Patriot, Luxa2 and Antec USB Battery Head-to-Head Review

Introduction


Smartphones, eBook readers, tablets, portable gaming devices and so much are vital to our daily lives. Ok perhaps not all the devices we use each day are vital, but they’re important to each user in their own way. One thing many of these devices, if not all of them, is that they run on batteries and these days you’ll find that most devices have a built-in battery that is charged via USB, or if you’re an Apple fan, a lightening cable. There’s nothing worse than being on a night out, away on a business trip, out camping, or even just relaxing at home, only to find out your battery is dying or has died. We’re not always within easy reach of a charging socket and carrying around the mains adaptor isn’t always the most practical solution. This is where mobile USB battery recharges come into play and today we’ve got three solutions to try out. The real question is, which one is best suited to your needs?

In the office today I have the Patriot Fuel+, the Antec Lifebar 10 and for something a little different, the Luxa2 PL1. Each of these is designed a little differently from each other, so let’s get right to it and see what they have to offer.

The PL1 was included in this test, as I loved the unique approach to its design. It doesn’t come in a leather pouch, it is the leather pouch.

The stitched design is really nice and it’s quite slim too, meaning it’s going to fit easily in your jacket pocket or handbag very easily. It’ll also look more stylish that a big hunk of plastic.

There’s a magnetic cover on one end, just flip it open and you’ll find the microUSB charging socket (in) and the standard USB charging socket (out). The PL1 is rated for 2800mAh.

The compact size is easy to hold in your hand and the overall quality feels very good.

The Fuel+ is a lot bigger than the Luxa2 device. It’s got a stylish white and red theme, but it’s quite clear that this is a big mobile battery. There’s a set of LED lights down the side to show you how much charge is remaining, as well as a master power button.

There are two charging ports on the Fuel+, a 2.5A and a 1A; perfect for charging a high power device such as an iPad, as well as a mobile phone at the same time.

The Fuel+ is rated at 900mAh.

It’s not very big overall, as you can still hold it in the palm of your hand, but it is quite thick, meaning it’s not going to be suitable to fit in your pocket.

The Antec Lifebar is the largest and the heaviest of the three devices and comes with a metal exterior that not only looks great but also makes the unit feel more durable than the others.

Like the Fuel+ it has two charging ports, a 2.1A and a 1A.

There’s a small power button on the end, which could be a little better in terms of quality if I’m honest, but there’s also an LED light that can be used a torch if you double tap the power button. There’s also four small LED lights above the charge (in) MicroUSB that show the current charge remaining.

The Lifebar is slim enough to hold in your hand, but it’s length and weight make it a little too much to keep in your pocket.

Latest Luxa2 Products @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015: Luxa2 are one of the coolest mobile accessory brands on the market, offering a wide range of high-quality products that fit a wide range of needs. We all use mobile devices on a daily basis, be that our phones, tablets, mp3 players, gaming devices and a whole lot more. The latest products from Luxa2, the mobile devision of Thermaltake, offer up wireless charging solution, car docks and a whole lot more! Will you be investing in any of this new hardware for your mobile devices?

Latest Luxa2 Mobile Products @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015: It’s common knowledge that most of use use mobile devices, be that our phones, tablets or even our mp3 players, so it’s not surprising that Luxa2, the mobile devision of Thermaltake, are pushing out some pretty cool products for this market. At the show, they’ve got all their latest mobile speakers, which are Bluetooth ready, a funky range of new headphones, including a very sleek set of wireless in-ear headphones. We’ll be taking a closer look at these products in the very near future, so expect more information very soon.

Which of these would you want to add to your gadget collection?

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.

Latest Thermaltake Products and More on Display a CeBIT 2015

CeBIT is pretty quiet for Thermaltake, although given they revealed what seemed like hundreds of new products at CES, I’m not surprised they had no big product launches at CeBIT. There was one very cool thing, but an NDA on it means that I can’t show it just yet, but it will be worth the wait!

They’ve brought along their current range of PSUs, FRIO coolers, which are very popular in the EU market thanks to their super quiet design and tidy aesthetics; they’re also a great match for the range of black and white motherboards that are starting to hit the market.

Thermaltake are always keen to show how capable their chassis products are, with their LCS certification you know that you’re going to get some pretty hardcore cooling components into their chassis, as can be seen with the demo build below.

