Assorted Griffin Technology Gear
Company: Griffin Technology
Some products deserve a full review, a few pages of observations, exploration, explanations, and the like. For other products, not so much. So here is a quick review of a few products from Griffin Technology that they sent our way for review.
Do you have an Airport Express? If so, don’t you just hate how the power plug is actually attached to the Airport Express itself? Say you want to plug it into the same power strip that your home stereo receiver is on. It may fit, but you’ll have to leave the plugs on either side empty. For me, I wanted to plug it into the amplifier itself where there are two switched power outlets so when the unit is turned on, it also powers up any device plugged in to these plugs as well. However, with the Airport Express plugged in there, gravity wanted to pull it back out, and it also stuck out the side of the amplifier. A yucky situation any way you look at it.
So what does the AirBase do? First, you pull off the power plug from your Airport Express, and slide-plug it into the AirBase. The airbase has a regular (and long) power cable that you can then plug in as you would any other electronic device.
The AirBase is also both sturdy and heavy, meaning it will very easily support the Airport Express.
The AirBase is what should have been included with the Airport Express, and Griffin corrects this obvious problem with this device. Well worth the twenty-five bucks!
A simple cable, yes. The Dock400 is an iPod Dock connector on one end, and a FireWire 400 plug on the other. It works great.
Another cable, this one with an iPod dock connector on one end and a FireWire 800 plug on the other. The advantage? Many, many more devices use the FireWire 400 port, meaning you are constantly swapping out cables. With the Dock800, you simply plug your iPod into your Mac via the seldom-used FireWire 800 port. I didn’t appreciate this until I started using this cable and the FireWire 800 port more often. Less time swapping FireWire device plugs behind the Mac.
The iBeams is actually two products in one package; a small flashlight and laser pointer for your third generation and later iPod. Okay, what’s the real purpose of this? Actually, there is none, other than the cool factor. Or the geek factor, whichever the case may be.
The flashlight works, but it doesn’t illuminate very much. Could be useful if you dropped your keys at night. The newer iPod screen gives off almost as much light in total blackness.
The Laser pointer is just that, a little red laser that you can use to irritate your cat or dog with. It’s powerful, though, and is advertised as being able to be seen from a quarter mile away. My wife just rolled her eyes when I asked her to walk a quarter mile down the street to test this, and walked the opposite direction shaking her head. Oh well.
Both the flashlight and laser pointer plug into the top of your iPod (including iPod Mini) and come with a protective cap when not in use. The cap also has a slot for a keychain, as you never know when an iPod with a laser beam will come in handy.
Both products work as advertised, although they both have practically zero real world use. But really, are they meant to? These are toys, nothing more or less. If you have an iPod, and an extra twenty bucks burning a hole in your wallet or purse (But come on, be honest, only guys would even think of buying this) take a look at the iBeams. They’re neat.
MyMac.com Rating: 4 out of 5. (Only because the flashlight is really not bright enough for practical usage)
So far, I am very impressed with both the creativity and quality of products I have seen from Griffin. They seem to be doing everything right, which I’m sure competing companies don’t like to see. I’m a little stingy handing out really high ratings in product reviews, but so far, Griffin has left me no other choice.
I have a few more Griffin Technologies reviews coming, including the Radio Shark and the AirClick, but both deserve stand-alone reviews. Check back in a week or so. And don’t forget to listen to our weekly Podcast, where Chad and I will look at a few Griffin products including their Lapel Mic and their iTalk.