Inateck Headphones Roundup Review

Introduction


Picking the right headphones can be quite tricky, but with a great range of versatile and reasonably priced headphones in their range, it seems the Inateck has got you covered. Today we’ll be taking a look at three of their latest sets, all of which come targeted at a slightly different part of the market. Hopefully, we’ll be able to help guide you in which ones offer the best performance, features and value for money to suit your own needs.

Inateck produces a huge range of products, such as mobile accessories, USB hubs, hard drive docks, laptop bags and so much more. They’ve had great reviews in the past and their brand continues to grow in popularity, so I’m looking forward to testing out these headphones today. In the eTeknix office, we have their new Aries Dynamic Driver In-Ear Headphones (BH1101), the Taurus Wireless Sport Headset (BH1001) and the more affordable Wood In-ear Hi-Fi Headphone BH1105’s. They all have some a little unique about them too, so it’ll be interesting to see which  ones offer up the best options and performance overall given their respective price ranges and target audiences.

Aries Dynamic Driver Headphones

“Built in modern aluminum-housings and classic premium genuine wood, Inateck Aries BH1101 likes more like a work of art. 22 cored anti-oxidized cooper wire can better extend its service life. Furthermore, the PU Aluminum Foil cable makes it sturdy and tangle free.”

Wood In-ear Hi-Fi Headphone

“What is the most important thing to headphones? A well-rounded and clear sound! BH1105 is not only superbly balanced but also offers awesome bass, trebles and ear protection. The Zebra Wood pumps up your sound to an orchestral-like level. Bring a concert with you wherever you go.”

Taurus Wireless Sport Headphones

“Inateck Sport Bluetooth headset-BH1001 provides a comfortable, curved fit. Its magnetic design allows the two ear buds attract with each other, forming a circle that could hang on your neck to avoid falling down or losing when you finished exercising.”

The packaging on the headsets/headphones is pretty simple, with a minimal waste box and some stylish representations on the front.

Around the back, quite simple again and a few major specifications on the Aries and Taurus boxes.

Hexoskin Smart Shirt Monitors Your Health

As a race, we seem drawn to making things smarter, from self-driving cars to watches designed to interact with our mobile phones. One thing that everything from smart watches to phones includes on an all too regular basis is health apps, tracking everything from your steps for the day and calories burned to your heartbeat and temperature. Hexoskin is known for their smart clothing, with you now being able to go so far as buying a smart shirt.

Hexoskin offers everything from men and women’s tank tops to long sleeve shirts, all with the added bonus of being made from lightweight, stretchy and breathable materials. With each top containing a small zipped pocket for you to connect up the battery to the shirt, the tops look all but identical to the same thing you would already wear when you hit the gym. With 14 hours of monitoring from a single charge, and 150 hours of standby you could easily get a few days of heavy exercise before having to plug in the battery pack. With sensors to monitor heart rates and your breathing rate, you may find out something useful when you start using the Hexoskin top, but at $399 for a single shirt, battery pack, Bluetooth sensors and a charging cable

With 14 hours of monitoring from a single charge, and 150 hours of standby you could easily get a few days of heavy exercise before having to plug in the battery pack. With sensors to monitor heart rates and your breathing rate, you may find out something useful when you start using the Hexoskin top, but at $399 for a single shirt, battery pack, Bluetooth sensors and a charging cable, it probably isn’t something you’ll be filling your wardrobe with.

With companies looking for more and more ways to help us do everything from exercising to taking out the rubbish, it comes as no surprise that the sensors could help you find out something quite useful during your exercises, sadly though the price will probably put off more people than it will attract.

Raspberry Pi 3 Includes Wi-fi and Bluetooth

Computers are weird things, they get smaller each year and yet still their power and what each of them can do increases every time we blink. A prime example of this is the recent surge of mini-computers, with some hardware being as small as your phone while also letting you add and customise to your heart contents. From touchscreens to the next generation of robot wars, the small component has inspired a generation but without wireless technology, it seemed to lack something. That could change with an FCC document showing that the next generation of Raspberry Pi may solve that problem

First let’s be clear, you can connect the older Raspberry Pi’s to the wireless network but you needed to buy a wireless dongle, which means another thing you can forget and a USB port that you’ve got to take up in order to use it. The documents show that not only will the next Raspberry Pi include everything you need for wi-fi connections but it will also include Bluetooth.

The documents don’t really show that much difference, with everything else pointing to the same specification as the Raspberry Pi 2, but that doesn’t mean it won’t change.

Do you use a Raspberry Pi, or maybe something similar and if so what do you use it for?

Bluetooth Will Receive Several Improvements in 2016

Most of the gadgets that we’re using every day benefit from Bluetooth connectivity, including smartphones, speakers and laptops. However, as file sizes and bandwidth requirements increase, it looks like it’s time for a much-needed improvement to this renowned wireless technology, especially since the latest major update came out in 2014. According to recent reports, Bluetooth SIG has announced that it will increase the range and speed of Bluetooth in 2016. These changes will be implemented in order to enhance the user’s experience with connected devices that are a part of the Internet of Things, including smart home gadgets and location-based services. The executive director over at Bluetooth SIG, Mark Powell, has stated the following:

“The Bluetooth technology roadmap is a powerful expression of our mission to continue as a catalyst for industry innovation. Bluetooth has been adopted by countless developers and manufacturers as their connectivity solution of choice for the IoT. The new functionality we will soon be adding will further solidify Bluetooth as the backbone of IoT technology.”