The LUXA 2 range, Thermaltake’s mobile division is also something we’re big fans of here at eTeknix. They’ve got a funky headset and also turns into Bluetooth speakers for when you want to be a little more social with your music, as well as a range of car docks, cradles and mobile batteries. Of course, mobile stuff may not seem the most exciting tech ever, but it’s practical hardware that many of us rely on every day, so it’s always nice to see quality products from a brand we love.

Portable Smartphone Battery Pack Roundup Review

Introduction


Today we’ll take a look in to a few different portable battery pack offerings from companies from around the globe. You’re quite possibly just like me – in the beginning you weren’t exactly certain why people would want or need to invest in a portable battery and maybe even thought of them to be quite useless. Then came along my Galaxy S4. As great as the phone performs, even when I’m out and about at tech expos’ or traveling around, my phone will be flat in a few hours – even with all precautions possible taken.

Screen brightness down, check. GPS off, check. Wireless disabled, check. Background applications closed, yep. Then, as your 6th hour away from a USB port rolls around, you hear that all-too-noteable “bloop bloop” – your phone is warning you that only 15% of your battery remains. In comes our hero, in the form of a 5,000 mAh – 11,000 mAh power bank. If you’re going to take most large-brand consumer phones into account, they’ll be providing you with an average battery sizing of around 2,600 mAh – as seen in Samsung’s Galaxy S4. If you’re running a 5,000 mAh battery pack and take into account some small power losses along the way, you’re looking at about 1.8 full charges of your device.

We’re not here to tell you if you do or don’t need a power bank in your life, but here are some packs that we think are worth a look at. The full list of products in this roundup and their pricing is as follows:

Essential Road Trip Gadgets: CES 2015

CES 2015 is always an incredible show, bringing many, if not all, of the world’s major technology companies into one place, ready to show off their latest and greatest products. This year was a little different for us here at eTeknix. After the show, we took to the roads to visit San Francisco and Los Angeles. On our trip, we stopped by the offices of Thermaltake, Patriot, Corsair, NZXT and more! A trip like CES is a big undertaking, for me personally it requires a four-hour train journey, a ten-hour flight and we clocked up over 20 hours driving over 1500 miles. All that is before the return journey of another ten-hour flight and another four-hour train journey home. All this traveling is enough to make you tired. Fortunately, there were a few luxuries that helped make the journey just that little bit easier for us; without which, we would have struggled.

LUXA2 Phone Dock

First up we have one of the simplest gadgets of them all, but by far the one that helped us out the most on our journey from Las Vegas to San Francisco, then again on our journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles, the LUXA2 Mobile Phone Mount.

The car we used, a Ford Mustang, has a cigarette lighter high up on the dashboard, perfect for keeping your Sat Nav or mobile phone charged when mounted in a cradle or dock of some format. Even better is how the LUXA2 mount works, as the mount fits directly into the cigarette lighter, giving you a powered USB port directly from the mount to connect your phone, while also providing a sturdy mount that doesn’t have to stick onto your windscreen, or hang from the air conditioning vents. The mount was universal and proved more than capable of housing our iPhone 6 Plus.

Ultra Short Patriot iPhone Lightning Cable

The only downside with this kind of mount is that the normal iPhone cable trails all over the place. Given the phone mount we had, we found the standard cable got caught on the dashboard controls, wrapped around the gear stick and more; not what I would call ideal. Patriot, perhaps better known for their high-end memory products, also make mobile products and quickly came to our rescue. Their new Lightning USB cable is just 6 inches long, perfect for going from dock to phone. This is the perfect cable to keep in the car and it saves you having to bring your full cable with you.

Nvidia Shield Tablet

Sitting on a plane for hours on end is a tedious and often boring affair. Sure you’ve got some in-flight entertainment (on some flights), but the easiest solution is to bring your own entertainment with you. Bringing your smartphone is one solution, but the small screens aren’t really ideal for watching movies and TV shows, and battery life isn’t always enough for a long haul flight; especially so if you’re gaming on it. The Shield Tablet solves a lot of these problems, not only did the battery life hold up for the full ten-hour flight, it also provided us with a unique experience that made us the envy of other passengers; Playing Mario Kart 64 on an emulator with two controllers was by far the most fun I’ve ever had on a flight! As an added bonus, the Nvidia Shield Cover provided the perfect viewing angle for gaming, watching movies and reading articles during the flight.

