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Lighten up your school commute

By Benjamin Yong, 18 Sep, 2019
  • Lighten up your school commute

Make the upcoming academic semester a little more pleasant with these items


It’s the three words many people don’t want to hear: back to school. However, students can make the upcoming academic semester a little more pleasant with the following products designed to lighten up the commute to school.

myGEKOgear OwlScout dual dash camera & MagiClaw

As prices of quality dashcams continue to drop, a great new option is the OwlScout by mobile tech specialist myGEKOgear. Recording in high-definition 1080p resolution — the exterior camera utilizes Sony Exmor image processor technology and is able to adjust light sensitivity on the fly — this unique unit also possesses an inward-pointing camera to capture all the good times happening inside the car, too. Four infrared LED lights ensure footage in the cabin is clear even in challenging night conditions. Reviewing video is easy using the companion software for Apple and Android mobile devices.

Having to hold your smartphone at an awkward angle or enlisting the help of a stranger for a selfie are a thing of the past with the myGEKOgear MagiClaw. Simply locate something solid for the innovative piece of hardware to clamp onto, i.e. a grab handle on a bus or train or headrest in a car, and tighten the first twist lock to secure it in place. Then, place the phone inside the adjustable cradle, rotate the 360-degree ball joint to the desired angle and tighten the second lock to shoot a timed picture or video. Or, unscrew the cradle to reveal a standard tripod mount that can accommodate a digital camera or GoPro. The heavy duty claw may be positioned upright as well to take on-the-ground shots, the three digits acting as sturdy legs. Afterwards, fold everything up and toss into a bag or backpack.


JBL Free X wireless in-ear headphones

Students already have so much to worry about, tangled cords shouldn’t be one of them. The JBL Free X are a set of truly wireless headphones capable of streaming Bluetooth content from a compatible source. An on-board microphone means whatever is playing seamlessly transitions into an incoming or outgoing call, with stereo mode automatically switching over to mono to present a more natural experience. Like similar products on the market, they are a one-size-fits all design including three differently-sized tips to accommodate most users.

Battery life is approximately four hours, the handsome round charging case providing an additional 20. Plug the supplied USB cable in to achieve a full charge in approximately two hours. The Free X’s are water-resistant and rated at IPX5, meaning wearing during workouts or a sudden rainstorm is no problem. So how do they sound? Expect clear treble, robust mid-range and punchy bass. Comes in white or black.


Android Auto

For the first time since being introduced five years ago, the Android Auto app receives a major update significantly enhancing the interface and functionality. Essentially mirroring a smartphone onto a vehicle infotainment system display, features such as hands-free calling and navigation are accessible directly via the dashboard. There are numerous upgrades, among them a dark mode and a new app launcher that reveals larger, colourful icons to improve readability.

The launcher is accessed by pressing the familiar round button in the lower left corner of the new navigation bar running along the bottom. On the opposite end is a notification bell icon: pressing it brings up a list of all recent calls, messages and other alerts, rather than having several popups cluttering the middle of the screen.


MSi PS42

For the uninitiated, Micro-Star International (MSi for short) is a Taiwanese technology company well known for producing gaming computers. Last year, the brand released a couple of sleek laptops — for the first time aimed at non-gamers — under its Prestige line. Measuring a mere 15.9 millimetres thick with a weight of 1.19 kilograms and boasting a brushed aluminum lid, the PS42, sold in a number of different configurations, is guaranteed to make other passengers on public transit jealous.

Inside, a shallow but easy-to-type-on keyboard utilizes a futuristic typeface and has toggle-able white backlighting. The 14-inch IPS 1080p display is housed within an ultra-thin 5.77 millimetre bezel, and a webcam can be found nestled underneath. The compact track pad contains an integrated fingerprint reader. Under the surface lurks a powerful eight-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of ram, dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU and lightning quick 512-GB SSD storage. There’s plenty of inputs, too: two USB 3.1, two USB Type-C, one combo headphone/microphone, one HDMI and one charger.

 

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