That time of year is here. Even though the official start of the holiday shopping season doesn’t begin until later this week, we’re kicking off our annual gift guide series with nine perfect iOS accessories for the men in your life.
What an elitist
The Evo Elite Case protects your iPhone 6s/6 or iPhone 6s/6 Plus with special material that’s durable and scratch resistant. Even though the case is lightweight, the FlexShock material can protect your handset from drops of up to 6.6 feet by dissipating force away from the iPhone. I’ve been using the case since I received my iPhone 6s Plus back in September and have really been pleased. It allows the iPhone’s design to shine through while protecting it from drops and other hazards.
Both the iPhone 6s/6 and iPhone 6s/6 Plus case retail for $49.95 and can be purchased directly from Apple now. It’s available in gray, silver, or gold to match the handset colors.
From the corner
The Logi Blok case for the iPad Air 2 is all about the corners. The case turns your iPad into something that more closely resembles a Microsoft Surface with its shock-absorbing square design. The built-in kickstand can also place the tablet within a 50-degree viewing range in landscape mode. A screen protector is also included.
Take the red pill
Making it easy to bring any writing into the digital world, the Neo smartpen N2 automatically syncs what you write on paper to your iOS device, thanks to the companion Neo Notes app. You’ll need a notebook with special paper, sold separately, or print your own Ncoded paper at home. The pen will automatically start capturing writing. Any notes can be synced with Google Drive or automatically sent to Evernote. You can also upload the information to a number of third-party services like Adobe Creative Suite and Dropbox.
Even if you’re not paired with an iOS device, the pen can store up to 1,000 pages of notes in its memory. Using the app’s transcribe feature, you can change handwritten notes into text that can be copied into an email or more. Users can even record audio that will play in sync with notes as they were written.
You can purchase a white or black version of the pen for $139.
Why did the keychain cross the road?
I always seem to be without a Lightning cable to recharge my iPhone when I most need it. But Fuse Chicken’s Titan Loop Keychain is hoping to solve that problem. A usual pain point for cables, the USB and Lightning connectors are fused directly over the electronics and metal cabling. Made with industrial-grade and extremely flexible steel, the company describes the cable as “everything proof.” And to back that up, it is supported by a lifetime warranty.
You can purchase the MFi keychain now for $29.95. Fuse Chicken has also recently unveiled a 3-foot MFi Lightning cable made with the same tough material. It is $34.95. I’ve used both the keychain and Lightning cable, and they really live up to the billing.
And if you need a little more convincing, the company also pitted the cable against a chainsaw in this video.
I can’t drive 55
Slot car racing is speeding to the next level with the Anki Overdrive Starter Kit. The second-generation system from Anki offers some great improvements compared to the original. With 10 modular track pieces, racers can build up to eight different types of tracks. Also included are two different robotic supercars with their own unique weapon systems and technology. Using the companion iOS app, you can challenge friends in a variety of battle and race modes or go head-to-head against AI commanders.
The starter kit is available for $149.99. Along with the cars and track pieces, Anki includes a four-car charger, two risers, and a tire cleaning kit. You can add to the system with extra cars, track pieces, and more that are sold separately. And keep a lookout as I’ll have a full review of the starter kit soon.
You don’t have to look far to find a good Bluetooth speaker on the market, but the Braven BRV-PRO adds something new to the mix. Along with sounding great, the speaker is waterproof and designed for the outdoors or anything else you can throw at it. The built-in battery can play music for up to 15 hours before needing to be recharged. You can also use the integrated USB plug to charge other devices.
What’s unique about the speaker is the interesting line of modular accessories that can be added to the top, including an action mount for a Go Pro camera, a solar panel, glow deck, stacking plate, and battery pack.
You can purchase a black version of the speaker now for $149.99.The accessories range in prices from $14.99 to $49.99.
Never leave home without it
Even with the great convenience of Apple Pay, most guys still need to carry a bulky wallet everywhere they go. But Nomad is adding a new level of usefulness with its Wallet for iPhone. As the name suggests, the Wallet for iPhone combines a standard men’s leather bifold wallet with a backup battery.
The battery itself is a 2,400 mAH cell and can completely recharge a dead iPhone 6s or iPhone 6. Users with an iPhone 6s Plus or iPhone 6 Plus should be able to charge their handsets to around 75 percent capacity. It also offers an integrated Lightning cable. You can fully recharge the wallet’s battery in around two hours.
With the battery in the spine, the wallet should be no thicker than a standard billfold. It also has more than enough room to carry other important things like your driver’s license and cash.
The wallet can be purchased now directly from Nomad’s site for $99.99.
A smart way to travel
While Speck is well-known for its great line of cases for the iPhone and iPad, the company has recently branched out with a new line of reasonably priced backpacks, including the MightyPack Plus. The top feature of the backpack is its Tech Locker near the top of the backpack.
It’s reinforced with extra foam and lined with faux fur to help protect your delicate items. The pocket itself is roomy enough to hold items like headphones, and it also has a side pocket to store smaller things like your iPhone or glasses. The backpack can lie completely flat so you won’t have to remove your laptop when going through airport security. You can read more about the backpack in my review from October.
A better way to listen to music
Music listeners don’t have to settle for a pair of flashy and bass-heavy headphones. I reviewed the the Solid Wood Over-Ear Headphones from Grain Audio earlier this year, and am still impressed. The standout feature is the beautiful handcrafted ear cups made with walnut. The headphones are comfortable to wear, and most importantly, offer a pleasant, natural sound from whatever you’re listening to.
They can be purchased for $199.99 now. While that may be more expensive than a number of other options out there, the headphones are made to last and definitely stand out from the crowd.