MEElectronics Wireless Headphones

No journey would be survivable without my music with me, but when I’m carrying around a heavy backpack full of camera and a laptop equipment, as well as pulling along a 25KG suitcase, the last thing I need is a cable getting wrapped around my neck. I love my wired headphones, but the strap from my backpack pulls them out of my ears and it’s simply impractical unless I’m sitting still. A set of high-quality Bluetooth headphones was the perfect fix and while they were excellent to wear while walking around, leaving my tablet in my backpack to stream my music, I found them to be even better on the long flight. Being able to fall asleep on a plane is no easy task, but a light set of headphones and some music certainly helped block out the engine noise; plus I didn’t have a headphone wire getting tangled up in my arms, so that’s always a bonus. MEElectronics promised a 14-hour battery life, so our 10-hour flight proved to be easy work for them on a single charge.

Latest Luxa2 Mobile Products Unveiled @ CES 2015

Mobile products may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but LUXA2 have consistently delivered great quality products that often stand out from the crowd. This year at CES2015 they’ve brougt along their latest range of power banks, portable Bluetooth speakers, phone docks and their funky wireless headphones.

Most of these products are pretty self explanitory, but from what we’ve seen today, I’m pretty impressed with their quality and performance. We’ll be following this up in the coming weeks with detailed reviews and no doubt this will be another great year for LUXA 2.

LUXA2 P-MEGA 41600mAh World’s Largest Power Station Review

Introduction


Power stations and rechargeable battery packs are becoming  necessity in this day and age, especially for those on the go such as myself. I’m an avid iPhone user and I maximise the full potential of my device in terms of using it as a phone, diary, email client, web browser, social media hub and much more. With this great amount of power in the palm of your hand, comes a great power loss in terms of battery life. While iPhones are notorious for their battery life, it’s Android and Windows devices too, and it’s happening on a larger scale as well.

The iPad is renowned for having amazing battery life, whereas other tablets aren’t as fortunate, and suffer with much poorer battery life, and while you’re on the go, it always seems to be that point when you desperately need to use your device, to find it’s about to get cut short. You can try the obvious of turning the brightness down, disabling Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, location services and such, but sooner than later; it’s going to die. When you are faced with this situation, you can buy a mobile battery charger, which range from the cheap Chinese knockoffs to the plethora of more expensive certified units on the market.

We’ve looked at them from a variety of brands in the past, and generally you’ll find everyone is making them including ADATA, Coolermaster Mobile, Patriot and more, but these generally hover around the 5000mAh mark. Of course there are smaller capacities, which demand a smaller footprint, making it perfect for handbags and pockets. Others can warrant a 9000mAh capacity but of course, with this, comes a larger, bulkier device. The question is; what if you want something for you and your friends?

Picture this if you will; you are off camping, and while you have the bright idea of taking  an in-car charger and relevant cable, you will generally only have one cigarette lighter point, and 5 of your friends want to charge their devices at the same time, as you all sit around the fire Whatsapping and Facebooking each other, though you are only 2 feet away. Luxa2 believe they have a solution to this socially awkward situation with the P-MEGA 41600mAh power station with its ability to charge up to 6 devices at once with 3 being able to give that extra juice at 2A for tablet devices in a relatively small form factor device.

This device isn’t for the faint-hearted and if you think that you mis-read, I will confirm that this is a staggering 41600mAh power station that can easily charge 3 tablets and 3 mobile phones concurrently, making this perfect for friends and family when your smart devices really are your livelihood.

The biggest issue with the P-MEGA is that every media outlet has exclaimed that it’s huge but looking from the dimensions above, for something with such a huge capacity battery, it’s pretty well sized. The box reflects this well and makes a big marketing stand to tell us that it’s the “World’s Largest Power Bank”.

The back of the packaging highlights some of the main features of the unit and also gives us a glimpse of how it can look when you have 6 devices connected to it.

Inside you get a handy leather bag to transport the unit, a quick start guide, power connector cord and three different plug faces including US, European and UK.

