Case Logic DLBP-114 Backpack Review - Blog Post Banner

Case Logic DLBP-114 Backpack: An amazing, lightweight bag

I bought this bag as a deal, with the hopes of having my first backpack as a comfortable experience whilst bagging me some style points *knee slap for the pun*. After what would be 2 hectic months kicking off 2017, I can definitely say this dude was the gamechanger for me – the one that made the transition from a messenger to a rucksack seamless.

Here’s a video with b-rolls and so much noob skilz, it’s unbearable. It doesn’t show a lot either, sorry.

A E S T H E T I C S

From the outside, the Case Logic DLBP-114 14-inch backpack looks clean, compact and minimal as quilted padding on the front and on the straps accentuates the overall simplicity whilst providing some more cushioning. The heavy-duty zips for the main and front areas are rugged and the likeliness of it breaking on you is extremely rare. From my experiences with your average harsh British weather, rain hasn’t seeped in and wet my books yet, so that’s a huge plus!

You get two pockets on the side which just about fit a phone, snack or a 3DS for the gamers, and yes, I’ve tried cramming in water bottles but no, it doesn’t work. This is probably the huge downside of this bag. But on the bright side, there’s a really smart strap-management system with velcro to fasten any excess strap bits left, securing it safely after adjusting the straps to your heart’s content.

a horrible flat lay, but still a flat lay.

In terms of design, it boasts a good look and remains open for boys or girls, despite the tacky logo on the strap that I just had to cut off. The material itself is PVC free – making it environmentally friendly, no harmful chemicals released – which is always a yaaasss from me.

THE NITTY GRITTY

Well it can fit any normal 14-inch laptop, with extremely thick padding for the laptop compartment that allows space for books or a tablet to fit in. You can put a lot in here, and the outer section seems like it can hold much, but it’s bigger in the inside, so you can throw in a pencil case or a jumper.

I feel like that’s the theme of this bag: smaller on the outside, bigger on the inside. Just like the TARDIS.

The front section has a nice few pen slots and compartments perfects for keys and travel cards, with lots of room underneath for snacks. There’s also a zipper compartment that fits an iPad Mini quite snug. There’s a lot of options to suit your general style, so experimentation is the best way to handle this bag.

From the 3 months of having this backpack, I’ve noticed how light it is, it keeps a low profile and is a joy to carry. And I haven’t had to worry about its durability because I feel a sense of rigidity within the structure of this bag. I’ve also realised that I’ve had to change the way I pack things because if it’s out of my sight, it’s in someone else’s. This means that the top microfibre pouch, although pretty cool, was used as decoy otherwise it would just be bait.

For someone who is roughly over 4″, this bag is just right at my waistline, so it isn’t dragging around and smacking my butt rhythmically whenever I walk.

THE DOWNSIDES

I feel like the side pouches are a little too small for anything similar to a water bottle, but is perfect for the “littler” things, like a cereal bar or a 3DS. I would’ve liked a water bottle pouch but it would probably stick out like a sore thumb, so I guess it is what it is.

Speaking of things sticking out like a sore thumb, the decision of putting the Case Logic logo on the strap itself is disgraceful. Whoever declared that in HQ has to be fired, even if he’s hit rock bottom with his life ever since his grandma passed away. I had to cut that and the tag that pokes out of the main compartment which gets the zippers stuck. It is a real pain but it’s nothing that a little rage and knife can’t fix.

Another downside would be that the bag does deflate if you don’t fill up the bottom part enough. The backpack is made so it expands adequately to whatever you put within, but putting a little can give your bag a little “meh” look. That’s literally the only way I can explain it; basically it just ruins the aesthetics.

This bag has to be filled up to the brim if you want its full potential, but the issue here is that you can only put so much before it stops expanding.

THE VERDICT

The main pros are its slim profile yet good compartmentalisation, but you can only fill so much.

I think that the Case Logic Backpack is a great backpack. It’s light, compact and perfect for a light commute. For school and work, I think this will definitely serve “the bare necessities” whilst looking stylish af. However, let it be know that this is only for packing light.

click-to-buy-uk

click-to-buy-murica

ToDoist: Awesome addition to your daily life

Whether you’re a productivity nut or not, you need something to at least remind you of the important stuff to get done throughout the week. Meet ToDoist, probably the best app you can get on productivity and also a great app to kick off the year!

