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Tag Archives: Hardware

Znaps Adapter Gives Your Mobile Device MagSafe Powers

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If you’ve ever owned a MagSafe-equipped device, you’ll know how great it is to be able to magnetically snap your power adapter in place, and just as easily tug it free. You can now give that same functionality to any mobile device, thanks to the Znaps adapter. You simply plug the small dongle into the MicroUSB or Lightning port, and just leave it there. Then you insert a special sleeve over the connector of your existing power cable, which converts it to work with the dongle on your mobile device. In less than a minute you’ve given your device magnetic charging capabilities, allowing you to plug it in one-handed, unplug it with a tug, and do any of the things that MagSafe-like connectors allow you to do. The best part is that at an $11 pledge, you’ll have to pay very little for this cool new functionality.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Hub+ Is The Only Hub Your New MacBook Will Ever Need

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The new MacBook looks great, but you pay a price for its looks. Aside from its less-than-stellar computing performance, it also comes with only one USB-C port, which can make life complicated for anyone who’s, well, normal. And even though we wrote about a port hub before, we’re much more interested in the Hub+. That’s because it’s designed to look like it belongs with your Macbook, unlike the HydraDock. Connect it to your MacBook’s only USB-C port, and instantly gain access to the following:

– 2 USB-C ports
– 1 SDXC card reader
– 1 mini DisplayPort (mDP 1.2 video output, 4k displays at 60Hz refresh rate)
– 3 USB-A \ charging ports
– Built-in lithium ion 400mAh battery to charge ANY phone

And of course you can use it to charge and power your MacBook while you’re doing stuff with all these ports, since the company includes a USB-C to USB-C cord to connect the Hub+ to your laptop. It’s a $79 pledge, with a July 2015 delivery.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ The Awesomer ]

C.H.I.P. Is A $9 Computer

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With the Raspberry Pi’s success, the idea of an ultra-low-cost computer became a reality. But as cheap as the $35 Pi is, it’s still exorbitant next to the C.H.I.P, a full fledged computer that costs all of $9. For this price you get a board that carries a 1Ghz CPU, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage. You can do all kinds of things with C.H.I.P, such as work on documents with LibreOffice; surf the web with the Chromium browser; connect any screen, old or new; attach keyboard and mouse wirelessly thanks to its Bluetooth chip; connect to WiFi B/G/N. There’s camera sensor support, and you can power C.H.I.P. for hours with a single LiPo battery. It comes pre-installed with tons of apps, and you have access to thousands more, all free. It’ll even play games. All this in a 2.3in. (60mm) by 1.5in. (40mm) package.

All in all, C.H.I.P. has the potential to broaden the computing revolution to more parts of this world, as well as introduce children to computing from an early age. It’s a fully-funded Kickstarter project, with expected delivery in May 2016.

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Nexpaq Case Gives Your Current Phone Ara-like Functionality

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Remember Phone Bloks? No? What about Project Ara? In case you need a refresher, this is one of Google’s projects, one that will create a completely modular smartphone, where individual hardware components can easily be replaced, independently of others, at your discretion. Well, it’s a nice idea but it’s taking a while to get to market. Meanwhile, we have a cool case here that purports to do much the same thing, only with an iPhone 6, Galaxy S5 or Galaxy S6 Edge. The case comes with a 1,000mAh battery, and you can add up to 6 different modules that can do a variety of things, like a breathalyzer, an Air Quality sensor, an SD card reader, extra battery modules, a Super LED flashlight, and more. The integrated battery powers the modules, and can also give your phone extra juice. Modules can be swapped between cases, so an Android user could technically trade one of his modules with an iPhone 6 user. And of course the SDK is open so third party developers are free to make new modules that will work with the Nexpaq case.

