Solar-Powered, Smartphone Charging Benches to be put in Boston

Soofa is a smart urban furniture company developed by Changing Environments, (an MIT Media Lab spin-off) and they’re bringing the Silicon Valley feel to Boston. As we’ve learned, this companies trendy name is derived from the acronym SUFA (Smart Urban Furniture Appliance) with the ‘double o’ added for a modern feel.

Being described as an ‘urban watercooler’, Soofa hopes to bring strangers together in a commonplace whilst providing an almost-essential service in todays technology age.

Soofa Co-Founder Sandra Richer explained her companies intentions to Mashable:

“There isn’t too much knowledge or perception around renewable energy these days because people are removed from it — it’s either on the roof or set aside somewhere that you don’t see it. We wanted to change the way people see its immediate benefits by putting something out into public spaces.”

Boston already has six benches in full operation with a further four set to be placed in the next few weeks. As it stands, Soofa currently has 100 of these benches ready to roll out with plans for further production.

Richer also commented on the ever-growing demand for such technology:

“It’s hard to get investors to back something that is a new market, but we’re already gotten so many requests from corporate campuses, education organizations, retailers and cities, from Tel Aviv to places in Italy, Germany and Hong Kong, so now we’re focused on how to scale quickly” Mashable

Interested in looking at your own bench for your workplace, common hangout spot or company? A cast iron bench will set you back around $10,000 USD, but others are said to be significantly cheaper. Obviously this price is nothing to scoff at, especially if you’re looking to implement quite a few of these in one venue. When this issue was raised, Richer commented:

“The smart benches will be on the pricier side because of the electronics, but we want it also to be affordable enough to encourage adoption.” Mashable

Being adopted as a full business around one year ago, the company was formed as current thanks to a partnership with Verizon and Cisco to help get it off the ground.

Soofa are said to be developing other style products to be suited to further environments. It’s highly likely you’ll be seeing more of these around in America and globally in the near future.

Image courtesy of Slashgear

Thermaltake Urban T81 Extreme Full Tower Chassis Review


Thermaltake have already got some very cool and very popular enthusiast grade chassis on the market, the Level 10 GT and the Chaser A71 are both great examples of this. Their Urban series was launched last year and has gone from strength to strength as Thermaltake expand the series, and now we see the new top king of the range with the release of the Urban T81.

The Thermaltake Urban T81 is an absolutely beast, we first saw this chassis out at CES 2014 and we were blown away by what it was capable of, so I’m very happy to see it here at eTeknix HQ. It’s been packed with features that make it a formidable weapon for ultra-high end system builds, tailored to not only meet the demands of modern water cooling solutions, but also provide some industry leading air cooling options too.

As you can see from the rather extensive specifications below the chassis is capable of holding plenty of storage in both 2.5″ and 3.5″ formats. It also features a built-in fan controller and most impressively it comes with not one, not two, but three high quality 200mm fans pre-installed! As well as an extra 140mm fan in the back; as far as pre-installed fans are concerned, the T81 is way ahead of the rest of the market.

Since the specifications chart is just a sea of numbers, lets take a quick look at the radiator support diagram below. As you can see, there is room for epic custom loop water cooling, huge radiators, small radiators, they’ll fit. Radiators can be mounted in the front, back, top and bottom simultaneously.

The fan support list is just as impressive, with the ability to mount four 200mm fans on this chassis, keeping in mind that three 200mm fans come pre-installed.

The T81 comes packaged in a fairly standard looking box, with a high contrast representation of the chassis overall design on the front.

On the interior of the box you’ll find some Styrofoam packaging on each side as well as a black cloth cover to keep the case protected.

The case comes really well covered with plastic film on the interior and exterior of the side panel, as well as protective film and tape on all glossy panels and moving parts.

Inside the chassis you’ll find a small brown box which contains a pair of brackets, a CPU 8 pin (4+4) extension cable, some cable ties, an internal speakers and all the nuts and bolts you’ll need to install your components.

Thermaltake Launches Their Versatile Urban T81 Chassis

Today is a great day for those planning on purchasing a new PC case, building a new system and especially for those who are planning on building an epic water cooling setup, because Thermaltake have officially released their Urban T81 chassis. We first saw this case at the start of the year when we visited the Thermaltake suite at CES 2014, we were immediately impressed with its design and extensive feature set and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival ever since.

“Thermaltake presents an update of its Urban line with the new Urban T81 – an elegant, high-impact design. Beautifully architectured, the T81 is engineered for one solid purpose: To provide enthusiasts with the ability to build the highest performing systems while retaining a simple, elegant, and commanding appearance. It is not merely a PC chassis; it is an exemplar of modernist design.” said Thermaltake in a recent press release.

