Archive for September, 2014

By September 27, 2014 Read More →

Newertech Wireless Aluminium Keypad For Macs

NewerTech Wireless Aluminum Keypad smallNewerTech, a leading performance upgrades and accessories company for Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods since 1988, announced today that it is now shipping the NewerTech Wireless Aluminum Keypad.  Designed to complement the look and feel of Apple keyboards, the NewerTech numeric keypad features precision machined aluminum housing, white keys, and a bracket that attaches to the Apple keyboard – no tools needed.  The NewerTech Keypad was built to rigorous standards with input from accountants to get every detail of the full-sized 28-key numeric keypad just right, including key-throw, feel, design, size, and connectivity for maximum number crunching workflow excellence.
 
Comfortable Wide-Spaced Island Keys Reduce Errors
 
The NewerTech Wireless Aluminum Keypad works with all Bluetooth compatible computers, laptops and devices for the ultimate easy-to-pair Bluetooth workhorse that’s built to last.  Bluetooth pairing is quick and reliable, reconnecting automatically when the computer or device is awakened or restarted.  The comfortable wide-spaced island keys reduce errors and make the NewerTech Keypad the perfect companion to the Apple wireless keyboard – your fingers won’t know the difference.

NewerTech Wireless Aluminum Keypad with Apple Keyboard
 
Perfect for Traders, Financial Analysts, Accountants, Students, Teachers, Programmers, Agents, Salespeople, & More
 
The NewerTech Keypad is perfect for financial professionals, including accountants and analysts, as well as students, teachers, administrators, traders, agents, videographers, programmers, salespeople, and more.  The responsive full-sized keys assist with accuracy and efficiency.  Use this keypad with number intensive financial programs, such as Quicken and Excel or with popular video, music, and graphics software and apps, such as Pro Tools, Logic, and Final Cut Pro to take advantage of shortcuts that are not as easily accessible when using the Apple wireless keyboard alone.  Versatile, lightweight, compact, sturdy, and durable, the NewerTech Keypad also works as a stand-alone or with a variety of other keyboards, and it’s a great companion for working at home or on the go.
 
“In the world of keypads, no product met our criteria, so we made it our mission to create a reliable wireless keypad that’s built to the highest standards and functions the way we expect numeric keypads to work, and complements the wireless keyboards offered by Apple,” said Larry O’Connor, CEO, NewerTech.  “That day has finally arrived and now professionals have a high-quality wireless keypad to enhance their number crunching workflows.”
 
NewerTech Wireless Keypad Features:
• Precision machined aluminum housing.
• Quick and reliable Bluetooth pairing that stays connected with a range up to 30-feet with automatic re-pairing.
• Full-sized 28-key design with delete, tab, navigation, and more.
• Ergonomic tilt with firm desktop grip.
• Lightweight and perfectly sized for mobile or desktop use.
• Long battery life with included 2 AAA batteries.
• Compatible with Bluetooth enabled Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads and other devices.
• Available with white keys to complement Apple keyboards (black keys and international version coming soon).

Pricing and Availability

The NewerTech Wireless Aluminum Keypad is priced at $54.95 and available for immediate purchase through OWC at:  http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/KPA28BTW/, and other major retailers.   It includes the Wireless Aluminum Keypad, 2 AAA batteries, and bracket to attach to Mac keyboards.  A version with black keys, as well as international versions with illustrative black or white keys, will be announced in late fall 2014.  For more info, see www.newertech.com, www.newertech.com/keypad, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NewerTech, and Twitter: @NewerTech.

Posted in: News, Press Releases
By September 26, 2014 Read More →

ARCHOS Platinum Smartphone Range

image002ARCHOS, a pioneer in Android™ devices, announces the availability of its new range of Platinum smartphones. The ARCHOS 45c Platinum and the ARCHOS 50b Platinum each come with three colourful back casings, the smoothness of Android KitKat®, amazing performance with their MediaTek quad-core processors and IPS screens from £99 and £119 respectively.

 Like their large IPS screens offering amazing colours and viewing angles, the three colourful back covers that come with the new ARCHOS Platinums will bring a bit of colour to autumn months. The interchangeable back covers are included in every box. In Deep Black, Metallic Blue and Spicy Pink they offset perfectly the deep black of the screen, obtained the full black lens lamination process.

 To as an added bonus, the ARCHOS 50b Platinum also comes with a see-through protective case and 8 GB micro-SD card in every box – the perfect back-to-school gift.

 Power in style

 Both Platinums have a 2MP front camera for better selfies and 5 and 8 MP back cameras with autofocus and flash. Able to record video in full 1080p HD, the ARCHOS 45c and 50b Platinums let users capture the colour of their lives in full definition.

 Along with their stylish design, the new ARCHOS Platinum smartphones have the power under the hood with their quad-core MediaTek processors and dual SIM placements.

 “ARCHOS’ latest colourful smartphones bring quad-core performance and the latest multimedia features to the style, utility and affordability conscious consumer. MediaTek is pleased to be powering ARCHOS’ latest Platinum devices,” said Siegmund Redl, MediaTek’s VP and GM of Corporate Marketing in Europe.

 ”Archos is proud to have our latest Platinum smartphones powered by MediaTek’s latest quad-core processors,” said Loïc Poirier, ARCHOS’ CEO, “giving 2014’s Platinum range performance in phase with its stylish, colourful designs.”

The ARCHOS 45c and 50b Platinum are available now from £99 and £119 respectively from www.archos.com and its usual retailers.

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For more information about ARCHOS’ entire selection of smartphones, tablets and connected objects, visit us at www.archos.com, Facebook and Twitter.

The new range of ARCHOS Platinum smartphones as well as ARCHOS’ full range of other smartphones, tablets and connected objects will be on display at the ARCHOS stand at HKTDC from October 13th to 16th at booth 1A-F09.

Posted in: News, Phones
By September 23, 2014 Read More →

Microsoft tablets that put the fun in functional

14469697956_7cb0aa01e7_hDespite the fact that global sales of PCs and laptops are in decline, several consumers still require functional, practical and workaday machines, which can perform more tasks than standard touchscreen tablets. 

Thankfully, Microsoft’s range of Surface devices makes this possible and you can pick one up at stores including Tesco and popular electrical retailers. In addition to their lightweight construction and expansive displays, they also feature comprehensive operating systems and various input methods. Here’s the full lowdown on all three models:

 

Surface 2

Full of features and incredibly good value for money, the Surface 2 might well be Microsoft’s entry-level tablet, but it still packs an impressive punch. Boasting a 1.7 GHz processor, Nvidia Tegra 4 chip, 2GB of RAM and a 10.6-inch screen, the Surface 2 can deal with a multitude of tasks and applications. When you add into the bargain a two-position kickstand, USB 3, MicroSD slot and Microsoft Office with Outlook as standard, it quickly becomes the best option for those on a budget.  

 

Surface Pro 2

Perhaps the ultimate tablet for professions that require portability and power, the Surface Pro 2 has everything you could possibly need. With an Intel Core i5 processor, 526GB of storage and the option of Microsoft’s entire Office Suite, this particular device takes all the benefits of a PC or laptop but manages to fit it in a truly attractive package weighing just 900 grams. Even so, it features a multitude of connections, commendable battery life and a full HD display. 

 

Surface Pro 3

The latest and possibly greatest tablet offering from Microsoft is the Surface Pro 3. On first impressions, the tablet’s look and feel is difficult to ignore, as the substantial 12-inch display and sleek magnesium frame are outstanding. But it gets better, as the Surface Pro 3 also comes with two 5MP HD cameras, stereo speakers featuring Dolby sound, a full-size keyboard and trackpad as well as a pressure-sensitive stylus. This means interacting with the pre-installed full version of Windows 8.1 is both easy and enjoyable.

So even if you’re looking for some fun from your tablet, you can get a great deal of functionality too with a Microsoft Surface device. Just be sure to choose a tablet that’s right for you and meets your requirements.

Image by Scott Akerman, used under the Creative Commons license.

 

 

Posted in: Editorial, Laptops, Tablets
By September 18, 2014 Read More →

Mobile Tech Addicts Podcast 229: +

Podcast-Logo.jpgGareth, Phil and Jay Garrett get together to chat about the latest mobile phone, tablet and chromebook news in the UK.

Featuring Gareth, Phil and Jay Garrett

Direct Download

iTunes

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Email us: Podcast@tracyandmatt.co.uk  Tel: 0208 123 3757

Show Notes

 

Mobile Mayhem

 

iPhone 6

iPhone 6+

iWatch

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

 

Feelings:

LG G3

Listen’s corner:

I’m looking for a way to stream music from my Android phone to my HiFi.

Obviously there are Bluetooth adapters out there but Bluetooth audio

quality isn’t great…

 

There’s the Rocki which is Wi-Fi and apparently great audio quality but

can only play locally stored music, not streams from radio or Spotify

etc.

 

Any ideas?

 

Bargain Basement:

 

Samsung GALAXY S4 Zoom £169.00

Vodafone Smart 4 Turbo Black £79.00

 

Email us: Podcast@tracyandmatt.co.uk  Tel: 0208 123 3757

Gareth Myles – @garethmyles

Matt and Tracy Davis –   @tracyandmatt                           

Dan Carter – @mobilemandan

Phil Lain – @low405

 

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weekly podcast

RSS Feed for our weekly podcast

Download the iPhone App

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By September 18, 2014 Read More →

Set the mood with the Diamond+ Bluetooth Speaker

Yantouch Diamond+ (BlackDiamond+) in hotel roomHere is a little peripheral to cheer up a dull room. A bluetooth speaker that becomes a 3 in 1 entertainment system. Not only does the Bluetooth speaker pump out your funky beats, if puts on a light show with 16 million colors that pulsate with the beat. Add in an alarm clock function featuring a natural sunrise or sunset to gently wake-up or fall asleep to.
 
Yantouch www.yantouch.com, winner of the Red Dot Award for their “Music + Light” consumer electronics designs, announced today that it is shipping the world’s first 3-in-l Bluetooth speaker, the Diamond+ Bluetooth speaker, with 300% Sound Boost and patented audio technologies; ambient wash wall light with 16 million colors that pulsates to the beat of the music; and a wake-up/sleep feature with natural sunrise and sunset lighting and music to gently and naturally fall asleep and wake-up.
 
Great for camping and outdoor/indoor parties, the all-in-one entertainment system “instant party-in-a-box” features planetarium-like music and light modes for solid, bright, saturated, flashing, and alternating lights with 16 million variations of pink, purple, blue, fuchsia, orange, gold, green, white, and red.  The light can be set up against a wall to create a wash wall effect or be placed in the center of the room or party as a conversational piece.  The Diamond+’s Bluetooth speaker is an N-class 2.1 speaker system with patented sideways stereo effect with right and left woofer tubes on the sides of the device and other patented technologies, including Neodymium Super Magnet technologies and a Bass Resonant Tube that pumps up the bass with 300% sound boost for vibrant music that fills the party with booming crystal clear sound. 
 
The Natural Sleep feature works with the devices’ music and lighting system to emulate sunset to help you fall asleep naturally, gradually dimming the light and music. The Natural Wake-up function provides a sunrise effect to silently bring you from deep sleep to shallow sleep in 30 minutes, then wake you up slowly with natural birds singing.  Distributed by Aplars www.aplars.com, a leading e-commerce store for electronic products and accessories and available immediately at Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Yantouch-BlackDiamond-Portable-Wireless-Bluetooth/dp/B00JFGIVWE and other online retailers, the Diamond+ is priced at only $149, 2-3 times lower priced than the $300-$450 it costs to buy each item separately:  Bluetooth speaker, Smart Light and Natural Wake-up/Sleep device. 
 
Yantouch Diamond+ (BlackDiamond+) in snow small
 
Diamond+ Features:
  • World’s first 3-in-1 device:  “Music+Light+Wake-Up,” with a market value over $300, priced at only $149.
  • Best Music: World-leading N-class 2.1 speaker system with patented sideways stereo effect. And other Patent Pending Technologies:  Spherical Resonant Neodymium speaker (3 Watts x 2), 300% Sound Boost and 2 Woofer Tubes: left & right with Bass Resonant Tube.
  • Smart Light:  Includes 16 million beautiful colors to suit your mood, syncs light with your favorite music.
  • Bedside Reading Light:  functions as a bedside reading lamp before sleeping with soft white light (no heat with energy saving LEDs) while listening to your favorite music.
  • Natural Sleep Feature:  Includes iOS and Android App that emulates sunset to let you fall asleep naturally, gradually dimming light and music.
  • Natural Wake-up Feature:  Sunrise silently brings you from deep to shallow sleep in 30 minutes, than wakes you naturally.
  • Bluetooth 3.0 Speaker:  Features automatic Bluetooth pairing – unlike most Bluetooth speakers which are hard to pair. Connects over 30 feet (more than most competitors).
  • Rechargeable Li-battery: lasts over 7 hours, great for outdoor parties with USB/AC power cable for charging and attached audio cable for use with non-Bluetooth devices and computers.
  • Portable and light-weight:  2½ lb with dimensions: 13×11.9×12.8cm.
  • Remote control:  turns on/off, adjusts volume, tracks, and color modes with slot to store remote.
By September 16, 2014 Read More →

Gareth’s top phone from IFA

P1010464Recently I have returned from IFA in Berlin and I have felt the need to report on one device in particular that really impressed me to no end. This year we saw some very interesting products from Samsung, Sony and even Phillips, however there was one device that, in my opinion, really stole the show if everything I was told is correct.

Weighing it at a possible £275-£300 is the Alcatel Hero 2. This little known French company grabs the bull by the horns this year and produced a phone that is, on the one hand budget friendly, yet on the other it manages to capture almost everything that every other manufacturer has injected into their latest and greatest. We have no affiliated with Alcatal, and to my knowledge never have, how this Hero 2 handset impressed the sock off me. 

Case and point.

Yes, the Hero 2 features a 6″ TFT LCD display. The TFT technology is a little off putting these days, however at the 1080p resolution (367 ppi), and with Dragontrail glass for protection  and oleophobic coating this phone almost looks just as good at a Note III. Certainly setting it next to the Note 4, the difference will be night and day however the average user will be looking for something that is easily passable for usage and this is will certainly meets the challenge.

Inside the Hero 2 is a MediaTek MT6592 chipset with an octa-core 1.7GHz Cortex-A7 CPU and 2G of RAM. Internal storage is 16GB expandable by up to 32GB via the microSD card slot. Things run smoothly and with a refreshingly sparse overlay. There are still additions from Alcatel however no where near that we see on the Samsung and Sony devices shown. It was nice to go back to a more familiar interface having spent time with the likes of the Sony Xperia Z3.

You also get Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.0, NFC and 4G. The battery of the Hero 2 is a hefty 3,100mAh rated at a 10hours of 3G talk time (4.5h in 4G mode) and stand-by time of 380 hours. A rather decent 13MP OIS camera  sits on the back with a single LED flash and recording video of up to 1080p@30fps. There is a stylus in the Hero 2 and it’s very similar to the Samsung S Pen. Alongside this are a couple of peripherals. For example a game pad, touch screen game controller that click onto the Hero 2 providing protection and simple interaction. 

Of all the phones on display in Berlin, this is the one that made the biggest impression on me, and I have thought most about since. Certainly, Lenovo, Samsung and Sony all had strong offerings featuring revolutionary technologies, however it was Alcatel who produced a simple, elegant, well made and modestly priced road warrior. Provided the price translates when crossing the channel…

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Posted in: Editorial
By September 15, 2014 Read More →

Samsung go for the jugular with a new Note 4 video

Screenshot 2014-09-15 17.42.57Light in tone yet never more savage, Samsung have launched a new video that pulls many punches and forcibly establishes themselves as the trendsetter.The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Apple iPhone 6+ are going head to head is a bigger match than the flagship devices iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5. Both phones are going to capture their audiences and there will be no surprises that the iPhone 6+ will outsell the Note 4 greatly, however the dent in iPhone 6+ sales that the Note 4 will make is the interesting bit and from the looks of this video Samsung are going to take no prisoners.

By September 15, 2014 Read More →

Inateck Portable USB 3.0 + OTG Hub Unboxing

vlcsnap-2014-09-14-13h11m54s235Gareth has a look at a handy little peripheral from Inateck. This USB 30 Hub has a little adapter allowing you to not only connect it to your laptop or PC, but also your Android phone or tablet by way of the MicroUSB connector. Featuring super fast USB 3.0 speed and a full sized USB slot this is one peripheral folks on the road are going to need if they have camera’s and USB devices to connect. You can order one from Inateck via Amazon for £16.99.

Other variants include:

USB 3.0 hub + Gigabit Ethernet Adapter – £25.49

USB 3.0 hub with 4 ports, bus-powered – £11.99

Apple styled Aluminum 4 port adapter – £14.99

By September 12, 2014 Read More →

ZIIIRO Watch – Suturn – Chrome review

ziiiro-watch-saturn-chromeAs a watch enthusiast, when Matt asked me to review one for the site, I jumped at the chance!

I have quite a few watches of different styles including both analogue and digital so the piece that I will be reviewing here is interesting as it combines both types of display into one watch in a unique way, kind of, sort of! Read on to find out more.

Starting with the more “normal” elements of the watch, it is constructed from 316L stainless steel and has a mesh strap that is also made from stainless steel. The case width is 45mm which makes this quite a large watch by most standards and the strap is 23mm wide and both combine to make this quite a striking looking watch even without taking the unique selling point of this watch into account. The watch sits well on the wrist and fits under a shirt cuff without difficulty. The watch is rated as water resistant to 30m which means that it is OK for doing the washing up but not for swimming really – this may seem odd but you need 100m for swimming in fresh water and 200m for salt water due to a number of reasons that are far too boring to be discussed on a website as interesting as this one!

ziiiro-watch-saturn-chrome-3ziiiro-watch-saturn-chrome-2

So what is it that makes this watch different? What we have here is a digital watch that represents time using an outer ring of 12 segments all the way around the dial, and inner ring of 60 segments and a center circle. As you might have guessed the outer ring represents the hours, the inner the minutes but what about the center bit? Well that is used to show a.m. and p.m. When it is dark it is p.m. and when light it is a.m. This actually works quite well and the button at 2 o’clock  illuminates an electroluminescent backlight that allows the watch to be viewed in darkened (even pitch black) environments. There are a couple of downsides to the display but they are in no way deal breakers if you like the other aspects of it. The first is that you really need to expose the whole of the face from under a cuff in order to see the time whereas with an analogue watch you can see where the hands are roughly pointing to with only about 2/3rds on show. Not too bad there then? The second point is that it can be difficult to accurately judge minutes if the corresponding hour segment is not filled in. Again, not too terrible?

I’ve been very impressed with this watch and it is a nice change from my regular collection of G-Shock and automatic watches.

So you may be wondering how much this unique and interesting piece of horological technology costs? It retails for £145 at http://twistedtime.com/ which is maybe not quite in the impulse purchase price range for most people but is quite reasonable for a watch that will stand out from the crowd and it is extremely unlikely that you’ll see another on anyone else.

 

Create your own Personalized MagicBand Skins

Posted in: Gadgets, Reviews
By September 11, 2014 Read More →

Gareth’s Top TV from IFA

TV FranceWalking around Berlin’s IFA show you will realise the most important aspects of ever stand is the display. Every device and unit there relies on the most eye popping display to attract attention. Samsung, Sony and LG stands are full of jaw dropping panels with ever increasing size, beauty and novelty.  However, on closer inspection you can see colour contrasts pushed up and false vibrancy used to achieve an eye popping result. Most of these panels are eye popping for a minimal amount of time.

Panasonic was the only company to happily display their older panel beside their latest offering for direct comparison.  You can get right up and examine the pixels and colour representation within millimetres of the screen. Most other companies have their panels roped off.

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LG and Samsung brag them have true black on their screens however you can see they are not. Panasonic are refreshingly honest with their approach, true blacks are very hard to do, they aren’t their yet however they are close. They can show the progress from where they were this time last year.

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One of the most endearing things about the Panasonic flagship is their pride in the design. Having visited a number of shows I have spoken to many engineers over the years about the development of their products, however I have never had an Engineer ask me what I think of specific design aspects, only to step back and continually admire the work their company had produced. Panasonic’s engineers have taken pride in their work, not for profit, not for glory, but as a personal achievement in creating something that stands out and impresses.

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Panasonic have made a lot of effort to turn a Smart TV into an actual Smart TV. Most consumers have Smart TV features forced on them when buying a new TV, the functionality is usually half baked, slow and prone to bugs. It is normally turned off and a set top box used to replace. Panasonic have added a feature set to their high end devices, and some diluted features to the lower, that will impress those out hunting for the living room replacement model. A combination of services that integrate with the users lifestyle to produce a truly Smart experience.

Much like an Xbox One, the new Panasonic has a built in camera with facial recognition and the ability to build a profile for each registered user. Once the user has been recognised, or selected when multiple users are in one place, the TV can, even from standby, show information pertinent to the user. Weather, social updates, relevant TV content and recommendations based around viewing habits. Smart TV features a user would benefit from, and not what a manufacturer wants to throw are the user on a clunky interface. Panasonic’s Mystream and Infobar are simple, elegant and useful without interrupting or imposing.

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Adding in the ability to stream to devices over 3G and 4G, scheduling and recommendations Panasonic is making extra effort to evolve the television into a companion to spend time with in your freetime. This is something other TV’s cannot boast. LG and Phillips have adtoped mature operating systems for their models in WebOS and Android however these are not specifically designed to deliver the content directly to you, however you need it. Running ontop of a specifically designed Quad Core Pro5 chipset the AX 902 can handle most anything required and the software runs smoothly without issue.

Panasonic’s Viera AX902 is a head turner if ever there was one. Less gimmicks that the other manufactures, more progress in delivering a better TV viewing experience. A team of engineers have built a TV they would want to use themselves, not one they that solely to please shareholders.