Cases & Peripherals

Power plus space, all in one case

Tested: Mophie Space Pack

Mophie's Space Pack for the iPhone 5/5s combines extra battery power with up to 32GB of additional storage, promising to fixing two of the phone's biggest shortcomings in one convenient package.

Professional grade

Tested: F-Stop Camera Backpacks

F-Stop is a relative newcomer to the camera bag scene, and its St. Louis headquarters is incongruous with its focus on packs for mountain sports photography. But don’t let that fool you. Their packs show a design maturity that could only stem from experience and a smart use of user feedback. We tested both the light-and-fast Kenti ($249) and the sturdier, larger Satori EXP ($379) in conditions as varied as multi-day hikes in New Zealand and peak bagging in New Hampshire.

No excuses, just good shots

Kit: Essentials for the Budding Movie Maker

Today's affordable tools, cameras, classes and copious creative outlets have brought making a film (one of the best story-telling devices) nearly to the everyman. Still, all those advances can't change a basic fact: sometimes making a movie means going to where the story is rather than waiting for it to come to you. But paying to check 10 Pelican cases of equipment will essentially eat your entire production budget, not to mention it's tough to sneak into a location if you have a fleet of boxes and bags. This kit can be carried by one or two people in traditional suitcases -- which means you get your shots, no matter where those shots may be.

The pick of the little

The Best iPad Mini & Mini Retina Cases

Does your iPad Mini Retina need some love? We've updated our best iPad Mini & Mini Retina cases at a variety of price points to help get your new Cupertino buddy from birthday suit to warm and cozy. Whether you prioritize looks, function or insurance for your butterfingers, each of these iPad Mini cases has a forte -- and a price.

Empty Canvases, Waiting to be Filled

Shoot Anywhere With These Five All-Weather Canvas Camera Bags

We know you love leather bags, and so do we. But there are times, say, when you’re toting your photography gear, that you need a more all-weather, utilitarian alternative. In fact, we'll say it now -- leave the leather for trips and commutes. We've rounded up our favorites and put them through their paces to come up with our list of the five best canvas camera bags for the discerning photographer.

Get more time on the clock

Why You Need a Qualcomm Toq: The Businessman

Greed is good, says Gordon Gecko. A strong businessman, to put it lightly, though we won't get into his ethics. Not everyone agrees with his motto on the money front, but certainly every one of us is greedy as hell about two other things: time and convenience. With that in mind, the Qualcomm Toq, a smart watch that is in many ways the most clever offering on the market, aims to make you more efficient through a plethora of useful apps and a build, design and aesthetic you can count on.

What Your Air Should Wear

On Air: 35 Great iPad Air Cases

Just because the word "air" is in your latest iPad's name doesn't mean it's going to float on the ether if (when) you drop it. There isn't going to be some magical, fluffy cloud protection when you slip it in your work bag or duffel; there is neither a keyboard nor some sort of built-in kickstand. So, clumsy, what're you supposed to do? How do you keep your pristine investment and advanced piece of technology looking new? How do you keep it accessible and functional in every imaginable way and every imaginable place, from the airplane to the board room to the living room? For starters, you could do worse than picking up one of the best iPad Air cases on the market. We've rounded up 35 of the grandest grippers, gewgaw-laden sleeves, shells, keyboards and folios and parsed them by price.

Digital Hoarders

Super Storage: Best External Desktop Hard Drives

The best desktop hard drives have, to steal a phrase from our favorite genie, "phenomenal saving power; itty bitty stylish case[s]". Should you need a little extra room (actually, a lot of room) to move large files from one place to another, or or if you’re storing files temporarily for some other reason, look no further than these, the best external desktop hard drives around.

Resurfacing

Meet the Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2

As a tech-minded individual, you appreciate a solid hands-on experience with any device before you purchase it. You storm your local electronics haunt and play with display models for hours on end before making a decision. But you’re still here reading because you want the deets up front from a reliable (thank you) source. With this in mind, we must first explain that no matter how many of the glorious specifications, design and interface highlights and general accolades we spout over the next page, we simply won’t be able to scratch the surface (huzzah!) of the technological nerdery that makes up Microsoft’s Surface 2 ($449) and Surface Pro 2 ($899) tablets. But are we ever gonna try.

