Product Review “VTech InnoTab 3S: The Wi-Fi Learning Tablet”

When I was a kid we never used to have cool gadgets like this. My two year old daughter already knows how to use a iPad fully. She can unlock it, swipe through the pages/apps and open/play her games. This is unbelievable that today’s kids has this knowledge. I used to pretend to be superheroes running around in my backyard, but as they say “Kids these days”. I feel old. Luckily, the VTech InnoTab 3S: The Wi-Fi Learning Tablet is not old…in fact it is brand new and really cool. This device is a tablet and also a learning tool for our kids. It comes with a kid-safe WIFI connection, built-in camera/video recorder, eReader, Games, MP3 Player and Art Studio. It comes stocked with 20 apps that are already installed and it also included an expandable memory up to 32GB (along with the 4 GB of internal memory storage).

The InnoTab 3S: The Wi-Fi Learning Tablet promotes learning and as a parent, I am behind that full force. Only with the 20 apps that come pre-installed you are able to download more than 350 educational games, e-books, music and videos. These are specially developed around each child’s unique stage of development, age and interests. Some of the subjects that are tackles with these apps are reading, math, social studies, science, creativity, problem solving and more. Kids don’t need to panic though, these apps are fun and don’t feel like you are being forced to learn and be taught anything.

I am a IT guy, so the specs of this device are pretty cool. There is an improved 180° 2.0 MP rotating camera with enhanced photo features similar to the Kidizoom camera. There is a Kid Connect communication app, which allows a secure communication between a child’s InnoTab and a parent’s smartphone. Kids are allowed to browse the web with a kid-safe internet browser with VTech pre-selected and parent-approved websites. The display is a solid 5″ color touch screen. All I know is that if I was a kid and they had “toys” like this my life would have been shaped much differently so as a parent, I think that this is really cool to be able to assist in the development growth of my child.

Along with the apps that come pre-installed and are downloadable, you can also purchase themed software packs in the stores. Two of the VTech InnoTab Software packs that we were able to test out are “Minnie’s Bow-Toons” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”. In “Minnie’s Bow-Toons”, it is an e-book that tells the story of the TV episode a “Trouble Times Two”. There are three learning games focusing around teaching numbers and counting, shape matching, colors, and patterns. In  “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, you are able to use the touch screen or the tilt-sensor to play three educational games. There is also a e-book that tells a story of Mickey and Donald playing hide-and-seek around the clubhouse. These games are great and filled with fun Disney characters, music and sounds.

Product Review “Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One Printer”

Last month, we were given the chance to do a feature review on Epson’s back-to-school printer, Epson Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One Printer, now this month we step things up a bit with their BRAND NEW latest Epson Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One. I was blown away by the XP-410 but wow this XP-860 is absolutely phenomenal. Being in the IT business, I have a lot of exposure to printers and this is easily one of the finest printers that I have recently come across. The XP-410 is definitely still an amazing printer but it is a good option for kids in school etc. This is smart and bold choice for any moderate user.

The Expression Photo XP-860 Small-in-One printer still features that slim space-saving design. It print absolutely stunning, professional-quality borderless photos up to 8″ x 10″ with 6-color Claria® Photo HD Inks. The colors are mind-blowing. I did a comparison between the XP-410 and this one and wow, what a difference. The color is so vibrant and clear. The device comes with a 4.3″ color touchscreen, 30-page Auto Document Feeder, and auto 2-sided printing, copying, scanning and faxing.

I used to have a real snazzy printer back in the day that printed photos right at home, which was new and great…but you used to be able to go out for coffee and dessert before it was done printing…then it had to dry. This crazy amazing printer can knock out 4″ x 6″ photos in as fast as 10 seconds. I am amazed at the speed of this device. With the inclusion of another ink cartridge, the photo quality dramatically increases, while it does not compromise on the features included in the Premium XP-820. It also comes equipped with Epson Connect, which allow access to print and scan documents, photos, emails, and web pages from a tablet, smartphone or computer from literally anywhere in the world.

This device also features a dedicated photo tray, a rear paper feed for specialty media, and direct CD/DVD printing. This allows your the creativity to kick in as you can really do some cool things with these features. One of the coolest features though as to be that the XP-860 enables users to edit, scan and share photos directly to Facebook or the cloud with the touch of a single button. With today’s social media obsession, this is a real amazing feature for anyone with a Facebook account. I am going to make it my duty to spread the word about this printer. If I know anyone that needs a printer, this is going to be the one that I recommend.

