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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Smartphone Coaster: Shiny, Simple, Affordable

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

If you've got more than a couple of gadgets, you've probably come up with places to put them - but it might not be an ideal one. Back in the day, PDAs came with cradles, so when you weren't using your PDA you'd have it in the cradle charging. Cradles exist for some devices now - mostly MP3 players at this point - but they're increasingly rare when it comes to smartphones, largely because the sync/charge ports are rarely on the bottom any more (the iPhone is an exception of course). So where do you put your gadgets? Enter the Smartphone Coaster from newPCgadgets.com, a simple but effective product.

The product is as simple as it looks: it's a simple metal stand, angled for easy use/viewing, and with a raised lip to keep the gadget in place. The surface is big enough to hold basically any smartphone, MP3 player, PDA, or even small (5") tablet on the market today. Worth noting is that they have a larger version for full-sized (7"+) tablets. The metal has a high-gloss finish to it, so it's a fingerprint magnet, but it does the job. What's impressive here is that newPCgadgets came up with a simple concept but didn't become delusional about the pricing: I've seen simple, one-tricky products like this sell for $20, which is ludicrous. The Smartphone Coasters sell for a very reasonable $3.99 each, or you can get a six pack for $22.99. At that price, it's worth it to buy a few and place them in strategic locations around your home or office.

Is there room for improvement? You bet. I've found that the strip of material on the bottom is a bit too sticky. It's not sticky enough to leave a residue thankfully, but it should only grip the surface and prevent the coaster from sliding - it shouldn't actually stick to the surface it's placed upon. It might also be nice to have some sort of rubberized grip - or even a few strips of it - on the front of the Smartphone Coaster to keep gadgets from sliding to the left or right. It's certainly not a deal-breaker, but it would make quickly placing your phone on the coaster a bit faster.

As you can tell, I'm a fan. This product is simple, affordable, and allows you to have a nice-looking stand for your digital device in multiple locations. Want to buy your own? Check out newPCGadgets.

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, his wonderful son Logan, and his sometimes obedient dog. He thinks he might get an iPad 2 - but, shhh, don't tell anyone.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.


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