LUXA2 Groovy Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Review

Introduction


LUXA2 is a name that not many have been introduced to. The current market for mobile accessories has been flooded with brands that are trying to make a name for themselves, but for the last several years LUXA2 has been in a constant pursuit of feature-rich products with modern aesthetic appeal at affordable prices for everyone to set themselves apart. Apple centric accessories has been the company’s forte, but at CES this past month LUXA2 has shown that they have narrowed down their wide array of products that had included iPhone/iPad cases and misc device accessories to a more focused product stack that is nothing short of impressive.

LUXA2 has split their products into three categories: Portable Battery Packs, Audio Solutions, and Mobile Device Holders. Today we are going to look at the first of their entries into the audio solutions market; the Groovy Wireless Bluetooth Speaker.

Out of the box you are provided with a very easy to read user guide, 3.5mm analog cable, micro USB charge cable, two interchangeable leather straps (in both black and tan), and an attractive black leather carrying pouch.

The “Best of CES 2014” Awards

After visiting CES in Las Vegas, we made it a priority to find the best products that were being unveiled to the market for this year. We went to CES 2014 not expecting too much other than 4K on an affordable level and more consumer level products that are aimed at home and lifestyle and for the most part, this is exactly what we saw.

For us however, components are more important to us and this is what we want to focus our awards on, so after visiting many various companies and a whole load of exciting booths and suites, we have got together to discuss the very best components that were shown at CES. This can range anything from chassis to power supplies to full systems. We also recognise SSD’s, memory, portable chargers, mobile devices and much more and with this in mind, here are our best picks and lucky winners of the Best of CES 2014 award:

Luxa2 P-Mega 41600mAh Power Bank

We’ve seen the LUXA2 P-MEGA before at Computex 2013 in prototype form, but now that it is coming to retail, we managed to see the final product and with such a unique idea and extreme power, it certainly impressed us from the start. You can see more in our CES coverage article here.

Thermaltake Urban T81 Chassis

We checked out the Urban T81 chassis from Thermaltake and was extremely impressed by some of its features including the double side door and the ability to mount hard drives and SSDs on the side. You can see more in our CES coverage article here.

Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Hybrid Wireless Mouse

The Level 10 brand has always demanded a premium stance in the market, and for a very good reason with its unique styling and plentiful feature set. Working on the success of the Level 10 M mouse, Tt eSPORTS have taken it one step further by adding wireless functionality. You can see more in our CES coverage article here.

CyberPowerPC Steam Machine

A big thing at CES was the unveiling of Steam Machines from a variety of brands, but CyberPowerPC’s version really impressed us with the styling, design and the ability to add a GTX Titan into the mix. The other highlight is the starting price of $499 USD which was very enticing. You can see more in our CES coverage article here.

CyberPowerPC Fang BattleBox

Another item that CyberPower were keen to show off was their Fang BattleBox. This caught our eye due to its unique styling and the idea behind it, in terms of being transported easily making it a fantastic choice for LAN events and social gaming. You can see more in our CES coverage here.

With our first ever Best of CES award, we’re keen to carry on this tradition with future events so keep your eyes peeled in June when Computex 2014 is the hot topic and we take a look at what’s on offer in Taiwan.

Luxa2 Power Banks and Mobile Accessories Expands At CES 2014

When it comes to premium mobile accessories that don’t carry a premium price tag, Luxa2 is without a doubt one of the top names to look for. Over the last couple of years we have been watching the range of products expand and develop and her in 2014 the story continues with a lineup that is as strong as ever.

It appears to look like everyone and their dog is producing portable battery packs for mobile devices and Luxa2 are a part of this group, however they are keeping their selves one step ahead of the competition with a range that rivals like no-other.

When I say that Luxa2 are leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else, nothing can prove the point more than the P-Mega – a battery bank with a staggering 41600mAh capacity and six USB ports. Being dubbed as the worlds largest battery bank, it’s not just power capacity that is large. This massive cube offers up three 2A ports for high-speed charging and three 1A ports and this is enough to keep your mobile devices charged fro an entire weekend away. Naturally it does carry a higher price tag in comparison to other battery banks but keep your eyes peeled on eTeknix as I’ll have a review on this Goliath battery bank in the next few weeks.

Now for some people, the P-Mega is just a little overkill, so to cater for a wider audience another pair of units are available with more modest capacities of up to 20800mAh.

