Two new geek toys

I’ve recently added a couple of new toys to the collection here and I like them enough I wanted to share them with you.

Mophie Power Capsule


I keep a go bag set up for when I head out to the coffee shop or travel, so that I always have the things I need when I’m away from the home office. One problem has been that I carry a set of bluetooth earbuds — but unless I remember to haul them out on a regular basis to charge them up, there’s a good chance they’ll be dead or close to when I actually need them. My solution to date: an emergency pair of wired earbuds, which, of course, with an iPhone 7, have a problem (but the dongle Apple supplied lives on this pair now).

Mophie just released a solution for me: the Mophie Power Capsule: It’s a small case that has an integral 1400mAh battery in it. It’s inexpensive at $39, and you can plug the earbuds into it and they’ll stay charged in the bag for when you need it.

It charges with a micro-USB port, and it has an internal standard USB and a tiny cable to plug into your device. So far, what I’ve seen is it takes a couple of hours to charge the case, and the case took about 90 minutes to fully charge my buds. I’ll be monitoring to see how long it’ll take for the case to require recharging, but I now have a bag where if I pull the earbuds out to use the phone while on the road, I have good confidence they’ll actually have a charge to them. With the iPhone 7 making it clear the future is in wireless bluetooth devices, this looks like a nice addition to the toolbox to make sure those devices are charged when you want them without having to constantly juggle with what devices need to be plugged in.

Studio Neat’s Material Dock


I saw an article about Studio Neat’s new Material Dock and immediately decided I wanted it. The dock itself has a wood base with Cork bumpers to support the phone and watch. The Watch works in nightstand mode, and from the product images, it looked nice.

And happily, now that I have it on my desk, I was right and it’s a pretty, functional product. The phone docks on it easily — not quite as painless as my old Twelve-South dock, but close — and having one dock for both devices de-clutters the office a tiny bit. Charging of both is reliable, which I haven’t been able to say for some watch stands. It replaces my Native Union dock for the Watch, which I may repurpose into the bedroom, since I really like it, too.

The one downside: you can’t really get to the home button on the phone while docked, so you’ll have to remove the phone to use it; on the Twelve South stand, you could manipulate the phone in place.

Overall I like both devices; it’ll take some time to find out whether the Mophie case is as useful as I hope it’ll be, but it seems to meet my need well. Both are quality products that are worth your consideration.