Hardware

Add the Convenience of an all-in-one Keyboard and Mouse to Fire TV with the AuviPal R9 2.4GHz Wireless Mini

On-screen keyboarding isn’t a favorite activity for anyone. For tablets, it’s an OK experience, but when trying to navigate and input characters quickly for devices like Fire TV, Roku, Xbox, and others, it can be frustrating and excruciatingly slow. I’ve cobbled together Bluetooth keyboards and mice and even then the experience is less than optimum. Sitting in bed with a full keyboard across your lap and a mouse sitting on an impromptu book surface can look pretty comical. I was recently given the opportunity to test the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo from AuviPal. This device has fundamentally changed how I interact with our Fire TV farm and made the process more enjoyable – particularly when setting up new apps or surfing the web on the big screen. The AuviPal...

About: BlitzWolf Bluetooth True Wireless Earbuds

The latest craze in earbuds is the devices that connect to each other wirelessly and then connect to the audio source. These types can run anywhere from $100 to $500 or more. I have a pair of Bragi Dash that I’ve owned since they were first released. At the time, they were revolutionary. They have since hit the dustpile because the battery has degraded so much over time. They used to be my favorites. Lately, my favorite is the one from Axum Gear. These are my goto earbuds when I go for outside runs. I’ve tested others of the same ilk over the years, but they’ve never held up as well as the original Bragi Dash or the Axum Gear. But, now a new set from BlitzWolf crossed my desk and so I’m back to testing a new pair once again. I tested them briefly as soon as I cracke...

About: Inateck USB-C Wall Charger

Its hard to beat the quality of Inateck devices. I was first clued-in to Inateck a couple years back, ironically, with a wall charging device – much like this latest version. The construction of this latest version is just as quality-great as previous versions. This is really what makes devices from Inateck a good choice when looking for a mobile charging device. There are a number of similar offerings, so it boils down to a device that can easily be tossed into a travel bag without worry that it’ll still work on the other side of a flight. This latest USB-C wall charger has enough ports to make it feasible to dump all other device chargers and just use this one. It contains a USB-C charging port, and 2 USB-A ports, allowing you to charge multiple devices at once. For example, ...

Mini Review: Inateck 9-in-1 USB C Hub

Combining connection options and features value always gets my attention. I recently tested the Inateck 9-in-1 USB C Hub, which combines several connection options for those with mobility needs. In its compact and light footprint that’s driven by USB-C, it delivers the following ports: USB-C, 2 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA, 1 Ethernet, 1 SD, and 1 Micro SD memory card readers. For those that travel and have equipment with USB-C ports, it’s an awesome addition – with one caveat. Connectivity is immediate and all the ports work well, but when using the built-in network adapter, network performance was visibly muted. My current goto setup is an ASUS C302 Flip Chromebook and the USKY adapter to drive USB-C (connects to the unit and provides additional USB-C connectivity), USB 3.0 (...

Review: RAVPower FileHub Plus with WiFi, Mobile Charging, and SD Card Reader

What started as a need to improve the WiFi signal in my office has turned into a valuable travel gadget. A couple months back my home office network equipment was upgraded by my Internet provider, Spectrum. Spectrum promised that I’d have stronger WiFi signals with full coverage over the entirety of the house. This didn’t exactly work the way they promised. While the signal was stronger in most of the house, my home office was actually the one area that suffered. And, the signal was so good in the rest of the house, I was overruled when I wanted to switch back. I’ve used repeaters in the past to amplify signals, but those don’t work as well as promoted, so I decided to go a different route. My home office is wired, so I simply wanted to take my wired network connect...

Review: iDeaPLAY Active Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headphones

I’m not an over-the-ear headphones type of guy. I’ve tried, but no matter the headphones I’ve tested, they eventually make my ears ache. I’m not alone in this. So, this is why I generally look for good in-the-ear earbuds. For my runs and other fitness activities, I’m currently using the Axum Gear workout earbuds. They are a solid choice. However, when approached to test the new headphones from iDeaPLAY, I couldn’t refuse – even though I was positive I wouldn’t like them just because of their type. But, I was actually proven wrong in this instance. The iDeaPLAY V207 is absolutely the most comfortable set of over-the-ear headphones I’ve ever experienced. In fact, I’ve worn them for hours without ear ache -which is the most amazing t...