Whilst battery banks are convenient, the cables are not and this is where items such as the TX-P1 5000mAh wireless charger comes into play. A number of phones these days such as the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 have the capability to charge wirelessly and this charging bank is just the item to pair with one of these handsets, especially if like me you hate the bulk of cable that you otherwise have to take around with you.

For those of us who are constantly on the go and would like a little style to go with the functionality, guess what – Luxa2 has you covered with a range of charging packs that can either attach to your handbag, suitcase or briefcase, or give a more rugged feel with a rubber surround. For those that also need it, some products also feature a small LED light on the end to help you find things in your bag – you’ll know if this applies to you!

Moving away from portable charging and onto audio, we have a few new and a few existing items on show starting with the Groovy portable speaker system. Connectable via Bluetooth, the Groovy allows you to not only listen to your music as it should be heard, but with its built-in microphone it can also act as a hands-free speaker system for conference call type applications. Next to this is the Groovy T which has a remarkable low price and requires no setup or connections to be made. By simply placing your phone on to of the speaker, the Groovy T simply amplifies the sound that it picks up and makes audio sharing simple and affordable.

Moving along the line we find a few more speaker systems including the Groovy W which we saw last year at Computex which offers both wireless playback and mobile charging and a simple one tough setup with its NFC enabled technology. Beside this is a smaller unit which is new to this years show – the Groovy W Mini. Like its bigger brother, the W mini also features wireless charging for mobile devices, although it does drop the NFC technology. Instead the W Mini allows you to pair a second W mini to the first to give you a wireless stereo speaker system.

On the far end of the table are some of the mobile and headphone mounts – some of which are new to this years lineup. To the left we find a pair of E-One Note headphone stands which feature an all aluminium design and have a simple, sturdy and stylish design to give your headphones just the place to rest when they’re not in use. On the far end of the lineup is the H5 in-car mount which I took a look at earlier this week, however mounted on the wall is a new and improved model that features a sticky suction cup allowing it to mount to virtually any surface with the same firm grip that the H5 offers.

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Luxa2 H5 Premium Car Phone Mount Review

Introduction


When it comes to premium mobile accessories, one of the most upcoming brands to look towards has got to be Luxa2; a sub-division of Thermaltake. Luxa2’s aim is to offer the consumer a product that not only has a premium ‘feel’ to it, but quality that is actually premium – all with a modest price tag. Recently we took a look at the H1 premium desktop mobile holder and what’s clear about the design and build is that it’s rock solid and flawless, meaning you get a product that is very much worth the extra price. At this point make a note of our old saying of ‘buy cheap; buy twice’.

Whilst the H1 is great for keeping your phone nice and tidy on your desk, there is an even more common place where we could all do with having somewhere to place our phones. This is of course in the car. Most of us connect our phones to our in-car hands free kits, stream audio from our handsets and use them for sat-nav, but the problem is that there is not really anywhere to place it whilst you’re driving. In the UK especially, it is illegal to use your phone whilst driving without using a hands-free kit, but even if you are using one, the moment you pick up the phone to call someone, your attention is diverted from the road as you glance down. Another problem is being able to see what your navigation app is trying to show you and this is where the H5 mount comes into play.

Like the H1, the H5 offers a fully adjustable grip to hold virtually all handsets on the market and there is the full flexibility to rotate and pivot the mount to suit your individual needs and preferences.

The H5 packaging follows the same Luxa2 colour scheme that we have seen from a number of their other products and alongside a snapshot photo of the mount itself there are a number of product features highlighted around the box.

Luxa2 H1 Premium Mobile Holder Review

Introduction


Luxa2 are a sub division of Thermaltake, who as we know are one of the biggest companies in the computer tech world and with a large focus on mobile devices, Luxa2 offers a premium collection of products that are aimed at consumers wanting style, durability and finesse. While Luxa2 have developed mobile phone holders over the years that have been specific to iPhone’s such as the H1-Touch, they are now realising that the world is bigger than Apple and their iOfferings. With this, we have their latest mobile phone creation; the H1 Premium holder which allows any device with a display size of 3.2” ~ 4.8” to be snugly housed within it.