The general idea is that the new version of Bluetooth will feature twice the speed and four times the range without requiring extra power. Another thing that’s currently in development is a mesh network that could potentially allow multiple devices to cover a large area such as an entire building. This means that you could benefit from Bluetooth connectivity across your entire home or office, which definitely sounds like a big improvement. With multiple companies and manufacturers looking to reduce the power consumption of their devices while enhancing their performance, it makes sense for Bluetooth to receive the same treatment.

The Best Budget-Friendly Everyday Wearable Technology

We all love our technology. From the mobile phone which you have in your pocket to the computer you have hidden away in your house ready to reward you with some much-needed “Netflix and chill” time after a busy day. Have you noticed all those people who seem to sit there staring at their phone screens, almost as if they are trying to will a text message or phone call? Or maybe they’re just worried about it being another two inches from their hands, they might end up missing an important call. That same fear has led to a new generation of technology, wearable technology. The name kinda says it all, technology that you can wear and use. Featured below are a few pieces of technology you could start wearing now and some which won’t break the bank when you start getting interested.


Smart Watches

Smartwatches are designed to be connected to your phone, with Companies like Apple hoping theirs will take over a whopping 40% of the market, you can see why some people might be interested in them. So why not go out and grab an Apple Watch? With the ability to monitor your heart rate, how many steps you take and even be used for Apple pay means that you don’t really need to your phone out of your pocket for anything other than actually texting and making a call. Sadly though the Apple watch is only compatible with iPhones and comes in at a whopping £289, so why not look at something a little cheaper? Sony’s universal smart watch is available for Android devices and features some impressive figures. With 2-4 days battery at “normal usage”, and with a selection of apps from the play store and a price tag of £60.75, it may be an alternative if you like using your android phone without it being out in front of you.


Smart Ring

Wearable technology is designed to make your life easier while meaning you don’t carry a computer on your hand. So why not make something smart that most people wear without a second thought?

The NFC ring is designed as yet another companion to your smart phone. By communicating with NFC (near field communication) technology, you can unlock your phone just by swiping your ring over the top, meaning no more trying to remember your password. What about your wireless password or a link to your favourite website? The NFC can store that information and transmit it just as easily, meaning sharing your details could be as easy as waving your hand over someone’s phone.

With the ability to interact and transmit data to anything with NFC capabilities, the ring has almost unlimited potential. Do you have any wearable technology we didn’t mention? What kind of technology are you looking for? Share your ideas below in the comments.

Fitness Trackers


With all this technology, why not use it for something regarding your health? Smart watches can track your heartbeat and steps, though they cost a little bit more. Fitness trackers are simple little bands that blend seemingly with your everyday wear. I personally have one and the little band tells me everything from my steps and the approximate calories burnt for those steps, it can also track my sleeping patterns, detecting when you move a lot in your sleep and often more. Pivotal Living offer a subscription based band, for $12 per year they will give you access to everything you need to track your life. Fail to pay though and the app locks up making it a beautiful piece of plastic on your wrist, not much else.

Mad Catz Releases XInput Update for C.T.R.L.R Mobile Gamepad

Mad Catz released the C.T.R.L.R. controller a while ago and while it is a great controller for mobile gaming, it wasn’t the best when connected to a PC due to lack of the XInput compatibility. Instead, users were required to reconfigure and map buttons in complicated ways. But that is a thing of the past now as Mad Catz release a firmware and software update for just this controller adding that feature.

The C.T.R.L.R. is now truly a multi-format controller that you can connect to pretty much any devices thanks to the Bluetooth connection. Amazon Fire TV, M.O.J.O., and most other Android platform devices should work well with this controller, and now the same goes for Windows users.

The XInput protocol is widely recognized as the modern standard for PC controllers and is supported by the majority of today’s PC games. Starting now, owners of the C.T.R.L.R can download the free XInput update which will dramatically improve compatibility with PC games and remove the need for time-consuming button remapping. In addition, the XInput update will enable the C.T.R.L.R to be fully compatible with the Steam Big Picture service*, enabling users to play Steam’s library of games and navigate multimedia content on their big screen TV.

The firmware and software update can be downloaded directly from Mad Catz homepage.

Beats Launches New Beats Pill+ Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

The brand Beats and its Pill lines have been somewhat a revelation since entering the market in 2012, from celebrity endorsements to a booming sales forecast, this form of portable wireless unit has certainly captured the imagination of consumers. Now, the company has announced a new incarnation of the successful Beats Pill series with hopes of expanding its base even further.

Today, (7th October 2015) Beats have introduced a new product by the name of the Pill+ speaker, below are the announced features within the press release.

Sound – The Beats Pill+ is slightly larger than the original Beats Pill speaker, allowing for a bigger and fuller sound. The stereo active 2-way crossover system creates an optimized sound field for dynamic range and clarity across all genres of music. Tweeter and woofer separation uses the same acoustic mechanics found in professional recording studios around the world.

Design – . Compact and durable enough to throw in your bag, the Beats Pill+ has implemented convenient button controls which are now at the top of the speaker.

