Cord clips: they’re practical, effective, even downright utilitarian. Being all function and no form, they aren’t there to stand around and look pretty – they’re there to get the job done, and they always do, which is why I’m a fan. As far as I can remember, I’ve never met a cord clip that I didn’t like, but at the same time, I’ve never exactly been drawn to them for their looks… until now.
Just yesterday, I laid eyes on BlueLounge® CableDrops™ cord clips for the very first time, and the weirdest thing happened. I had this instant, goofy, kid-in-a-candy-story reaction, the kind that I never thought would be inspired by a cable management product. You may have heard me go on about BlueLounge’s amazing design savvy before, when I’ve blogged about their many incredible charging stations and gadget docks. But these little cord clips absolutely took the cake, and I can’t quite figure out why.
Maybe it’s because CableDrops lean toward sophisticated and even sculptural on the design end, but somehow still remind you of cute, colorful little candies (hence the aforementioned “kid-in-a-candy-store” knee-jerk reaction). I’m not someone who’s into the general acquisition of stuff, but these are the kind of things that make you say, “ooooh, I need those” before you really even have time to process what they actually do. They’re impossibly cute.
Anyway, you get the idea. On to how they work. CableDrops™ hang onto one cord at a time, and are specifically designed to hold cable connectors and prevent them from slipping to the floor when they’re disconnected. So that USB cord that you’re always crawling on the floor behind your desk to retrieve stays conveniently at arm’s length, instead – which is where it should be. And then there’s the easy “installation” part – they’re conveniently backed with adhesive, so all you do is figure out where you want them, peel the backing off, and stick them to any flat surface.
One of my favorite things is that they come in beautiful complementary color assortments, and are sold in 6-packs, so you have the freedom to use just one, or group them together for even more impact and cable management power. Because of their looks, you can get pretty artistic with the arrangements, so these are perfect for creative and design-oriented people… like me.
I’m getting the feeling that I’m on kind of a minimalist jag this week. Only yesterday I was talking up the virtues of small and incredibly simple cord organizer, and today, we’re exploring the “less-is-more” advantages of what happen to be the shortest USB cables I’ve ever set eyes on. Meet the Extra Connectors.
Made by BlueLounge Designs, the not-so-evil geniuses behind some of the hottest and most functional charging stations on the market, Extra Connectors are foot-long USB cables (yes, you got that right, they’re only 12 inches) that let you add extra connectors to BlueLounge Charging Stations that have spare USB ports, or just plug small devices into your laptop without the hassle of an extra 5 feet of USB cable cluttering up your workspace.
I don’t know if this is just the first time I’ve come across cables this short, or if it’s been going on forever without my knowledge, but to be quite honest, I don’t care – the whole concept is brilliant. Think about it. When you want to connect, say, your digital camera to your laptop to import photos, do you really need a 6-foot USB cable? No! In reality, you’re setting your camera down about a foot away from your computer, and then working around the pile of cable slack. Inconvenience for a greater benefit is one thing, but fighting a needlessly, wastefully long cable for elbow room is pretty much insane.
Extra Connectors are compatible with over 1,500 devices, from a lineup of manufacturers that include Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG, Samsung, Palm, Sony, Nintendo, and Motorola. With the odds that they’ll work for you being so good, you’ve definitely got to give one a try. You won’t miss the cable slack – I promise.
Filed under: Gadgets, Power and Data Distribution
If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that if you need to park or charge your gadgets in or on something, that something had better be from BlueLounge® Designs. An awful lot of charging stations and electronics organizers come my way, and without fail, the items from BlueLounge are the ones that consistently cause my lower jaw to come crashing (involuntarily, of course) down onto my laptop desk. They’re always chic, modern, a little bit funky, and minimalist in a way that could never be misconstrued as boring.
Case in point, our latest BlueLounge® addition, the Refresh Charging Station. This hot little number is gorgeously designed, comes fully equipped with built-in connectors, and is so small that you could almost call it “tiny.” It’s exactly the kind of thing you’d want babysitting the cell phone and iPod™ that are, if I’m not mistaken, currently sprawling out on your counter or desktop.
This brilliant little gadget corral/charger measures only (approximately) 9½ x 2 x 5½ inches, so it leaves most of your surface space available for more important things, but despite its compact footprint, it can accommodate up to 3 small devices at once. Refresh’s gently sloped surface is rubberized to provide plenty of traction for the gadgets that lounge on it, because, let’s face it, no one wants a cracked iPhone™ screen under any circumstances… least of all a slippery charging station mishap.
As I mentioned before, the Refresh charging station is very discreetly tricked out with 2 iPod cables, 2 USB extensions, and mini and micro USB connectors, so right off the bat, it’s compatible with 1,838 different gadgets, even without their individual chargers. When it’s time to repower, just slip the connector(s) you need through the charging surface, plug in, and let the Refresh do its work.
