November 30, 2011
Oxo Pop Container
OXO has done it again. They previously reinvented the can opener to be friendlier to physically impaired hands and gave salad green dryers a new spin. Now they have cannily redesigned the kitchen canister. We like the Pop Container because its lid interlocks securely with the underlying container. When you press the lid’s large, central button, it pops-up to form a nice handle while also releasing the lid’s grip on the container. The containers stack nicely when sealed shut and look great if modern is your aesthetic.
TravelPro’s Crew 8
Being frequent business travelers, we appreciate the functionality of TravelPro’s Crew 8 roll-aboard suitcase, offered at half the price of others of comparable form and function. The overhead compartment-compatible roll-aboard is super easy to pull-along by its wide, comfy handle that extends and retracts with ease. The zippers zip with ease. The storage compartments offer good flexibility. The suitcase expands to a surprisingly large volume. The ubiquitous product rolls silently and with impressive balance, even when you add a heavy, laptop-bearing satchel to its external hook. It’s one of those rare products that make a mundane task – hauling around a suitcase – a pleasure.
Heinz’s New Ketchup Package
We like Heinz’s new ketchup dispenser. Break its seal at one end of the container to squeeze ketchup on a hot dog. Or, peel-off the integrated tray’s lid for dipping. The new package, which we suspect cost millions to develop, has triple the capacity of the outmoded squeeze packs that ran out quickly and were messy and frustrating to use.
Flipboard, Inc.’s Flipboard
Flipboard is a free, killer app that should be installed on all iPads. It converts content harvested from multiple blogs into an artful, integrated, online magazine of sorts. Users can readily build a one-of-a-kind magazine with good-to-excellent “production values” with just a few screen taps and then enjoy automatic, daily updates.
2012 Ford Focus
We’re singing Ford’s praises again after praising the redesigned Mustang back in 2005. Of course, all of the car magazines have already published flattering reviews as well, so we’re not breaking ground here. We concur that the new Focus is a good-looking compact car, inside and out. It handles well, has good pickup and stopping ability, and is safe and ergonomic (i.e., comfortable). We appreciate how the car has elevated the driving experience while remaining accessible to many. Unfortunately, the MyFord Touch system’s usability has been panned in a manner similar to the first generation BMW iDrive system. But…the car seems worth the sacrifice, illustrating that overall excellence can sometimes compensate for a significant design shortcoming. Usability purists can order the car without the MyFord Touch system.