Power management – The Beats Pill+ speaker has a 12-hour battery life to stay charged on the go. The lightning cable and power supply provide a quick full charge in just 3 hours. Keep track of your power levels with the fuel gauge so you always know how much battery is left and use the USB port to charge out.

Additionally, a new feature by the name of the “Beats Pill+ app for iOS and Android devices” takes full advantage of app functionally. The additional features include controlling two Bluetooth sources, allowing consumers the chance to play from two Pill Plus speakers and also the opportunity to sync two units together for dedicated left and right playback and also a dynamic experience.

These features may be “added value” in order to increase the price instead of being of use to many consumers. The product is priced at $229.95, but it remains to be seen concerning the RRP for other countries and the release date is expected to be around November 2015 for the US.

Thank you businesswire for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of wired

Scoutee Measures Pitch Speed Using Your Smartphone

Slovenia-based Scoutee, not sure I can remember the last innovation which came courtesy of a team from Slovenia, has launched a $50,000 Kickstarter campaign for a smart radar that can measure the speed of a baseball pitch while also having the ability to transfer the data to a smartphone via Bluetooth. This tool would enable baseball coaches and also players the ability to track their games and training sessions.

Instead of relying on a speed gun to measure the quickness of a particular pitch, Scoutee radar utilizes Doppler technology and also claims to support accuracy within ±1 mph. The accompanied App for iOS and Android platforms allows coaches to make quick notes regarding each tracked pitch. A secondary feature is the ability to record data which relates to the speed of said pitch, this graphic is then overlaid onto video within a smartphone as a kind of augmented reality.

Scoutee radar is about the size of a soap bar and can be held by hand as well as hung on a fence or put on a tripod. Its rechargeable battery lasts up to six hours of continuous measurement within a 130 feet (some 40 meters) range. As of writing the Kickstarter funding page stands at $10,783 and has 33 days to go.

This is noteworthy for aficionados of Baseball and it certainly has the potential to track data which could then be analysed for a wide range of performance purposes. Scoutee is also offering the first 100 backers a reduction in price of $129 (£82.96) for the device which is down from £299 (£192.29) The Release date is expected to be around April 2016 and shipping will be available anywhere in the world.

Thank you kickstarter for providing us with this information.

 

 

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.

Logitech Announces Bluetooth Keyboard And Mouse Which Works on Any Device

Logitech has unveiled a visually stunning Bluetooth keyboard and mouse which offers unrivalled flexibility to work on any PC, Tablet or smartphone. The K380 keyboard can seamlessly connect to three devices at a time and quickly switch between them using Logitech’s Easy-Switch button. The idea behind this concept is to automatically detect the key layout for various devices and setup a specific set of specialized functions. Logitech’s K380 is relatively compact and features a TKL design. As a result, it’s extremely portable but might not be the best choice for consumers who intend to type large documents on-the-move.

The mouse doesn’t offer anything revolutionary but looks aesthetically pleasing and can track accurately on any surface. This makes it the perfect travel mouse and is fairly comfortable due to the textured finish and ergonomic, curved shape. Additionally, Logitech has incorporated more advanced functions and the mouse is able to execute programmable functions. This is vital if you want to use the M535 across multiple devices.

Bizarrely, the mouse and keyboard isn’t a pre-configured set as shown in the press image and only available as individual products. The K380 keyboard will be launched worldwide in September. Although, the Latin America region will only have to wait until October. In terms of pricing, the keyboard and mouse has an MSRP of $39.99. Honestly, I think Logitech should offer a discount for buying both products as a bundle, and perhaps set a retail price of $69.99.

Thank you DigitalTrends for providing us with this information.

The Sensel Morph Takes a New Approach on Input Devices

We have had the keyboard and mouse as input devices for quite a while, and while they are some of the best and optimal ways, they are somewhat outdated and could use a refresh. There have been many attempts on new input methods, but none really stuck. We do have touch screens now, but let’s face it, they still suck big time in response times and don’t offer any improvement to productivity.

A new KickStarter project has set out to change that with a reinvention of known technologies into a new form of input device. The Sensel Morph is the first pressure-sensitive, multi-touch input device that enables users to interact with the digital world in a way that wasn’t possible up until now.

The Sensel Morph is using a patented pressure grid technology and with its high dynamic range of force sensitivity, the Sensel Morph can detect not just your fingers but any object from a paintbrush to a drumstick. One of the great things is that it works as it is out of the box with most devices and applications. It is further hackable for those who wish to get more out of the device and use it for completely new scenarios.

It comes with a micro USB to normal USB cable for use with computers, it can connect to tablets and smartphones with Bluetooth, and you can even connect it to Arduino developers boards to create completely new and ingenious devices with input options that just weren’t possible up until now.

The Sensel Morph got its name for a good reason as it can morph into almost anything. Drum computers, musical keyboards, normal keyboards, design interfaces; it is all changeable with smart overlays. The overlays are automatically detected and completely optional to use. The Overlays are physical apps made of a thin, flexible layer that you can place over the device to provide a visual map and tactile feedback for each modes unique functionality.

It is basically old techniques that were refined and morphed together for a new product that is hard to describe. I think the introduction video below can do that a lot better thanks to the visual aid; I know that I’d sure like a couple of these.

