Here's another round of suggestions for Father's Day gifts, or just a cool gift for yourself

May 29, 2014 

Think Tank Photo has what they call a "retro-inspired alternative" series of over-the-shoulder laptop cases named the Retrospective Laptop Case, which I can honestly say is not just another laptop case.

They come in two sizes (13L and 15L) with an old-school look and the great Think Tank durability, comfort and craftsmanship on quality zippers and padded, adjustable shoulder straps.

The bag has multiple compartments, the main able to hold a laptop (13 or 15 inches) while a rear pocket is designed to hold a tablet.

In front of the padded laptop divider is room for most any other items needed to carry from folders and paperwork to cables and chargers.

There's another front zippered compartment along with a front sided area, which is held closed by Velcro straps that can be quieted of that loud and obnoxious Velcro sound with the world famous

Think Tank Sound Silencer.

Inside the Velcro compartment are pockets for pens, business cards along with a key tether and a raincoat -- for the bag, not you.

Something I never thought of (since I'm not a bag designer), is how a shoulder bag can put wear and tear on the clothing it rubs against. Fortunately Think Tank did think of that and has incorporated a smooth back-panel to reduce the wear and tear.

Details: Retrospective 13L $149.75 and the 15L is $159.75, both available in blue slate, pine stone and black; www.thinktankphoto.com

Bose improves upon previous Bluetooth speaker

Bose introduced the wireless (Bluetooth) SoundLink III speaker earlier this year. It only takes about two seconds of listening to know it stands out in the crowded shelves of Bluetooth speakers.

Bose, which calls this its "best-performing Bluetooth speaker ever," is known for producing sound products with incredible clarity. It really doesn't matter how they do it, the point is the speakers sound amazing -- even at the highest volume levels -- and quality justifies the premium costs.

"Four neodymium transducers and dual-opposing passive radiators combine with a new digital signal processing algorithm" to produce the sound, according to Bose.

All the expected features are built-in, and on the top of the device is a row of controls, including power, volume and an easy Bluetooth pairing mode. The SoundLink III even remembers the six most recent devices you paired it up with, eliminating the need to go through the process over and over.

The back side has ports for charging, connecting a device via the aux in port and a microUSB port for firmware updates -- not charging.

Bose says the SoundLink III's battery is good up to 14 hours, and the device can be decorated with your favorite colored cover -- available in blue, green, gray, orange and pink. It weighs 3 pounds and measures 10-by-5-by-2 inches.

Details: $299; www.bose.com

A gadget to get your grill going quicker

The BBQ Dragon is one of the few products in recent times that made me actually read the instructions, mainly to ensure the only thing I was to set on fire was the contents of the grill.

In a nutshell, it's a hands-free contraption you clip on the side of your grill; it lights the charcoal or wood in a safer manner than having a flame flare up in your face with a liquid starter.

Once the spring-loaded clamp is attached to the side of the grill and turned on, the battery operated accessory fan produces a steady stream of fire-fueling oxygen onto the charcoal or whatever is being used to cook dinner.

A foot-long stainless steel neck separates the fan from the clamp and can be angled in any direction.

The temperature can be controlled with a dial located on the handle. With the BBQ Dragon it takes just about 10 minutes to get the grill ready.

Four AA batteries are included or you can purchase rechargeable NiMh batteries, which can be charged with the built-in microUSB port.

Details: $49.99; www.bbqdragon.com

Gregg Ellman, gadget guru, can be reached at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter @greggellman.

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