Platforma, $170,


Considering its purpose — a bag that converts to a standing desk for the iPad — shouldn’t the Strotter Platforma look much nerdier?

The Platforma is an all-purpose black leather carrying case measuring nearly 12 by 9 by 3 inches.

Lined with red nylon, it has two internal pockets, including one sized for the iPad. It has two compartments under the flap, two diagonal zipper compartments on the flap and a magazine pocket on the back.

But be prepared to take abuse for carrying a man purse, or murse, if you use it.

Of course, people may say even worse things when they see you using the Platforma in its intended fashion. With a click of a strap, you can slide the bag around in front of you, turn it parallel to the ground, rest it against your stomach and use it as a tabletop.

You won’t have to worry about your iPad sliding off. The Platforma comes with a polycarbonate iPad cover with magnets that cling to the bag. You can turn the bag upside down and the tablet will hang on.

The Platforma is priced at $170, but a less elaborate version, the Across, is available in leather for $100 or synthetic leather for $55.





Parrot Zik, $400,


The French technology company Parrot is known primarily for its hands-free systems for cars, but it has added to its lineup a pair of wireless headphones that blend design and comfort with clever features.

Designed by Philippe Starck, the $400 Parrot Zik is a luxurious combination of sleek chrome and soft, synthetic leather. But the design is smart as well as visually appealing.

For starters, the right ear cup has an integrated capacitive panel. Instead of fiddling with hard-to-reach buttons, you just touch the outside of the cup. A vertical finger swipe increases or decreases the volume, and a horizontal swipe changes the track. A motion sensor detects when you are wearing the headphones.

But the best feature is the free EQ app for iOS and Android devices to accompany the Zik. The customizable equalizer includes seven settings.

You can find better-sounding, cheaper headphones, but if you like to fine-tune your music, the Parrot Zik is hard to beat.