Saturday, October 30, 2010

Other IPEVO Products of Interest

You may remember a recent post of mine where I reviewed the portable IPEVO document camera. I was thoroughly impressed with it and would like to, once again, thank IPEVO for sending it to me.

IPEVO Tubular Wireless Speakers
One of the things most traveling presenters and workshop facilitators always seem to be looking for is portable speakers (that actually sound good). When I was once again contacted by IPEVO to try out a few more items, I jumped at the chance to try out their tubular wireless speakers. They generously sent me the tubular wireless speakers, the open stereo earphones, and the iPhone power pack.

The day they arrived, my 17 year old son, Josh, brought in the box and was delighted to think he was getting some new "give aways." He would have to at least wait for me to test these items out and see if I had any use for them myself.

The Tubular Wireless Speakers - Big thumbs up!
  • It took me a few minutes to figure them out. Only because I think I'm such a Smartie Pants that I don't need to read instructions. Then Josh took over. He had those babies up and running in 5 minutes. For those of you who don't have kids to help you, the instructions ARE very clear. We first synced them with my computer and the sound was really good. Not as good as my 30" Klipsch speakers in the living room, but deeper than any portable speakers I've heard. We then tried them with my iPhone. Once again, great sound. We wanted to see how far the reach was, so Josh walked to the other end of the house with the iPhone while I listened. It was only when he was 2 rooms away (with walls in between)  that we started to hear some crackling.

    One of the nice things about the speakers is that all the wires are contained within the speakers and they charge with a USB connection. So you can leave them plugged into your computer while you use them if you want, and they will charge at the same time or you can plug them into an outlet using any USB connection that came with your iPhone or iPod. I don't have an iPad, but I'm assuming they come with the same type of charging connections.

IPEVO Open Stereo Earphones
The IPEVO Open Stereo Earphones - Thumbs up; unless you want to use them in a very noisy environment.
  • I thought these were simply earbuds but was pleasantly surprised to see they also contained an inline microphone, making them perfect for talking on your phone. I never liked the earbuds that came with the iPhone because they always fall out of my ears. I once purchased an expensive pair of BOSE earbuds that sounded great, but when they weren't bothering me, they also fell out of my ears.

    These IPEVO earphones allow you access to the external sounds around you as well, so they are safe to use for jogging or working at your desk in an office environment. They are very comfortable and small and sound great!

    I was hoping I could replace my headset I use at the gym with these. Unfortunately, my gym is too noisy and these earphones don't cut out enough of the background noise for that type of setting.

The IPEVO Icon Battery Pack for iPhone - Thumbs up; especially if you travel a lot.
IPEVO Battery Pack
  • There's only a few times I've ever run out of battery for my iPhone, but plenty of times I've worried about it. When I'm traveling, I make sure I charge my phone whenever I can, regardless of how much life is left in the battery. And you'll never find me playing Words With Friends, or checking Twitter, unless I've got lots of juice. I guess I'm compulsive like that.

    Not really having much of a need for the battery pack, I still like the idea of carrying it with me. Last Tuesday, Josh and I went to the DMV so he could take his driving test to get his license. If you've ever been to a Florida DMV, then you know that you need to bring a duffel bag full of camping supplies. (I say Florida DMV because I imagine that the DMVs in the rest of the country are more like salons where they allow you to make appointments, keep them, have concierges, Starbucks and wine and cheese.) Anyway, you can be sure that battery pack came in handy. After watching several episodes of Prison Break, my phone needed a boost and the IPEVO battery pack helped us get through the rest of the day.

    I like that you can charge it and your phone at the same time. It's also very small and sleek. I keep it in my purse and feel confident that I've got some extra battery life with me.

Some great products once again, from IPEVO. I'm happy to try out their products and share my experiences any day!


    Anonymous said...

    Wow, I have to be honest. I'm really disappointed in you Lee. I thought you had this blog to share your experiences and information as an educator, not to be a shill for companies that'll send you free stuff. I could sort of understand when you did it once, but to do it again, in this manner? I've lost respect for you and your blog.

    TJ Shay said...

    Cool, Lee! Thanks for sharing these great products. I purchased the IPEVO doc camera on your recommendation and have not been sorry. I am glad you are willing to share things that are cool!

    I admire you and your blog and know thousands of people who do....and for good reason. YOU ROCK!

    Lee Kolbert said...

    Dear Anonymous,
    I appreciate your comment, but wonder why you felt the need to be "anonymous" when you and I both know that nothing you do on the Internet is truly anonymous. You also chose the word, "shill." Do you know what shill means?

    From Wikipedia: A shill or plant is a person who helps another person or organization to sell goods or services without disclosing that he or she has a close relationship with the seller. The shill pretends to have no association with the seller/group and gives onlookers the impression that he or she is an enthusiastic independent customer.

    Didn't I disclose the fact that I was given the products to review? They did not tell me what to say, nor was I obligated to blog about them at all.

    Am I doing a disservice to my readers by offering my experiences on products for which they may be seeking themselves?

    Why is it OK to do it once and have your respect but twice and I've lost it? Is that where your line is drawn? What about with other well-known edubloggers who have also done similar reviews for products?

    Oftentimes bloggers are contacted to blog about specific things. Most of the time these requests are ignored, but sometimes they result in enriching relationships. For example, when The Secret Life of Scientists contacted me last year because they wanted me to blog about their site. After researching what their site was all about, not only did I blog about them, but my students engaged in a video conference with one of their scientists and now I'm a regular guest-blogger on their site. Since then, many educators have discovered that site, partly because of me promoting them. Karl Fisch has established a relationship with one of their scientists as well and is planning a video conference for is algebra class. Am I selling out to them, too?

