Archives For Gadgets

By way the FCC, I have a sneaking suspicion that Amazon is set to unveil a new Fire tablet. And, unlike prior models, this mystery device (SG98EG, 2ADU6-8274) lists microSD support. Whether or not the storage expansion slot can only be accessed during engineering testing and if this is really an Amazon product remain to be seen. But please enjoy this bit of gibberish (aka Jib Wresh LLC) while we await unveiling of the “Tablet PC” … and hopefully another Fire TV or two.

kindle-fire-microsd

(Reuters) – Nvidia Corp said it was recalling some of its Shield 8-inch tablets in the United States as the battery in these devices can overheat, posing a fire hazard. The chipmaker has received four reports of batteries overheating due to thermal runaway, including reports of damage to flooring.

The Android-based tablet, which has a price tag of $300-$400, is targeted at gaming enthusiasts and comes equipped with batteries that are made to last longer. Nvidia, better known for its graphics chips, said it would replace Shield tablets with battery types that test Y01 it sold in the United States since the product’s launch in July 2014. Nvidia has asked owners to use the tablet only to initiate a replacement process on the company’s website and to back up data. Continue Reading…

amazon-echo

So the big news is that Amazon Echo is now available for all to purchase, with a July 14th ETA. And, instead of going mass market at $200 as originally presented, it arrives at an even more palatable $180 (having dropped the physical remote). Considering a decent Bluetooth speaker could run that much or more, the voice-controlled, multi-function Echo is really a fantabulous deal when you consider all it offers.

When originally introduced as an Amazon Prime exclusive in limited numbers for $99, I picked up two. Back then, it didn’t do a whole lot — it was largely a silo-ed experience that I mainly used as a voice-controlled alarm clock and iHeartRadio terminal. But the product team has been iterating at a furious pace, bringing native Pandora, Hue control (!), and Audible integration… with promises of more to come and a developer SDK.

Continue Reading…

Nest Updates Some Stuff

Dave Zatz —  June 18, 2015 — 7 Comments

Nest gathered the press yesterday to introduce a refreshed Nest Protect, Dropcam Nestcam, and mobile app. While it’s clear the Google subsidiary is starting to pull an ecosystem together as they refine their offerings, the pace isn’t exactly breathtaking and I’m not motivated to further open my wallet. In fact, given ecobee’s incoming support for Apple HomeKit and remote sensors, I might finally make good on promises to unload my Nest thermostat. You?

nest-family

More thoughts on the announcements, in reverse chronological order… because Twitter: Continue Reading…

Beyond its premium construction and physical page turn nubs, the Kindle Voyage’s prime selling point has been its higher resolution display. Well, today, the dynamics have shifted … as Amazon has just introduced an “All-New” Kindle Paperwhite that features a 300ppi e-Ink screen, while retaining its $119 price point — $80 cheaper than Voyage. Along with the new Paperwhite, Amazon is also taking this opportunity to more formally introduce their new font and layout engine.

new-paperwhite

As for me, I got my pre-order in. Once I’m done checking out the upgraded Paperwhite when it releases June 30th, I’ll pass it on to Mom. All that’s really left for the Kindle line is waterproofing… and, until then, I’ll be sticking with Ziploc.

Philips has been slowly updating their lineup of wireless Hue LED lighting the past few months. Last week, Philips announed HomeKit compatibility for the Hue system stating that all existing lights would be compatible. Now whether that means a new bridge is required (my strong guess would be yes!) or a software only update to the existing bridge, you will be able to voice control your Hue lights this fall.

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And, now today, Hue announced new “beta” features for their Tap product that makes the device much more useful. Previously, you have 4 buttons to use for your Tap. You would assign these four buttons to existing scenes of your Hue system, and usually you’d want to have one of the buttons be an “all off” option. With Hue Labs, you now have two more options you can select for a button: a toggle and a dimmer.

Let’s start with the toggle feature first. Continue Reading…

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By way of a pulled Apple Store listing, it appears we’ll soon see an addition to the Ultimate Ears Boom speaker line in the form of a new UE Boom “Roll” — the design is clearly flatter and disc shaped, with an integrated lanyard. We were delighted with the original UE Boom when reviewed back in July and this update brings a smaller form factor with fresh styling to the line, perhaps competing with the newly announced Bose SoundLink Mini II. The Apple Store’s specs and pricing were somewhat suspect… as they closely resemble those of the Boom. So we’re just going to have to stay tuned for more info from Logitech Ultimate Ears.

kindle-for-kids

Amazon has launched a Kindle for Kids Bundle. The Bundle packages a third-party back cover (in your choice of five colors) and two-year SquareTrade warranty with an existing entry-level, touch-screen, ad-free Kindle … for the same price that Kindle alone would have cost (without ads): $99. Beyond its standard e-reading capabilities, Amazon is also pitching Kindle FreeTime features such as reading achievement badges. But I wonder if there’s much of a market amongst parents and their budding readers for a single function device like this? I’d handed down a former Kindle to a friend’s daughter, but Dad tells me it was pretty quickly superseded by other multifunctional tablet gadgetry. Hm. Continue Reading…