Inateck MercuryBox Bluetooth Speaker & Mobile Products Review

Introduction


Inateck is a brand name I’m seeing more and more recently. While they don’t make a lot of big products, such as PC cases and graphics cards, which we see plenty of here at eTeknix, they do make a lot of smaller lifestyle products that many of use day-to-day. From mobile devices, to desktop computers, Inateck has an interesting range of accessories and products to help improve your usage experience. Today we’re going to be looking at their very promising MercuryBox Bluetooth Speaker, but Inateck were also kind enough to send us their new 2-Port Rapid Charger and a nifty waterproof bag (more interesting than it sounds).

First up, let’s take a look at those cool little accessories. The first is the Inateck 2-Port Rapid Car Charger, which is pretty much what it sounds like, it’s a car cigarette lighter adaptor that provides you with a couple of USB sockets; but there’s also a nifty little extra!

In the box, you’ll find a fairly straight forward Micro-USB cable, perfect for connecting your smartphone, SatNav, dashcam, etc.

The actual unit is really compact and the back is slim, so it won’t stick out of your dashboard too much.

The cool part, however, is that it comes with a hard-wired lightning cable, giving you room to charge an Apple device while keeping the two USB ports free!

Even better, both ports are rapid charging 2.1A ports, always a welcome bonus.

Onto the next funky accessory, the Inateck Waterproof case. This is a simple one, it’s a 100% waterproof sleeve, which is perfect for your smartphone, but Inateck also say you could use it for money, documents, medication and all kinds of stuff. This isn’t something you’re going to need every day, but if you’re on holiday and want to jump in the sea with your kids, it could be the difference between a soaking wet phone and a dry one.

It’s pretty easy to use, come with a neck strap and while it may not look like the coolest thing on Earth, it’ll get the job done. It’s also amazingly lightweight and slim, so keeping it in your bag shouldn’t be a problem.

SilverStone SST-MR01 Aluminium Monitor Riser Review

Introduction


SilverStone may be well-known for their power supplies, chassis and coolers, but that’s certainly not all they product. SilverStone have won my heart in recent years with their high-end audio equipment such as the EB03 AMD and the EB01 DAC, as well as their premium grade headphone stand, so when I found out they had a monitor riser that kept in theme with the design of those other products, I leapt at the chance to take a look at it and complete the SilverStone set that I’ve acquired over the years.

“The MR01 is a high-quality monitor riser designed with SilverStone’s famed unibody aluminum construction. This enables it to support monitors or all-in-one PCs up to 27” or 10kg (22lbs). Its modest elevation returns valuable space back to the desktop for keyboard/mouse storage or other uses without negatively impacting ergonomics of the devices on top. Finished with sand-blasted and anodized surface, the MR01 has a premium look and feel that matches high-end monitors or all-in-one PCs. It also looks and works great with iMacs!”

  • Raises your monitor to an ergonomic height
  • Increases valuable desktop space
  • Beautiful single-piece aluminum unibody construction
  • Supports 27” monitors up to 10kg (22lbs)

The Box is pretty straight forward, not as fancy as some of the SilverStone range, but at the end of the day, a box is just a box.

The design of this product is remarkably simple, featuring an aluminum unibody design. The single piece of aluminium gives the SST-MR01 incredible strength and an ultra-smooth appearance that is going to look fantastic on your desktop.

There’s a super wide cut-out towards the back of the top panel, this means that your monitor cables has a little clearance at the back and this is especially important if your desk it installed against a wall as you’ll likely want the SST-MR01 pushed right to the back of your desk.

The clearance isn’t huge here, but there’s just enough room underneath for your average keyboard or any other bits and bobs you want tucked a little out of the way, such as USB hubs, memory card readers etc.

The whole thing has been treated to a silky smooth black coating, giving it a premium look and feel from every angle.

The SST-MR01 is cut from very thick aluminium, there’s absolutely no bend or flex to the unit and it’s actually pretty heavy too, I wouldn’t suggest dropping it on your foot any time soon, that’s for sure!

UK Retailer GAME Announces New Razer Partnership

GAME have confirmed they will now be an official stockist of Razer products and renew their focus on PC peripherals. Previously, the store chain offered a very limited range of PC hardware and predominately showcased mice from Mad Catz in a secluded corner. Finally, GAME are starting to acknowledge the rapid growth of PC Gaming and realizing in an increasingly digital world that hardware is vital to their success.

According to the press release, this deal will result in:

“A host of new and exciting PC gaming accessories currently not widely available in the UK will be available in store and at GAME.co.uk.”

So what can we expect to see on store shelves? GAME seems to be actively pursuing the Chroma/RGB market and believes the customization will prove to be extremely popular with enthusiasts. This means we should expect to see the Blackwidow Chroma, Firefly, Tartarus Chroma and more. Charlotte Knight, GAME Retail’s managing director said,

“This partnership is another great step towards ensuring that PC gamers are completely at the forefront of GAME’s customer proposition,”

“Razer is at the forefront of innovation in PC technology, so it’s going to really enhance the entire PC gaming experience.”

