and reusable adhesive pads provide a secure mount and won’t leave sticky residue behind. It offers an adjustable arm and doesn’t take up a lot of space on the window. Price: $34.95.

  • Compatibility: Works with any device with a screen size of up to 5.5” (iPhone, Blackberry Z10, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Note 2, etc.).
  • Lightweight: It is only 4.4 oz.

Kinivo: BTH240 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

You can directly stream music and more from your mobile device using these Bluetooth headphones. These are not earbuds, but actual over your head stereo headphones with a lightweight, foldable design. Honestly, this is one of the first headphone sets I have found to be truly comfortable. In fact, I had to give up my pair to my wife who fell in love with them. The built-in microphone cancels noise and will automatically pause music when you receive an incoming call. Their price is $49.99.

  • Bluetooth Enabled: They can connect to any Bluetooth device to provide wire-free and hands-free audio.
  • Battery Operated: The integrated rechargeable battery lasts for 10 hours of continuous audio or 200 hours on standby.

Airsleep

This is an app for your iOS that will transform your mobile device into a sleep system. It is designed to provide restful and restorative sleep for travelers to counter jet lag and fatigue. Using both calming sounds and patented Dreamwave Technology, it activates your brain’s “deep sleep” response and delta waves so you can get the rest you need. The initial app is free (for a limited time) and comes with three calming sounds preloaded into it. You can purchase additional sound packages for $0.99.

  • Airplane Mode: All the apps work when your device is set on airplane mode.
  • Customizable: The easy-to use interface allows you to adjust both the background audio and the length you would like the program to run.

Griffin Technology: iTrip Auto

Griffin’s iTrip was designed to turn the audio from your Apple device into a FM signal and transmit it through your car radio. The iTrip Auto uses this technology and acts as a charger and an inline remote that allows you to play/pause or go forward/backward. It uses SmartSound technology to maintain the highest quality of sound by adjusting signal levels. The one-button setup finds the best open frequency for you with SmartScan but also allows you to tune traditionally. The cost is $59.99.

  • Programmable: Lets you pre-set your most frequently used settings.
  • App Integration: A free download from the iTunes App Store allows you to integrate with your iPhone and iPod touch.

Prong: PocketPlug

tech gadgets gift ideas

The PocketPlug solves two problems with one device. It is a sleek, durable, lightweight case for your iPhone and it is a portable charging solution with a retractable plug. It also includes an integrated USB port to provide for any additional charging needs. It automatically enhances the audio of your device by redirection of sound from the speaker to the front. The price of this two-in-one device is $59.95 – $69.95.

  • Compatibility: There are two models: One for the iPhone 5/5s and one for the iPhone 4/4s.
  • Color Selection: It comes in black or white.

Satechi: USB Portable Humidifier

You can convert an ordinary bottle of water into a humidifier, mister or aroma diffuser to create a relaxing, soothing environment with this device. It attaches to the top of most water bottles or glasses and adds moisture to the air, providing relief for coughs, colds, itchy dry skin, chapped lips and other maladies caused by dry air. Filters should be changed every 3 months depending on how frequently it is used. The humidifier is $29.99, and filter replacements are $4.99.

  • Unique: It might just help you breathe easier if you are in a tough spot.
  • Low Power Consumption: It automatically shuts off after 8 hours and uses only 2 watts of power when it is operating.
  • USB Powered: Uses a USB 2.0 or 3.0. Tether it to your laptop or an auxiliary battery (see link above).

Toddy Gear: Pocket Toddy

Marketed as your “on-the-go SmartCloth,” this travel-sized tech cloth is engineered to clean glasses, camera lenses, smartphones, laptop screens and other sensitive devices. Made from 100% microfiber, each cloth has both a plush side to clean and silky side to polish your gadgets. It folds into a neat pocket-like package with an elastic band that attaches easily to any key chain, purse, or backpack. Each one is $9.99.

