Cool gear under $100 (November 2019)

    Try as we might, there’s simply too much cool technology to keep up with. New products hit the market every day and, as much as we’d love to write extensive reviews about all of them, we just don’t have time. To that end, we’re happy to share bite-sized reviews of technology and gear that we find interesting or worth a closer look.

    Below you’ll find products that we’re impressed with that all share one thing in common – they’re all under $100. While these aren’t purely electronics or gadgets, we think they’re awesome.

    Keysmart Pro with Tile Tracking

    If you’re anything like me, you’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached. I’m constantly running around looking for my wallet, keys, coffee, child… Anyway, my point is that I’m always looking for products to help me keep my life more organized.

    In the past, we reviewed several smart wallet options (take a look at those, they’re seriously awesome) and came away impressed enough with the Nomad Slim Wallet with Tile Tracking to make it our everyday carry. Now, we’re back with the Keysmart Pro with Tile Tracking.

    The Keysmart Pro does exactly what you’d think by looking at it. It hides your keys and has a tiny Tile tracking module inside that helps you keep track of where it is at all times. Once you connect it to the Tile app on your phone via Bluetooth, you can ring it or see it’s location on the map. If your keys are no longer in range of your phone, the map shows you its last known location and allows you set up an alert so if someone else using the Tile app comes in range, it’ll transmit that location to you. Pretty nifty stuff.

    We also came away impressed with the quality and versatility of the Keysmart Pro. There are a ton of modules you can purchase in addition to the base product. We’ve checked out the 16 GB flash drive, pocket clip, quick disconnect clip, and mag connect. It also comes with a multitool inside that has a bottle opener and an integrated flashlight.

    You can grab the Keysmart Pro with Tile Tracking for $59.99 from the company’s website or Amazon.

    Noreve Cases

    We’ve reviewed every kind of case here at AG but nothing quite compares to the quality of a Noreve case. The French company designs and sells premium cases for those who are looking not only to protect their devices but class it up a little bit too.

    We’ve had our hands on the OnePlus 7 Pro case from Noreve for the last month or so, and it’s really been a treat. It’s a little bulky and adds some weight, but there’s a good reason for that. It’s made out of real leather and hand made just for the device you select. Noreve says its cases “meets quality standards” and while the company doesn’t really go into detail on what those standards are, we have no problem believing their standards are pretty high.

    The benefit of a little bit of bulk in the case in the shock absorption. I have no doubt that the device can take a little bit of a beating in this case because of how thick it really is. The leather is also slip-resistant so the device is much easier to hold in your hand. With the OnePlus 7 Pro, I was always struggling to get a good hand on the device because of the curved display and the Noreve case helped me solve that problem.

    You can grab cases from Noreve on their website from about $50 in one of almost a dozen colors.

    Lume Cube

    Lume Cube makes a ton of awesome accessories if you’re looking to up your photography game, provide dramatic lighting for shooting video, or you’re just looking for a great lighting solution. The compact lighting units put out customizable and extremely bright light while coming in a small and easy to deal with package.

    We’ve had our hands on several Lume Cube units and have used them extensively in our product pictures. They have an internal battery that recharges through micro USB so there’s no waste created or ongoing cost of using single-use batteries. We’re honestly surprised by how long the battery life lasts based on how bright these little lights get. This long battery life and small size make them a perfect “throw it in a bag and forget it” solution for heading out on shoots.

    If you’re interested in picking up some lights, you can head over to LumeCube’s website or Amazon to check out the variety of options.

    Liz Smart Water bottle

    Staying hydrated can be a chore. There are apps to download and reminders you can give yourself, but one water bottle can do that for you. Liz, a smart water bottle by French company Noerden, helps you stay on top of your hydration.

    The water bottle comes with a built-in reminder that pings you when you need to drink. The reminders show up after two hours of inactivity which I’ve found myself needing quite often. Hot beverages stay warm for up to 12 hours and color beverages stay cool for up to 24. Our testing fell a bit short of these times but we were still pretty impressed in how it could keep beverages at their desired temps for well over six hours. That’s pretty handy when we’re sipping on our coffee in the morning.

    Liz also sterilizes your water right in the bottle. It exposes water to UV-C light (you can also do this while the bottle is empty) to destroy 99.9% of bacteria and viruses by breaking down their DNA, according to the company. The LED lid lets you know when the process starts and stops, as well as indicating if your drinks are hot or cold. Pretty nifty.

    The crowdfunding campaign for the Liz Smart Water Bottle has wrapped up and the product is now shipping. You can head over to Indiegogo for more information or Noerden’s website to keep your eye open on the company’s other products.

    Infinity Cable

    We live in a world where we use multiple devices every day. Unless you’re locked into just one ecosystem, you may have to use multiple cables to charge your tech. A micro USB for your headphones, USB type C for your Android phone and lightning for your iPad. What a pain in the butt.

    Or you could just get one cable for everything! The Infinity Cable has a magnetic head with interchangeable heads that can connect to whatever tech you throw at it. It comes with three heads in the package, a micro USB, USB type C, and lightning. There’s also a braided cable design that protects the cord for long-term use.

    The Infinity Cable is truly a one-cable solution because it can do everything. Data transfer? No problem. Fast charging? Yep, it’s there too. In fact, the Infinity Cable can charge at up to 100w if you can find a wall charger that will actually run that fast. It’s compliant with Quick Charge 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and Power Delivery. It’s truly the only cable you’ll ever need.

    The Infinity Cable is currently being crowd-funded with a ship-by date in February 2020. Be sure to jump on this one quick, though, because the funding round is set to expire on November 17, 2019. Head over to Kickstarter to check it out for yourself.

    Waterfield Sleevecase

    We’re big fans of Waterfield here. We’ve reviewed several of their products and have been impressed every time. The Sleevecase is no exception and might be our favorite Waterfield product yet.

    The Sleevecase’s mission is simple: protect your tablet or laptop and look damn good doing it. I’ve been using our review unit that with the Pixel Slate and a Chromebook and have really fallen in love with it. There’s enough padding to keep your devices safe but it doesn’t add a ton of bulk to your bag.

    It comes in a couple of different finishes, waxed canvas or black, and in two different styles, vertical or horizontal so you can get exactly what you want. There are also optional features like D-rings or a suspension strap that you can add on for a minimal price. All Sleevecases are made to order so if you have a device that doesn’t quite fit in one of their pre-made templates, you can have them make one just for your device too.

    If you want to check out the Waterfield Sleevecase, you can head over to the Waterfield’s website.

    Treblab X5

    These Bluetooth buds have a striking design that borrow the stemmed look of AirPods, but with a much more aggressive, sporty look. They also have a great silicone surround that helps keep the earbuds stable while in use.

    Our biggest takeaway from the Treblab X5 earbuds is that the playback is some of the loudest we’ve heard in this market. Most of the true wireless audio devices struggle to really provide ample output in noisier settings, but the Treblab X5 blew most of the competition away.

    Rounding out the specifications for the Treblab X5 headphones is passive noise cancellation, Bluetooth 5.0, IPX4 waterproofing, and up to 24 hours of total playtime withe included charger case. The only knock is that charging is done via micro-USB. You can snag your pair of Treblab X5 via the company’s website.

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