The Apple Watch is still the company’s best product

We are Mac lovers at Knapsack but even if we weren’t, I’d still say that the Apple Watch is still Apple’s singular best product. I can say plenty about its other tools – the too-big iPad Pro, the horrible keyboard on the MacBooks, the locked-down iPhone – but the Apple Watch and now the new Apple Watch 5 still “just work.”


Daytripper automatically hides your naughtiness when your boss walks by

If you’re anything like me you like to shirk, dilly-dally, and dawdle. But figures of authority like bosses, parents, and teachers are always asking you to focus! How better to thwart their vile ends than with a little box that hides your gaming as soon as they walk by.

This DIY project, called Daytripper, consists of a little sensor and a receiver. When someone walks by the sensor it sends a signal to your computer to hide all your windows or even shut down your computer. This means you can be browsing shopping sites and you’ll immediately be warned when someone who pays your bills walks by.

The kit is simple enough to build by hand but you can also purchase a ready-made kit on Tindie for $59. Some specs:

  • Can detect motion within 120cm (4 ft).
  • Has 5Hz scan rate, works best indoors.
  • Works out-of-box with Windows, compatible with all major OSs.
  • Has a 40-hour battery life, rechargeable via USB-C.
  • Has a 100 meter (330 ft) communication range between TX and RX, open-air.
  • Comes with a magnetic mounting kit.

Given the fact the Man is always trying to steal your time this might be the best solution for stealing it back.


Microsoft is having a Labor Day sale and the Surface Book 2 is $500 off

One of my favorite laptops, the Surface Book 2, is $500 off in today’s Microsoft Labor Day sale. The Surface Book is pretty much the epitome of Windows 10 hardware just as the Pixel is probably the best Android phone. As a Mac user I never thought I’d say this but devices like the Surface “just work.”

Unfortunately the gateway drug of Surface devices, the Go, isn’t on sale but at $399 you can give the platform a try without breaking the bank. If you plan on using it as a daily driver, however, I’d get the faster one with more memory for $549.

Anyway, back to the BBQ.


The Fairphone 3 is an Android phone you can fix yourself

There aren’t many phones that include a screwdriver for taking things apart but the Fairphone 3, a new Android 9 device that costs about $500, is wildly repairable and upgradable.

Designed with tinkerers in mind, this basic phone features a removable battery and screen and it uses almost entirely fair trade or recycled materials.

The phone isn’t very unusual in itself. It runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor and has 64GB of memory onboard. It can hold two SIM cards and it supports NFC and GPS. The case is translucent plastic so you can see inside.

However, the entire package is aimed at supporting the environment. “If you don’t need it, we don’t include it!” write the creators. “There’s no charger, cable or earphones, so you can use the ones you have and help cut down on e-waste.”

You can also purchase spare parts for the phone and replace them yourself, something that is decidedly not available for your iPhone.

Right-to-repair is a growing movement and this is an exciting opportunity to see the ultimate end point of this concept. It’s a little pricey but it might be worth it if you want to feel good about your cellie.


This isn’t any old iPad dongle – it’s the BoltHub

You may have noticed a bit of a pro-Apple slant in our coverage as of late. Some of that is due to the hardware each of us most commonly uses in our daily life (and our day jobs), and some of it also has to do with the clever innovation going on. While non-Cupertino devices offer a lot of flexibility, I’d say Apple devices leave a lot of room for the aftermarket to come up with interesting solutions. One of those is the BoltHub.


It’s not vaporware – it’s the Misfit Vapor X

I’ve reviewed a number of fitness and smart watches over the years (in fact, I’ve got Polar’s latest in the works for a review), but Misfit is a brand I’ve just not managed to get a hold of. Will that change? Time will tell. However, if you want to get your hands on their latest, the Misfit Vapor X is currently up at a discount.


Writing a review with Mobiscribe

The promise of digital note-taking is an alluring one. Sure, you can bring your laptop into a meeting and type your notes, and that gets the job done. Most studies point out that you actually retain more if you write – rather than type – as you’re forced to make decisions about what you’re writing down, instead of simply transcribing (most of us type much faster than we write). This is why an eInk device like the Mobiscribe is so interesting to me, as it seems to be the best of both worlds – notes recorded digitally, but in your own handwriting.


Go for a heart-healthy hike with the Casio ProTrek WSD-F21HR

Over at WWR, we’ve looked at a number of Casio ProTrek watches. In my eyes, if you’re on the hunt for an outdoors-focused watch with a lot of technical capabilities, the ProTrek lineup is the place to be. If you’re also fond of tracking your exertions, you’ve had to go for a fitness watch that also had GPS built in. That is, until the Casio ProTrek WSD-F21HR was announced.

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