Featuring an all aluminium desk stand, adjustable mount that can be pivoted, swivelled and manipulated to fit your device, the H1 Premium seems to work from the success of the original H1 products, while offering something for the Android, and BlackBerry users opposed to singling them out with its previous iPhone range of products. Weighing in at 198g and measuring a measly 110x93x167mm it will hardly use up much space on the desk either and if your desk is anything like mine, it might make it look a bit tidier.

The packaging follows the premium Luxa2 branding with the same colour scheme as seen on their website and simple yet effective placement. A view of the stand and a brief description of the capabilities are also listed.

Luxa2 F1 Free Size Headphone Review

Thermaltake are one of the biggest names in the PC market, not only are they well known for their PC chassis design, power supplies and other components, but they also spawned another company known to many at TteSports who have gained a great reputation in recent years for some of the best gaming peripherals on the market, but lesser known here in the UK is there other brand, Luxa2, who make mobile friendly products and audio solutions and I’ve been waiting patiently for quite some time to get hold of a pair to see what they have to offer.

“LUXA2, a Division of Thermaltake, was created in 2009, with characteristics of simplicity, luxury, and unique lifestyle. The core design theory of LUXA2 starts from simple shapes blending with luxury elements, which create the unique lifestyle for different segments within the society such as Creative Pro, Mobile Blogger, Leisure Seeker, Hip Newbie, Entertainment Junkie, and Apple’s Mac Lovers.” – LUXA2

When it comes to mobile products, appearance is vital and many people care just as much about how they look while wearing headphones as they do about their headphones sound, which is in my opinion a silly way of doing as I’ll always pick audio quality over style, but that’s just me.

“LUXA2 represent an emerging trend of “individuality” in the world. Not only do people need function, but they also need aesthetic appeal. This is what LUXA2 has achieved. Exquisite craftsmanship with aesthetic and elegant design style is a promise and commitment from LUXA2. Thus, the Simplicity, Luxury and Lifestyle of LUXA2 creates a Uniquely You.” – LUXA2

LUXA2 are playing to a tough crowd, from their own worlds we know they’re targeting the hipster, Apple loving, trendy and self proclaimed cool people of society, a scene of which you could say contains people who are often picky about the products they’ll use, let alone be seen using.

The LUXA2 come nearly boxed in a fairly straight forward box, with a clear panel that gives us a sneak peek at the design, nothing particularly standout so far though so let’s get them out the packaging and take a closer look.

The headphones are hard-wired from both the left and right ear cups, with a Y split cable.

The cable is rubber coated and while it might not look much it’s enough to prevent cable noise traveling up to the ear cups. The jack plug is 3.5mm gold plated, but the large body on it could prevent usage on smartphones with a recessed socket.

The ear cups and the side of the headband are finished in a high gloss plastic, which if I’m honest feels really cheap to touch, it rattles and squeaks endlessly while your handling them and it doesn’t feel particularly durable either.

There is a push / pull length adjustment on each side with a simple metal strip divider and this should help you find a good fit. The headband features a firm foam lining and this is makes for a nice overhead fit, it also helps keep the headphones from slipping off your head.

The ear cups are an “on ear” design and features some durable padding that gives a nice fit over the ear, but it’s not overly comfortable and I find that ear covers like this often need to be worn in to provide the best fit. The drivers can be rotated inward, this partly helps give a good fitting angle but it’s also more comfortable if you wear the headphone around your neck between listening.

Performance

Given the more mobile nature of these headphones I decided to take them out for a spin with my iPad, I’ve had quite a big of walking to do this last week and it was a great opportunity to get out into the sun and listen to some music along the way. My taste is music is extremely varied and I had enough time to throw quite a lot of albums at these headphones and overall I have to say I wasn’t terribly impressed, but not completely disappointed either.

The bass on these drivers is really thick and rich, more than I would expect from an over ear design and if you’re a fan of bass heavy music such as dance, dub step, or just generally any kind of electronic club type music then you’ll get a lot of joy from these headphones.

Yet that is where the fun ends in my opinion, as I love heavy metal, rock music, jazz and all kinds of stuff and the EQ bass tones really scrub out the mid and high tones when things really get going, as if the driver can’t respond in time to loud and heavy bass tones. This is generally something that plagues most over ear design headphones though and it’s not even that uncommon within this price range, but it could certainly be better.