Product Feature: yurbuds® Latest Earphones

Every day I spend my business hours sitting at a desk. I ALWAYS have headphones in my ears. I also find that I am going through head phones on a weekly basis. I seem to either have bad luck with any pair I get. Either my ears are hurting from being so uncomfortable or one each just stops working out of the blue from being all tangled. I will be covering two different pairs of headphones from yurbuds®. This a brand that I recently discovered and have been wondering why it took me this long to find them since I have been in love with their products.

The first is the Inspire Duro Performance Fit Sport Earphones, which takes my issues above and makes them a thing of the past. These come with Quik Clik magnet technology, which are tangle-free magnets can be connected together prior storing them away. The cord itself feature a tangle and tear-resistant woven cloth cord providing ultimate durability. These are literally guaranteed never to hurt or fall out. Honestly, I put this to the test also wearing them for 9 hours a day and plenty of moving around at my desk. They are very comfortable, they fit perfectly in my ear and are also sweat and water resistance and ambient noise awareness. Plus the best news of all is that the Inspire Duro come with a lifetime warranty. So this is a no brainer purchase if you spend anytime listening to music with head phones.

The next pair of from yurbuds® are the Focus Pro, like all their products these buds are guaranteed never to hurt or fall out (thanks to Twist Lock). These are also very comfortable if you like having something over your ear for a little extra hold. They feature a three-button sweat and water-resistant microphone. So you are able to control your music, calls, and volume control. The ear loops are definitely not cheap plastic either. They are very soft and moldable to your ear that add extra comfort and support. Attention all Apple users, the Focus Pro was designed  for iPhone, iPod, and iPad and is also fully integrated with Siri® and other voice-control, so if that is your choice of smart device, they should be the headphones for you…much better than Apples crappy pair for sure. Lastly, these are backed by a limited warranty.

Product Feature: What’s the Smartest Newest Smartphone?

When the very first iPhone came out, I traded in my old flip phone for what at the time was the best smart phone on the market. It stood the best for quite a while in my opinion. After the iPhone 4, I lost interest in the future development of Apple and its product. I decided to cross over to the dark side as iPhone users says and go the Android route with the Samsung Galaxy S4. WOW! Was my world expanded! Convinced that I would never switch back to iPhone again, I decided to see what else is out there.

In this article, I will be discussing three new smartphones besides the Samsung Galaxy and the iPhone, which always thought to be the two strongest options in the market. Are phones even phones anymore…the phone part is the bonus with these devices. What is more important these days to be is the speed, the size and most importantly the apps! The first of the three is the LG G3, which I feel is no question the strongest of the bunch.

This is a phone, I would honestly switch over to if I had the option. The device comes with a 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display. I am a big picture guy, so the camera is very important. This phone is equipped with a 13MP ultra fast laser auto focus camera. This is a big improvement over the Samsung Galaxy S4 camera for sure! I felt that I always got blurry photos but this comes with Optical Image Stabilization, which reduces blurry photos that result from shaking.

The carrier we tested this phone on was with Verizon. With that the LG G3 comes XLTE Ready, which is a good feature and let’s you take advantage of the latest advancement to America’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network. It is double the 4G LTE bandwidth in cities coast to coast, which allows you to do much more with your smart device. The device also comes with a Smart Keyboard as well as your own Virtual Personal Assistant. It’s not Siri, I mean what is, but it is quite snazzy.

Finally since I am an IT guy, I can’t help but to throw some tech specs in here. The OS come with Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat). The Chipset includes is a Qualcomm MSM8975AC Snapdragon 801 with a CPU of Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400. Th screen is made up of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Most important, and something an iPhone can not do at all is, expandable memory, this includes the option to expand with a microSD card, up to 128 GB, while the internal options are 16 GB, 2 GB RAM / 32 GB, 3 GB RAM. My only major complaint is the volume button and main button are located on the back. This is annoying at first but you get used to it. Overall a pretty rad phone!

Next up is the Nokia Lumia 1520, which last month was made available at AT&T in matte green! This phone is definitely big and quite bold, especially with that green back cover. The Lumia 1520 also offers the latest Windows Phone 8.1 software update. That is a great thing…if you like Windows. I use Windows 8 for work, so I know how to work it but it honestly fails to impress on the phone. The app store is also terrible. There is a big issue for me since I rely on all my apps to run my day and a bunch of them are MIA.

