The Wii U Gamepad is good and certainly very useful if one wants to play a game “off TV”. But the darn battery just isn’t very good and that’s rather annoying, especially since the thing seems to be required to stay on, even when streaming video using Netflix or other services.
To deal with this issue I purchased a Nyko Uboost extended battery for the Wii U Gamepad, which has significantly improved the total charge of the Gamepad. It’s not a replacement battery – it fits over the existing battery and provides additional power.
Surprisingly, it’s compatible with the original Gamepad charging dock and is very inexpensive at just under $15.
As a backup for longer gaming sessions I also purchased a Gamepad charging cable. It can’t charge the Uboost itself (the Uboost only charges on the dock connections) but the Uboost doesn’t prevent me from being able to easily access the more traditional charging port on the Gamepad. The charging cable also appears to be compatible with a USB extension cable I already had, which works well for a player position farther away from the Wii U or a power outlet. I chose to purchase the additional charging cable so I wouldn’t have to move the existing cable is connected to the Gamepad charging dock.
A few months ago I picked up a Google Chromecast from Best Buy. I was curious about them for a while and at $35 I wasn’t going to be out very much cash if I didn’t find it useful.
It turns out that $35 is an excellent price point for this product and, compared to most similar devices, I think you may actually get a bit more than you paid for. In some cases it can be very convenient. If you already have a device such as a Roku or Apple TV this may not be very impressive, but that all boils down to how each person chooses to use it.
Tangled earbud wires is a frustration you’ve probably dealt with many times. I was always surprised at how easily small wires would become tangled around other things in my backpack. One of the ways I dealt with this was to store them in an empty prescription bottle. This method worked very well but it did draw the odd question or stare once in a while.
To avoid these relatively minor issues I ordered a couple of Case Star Clamshell Earbud Cases from Amazon, which only cost about $7 each. I don’t have any complaints – they serve their intended functions quite well.
Updated 07/06/2014: There isn’t much to state about these other than the fact that they’ve held up just fine and they’ve also helped preserve the condition of my earbuds.