Listening to podcasts and audiobooks is good though, since there is little bass there the audio quality is silky smooth. This led me to discover that if you can EQ the bass down a fair bit, push the mid and high tones a little and you’re not at high volumes, you can coax a nice tone from these drivers, but in all fairness, you really shouldn’t have to tweak like that just to get something acceptable.

Final Thoughts

Overall a fairly sub par performance here today, the headphones are not “bad” as such, they’re just not as good as they could be for this price range. They may only be £35 shipped here in the UK but for that kind of money you can get some incredible sound quality from competing brands and just as much, if not more style, as well as far superior build quality.

If you can pick up a pair of these at around £20 then I would say they’re reasonably good value for money, so long as your more inclined to heavier bass tones and electronic music at least. Should you wish to listen to high volume death metal or other intensive music then you may want to look elsewhere. The way I see it, a pair of headphones should be suitable for all kinds of music, regardless of your own tastes.

LUXA2 F1 headphones do look good though and while I don’t like the choice of materials used in their construction they do look nice and trendy when you are wearing them, they’re glossy, relatively smart and look more expensive than they actually are for the most part, that is at least until you handle them, at which point they feel a little sub par.

So a mixed bag here really, on one hand we have good bass performance and decent style, on the other we have shaky all round audio performance and lack luster construction, I think overall I can safely say I don’t really like the F1 headphones.

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Lightweight
  • Good Bass

Cons

  • Distort at higher volumes
  • Sub par construction
  • Could be cheaper

Computex: ThermaltakLevel 10 M Gaming Headset Grandly Unveiled At Computex

Building on the success of producing products with exceptional creativity and functionality, Thermaltake Group, aka Thermaltake, Tt eSPORTS, LUXA2 and e-Sports Team Tt APOLLOS offer complete solutions that enable continuous innovation for today’s e-Sports, professional gaming gear, PC DIY solutions and digital entertainment. Today, Thermaltake Group has announced significant momentum with the commercial launch of the Level 10 M Gaming Headset with BMW DesignworksUSA at Computex 2013.

At the opening ceremony on 4th of June, Mr. Kenny Lin, CEO & Chairman of the Thermaltake Group unboxed the world masterpiece-“Level 10 M Headset” with Creative Director of BMW DesignworksUSA, Olivier Molody, introducing this esthetical masterpiece to Asia. Tt eSPORTS, the division of Thermaltake Group is also entering a new era of gaming peripherals with the “Level 10 M Headset” by its stylistically and technologically advanced aesthetic design.

eTeknix will be stopping by the booth as soon as possible to check out these new hardware and you cen be certain that well have them in for review as soon as possible to give you all a more in-depth look at how they perform.

If your at the show, be sure to drop by at TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall (4th floor, booth number M620) to check out the new hardware.

Luxa2 H6 Portable iPad Stand Review

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In this age of the “I” revolution, apple have recently declared I pad sales rocketing to over 25 million units. As an I pad owner myself I bought into the digital lifestyle that offers games, entertainment, lifestyle choices and much more at the touch of a button.

With such a precious device in my hands it was important to me that my accessories enhanced my digital lifestyle. We have previously looked at the LuxA2 H4 desk stand, a product we liked so much we gave it our Editors Choice award.

However the H4 is a desk based stand and there are times you may need such functionality on the move.

Today we introduce the LuxA2 H6 portable stand designed for tablet devices such as the Apple I pad. The H6 builds on the stylish and elegant heritage of the LuxA2 range and fits devices from 145cm to 245cm within its cradle.

The H6 comes in a high quality presentation box with a transparent front to display the stand. At first glance the H6 would not look out of place as a luxury gift or Hi-end professional accessory.

The rear of the box demonstrates the functionality of the product in two variations and identifies a key list of the products features. Looking more closely at the product, the sleek design of the H6 is made from pressed metal with a brushed aluminium finish and comprises of two primary elements.

Firstly we will look at the device cradle which is a similar design to that found on the H4. Using clever pivot technology, it is possible to tilt and rotate the cradle to suit the user’s needs.

Being a portable unit this functionality allows users to adjust their viewing angles on a wide variety of different surfaces as well as utilising the landscape mode when watching video media, making the stand extremely versatile.

The cradle itself is a dynamic assembly, comprising of 4 arms that move in synchronisation to grip the device. In the centre of the cradle is a soft rubber cushion that is made from a non slip material.

