A daily pack out of my gear always includes Portable Power, since starting to play Ingress it seems I am usually carrying two power packs. Everyone is making Portable Power packs these days, but not many manufactures are producing power packs that are capable of charging at 2 amps.
The RAVPower RP-PBOZ has the capability to charge at both 1&2 amp on separate ports. It has a 10,400 mAh battery and weighs in a lot less than compareable chargers at 8.04 oz. Compatible with a huge number of devices.
I used the power pack for a couple of weeks and it delivered power without fault to a variety of mobile phones & tablets.
Priced at $37.99 you really cannot beat the price with free shipping available on Amazon.
I was very excited to get my hands on the new Nexus 7. Straight out of the box I knew this was a different animal. First and foremost it is as light as a feather compared to the prior model. Frankly I was shocked at how much lighter it is compared to the first model.
The second thing I noticed was the screen, it seemed dark and I attributed it to the background that Google selected to deliver with the device. Choosing a new background really helped, but that first impression of the default background was not flattering.
Doing a head to head though and you can see the resolution difference immediately. My son loaded his Ingress account on the old Nexus 7, and I loaded mine on the new one and the graphics delta was so obvious that my son has been begging me for one now for 3 days. We will be playing Ingress on several new Nexus 7′s in the coming weeks.
My wife lives with her iPad, so when I handed the Nexus 7 to her. I said mess with this the rest of the day, load some apps and let me know what you think. She loves the size and the graphics, she commented it fit in her purse better than the iPad and she may consider a switch when she is up for a new device.
Lucky for all of us, the price on the Nexus 7 is the best part. In my opinion this tablet has the most bang for the buck! The processor is fast, they have a decent amount of internal ram and storage. The size is perfect for everyday use and for those using a iPad Mini your going to want to get to a store and try this device out. Buy one Today.
There have been a lot of sites already talking about the function of the Chromecast, I would like to focus on how it is going to be used, and the impact it is having in my living room.
I introduced Chromecast to my family on Saturday, my wife was wanting to watch a series of short YouTube videos on the Ghost Cities in China.. When I plugged in Chromecast I went over basic functionality and then handed the Nexus 7 to her and showed her how to play an queue videos up..
She went crazy and was talking about how smart this was, at the same time my kids loaded the chromcast app on their phones and got connected to the device. Once she was done we had three kids queuing up videos. It got pretty entertaining to see the 9 years old’s choices versus the 16 & 17 year old..
This continued for a couple of hours, all the time they where having a blast and everyone’s media needs where getting met something interesting happened. We all participated in down voting some clips and we just pushed the next video in the queue Google should track that.
My experience with pushing web pasges was mixed. I could push a web page to Chromecast with my Chromebook or standard laptop, but for the life of me I have not been able to push a web page to the screen with my Nexus 7.
My goal was to visit video podcasters sites, start playing their video, and push the web page to the Chromecast and full screen the video.. That worked really well from a laptop, all we need now is a queue function for that and we will be golden. Podcasters that still unwisely have flash players need to get on the HTML5 bandwagon.
I must mention how elegant Google has made browser duplication on Chromecast. They really thought this through and was one of the most surprising finds of the device.
The best part is that Chromecast is cheap $35.00 and I expect their will be rapid development of the platform and with the number of units sold so far tells me that adoption will be rapid.
Over the past couple of years I have had mixed results with Wireless Range Extenders. In many cases I have become very frustrated as the performance has been bad, or they simply refused to hook up to the existing network.
In receiving The Diamond Multimedia Wireless Range Extender, I really did not know what to expect. What shocked me the most from the time the unit was unpacked till it was extending my wireless signal was all told about 5 minutes.
To really hammer these things I always put the extender at a location in my home where I have trouble, which in my case is my Garage where typically I get a 1 bar on a laptop or cell phone. So while I did it my way the first time and has success the folks at Diamond have done something cool to take the guess work out of where to place the extender!
Their is a Received Signal Strength Indicator LED that intelligently determine the wireless signal strength, by reading the led indicators users can assess the best area to plugin the extender. By following the extender recommendations versus mine, I placed the extender in a location I would not have picked as a first choice, and found that I got much better performance out of the device.