While this may be true, the pricing model from existing GAME products leaves a lot to be desired. The company is a brick and mortar store which means they have to pay fairly high rents and struggle to offer similar prices to popular online retailers. Furthermore, Razer are not synonymous with offering affordable peripherals so I’m unsure how well these will sell. One other interesting notion is GAME might allow for pre-owned accessories or trading in PC hardware towards other products. However, a lot depends on the trade-in rates which are traditionally very low.

Let us know your experience with Razer products and if you would recommend them.

Thank you MCV for providing us with this information.

The £100 Pound Laser Pointer That Can Stay Still, Even If You Can’t

Do you get nervous when presenting to people or have a natural hand tremor?

Steadylaser.com have come up with a solution. we think it’s a bit of a tough market to be selling a laser pointer in for £100 when you can get a standard one for just over £2. However there may be a call for users who hands are unsteady.

The steadylaser team state that the laser cancels out tremors via a mechanism located in the lasers body. They have written the below statement on Kickstarter :

“Our invention features a novel two axis inertial stabilization mechanism that filters out pan and tilt hand tremor disturbances (typically >2Hz) imparted to the line of sight of the housing. The mechanism includes a precision balanced two axis gimbal supported by miniature jewel bearings that is stabilized by a tuned magnetic spring and damper system. This allows the laser to move independently from the body of the pointer – so it remains steady even as the housing jitters. SteadyLaser eliminates laser jitter concerns and allows you to point and trace precisely and confidently.”

The team are aiming for a $150,000 goal on the US website. The team have over 45 years of combined experience designing and developing electromechanical products. They have been prototyping and developing the Steadylaser for  several years.

The tech specs show the following :

  • One anti-shake Class 2 635nm Red <1mW laser
  • One conventional Class 2  635nm Red <1mW laser
  • Two separate laser power buttons
  • Requires two AAA batteries

(The steadylaser is a simple device that may save you a lot of trouble in meetings)

You can support the project on Kickstarter here

The pledges are as follows :

Pledge $1 or more

Our thanks by email. We really appreciate your support.

Or click the “Contact me” button above and tell us what you think about our project. Have you had a stressful shaky laser experience? Please share your story.

Pledge $140 or more

SteadyLaser with Helper’s Discount.
Save $10 off the regular price in exchange for telling three of your laser pointing friends about our project. This is the honor system and we trust you.

Pledge $150 or more

SteadyLaser laser pointer.
You’ll be one of the first in the world to own a SteadyLaser. Point Confidently !

ledge $430 or more

(3) SteadyLaser laser pointers.
Get 3 SteadyLaser pointers for your sales team or conference rooms and save $20.

Would you invest in one of these? Let us know in the comment section below.

Thank you to Kickstarter and steadylaser.com for the information

Images courtesy of steadylaser.com 

Latest Lian-Li Accessories at CeBIT 2015

Here at CeBIT 2015, we caught up with LIAN LI; the Bugatti of the chassis world. Today’s line-up presents some of the lesser known products of LIAN LI, all of the accessories from HDD raid racks to 5.25″ drive bay control panels. LIAN LI don’t do half measures, everything is in high-quality aluminium, keeping in look with their chassis range, but also aids their durability.

One device that caught our eye was the external MSATA enclosure with USB 3.1 optional connectivity. It’s great to see how quickly manufacturers have adopted this new standard, but also give the option of previous generation support for those using slightly out-dated tech.

We look forward to seeing more of LIAN LI’s products in the future. Any news of events from LIAN LI, we will keep you updated.

Icy Dock ‘Black Vortex’ MB074SP-B 3.5” 4-in-3 Cage Review

Introduction


Over the last couple of years I’ve reviewed a fair selection of products from the Icy Dock catalogue, ranging from external drive enclosures such as the Blizzard and the MB559U3S SuperSpeed to a variety of SATA backplanes and drive bay adaptors including the FatCage MB155SP-B, MB971SP-B and MB994SP-4SB-1 Quad 2.5″ Backplane. Overall it’s a fair statement to say that they have a wide variety of angles covered and the tastes of many users fulfilled with their products, whether it be through the design or the functional capability. With so many items on offer, we are a little amazed to see that Icy Dock have once again come up with a new product and this time round the product is in principle a cooled multi-bay drive adaptor. Taking up three optical drive bays, the Black Vortex MB074SP-B is able to house four 3.5″ hard drives in an open air frame design, offering a quick and simple access to one or more drives whilst offering the benefit of active cooling through a front mounted 120mm fan.

Aside from a traditional 3.5″ hard drive, the Black Vortex is also compatible with a number of Icy Dock’s own 2.5″ to 3.5″  EZ-Dock and EZ-Adapter product ranges, allowing more than just a hard drive to be installed into the chassis. With so many drive bay adaptors and mounting solutions now available on the market from a number of vendors, the question stands to ask if we have enough options already available to cater every persons need, or does this unit really offer up the functionality that some users are after to mount and keep their drives cool.

Like any other Icy Dock product, the packaging is very informative with plenty of information about the cage on hand; detailing the units specifications, features and design. Inside the box things are a little more concise with a simple user installation guide and two sets of screws for fitting the brackets to each of the four drives and securing the framework into your chassis.