Convenience, organization and technology all rolled into one space-conscious and very stylish package. Now that’s refreshing.
The BlueLounge Nest – An Extra Set of Hands to Hold Up iPads, Kindles, and Other Tablet-Style Gadgets
Easter’s just around the corner, and being that it’s the time of year that we traditionally have bunnies, chicks, and little candy eggs on the brain, it’s an extra fun coincidence that we just started carrying yet another awesome BlueLounge product, which happens to be very appropriately named the Nest. It may not be the ideal place to stash your kids’ Cadbury Creme Eggs on Easter morning, but it’s designed to hold something even cooler (think iPads, Kindles, and other gadgety tablets).
Before I go any further, I need to come clean of a dirty little secret: I haven’t yet joined the ranks of iPad and eBook owners. But when I do, the Nest will not be optional. One of these babies is coming home with me as soon as I get tabletized! I don’t mean to get overenthusiastic about a gadget stand, but the thought of having to hold onto a tablet at all times during use is a little exhausting. Maybe I want to catch up on my reading while eating a sandwich, or sit back and watch a movie without having to keep a death grip on the screen, or attempt to balance it in my lap. No, I’ll definitely be requiring the services of a Nest.
I hope that I’m not coming across as some kind of tablet stand snob when I say this, but this is one of, if not the best, one I’ve seen yet. There are tons of easel-y ones out there, and while the Nest can and does act like an easel, it also does double duty as a very cool-looking pedestal, depending on which way you turn it. Did I also mention that it comes in several extremely eye-catching colors? (BlueLounge is great with colors.) And that it has a little storage compartment for keys and other miscellaneous treasures/junk? (They’re amazing at organization, too.)
All this, and it’s priced comparably with, or cheaper than, most other tablet stands on the market. I’m telling you, this thing is so good, it’s almost a reason to go out and get a tablet. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I think there’s a homeless Kindle wandering around out there with my name on it…
Filed under: Desk Cable Organizers, Desks and Workstations
For the past year and a half, I’ve been pretty happy with my IKEA computer desk – it was cheap, looks reasonably good, and accommodates my desktop without eating up too much space. But just last week, satisfaction more or less flew out the window when I took my first gander at BlueLounge’s StudioDesk. Never mind that I don’t currently own a laptop, or that the StudioDesk costs several times what my little IKEA number did – I want one. Why the workstation envy? My avarice is founded on 3 different reasons, namely:
Mahogany. That’s right – this baby may be part white laminate, but I’m happy to say that all the important details are done in real, gorgeous mahogany. Legs, trim, grommet edging – you name it. This could be my ticket out of particle board prison!
The built-in faux leather laptop pad. Yes, it may be fake, but it’s also kind of chic, and does the very important job of keeping your laptop from sliding all over the place. Besides, wouldn’t you rather rest your wrists on a soft surface instead of cold, hard desktop?
The lack of visual cables. This is the part where I tell you that the faux leather laptop pad actually covers a slide-out tray that conceals the most magical part of the desk – a built-in cable management compartment. This secret hideaway has plenty of room to fit power strips, USB hubs, and even excess wiring, so instead of looking at multiple cords traveling around your desktop and stretching to wall outlets, you’ll only get an eyeful of clean lines and beautiful, clutter-free minimalism.
Well, I think you’ll find that my greed is justified. And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to shop for a laptop, and possibly a brick-walled downtown loft apartment. I think my future StudioDesk would look outstanding in one of those.
Filed under: Desk Cable Organizers, Power and Data Distribution
BlueLounge® Designs has done it again. They can’t stop making cool products for me to yakk on about. First there was the Sanctuary charging station, and then came the Space Station laptop dock. Finally, this morning, I met the newest addition – the CableBox. But I’m not talking about the the box from your cable company that sends signal to your TV. If you’ve ever read or watched anything Harry Potter, then you’re probably well acquainted with the Cloak of Invisibility – wrap yourself in it, and you’re gone. Well, the CableBox is like an Invisibility Cloak for power strips, and it works almost as fast. You want one already, don’t you?
Design-wise, it’s almost ridiculously simple – in a good way. It’s a sleek, rounded-corner box with cable slots in each end, and a lid that fits on top. Operation is equally simple: you just pick up your standard-size power strip, plugs and all, and drop it into the CableBox. Attached cables can be routed out of the box via one or both slots, and then you just pop the lid on. Power strip? What power strip?
The CableBox is available in black or white, but either color can be repainted to match your walls or floor if you’re looking to achieve an even higher level of power strip stealth. And what’s really nice is that the CableBox has low-profile rubberized feet (pads, really) attached to the bottom, so whether you park it on the floor or along the back of an entertainment center, it won’t slide around on you.