  • Easy Care: It says you can machine wash it and dry it, but I just wash mine by hand and hang it on something to air dry.
  • Style Choices: If you need stylish ways to clean your glasses or screens, this is it.

id America Spark In-Ear Headphones

If an in-ear headphone can be ergonomic, these are it. These earbuds start at $48.00. Precision acoustics, hip and snug design. Love ’em.

  • Truly Comfortable (I have worn mine for hours without noticing.)
  • Comes with a little case to protect your investment.

If you need something a little more light-hearted, perhaps even as a joke, then check out three of these four items from blogger Shaan Haider, including the PC Prankster. 

What will you get that business owner, executive or tech gadget enthusiast who has everything this holiday season?

Wish List Photo via Shutterstock

Check out our Business Gift Giving Guide for more tips about holiday trends.

More in: Holidays

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Microsoft Acquisition of Nokia Approved by Feds

siilasmaa and ballmer Nokia Microsoft

A multibillion dollar deal allowing Microsoft to acquire Nokia, one of the largest makers of Windows Phone devices, is a step closer to reality.

The U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have OK’d the deal, worth an estimated $7.2 billion.

All that remains is for European Union regulators to clear the agreement for Microsoft to buy the Finland-based Nokia’s Devices and Services Unit.

That approval too is expected to go off without much of a hitch, reports The Verge.

Good News for Windows Phone Users

The acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft could be good news for Windows users, among them many small business owners. The move should lead to greater availability of devices running on Windows Phone.

Over the past year, Nokia has introduced the Lumia 625, its largest-screened smartphone to date. Other devices have included the Lumia 1520, possibly the largest Windows phablet, and even a Windows tablet, the Lumia 2520 with 10.1 inch screen.

Nokia Shareholders Approve Deal

Nokia shareholders approved the acquisition late last month at its “Extraordinary General Meeting” in Finland. In an official release at the time posted on the company’s website, Nokia Board Chairman and interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa said:

“Today’s vote brings us closer to completing a transaction which will mark the beginning of the next chapter in Nokia’s near 150-year history, offering the potential of greater value for shareholders.”

The acquisition may be a real boost for Microsoft’s tablet ambitions as well. Disappointing sales for both the Surface RT and Surface Pro caused the company to drop the prices of both. Nokia’s track record with mobile devices and its distribution network may prove huge assets moving forward.

Image: Nokia

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Nokia Device Could Be Largest Windows Phablet

new nokia tablet phablet

The phablet, a hybrid between the smartphone and tablet, seems to be coming of age. And a soon to be introduced model from Nokia may be the largest Windows device of its kind.

For budget conscious small business owners and entrepreneurs on the go, the phablet offers phone capabilities and a larger screen size closer to a tablet without the cost of owning two devices.

New Nokia Features 6-inch Screen

Leaked images (shown above) of the new Nokia 1520 via @EvLeaks show a device sources say features a 6-inch full 1080p HD display.

The new Nokia device may also feature a 20 megapixel front camera and a polycarbonite body, CNET reports. Though the photo shows a yellow device, there is no confirmed information on the color selections available.

October Announcement Anticipated

An expected announcement of the new Nokia 1520 in late September has been put off at least until October, Reuters reports. Some sources believe the device will be unveiled at the recently announced Nokia Innovation Reinvented event scheduled for Oct. 22

That delay may be due to announcement of Microsoft’s plans to acquire Nokia for $7.2 billion earlier this month.

Once announced, the new Nokia 1520 will join the ranks of phablets already on the market like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. However, depending on the price, yet to be announced, the device may have an edge over competitors with small business owners seeking another Windows device for their already Windows-based office environments.

Image: EvLeaks

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Goodbye Nokia Phones, Hello Microsoft Lumia

102614 nokia windows

We’ve seen the last of the Nokia Lumia line of smartphones, at least in terms of the brand name, it seems. The phones will still be available but under a new name.

So it’s goodbye Nokia phones, hello Microsoft Lumia.

Microsoft announced the brand name change recently for future Nokia mobile devices.