It’s an awesome idea, and if it works as advertised, we can’t wait to try it out. Better yet, the pricing seems to be just right, with the case and four modules starting at $89, or $109 if you miss the Early Bird pricing. It is fully funded, but you’ll sadly have to wait until August 2016 to get yours.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ MikeShouts ]

This LEGO Computer is Legit

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Normally, when you see something like a computer made from LEGO parts it’s just some dude’s DIY project, and you get to stare at some pictures and wonder how cool it would be to own your own. But you can actually buy Mike Schropp LEGO Computer. He’s been making custom LEGO PC creations for clients for a couple of years, and he finally decided to make a design that you can outright purchase on his website. Configurations all include one of Intel’s Core processors, an Intel HD4600 graphic card, a 120GB SSD, 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM, a DVD/CD Combo Superdrive, and a Noctua Low Profile Cooler. The entire thing is housed in a 7.5″ X 7.5″ X 6.5″ case that comes in three flavours: Industrial, Brick, and Tiled. A customizable LED strip accents the case, and the two lower grooves along the sides are actually air vents. It’s a cool looking, decently powerful PC, and is priced to move: the Core i3 configuration is $999, while the Intel i7-4790s Quad Core version is only $1,199. Considering these are all hand-crafter and Mike is currently getting a fair bit of attention, we don’t know what the lead time will be on your order so act fast if you don’t want to wait forever.

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Silent Power PC Uses Copper Foam For Cooling Instead Of Noisy Fans

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Have you ever turned off all the electronics in your room? Notice just how much quieter everything is? Despite being able to tune these droning sounds out after a while, they’re quite real and it’s only once they’re completely gone that we realize how loud they were. If you manage to get your hands on a Silent Power PC, however, you’ll have that much less white noise to deal with. Its salient feature is its use of an innovative copper foam to dissipate heat, instead of the traditional fans. Since the foam presents such a high surface area and copper is so conductive, the PC never reaches excessive temperatures during regular use. The lowest end setup you can get comes with an Intel quad-core i7-4785T 2.2 GHz processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive and should cost around $935. The company’s plan is to be on the market in 2015, after they’ve reached their crowdfunding goals. A post on their blog, however, suggests that Paypal is putting up some roadblocks and have seized their account pending clarifications on their business model. This is standard practice for Paypal, unfortunately, so hopefully the company will clear that up soon and resume work on bringing this innovative PC to market.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Tool Trolley Is Also Collapsible

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Now here’s an invention (or a technological concoction, if you prefer) that will raise the eyebrows of every garage guy in North America. The collapsible tool trolley from Hazet is perfect for when you want to tote your tools over to the neighbor’s to lend them a hand with whatever, or even just around your oversized garage. With sturdy tyres, wheel locks, big castors to level out uneven surfaces, a padlock and plenty of space, this is the perfect gift for that tool guy in your life that has everything – else! Priced at about $1,780 on Amazon.com, this Made in Germany masterpiece is a treat for the eyes and will keep that garage a lot less messy and disorganized.

[ Amazon ] VIA [ Werd ]

Maglev Keys Could Mean Slimmer Keyboards

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When you’re trying to make a product smaller, every little bit you can shave counts. Keyboards on laptops are already pretty thin but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be thinner. A Taiwanese manufacturer called Darfon is working on keyboard keys that use magnetic levitation rather than mechanical switches, membranes, or springs to keep the keys apart from their base. In this way you can achieve thicknesses that are a fraction smaller than before, while also allowing you to fine tune how much resistance each key gives you. Anyone that spends a lot of time on a keyboard will tell you that this (more than the reduced thickness) could be a massive selling point.

There’s no word on which laptop manufacturers ordered this technology, but word is that we’ll start seeing pop up on the market in the second half of this year. Which, well… is now.

[ C|Net ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Massive Keyboard Developed To Replace Photoshop Shortcuts

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If you spend a lot of time working in Photoshop, you’ve probably become acquainted with a lot of the shortcuts that allow you to access the seemingly endless many functions. Some of these shortcuts are pretty complex, involving up to 4 keys and often requiring both hands. The Shortcut-S keyboard, however, wants to let you keep one hand on the mouse at all times, and to do so, it’s decked itself out with 319 keys, 299 of which are hard coded and 20 customizable. There’s an overlay graphic that’s specific to Photoshop, although the company is talking about making others for other similarly complex programs like Illustrator, Final Cut, Corel Draw, etc. Ctrl-Shift-Atl-G for Gaussian Blur? No sir, just press the Gaussian Blur button and you’re good to go. Plus, imagine how spacey your desk will look with this on it.

It’s an $89 pledge to get your own, though the campaign is currently quite far from being funded.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ Petapixel ]