I’ve never personally been a fan of the desktop monitor stands, they’re large, heavy and expensive. Although the main reason I’ve never liked them is because I’ve never had enough monitors to buy one; until now. Since upgrading our test bench to triple 4K 28″ monitors, I’ve had to resort to putting the monitors in portrait just to fit on my desk; despite it being custom-made and a lot larger than most other that you can buy on the market.
There are many options on the market, but something caught my eye back at iSeries in April that OverclockersUK had made available. It was an OCuK designed monitor stand that could support up to THREE 32″ monitors. The stand looked simply stunning and was finished off with red highlights to incorporate the colour scheme from the OCUK logo. This was announced around a year ago and seemingly went under the radar, it seems monitor stands just aren’t that important to review, yet make a triple monitor set-up so much easier and pain-free.
The Neptune stand is an absolute beast with one of the largest base plates I’ve seen and it weighs just under 15Kg excluding monitors. There’s not much more to say, so let’s just get cracking and see what this thing can do.
Our routers and wireless network cards come with replaceable antennas, at least a lot do, and SilverStone released two new antennas and one magnetic Wi-Fi antenna base for the scenario that you’ll want to upgrade your existing antennas for performance or placement reasons.
The SilverStone WAD17, pictured above, is a high-gain MIMI 2T2R Wi-Fi antenna for improved wireless connectivity. It has a 5 dBi gain on the 2.4 GHz band and 7 dBi on the 5GHz bands which makes it a dual-band antenna. The Dipole antenna features a default SMA plug RP connector and has an impedance of 50 ohms.
The SilverStone WA219 2T2R high-gain Wi-Fi antenna is only for the 2.4 GHz band but comes with an impressive 9 dBi gain for that extra range and signal strength into the furthest parts of your home.
The SilverStone WAB1B is a circular magnetic base for SMA plug RP antennas and it has a 1.5-meter long cable for optimal placement. It allows you to place the antennas on a more optimal position than let’s say on the rear of your PC chassis which is placed under the desk. Having the antennas on top of the chassis or even the desk itself will greatly improve the Wi-Fi performance. Both the plug on the stand and on the cable are gold plated for optimal connection and the cable used is a low loss CLF 100.
All three new SilverStone Wi-Fi accessories are available now for a recommended end user price (excl. VAT) of $10.08 USD, $8.51 USD, and $8.51 USD respectively for the WA219, WAD17, and WAB1B.
MSI has released their new All-in-One PC suitable for both commercial industries and home entertainment usage. The MSI AP16 Flex is world’s first convertible 10-point touch controlled All-in-One PC that can be used in a stand-mode, hanging-mode or flat-mode.
The AP16 Flex’s unique rotating kickstand can be flipped back 90 degrees to act as an upright stand for use as an All-in-One PC or attached to wall or cabinet for use as a large multimedia device. It comes with a 15.6-inch LED-backlit display.
The system is based on a 10W Intel Celeron J1900 quad-core processor and is built as a fan-less PC for a silent working environment. Despite the compact design, the AP16Flex has all the necessary connection you need, including USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet and 3-in-1 card reader. Wireless b/g/n LAN and Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported and it comes with built in eMMC storage up to 64GB and a 500GB 2.5-inch HDD.
General availability was specified as middle of February 2015, which we’ve passed – so in other words now.
Thanks to MSI for providing us with this information
Inateck may not be a common brand name, at least not yet, but they’ve got a great range of low to mid budget products that certainly caught our attention. While many of us love the high-end flagship products, sometimes we just need something affordable, that does the job we need with ease; the Inateck wireless Bluetooth speaker we’re reviewing today is one of those products. It’s got a fairly straight forward job to do and it’s not likely a product you need to put much thought into either. If you need a stand for your tablet, but you also need a wireless speaker to enjoy your music, or hands-free calls in the office, at home or wherever, then you’ll most likely be looking at this device or something similar on a popular shopping site such as Amazon. So just what do you get for your money?
The Inateck Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is a nicely designed unit. It has a hard black speaker grill on the front of its extra wide design, as well as a little bit of silver trim around the edge and around the control switch on the front.
The wide design makes the Inateck ideal for mounting your smartphone or tablet on the top of the speaker. There’s a hard rubber slot that runs the full width of the device for maximum compatibility with a wide range of devices. There’s also a small cut-away in the middle, which makes accessing the home button on tablets such as the iPad a whole lot easier.
There is only one control on the front of the device, which can be used to play or pause music (via Bluetooth), answer or reject calls, or redial the last number on your paired device.