You can also check out how various professionals can use the Sensel Morph in the videos below. Use it as paint surface, turn it into a music creator, or build you completely own devices. There aren’t many limitations for the Sensel Morph.

The project has already been successfully funded, but there are still 37 days left to get in on the Kickstarter. Early bird specials are gone and a single Sensel Morph and three overlays of your choice will set you back $249. There are also multi-packages available for those who wish to extend with more than one. Check it out and start dreaming of all the amazing things you could do with this new input device.

LG’s Rolly Keyboard is a Portable Marvel

LG has unveiled an ingenious accessory called the Rolly Keyboard which easily folds into a solid rectangle shape and unlike flexible keyboards, is extremely sturdy. The Rolly Keyboard is constructed from “impact-resistant” polycarbonate and plastic with two fold-out arms designed to support the weight of a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, there are 4 rows of keys which provides enough room to type freely enough and find commonly used functions. The device features Bluetooth 3.0 and a single AAA battery capable of up to 3 months of prolonged usage. When unrolled, the keyboard automatically pairs itself surrounding devices.

Seo Young-jae, vice president in charge of Innovative Personal Devices at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company explained this was only the start of things to come:

“LG Rolly Keyboard is just one of the many premium input devices we’ll be unveiling in the coming months as we expand our accessories offerings,”

“The goal was to create a product that could add more value to LG smartphones and tablets at the same time offering a unique design proposition that hadn’t been explored before.”

Over the years, I’ve seen many compact keyboards but most of them feel quite flimsy due to the flexible plastic construction. LG has somehow managed to create an alternative using strong, durable materials. As a result, it’s quite natural to use the keyboard on-the-go and makes LG’s mobile line-up more alluring.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information.

LIVALL Bling Is the First Smart Cycling Helmet

It is almost weird that this hasn’t been done before. While there have been attempts, no one has come close to what the new LIVALL Bling smart cycling helmet can do. It is the first smart helmet, but it is also a lot more. When you look at what you get, you’ll quickly notice why it already has been funded close to six times.

The campaign is running on Indiegogo where the goal was set to $20,000. At the time of writing, the campaign already raised $115.672 by 788 people, nearly six times the asked amount. Not only is it a great product with a very fair pricing, it’s also a product that is ready, all the way through. All that is needed now is the start-up money to get a mass production running.

So what is it that makes the LIVALL Bling helmet so smart. It comes with bright LEDs all over the top that make you stand out in traffic, both at day and night. You are the weak contender on the road and need the best safety. It has turn-signals, a 3-axis G-sensor, and Bluetooth connection for speakers and smartphone connection as well as a windbreak microphone. You can answer your phone or listen to music over this feature, and you can also use the built-in walkie-talkie function for a direct communication with your fellow riders that also use the helmet. The 3-axis G-sensor can detect when you’ve crashed and don’t get up again. It will start to flash the LEDs to signal passing folks of your presence as well as notify a previous set contact about your crash.

There are two more items, possibly three, that you’ll want to go along with your new smart cycling helmet. The first is the Bling Jet, a small controller meant to be mounted on the handlebar for easy finger control of everything.

The second is the LIVALL Nano Cadence Sensor, the smallest cadence sensor in the world. When coupled with the LIVALL Riding App on your smartphone, it can show speed, traveled distance and burned calories as well as slope rate, altitude, and heart rate when you connect designated extension devices to your phone. The third item you might want is the phone holder. It mounts easily on your handlebar just as the Jet does and can securely hold your phone while you ride. It also comes with a convenient 5000mAh battery pack for on-the-go charging or longer rides.

The LIVALL Riding App is where it all connects and allows you to control and manage everything. It looks like an awesome product that I have no doubt will get just as popular once launched to the masses as it was in the Indiegogo campaign. There are still 32 days to go, so time left to get your own LIVALL Bling helmet. All available packs, including the $100 early bird, are still available.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 Finally Gets an Official Media Remote Controller

PlayStation 4 users might be disappointed that they cannot control their media on the console as they did on their PlayStation 3. Sony did not announce a media remote controller for their latest console, but things might be looking up for PS4 users.

It looks like DPD, a video game accessory company, has made an officially licensed PlayStation 4 media remote. The remote has cropped up on Amazon and GameStop and it really looks promising for those who want to control their media content on the PS4 like they do with their TV.

PDP’s remote is said to connect to the console via Bluetooth, but it can do more than just that. It even has a feature that allows it to be connected to up to four devices via Bluetooth. So you can connect four devices, including your console, and have them be controlled by just one remote. However, the good news does not stop here.

In addition to the Bluetooth feature, PDP’s remote control even has infrared technology and is able to control your TV, set-top box, and audio receiver. Also, I know that Best Buy released a similar product, the Insignia, but the remote is not officially licensed like DPD’s version. Besides, the Insignia seems to cost $19,99 and once DPD’s remote gets launched this fall, it’s said that it will come with a $30 price tag. So is it worth the extra $10? What do you think?

Thank you GameSpot for providing us with this information

Astro A38 Wireless PC & Mobile Headset Competition

Eager to win yourself a sweet new headset? We’ve teamed up with the good people as Astro to give away one of their very impressive A38 Wireless Bluetooth headsets. The A38 is a great addition to any desktop or mobile audio setup, giving you the option to make calls, listen to music, play your games and more without the distractions of the outside world. They’re packed full of features such as noise cancelling microphones, Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP, HSP and AVRCP, with a retail price of £170/$200.

