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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Elecom U2H-TC410B Wall Socket USB Hub

Elecom U2H-TC410B Wall Socket USB Hub (Images courtesy AudioCubes)
By Andrew Liszewski

Well this one’s pretty self-explanatory. Elecom’s horribly named ‘U2H-TC410B’ USB hub is designed to mount to the side of your desk or a nearby wall, thanks to its magnetic backing or a set of included hooks, so that you always have easy access to a set of 4 USB ports. And the ports are generously spread out to accommodate thicker USB cables or larger flash drives. $39.99 from AudioCubes in your choice of black or white.

[ Elecom U2H-TC410B Wall Socket USB Hub ]

iDive300 Waterproof Case For The iPod & iPhone

iDive300 (Image courtesy H2O Audio)
By Andrew Liszewski

I always thought that diving itself was supposed to be an enjoyable activity, so I’m scratching my head as to why anyone would need to bring along some other form of entertainment while down there. But that’s exactly what the iDive300 deep dive waterproof case is for. It’s designed for the iPod, iPod Touch and the iPhone and allows you to watch movies or listen to music (with an included pair of over the ear speakers) at a depth of up to 300 feet underwater. And while down there you’ll still have control over your media thanks to a set of waterproof buttons on the side of the case.

With a price tag of $349.99 the case is kind of hard to justify, even if it does make decompression stops a bit less boring, but it does come with peace of mind thanks to a replacement warranty for your iPod or iPhone should anything ever happen to them as a result of the iDive300 failing.

[ iDive300 ] VIA [ bookofjoe ]

Matrox M9148 LP PCIe x16 Card Supports Four Monitors

Matrox M9148 LP PCIe x16 (Image courtesy Matrox)
By Andrew Liszewski

Feeling a bit cramped when it comes to screen real estate? The new Matrox M9148 LP PCIe x16 graphics card comes with 4 DisplayPort connections that each support a resolution of up to 2560×1600. So with a simple 2×2 monitor configuration that should give you a combined screen resolution of 5120×3200. Not too shabby. The card also comes with 1GB of memory, a low-profile form factor, a fanless design (translation: giant heatsink) and full support for Vista’s Aero eye candy. While no pricing info has been announced, the M9148 LP PCIe x16 should be available sometime in Q3 of this year.

[ Matrox M9148 LP PCIe x16 ] VIA [ Fareastgizmos.com ]

OhGizmo Review: D-Link DIR-685 Xtreme N Storage Router

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By Colin Ackerman

Now that wireless routers are cheap and ubiquitous, there’s one way that a router can separate itself from the rest of the pack: features. The D-Link DIR-685 Xtreme N Storage Router takes this concept to the Xtreme (okay, sorry, no more of that) by including a 3.2″ LCD, room for a hard drive, and a whole bunch more. We’ve got a full review for you, after the jump.Continue Reading

Edifier iF500 iPod/iPhone Speaker

Edifier iF500 (Image courtesy Edifier)
By Andrew Liszewski

My eyes usually glaze over when I come across yet another iPod/iPhone speaker dock, but there’s just something about the iF500 from Edifier that managed to pique my curiosity, and I think it might have something to do with the massive bulbous speaker clearly designed to mock subtlety. The iF500 supports various models of the iPod and iPhone via a built-in dock, but an aux input also allows you to connect anything featuring an audio output like cellphones or other MP3 players that clearly aren’t worth mentioning by name.

A “5 driver speaker system incorporates unique vibration and resonance control technolories coupled with low frequency porting and mid-range tuned cavities for smoother cleaner audio” and it also comes with the company’s patented EIDC or ‘Electrical Intelligent Distortion Control’ system if inane acronyms are an important feature for you. But if looks or sound quality aren’t enough to convince you to drop $249 on the iF500, keep in mind it also comes with a digital FM tuner!

[ Edifier iF500 iPod/iPhone Speaker ] VIA [ Crave ]

Frolicat Bolt Takes The Effort Out Of Playing With Your Cat

frolicat_bolt

By Chris Scott Barr

I have a cat, and like most other felines she loves laser pointers. I generally spend a little bit each day using it to drive her crazy. It really doesn’t take much effort, and it entertains me almost as much as it does her. However, if you don’t feel like putting all of the effort into waving you wrist around, you can get a device to do it for you.

The Frolicat Bolt is a laser pointer that moves around on its own. You can set it on a table (or any other surface really) and have it move the laser in a random pattern for 15 minutes, after which time it will automatically turn off. You can also put it on manual mode and use it like an ordinary pointer. If you’re too busy to keep up with your cat, you can pick one of these up for just $20.

[ Frolicat ] VIA [ CoolestGadgets ]

Apple, Nokia, RIM And Others Make microUSB The Standard For Phone Chargers

microusb-standard-charger

By Chris Scott Barr

I honestly can’t remember the number of different cell phone chargers I’ve had over the years. I would imagine that it’s only slightly less than the number of phones I have owned. This is because almost every phone manufacturer has decided to develop their own proprietary connectors. While we’ve started seeing the microUSB port used for charging more lately, several manufacturers have agreed to use the microUSB port as the standard connector for all future phones in the UK.

The companies involved include Apple, Nokia, Samsung, LG, Motorola and RIM, each of which has promised to offer the new standard connector on their phones starting next year. The agreement only includes data-enabled phones, which means that some basic handsets may still be allowed to use a proprietary connector. The biggest question this is going to raise is how this will affect future iPhones. Apple has continued to use the same universal connector as the iPod. Will they continue to support the universal connector while adding a microUSB port, or will they remove it altogether, thus making most iPod docks useless?

Note: We have heard this before, however, now there are more companies on-board. They’re also making this happen two years earlier than previously announced.

[ Reuters ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard Reviewed. Verdict: Worth Dropping Two Benjamins

Gaming keyboards have come a long way since the original G15. All the G-keys and the use of LCD to show player stats are ingenious additions that have become an indispensable tool for WoW fans, hardcore CoD4 players, and macro-happy gamers. Since then, the market has definitely saturated.

Despite the stiff competition, Logitech hasn’t lost its edge. The new G19 gaming keyboard is the first major upgrade since the G15 revision. Improvements to the Logitech’s flagship keyboard include full color LCD (including YouTube and VLC compatibility); intuitive creation of powerful macros; support for six simultaneous keypresses; customizable key backlighting; and two self-powered USB 2.0 jacks. Impressive features demand high price and higher power requirement, which is why the G19 costs $200 and why the G19 is the first gaming keyboard that needs an AC adapter (warning: bulky). Everything USB’s reviewer is so impressed with the G19 that any hardcore gamers with $200 to spare should run out and get one. Those who don’t take fragging too seriously should really look elsewhere.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Smart Meters Coming Sooner Than You Might Expect

smartmeter3

By Gilberto J Perera

This guest post was written by Gilberto who is the main article contributor for Laptoplogic.com, where you can find the latest laptop reviews.

How would you like to set your thermostat at home while you’re at the office? Wouldn’t it be nice if you forgot to turn off your water heater for a two week vacation and you were able to log on to an online portal and turn it off? How about using an energy management system for your home that charges when electricity is the cheapest and avoids the peaks where electric costs are higher? These are all scenarios that will be possible in the next 5-10 years as utilities move towards Smart Grids. The days of a mechanical meter and a visit from a meter reader are slowly approaching to an end.

Continue Reading