 [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue1hnszk35E[/youtube]

HP Announces Three New Tablets Dedicated To Business Solutions

HP has just announced three new tablets, two of which consist of the ElitePad 1000 G2 and ProPad 600 G1, and another as a POS solution, the TX1 POS. Given the continuous rise of IT demands for flexibility, mobility and lightweight devices, it would make sense for HP to provide such solutions.

The HP ElitePad 1000 G2 has been presented at MWC where was dubbed as being the “total business solution”, having it set to be released in March for at a price tag of $739 / £444. It is said to be designed for flexibility, having full-sized HDMI ports suited for easily setting up presentations, as well as having it packed with accessories and features suited to replace a normal laptop. The key features of the tablet consist of having just 9.2 mm thickness, weighing in at just 1.5 pounds, all powered by a 64-bit Intel processor. Additional features consist of touch, voice or pen inputs, dual cameras perfect for video conferences and enterprise IT integration tools.

The HP ProPad 600 G1 is a light version of its ElitePad big brother and lacks its aluminium finish. A variety of accessories has been removed compared to the ElitePad, having just expandable storage ports and micro-HDMI support, all being powered by an Intel Atom processor. The lack of features and performance can be felt in its price, where HP will be selling it at a lower price tag. An official pricing has yet to be revealed for this particular tablet, although HP is said to be releasing it somewhere this April.

Moving to the HP TX1 POS, the tablet is designed to be a point-of-sale terminal which can either act as stationary or portable. The tablet is designed for small businesses tgat beed to connect to front and back office applications. To keep it simple, the TX1 POS Solution provided by HP is similar to the ProPad tablet, having it connect to POS accessories and ports. The TX1 POS is said to be available starting this May.

Thank you ZDNet for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of ZDNet

ADATA SSDs, Memory and Accessories On Show At CES 2014

As part of our CES tour, we are today taking a look around ADATA’s suite in the Venetian Hotel here in Las Vegas, and like a few other vendors, they are keen to show off their latest and greatest technologies to the world. As soon as we enter their suite, we find a test bench setup which is home to a PCIe card that looks rather different to any other PCIe SSD that we have seen before.

On a closer inspection we find that this card is playing home to a next generation mSATA SSD. As seen on the centre of this board, the mSATA SSD is still in development due to the massive heatsink that is placed on top of the drive controller and even though this is an unfinished product, ADATA assure us that the drive is nearing completion and once the heat issue from the controller has been ironed out then we should be starting to see samples appear for review, so we can only look forward to this. The question I hear you all asking though is what makes this drive that much different from any other mSATA drive? Well when we look at mSATA, there is obviously a certain size constraint to stick to, after all the drives are considerably smaller than a traditional SSD. This particular drive is a brand new form of PCIe SSD and with a few tweaks and tunes, it is able to break through the bandwidth limitations of Gen 3 PCIe lanes and speeds of upto 1800MB/s are possible through the new SF3700 controller. Obviously this is not fully refined as of yet, but as and when it is, the market for PCIe SSDs will be opened right up for power users, the enterprise market and laptops alike.

Further along the line we find a number of ADATA’s existing products ranging from memory to mSATA and full SATA SSDs, but there are a couple of products that stand out from the crowd. The first of these is a full 2TB SSD, yes thats a whopping 2TB, labelled under the SX930 product line and this uses the same SF3700 ‘Griffin’ controller that we saw above. Like the image above, this drive is still in development and the drive only has half of its casing in place to make way for a heatsink to cool the controller. Once this technology has been refined however, I do believe that we are looking at the worlds first 2TB 2.5″ SSD.

The second item of interest is this little baby. Now on the face of it, this appears to look like a single NAND flash module that would be installed on to a fully fledged SSD, however the situation could be no more different. What we have here is an entire SSD in an integrated format – yep, thats the NAND, controller and memory all contained within a single package. Now obviously this is not going to appear on the consumer market to buy, but there will be applications within the mobile and tablet markets for this type of drive – thus reducing the size of the product, whilst offering faster speeds and potentially greater capacities.

Further round the ADATA suite, we find that they are now delving a little deeper into the accessory market and as expected this includes power banks for your mobile devices. Now it seems the every man and his dig is produced these banks, but to set themselves apart a little ADATA have got some that are coloured and designed towards the female users, as style is a key factor for some. Besides these a selection of external storage devices and mobile storage devices such as the 1TB DashDrive HV620 that I recently looked at and the DashDrive Air AE400 that I looked earlier last year.

Just around the corner from the SSD lineup ADATA are showing their XPG range of memory, but what we note in particular is the wide array of colours that they are now offering. Many people these days are opting for a colour theme within their system and for memory vendors this can lead to a make or break in terms of sales – after all, if the modules are not the colour, then why would the end user want it for their system. This is where this new bunch of heat-spreaders comes into play. The nine modules that are on show are reportedly only a selection of the colours that will be available so what we now find is that the need to sacrifice memory speed or quality is no longer a choice that has to be made.

Stay tuned as we have far more content for you from our trip to this years Consumer Electronics Show.