Sure, you can get your iPhone 5s in Apple's own gold finish, but so can just about anyone else with a few hundred dollars to throw around. If you really want to stand out from the crowd of folks poking at their devices all day, you need the Apple Solid Gold iPhone 5S ($3,300). Instead of the typical gold finish, this one comes in solid, 24-karat gold covering the edges, top, bottom, and back. You can also choose the platinum or rose gold additions — and if you're really feeling like showing off, go ahead and upgrade it with Swarovski style embellishments on the logo, bezel, and more.
Soldering is hard. Using Bare Conductive Electric Paint ($10 and up) is easy. This ingenious paint is nontoxic, solvent-free, water soluble, and most importantly conductive, allowing you to simply draw usable circuits on a variety of surfaces, including paper, plastic, fabric, and even conventional circuit boards. It comes in handy, easy-to-use tubes, as well as jars — for larger applications — and in a variety of sets that include instructions and materials for completing a variety of electronics projects.
Whether it's the base of a turntable or lining your speaker system, woodgrain is a great companion to high quality audio equipment. Which is why the Bushmills X Grado Headphones ($395) are eye catchers. The headphone earcups are made from wood sourced from old whiskey barrels from the Bushmills Distillery, feature a leather headband, and come in a limited edition wooden box and headphone pouch. Designed by celebrity audiophile Elijah Wood, these headphones are sure to turn heads and deliver high quality sound at the same time.
Sure, a flashlight is one of the most useful tools you can fit into your jeans pocket, but a flashlight that can also charge your most frequently-used gadgets — that's pretty remarkable. The ZeroHour Battery Backup Flashlight ($160) combines a 1,000-lumen CREE LED bulb with a 10,000mAh power source inside a durable aircraft aluminum body and a stainless steel bezel. The end cap removes to expose dual USB ports capable of charging multiple smartphones or tablets at once. The ZeroHour is also modular, letting you remove the recharging portion if you need something smaller in your pocket.
It seems like everywhere you look, someone is sporting some sort of Beats device — whether it's a pair of headphones, earbuds, or portable speakers — but none of them look quite like the Beats by Alexander Wang Collection ($150-$450). This very limited edition takes three of these devices and coats them in matte black with pale gold accents, making them truly stand out. They include the Beats Pill portable speakers, Ur Beats ear buds, and Beats Studio headphones, and each comes in an Alexander Wang embossed glossy stingray case with a zipper and clip. Each one is available in limited amounts in a pre-sale event, but won't be for long.
Get the most out of your iPhone (or pretty much any smartphone out there), whether you're shooting photos or catching up on today's news, with the Glif ($30) tripod mount and smartphone stand. This simple device can mount to any standard tripod, letting you get the most out of that little camera you bring everywhere. Better still, it adjusts to fit any phone thanks to the included hex key, so it can prop up your phone at various angles to maximize your viewing pleasure. Being made from recyclable rubberized plastic is just an added bonus.
For graphics-intensive work, you need a little more than the average monitor to meet your demands — and the Dell UltraSharp UltraHD 4K Monitor ($1,400-$3,500) is there for you with ridiculous pixel density and color precision. Available in two sizes, 32 inches and 24 inches, these monitors are made for graphic designers, photographers, video and game designers, CAD designers, and others who demand stunning resolution on a huge screen. The 32-inch model features 3840 by 2160 resolution on a 31.5-inch screen — while it and the smaller 23.8-inch screen are capable of delivering four times more visual information than your standard HD monitor. Both deliver excellent color reproduction, with support for most of the industry standards, precise calibration, and the ability to deliver nearly the entire color spectrum.
It may be more common than you think, connoisseurs of fine scotch also being audiophiles. To mark their 40th anniversary, Linn teamed up with Highland Park, makers of fine single malt scotch whiskey for the exclusive, and amazing Sondek LP12 Turntable ($40,000). Linn took their highest performance turntables and encased them in a remarkable whisky wood plinth, made from the actual solid oak casks that matured Highland Park whisky. If that sounds exclusive, it is, and there are only 40 of these that were made. But hey, at least they are throwing in a 40-year-old bottle of Highland Park, valued at nearly $1,500, to boot.
Most speakers built for the iPhone and iPad involve some sort of electronics. The Gramophone for iPhone & iPad ($200-$300) does its work naturally. Simply set your device in the handcrafted, solid wood base, and the built-in iron and brass horn will amplify its volume by three to four times, all while looking amazing. A terrific blend of old and new.
While most of the available portable speaker systems out there project sound in just one direction, the Ultimate Ears Boom Speaker ($180) projects sound 360 degrees, filling any space with immersive audio. At a weight of just above one pound, and just over a half-foot long, these speakers are also made to go anywhere, easily slipping into most bags. It's coated in an acoustic skin (available in a range of colors) that makes it resistant to water and stains, so you don't have to worry about ruining it if the weather turns sour. Wireless connectivity with a 50 foot range, 15 hours of battery life, and the ability to chain multiple speakers together gives it plenty of versatility and reliability.
There's no denying it, computers, software, hardware, microprocessors, control nearly every thing we interact with on a daily basis — from the cars we drive and the toys we play with to the appliances we use and the conveniences we rely on. In spite of this, comparatively few people understand computing technology. The Kano DIY Computer Kit ($100) aims to change that, empowering everyone from grade school kids to adults and everyone in between to build and program their own computer. These kits include all the things you need to build a functioning computer — but the fun doesn't end there. Once you've completed your computer, you are free to program games, and other software, hack into the command line, and much more. It's the embodiment of the idea of learning while doing.
Keep your phone fully-charged — even when you're miles from the nearest wall outlet — with the Fluxmob Bolt ($60). This handy device is one part wall charger for any USB-enabled device, and one part battery, so you don't necessarily have to worry about being connected to the power grid to get some juice. Simply plug it in when you have access to power, and let your phone or tablet charge — the built-in battery charges at the same time. Then, when you're out on the move and in need of a recharge, just plug your device into the box, and let it go (it's good for up to two charges).