Thank you Astro for providing us with this awesome prize and remember you can follow Astro on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with their latest and greatest products and competitions.

Want to know even more about this awesome prize? Check out our full review here.

Entering couldn’t be easier and we’ve got lots of cool ways for you to earn extra entries and increase your chances of winning this fantastic prize.

Astro A38 Wireless Headset Competition

Bolt Electric Motorbikes Arrives With Connectivity

In theory, the notion of an electric motorbike is a good idea and brings benefits which include easy charging, being cheap to run and eco-friendly. The problem lies with both choice and also the life and charge time of the battery; this is where a start-up by the name of Bolt Motorbikes comes to the fore.

The Bolt M-1 is designed with two driving modes which are helpfully named Economy and Sport mode. Firstly Economy mode, this is the setting which will go up to a speed of 20 mph while utilizing far less of the battery, this means that an average consumer can travel further without needing to stop for a charge. The second setting is the sports mode; this is designed to be used for off-road purposes, i.e. similar to a mountain bike.

The Bolt M-1 can go as far as 50 miles on a single charge, which is quite impressive considering an average petrol powered car is around the same in distance. The charge time depending on how you use it, is between 90 minutes and 5 hours, which is pretty good considering it’s an improvement on earlier generations of electric-powered motorbikes.

That’s not all; the bike also comes with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, which means that it’s possible to connect a phone to your bike, it’s going to be a surreal moment when scrolling through the connect options for it to then say, “connecting with motorbike” Images are below of what it intends to look like.

Thank You Bolt Motorbikes for providing us with this information

Microsoft Found a Way to Improve the Battery Life of Wearables

A team of researchers over at Microsoft have finally found a way to improve the battery life of wearables. We all know that the latter don’t come with a big battery pack, so finding workarounds to extend their battery life has always been a priority for manufacturers.

The technique is said to involve pairing wearables with smartphones via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi in order to shift all heavy workloads to the smartphone, hence having your smartphone acting as an external processing unit. This means that your wearable will act mostly as a way of displaying data from your smartphone, having it draw just enough battery to sustain the pairing connection.

Researchers over at Microsoft are said to have tested the system, named WearDrive, on an Android phone. The results showed an improvement of over three times in energy consumption for the wearable and an acceptable energy consumption impact on the handset. In addition, the wearable had its execution performance increase eight times compared to it not being paired to the smartphone.

While wearables don’t have the performance nor battery life of a fully fledged smartphone, the technique seems to help quite a lot in performance as well as battery life. Also, WearDrive is said to automatically deactivate itself when not in range of a paired smartphone, so you don’t have to worry about it running in the background.

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information

Beam Me Up: Star Trek Communicators Are Now A Thing!

So most people have seen Star Trek, in one form or another the series has helped shaped everything from television to science fiction as a whole. With alien species planning to take over the universe and rogue admirals breaking laws and rules left right and centre the show has helped captivate so many minds and created so many memories. Now you can start living that dream of being a member of the Enterprise with a Star Trek Communicator of your own.

The Wand company are dedicated to making functional copies of props from your favourite shows, and in this case they have really gone beyond the atmosphere with a Star Trek communicator shaped like those found in the original series. Based on 3D scans taken from an original prop, the device is made up of aluminium and die-cast metal with a textured ABS giving it that finished science fiction look.

Priced at roughly £100 the device is not a cheap one, but for those who are interested the device is Bluetooth enabled. This means you can pair it up with your phone or PC and have your calls taken on a star trek communicator, or even play your music through its speakers.

Being a Star Trek fan this is a great step forward, now they just need to create the comm badges from the Next Generation and my dreams will be complete!

Thank you NyDailyNews for the information.

Gigabyte BRIX GB-BXi5H-5200 Review

Introduction


Today we are taking a look at Gigabyte’s Intel i5 5200U powered BRIX. Gigabyte has an impressive array of BRIX models that come in at all different performance levels with many CPU options and even options with discrete GPUs. The small form factor computer business has been exploding the last few years due in part with parts shrinking and their abilities skyrocketing. Many people have been buying small form factor units deciding to use them as business or daily workstations due to the low power consumption, helping to lower costs. Others love these small boxes for use as home theater PCs (HTPCs) since they can be tucked out of the way and will generally not be heard over ambient sound in the home theater. The specs for this BRIX look promising for use in both situations so let’s take a closer look and see just how well it would perform in these tasks.

Specifications
  • Name: Gigabyte BRIX GB-BXi5H-5200
  • CPU: Intel i5 5200U (2C/4T, 2.2 GHz w/ 2.7 GHz Max Turbo, 14nm, 15W)
  • RAM: User Supplied – We tested with Crucial Ballistix 2x4GB DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1T 1.35v 
  • SSD: User Supplied – Crucial MX200 SSD 250GB
  • GPU: Integrated – Intel® HD Graphics 5500
  • LAN: Realtek RTL8111G 10/100/1000/Gigabit Base T
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 4x USB3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x Mini isplayPort, Headphone-out, Microphone in, RJ-45/GbE LAN
  • OS: Supplied Barebones, Windows 10 preview used in this review
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: $364.99

Retail Packaging

Printed materials and hardware that the BRIX comes with. You will get a power adapter and power cord to hook up the BRIX as well as all the screws that you will need to mount your SSD or HDD and use the VESA mount if you wish. The DVD and printed materials are toss away materials in my opinion since the most up to date drivers and materials can be downloaded from the support website.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

Falcon Multi-Format Bluetooth Keyboard Review

Introduction


Today I’ll be taking a look at the Falcon Bluetooth Keyboard, a multi-format, multi-purpose keyboard designed for a wide range of usage scenarios, both at home and in professional industries.

