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Jun 17

Congrats Grads and Dads 2015 Gift Guide

Graduating to the next level means many things in life. Getting there in the first place is not easy with yesterday’s technology. Up your game with a few of todays hot style items and technology.

Taking the summer off to explore the world or moving on to the next town to go for that advanced degree are both ways to get more out of life or advance your career. To assist with your travels and next living arrangements, companies like VeryKool, August, Satechi, Eton, TYLT, Aukey, Incipio, Grove Made, Kensington and Booq have created some fun and intelligent products to help with all of that.

VeryKool Cyprus Unlocked Dual SIM Smartphone

Traveling overseas or the country next door can be tough with a locked smartphone with data rates on most carriers being very expensive. VeryKool’s Cyprus 6” Android Dual SIM smartphone should be tops on your list. Pop your home country SIM in and enjoy 4G data from nearly any GSM provider. It comes unlocked at an amazing price of $174.99 on Amazon. Once you land in the next country, find a local SIM and install it in its second slot. Easily switch between the two via an Android app to avoid high roaming charges.


VeryKool Cyprus 6.1″ Android Smartphone

The 6” screen almost guarantees that you will not need to carry around a small tablet. A 1.3GHz quad-core CPU keeps videos streaming smoothly, while the $45 worth of accessories helps to keep it from getting scratched. The 13MP rear-facing camera with LED flash did a fairly nice job of taking clear photos in low light situations.

Grovemade iPhone 6 Plus Leather Walnut Case

Grads with an iPhone 6 Plus have probably roughed up or even worse, dropped their kit by now. Grove Made has designed a finely crafted Made In The USA product, with tan leather and maple wood, that is perfect for a professional look. To keep the golden precious safe into the next year at school or your first year on the job, invest $139 for your iPhone 6 Plus. It will look better than any other smartphone at meetings. It is sure to impress colleagues and clients alike. I have covered their high quality products before on MacTrast to keep iPads safe while traveling.

Want an iPhone 6 Plus case that reflects more of the golden color of the device itself? Incipio makes the DualPro Shine in a brushed gold aluminum-like finish for $34.99. The case protects an iPhone 6 Plus from bumps and drops via a unique design with an ABS polycarbonate frame and a shock absorbing dLAST TPE inner core. The company combined the best features from two cases into one. Smartphone speakers, especially the Apple variety, can only get so loud.


Incipio iPhone 6 Plus DualPro Shine Gold Unboxing

Rukus Xtreme Eton Corporation

Crank up the tunes on the beach or while hiking with an iPhone 6 Plus or other Bluetooth enabled smartphone with Eton Corp’s solar powered portable speaker. Their Rukus Xtreme was made with traveling into the wilderness in mind.


rukus Xtreme by Eton Corp Unboxing

It comes with Bluetooth for wireless streaming and an internal battery rated at eight hours of play. The battery pulls double duty too. Charge it up before you leave the dorm or office and keep it topped up with its integrated solar panel. At $199.99 the Xtreme comes with a rugged IPX-4 rating for water resistance as well.

August Smartlock and App

Moving into a dorm or an apartment after graduating? August’s Smartlock and Internet of Things (IoT) Bluetooth to WiFi adapter can keep your place secure. Did you forget something in your room, but your trusted roommate can bring it to you later? You may grant access to your room or apartment remotely and then lock it up after they leave. Problem solved at $249 for the highly durable lock and $49.99 for the BT to WiFi adapter.


August Smartlock Unboxing


August Smartlock Post Install Thoughts

August Connect Plugged In

The August Connect is only needed if you want to lock or unlock a deadbolt from anywhere via a cellular connection.


August Connect Bluetooth to WiFi Adapter

Satechi LED Smart Bulb

Once you are back to your room or apartment, it is time to set the mood after a long day of classes or maybe you want to relax during the weekend. Satechi’s new iQ LED Bluetooth enabled light bulb can help with that. It features a free app with a color wheel where you can pick from 16 million different colors. The iPhone or Android compatible app has a timer with an on and off feature. At $34.99, it is a nice way to fill a room with any brightness of colored light. The app can control several lights, so go for one in each room.


Satechi iQ LED Bluetooth Light Bulb Unboxing

TYLT RIBBN Car Charger

Heading out on long trips might run down your smartphone battery, especially if you are using it like a tablet to watch streaming movies or uploading photos to the cloud. If you happen to be in a car, TYLT’s RIBBN cigarette lighter adapter or CLA has a several foot long flat cable with either a micro USB or lightning connector on the end. A secondary USB port supplies enough amps to charge high drain devices at more than 2A. It has helped me to keep several gadgets charged up on several road trips. TYLT’s RIBBN cable comes in at a reasonable $49.99 for the lightning tipped version or $39.99 for the micro USB version that both provide a total of 4.8A.


TYLT RIBBN micro USB Car Charger

Aukey 10k mAh Battery Fast Charger

Have a newer smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge or something with a Qualcomm 400, 600 or 800 CPU? Aukey has you covered with their newest Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology enabled portable 10,000 mAh battery. It can output 5V at 2.1A, 9V at 1.8A or 12V at 1.35A. That means devices compatible with the Quick Charge 2.0 tech will power up 75% faster than with other batteries or wall chargers on the market. Go from 0 to as much as 60% from in about 30 minutes. It comes with grade A battery cells, which last longer than typical battery cells that are wrapped in an anodized aluminum case. For $29.99, you cannot beat the quality of design and ability to safely charge gadgets at a faster rate. Wrangling portable tech can become a chore if the bag being used does not have enough pockets.


Aukey Quick Charge 2.0 10k mAh Battery

Kensington Contour Overnight Laptop Roller

Get the right amount of properly sized pockets for portable tech with the following bags. Going overseas with a duffel bag worth of clothes and personal items is not ideal. Kensington’s Contour Overnight Laptop Roller at $129.99 provides enough space for essentials, and a sleeve for a laptop. It frees up room in a backpack and moves heavier items into something much easier to transport on an airplane, bus or taxi. It will fit in a standard size jet’s overhead bin to avoid a checked bag fee.


Kensington Contour Overnight Laptop Roller Unboxing

Booq Cobra Squeeze Backpack

Backpacks are essential for anyone still attending school or taking a long trip. If you do not want to roll around your precious MacBook Pro, the Cobra squeeze from Booq at $195 available for pre-order, shipping July 6th, is for you. It is comfortable to wear with its wide shoulder straps, has many pockets in a contoured design and can fit a 15” version of the MBP. The cool factor is strong with the gray Cobra squeeze.


Booq Cobra Squeeze Backpack Unboxing

At 47% recycled PET and 53% cotton, the exterior of the backpack is weatherproof and smooth. Water beads nicely off of the top and a breathable mesh on the back helps to vent heat away. Booq did not stop there in integrating cool features. It has YKK zippers that last longer than normal versions and they run smoothly. And if the bag is ever lost, there is a chance it might be returned via Booq’s Terralinq lost-and-found service. They will help to recover the bag if it separates from you.

Make the rest of 2015 even better for Dads and Grads with the above style products and tech gadgets. Upgrading your game is easy with a few cloud-connected items like August’s smartlock and the VeryKool Cyprus 6” smartphone. Travel like a boss with Kensington’s Contour Overnight Laptop Roller and Booq’s Cobra squeeze bags. Graduate to the next level with these latest gifts.

Disclaimer: I have received the above products at no cost for review. I have not been compensated for the review roundup. All photos are supplied by the brands above unless otherwise stated. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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