The chassis features a double side panel door that opens from the middle, commonly known as “suicide doors” in the automotive industry. This allows a unique style touch, but also separate access to both the hard drive bays and motherboard compartments. So not to feel left out, the front panel has also been given special treatment, finished from top to bottom in brushed aluminium to provide a sleek and clean overall style to the front of the chassis.

A highly customizable 5.25” & 3.5” drive bay enables users to freely interchange the 3.5” hard-drive cages to suit one’s need, or remove 5.25” & 3.5” drive bays to gain maximum interior space for maximum airflow or the addition of liquid cooling systems. With support for either front 360mm / top 420mm or front 420mm /top 360mm radiators, along with a rear 120mm and bottom 120/240mm radiators, the Urban T81 is in a class of its own for radiator support. Worried about losing hard drive space when installing your radiators? Well no need, you can stealth mount 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives behind the motherboard or behind the radiator thanks to very versatile hard drive mounting points.

Air cooling isn’t loosing out either and with triple 200mm fans and a 140mm fan already installed as standard, the Urban is going to be able to shift some serious airflow. The Urban is the first chassis in the market that is capable of housing 4 x 200mm fans, along with three more 120mm fans. It even comes with an integrated fan hub controller that allows you to manage up to ten fans at once!

The Thermaltake Urban T81 is available now and should start appearing on most popular online retailers and at retail stores. I’ve been looking forward to this testing this case for month and we will be bringing you a full review of the T81 in the coming weeks so stay tuned for more information.

Thank you Thermaltake for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Thermaltake.

Thermaltake Show Off Updated BlacX External SATA Dock At CES 2014

We are no stranger to Thermaltake’s BlacX line of external SATA docks and this was shown back in the early part of last year when I took a look at the BlacX 5G and BlacX Duet docking stations. One would only imagine where an item such as this could be improved, but surprise surprise it has been and now it comes with Wi-Fi built in. Built on the BlacX 5G platform, the BlacX Urban incorporates a 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n wireless adaptor, which will allow for Wi-Fi tethering in the same way that we have seen on some other mobile storage devices and will be fully compatible with both iOS and Android devices with an App available for each platform in their relevant stores.

Apart from the addition of wireless connectivity, the BlacX Urban still features full USB3.0 connectivity and will support both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives. Pricing is set at $79.99 USD although UK, EMEA and pricing across the rest of the world may vary a little, however this should be starting to appear on the market very soon as the product hits the shelves in the next few weeks.

Thermaltake Display Three New Urban Series Chassis At CES 2014

CES 2014, here we are once again with more great coverage from the Thermaltake suite and on display here we have even more great chassis products for their popular Urban series. All three chassis are targeted at the budget friendly end of the market, but still pack in plenty of features and the great build quality that Thermaltake are well known for.

First up we have the sleek looking Urban T21 which comes with a clean looking front panel door, USB 3.0 support on the top panel, a side panel 120mm fan mount and 140mm top fan mount. There is a tidy little side panel window to give you a look at the motherboard / cpu cooler area, 3+6 tool less hard drive bays, 2 pre-installed 120m fans with removable dust filters and it all comes in for just $69.99.

The Urban S1 is nice and compact, offering support for mini-ITX and micro-ATX, it’s low price tag of just $49.99 is what really caught our eye and this is backed up by support for 2+6 hard drive bay, a pre-installed 80mm fan with removable filter, front USB 3.0 support and a clean looking design.

Finally we have the Urban R21 which comes with a single 120mm fan + filter, USB 3.0 support on the front panel, tool free hard drive bys in a 3+6 layout and room for up to four 120mm fans, all for just $59.99.


That’s all we have from the Thermaltake chassis range, but check back later when we will be bringing you some great coverage of their other product ranges.

eTeknix @ CES 2014 – Thermaltake Urban Series Chassis

We’re still have at work in the Thermaltake suite, and we’re far from done picking through the huge range of new products they have for 2014, now we take a look at a few new chassis products which will be entering their Urban series starting with the Urban T31. Its a nice mid tower with a clean looking front panel door, a good size side panel window to give you a great view of the chassis interior and support for both USB 2.0 and 3.0 on the I/O panel.

The price is $89.99 and for you’re money you will get modular hard drives, cable routing options, two pre-installed 120mm fans and great build quality.

Next up we have the Urban R31, the features a similar design to the one above, but doesn’t feature the clean front door design, instead having a better focus on airflow and providing easy access to the 5.25″ drive bays.

It’s also a little cheaper at $79.99, but still comes with cable management, two 120mm fans and modular hard drive bays.