I see the Lumia 1520 working well with the trendy kids of today looking to have the biggest phone with all the good gadgets. It is a college phone. I wouldn’t recommend this phone for the general office environment for sure. The phone does come with Microsoft Office built in, so you are able to access Microsoft Word, Excel etc. I knew that this phone was going to be the biggest challenge to impress me and I really wasn’t blown away.

The Lumia 1520 does have a wicked camera, which is the best of the bunch. The 20MP camera is quite the powerhouse and using Zeiss optics, it is one of the most sensitive and powerful cameras included in recent smartphones. Though, with my smartphone I need more than just a strong camera to sell me.

Though camera aside when comes to technical it falls behind the top the LG G3. The screen is only Corning Gorilla Glass 2 for its six-inch HD display. It can only be upgraded to up to 64 GB with an additional of an microSD. The internal options are different also giving options of 16 GB (RM-940 only) and 32 GB, 2 GB RAM. Lastly, the chipset is Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 and the CPU is Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400. I would just expect more from such a big phone.

Last one of the bunch this time around is the HTC One (M8) from Sprint. This was a decent phone but not a fan of the service from Sprint at all when the other phones were sporting 4G LTE, this phone barely stayed at 3G, when it wasn’t saying it was roaming. Right away, I was turned off. It also features the worst camera, I have seen on the smart phone in today’s market. There is only a 5MP camera on the front camera, which is laughable in today’s market of 13MP and 20MP camera.

The screen has decent specs though coming wit Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It is expandable with a microSD, up to 128 GB and comes with an internal storage options of 16/32 GB, 2 GB RAM. The OS is Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat), upgradable to v4.4.3 (KitKat). It’s Chipset is Qualcomm MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801 and the CPU is CPU Quad-core 2.3 GHz in the US but the Asia and China markets for this phone get a 2.5 GHz Krait 400, so that is a bummer if you are in the US.

So if you read all the above, you might agree with me that the LG G3 is the obvious winner of the trio of alternative smart phones. The Nokia Lumia 1520 has the best camera but suffers from its Windows OS and a terrible lack of apps in their store. The HTC One is a decent phone also but just lacks any wow features that really drew me in despite having terrible service from Sprint. Hopefully next time, we will be able to feature the new Amazon Fire Smartphone and the iPhone 6 in our next Smartphone comparison.

Product Review “Epson Expression Home XP-410 Small-in-One Printer”

It’s September, which means the coming of Fall and also back to school for the kids. Having a teacher for a wife, I learn to stay in line with the requirements in order to get ready for the new year of school. If you are looking for that perfect back-to-school printer, I would look no further than the Expression Home XP-410 from Epson. It is very small in size yet still packs a solid high quality output. It is also great and very user friendly for students of all ages.

In today’s technology everything needs to be wireless, the XP-410 is a complete wireless solution. It comes Wi-Fi Certified, as well as Wi-Fi Direct, and equips with Epson Connect, which is a great solution to wireless printing from smartphones and tablets. If you are on the go and need to print quick, the XP-410 doesn’t even need a computer. You can use it’s supported Android printing (KitKat 4.4), which will allow mobile users to easily print documents, images or web-pages to Android mobile devices. So you can pretty much take the ability to print with you wherever you are.

When you are in front of this one-in-one printer, where you are printing, scanning or copying, the 2.5″ LCD and touch panel is very user friendly and easy to use. When I think about one-in-one printers, I always worry about the ink cartridges. You spend $60 dollars on a printer and then hundreds on ink. Luckily, the XP-410 comes equipped with very affordable individual ink cartridges and give you the option to replace only the color you need. For this unit there are four DURABrite Ultra Ink cartridges (one Black ink cartridge and three color ink cartridges: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow).

Spending all the time on the cool features, I don’t want to forget to discuss the actual printing process. I was very impressed with the remarkable print quality from this device. It is extremely fast and yet still delivers very crisp and sharp color in it’s photos and documents. Also included are better image enhancement tools like red-eye removal, photo restoration and correction of over/underexposed images, which are very handy. Lastly, this printer also allows you to print customized & borderless photos and of course you can also use the built-in card slots for PC-free printing.

So if you are nervous or excited to head back to school, this little handy device will save you a ton of worry. Plus did I mention it runs for around $50-60 dollars, which is quite cheap for such a powerful all-in-one. On the other hand, if you are looking for something with a little more oomph, you can check out the next model up, which would be the Epson Expression Premium XP-810 Small Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax. Hopefully we will be reviewing this unit next, so stay tuned to Media Mikes!