This unique design provides additional protection to the skin of your tablet, while ensuring a secure grip is maintained at all times.

The second element of this stand is the brushed aluminium back support that comes complete with a rubberised foot plate. The back support is simple in its design and comes printed with the LuxA2 logo.

There is a circular hole in the back support that allows a degree of cable management if required but also adds an element of design to what could be otherwise a basic component of the stand.[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]

The connecting bracket marries these two elements using clever pivot technology to allow a full 360 degree rotation as well as full tilt functionality. There is a satisfying tautness to the rotation of the device that gives the product a feel of quality and durability.

A key feature of this stand is the soft rubber locating pegs found on the arms of the cradle. Unlike other stand designs the H6 hugs the edges of your tablet with soft rubberised Pegs that prevent damage or scuffing to the edges. Many stand manufactures opt for a static sized unit that prevents additional protective cases to be used. The adjustable arms found on the H6 allow tablets in protective cases to be inserted into the stand maximising its versatility.

Due to the spacing of the arms, all of the locating pegs are clear from important buttons and controls. The product feels durable with stable operation when tested on a wide variety of surface materials. The H6 is marketed as a portable stand and has been designed with this in mind.

The frame has been constructed using light weight materials with the picture frame style back leg. This is easily collapsible to minimise storage space and transportation implications. The stand comes complete with an accessory bag which allows you to transport the product safely and prevent damage to the cradle while on the move.

With a cost price of around £30 it may be more expensive than other stand designs out there. Having said this, its stylish design and elegant functionality make it competitively priced in the accessories market and in our minds good value for money.

Overall this product is set to impress with greater stability and style than other stands, and a better build quality and finish. The creature like design of the arms is also aesthetically pleasing and lighter than some fixed size products. With such a clever design we believe that the LuxA2 H6 has not disappointed and is a clear winner in the tablet stand market.

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Luxa2 H4 iPad Holder Review

[wpcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]After recently aquring an iPad, my first point of call was to get hold of some useful accessories and whilst number one was always going to be a screen protector, number two would be a case to keep things protected and number three was naturally going to be a stand that makes the iPad look cool on my desk, as i write this review.

Looking around at different brands and styles of stand, I instantly knew that it would be the Luxa2 range of holders and the H4 just screamed out with style and elegance.

The iPad holder has a brushed aluminium solid base which features a set of rubber strips on the bottom to protect the surface that it sits on, such as your desk.

Moving further up the base we find a small opening that allows your relevant iPad cables to be passed through for some sufficient cable management.

The cradle part that holds your iPad certainly has a unique design which can be rotated and tilted to suit the user to get the perfect angle for you. This is especially handy when watching media of any kind as it allows you to put the iPad into landscape mode for widescreen movies and by tilting back and forth, it allows you to get the right viewing angle for the best possible experience.

The cradle aspect has a black rubber base that cushions your iPad and provides extra protection to the metal surface of your tablet.

Each arm has a rubber peg at the end to prevent your iPad from being scratched and can also accommodate iPads that have protective cases around them as a lot of holders have difficulty in this area as they are made specifically for a certain size unit, though this isn’t the case with the H4.

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Due to the way that the arms are spaced out, the relevant ports and buttons that the iPad includes on the side of the unit are still easily accessible.

The thing that we like more than anything else, is the hinged action that allows you to flips the complete unit over which is especially handy when playing games like Battleships or when you may be wanting to show a friend something. It also allows you to sit the unit flat so you can play other games like chess, where you can both see the action and what’s going on.

The main thing that stands out with the H4 is the sheer durability and how stable it feels. It sits proud on your desk and feels very solid and there is no fear of your iPad falling out, as even though the grip sensation doesn’t feel fantastic

Looking at the value side of things, at around £40, it’s not the cheapest accessory in the world but it is competitively priced compared to other iPad holders, such as the leather style case/holders or the normal desktop holders, much like this one.

The difference with this one from Luxa2 is that it seems to offer a lot more stability and a bigger sense of style too. Compared to other units on the market, it seems to just have that extra build quality and look much better with the brushed aluminium finish. Though a lot of people won’t be blown away by the creature like design of the cradle, we can’t help but admire it and that’s a winner in our books.

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