It’s certainly unique in terms of its features and design. Being compatible with virtually every major format you can think of certainly could come in handy, especially if your work involves switching between Android, iOS, PC, Mac and who knows what other devices, so long as they are Bluetooth compatible you can hot-swap between them with ease. The keyboards main focus is to limit how much you have to move your hands, such as moving your right hand to find the mouse, or moving your hands to find things like PGUP and PGDN. It does this by using a thumb control on the space bar for the mouse.

  • The falcon is a multi-platform keyboard. It is compatible with any Bluetooth capable tablet, smart phone, laptop, or desktop computer.
  • The falcon can link with up to three different Bluetooth capable devices and switch between devices with a simple two key shortcut.
  • The falcon provides a keyboard with a thumb-controlled cursor on the space bar, and cursor activation key under the finger tips of the computer operator’s hands.
  • Efficiency is increased as the need to move at least one hand back and forth from the computer keyboard to a standard mouse, track-ball, or track pad to make cursor control operations occur is eliminated.
  • While the laptop cursor pad, keyboard track ball, or even the wrist-rest track-bar, allows the operator’s hands to remain near the keys during cursor movement, their thumb or finger operation still takes fingers away from being directly over the keyboard keys and space bar.
  • Getting used to using the falcon is almost natural since the thumb and fingers are in a very similar position as when using a mouse.
  • One or two movements with either the left or right edge of the thumb can take the cursor from side-to-side, or top to bottom of the monitor screen. Rate of movement can be adjusted by varying the resolution (DPI) of the mouse with a keyboard shortcut.
  • The keyboard can be set for either left or right hand operation. The hands are placed on the keyboard in a natural typing position.
  • The tips of the fingers are used to click the left/right or up/down scroll white keys. Zoom and rotate movements are also provided.
  • The size of the falcon is very similar to a laptop inserted keyboard with full size keys. It has a silicon membrane top and bottom and USB port seal to provide protection from water spills, dust, and other hazards.
  • US Patent No. 8803807.

The keyboard certainly looks unique, which is a polite way of me saying it looks a bit rubbish, but I know better than to judge a book by its cover, so let’s take a closer look at what is on offer. The Falcon has a grippy rubber coating, which makes it pleasant to hold and use, but also makes it spill proof; handy if you’re a devil for knocking over your coffee at your desk. The keyboard also has a super low profile and that means you’ll find it nice and easy to type on.

In the top right, you’ll find the keyboard has a sync button, quite important given that it needs to be paired via bluetooth.

There’s a master power button in the top left, great for saving power or taking it out of sleep mode.

There’s four white buttons in the middle of the keyboard, which are obviously not where you would normally find buttons. These are (from left to right) Up, Down, Left Click and Right Click. The use of these buttons means you rarely have to remove your hands from the ASDF and JKL; buttons while touch typing.

Keeping your hands in an active typing position is further enhanced by this touch sensitive thumb-mouse on the space bar; perfect for quick navigation adjustments and perfect for those who do a lot of data inputting.

The Falcon is equipped with three pairing channels, so you can quickly switch between mobile and desktop devices with ease. This is great if you have a tablet next to your monitor or more than one system side-by-side as it negates the need for multiple keyboards and mice and means you can switch almost instantly between them.

Around the back there’s a small rubber flap.

Behind the flap, you’ll find a micro-USB charging port; the rubber flap helps improve the water and dust resistance of the keyboard.

The bottom of the keyboard is flat and since the keyboard is rubber coated, it grips your desk quite firmly, so there’s no chance of it sliding around at all. It’s also quite nice for when you’ve got the keyboard on your legs, as it will hold firmly in place.

Antec Smartbean Bluetooth Receiver Review

Introduction


We love reviewing big, expensive and high-end hardware, but sometimes, it’s nice to stop and appreciate the smaller things in the technology world. Today, we’re reviewing the tiny Antec Smartbean, a humble connectivity device that will allow you to pair up a Bluetooth compatible device, with any 3.5mm jack input, such as those found on your PC, speakers, in your car, your headphones and many other devices.

“The SmartBean Bluetooth Receiver by Antec Mobile Products [AMP] makes almost any device Bluetooth ready. Designed to free you from wires and tangled cables, the SmartBean is an ultra lightweight Bluetooth Receiver with Built In Microphone that provides Bluetooth connectivity at the touch of a button. The SmartBean’s 3.5mm standard audio jack is compatible with most headphones, speakers, home stereo systems and automotive auxiliary inputs (using the included connector). Simply plug in the SmartBean, pair it to your favorite Bluetooth Device, and in an instant you’ll have hands free music and calls. Perfect for cars, computers, or any other device you want to make Bluetooth Ready.”

