Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
I’m a sucker for clever gadgets. Show me something that does the job better, faster, or more elegantly and I can’t resist. I’ve recently been playing with two such devices from Ten One Design.
Blockhead: Clever Doohicky to Make Apple’s Chargers Even Better
The first solves the problem of Apple’s MacBook and iPad chargers—the square white plastic things you plug into a wall outlet to charge your Apple devices.
The problem, which has existed for as long as I can remember, is that they go into the wall outlet at a 90° angle from the wall, which makes it far too easy to kick, trip, or otherwise dislodge it from the wall outlet. Or, even worse, kick, trip, or dislodge it and then watch your laptop or tablet go flying off the table and crash to the floor.
Ten One Design’s Blockhead is the clever solution. It’s a replacement for the removable two-prong plug adapter that comes with Apple chargers. Blockhead replaces that plug with one that’s been rotated 90°, allowing your charger to sit flush against the wall instead of sticking out.
With Blockhead, your charger sits flush against the wall, protruding just 1.2 inches. Use Apple’s power cord and it’ll protrude 2.6 inches; use Apple’s 2-prong plug adapter and it sticks out 3.8 inches. So, in addition to being less susceptible to kicking or dislodging, it also means your charger fits more easily into outlets behind furniture. Finally, at just $19.95 each (or two for $34.94), you can afford to have one for each of your Apple chargers (if you have more than one).
Mountie+: Clever Device to Get More Use from your iPad
The second clever Ten One Design gadget is called Mountie + ($34.95), which is a small double-sided clip that allows your tablet or smartphone to hang securely from the screen of your laptop.
Why might you want to hang a tablet or smartphone from your laptop screen? I can think of several good use cases, but the first (and my current favorite) is to use my iPad as a second display for my MacBook Pro when I travel.
All it takes is Mountie+ and the Duet Display app (currently $9.99 in the iOS App Store), which converts my iPad into a second screen I can use with my MacBook Pro.
As someone who is used to having two screens in front of me, I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have two screens in front of me when I travel—in hotel rooms, coffee shops, and even on airplanes.
My iPad Mini was collecting dust before Mountie+… Now, it’s my second screen when I’m on the road and I don’t leave home without it.
One last thing: In addition to Mountie+, Ten One Design offers a smaller model I didn’t try called Mountie—it’s less expensive ($24.95), smaller, and works with most smartphones and small tablets.