The name change follows Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services division announced in late 2013. The deal means Microsoft is taking over the manufacture and marketing of Nokia’s smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft is planning to slowly phase-in the transition to the new brand name replacing Nokia with Microsoft Lumia for most of the devices.

Writing about the changeover, Tiina Jaatinen, editor-in-chief of Nokia’s official Conversations blog explains:

“When we announced that the Nokia Devices & Services business would become part of Microsoft, we also shared that Lumia, our smartphone brand, would become part of the Microsoft family. Since then, we have naturally been making the change from Nokia to Microsoft in our websites, packaging and other consumer touch points.

In the coming weeks and months, you’ll start seeing even more brand experience come to life across different channels as we transition from Nokia Lumia to Microsoft Lumia.”

The company has already made changes in the branding on some of its apps and is in the process of changing the branding global and local company websites, the official blog reports.

And changes in the branding of the company’s social channels is expected.

So when can we expect to see a Windows Lumia phone on the market?

Windows Central quotes one company representative saying it will be “soon.” In fact, there are even reports that the Nokia Lumia 830 set to debut on Nov. 7 could still be re-branded as Microsoft Lumia 830 by that release date.

The Nokia brand will continue to exist beyond the name change of its phone and other mobile devices. Microsoft purchased only the Finnish company’s phone and mobile business. But Nokia will continue operating the part of its business focusing on mapping and network infrastructure independent of Microsoft.

Nokia debuted the Lumia line of smartphones back in 2011. And the company has aggressively continued to introduce new Lumia smartphones since the acquisition by Microsoft.

Lumia smartphones range from low-end, budget-friendly versions to higher-end devices sporting impressive cameras and internal specs.

Four Lumia phones have been introduced since the beginning of 2014. Each operates on Windows Phone 8.1. They include the Lumia 930 at the top and the introductory smartphone, the Lumia 530.

Besides the Nokia Lumia brand, Microsoft may be making another change in its mobile phone division. This one may involve changing the branding of its Windows Phone mobile operating system to just Windows, The Verge reports.

The name change may signal Microsoft’s intentions to market its mobile and desktop operating systems in a unified way in the future.

Image: Microsoft/Lumia

More in: Microsoft

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Managed Systems Breaks the Cycle with Electronics Recycling Initiative

Default-Image-8

NEW YORK — (June 30, 2008) — According to the EPA, American consumers and businesses disposed of 2.63 million tons of electronic waste in 2005 and only 12.5 percent of that was recycled, leaving 87.5 percent to become landfill waste or incinerator ash.

With that disturbing statistic in mind, Managed Systems, delivering proven technology solutions to New York’s small and mid-sized businesses, has decided to address these serious environmental issues by partnering with CloudBlue, a leading electronics recycling company, to recycle and reuse equipment. With this partnership, Managed Systems is an early adopter adhering to the pending New York Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act, which will mandate recycling of electronic equipment if passed this summer.

As Managed Systems works as a partner to small-to-mid size businesses helping owners get control of their technology and related infrastructure costs, the company also acts as the main provider of hardware and software products for its customers based in and around the New York area. This means that when a system needs upgraded hardware, Managed Systems is left with electronics with a wide range of age and condition. Some equipment has been lightly used and often in near-perfect condition while other devices are years old, already dead and obsolete.

To date, the company has stockpiled over 1,000 devices for e-cycling and projects another 1,500-2,000 for the remainder of 2008, with that number doubling year over year as the hardware matures and is upgraded. By partnering with CloudBlue, the company is maximizing the value of these electronic goods by having products wiped clean of any data to DoD (Dept of Defense) 5220.22m standards for protection, repurposed, or separated into raw materials that will go back into the manufacturing process.

“This partnership brings full circle the electronic assets Managed Systems provides and, at the same time, enables them to provide a key service to their growing list of customers. This is a tribute to the Managed Systems team for not only being socially responsible but also educating their customers about green solutions and best practices,” said Mark Vander Kooy, executive vice president for CloudBlue.