While not the most exciting sound device ever, it does have a lot of potential. For example, my car has a line-in, but it doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth and this is a much cheaper, plug-and-play ready solution to add that functionality to it, without replacing the entire stereo system.

  • Charging Time : 2.5 hours (DC 5V)
  • Standby Time : 130 hours
  • Talk time : 6 hours

A neat and tidy box, giving us a sneaky peak at the device.

Around the back we can see it’s Bluetooth 3.0 compatible, has a range of 10m, a 130 standby time and 6 hours worth of talk time, impressive!

In the box, you’ll find the Smartbean, a male to male 3.5mm jack cable and a microUSB cable for charging the device.

It’s a very simple, yet functional design. All the major controls are on the top for skipping through songs, adjusting volume, play pause, which will also work for answering and ending phone calls. On the bottom edge, you’ll find the microUSB charging port.

On the right side, you’ll find a pin hole microphone and the 3.5mm output.

As I said before, the Smarbean is a tiny device, small enough that you could wear it clipped onto your shirt if you really needed to.

There’s even a handy clip on the back to help you mount it where you need it most.

The jack plug is very study, so you could easily keep the controller within reach of the jack-plug; this is especially handy if you’re mounting it in the car, or on the front of your computer.

Luxa2 Lavi S Wired & Wireless Headphones with External Speaker Review

Introduction


Luxa2 are well-known for their premium grade mobile products, but today, we’ve got something a little more unique from them, a set of headphones that also act as speakers! The Lavi S are packed full of features, with the option to use them as a wired headset, wirelessly via Bluetooth, as on ear headphones, or as a mobile speaker to share your music or make hands-free calls. This interesting mixture of features certainly caught our attention, so I’m really eager to test them out and see how well they perform.

The Lavi S are very well equipped, with a pair of powerful 40mm drivers for the headset component, then another 40mm driver for the loud-speaker. There’s a built-in 1000mAh rechargeable battery for wireless usage, which can offer 30 hours headset use or 3 hours speaker use, on-headset controls for media control, a foldable design and more!

Check out this quick guide courtesy of Luxa 2 for a quick look at some of these features.

In the box, you will find the headset, a male-to-male  3.5mm cable for wired usage and a micro USB to USB cable for charging the headsets internal battery.

First impressions of the Lavi S are promising, a mixture of high-quality plastics and soft-touch rubber grip coatings, that give the headset a good quality look and feel.

Down the left side, you’ll find the drivers have an open back design, which is handy given that there is a speaker on each side! The headband is extendable, allowing for a more comfortable fit on a wide range of head sizes. The headband feels pretty strong and it holds firmly in place once adjusted.

On the side of the right ear cup, you’ll find a wide range of controls. There’s the headset/speaker toggle switch, an LED indicator, and a power/pairing button.

Further round the same side, you’ll find volume up and down buttons, the DC IN for charging the headset, a line-in port for the 3.5mm cable and a pin-hole microphone; that’s a lot of buttons and features for just one side of a headset!

The left driver is the same overall design, but it doesn’t have a plethora of control switches around the edge.

The padding on the ear cups is a soft leather, that provides a comfortable fit over your ears and it’s close-fitting enough to help dampen ambient sounds.

The headband has a soft rubber padding, it’s not a lot, but it’s surprisingly comfortable and helps hold the headset firmly in place on your head.

The top of the headband has a nice black rubber coating, that looks really nice and it is also hard-wearing.

Finally, the headset has a foldable design, which makes it a lot easier to store the headset on your backpack between uses.

IFixit Tears Down the Brand New Apple Watch

The eight months waiting time since Apple introduced the Apple Watch to the world has been a long wait for some people, but that wait was over yesterday when the Watch officially started to sell. iFixit is well-known for their teardown of Apple products and they’ve of course also taken the Watch in for a close inspection and to find out just exactly what is inside this device.

The teardown is still ongoing while I am writing this piece and it’s being updated in real-time until they’ve taken everything apart that can be taken apart. The watch looks like a solid piece of engineering and the assembly looks great, but then again it has to be perfect if you want to fit this amount of technology and a battery into such a tiny device.

The previously rumoured diagnostics port hidden between the armband and the watch itself was also discovered. iFixit is also taking a closer look at Apples first foray into inductive charging, a thing that many believe will be the future for a lot of mobile devices.

Apple Watch Specifications:

  • Pressure-sensitive, flexible, touchscreen AMOLED Retina display
  • One model measuring 38 mm (vertically) with 272 x 340 pixels (290 ppi), the other model measuring 42 mm (vertically) with 312 x 390 pixels (302 ppi)
  • Custom-designed Apple S1 SiP (System in Package)
  • 8 GB onboard storage
  • NFC + Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0
  • Accelerometer + gyroscope + heart rate monitor + microphone + speaker

As previously mentioned, the teardown is still ongoing and you can head over to the official page and stay up to date with the latest findings.

Thank you iFixit for providing us with this information

Star Wars Fan Makes His Own BB-8 Robot

How are you finding the first footage of Star War’s BB-8 robot? Pretty interesting, isn’t he? Well, if you like him a lot, you probably should know that a Star Wars fan out there made a perfect replica and it actually moves!

The first time we saw BB-8 was in the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens movie, where he was running towards or away from something on a desert plateau. Remember? No? Then you can view it again below.

