Gear up for All Hallow’s Eve with these tricky tech treats.
By Crispin Boyer
Skullhub USB port
ThinkGeek.com • $25
This moldering resin skull looks like something out of Satan’s IT department, but there’s nothing sinister about adding four USB 2.0 ports to any PC or Mac. Dig it out of your drawer in October to boost Halloween ambience in your cubicle, or display it proudly year-round to discourage small talk with conservative coworkers. The brainpan has been scooped clean for storing pens, paper clips, guitar picks, or any evil office knickknacks. Just don’t expect it to charge USB-compatible tools of ritual sacrifice; the ports are unpowered.
Casio • $200 with a two-year Verizon contract
This is the spunkiest Android phone in the wild, and built to survive any horror-movie situation short of chain-saw attack. Its sturdy immersion-proof casing passes mili tary muster for impacts, vibration, altitude, temperature extremes, and salty sea fog. Eight outdoor modes—including a GPS navigator, tide monitor, and personal trainer—keep you alive longer when the wilderness gets too wild. Despite its ostenta tious name and functionality as a Wi-Fi hot spot, it’s really more of an office work horse. Hefty security features deter corpo rate espio nage, making it ideal for down loading sensitive building plans in a construction environment. And if a coworker goes postal, you can always use the case as a shield.
Retro 51 • $30
This is an office manager’s worst nightmare. The Kaligraffiti pen looks like a mini spray-paint can poised to tag break-room soda machines and expenses paperwork. Admittedly, it’s more trick than treat. Pressing the nozzle top doesn’t actually unleash a spurt of ink; it simply extends the pen’s ballpoint (available in blue, green, or red) when you’re ready to write. Still, the Easy Flow ink cartridge delivers the smooth-scribbling performance common to all Retro 51 pens. Brandish it like Banksy and send your coworkers scrambling for paint remover.
Series 5 Chromebook
Samsung • $429 for Wi-Fi; $499 for Verizon 3G model
This is a new breed of laptop designed to become one with the web, powered by Google’s net-integrated operating system, Chrome. It boots up in less than eight seconds and connects online instantly. All the apps, user set tings, documents, photos, etc., live in the cloud, so if you misplace your Chromebook, you can simply log on to a new machine to duplicate your desktop, files, and programs. The streamlined operating system lacks the drudgery of Windows machines (updates happen invisibly), and the 12.1-inch screen is more than vivid enough for movies and the millions of web apps.
Electric Zombie • $45
This clothing line riffs on pop-culture horror flicks to give a nostalgic spin on our favorite childhood nightmares. No product embodies—and dismembers—that no-guts, no-glory philosophy like the Slasher hoodie, a grungy pullover ripped from the closet of a hipster Freddy Krueger. This crimson-splattered sweatshirt, which is sewn to a skinny fit from striped ring-spun fabric, is loaded with horrific little touches, including a hood liner patterned after third degree burns. Don the Slasher on Halloween for a laugh, but please leave the mad cackling to Robert Englund.
Lethal Pro v2 universal mount
Lethal Pro • $129
It might seem like a nightmare marriage of hideous form with humdrum function, but there’s a reason this gadget mount resembles a cybernetic face hugger: It stays stuck no matter where you stick it. Just lock your device of choice to the adjustable carbon-fiber holder, then extend the mount’s spidery legs for hands-free stabilization on any surface. Wedge your camera into tree branches, mount a navigation system to your four-wheeler, or give your iPad the sexiest seat in the coffeehouse. The aircraft-aluminum frame is just eight ounces, but it’s sturdy enough to support 22 pounds.
Last Laugh watch
Mr. Jones • $199
Times are grim with this skull-face wristwatch from arty London watchmaker Mr. Jones, codesigned by a British comedian to “remind us that life is brief.” Nevertheless, it puts on a serious face. Hours and minutes tick by on the skull’s teeth rather than via conventional hands, while the mirrored eyes and nose give off ghostly reflections. The stainless-steel case is waterproof to 160 feet and sturdily built, so you won’t have to worry about the watch dying before its time.