Product Review “ASUS MeMO Pad 7”

After experiencing the ASUS Transformer T100, I wanted to see what else ASUS had new to offer. I came across the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 7-Inch 1 GB Tablet, but from the moment I took it out of the box, I knew I wasn’t thrilled. The tablet takes quite a while to turn on, which is probably since I have been playing with a Acer Chromebook, which boots in a mere seconds. The tablet is too big for one hand and too small for two hands, so I felt awkward trying to maneuver it in my hands. ASUS is saying that this is one of their thinnest and lightest MeMO Pads, so it is definitely small but in terms of lightness, I felt that it had a little extra weight to it then I actually expected. If I take my iPad Mini compared this, it is not much lighter.

The technical guts of the device are as follows: 1.33 GHz Quad-Core Intel Atom processor, Android 4.4 KitKat. It comes with an 16 GB Storage expandable by 64 GB with micro SD, 1 GB RAM. There is also a 2 MP Front Camera and 5 MP Rear Camera with Auto focus (1080p Video Recording). Besides the boot time, the device is otherwise pretty smooth since it comes with a powerful Intel Atom Quad-Core processor. The picture quality on the device is also solid. The colors are vibrant, clear and bright with the IPS Display with 170-degree wide viewing angles.

Some of the features that are included with this are ASUS HomeCloud, which is a one-stop destination to access your video and music streaming across cloud storage. It also auto-uploads photos from your device. The camera has several different neat features including Time Rewind, which allows you to rewind your photos and never miss an important moment. All Smile, which gives you to the option to pick the perfect smile. Smart Remove gives you the option to easily remove unwanted moving objects from your photos like photo bombers. Last is Auto Selfie, which takes high resolution selfies with the rear camera without worrying about missing a person.

Other features at the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 include is a brand new interface called ASUS Zen UI. It is customizable to your own personality. It comes with eMusic to play and download music with your given 75 complimentary music downloads from ASUS. Also includes is Zinio, which gives you access to 5000+ digital magazines from around the world and you even get 6 free Mini-Subscriptions to your favorite magazines and a $10 voucher at registration. Lastly since this is only 16GB storage, there is the ASUS WebStorage Service available, which allows to you get 500GB of online storage free for 2 years. So you see that there are some decent features included with this device but I personal wasn’t very wowed. I would rather stick with a slightly larger and more functional Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Product Review “Acer C720P Chromebook”

I have been testing numerous tablets, laptops and other computer-like devices recently and I have been trying to find the perfect device for me to use as a backup to my desktop and smartphone. Well, I think I have found it with the Acer C720P Chromebook, which is actually Acer’s First Chromebook with Touchscreen. It is 11.6 inches, measures only 0.78-inches thin and weighs only 2.98 pounds. This is great device to take on the road and be able work remotely.
Acer already has the industry-leading Chromebook line and they are only sealing the deal by adding a 10-point touch display, which only makes this more convenient. Even though this has a mouse track pad and keyboard included, I like the option of being able to tap and swipe your way through navigating on it. In fact, the Chrome OS also has custom gestures built-in, so you are able to tap, swipe, and pinch to zoom just like you would do on your tablet or smartphone.

The device lasts up to 7.5 hours of battery life and boots literally in a mere seconds. I mean this thing is lightning fast. It includes the latest Intel® Celeron® processor based on Haswell micro-architecture. This device also has a fantastic tilt angle of up to 145° which gives the best view of the screen since I am usually lying down when working. It also has the option to extend to a bigger screen or television using the HDMI port.

So all this talk about how great this device is but in case you don’t know Chromebooks are not laptops and they are not tablets. They are basically used for browsing the web and also come with popular Google products built in: Search, Gmail, YouTube, and Hangouts. You are able to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings with apps like Google Docs, Zoho and SlideRocket. Plus the Chrome Web Store offers thousands of free apps, themes, and extensions to help you make the most of your Chromebook.

The Chronebook comes with only 2GB of space but you are able to take advantage of up to 100GB of free storage on Google Drive the first 2 years after purchase. The Acer C720P Chromebook also connects with dual band Wi-Fi and even comes with 12 free Gogo Inflight1 passes, which is worth about $150 bucks and can be used on continental U.S. flights of participating airlines. Another thing that I love is that these machines are virtually virus, malware, spyware, adware free and being an IT guy myself that is always a bonus.

So I have been shopping various Chromebooks in the last few months and this Acer C720 Touch is easily the best that I have seen on the market. If you are looking for something that is light, powerful and very easy to use that I cannot recommend this anymore. Plus this device only would run you around $299.99, which is much cheaper than a laptop or any iPad. Highly recommend this for sure! Another great Acer product.