It's all in the wrist

Breakdown: Qualcomm Toq

The Pebble and the Samsung Galaxy Gear, along with the rumored coming of an Apple edition, have brought smartwatches to the forefront of gadget news. Each version so far has its particular pros and cons, but Qualcomm figures they have the market figured out with their newly released Toq. We break it down.

You've got the beast, now protect it

Just in Case: A Survey of Samsung Galaxy S4 Cases

There’s no denying the Samsung Galaxy S4’s universal mass appeal. Dynamic functionality combined with surreal processing power make it by far the most dominant smartphone ever built. But truth be told, all that badass technology isn’t enough to masquerade the handset’s cheap and conservative design. Think we’re being too harsh? Google the top GS4 reviews and you’ll see nearly every major mobile critic shares the same sentiments. Sammy’s decision to don the next-gen Galaxy with a plastic rear cover left a bad impression on consumers from the git-go. And with recent damage tests and teardown reports suggesting the GS4 is more fragile than the iPhone 5, it’s only wise to invest in an insurance policy after spending serious coin on such a device.You're only spoiled for choice. We narrow down the field to 30 or so.

Keep your tablet tickin'

Well Tucked: A Survey of Great iPad Cases

The iPad's extreme portability is simultaneously glaringly obvious and overlooked in favor of its flashier tech wonders. The take-it-anywhere-ness of the iPad is also perhaps its biggest downside: we tend to treat it like the things it replaced, the books and magazines that we could toss without a care. That usually doesn't work out well. Here are 30 great options -- leather, wool, propped, or otherwise -- that should keep your tablet ticking and looking good.

Call for backup

Five Alive: 5 Best iPhone 5 Battery Cases

Doubling battery life is a no-brainer. Options run the gamut for solutions to Apple's latest quick-to-die wonder -- and we really mean run the gamut. It's a bit of the Wild West in the battery case world at the moment, so start here with our five best selections, then do your homework and make sure what you choose will get you what you want.

Where to store it when the going gets tough

Die-Hard Drives: 5 Best Rugged Hard Drives

In today’s digital era of technology, "Knowledge is Power" has taken on a much broader meaning as data becomes our most valued asset. How we as users go about portably accessing and backing up these personal files -- music, photos, financial documents, and third-party software -- has proven to be just as critical. Whether it’s the aspiring music producer shopping beats around to labels or the established accountant keeping tabs of clients’ paper trails, everyone can use a sturdy and high-functioning portable hard drive, especially those who remain adventurous and (naturally or otherwise) accident prone. We’re talking an external device that can withstand the daily wear and tear. Something that can handle being tossed in the messenger bag; something that can survive a natural disaster. Need we remind you of Hurricane Sandy, or of last Friday's party at your place? Didn’t think so. Luckily for you, there’s a handful of damage-proof HHDs available sure to safeguard all your stored data -- and we've found the best.

This is the incredible technology you're looking for

MYO Gesture Control Armband

Want to use simple hand gestures to move around robots, control iTunes, play video games and way, way more without spending an entire lunar cycle on Dagobah bunking with a rambunctious green midget? The MYO gesture control armband ($149) is the answer.

The good kind of cover up

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover

Manufacturers would prefer to regularly pillage your wallet by selling you a screen for every situation -- but it doesn't have to be that way. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ($80+) can transform your favorite Apple tablet into a laptop-rivaling email burner -- and spare you the hassle of lugging a Smart Cover too, since it doubles as a magnetic cover.

Won't blow up ballons, will blow up battery life

Mophie Juice Pack Helium

Lately the scientific community has been up in arms about a global shortage of helium gas -- a problem they say is ballooning out of control due to government fire sales of the stuff in the mid 90s. Thankfully, the new Mophie Juice Pack Helium for iPhone 5 ($80) isn't actually made of the stuff. The case is a full 13% thinner than any other prior Mophie juice packs, but adds an impressive 80% more battery life to the iPhone 5.

Slick moisture sucker

BRNO Dri+Cap Dehumidifying Lens Cap

We would like to reiterate the fact that photography is an expensive hobby. Most photographers are poor. They can't afford to be spending precious Ramen money on replacing camera bodies. Once you obtain that coveted high quality camera body, you want to keep it in tip-top shape; to do so we recommend the BRNO Dri+Cap ($70), which guards against fungus, mold and other camera-destroying agents that spawn from humidity changes.

Chargers without borders

Twelve South PlugBug World

During his 2011 WWDC keynote address, Steve Jobs, introducing the latest round of Cupertino gold, said over and over “It just works”, which is a pretty fair summation of what makes Apple products Apple products. But the problem with electronics, Apple or not, is they only work if they have power (your move, Tim Cook)....

