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Mini Studio Light | Sokani X21 Review

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If you are in the market for a small portable studio video light for shooting YouTube content you may just want to take a look at the Sokani X21. This is a small but powerful light that can be used for both photography and video applications. The Sokani x21 has 21 LED lights hence the name X21 and comes with everything you need to add a little extra light for your YouTube studio set up. They are a little too small to act as a key light but work great as an accent light or for brightening up dark areas.

The Sokani X21 light comes with a handy little travel pouch for storing all of its components. It also comes with a ball head and diffusers, one to soften the light and one to change the color temperature to mimic tungsten lighting. Lastly, it comes with some color gels and a micro USB cable to charge it up. According to the manufacturer, you can get 1-hour usage at 100% brightness and 2-hour usage at 50% brightness. With my testing, I was only able to get 48 minutes at 100% brightness…still an acceptable level.  You can set the brightness level in 1% increments or you can jump by 10% increments by holding down the button. The diffusers are really nice and work great to help soften the light, I like the fact that they are held in place with magnets which allows you to easily attach and remove.

The construction of this light seems to be top notch and looks like it is built to be durable which can be important for a portable travel light. This light is also perfect for those who like to vlog. It can easily be mounted or incorporated into you vlogging rig with the included ball head. All in all, this is a great little portable light for under $50.

Sokani X21 (USA) https://amzn.to/2mPdOza
Sokani X21 (CAN) https://amzn.to/2mPeoNm

 



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iPhone / iPad

Best USB-C Power Bank For Your 2018 iPad Pro

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In this video review, I go over what I believe is the best USB-C power bank you can get for your new 2018 iPad Pro. One of the new features of the 2018 iPad Pro is its USB-C port, this new port supports fast charging. The charger included inside the box is pretty fast at 18 W but the 2018 iPad Pro does support even faster charging. I was in the market for a new power bank to use with my new iPad as well as many other devices I use daily, my wants were simple, I wanted USB-C with PD and a large capacity to keep all my devices running.

I already own a few USB-C compatible power banks however none of them supported fast charging or Power Delivery. PD for the most part in simple terms means it can charge larger devices such as laptops via USB-C. Not to mention many of the USB-C power banks on the market still have to be recharged by micro USB or a combination of micro USB and a second USB-C cable…and they can take up to 14 hours to recharge.

I decided to go with the Anker 30W PowerCore+ 26,800 mAh with USB-C PD, this package also included a USB-C cable and a 30 W PD charger. This power bank can charge at 30W and is powerful enough to charge some of today’s USB-C laptops and MacBooks. The included 30W charger can recharge the power bank in as little as 4.8 hours, and can also be used to charge USB-C devices directly such as USB-C smartphone or in my case a USB-C iPad Pro and because its 30W it will charge my iPad significantly faster than the included stock charger that comes with the 2018 iPad Pro. But what’s really nice is the power bank can charge my iPad Pro at 30W as well resulting in almost an hours difference than using the stock charger. This power bank also has 2 USB-A ports for charging using a standard USB cable. You can purchase an optional 3rd party case for it. It keeps all the accessories together in one convenient kit and if you have it packed in a camera bag or backpack keeps it and your other gear protected. Watch my YouTube review of the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 mah 30 Watt USB-C Power Bank with PD down below.

USB-C PD Power Bank (USA) https://amzn.to/2Sp1FyM
USB-C PD Power Bank (CAN) https://amzn.to/2PbfUVX

 

 

Anker PowerCore+ 26,800 mAh USB-C PD supports fast USB-C 30W charging of your iPad Pro 2018.

 

Size comparison of 2018 iPad Pro to the Power Bank.

 

Anker PowerCore+ 26,800 mAh USB-C PD.

 

Ports include 2 USB-A and 1 USB-C PD

 

The package includes a 30W USB-C PD charger.

 

Everything included in the box of the Anker PowerCore+ 26,800 mAh USB-C PD

 

Optional 3rd party case exterior shot.

 

Optional 3rd party case interior shot.


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iPhone XS Max Smart Battery Case Review

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If any of you are familiar with my YouTube Channel you know I am what I would call a minimalist YouTube creator, and by that I mean I film and edit all my YouTube videos on an iPhone with some editing done on an iPad. The reason I chose to be a minimalist creator is purely out of convenience and at the end of the day, the quality is quite good.

Apple last week announced a new accessory for the iPhone XS series and that being a new smart battery case. There is a version for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. The price is the same for all 3 models and that is 129 for US customers and 179 for Canadian customers…ouch! Even with the high price tag, I thought that this new battery case would be quite beneficial to me considering I am what I would call a power user, I film YouTube segments every day, I am constantly editing and posting/managing social media so the demand on my battery can be quite substantial. Now really I can not complain about the battery of the iPhone XS Max, most days I can get by without having to recharge or top off, but there are those extra demanding days where I find my battery dead mid-afternoon with quite a bit of work still needed to be done. This Is where this new smart battery case will come in super handy.

Upon receiving my Apple smart battery case earlier this week I was actually surprised at how small it was, now don’t get me wrong this case is massive and it does add a lot of bulk to your phone, but in the photos online it looked bigger than what it turned out to be. Needless to say, this case is definitely not for everyone, it could be quite cumbersome for the casual user. In typical Apple fashion, they don’t really give a lot of specs about the device, Apple tends to present information about user experience, Apple states with the iPhone XS smart battery case you can expect 37 hours of talk time, 20 hours of internet usage and 25 hours of video playback. So really you can expect to get an extra 50% to 70% longer usage out of your phone. The smart battery case as of right now is only available in black and white. As for the design I was quite pleased, the smart battery case is styled similarly to the silicon cases they sell, which I am a big fan of.  With all my iPhone over the past few years, I have always used the Apple brand silicon cases. They fit great and have a nice sleek minimalist look while still offering decent protection.

The new iPhone XS Smart battery case supports wireless charging, so if you have a QI wireless charger it is fully compatible. The case can be charged independently from your phone either by lightning cable or even by just laying it on a wireless charger, There is a tiny LED light on the inside of the case to signify charging. There are many cheaper battery cases available on Amazon, I have never used any third party battery cases so I cannot make any statement to usability or quality, however, one benefit to using the genuine Apple brand is that the Smart battery case integrates nicely into the iPhone operating system. You can get both your iPhone battery level as well as the battery level of the battery case bu swiping from the left as long as you have the battery widget set up.

All in all a nice battery case for the iPhone XS lineup, a bit pricey and a little bulky but perfect for those who have a demanding battery usage.

 

 

 


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