The base of the speaker is wider than the top, giving a little extra stability to the speaker, but it’s not so thick that you couldn’t chuck it in your backpack.
Around the back, you’ll find a fold out speaker bracket and the I/O ports.
There’s a master power switch on the back to help save power, an AUX line-in jack and a DC5V port for charging the built-in battery.
The speaker bracket is very handy, as putting a 10″ tablet on the top of the speaker in portrait mode could make the whole setup prone to tipping; a problem easily solved by deploying the bracket.
Included in the box you will also find a USB to Micro-USB cable, which is perfect for keeping the speaker charged, as well as a 3.5mm cable for connection devices such as MP3 players.
SilverStone may be well-known for their high-end chassis, power supplies and cooling solutions, but in recent years they’ve also been creating some premium grade audio products. Earlier this year we reviewed their SST-EB03 Desktop Headphone Amp & SST-EB01-E DAC (Digital Audio Converter); both of which were targeted at the enthusiast audio market. They’re incredible products and I’ve personally been using them for all my desktop related audio tasks ever since. Now they’re looking to complete the set with a simple accessory, the EBA01 Hi-Fi Audio Headphone Stand.
The EBA01 comes constructed from high quality aluminium, matching the aesthetics of their SST audio range. It has been designed as the perfect way to store two headsets; keeping them within easy reach at your desktop or listening area of choice. I’m sure many of you simply leave your headset on your desk, or even chuck it in a drawer when you’re not using it. Many people wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing, especially for those who paid a lot of money for a high-end headset or a set of audiophile grade headphones.
The EBA01 comes in a nicely designed slim box with a nice image of the stand on the front of the box.
Around the back you’ll find another picture of the stand with a set of headphones on it; pretty self-explanatory really.
The box is surprisingly heavy and when you open it you’ll find three large pieces of aluminium set in thick padding to keep them safe, as well as a simple user manual.
In the box you will find three pieces of aluminium that form the stand, as well as the screws required to assemble them.
GAMDIAS may be relatively new to the gaming market, but they’ve quickly made a name for themselves with a range of award-winning products, such as their Hephaestus gaming headset, the Hermes keyboard and the Hades Laser Extension gaming mouse which we recently reviewed. The product we’ve got at our disposal today is a little bit different, rather than a gaming peripheral, it’s a peripheral accessory, but it’s a product that is none the less important in today’s desktop gaming environment.
Your typical desktop gaming PC will use a wide range of USB compatible devices; a mouse, keyboard, headset, flash drive, camera, controller and a whole other range of external devices; you may even use your desktop PC’s front USB ports to charge your mobile devices such as your phone or tablet. Motherboard’s typically provide a good number of USB ports around the back of the computer which are fine for the keyboard, mouse and headset; but they’re often too tricky to access for those things you need to quickly connect to your rig. Your chassis likely has a few ports on the front too, which are great for things like flash drives, but can often result in cables trailing around the front of your case or on the floor when using controllers and other peripherals on these ports.
The Aegis looks to solve this problem; it’s a powered USB hub that fixes onto the side of your monitor, with the added bonus of being a mouse cable bungee and a headset stand all in one. Can this simple device solve so many desktop problems all at once? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
In the box you get (almost) everything you need to get you started. The Aegis, a high quality braided USB to Mini-USB cable, a quick installation guide, some stickers and some spare 3M sticky strips.
ADATA is brand synonymous with memory and storage solutions. For more than a decade they have established a strong relationship with their customers that consists of average consumers and business professionals around the world. With constant innovation and a determination to produce only high quality products that will exceed consumer expectations, ADATA will continue to be at the forefront of our culture’s technological growth.
Anyone that keeps up to date with their technology news can already see that most manufacturers are targeting the mobile device segment no matter the relevance to their core product stacks. Mobile devices have become such a critical part of our everyday lives and I for one still have a hard time fathoming how our culture was able to survive without things like email, instant messaging, or even mobile computing. We are a culture that constantly has our eyes glued to our phones and tablets to get through each day.
But how exactly are we constantly powering these devices? Traditionally the standard charge cable is the primary method of choice. But with technology constantly evolving we are always looking to improve the experiences that we have with these products. What is the obvious next step for charging your devices? Wireless charging of course. A freedom from the cluster of cables that we are so used to dealing with. That’s where ADATA comes in and brings us the Elite CE700 Qi Wireless Charging Station.
After a quick opening of the packaging you can see the the contents are pretty basic, but that’s okay because there’s not much needed to use this type of product. The box contains the user guide, micro USB charge cable, and the unit itself.
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.