Tiny gadget roundup time!

New folding Bluetooth keyboard, power chargers and a better audio transmitter

Tri-folding wireless keyboard iClever touchpad
iClever
At a Glance
  • Ventev 3000c Chargestand, Backup Battery and Dock

    $45.95 MSRP $44.99
    View
    on Amazon
  • Bluetooth Receiver Transmitter, iClever Portable Wireless Audio Adapter, Bluetooth 4.1, 3.5 mm Jack, Two Device Simultaneously, Hands-Free Car Kit, AptX Low Latency, Ideal for Car, Home Stereo, TV, PC

    $21.99 MSRP $39.99
    View
    on Amazon
  • iClever Portable Tri-folding Bluetooth keyboard with Touchpad

    $49.99 MSRP $79.99
    View
    on Amazon
  • Accell Powramid 6 Outlet Surge Protector with 2x USB Charging Ports, UL Listed, 2.1A USB Output, 6ft Cord, White

    $32.99 MSRP $29.49
    View
    on Amazon

Being little doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t important, but sometimes I get a bunch of little gadgets that do simple things that don’t warrant a fuller review/writeup. I save these for this type of post. Lots of little gadgets to help you along your journey in life. Let’s begin!

Ventev Chargestand Ventev

The Ventev Chargestand 3000c combines a portable battery, power cable (Lightning or Micro USB, depending on which option you choose) and mini-stand in one small package. When the battery is charged via USB, you can flip open the lid (like an old-school flip phone) and rest your smartphone on the tip of the power cable.

This gives you a mini-stand for your phone if you’re interested in a stand for taking photos or doing FaceTime, or if you want to just have your device standing up – like if you’re in a hotel and want an alarm clock to look at while you’re lying down. At the same time, the device charges off the battery or power (if the Chargestand is also connected to a power source). Like all of the power devices that Ventev makes, the Chargestand is solidly built and well designed.

iClever Bluetooth transmitter and receiver iClever

I tend to have a lot of wires connecting to different things within my car – such as a power cable and audio cable that ties into the AUX port (in case I want to listen to music from Spotify on the ride home). One way to get rid of one wire (or at least make it a smaller wire) is to transmit music from the phone via Bluetooth to the AUX port.

To do this, I checked out the iClever Bluetooth Transmitter and Receiver 2-in-1 hands-free adapter. Shaped like a giant guitar pick, the device can act as both a transmitter or receiver. In receiver mode, it connects to the AUX port to provide music from the phone to the speakers in my car (or any speaker system with an AUX port). Reversing that, you can use the iClever gadget to transmit audio from a non-Bluetooth audio device (such as an old iPod if you still have one), and then go Bluetooth to a Bluetooth speaker (or headphones).

iClever keyboard comparisons IDG

Comparing the size of the iClever tri-folding wireless keyboard with touchpad (bottom) and the original tri-folding wireless keyboard.

iClever also sent another Bluetooth gadget – the Tri-folding Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad. The company previously had a very cool regular tri-folding Bluetooth keyboard, but this one now adds a touchpad on the right side if you have a connected device that requires mousing navigation.

In order to add the touchpad, iClever had to shrink the keyboard keys, which can make touch typing a bit trickier (see photo, above). For example, the apostrophe key (‘) and quote key (“) is pressed along with a function command key instead of having their own dedicated keys. 

In addition, this keyboard can connect to three different Bluetooth devices instead of just one. With the new keyboard, you just hit the function key and press the Bluetooth 1, 2 or 3 key (above the touchpad) in order to switch. With the old keyboard, you’d have to disconnect the Bluetooth connection at the device level before connecting to your next system.

The overall benefit of having the integrated touchpad depends on how much you need it – using it with a notebook might make sense if you also don’t want to carry an external mouse with you (or if you don’t like using the keyboard/touchpad on your notebook), but I think most people would use a portable keyboard with smaller devices like a smartphone or tablet, and the need for a touchpad there is limited (iOS devices don’t support them, but Android ones do).

MyCharge PowerGear Sound charge case MyCharge

The folks at myCharge sent over one of their PowerGear Sound ($39.99) wireless earbud charging cases. What’s interesting about this – if you own a pair of powerbeats earbuds, you can use the case to recharge them, as the case is molded to fit those particular devices. You can also recharge other models, but your experience might be less optimal. The case accomplishes two things – it gives your earbuds a protective case, and the internal battery can recharge them while you’re transporting them or storing them somewhere.

Since I don’t have a pair of powerbeats, I was unable to determine whether the custom case molding actually worked or not. However, that part can be removed, leaving a space for your other earbuds if you want to charge those (as long as they recharge via the proper USB cable). A button on the outside of the case provides a lighted indicator of how much battery juice is left for recharging.

Accell Powramid black power charger Accell

I’ve enjoyed my time with the Accell Powramid – it’s a surge protector and USB charging station aimed at solving the power strip problem – you know, how so many power bricks are so large that if you put them on a vertical strip you inevitably lose space for one or more power outlets. With the Powramid (I like saying this, it reminds me of the term “Beer-amid” from college), outlets have enough space between them to accommodate those bulkier power plugs/bricks. In addition, the model I tested included two USB charging ports, so if you have a cable available you can recharge your phone as well as your notebook or other devices you need for power. I’d expect to see many Powramids at the next trade show I cover, or perhaps in one of those fancy hotel rooms I often frequent.

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At a Glance
  • Ventev 3000c Chargestand, Backup Battery and Dock

    $45.95 MSRP $44.99
    View
    on Amazon
  • Bluetooth Receiver Transmitter, iClever Portable Wireless Audio Adapter, Bluetooth 4.1, 3.5 mm Jack, Two Device Simultaneously, Hands-Free Car Kit, AptX Low Latency, Ideal for Car, Home Stereo, TV, PC

    $21.99 MSRP $39.99
    View
    on Amazon
  • iClever Portable Tri-folding Bluetooth keyboard with Touchpad

    $49.99 MSRP $79.99
    View
    on Amazon
  • Accell Powramid 6 Outlet Surge Protector with 2x USB Charging Ports, UL Listed, 2.1A USB Output, 6ft Cord, White

    $32.99 MSRP $29.49
    View
    on Amazon
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