    If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you'd know I don't just blog about educational things. My last post prior to this was about Glee and The Rocky Horror Picture Show; which has nothing to do with education. If any post should have lost your respect, I would think that one would.

    Just remember when you read the blogs whose authors you respect that the Google Ads and Amazon links are all there so you will click through. When you do, the blogger gets credits and sometimes, cash, for your clicks. Some well-respected bloggers even sell advertising on their sites.

    I don't have a problem with any of that, as long as the blogger is transparent. So, its ok that you lost respect for me. It wouldn't be the first time I've disappointed someone.

    Michelle said...

    As another teacher, I don't always have time to try things myself, and I feel a lot of reviews on the product sites are not always from classroom teacher perspectives. I, for one, really appreciate when someone I respect is able to try out new products and then give an honest review.

    Thanks, Lee! Much appreciated!

    Dean Mantz said...


    I will apologize on behalf of all educators that do read your blogs, watch Palm Breeze Cafe episodes, and those of us that collaborate with you on a variety of social networks for the comment that you responded too.

    IMHO, that educators that do post blog providing a reflection of educational resources, whether it be websites or equipment, are necessary. Many products that may have positive influences are not always released to all educators. Some start out in regional markets before moving East or West. If folks don't share their thoughts or insight the rest of us do not learn about the product. So, I applaud you for providing posts that do reflect upon possible new tools for educators that may or may not meet our needs for instruction or even budget limits.

    I guess the question I would have for the anonymous poster is this one: "Would you not want educators to provide insight into what sample text books are accurate and provide thought provoking opportunities concepts when schools are looking to adopt new material?" After all, those are items being sent out to folks from businesses too.

    Shelly Terrell said...

    I enjoy your blog and the info you share and reflect upon when you could be doing something else. It helps other educators save time when they are searching for a good service, tool, or product. Many companies offer free or cheaper tools and services to educators because several educational bloggers like you share what we see value in.

    Allanah King said...

    Most of the bloggers whose blogs I read are amateurs, in the sense that they don't get paid to blog- they do so because they like to share their life's journey or their reflections as a teacher.

    I know that for my blog to remain advertisement free I have to pay NZ$60 a year but I feel it is worth it so that ads to sites that I do not endorse are not linked from my blog.

    Where does that money come from? From my own purse!

    Parallels once offered me a registration for their product which I find greatly improves my ability to help teachers with tools on either Apple or PC platforms.

    I was grateful and told people so.

    I applaud Lee for her sharing and her willingness to engage in open debate on her blog rather than hit the spam or delete button.

    Keep up the great work.

    Allanah King

    Miguel Guhlin (@mGuhlin) said...

    Lee, I wouldn't worry about someone who wrote anonymously! And, after reading your post, there was nothing in there to worry about.

    One question: Do you ever write negative reviews of products provided to you at no cost?


    Lona said...

    I appreciate the reviews! How else would I know except by going to the company's website or googling the product and relying on the results? I would accept your reviews over any. Thanks, Lee.

    sue said...

    Hi Lee, Keep on blogging about products that you feel worthwhile for the educational community. It saves me time and money because I KNOW you are going to provide an impartial view! Time and money are scarce in the educational world!

    Lee Kolbert said...

    Thanks Everyone for your comments. As you can see by the fact that I did not delete the Anonymous comment, I welcome all points of view.

    I've not had an opportunity to review all that many products. I would definitely not endorse something I do not believe in. The headphones in this post did not suit my purposes in the gym and I'm not sure that was a negative review, but for someone looking for that solution, they would not want to buy them.

    If I truly felt something was terrible, I probably would just not blog about it at all but I would definitely not endorse it. If there were some redeeming qualities, I'd have no problem stating those and also including the features where I felt the product fell short.

    Thanks again for jumping in.

    TonyParkin said...

    Always a tricky issue... but as usual for you nail, head, hit!

    We ALL come across commercial products that we really like, and companies or organisations that impress. To NOT mention this would be a disservice to those of those who follow you precisely because they value your opinion on things. Keep doing it - but simple rules apply...

    1. Never blog about a product JUST because you got a freebie, or know the company.
    2. Never give anything more praise than you truly believe it is worth...
    3. Always make clear the nature of any relationship... ie that it was a freebie, or that you were asked to write about it.

    Teachers are second to none when it comes to smelling a phony product placement. A blogger MIGHT get away with one gratuitous placement.. but no more.

    Keep doing it, and keep honest... more will love and respect you for it and if anonymous can't cope, hey, there are other blogs they can read!

    Stacy Kasse said...

    Thanks,Lee, for your honest and thorough reviews of the products. If it wasn't for you and others I would have never known about the IPEVO camera (which I do love). I am a buy it/try it/share it kind of gal as well. Love that you share your knowledge. Keep up the good work.

    Sterling Strom said...

    Hey! I am Sterling and I currently attend The University of South Alabama. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class and I was told to comment on your blog post. I loved reading your blog post, because in Dr. Strange's class that I am in we are always learning about new technology. So, now you have provided me with new information that I can now pass on. Thank you for telling us about the new products. Maybe one day I can use them! Thanks so much!

    IMC Guy said...

    Keep up the good work Lee. Both in the classroom and "out here" with us. Your insight is valuable.

    Camping Supplies said...

    I purchased the IPEVO doc camera on your recommendation thats very good camera with good picture quality. I am glad you are willing to share things that are cool!