Product Review “Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4”

It is not easy to be a gamer and also have a young child. I recently just purchased a Playstation 4 and I was dying to get lost in the system after putting my daughter to sleep. I could do so but I had to keep the volume so low it was taking some of the fun out of the experience. I wanted to give this system a real test run. Well, the answer to this problem can simply be resolved with the purchase of this fine product, Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4, which is a Wireless Dolby® Surround Sound headset

When I am playing a game, I like to get immersed in the game and listen to all the fine details and enjoy the score. This is honestly, the best and only way to do that. The PX4 allows you up to 15 hours of uninterrupted play on your video games sytems including the PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. But the fun doesn’t stop there and you are able to also use this amazing headset to enjoy watching content on your Netflix account or even any of your Blu-Ray movies. The surround sound is absolutely impressive.

Besides just listening to your games or movies, this headset also has a receiver that allows you to stay connected with friends and teammates with chat audio for each system. The headset used Dual-Band Wi-Fi Wireless Technology that is interference-free with audio and chat. A really cool feature that I actually didn’t even know about until writing this review is the ability to dual-pair the headset. So you are able to link your Bluetooth on your phone to be able to answer mobile phone calls without ever leaving the game or pai with ANY Bluetooth communication device, such as a PC, laptop or tablet. Tell me this is MEGA cool!?

For those audiophiles out there this headset also takes advantage of multiple EQ presets including bass and treble boost combinations plus separate game and chat volume controls. You can adjust your experience by changing the positioning of the surround sound. You can even connect a second audio source (such as a phone or MP3 player) to the transmitter to listen to music when done gaming. Chat volume automatically increases as the game volume gets louder.

At first, I was a bit concerned about having to wear a headset for a long period of time but Turtle Beach really delivered a product that specialized in comfort. It is thickly padded with adjustable headband and breathable mesh ear cushions. What I really like is the fact that the built-in rechargeable battery delivers up to 15 hours of continuous play and you can even charge while playing (if you are close enough to your system). All and I, I couldn’t have been anymore excited for this release and if you are a gamer, I highly recommend this!

Jeff Lowe talks about the world’s first digital capture board, SMART kapp

Jeff Lowe is the VP Enterprise Sales & Marketing, SMART Technologies. SMART Technologies Inc., a leading collaboration company and global provider of visual collaboration solutions, recently announced a new product called, SMART kapp, which is the world’s first digital capture board. SMART kapp capitalizes on the company’s 20 year history as the inventor of the SMART Board® interactive whiteboard, their collaboration technologies and their patents. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jeff about this amazing new product and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you got started with at SMART Technologies and your role with the company?
Jeff Lowe: I have been at SMART for a little over two years now, after a career in large technology organizations like IBM and TELUS. SMART has two distinct business units, one is the K-12 and the other is corporate or what we call Enterprise market. I am head of sales and marketing for the Enterprise market. We help companies to collaborate better with their workers whether they are in the same office, same city or across the world.

MG: Give us the lowdown on creating the world’s first digital capture board, SMART kapp?
JL: When you look at what collaboration tools companies are using, almost every company uses dry erase boards and flip charts. They have been around for decades and haven’t changed much, if at all, while other tools have adapted greatly to how far we have come in technology. That is one side and the other is informal collaboration, which is really growing. It is the preverbal water cooler conversations and the meetings that happen in between meetings, this is where a lot of work is being done these days in corporation around the world. So we feel that due to these things there are new tools required to grow and advance.

MG: What are some of the features that you are most excited about?
JL: I would have to mention three. The first is the ability to capture what is written on the board in real-time. Often times what happens in a meeting is that people are jotting down their ideas and then that information then needs to be captured. This can happen via one of two ways, either someone has to come and write it up or people take a photo with their phones. It is often not an ideal way to capture that information. On the kapp board you can literally just hit a button and capture what is on the board in a high quality digital image like a JPG or PDF. The next one is to be able to share that with remote workers. How often during meetings do we have remote people on the phone, who are trying to follow a meeting but cannot see what is being written on the board, so they become disengaged. Sometime people will take a photo of the board and email it to the remote workers. What we are able to do with the kapp board is you can scan a QR code, which launches your email on your mobile phone that is paired with the board and you send an email which invites them to the kapp meeting. There is nothing that the remote worker even has to have installed. They open a browser and can watch in real time the annotations taking place on the board.