Review: Wacom Bamboo Ink Smart Stylus for Windows 10

I still rock a Surface Pro 4. I may upgrade to another Surface device in the future, but that’s still very much up in the air, considering Microsoft’s effort to minimize Windows and puts its biggest focus on Azure. Recently, I’ve been testing different configurations for digital sketching, i.e., drawing directly on a tablet instead of a physical notepad. The majority of what I’ve been drawing has been done on an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet running ArtFlow and using an Amazon Basics stylus. This has worked surprisingly well. Here’s a recent example: I use the Surface Pro 10 during the day for work and started feeling a little bad that I just shut it down at the end of the day and pick up the Amazon tablet. I’ve actually made a conscious decision to do this i...

Review: Axum Gear Wireless Earbuds

I’ve reviewed a LOT (and, I do mean a LOT) of earbuds in my time. As most of you know, I’m always on the lookout for my next perfect pair for running. I’ve long been enamored with the Bragi Dash and originally wrote a review on these back in 2016. Even today, these remain one of my favorites of all time. However, after a couple years I had to move on as the internal battery life has dwindled. I’ve recently been using the Anker NB10’s – which are phenomenal on their own. But, I’ve been recently testing the latest revision of the Axum wireless earbuds and have to say that these have now become my “goto” earbuds for running and fitness activities. They are in-ear earbuds and fully wireless capable like the Bragi Dash – meaning they c...

The Mobile PC: Always On, Always Connected with Up to 22 Hours of Battery

No more depending on WiFi. No more being tethered to an outlet. The Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 Mobile PC is instantly on, virtually always connected, and has a battery that lasts up to 22 hours. It’s the best of your smartphone—now in your PC.   Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

Review: DROCON Blue Bugs Brushless Drone

The Drocon Blue Bugs drone showed up at my doorstep recently. I’ve played with drones before, but not to the point where I would call myself proficient by any means. And, after my inaugural flight of this drone, some might suggest I’m a total noob. I’d have to agree, but after spending some significant hours with the Bugs drone, I’m getting better. Out of the box, the drone takes about 15 minutes to build. The propellers, propeller guards, and landing legs all have to be installed. However, you don’t have to install them. In fact, some more hard core drone users have indicated that, by not installing these additional items, you can eek out just a little more battery life.  I installed the additional pieces anyway and was still able to get about 20 minutes of b...

Review: iHome iAVS16 Alexa Bedside Speaker and Alarm Clock

Alexa’s foray into 3rd party devices has definitely gotten interesting. I’ve tested quite a few, which you’ve probably seen here on this site. This latest bedside clock from iHome really introduces Alexa to non-Amazon devices in a grand way. And, this might turn out to be my favorite non-Amazon Alexa device. iHome has put together a solid product that does a great job combining expected digital alarm clock functions with Alexa capabilities. Additionally, the speaker that iHome chose to incorporate into this device is definitely better than anything that Amazon produces with its Echo line, but also might be a strong contender to knock Sonos out of its lofty set. Music is rich even with the audio cranked high (the volume on this thing seems endless). The device works great ...

Review: dodocool 8GB MP3 Player

It might seem strange to test and review a product that is only capable of playing MP3’s these days. A lot of people just opt to listen to music on their smartphones. But, as a runner and avid fitness person, I know there’s a lot of value of being able to untether and focus on the relaxation and euphoria of creating endorphins. And, then there’s the younger set who haven’t been given a smartphone yet. For example, my 8 year old loves to listen to music, but as parents, we’re still walking that thin line of deciding what age is appropriate for a cell phone. Some of her friends already have cell phones. Having a cell phone is sort of like getting your first job. Once you start working, you’re working for the rest of your life. So, with both, you may as wel...

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