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Tag Archives: Hardware

Nexpaq Case Gives Your Current Phone Ara-like Functionality


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.


[ 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


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.


[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Tool Trolley Is Also Collapsible


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, 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


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.


[ Project Page ] VIA [ Petapixel ]

Belkin Makes Numerical Keypad To Match Your Mac’s Incomplete Keyboard


Oh sure, maybe you don’t actually have any use for a numerical keypad. But when tax time comes around and you find yourself entering row upon row of numbers in the most inefficient way possible, you notice its absence. The YouType Bluetooth Wireless Keypad from Belkin looks just like Apple’s wireless keyboard, only it’s covered in numerical keys arranged in a way that makes using them somewhat less frustrating. Yeah, it’s annoying to have to pay $60 for the privilege, but if you find yourself cursing Apple’s designers for their omission, yet can’t stomach getting any other keyboard, then we suppose you may as well get the matching keypad.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Shower Head Prompts People to Take Shorter Showers, Saves Water

Uji Shower

How long is a typical shower for you? Seven minutes is apparently ideal. At least, that’s the figure that Uji’s inventors are working with. But first thing’s first, what’s Uzi? It’s a shower head with a built-in lighting system. The light turns from green to red in a span of seven minutes, which basically signals the person bathing to wrap things up (and wrap himself or herself in a towel!)

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The CuBox Pro Is A Tiny PC With 2GB Of Ram


The CuBox Pro by SolidRun was announced in January, but we’re just now stumbling upon it. It’s a very small, 2 inch cube box that contains a fully functional PC with 2GB of RAM. It uses a microSD card for storage, and the $160 machine comes with a 4GB card with Ubuntu pre-installed. And while everyone is going crazy for the $35 Raspberry Pi (understandably so), we kind of dig this little guy’s form factor.

The fanless miniature computer is based on a Marvell Armada 510 SoC and includes an infrared receiver, gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a micro-SD slot. The 800MHz dual issue ARM PJ4 processor uses the latest 32-bit ARMv7 architecture and instruction set, SolidRun says.

Capable of 1080p full HD output over HDMI, the device uses just 3 watts of power. It’s particularly suitable for use as a home media center, thin client, XBMC console, or even a simple, tiny desktop replacement machine, the company notes.

It’s not quite as cheap as the Pi, but the $160 price tag is still low enough and will look good sitting next to your TV.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ PCWorld ]