Pelican touts its reputation for making high-performance case solutions that are watertight, crushproof, dust proof and used by professionals in the most demanding situation including firefighters, police and military.
I've owned several of the company's cases and when I think of Pelican, the words "useful" and "indestructible" come to mind.
After recently testing the Pelican 1560LOC overnight case (full of camera equipment) the useful part went to a whole new level.
They are probably the most durable hard cases available. Composed of Polypropylene copolymer, a hard surface that can be stood on and dropped, they keep your valuables intact.
Pelican cases can tolerate temperatures ranging from minus 10 degrees to 210 degrees Fahrenheit and are water resistant.
Many can be ordered with customization to specific needs, and for the 1560 I tested (exterior dimensions 22.06-by-17.93-by-10.43 inches, 18.8 pounds) I had Velcro dividers along with my first
look at the built-in compartments for a laptop and its accompanying accessories. It also has an incredible 2,000 square feet of storage space.
As for the useful aspect, the dividers can be set up however you wish for any type of gear, but what got me hooked on this case was the laptop storage enabling everything to be in one case.
The padded laptop sleeve is attached to the inside front cover and can store a laptop up to 17 inches. Similar padded and removable sleeves surround the laptop for storing cables, chargers or whatever accessories are needed.
Once everything is stored to your liking, clip shut the easy-open and -close latches, pull out the retractable extension handle and start rolling.
Cases can be ordered with the Velcro dividers or foam to customize to your exact items. A personalized nameplate can also be purchased.
Details: $249, www.pelican.com
Nightstand system's design
Soundfreaq's Sound Rise (SFQ-08) wireless speaker and alarm clock is a nightstand system designed the way a gadget like this should be; to use with any brand of wireless devices, it doesn't take up a lot of space and most importantly looks good and sounds great.
Charging and docking are done with the USB cable that came along with your device.
Plug it into the USB port -- and you're not hostage to using the phone on a dock specific to any brand -- enabling bedtime reading, texting or whatever you need.
As for the clock, it's a front-facing display that has controls to adjust the brightness with six display settings.
Audio is streamed with Bluetooth (4.0) into a great-sounding speaker system. If wireless streaming isn't your thing, there's an aux-in port for a wired connection.
There's also a backup battery compartment to keep the clock running in the event of a power failure.
Time in 12 or 24 hour settings, snoozing, sleeping, two alarms and even a FM radio is built-in if you want to go old school with the presets.
Controls on the Sound Rise (5.5-by-3-by-3.25 inches) are on the top for most settings.
Details: $58.93, available in black or wood/taupe finishes; www.soundfreaq.com
Headphones to headset
When I first read about the Moov Mic, I thought it was an interesting name and more importantly an interesting device with the concept of mic plus headphones equals headsets.
It's a pretty clever accessory that turns your favorite headphones into a full headset for wireless calls, Skype or even gaming.
The setup takes seconds. You'll need headphones with a half-inch diameter port to connect the Moov Mic's magnet and once attached you're done.
Just plug them together and you're all set. No software, setup guide or anything. Truly plug-n-play.
The mic is a flexible and positionable boom microphone, which has a windscreen to help the clarity and sounded great to my callers.
Details: $19.95, http://headsetbuddy.com
Gregg Ellman, gadgets guru, can be reached at greggellman @greggellman.