We were in on the ground floor of the Blank Label launch last year, and this custom-shirt juggernaut has been busy! Not only is the company's website spiffy and easy to use, they've continued innovating beyond the idea that you can order a shirt that's exactly what you want without a visit to the tailor.
"Can I watch a movie on your little TV?" My daughter asked one night at mealtime. Hey, if it gets her to eat her vegetables, I'm down. She was referring to the Sony Dash that the company generously lent Luxist to try out, and it's much more than a mere video playback device. Small LCD screens are non-news at this point, so what does the Dash do that warrants attention? Well, how's this? I fulfilled my little cherub's request by deftly tapping at the interactive touchscreen for less than a minute. Up popped the requested princess movie via YouTube, and the plate was cleaned. Later, while burning the midnight oil, the Dash set the mood by streaming music from a Pandora station I created.
All of the functions I've described so far are things you can pull off with a laptop, for sure. The difference with the Dash is that it's an affordable $199, and isn't a universal tool like a laptop. Freed from having to cover every possible base, the Dash is optimized for its media delivery role, and consumes a much smaller footprint. With Father's Day coming, you might like to know if it's the right item for your gadget-fan Dad. How does it do? Read on.
Gallery: Sony Dash Review
Back when shirts were velour and popular music's dominant beat was four-on-the-floor, just like your Super Beetle, high-end stereo systems were both the size and price of that beloved Volkswagen. If you wanted the highest quality sound, you went for a McIntosh Laboratory system, which would likely still be functioning flawlessly. For sixty years, McIntosh has been breaking new ground and serving up fine fidelity. The brand's name and iconic style is recognizable even by non-audiophlies.
When sonics are all that matter, it's hard to fault a rack filled with amplification, line stages, and sources. Most people, however, choose to sacrifice that last little sonic nudge in exchange for fewer obstacles to vacuum around. Small systems, even from audiophile brands, are fraught with compromise. They tend to sound as small as they are, but the tradeoff is that the unit comfortably fits on a shelf and can do everything the pile of iron in the big cabinet does, often with better ergonomics and a single remote control.
As it celebrates its 60th anniversary, McIntosh continues challenging itself, this time turning its attention to a shelf-sized audio system worthy of the classic glass front panel. When the press release about the MXA60 landed in our inbox, we were both intrigued and skeptical. Confident of its efforts, McIntosh arranged for us to go visit the MXA60 at the Natural Sound showroom in Framingham, Massachusetts. Natural Sound's Ken Zelin let us tie him up for a good portion of his day at the well-respected establishment, and gamely indulged our geeking-out.
Gallery: McIntosh MXA60
True luxury is more accurately described as getting exactly what you want. Your things are customized to your tastes. It doesn't have to cost a fortune for goods exactly tailored to you; making luxury unique from price. Speaking of tailoring, that's just the area that Boston's Blank Label wants to address. Being based in the cradle of the American Revolution has apparently rubbed off on the upstart clothing maker. The brand launches today, October 31st, and it's aimed at changing the way young men buy clothes, with prices that young men could actually afford.
Starting with custom men's shirts, Blank Label will eventually branch out to offer more clothing. The shirts are handmade by experienced tailors for Blank Label. The materials and workmanship are pleasing, and the website lets you build your own shirt with the options you want. French placket? Sure! High style always looks better when it fits correctly, something that's difficult to do when you're buying a name off the rack, designed for the most common compromise. Not having to compromise or settle for something someone else designed? Sounds like luxury to us.
It's full of cat fur now. It's been obsessively shop-vaced clean, but when something is as comfortable as the Puppy Hugger's pet beds, you're not going to keep sybaritic animals away. Of course, I had to wrest it from the clutches of my children first. They thought it made a fine television-watching lounge pillow. Yes, that's right, the bed is made by The Puppy Hugger, and we used it for cats and kids, not a canine in sight. That doesn't change the fact that it's a super-luxurious pet bed with a great design.
The Two's Company bed that my lounge-tastic kitties are trying out has two hollows in the middle that will hold smaller dogs, and of course cats, in hammock-like comfort. The deeply padded sides of the bed give animals something to snuggle up against, a posture that's comforting to many stripes of beast. Covered in a variety of very soft faux fur, and filled with polyester fiber that's marshmallow soft, the handmade beds cuddle your pets when you can't. Don't be offended if Muffy starts to prefer it over your lap.
Continued after the jump.
Gallery: Puppy Hugger Luxury Pet Bed
Photos copyright ©2009 Dan Roth / Weblogs, Inc.
Rolls Royce recently came to town with its Drive of Distinction event for customers and media alike. It's not every day you get to sample every variant in the Phantom lineup, and we spent plenty of time peppering Rolls Royce's representative with all manner of question about the cars he'd brought up for us to try out. While trying out the standard Phantom, Phantom Coupe, Drophead Coupe, and Extended Wheelbase, we got to thinking that even in a poor economy, there really isn't a bad time to purchase a Rolls Royce.
A luxury purchase through-and-through, it's also one of the finest products you'll find to buy. The cars certainly require means to acquire, but the allure is obvious, and if you're going to buy an investment-grade car of any stripe, there's a lot of sense to an expensive, handcrafted automobile that can see everyday use. Vehicles weren't meant to sit in museums, and while some historical autos belong in that setting, most beg for the road - old or new. So, you could be totally selfish and drop $1 million on purchasing and restoring a Lamborghini Miura, or you and the family can take a relaxing trip across the continent and enjoy what life has to offer.
Also check out more images from the event: