For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!
Subscribe:

Tag Archives: Hardware

ModMyPi Offers Case For Raspberry Pi, 5% Kickback To Foundation

By David Ponce

So you might have heard about the Raspberry Pi, that deck-of-cards-sized $35 computer that runs Linux and has a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and 256 Megabytes of RAM. It’s supposed to promote the use of computers in schools, but at that price point, people are grabbing it for all sorts of reasons. We hear it runs HD video just fine, even if it has to be stored on a separate SD card. Anyway, for $35 what you get is a pretty bare bones system, with no case. ModMyPi is selling just such a case, which comes in 5 different colour combinations. They’re made out of perforated ABS plastic, which should keep your Pi cool while keeping the dust out. They cost “£7.99 ($12.70) for the black or white versions. The other colors will cost an extra £1.99 ($3.15), as will international shipping. So the price ranges from $12.70 up to $18.99 depending on your selection and location. To sweeten the deal, ModMyPi will donate 5% of their profits to the Raspberry foundation.

Hit the jump for a couple more pics and links.

Continue Reading

Elgato Thunderbolt SSD Puts That Connector To Some Use

By David Ponce

We’re a bit peeved at companies that refuse to follow standards. Sony for example, with their refusal to use SD for storage, instead opting for their much more expensive MemorySticks. Or Apple and their refusal to go with USB 3.0, instead decking their hardware with Thunderbolt. Do you know of many Thunderbolt enabled devices? Didn’t think so. But at least now you can add Elgato’s Thunderbolt SSD drives. Coming in 120GB and 240GB capacities, they feature 270MB/s data read speeds. This is fast, especially when compared to USB 2.0′s typical 35MB/s speeds. And it is indeed theoretically about twice as fast as USB 3.0 could be, but it’s also super expensive. The 120GB model retails for $430 while the larger 240GB unit goes for $700. People who work with large files, like HD video or RAW photos would definitely enjoy the extra storage room, especially if they’re working off a MacBook Air, with their limited 128GB/256GB drives. And of course, like any SSD, the drives are whisper quiet. However they feature only one port, which means that they’d have to be at the end of any daisy chain you might have created.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geeky Gadgets ]

Roccat Power Grid And Phobos Keyboard Could Revolutionize Gaming

By David Ponce

Well, that’s a hyperbole. Maybe “positively impact” is more like it, but makes for a shitty headline…

Anyway, there are a bunch of products on the market aiming to improve on the interface between man and gaming machine. For example, we’ve recently seen the Razer Blade, a $2,800 laptop that features a touchscreen beneath the keypad whose job it is to let you access vital game functions. But the Roccat Phobos keyboard combined with the free Power Grid application could ditch the expensive laptop altogether and bring similar functionality to your current gaming rig. The idea is that you’d dock the iPhone into the keyboard and it would become an accessory gaming hub. You’d have access to a bunch of shortcuts arranged in grids (hence the name), with a view into your machine’s vitals, macro keys, social networking pings, volume control, etc. You can edit these grids and include whatever you want into them, and then share your configuration with your friends. It’s pretty cool.

The application in under development at the moment, and Beta testers are being sought. We don’t know when the keyboard itself would come out, nor for how much. But something tells us it should be way south of $2,800.

Hit the jump for a few more pictures of the UI and links.

Continue Reading

OhGizmo! Review – Dyson DC41 Animal

By Chris Scott Barr

Vacuuming is a normal, everyday chore that needs to be done to prevent your house from looking like slobs live there. The only problem is, it takes forever to get the regular junk off the floor, let alone all of that teeny tiny debris that has been ground into your carpet for who knows how long. Which is why having a good quality vacuum will make things that much easier on you and your household.

If you hear Dyson, and vacuum being used in the same sentence, there’s a good chance the topic is about how well they work, and that whole, “never losing suction” thing. As a cleaning aficionado (aka neat freak), I was certainly intrigued by all this talk of fancy vacuums, and wanted to see if they were up to par. Lo and behold, a Dyson DC41 Animal arrived on my doorstep, and the results were astonishing.

This vacuum is appropriately named “Animal” as it simply amazing at picking up animal hair. It’s suction powers have the capabilities to pick up the normal stuff, and even somewhat remove what one might think were stains. It can easily move from carpet to hardwood floors without sucking up the carpet, and it has kept its word of not losing suction.

Any old regular vacuum can only move back and forth, but with the ball design, you can flawlessly roll and pivot around any obstacles you may face. The ball does make it a bit bigger than other vacuum heads, which makes it difficult to vacuum under things, unless you get an additional attachment. However, it still does it’s job quite well, so that’s not as much of an issue.

Assembly is super quick, with only three main pieces to put together. The canister for this vacuum is rather large at 0.55 cu. ft., the hose can go to the top of the stairs, so there is no lugging involved, and it’s rather lightweight at only 17.4lbs. Not to mention the cord is exceptionally long, which is great for anyone who lives in a larger home. You’ll only need one outlet per floor, which is a pleasant thing, as you would normally have to hunt to find optimally placed plugs in the wall so you don’t have to spend time plugging and unplugging the cord.

It does make a bit of a racket, but it’s no worse than any other type of vacuum. Although it is pretty energy efficient, keep in mind that this is pretty heavy duty vacuum, so having multiple appliances still plugged in is not the best of ideas. Unless of course you want to blow a fuse.

Having experienced both bagged and bag less vacuums in the past, it was nice to know that the canister was going to be a mess to clean out or smell after multiple usages. The canister empties out at the bottom, which although very convenient, was not apparent to me in the beginning. (oops!) Overall, this is a great vacuum, and has very few flaws. It’s weight, although very light, may be a bit much if you can’t lift more than 10 or 15 pounds, but I would definitely recommend it to others, provided you’re willing to dish out $600. However, I’d much rather spend that, than buying and replacing cheaper ones that won’t last, or perform nearly as well.

[ Dyson ]

Almond Router Features LCD Screen

By David Ponce

Routers are an indispensable piece of equipment in the home, but they’re often one of the most feared. Think about it. When was the las time you changed your WiFi password? Or changed any of the settings? When did you last type 192.168.0.1 or something like that in your browser bar? “Never” is the answer many of you will give, and that’s just because routers aren’t that easy to use. The Almond router from Securifi hopes to change all that with the inclusion of an LCD touchscreen on its body. Hardware wise, we’re looking at a typical router: 802.11b/g/n, 300Mbps MIMO, 100m range, etc. But it’s the touchscreen UI that makes the Almond stand out; it’ll allow you to configure everything right on your device with a few simple finger presses.

The Almond should hit the market in the spring of this year for under $70.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gadget Review ]

Buffalo’s USB Hub Likes To Go Both Ways

By David Ponce

Even though in theory there is a 50/50 chance that you will insert a USB plug into its socket in the correct orientation, in practice things are much different. We’d rate the odds at 1/10, while the likelihood of having a rage-induced USB-connecting coronary much, much higher. Buffalo’s latest 4-port USB hub fixes this small but annoying issue by accepting a USB cable both ways. It doesn’t do USB 3.0 (yup, USB 2.0 here) or do anything else interesting for that matter. But it’s sometimes the small things that go a long way to making our lives just a bit more pleasant. It’s going to set you back $23 and comes in four colours. We’re just not sure exactly when it’s available.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Fark ]

Promise.tv DVR Records Entire Week Of Television So You Never Miss A Show Again

By David Ponce

If you live in the UK and enjoy free-to-air Freeview TV, there’s some news for you. A company called Promise.tv has announced the availability of a very special DVR. See, the Promise Seven records a rolling 7 days of every single Freeview channel; every show, every radio broadcast, simultaneously. You don’t have to program your DVR since anything you might have hoped to watch over an entire one week period is right there. That’s over 10,000 programs. The oldest programs get deleted automatically to make room for the new ones, unless you tell the device to store something for longer.

Now, fascinating as this all sounds, there are some negatives. For one, the price: the Promise Seven is a hefty £1,998 inc VAT. A smaller 3-day version is £1,200, though that’s still a lot of cash. Also… they look sort of funny. Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder, and yeah, we did make a case for the rise of the use of wood in consumer electronics but this DVR just looks bad. Maybe it’s the way the photo is taken. And that remote? What is this, the 80′s? Well, in any case, if it performs as advertised, all of that shouldn’t matter. It’s available in the London area now and will roll out to the rest of the UK during the year.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

OCZ Releases 1TB SSD, The Octane

By David Ponce

We’re sure you’ve heard, but solid state drives are awesome. Low power consumption, smaller footprint and blazing fast speeds. Sadly they have tended to come in generally smaller capacities, which is why the Macbook Air comes with so little storage. But things are slowly changing. OCZ has announced the world’s first SSD drive to hit the 1TB mark. And it looks like it’ll have some very impressive specs:

Indilin Everest control will feature a 512MB DRAM cache, with the SATA 3.0 featuring read speeds of 560MB/s and write speeds of 400MB/s, and the SATA 2.0 with read and write speeds of 275MB/s and 265MB/s respectively.

Of course whenever you’re talking about a product that’s pushing the envelope, it’ll also be pushing the wallet. Although no official price has been released for this drive, you can expect it to be somewhere around $1.20 per GB.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Levitatr Portable Bluetooth Keyboard With Retractable Keys

Levitatr Portable Bluetooth Keyboard (Images courtesy Levitatr)
By Andrew Liszewski

On-screen keyboards are fairly usable when it comes to compact devices like smartphones, but when you’ve decided to swap your laptop for a tablet and need to do some serious typing, a physical keyboard is still where it’s at. So it’s no surprise that with the iPad and plethora of other tablets to hit the market over the past few years, the selection of wireless portable keyboards has also increased. Apple still sells one of the best IMO, in terms of form factor, size and design. But James Stumpf hopes to give them a run for their money, at least in the design department, with his new Levitatr portable keyboard.

It’s wireless, relying on a Bluetooth connection to talk to your tablet or other portable device, and features a 12.5mm thick machined aluminum chassis so it’s rigid and sturdy. But its real claim-to-fame is that the entire keyboard retracts when not in use, sitting flush with the rest of the keyboard’s surface. The idea is to prevent accidental key presses while the Levitatr is being carried in your bag, but it also serves to keep dirt and crumbs out. The keys are backlit, which from what I can tell is the only way to discern what each one does, and the whole thing is powered by a set of 4xAA batteries. It even comes with a simple aluminum kickstand designed to prop up your tablet or smartphone.

You can’t go out and buy the Levitatr just yet, though. At the moment it’s just a Kickstarter project with quite a ways to go before it reaches its $60,000 funding goal. But since the keyboard seems to be popping up on blogs all over the interwebs today, I’m sure it will be getting a much needed boost. If you do think it’s an innovation you can’t live without, a pledge of $79 will effectively serve as a pre-order once they go into production.

[ Levitatr Portable Bluetooth Keyboard ] VIA [ Technabob ]