MG: Since it is glass; how resistance are we talking to scratches and other wear and tear?
JL: We have thought of that. It made with tempered glass. It is pretty heavy duty glass. One of the great things about glass is how easy it is to write on. It is very smooth and elegant. It also is easy to erase it. We all know how dry erase board have issues with old things left on there that can’t be erased. That all goes away with the glass surface.

MG: Are they any features that are going to be added in at a later time?
JL: Yes, that is a fantastic question Mike! This is version 1 and we are looking to launch the next version already with the next few months with shipping to begin start of the next year. Some of the features you will see is size. The current size is similar to a typical dry erase board or flip chart. We are looking to introduce one in the 80+ inch range. The second is colors. Right now, the color of the ink is only black. In the future we are planning on including other colors. We are also looking to expand features with the software application itself, for example things like print to text conversion and expanding on the number of concurrent users that can connect to a meeting, which is right now five.

Product Review “Asus Transformer Book T100”


If you are wondering “What is the Asus Transformer Book T100?”, it is a 2-in-1 ultra portable laptop with a detachable 10′ tablet. Asus has really been putting out some amazing products recently. This was the first of hopefully many that we managed to request to review for the site. Most people today a tablet or for the average user it would be an iPad. I am tried of an iPad where you don’t have any freedom to do what you want to do. I was looking for something that I could use for both work and play and this tablet definitely delivers in both departments.

Even though, the Asus Transformer Book T100 is a tablet, it has laptop like performance with the latest Intel Atom Bay Trail-T quad-core process and running Windows 8.1 operating system. So you have the option to use it as a tablet or attached keyboard and use it like a mini-laptop. All the features are there including Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013, which comes pre-installed and Windows Store stocked with Xbox Live games and music. The battery like is decent with the ability to last 11 hours web browsing. It is not like an iPad but you can do so much more with this you have to expect the battery to be drained faster.

Let’s get to some of the tablet’s core features now. Even though the system’s storage comes in a mere 32GB/64GB, what this does have is UNLIMITED ASUS WebStorage, which is not only cool but amazing! It does a file synchronization update for every item instantly as modified and added. The display is a very sharp 1366 x 768 IPS with wide viewing angles. It is able to output full HD video via it’s Micro HDMI port. The sound includes built-in high quality stereo speakers. I am a music man myself, I felt that there could have been a little extra “umph” added to these speakers personally.

The style of the complete device itself is rather cool. I like being able to just snap the keyboard on and off and work via touch screen or via laptop. My main concern with this though is in fact the size of the keyboard, maybe I have fat fingers but I had a terribly hard time typing on this keyboard, especially when using the shift key. Also, I would have loved….loved this to have had a back light on the keyboard since I spent a few nights trying to position the light from the screen to the keys in order to see what I was typing. That feature would have made this much more attractive to me in terms of using it since in terms of its features are otherwise pretty great.

Now I didn’t go much into the full HD video option, which can be connected via it’s Micro HDMI port, I took this on a trip with me (with the proper cable) and I was able to play videos for my daughter in the hotel TV right from the tablet. Since there is nothing worse that hotel TV, this literally made the trip. Traveling with this also was a treat because it is extremely mobile. The Asus Transformer Book T100 is not only one of the lightest ultra portables available right now, running at 2.2 lbs, it also one of the lightest 10-inch tablets (solo from keyboard) running at a mere 1.2 lbs.

So if you are a casual tablet user and looking for something light, portable and feature packed this will be the device for you. This is not a full laptop that you can be gaming on. It looks amazing with Netflix and other games though especially “Tiny Death Star”, which is a blast to play on this little device. The device is also extremely affordable running around MSRP $399 and Red and White colors are due to be available later this month!

LG Eyes Mainstream Adoption of Wearables With First Device Powered by Android Wear

“Glance-able” Interface of LG G Watch to Appeal to both Consumers and Developers

SEOUL, June 26, 2014 – With an eye on transforming wearable devices into more than just a conversation piece, LG Electronics (LG) today introduced the highly anticipated LG G Watch (http://goo.gl/Ie8TB0), one of the first devices powered by Android Wear™, Google’s new operating system which extends the Android platform to wearables. As a wrist wearable device featuring a button-less design, the G Watch will appeal to a mass audience with its simple minimalist design, quick and “glance-able” access to useful information and seamless connectivity with other Android devices, keeping users connected wherever, whenever.

“As one of the first to market with Android Wear, LG wanted to develop a product that functions as an essential companion device but most importantly, was simple to use,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “We wanted a device that would be simple to learn and so intuitive that users wouldn’t even have to think about how to use its features. That’s what the LG G Watch is all about.”

