PPUG Spring 2011 reviews wrap-up

Couldn't make it to this Saturday's PPUG meeting in Philadelphia? No worries, here's a wrap-up of some of my new favorite stuff: Verizon LTE, Solio Classic charger, and BookArc for MBA.

http://thescene.s3.amazonaws.com/pics/bar/2/51481/profile/1205061797294_272.jpgCouldn't make it to this Saturday's PPUG meeting in Philadelphia? No worries, here's a quick wrap-up of some of my new favorite new gear:

Verizon's LTE Network - While the Manayunk Brewery (where we've met for over 10 years) finally has WiFi access, I tested it and was only able to achieve about 8 Mbps down. Then I plugged in my LG VL600 4G USB modem and connected to Verizon's LTE network in Philadelphia and was able to achieve 30 Mbps down. I know that the screen shot below says 27.8, but I definitely hit 30 Mbps, which absolutely slays even Comcast's business Internet access. As I said at the meeting, LTE is one of the few life-changing technologies of the past decade, (the other is the Solid State Drive, or SSD). Once you have it, there's no going back.

Solio Classic charger - This $99 external battery is great for charging your iPhone in a pinch, but it also ships with adapters to charge up to 3,200 different devices (including a tip for the pervasive Micro USB port). Although it has three, super-cool solar panels, think of Solio as a 1650 mAh battery pack first, and as a solar panel second. If it's sunny out, you can recharge the battery courtesy of mother nature, but if it's cloudy, you can still recharge Solio from a USB port or wall charger. This thing doesn't leave my bag.

BookArc for MacBook Air ($40) - I reviewed the BookArc for iPad back in June and loved it, now Twelve South is back with the successor for the MacBook Air. BookArc is a heavy and sturdy stand for the 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air that includes cable management and allows you to turn your MBA into a desktop. BookArc allows you to use your MacBook Air with its lid closed in a vertical position, saving precious desk real estate and dedicating your VRAM and GPU horsepower to your external display (as opposed to splitting it between displays). BookArcs also make excellent storage racks for your Apple gear when not in use.

The next PPUG meeting will be some time after WWDC in June. Stay tuned to the PPUG website for updates and if you're in the Philadelphia area, feel free to drop in to our Summer meeting.

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