You can do the following with this extender:
- Eliminate Dead Spots in your Home
- Create a Wireless Access Point while traveling, (Love This)
- Wireless bridge device connect it to a Internet Ready TV etc.
It supports all the major wireless protocols including Wireless-N, supports MMIO & has WPS support as well. All for the low price of $49.99 Best part of all it’s small and will fit in the palm of your hand..
Overall great product, for a great price.
Wireless charging has come a long way in the past couple of years, the first year we saw Wireless charging at CES a number of years ago we did not know how long it would take for the technology to become mainstream.
When Duracell jumped into the Wireless charging space we knew the product had come of age. Duracell introduced the Duracell Powermat some time ago, but I recently had the opportunity to test one.
I received a 2 device base station $39.99 and a PowerSnap Kit for my iPhone 5 $99.95. This package is really slick, the PowerSnap kit which is two parts includes an AccessCase which allows wireless charging, and a SnapBattery which gives you 2x the battery power without the bulk.
You place your iPhone or related product on the PowerMat, and the phone gets charged without plugging anything in. The PowerMat and the PowerSnap Kit are sold separately so you can order the combination you need..
This is really the only way to charge a phone. I do not have to worry about cables. All I need to make sure is that the phone is put on top of the elegant base station. The charge times are comparable to plugging in
I know there have been a lot of initiatives to place wireless charging stations at major venues and some food outlets. You just have to keep your eye out for the Wireless Power symbol. See the box for details.
I work from home, and although I don’t have a required schedule I like getting up around the same time each weekday morning between 5 and 6:00 AM. My goal is to get between seven and seven and half hours of sleep. Anything less than that I feel like a zombie all day and anymore then that my day always seems out of sorts. In order for me to get up this early consistently I need to use an alarm clock. The trouble with most alarm clocks is that they tend to jar you awake and you get “that where am I feeling.” It then takes several minutes to feel normal. The solution I found to this problem is an app call Sleep Time by Azumio.
Sleep Time is available both in the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store. With Sleep Time you set the time you want to get up and the alarm goes off by default within 30 minutes from when you set it. You can adjust the window of time under Settings then Wake Up Phase from thirty minutes down to zero minutes (which has Sleep Time working like a normal alarm). If you set the time period for anything other than zero then Sleep Time will wake you up during that window at a time when you are in light sleep status. This way you will wake up feeling refreshed and rested instead of like a zombie. Under settings you can change sound of the alarm or set it for vibrate only. You can also change or turn off the snooze time under settings. Sleep Time measure your sleep status by using the phones accelerometer which measures how much you are moving. Sleep Time also keeps a record of how you have slept during the night, showing how much you were awake, in light sleep and in heavy sleep.
I like the Sleep Time app and have been using it now successfully for several months, however it is not without it’s faults. The first is that in order for it to work properly you must have it laying next to you on your bed. If you sleep with another person or animal Sleep Time will still work as long as you keep it close to you. It is also recommended that you keep the phone plugged in so the battery doesn’t go dead. So if you don’t sleep near an outlet you are kind of out of luck. Also some people may feel uncomfortable sleeping with an electronic device so close to their head. The second issue is if you are a restless sleeper there is a chance you could knock your phone off your bed. The final issue is that on rare occasions I have had the app freeze up on me, but this doesn’t happen very often. Despite these issues I like the Sleep Time app and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for an alarm clock.
If your like me you over time you prefer one keyboard type or another. The keyboard that I am in love with today I have 5 on the shelf in case the manufacture discontinues them. I am always typing on the keyboards in the big box stores checking out the key action, sounds kind of weird but I spend all day typing on a keyboard and it is an important tool.
The Penclic Mini Wireless Keyboard arrived to review and the first thing I did was open the stylish box to check it out and was a bit taken back as the packaging reminded me of the type of care apple takes.. So I slowed down a bit and probably for the first time in a while did not have to get scissors to get to the gear.