“Watches powered by Android Wear aim to show you the right information and suggestions you need, right when you need them,” said Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps. “It’s been great to work with LG on the launch of the G Watch ? especially given its simple, easy-to-use design.”

At the core of the LG G Watch is a powerful and energy-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400 processor clocking in at 1.2GHz. Paired with a low power consuming Always-On 1.65-inch IPS display with true-to-life color reproduction, the LG G Watch enhances the functionality of Android smartphones by providing quick access to useful information. The Always-On screen makes it easy to tell the time with a quick glance. Connected via Bluetooth, the LG G Watch displays messages, shows who’s calling, controls music playback and more without the smartphone ever having to be removed from a pocket or bag.

Integral to the LG G Watch and Android Wear is a simple new user experience designed around cards, which provides useful information when it’s needed, and voice recognition which allows one to ask questions and get things done easily. With voice recognition, LG was free to design the LG G Watch without any buttons or keys. Users can send text messages and search for useful information just by saying, “Ok Google”. LG and Google worked closely together from the outset to design a truly integrated experience.

The LG G Watch combines form and function in a subtle, minimalist design with an intuitive touch-based user interface. And with an Ingress Protection rating of IP67, the LG G Watch is designed to be protected from dust and water resistant for up to 30 minutes to a depth of one meter. The LG G Watch will be available in two colors ? Black Titan and White Gold ? and is constructed of PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coated stainless steel with a rugged silicone wristband in matching color. The LG G Watch can be personalized with any standard 22mm strap available in the market.

The LG G Watch will be available for pre-order on the Google Play Store starting June 25 in 12 countries including key markets such as the United States, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Korea and Japan. The LG G Watch will also be available soon after at retailers in 27 markets such as Australia, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Russia. Additional details will be announced locally at the time of availability.

Key Specifications:
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400 processor
Display: 1.65-inch LCD IPS (280 x 280)
Memory: 4GB eMMC / 512MB RAM
Battery: 400mAh
Operating System: Android Wear
(compatible with smartphones running Android 4.3 and above)
Size: 37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95mm
Weight: 63g
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
Sensors: 9-Axis (Gyro / Accelerometer / Compass)
Color: White Gold/ Black Titan
Others: Dust and Water Resistant (IP67)

Mimoco® Announces Star Wars x MimoPowerBot™ Line of Universal Backup Battery Chargers for Smartphones and Tablet Devices

(New York – June 25, 2014) – At CE Week 2014 (Booth #169 in the iLounge), Mimoco, the Boston-based consumer electronics design studio, is proud to announce the Star Wars x MimoPowerBot™ line of backup batteries for smartphones, tablets, and other 5V USB-powered devices.

MimoPowerBot is Mimoco’s newest tech’cessory, originally hatched on Kickstarter where fans were invited to preorder the product concept expanding upon Mimoco’s character-based spin on designer electronic accessories.

Renowned for the MIMOBOT® collection of designer USB flash drives and eight Star Wars x MIMOBOT series, yielding more than 30 different stylized Star Wars characters in the form meets function electronic line, Mimoco’s newest crossover collaboration with Lucas Licensing continues the trend of pioneering licensed electronics.

The Star Wars x MimoPowerBot line kicks off with a pair of fan-favorite characters: the loveable droid, R2-D2; and the Empire’s own Sith lord, Darth Vader.

Both Star Wars x MimoPowerBot styles will be powered with a 5200mAh capacity lithium-ion battery with a 2.1A output for fast universal charging of tablets, smartphones, and other 5V USB-powered devices. The MimoPowerBot can charge a smartphone up to 3 times on a single charge and will serve as a trusty companion on long intergalactic trips to keep one’s device powered up while on-the-go.

In addition to the Star Wars crossover products, Mimoco is also showcasing at their CE Week booth their original Bloohvian and Animobotz designs, as well as the Adventure Time x MimoPowerBot collection. The full MimoPowerBot line will ship in time for holiday 2014, alongside the currently available MimoPowerTube assortment also on display in the Mimoco booth.

For more info, please visit Mimoco.com and prelaunch.com where Mimoco is currently accepting preorders for the new Star Wars x MimoPowerBot line.