New York’s Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act will require any electronics manufacturer to accept their products for recycling at no cost to the consumer. This includes computers, monitors, televisions, digital music players, cell phones and PDAs and computer peripherals.

“Providing world-class technology solutions to our clients unfortunately comes with a downside as hardware is constantly updated,” said Kevin Hart, CEO of Managed Systems. “We felt a sense of responsibility and could not simply put these items in the trash when we knew there were alternatives. By partnering with CloudBlue, we can now reuse and recycle these outdated machines to the highest environmental standards while having maximum data security for our clients.”

About CloudBlue

CloudBlue offers a suite of services that enable our customers to maximize the financial value of their electronic assets while exceeding strict environmental standards. Utilizing state-of-the-art facilities, processes and technology, we streamline the internal and external logistics of a technology refresh, help clients manage their assets on an ongoing basis and assist in proper equipment disposal.

Founded in 2001, CloudBlue is a privately-owned company with facilities in Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, New Jersey, California, Virginia and the United Kingdom. Our customers include leading OEMs, VARS, IT consultants, schools and corporations in the healthcare, legal, banking, real estate and insurance industries.

About Managed Systems

Managed Systems delivers proven technology solutions to New York’s small and mid-sized businesses, giving entrepreneurs the time to focus on what they do best: Run their companies. Using Managed Systems, business owners can get control over their technology and related infrastructure costs, simplify the management and maintenance of their mission-critical technologies and make themselves and their business more productive and profitable. For more information, go to http://www.managedsystems.com/.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Wow Your Staff With These Clever Employee Gift Ideas

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Your employees are a big part of your business’s success story. So understandably you want to make them feel appreciated. A special and memorable gift is a great way to show your thanks for all they do. Why don’t you take advantage of the gift giving season to wow your staff with clever employee gift ideas and perhaps the unexpected gift.

When you want to show your appreciation for all your employees have done for you, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of clever employee gift ideas sure to fit every need and budget.

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

Williams-Sonoma Wine Collection

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

Chances are you work with someone who appreciates wine. WIlliams-Sonoma offers a varied collection of wines in a number of price ranges starting at $50. Each collection is centered around a theme and includes tasting notes and complimentary recipes.

Percy the Pencil Porcupine

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

It’s so cute! This is definitely not a gift you should consider for the more straitlaced individual in the office. But for the colleague that enjoys adorable and functional desk wear this little porcupine has a point. Little Percy can hold pens and other slender utensils all while keeping a smile on his face, and he comes with a not too shabby $19 price tag.

Juniper Bonsai

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

A little greenery is a great addition to any office so a desk-friendly plant makes an appreciated gift option. On that note take a look at this Juniper Bonsai. It’s not your average indoor plant. Steeped in tradition, a bonsai makes an unforgettable and even “interactive” gift for anyone on your list. This one comes in its own glazed ceramic pot atop a rock humidity tray for $34.99.

Personalized Sports Wall Prints

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If you have that one staff member that can’t get enough of their favorite team then a gift of one of these personalized wall prints could go over well. Each print sports four jerseys from official MLB or NFL teams that feature three favorite players names and numbers of your choice. The fourth jersey can be personalized with the recipient’s last name to make them feel a part of the team. Prices vary depending on size but starts around $69.95.

Apple Breakfast Tote

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

Gift baskets are an easy gift that almost always goes over well. But might we suggest a gift basket idea that’s a little unexpected? Instead of the usual cheese or chocolate, this gift tote comes loaded with a delectable morning spread. Apple Cinnamon pancake mix, apple butter and cinnamon maple syrup come packed in this canvas tote for $29.99.

Yard Dominoes

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

Here’s a gift that gives some outdoor fun. These yard dominos are made from solid wood and handcrafted in the U.S. The set comes with its own drawstring jute bag for convenient storage and portability. This may be one gift your employees won’t see coming but has potential to please. Available for $59.95.

Compendious Coffee Chart

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

Here is a gift for the coffee lover without actually giving them coffee. The Compendious Coffee Chart is an elegant piece of wall art displaying all the many ways this favorite morning brew can be, well … brewed! This unique gift will run you $29.