Christian Poulsen, an industrial designer, is the man behind the fan-made BB-8 robot. He made the robot from a Sphero robot ball by cutting it up, painting it and adding a magnet to keep BB-8’s head on the rotating body. The best part about it stand in the BB-8 droid being controlled via Bluetooth with the Sphero app!

If you wish to follow his work and make your own, Poulsen revealed a guide for you to follow.

Regardless of whether you plan on making you own little droid or not, a lot of BB-8 toys and other Star Wars goodies should hit the market as soon as the movie title launches. Excited? I know I am!

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Star Wars Wikipedia

Arion Bluetooth Mini Keyboard with Speakerphone Review

Introduction


Touch screen devices can be a pain to type on, although admittedly the issue isn’t as bad as it used to be as many of us have had a good few years practice now and screens, as well as keyboard applications, have improved greatly over the years. Then you’ve got PlayStation, where entering data to the on-screen keyboard via the controller can be a very tedious process. To solve any issues, or at least mitigate the issues a little, you can invest in a separate keyboard, such as the Arion KB100B-BK which I have with me today.

This little keyboard isn’t nothing too fancy, but for a small keyboard, it does pack an interesting feature set into such a small device. You’ve got a QWERTY keyboard, all the major functions you would expect to need on your mobile device, desktop OS or console and even a built-in speaker phone. It uses Bluetooth to connect to iPads, Android devices, smart TVs, consoles and pretty much everything with Bluetooth support.

The keyboard comes bundled with a mini-USB to USB charging cable, as the device has an internal rechargeable battery.

It’s pretty simple in terms of design, with a durable yet lightweight plastic body and rubberised keys that are clearly labeled with all their major functions. To cram as many features in as possible, almost every key has an Fn-Shift function.

On the underside of the keyboard, you’ll find a small microphone and speaker setup, which can be used to hands-free calls. Not much use to smartphones which already have this function, but it could be useful for some tablets, smart TVs and consoles for services such as Skype.

The super slim design means it’s a very manageable device; it’ll fit in your pocket or bag easy enough.

Around the back, you’ll find the mini-USB charging port, as well as a master power switch to help conserve the battery.

It is quite small, so touch typing with all of your fingers isn’t going to be possible, but you can still type fairly confidently if you’re writing a quick email, although perhaps not suitable for writing your dissertation.

When powered up, there’s a small blue LED in the top right, which blinks red when the battery is running low.

As you can see, it’s really not too big, clocking in a little smaller than my Xperia Z3.

Here it is next to an iPad Air, although admittedly the unit is better designed to type using your thumbs while holding it in your hands, it wouldn’t be impossible to use it while sat at a table.

Mad Catz Announced S.U.R.F.R Wireless Media And Game Controller

Mad Catz announced the S.U.R.F.R, a wireless media and game controller designed to integrate into today’s connected living room while staying portable enough to take it with you anywhere you want to go.

The controller connects with Bluetooth enabled devices to control your smart TV’s running Android TV, Android-powered streaming media devices such as the Amazon Fire TV and the Mad Catz M.O.J.O. Micro-Console as well as connected devices including smartphones, tablets and home theater PC’s.

The controller also featuring a full QWERTY keyboard and mouse capabilities along with integrated media controls allowing you to easily control pretty much any aspect of the connected system.

Gamers can enjoy the gamepad controls with action buttons positioned around dual analog thumbsticks, four buttons positioned on the left thumb stick mimic D-pad control, while buttons on the right serve as the traditional four action buttons commonly found on console-style controllers. The controller also features a removable mobile clip for docking a smartphone.

“Today’s living room is rapidly evolving beyond proprietary cable boxes and gaming consoles. While consumers continue to gravitate towards connected devices as their preferred platform for streaming digital media content, gaming, surfing the web and social media, current controllers just don’t deliver on the experience they desire. The S.U.R.F.R has been designed to get the most out of these different devices we are now accustomed to in our daily lives,” said Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. “We are confident in the multiple opportunities presented by the S.U.R.F.R and look forward to it contributing to sales of our GameSmart suite of connected products throughout 2015 and beyond.”

The new Mad Catz’ S.U.R.F.R will debut on March 1st at the MobileFocus Global 2015 in Barcelona and will be on display the next day at Mobile World Congress in the Silicon Image/MHL booth.

No word on pricing or general availability yet, but the controller can be pre-ordered from the official site.

Thanks to Mad Catz for providing us with this information

The Projector that can Turn Any Surface into a Computer Screen

A new kind of projector is currently seeking support on Kickstarter. Beam can deliver visual content to any surface through either a Bluetooth connection to an Android or iOS smart device or through its on-board WiFi capable computer.

With Beam, board games could be projected on to a coffee table, recipes to the kitchen worktop, or video chat to your living room wall. It can even be programmed to display alarm-triggered video messages to your spouse as she enters the house.

Speaking about the development of Beam to Wired, Jeroen van Geel, Chief Creative Officer at Beam Labs, said, “Everybody started sharing ideas on where they would place beam in their house, and almost all of them were in a different location.” He continued, “We were no longer limited by the traditional spots and could now freely dream up places where we would love to have a screen.”

Beam has already more than doubled its $200,000 Kickstarter goal, with 1,131 backers, still with 28 days left to run. Units are priced at $399 each.

Source: Wired