I’ve been using this app for months and I must admit, it has done very well towards handling my rollercoaster of a life.

Extra info for extra context i guess.

Before we get into the pros and cons, I think it’s best to add some context first. I’ve been using ToDoist since August-ish and was learning my ways around the basics and how it could fit into my workflow. There was a moment where my computer and iPad broke down and I couldn’t access the app at all which was a real pain until I realised I could print my weekly ToDoist on a local computer and still keep up, which was an absolute lifesaver!

Back to the review! batman transition

Look at it! It looks amazing!

Don’t worry, totally not unhygienic.

I immediately fell in love with the ultra-minimalist UI that shows me everything. No matter which platform you use, it’s always got a consistent, familiar look with customisable themes too.

There’s all sorts of options, giving the user a lot of freedom and just generally making life a lot easier. It’s given you the choice to control things your way, and that is vital for anyone really. They offer no specific way ToDoThis (knee slap for a certain reader I have an inside joke with) and it works.

How it works.

ouch.

To create a task, press the plus sign and type as shown in the amateur gif provided above. You can can create projects and assign the job to a specific section. You can then choose the time, date and it’s priority level.

What’s even better, and is by far my favourite feature, is the smart detection in what you type. So when typing in ‘Next Friday’ or ‘ToNIght’, whatever the upper and lower case the letter may be, it will highlight the detail red and automatically move that task to that date/time.

There’s even a Smart Reschedule addition which automatically reschedules overdue tasks to a suitable date based on your routine/what the robots learn from you! They won’t do it without your consent though.

The shortcuts make life a lot simpler for the mere human being due to the nanosecond of “productivity time” being saved for that 3 hour Louis Theroux marathon you’re going on. In my opinion, this is a HUGE advantage that they do subliminally support and it doesn’t take too long to get the hang of.

Verdict: Downright awesome.

The UI is clean and consistent no matter if you’re using Windows, a Kindle or the extension available in Internet Explorer (thank goodness the latter doesn’t exist) and all the various elements proves to make you more efficient and the algorithms smarter than you. #rekt

As of December 2016, I have no issue with this system because I control the system. Everything works when I work so I basically have no one to blame but myself when it doesn’t work.

So in short, it’s incredible and a 9.7/10, because nothing can be 10 without being a God-sent miracle.

How to spot fake reviews on Amazon

In a land abundant of liars, fake reviews and misrepresentations, a ray of hope slices through darkness. The path in the Amazon rainforest is a beautiful one, if you don’t look behind at the snarling goblins. Some do, however, and they consequently fall into a pit of scams and an irritating refund policy is required to climb back out.

But the torch of FakeSpot prompts the creatures to leave in fear.

FakeSpot is pretty much a website where you paste an Amazon URL into the search bar and detect whether the product or reviews are real or not. It does this by thoroughly scanning each reviewer’s previous inspections and boom, it’s given a grade – A being not fake, F meaning hell yeah, it’s fake.

*cue angelic music*

This is a lifesaver for those cheapskates (or normal people) that value their money as if it were their organs. Once it finishes its analysis, they give you a brief, helpful summary of what people have said about the product and even makes a word map.

So be aware the next time you delve into the Amazon Rainforest for snorkelling gear. You may be submerged in falsehood, deceit and, dare I say it, waste your money.

Trello: the best productivity app yet.

So as you may have realised, I want to be more productive. To rid of my procrastination and keep my fingers twiddling in excitement. For that to happen, I need some sort of organiser to help me in life without leaving me in pure perplexion.

I found One Big Thing. Used it, loved it, reviewed it. It had a minimal priority list that didn’t make you feel bad whenever you didn’t complete a task accidentally on purpose. Instead, it encourages you and motivates you to get through the day with a friendly nudge.

But I soon realised that this was more of a daily to-do list. I needed something that would help me plan my days, but follow the simplistic vibe when it comes to productivity apps. Then I found it. Trello.

I wrote down all of my bucket lists, plans and work on Notability. This is a great app, but it gets really cluttered no matter how many dividers and folders I make. It wasn’t a really good way to keep track of things so finding Trello was perfect.

Source: Trello demonstrating a developer’s plans

Trello follows a Japanese minimalist form consisting of boards, lists and cards that organise what you need to do and get done. It’s simple, stress-free and enables you to arrange everything the way you want to. Though I haven’t personally used it, there is the option to include groups of people and be the admin, a great feature for students, work or other stuff.