Apogee Folded iPhone Case

"Smooth and supple" may not make you think of an iPhone case. Snap out of your depraved daydream, sicko, and feast your eyes on the Apogee Folded iPhone Case ($45). That's one sweet, sweet piece of stone-oiled leather; no stitches here, just folds and tucks. Beating it up just creates a personalized patina. The case is handmade in Vancouver and fits both the iPhone 4S and 5. For this price, you should probably get it in both black and umber.

Get... chained down?

Ion Audio Cordless Phone System

We’ve never been inside the R&D division of Ion Audio, but based on what we’ve been seeing lately we have a sneaking suspicion that the department is comprised of a gaggle of bros sitting around on torn-up leather couches with some fairly potent recreational products at their disposal. How else to explain their Cordless Phone System?

Not-so-large, but in charge

Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator

As mother nature continues to channel Tony Danza -- reminding us of who's the boss of this marble -- on an increasing basis, proper emergency preparedness is more important than ever. The Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator is a breadbox-sized lifeline for powering both critical gadgets like lights and radios along with all of the touchscreen comforts of an upper middle class home.

East Coast, meet West Coast

Gorjana & Griffin

East meets West -- Coast, that is -- with Gorjana & Griffin. Offering wares for men on the move (women too) that speak to a bi-coastal lifestyle, Griffin & Gorjana strikes a balance between city and beach, polished and casual, offering up iPad cases, handsome weekenders and everything in between. Spearheaded by husband and wife pair Gorjana and Jason Griffin Reidel, Gorjana & Griffin designs and hand produces offerings entirely in their 6,000-square foot studio based in Laguna Beach, California. Further evidence of good intentions? Gorjana & Griffin backs its social commitment with a charitable foundation to aid a variety of causes, including Southern California's first Food Truck Festival, which benefits children with cancer. Now that's something we can get behind -- and wear. Our picks: Marshall Dopp Kit ($115) | West iPad Case ($75) | Stillwell Triple Wrap Bracelet ($65) | West Leather Carabiner Traveler ($94) | Marshall Weekender ($395)

Just in case

Putting SYSTM Smartphone Cases to the Test

A tsunami of protective cases soon follows every major smartphone release. Some are functional, some are stylish — but few are both, and most are forgettable. So when we were offered a trio of new cases from SYSTM to try out on an iPhone 5, we were understandably skeptical. A month of testing has proven...

A different kind of POS

ShopKeep iPad POS by Griffin

Forget the confusing title, and remember this: the ShopKeep iPad POS by Griffin is going to make a lot of small business owners very happy. The new point-of-sale iPad mod — consisting of a protective case with built-in magnetic card reader that works in conjunction with the ShopKeep app — makes manning the cash register...

Looks good in leather

Wood & Faulk Camera Wriststrap

We of all people love a good camera, but sometimes they can be so aesthetically… well, boring. Cold, monochromatic bodies coupled with cold, monochromatic buttons, dials and lenses — it makes even the plainest of men want to go out and do a little accessorizing. And while you may be cringing over the mental image...

The pick of the little

The Best iPad Mini & Mini Retina Cases

So you managed to score that shiny new iPad Mini. Next step: a case. We've saved you hours of SafeSearch Googling by rounding up 30 of the best iPad Mini cases at a variety of price points to help get your new Cupertino buddy from birthday suit to warm and cozy. Whether you prioritize looks, function or insurance for your butterfingers, each of these iPad Mini cases has a forte -- and a price. We've ordered our selections starting with the most affordable and will update this article as better entries come along. So peruse, hone in, and for god's sake, cover your shame man.

Sheltered no longer

Freedom Pop

It’s hard to comprehend, but there are people out there in this great land of ours who don’t have high-speed internet access. Some, by choice (like your grandfather, who asked you to explain what Facebook is) and others by lack of choice, hamstrung by providers that ignore less populated areas due to high installation and...

Looking and playing the part

Logitech Easy-Switch Keyboard & Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac

The typical Mac user’s desktop setup is a uniform of brushed aluminum, displayed with pride and reverence. Many accessory makers have tried break into the clique with lures of enhancements — but few take the bait, for fear of marring their Cupertino livery.