While the keyboard title says its a mini it really has a pretty standard keyboard layout. Like any wireless keyboard their was a USB thob to get it to connect to my computer. What struck me was that the designers of this keyboard delivered a flat black non gloss surface that was nice to touch.
The key action was a little stiffer than the current keyboard I use today. Probably pretty close to what a typical notebook keyboard feels like in key spring action. It is quite lite weight and I was worried it would not sit stable on my desk and in my opinion it could use a few more rubber feet on the bottom of it. While it did not slide around it lite weight could be a negative for some.
At $69.95 the price is aligned with the rest of the wireless keyboard market. But let me say this in closing if you are into minimal design and like a clean desktop you are going to love this keyboard.
In the past couple of years I have seen a large number of solar solutions tied to simple products that charge a cell phone to ones that can charge an entire battery array.
The folks Waka Waka have come up with a pocket sized solar charger with two LED lamps, which can charges phones or shine 40 hrs of light on an 8 hour charge.
I started out by testing to see if the 500 mah battery could indeed be charged in the 8 hours as claimed in the material this was accomplished by putting it on my Patio Table and leaving it out all day. I will admit that it was not directly facing the sun all day but I still showed a full charge after 8 hours.
What I like about this product is that it would be perfect to go in a survival pack or to take camping when you simply want to keep some cell phones charged. I like that it doubles as a flashlight and the LED lights are bright enough that you could use it at a camp site or remote location.
The lights have three level settings and can even be put in a emergency mode to flash SOS. This was a nice added feature. With the solar part of the unit being waterproof you do not have to worry about a lite rain shower but the unit itself is not a 100% waterproof which I feel is lacking.
With its unique stand a filled water bottle could be used as a makeshift table for the unit. Priced at $79.00 this should be in the price range for someone looking to keep a few cell phones charged while out and about.
We do not often review toys here at Geek News Central so when the Swann SkyDuel Remote Helicopter pair showed up.. I turned it loose to my two teenagers and then had them write up the review. The following is the write up of their experience.
The Swann Sky Duel is a fun product for the price point of $70.00. It cannot be used outdoors, it has decent maneuverability in larger rooms so the best place for use to fly these where in the garage.
Though the battery life is not very long, they are able to sustain the plane for a decent amount of time. However, when the battery is running low, the planes effectiveness drops off enormously. We averaged about 5-6 minutes of flight time per charge. Going along with that, the Helicopter battery takes a long time to recharge compared to the amount of time it can be used.
The Infrared Controls work well and does not drop. The Trim adjustment is effective but in many cases it is unnecessary. The infrared shooting a selling point of the helicopter is poor due to the fact that it’s hard to keep the RC Helicopter in place once it has begun moving. It is hard to maintain one altitude as the Controller’s elevation switch is difficult to handle but I was able to improve on altitude control over a half dozen flights.
If the Helicopter rotor hit an object, the rotor immediately stops moving and allows the Helicopter to fall to the floor. Luckily, the Helicopters did not sustain any heavy damage, and the entire set comes with many replaceable parts that are easy to manage and use for repair. Overall, the Swann Sky Duel is a nice product
Despite not actually being in attendance at the Consumer Electronics Show, I was not immune to the fever as I covered the great videos being fed to the writing team here at GNC. One company in particular caught my attention — Striker was offering a couple of very cool little devices at even cooler prices. In short, writing about that interview ended up costing me a bit of money.
I purchased two different items, but I will get to the other one in a future review. Today I wanted to cover the Magnetic Light Mine — named such because of its resemblance to a World War II mine. The tiny protrusions each have a magnet, but they also provide stability that lets you rotate it and shine the light in virtually any direction, from a magnetic surface or just a tabletop or floor. It has a 360 radius.
The Magnetic Light Mine is about the size of a golfball, but has a high output, wide angle, intensely bright LED that does an adequate job of lighting up a workspace, especially handy for the underside of a car hood or the inside of an electrical panel door. Personally I purchased two and plan to use them mostly for my son and I’s camping trips, since they will take up almost no space in a backpack.
The light comes for only $6.99 from Striker, and there is a larger version that retails for around $20.