If you want to pre-order these, click below:

Darth Vader: http://goo.gl/VmsRdK

 

Product Review “Genius SlimStar T8020 Wireless Multi-TouchPad Keyboard”

When it comes to keyboards, I have to admit, I am a bit of a snob. Since I am at the computer 8-10 hours a day, I need something that is going to be easy to use and kind to my wrists. It also has to be wireless since I don’t always like to be crunched over a desk. When I saw that Genius was a new slim wireless multi-touchpad keyboard, I was certainly interested. The main selling feature of this keyboard is the fact that it supports Windows 8 gestures and is optimized for use with the new Windows operating system. I think that is a really cool feature to add to this device.

I think for anyone that has Windows 8 (and struggling with its new features), this keyboard would be a nice answer. The SlimStar T8020 allows you to switch between three different modes on the touchpad – mouse cursor, Windows 8 gestures, and numeric keypad. I like the option here since it adds a lot of feature to the keyboard itself. I was able to play around with this with my father’s new Windows 8 laptop and the new gestures do come in VERY handy being able to slide, swipe, swipe from four edges, zoom in/out, and page up/down. But what is even cooler is that these gestures just aren’t specific to Windows 8 since they also work in Windows 7, Vista (shame on you if you still use this) and even XP. So there is fun to be had for every PC user.

The keyboard is very sharp looking and if you didn’t get it from the name, it is extremely slim and compact. It is less one inch thick and weighs less than a pound. There are 11 function keys for media control, Internet access and computer power off. It uses 2.4 GHz wireless technology giving you the ability to work over a distance of up to roughly 50 feet (if you can even seen the screen that far). Genius’ SlimStar T8020 is now available in North America for the suggested retail price of $44.90. I would say it is must for any new Windows 8 users definitely.

Product Review: Genius Gaming Arcade Stick for PC & PS3 (Arcade F-1000)

I grew up when arcades used to be very popular and there was nothing like coming home from school and spending the afternoon at the arcade. Unfortunately those days are passed use with today’s high-def video game systems and vanishing arcades. Well, Genius has an answer to your prayers for all us hardcore gamers by bringing the arcade-quality control home for use with your PC or PS3. The new gaming arcade stick, Arcade F-1000 is a great way for us hardcore gamers to get that arcade feel while being in the comfort of our own homes.

This great item can be used on today’s games like “Street Fighter”, “Tekken” and even the “Call of Duty” series. Like I said it works with both PS3 and PC systems, even with Windows 8 operating system (Sorry XBOX you miss out here). I have to admit playing with this brought me back to the old days. It delivers the classic arcade feel yet it is so integrated with today’s games that it works so well.

Now let’s get to the details of the actual device. This comes with a standard 4-axis 13-button joypad and supports turbo function, so you have more precise control that an arcade layout provides and helps you get to the next level while playing action and shooting games. I have to admit, I have always been playing games on the PC but this really gives a great transition to crossing over to the PS3 with this arcade stick. What I like most is that it is not a cheap piece of plastic, it has a quite durable and sturdy metal base. It is not too heavy though weighing in at 1.866 kilograms.

The Arcade F-1000 lastly comes with 3 meter cable and 1 meter extension cable if you need the extra room and this really benefited my setup quite well. I remember my old NES controller with its 12 inch wire and we used to have to sit right in front of the screen before the days of wireless. This great item is now available in the US and Canada for the suggested retail price of US$59.99. I think it is worth every penny and will deliver a new or retro video game experience for sure.

Product Review “theKube2” MP3 Player

Bluetree Electronics
Supports microSD card up to 32 GB (a 4GB microSD card is included)
Includes a card reader for file transferring
Built-in rechargeable Li-Polymer battery
Play-time up to 6 hours

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

When I heard that Bluetree Electronics was releasing the World’s Smallest Touch MP3 Player, I couldn’t help it but be interested. Let me introduce the theKube2. It isn’t called theKube for no reason since it literally measures at just one cubed inch. The touch screen is used for audio navigation and control and is rather user-friendly. The sound on this little device is very impressive. When it comes to battery life, that is key when it comes to handheld devices. TheKube2 packs six hours of playback in one single hour USB charge. This device is also expandable with storage. It comes with 4GB microSD and supports microSD card up to 32GB. Since theKube2 is bland it also is customizable with its design and has full body, changeable skins.

Now that we delivered all the neat features, I still have a problem with theKube2. I thought it would have been a neat gadget to just pop in and go but I still stick with my iPhone (or any other Smartphone for that matter) over this device. I was thinking this would work great with the gym or running but there are already great armbands made for all smart devices. With all the devices out there now, I feel that this would most likely work best for kids that don’t cellphones yet and need a MP3 player. Obviously they would want a iPad or iTouch but given the cost this is an good alternative…if you are just looking for an MP3 player.

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