12 gifts for the tech obsessed

12 Guys of Christmas: The Techie

To the inexperienced, the words “techie” and “guy” seem synonymous. Sure, most guys do like technology these days — but like does not true a techie make. So while this list can absolutely be applied to any modern man, its real target is the hardcore gadget nut. The one who scours the blogs and refreshes...

12 gifts for the aesthete

12 Guys of Christmas: The Designer

They speak to Adobe software like a petulant brother, organize bookshelves by color for “fun” and fill photo albums with typefaces. They find calm through arranging objects in right angles (whether it’s their property or not) and take pleasure knowing that they’ll always notice the details we philistines ignore. “They” are designers of course, that...

12 gifts for the traveler

12 Guys of Christmas: The Globetrotter

These guys seem to have racked up a bigger airline status than Clooney and more time on the road than Kerouac. They call ports of call home and know how to navigate the TSA, border checkpoints and a nasty comped bar hangover with ease. Whether a job takes them to exotic first-world destinations or their...

A bag Mr. Eastwood would love

Kata Revolver 8 PI Camera Bag

Dropping a beloved L-Series lens is akin to a photographer’s very own “fiscal cliff”. Sometimes, though, your on-the-go shooting style demands more than an iPhone and insta-edit. For bold times like these, the Kata Revolver 8 PI Camera Bag ($250) gives serious shooters with a bundle of gear the upper hand against gravity’s nasty game...

Your current case is on the edge of extinction

Dodo Case Customizer Tool

Seems like you can customize just about anything these days. From kicks to cars, people want to be their own clever, intellectual, trendy (or not), unique snowflake — just like everyone else. Which is why we’re shocked someone didn’t think of the Dodo Case Customizer Tool ($80+) sooner. Fueling your one-off narcissism, Dodo Case enables...

Stay in touch with the future

Logitech Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad T650

Windows 8 is coming, and if Microsoft has its way, PC users will be transitioning seamlessly back and forth between their desktop and tablets like they’re in some kind of Ridley Scott daydream; that is, as long as they own the right accessories. For those unfamiliar with Windows 8, the traditional desktop experience you know...

Strapping

Joby 3-Way Camera Strap

You’ve got a doozie of an SLR and a couple lenses that cost more than a semester of college tuition, but your camera strap looks like it was yanked off a pair of Fisher-Price binoculars. Luckily for you, Joby, who’s made a name for themselves with their line of versatile camera tripods, has decided to...

Bust a cap in your hood

Hoocap

Any photographer worth his stop bath will tell you that a proper lens hood is one of the most important tools of the trade. The problem is that lenses still require a lens cap to stay scratch and smudge free when traveling. The Hoocap ($49) lens cap is the clever solution photogs have been waiting...

Up Where We Belong

Twelve South HiRise

If your iMac needs a pedestal upgrade from its current almanac/cigar box, the Twelve South HiRise ($80) is a more than suitable replacement. Providing proper height adjustment for your display, the HiRise is perfect for people who like their necks and don’t enjoy performing impersonations of Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein. The HiRise’s internal metal...

Antonio Banderas may not approve

TMDtouch Zorro Macsk

There’s a reason museums have signs asking patrons not to touch the art. It’s basic human nature: we like to touch stuff, priceless works of self expression be damned. The TMDtouch Zorro Macsk ($199) delivers the touch capability we’ve been craving on our iMacs, at a reasonable price, and with very little hackery. The Zorro...

A better music box

Apogee Quartet

The Apogee Quartet ($1,295) is a USB audio interface that provides Macs and their parent’s-basement-squatting masters with studio-grade chops. Connection-wise, four combo XLR and 1/4” analog inputs — complete with world-class mic preamps capable of capturing click-free transitions from a vast gain range of 0-75dB — and eight digital inputs can accomodate a burgeoning boy...

Tower of power

Exogear Exovolt Plus

Portable battery power for your gear is always practical but obviously very finite — and, usually, pretty dull looking. The Exogear Exovolt Plus stackable battery tackles both downsides by providing unlimited expandability and a look that seems to tap into Cupertino’s sleek monochromatic simplicity. The 5,200mA Lithium Polymer Battery Main Unit ($90) provides power on...

Roughing it just got easier

In-Depth: BioLite CampStove

Earlier this year, we told you about the innovative new BioLite CampStove, which promised to not only cook your wieners but also charge your smartphone using only firewood. This summer, I had a chance to take one camping to see how it worked in the wild. I took it on a road trip to northern...