Finally we have their Urban SD1 which is a small form factor chassis, but still big enough to hold a pair of graphics cards in SLI / Crossfire configuration. It comes with a 90mm and 60mm fan pre-installed, USB 3.0 support and plenty of ventilation.

Priced at just $99.99 this could be a great option for a compact gaming build, SteamBox or LAN gaming rig and will no doubt also prove popular as a HTPC thanks to its sleek looking front panel design.


We really love this chassis and it’s another great entry to the Thermaltake range, we look forward to taking a closer look at it in the coming weeks and month for a review. Stay tuned for even more information as the show has just begun and there are several busy days ahead or check out our Live Gallery for the latest images from the show.

eTeknix @ CES 2014 – Thermaltake Urban T81 Chassis

Here we are at the start of CES 2014, we’ve been in Las Vegas for a few days now getting settled in and we’re happy to have started bringing you some content from the show. Things are off to a steady start so far, but we’ll be bringing you some great details of new product launches, the trade show floor, or popular live gallery where you can check out loads of great sights from the show, we’ll also have some videos for you and no doubt much more.

Today we take a look at the exciting product ranges from Thermaltake, starting with their great and extremely versatile new range of chassis product the Urban T81.

As you can see from the picture above, the chassis is a full tower and is extremely capable of supporting water cooling radiators thanks to its completely removable hard drive bays and support bar. This means you can fit a 480mm right in the front, a 420mm in the top, 260 in the bottom and up to a 140mm in the back, with ample space in the bottom for a pump, reservoir mounts etc.

Radiator support is huge focus for this chassis and this is going to go down in a big way with those wanting to build a custom loop. This is accented nicely by the double hinge side panel door that allows access to just the HDD section or the main interior of the chassis.

For those not wanting to install water cooling, you can use the large space to install a great air cooling setup, this also leaves you with full access to the full modular hard drive bays, perfect for a massive raid installation.


Stay tuned for even more information as the show has just begun and there are several busy days ahead or check out our Live Gallery for the latest images from the show.

Computex: Thermaltake Display New Chassis Ranges

Thermaltake had one of the biggest presence for chassis products at this years Computex, with a huge range of new products, popular products and a few fan favourites thrown in for good measure. They’re already off to a great start to 2013 with the launch of their Urban and Chaser ranges and its something that really shines through with what was on show on their booth.

On display are the S21, S31, S41 and S71 Urban chassis in this stunning grey/white/silver effect finish and with the light purple LED lighting in the top of the front panel looks chassis look super cool and it gives a subtle contrast to the typical black or white chassis we see.

They had some incredible mods on display too and this tank modded chassis looks awesome, doesn’t actually fire anything though, such a shame.

If the one above is too bit then you could also go for this smaller tank mod, although if the little guy in the top is to give a relative scale of this thing, I wouldn’t like to get in the way of the full size model.

He does look like he’s having fun though, wouldn’t you agree?

Not sure what I like more, the Captain America front panel or the Arc Reactor on the back, either way, I want one of these cases, even if it would look silly next to my desk!

Here we see the A71 Snow Edition, fitted with extensive HDD docks on the front, a cool colour matched fan controller and some pretty cool high end components, as far as display systems go, this one is awesome.

One of the funkier entrys to the Urban range is this tidy mITX chassis, a really nice option for those looking to build a HTPC / Steambox.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image(s) courtesy of eTeknix at Computex

Thermaltake Urban S31 Chassis Review

Today I will be taking a look at the latest entry to the Thermaltake chassis range, they’re all new Urban S31. There are two main models for this chassis, one without a side panel and one with, but I’m lucky enough today to have hold of the edition with the side panel window.

Priced at around £90 for the windowed edition, or £85 for the non windowed its safe to say that this chassis isn’t cheap, as you approach the £100 mark your entering some extremely competitive territory, where anyone spending that kind of money is looking to build a mid to high-end performance rig. For this kind of money you want support for modern features and components, good style and design, great build quality and usually something extra that makes the chassis stand out from the crowd, something that isn’t so much a gimmick, but something that adds true value to the product.

Thermaltake have a fantastic reputation in the PC market, not only from their award-winning chassis designs, but also for some of the best power supplies and CPU coolers and with many years of knowledge under their belt I’m confident that they can make a great product.

First impressions from the specifications are good and you can see below that the chassis has a competent array of cooling capabilities, as well as plenty of room for storage and expansion cards, more than enough for most mid to high-end rigs, certainly more than enough for the build we will be doing today.

The S31 comes in a well designed box, with a full colour print on all sides and this gives the whole thing a nice premium vibe before we’ve even opened it.

In the box I found a nice assortment of screws, cable ties, an instruction booklet and a drive adaptor bracket.