Product Review Follow-Up : 5 Time-Tested Winners

I get a lot of stuff to review and I try to put things to the test before I complete a review, but the best test of a product is to use it over a longer period of time. Will it stand up to real life testing beyond the review? Some products are given away and others sit around in a box, only used occasionally. Below are five six products that I have continued to use over and over again.

1. LED Lenser P7 Flashlight

LED Lenser P7 Flashlight
This flashlight is the best one I’ve owned personally. I still might find it hard to spend $90 on a flashlight, but it sure seems worth the price. Since I posted the LED Lenser P7 Flashlight review nearly three years ago, I have taken it to several states, and used it hundreds of times. When it’s stormy out, my wife goes for the candles and I find my P7. It always ends up back in its case and I still haven’t had to replace the 4 AAA batteries that came with it. I’m sure this thing will serve me well for many more years.

2. XShot iPhone 4 Case

IMG_2574.JPG
A little more recently, I completed an XShot iPhone 4 Case review, in which I demonstrated its ability to hold my iPhone 4 snugly at the end of an XShot camera extender to get some unique video and photo perspectives. Since then, I’ve used the case several more times, combined with a tripod, for steady video. Like the Lenser P7, I know where this is at all times in case I need it.

3. LA Besace Lime Drop Laptop Bag

LA besace Laptop Bag
After my LA Besace Lime Drop review, I decided to keep this good-looking case for myself and what a great choice. Tomorrow, as I have done for every flight in the past two years, I will pack my laptop, crossword books, pens, gadgets, and a couple magazines into my Lime Drop bag to take on the plane with me. It’s unique and fashionable and there isn’t a trip I go on without it.

4. NZXT Avatar Gaming Mouse

Avatar Gaming Mouse
I can’t tell you how many hours I spend on my computer every day, but I’ll bet it’s unhealthy. Since I posted my Avatar mouse review over a year ago, I have used this mouse somewhere around 4,600 hours. It’s precise, feels great in my hand, and looks incredible. I have one at home and another at the office.

5. id America’s Brushed Aluminum Gasket iPhone Case

id America - Gasket
iPhone cases don’t get much cooler than id America’s brushed aluminum gasket case. Just a picture of it on my Facebook wall inspired a friend to buy one for himself, but it was more than looks that got it on this list long after my id America review last November. It protected my iPhone for the first time when it was dropped in October, before the review was published. Since then, it has taken the fall for my iPhone many times while still looking incredible. It was after I dropped my phone again the other day that I decided to write this follow-up for items that continue to prove themselves.

Bonus: iBoo

iBoo
My wife wanted the iBoo iPod sound system from the moment she saw it so, after completing my iBoo review, I handed it over and it vanished to it’s new home at her office, where it has remained for three years. Without mentioning why, I asked my wife if she still uses the iBoo. Without hesitation, she replied, “Every day. It rocks!”. She loves iBoo and says she gets asked about it all the time. That excitement about this product made it the bonus sixth item on the list.

I like a lot of the products sent to me for review and there are some that just don’t work well at all, but there are products like the ones listed above that prove to be more than expected and get regular use. Those products truly deserved another mention.

id America’s Brushed Aluminum Gasket iPhone Case Reviewed

I have reviewed a bunch of iPhone cases on this blog, but today, I have one that stands out from the crowd in many ways.

id America - Gasket

id America provided me with their Gasket Brushed Aluminum iPhone Case that you see above and it didn’t take long for me to love it. When I opened up the box, I got a peek at the design and got a little excited. The real joy, though, was seeing it hugging my phone. From the back, it looks like… Well, just look at the picture above. It exudes more of that “Ooh! Shiny!” feeling in the flesh, but the picture should give you some idea. Sadly, because this is brushed aluminum, it would be a bit cold and uncomfortable if id America had wrapped the design around to the front of the phone, so they opted not to. It’s a good choice, but I honestly find myself setting my phone on my desk face-down to show off the Gasket case design. This is just one of the reasons I applied the included clear screen protectors that came with this case.

I don’t much believe in having a case unless it will serve some non-aesthetic function, and the Gasket case meets that requirement with its hard exterior. Although I didn’t drop it on purpose to test it out, it only took a couple days before I handed my phone to someone at a party to take a photo and it dropped to the bricks below while I gasped. This case really does nothing at all to protect the fragile iPhone screen, but as is usually the case, the phone bounced on one of its corners and lived to complete it’s photography side job. The Gasket design wraps completely around the side edges and corners while leaving much of the top and bottom edges open in order to not obscure the charging port, speaker, mic, headphone jack and power button. As well, id America left the vibrate switch and volume buttons unobscured and was sure to not even get too close to covering the camera lens and flash.

Unlike silicone cases, this one is extremely rigid, making it a little more difficult to wrap around my iPhone and a little harder to remove. An interesting side effect of the Gasket’s design is that any dust that collects on the parts of the phone that the case does not cover seems to be more visible and leaves that same cool gasket pattern on the phone when I remove the case. Another unexpected side effect of the material used is that the edges feel a little sharp. They’re not law suit sharp, or even enough to worry about much, but it’s something to get used to. A side effect of this case that is a definite plus as far as I’m concerned is that it slides in and out of my pocket very easily. My biggest complaint about silicone cases is that they bring my jeans pocket out with them. Conversely, this case does not sit still on my lap. Put it in your pocket or on a flat surface, but don’t try to balance it on your leg.

At the end of the day, this is my favorite among all the cases I’ve used personally. It’s cool, functional, durable, and at $29.95, it’s priced well for the materials and design. I have the Titanium on my iPhone now, but I’m torn between that and the Silver. Which is your favorite?