A flashlight — and a phone charger

Goal Zero is branching out into the flashlight and lantern business. The Torch 250 is a great utility light to have around the house. It’s a good LED flashlight, putting out 180 lumens of 4000K warm white light from Cree LEDs. The Torch 250 also has a 70-lumen floodlight, which makes it great for lighting up a small area, perhaps under the hood of your car or your attic.

The Torch 250 can power the flashlight for seven hours at full power and 15 hours in reduced-power mode.

The Torch 250’s battery can also charge your cellphone or tablet or anything that can use USB to charge. The USB output is 1.5A (7.5W max), and can charge the average smartphone two times.

You can plug it in to charge the phone, or you can use the sun to power the charge (that can take 24 to 48 hours, though).

There’s also a hand crank, which Goal Zero says will provide 10 minutes of light for every five minutes of cranking.




Photo app that works

Darkroom is a new iOS photo editing app that’s a cut above many of its peers. While some other apps offer basic photo-editing options, Darkroom has Photoshop-like powers like adjusting the RGB (red, green, blue) curves for precise color control. It’s free, with a $3 fee to access curves editing.


Roxio Easy VHS to DVD, $69

Roxio Easy VHS to DVD is about the size of a cigarette lighter, has short RCA input cables and a USB-out cable that goes into a PC. You’ll need regular RCA cables to plug into the VCR on one end and the device’s cables on the other. The included software is nowhere in the league of programs like Adobe Premiere Elements, but it will allow you to transfer VHS tapes or DVDs to a computer, manage video clips, manage transitions and sound and create a DVD. And you can transfer your videos to iPhones, iPads and Android devices.