Gadgets digitalinnovations

Published on February 20th, 2012 | by Greg


Digital Innovations: Dry, Protect, Clean and More

Generally, we try our very best to actually get a solid opinion on a product, trying it out, usually multiple times, before rendering a verdict. Rarely, we’ll post on something that we’ve only gotten less thorough look at- sometimes a product that isn’t available yet, and certainly for movies or books where we often are forced to settle for a more singular opinion after a single read-through or viewing.

With that disclaimer, we have to point out that we didn’t really get a chance to test out a couple of today’s items, for reasons that will become clear shortly. Digital Innovations makes quite a few accessories, from keyboards to disc cleaning and repair gear. They sent us a package of some random items, and though we weren’t really impressed by any of them, it seemed like a decent President’s Day suggestion, encouraging you to protect some of your electronics.

First, we’ve been using the AllTerrain Wireless 3 Button Travel Mouse, and it’s exactly what you’d expect. If you need a wireless mouse for your laptop, you could do worse- at the price point, it works pretty well. It does work on most surfaces we tried- even glass and reflective surfaces- thanks to the blue LED tracking. And the USB dongle is the nano-sized variety, which is handy. It’s small, and works with most platforms. But it isn’t exactly ergonomic- the surfaces are slick, rather than textured, and the light weight makes it feel a bit cheap. It’s small, and the scroll wheel is unimpressive, and it’s lacking the now-common ‘back’ thumb button. But, still- for $25, it’s decent.

We couldn’t convince anyone to try out the CleanDR keyboard protector. It seems like a decent idea- a cling-on shield that attaches to your keyboard and protects it. But considering that you should probably have a clean keyboard to attach it to, have to do some custom sizing, and you lose some of the snappiness of your keys, it’s definitely a specialty product. Worried about spilling on your laptop? Definitely take a look; at $10, it’s much cheaper than trying to fix an accident.

Speaking of accidents… we could not find a good way to test the DeviceDryer. As some of our staff know, it’s all too easy to lose your phone to a sink or other basin of water- even a quick dunk is enough to kill that smartphone. But there are methods to revive the phone- removing moisture from the circuits- and many people have reported success by taking immediate action and drying out the phone before trying to turn it back on. That’s the idea behind DeviceDryer, which takes about 24 to 48 hours to work. Remove the batteries, SIM card, and/or memory card from the device, drop it in the bag and close the seal, and wait. At $20, it’s worth a try, but there are no guarantees. We should point out, though, that the price seems a little high, since we typically just use rice and have had decent results.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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