Word Stone Nests

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

Cute and simple, these word stones nestled in their own individual nests would make a good gift for the staff member that likes a touch of whimsy on their desk. Pick the inspirational word you think the recipient would like most and you’ve got the makings of a cute and inexpensive gift. Available for $12.

Antique Camera Clock

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

So it’s not actually antique, but this desk clock is anything but expected. It can’t point and click but it does tick and tock. Made from metal to look like an old camera with a clock face instead of a lense, the camera desk clock is sure to be an attention grabbing gift. Priced at $51.99.

Personalized Wood Luggage Tag

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

If you have a traveler on your list one of these personalized luggage tags could make an excellent and budget friendly gift. Constructed from alder wood with a brown leatherette strap, the tag can then be laser engraved with the recipient’s initial, name and any four line personalization on the back for $12.95.

Terroir Pocket Knife

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

Perhaps a pocket knife is not the most clever gift idea, but how about one with an elegant and rugged design? Originally designed in Northern France this pocket knife is far more eye catching than one you would pick up at the local hardware store. With a solid rosewood handle and handy stainless steel blade it’s beautiful, functional and not too bad on the wallet at $18.95.

Cheese & Crackers Serving Board

Clever Employee Gift Ideas

Clever with a touch of humor this Cheese & Crackers board is made for serving…well…cheese and crackers! Made from North American maple, this witty serving board is covered with a teak oil finish, making it an attractive addition to the home or office of any party host. You can purchase this useful and amusing gift for $48.

Conclusion

No matter who you’re buying for you want your gift to be memorable and make an impression. These clever employee gift ideas are a good place to start looking in your search for gifts that will impress your staff and thank those who have helped make your business a success.

Why not choose the item that not only fits your budget, but won’t easily be forgotten?

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Samsung Flow Connects Tablet, Computer — Even Your TV

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Samsung has unveiled Flow, a new device handoff feature that will eventually let you start an activity on one device and move it to another.

This means you could eventually get an email notification on your smartwatch then switch to your smartphone or tablet to read. Finally, you could switch to your laptop when you’re ready to type a response, all without leaving the application or even the document you’re currently working with.

If this whole concept sounds familiar, it is. Just recently, Apple introduced Continuity, another handoff feature available on devices running the company’s new OS X Yosemite operating system.

The caveat: for Samsung Flow to work, all your devices will have to be from Samsung.

The company gives a brief overview in this demonstration video of just how Samsung Flow will eventually work:

As you can see, Samsung claims the feature will eventually work over a full range of media products — including your TV.

This means, when Flow is implemented, you will be able to receive notifications of phone calls even while you’re watching television — if you wish to, that is.

There are three main features to Flow, according to a report from The Verge. Those features are called Defer, Transfer, and Notify.

Using the Transfer feature, apps and other activities will be able to be switched among enabled devices. You will be able to switch work activities — like reading and editing a document — for example from one device to  another. But the Transfer feature could also be utilized for things like moving a video call from your laptop to your smartphone.

The Defer feature will allow you to put off an activity until later. When you Defer an activity, Samsung claims, it will be stored at the exact place you left off until resumed. That means an email or article you’re reading would resume at the same line where you stopped reading, for example.

As discussed earlier, the Notify feature would allow for some some notifications across all devices.

Incoming calls and low-battery warnings could appear on any device that’s connected to Flow, for example, Slash Gear reports.

To enable the Flow feature on a Samsung device, the Flow icon — a triangle-like design — would be selected opening a menu of options. To transfer an activity to another device, for example, you would choose from a list of available devices where you want your work to go.

Samsung Flow was just recently introduced to Samsung developers so it may be some time until it’s actually available on any of the company’s devices, according to Engadget. But the overview does give a hint at the kind of workflow flexibility Samsung users may be able to look forward to.

Image: Samsung

More in: Samsung

[“source-smallbiztrends”]