Plus, its available to sync up to from various platforms!

My experience is that it’s smooth, simple and satisfying, especially when you make your own ‘Done’ list and cram it with your completed jobs. I haven’t experienced any problems except that when I open the app on my iPad, it requires a refresh to load the changes.

Overall, it’s amazing. I use it to help me organise what to do the following day, then write that down on One Big Thing. But it’s really flexible so you can use it however you want, either the app on iOS or the website on Chrome or any other browser (even internet explorer).

 

The Photographer’s Pouch from Photojojo: a nifty little thing but is it worth it?

The Photographer’s Pouch is made by Photojojo in the US of A. But it can get shipped internationally for quite a bit of a fee. It was designed by Will Kortum to make life a little easier for us. Let’s get into the nitty gritty.

The pros? It’s fits a lot of accessories. The size is perfect and wasn’t expected, so that was a pleasant surprise. It’s flexible enough to hold a lot without bulking up your bag, making it as light and compact as they claimed. I was able to fit 2 batteries (NP-FW50), a Hoya UV Filter, a Spudz microfibre cloth, a 2GB SanDisk (biggest mistake I ever made) and a compact flash for the NEX with enough space to include a filter.

Sourced from: Photojojo

Surprisingly enough, it left quite a small footprint with a little effort. You even have enough space to slide in a lens cap between the strap and boom, never lose them again.

The cons? The velcro at the back was one of the main selling points, but only works with certain camera bags. One of such would be the Billingham Hadley Pro, which already comes at a hefty price. Also, it’s $15. There are some alternatives out there on Amazon which can also serve the same function.

I recommend still buying this as it’s supplied by a trustworthy company. It’s true when they say you shouldn’t invest in gear that is sold by 1st parties as that only bumps up the price, but Photojojo is based on accessories and aren’t really like that.

it’s like the smiggle of photography

They’re a company based off of California and are dedicated towards photography, they have their own blog too! But it’s a really nice community that they’ve established. I even got a little “Stow-away-a-saurus” along with the package.

So at the end of the day, it is something that you should get once you’ve got your gear down. It’s compact, light and a nifty little thing.

One Big Thing: Simple yet effective

Example of how the app works.

IT’S TOO &*%! PERFECT!

I’m a real sucker for procrastination and forgetfulness, which gives me the qualification to honestly review this app. One Big Thing is essentially a to-do list that is a great start for people to set their priorities straight and clear their mind, made by indie developer Nick Burka.

The app is easy to use. Type up your one Big Thing then follow-up with some Little Things. Scroll down and you’ll find a list of ‘Other things I might do’. Swipe to the left and get organised for the next day. Boom, you’re sorted. Want to remind yourself of your tasks every morning? It’ll give you a “friendly nudge” at 8am.

In the settings, you get the chance to choose which days you want to be notified at 8. You can also buy different themes, stickers and an archive of the previous 60 days of tasks. That’s all there is, and that’s all I wanted.

“There are heaps of ways people use to-dos and this specific one is sometimes called the “1-3-5 Rule”. I didn’t invent the idea, but I think I’ve created the best app for it. Every other task app I’ve tried had too many bells and whistles, made me feel bad for not getting tasks done, or let tasks pile up in a way that felt overwhelming. I wanted something dead simple with just a light sprinkling of delight on top, so I created One Big Thing.”

– Nick Burta

At first, I didn’t really like it, but I stuck with it. There wasn’t as many notifications as I wanted and I wouldn’t get all the tasks done. But later on, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to do those jobs anyway. Other similar apps have always put me on edge whereas this one doesn’t make me feel regret. It’s a move-on-it’s-cool method that maintains my motivation and actually eases me into being more efficient.

In other words, this is an incredible app when it comes to subconsciously making me work more effectively. It taught me to not push myself too hard and to be a lot more positive and resilient. All through one app. Thank you, Nick.

Bobby by XD Designs: the only backpack I’d ever have

I’m a messenger bag type of person. If you’ve seen my previous post, you know I am looking for a cheap one to hold my camera and lunch without looking like I want to get mugged. I spoke to wedding/event photographer Eric Rossi (awesome dude by the way) and he recommended to me the AmazonBasics camera bag.

