Gadget Review: Plantronics BackBeat GO 2 and Cooler Master JAS mini Aluminum Stand

I want to cut the cord! I wear my Apple EarPods a lot to listen to music and podcasts. I wear it when I commute to meet partners and customers. I wear it when running. I frequently use it for conference call too. The wire creates small trouble sometimes. Pull off and plug in the EarPods among different devices is necessary evil which can be avoided. I was thinking to get a pair of wireless headphones.

Coming Friday is Chinese New Year and it is good timing to buy some gifts for myself. After doing some researches, especially the reviews on iLounge and Amazon, Plantronics BackBeat GO 2 and JayBird BlueBuds X were the two finalists on my list. I used Plantronics products and was confident about the quality. Finally I bought BackBeat GO 2 last Sunday.

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After using it for one week, below is my review.
Pros:
-sound quality and built quality are very good.
-connects to iOS devices and Mac seamlessly.
-reasonable price (I got a good bargain deal in Wanchai)

Cons:
-noise cancellation is not as good as iPhone 5S. People at the other end of phone call can hear my background noise.
-all three bundled ear tips are too big to fit into my small ear canals! They drop out from my ears easily. They are not comfortable.

I bought a pair of medium size earbuds of Sony In-Ear Headphones MDR-EX310SL for HK$20 (US$2.5) and turned my BackBeat into a very comfortable wearable! It became my daily tool.

“The (wearable) design must be able to fully integrate into our day-to-day lives” said Gadi Amit, industrial designer of Fitbit.

Clap your hands and say yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
Clap your hands and say yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

I’ve just run 5km while listening to Steven Halpern’s Chakra Suite and Wanting Qu’s Say The Words (a recent 12 Days gift, thank you Apple!). The BackBeat worked great! Music helps exercise!

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Accessories make iOS devices perform even better, make them better music players, make them better eBook readers, make them better content production machine. Just Mobile Slide is a wonderful stand for iPad but not iPhone, and it is not very portable. The new Cooler Master JAS mini Portable Aluminum Stand for iPad mini + iPhone is even better!

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It is very light (66 grams only), small, thin and can easily put in pocket. Elegant design and built quality! Works for iPhone, iPad mini and iPad Air in both landscape and portrait modes. Adjustable viewing and typing angles (I am writing this blog post on my iPad Air in JAS mini). Stands firm. Since it is very light weighted it is easy to move it, intentionally or unintentionally. Last but not least, it is US$30 only!

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Coming Friday is CNY. Many people will gather these two weeks and give best wishes to each other. Last night had dinner with the good old friends of LinkAge Online. A warm and happy gathering. It is great to meet friends.

This afternoon had coffee with another good friend at Cafe Corridor in Causeway Bay. He is my ex-colleague at both LinkAge Online and Diyixian. A nice coffee shop. A great talk and sharing. Hope he enjoys the book 「遇見未知的自己」.

It is great to meet friends. Always.

Best wishes. 感恩。

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Happy New Year! Thanksgiving Everyday!

The last few weeks were busy. Finally I have sometime today to write. Great!

A lot of things happened and I encountered some new, unexpected and very valuable experiences. As old sayings say, it is more effective to learn (about life) from experiences rather the books.

That said, I believe I should I read more books. It is early January and it is good to make a plan to guide and motivate myself, and to develop more good, specific and measurable habits. I will put reading more in my new year plan. Below are some items of my year 2014 plan:
1.to become an observer of my thoughts/feelings
2.to focus on now and to give thanks more frequently
3.to mediate twice everyday
4.to write more; to write diary everyday; to write blog post every month
5.to exercise twice a week
6.to learn and think more via audio means; to listen to more podcasts every week
7.to read a book every month

Even though human being is not good at parallel processing, I find some the above action items can be done simultaneously. (2) & (7), to read while sitting with proper posture.

I read frequently from my iPhone and iPad. However, it is challenging to position them such that my head is in a neutral position and eyes looking straight ahead of me. Twelve South HiRes is great but not portable. Luckily I found the PQI i-Cable. It is just 22gram only and is also a charging cable. It saves my arms from the fatigue of holding up my iPhone.

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Other than a portable iPhone stand, I am looking for a better battery. My idea portable battery spec: 3000mAh+ capacity, 2Amp output, built-in AC prongs with pass-through charging, Very Small and Handy! Something like the hybrid of TYLT ENERGI 3K+ Travel Charger and TheMu.

Tom Hoobyar’s NLP: The Essential Guide is in my Jan book list. Referring to the NLP framework, I am a Visual person. I want to strengthen my Auditory and Kinesthetic representation systems. To learn more form audio means is a good start and I pick podcast. My favorite podcasts are Horace Dediu’s The Critical Path, Steve Gibson’s Security Now and Rene Ritchie’s Vector. Vector #23 “Matt Dance on Apple marketing” is a great episode, especially if your professional is product management or marketing or sales.

I try and mend the broken pieces
I try to fight back the tears
They say it’s just a state of mind
But it happens to everyone

Music is a good option too. I am now listening to Queen’s It’s a Hard Life.

Life is a hard and worthy journey.

Wish everyone has a Happy and Healthy Year 2014! Thanksgiving Everyday!

每天感恩!