I thought, “yeah, that’ll do.” Then I saw this during those procrastination breaks I have.

It looks like a backpack that had the shape of a sports car. Bobby look damn beautiful, and I think it’s everything I wanted. Xd Designs nailed it on the head with this one, combining looks and functionality together, as not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it’s theft-proof. I keep gushing over perfect it is but I hope it delivers when it comes out.

The three main selling points it claims to deliver on is night safety, anti-theft and cut proof. From what they’ve shown us, it looks like it ticks all the boxes there. It serves its ability with light bars that can be spotted from 100 metres away. Plus, the zipper is neatly tucked in so your average pickpocket dude is stumped as well as marvelled at the beauty of this thing.

On the inside, it’s got nice compartments to put your laptop, tablet and other tech necessities. It’s padded well enough for you to sneak in a camera and lens. Bobby is great for everyone, not just the minimalist tech YouTuber, like students and commuters due to the space left in between the sections for books or lunch!

For travel, it’s simple. There’s a channel to plug-in your battery pack from inside the bag and charge your devices from the outside. You have your quick access pockets to reach things easily, like a little space to hide your phone and even invisible slots in your strap to place your travel card or credit card.

But my God, this is only a small, vague section. There’s a buttload more features that Xd Designs included, check that out in their Kickstarter. It’s actually genius, and it’s the only bag that fits the bill.

You see, I’ve had the endless struggle of finding a bag that is anti-theft, waterproof, has dividers for camera-related schtuff and has space for me to improvise all in a good-looking, cheap bag that has a small form factor. Do you know how damn hard that is? This is the one. Best YouTube video that I’ve stumbled on by accident.

As I type up this blog, Bobby is only £56 and available for pre-order on Kickstarter. Yes, it will be out by November but hey, there are no risks or scams in buying this. What’s even better is that it’s 30% off from it’s retail price of 80%. Production is already under way, and I think you should absolutely go for it, no matter who you are. I know I am!

Newmowa Battery Charger Review: An absolute necessity

Cameras require batteries to run, if you hadn’t noticed. Unfortunately, not many battery chargers are supplied, like Sony and their mirrorless series. I found the perfect solution, and perfect upgrade.

The Newmowa Dual Battery Charger consists of a 2-port station with a long Micro-USB. It’s a simple as a plug-and-play onto your laptop or powerbank. Probably one of my favourite features is the subtle light that shines green when it’s filled up to 100%. But it’s SO EASY, even the click of inserting 2 camera batteries is satisfying.

way too simple for us complex beings.

The only problem would be that it takes a few seconds for the lights appear and show that it’s charging up. Though I don’t have any exact measurements, it charges up quick from my experience. Do you know what’s even better? It’s available for several batteries (I picked up the NP-FW50) and it’s only £7.99!

Overall, it’s a great addition to your photography gear. It’s nothing flashy but it’s the unsung hero that got yo’ back. A true lifesaver for the everyday photographer, a robbery in broad daylight.

Apple are the same

There. I said it. It’s obvious, but no one really put their finger on why. Apple gets grilled by many reviewers, but hey, hypocrites be hypocrites. Every product is always the same, except maybe a bump in specs and size. There isn’t really any new features, which is rather disappointing for the luxury reputation they established.

But it seems like it’s intentional. This year has been a great year for the development of tech innovations in the market. So why has Apple not caught up instead of just making new OS’? Because that’s where they succeed.

Samsung, Huawei and other companies have gone above and beyond when it comes to revolutionising today’s phones, with dual-cameras and modular phones. Apple has always stayed behind the curve as that is their stability. Their reputation and level of consumerism isn’t tainted as they aren’t trying something new, they’re sticking to the same, making them seem reliable.

Their reputation is a statement to show off people’s bling. It’s as if they have an acquired taste, like those wine connoisseurs who swish around their champagne and claim that it reminds them of the Summer of ’50s.

It’s made such a mark on society that Apple really doesn’t need to put effort. As long as it is an annual thing, the cash will roll in. It’s really scummy and I hate Apple for it. All of the flaws in their products isn’t cared about, like the downgrade in the selfie camera of the iPhone SE and the stupid shortage of ports on the latest of Macbook.

“But hey, no one really cares at the end of the day” – Apple (there’s a definite chance that they’ve said that)