Hardware

Review: USB Endoscope Waterproof Inspection Camera

I mention it quite a bit, but a number of cool things just show up at my door for review – and periodically some of them surprise me. Such is the case for this latest gadget, an actual USB endoscope. Yes…an endoscope. Essentially, you can attach this to a standard USB port or a Micro USB port (the USB connection converts between the two) – which means you can either use it with a PC or and Android smartphone that supports OTG and UVC functions. The endoscope is waterproof and dustproof, has an LED light that you can turn on and off for inspecting in dark areas, and sports a cable length of just over 16 feet. My wife saw this and immediately thought it was a spying device. She’s seen too many surveillance movies. But, this is a useful tool for construction workers, h...

Review: EasyAcc 16750mAh Power Bank with Type C Input

A couple weeks ago I tested the EasyAcc 20000mAh Compact Power Bank. If you caught that review, you know how much of a lifesaver that particular power bank was for me. Since then, my wife has absconded with it and she uses it constantly. I haven’t the heart to steal it back. Fortunately, I’ve recently been testing the EasyAcc 16750mAh Power Bank. While this one is not quite as powerful and versatile as the 20000mAh version, its still a powerhouse. And, the one feature that this one has that the other one doesn’t is a USB Type C port. When I was sporting the Lumia 950 XL, the USB Type C access would have been highly welcome. But, now that I’ve moved on and dumped Windows Phone (and Microsoft has, too), that type of port access isn’t as useful.  In fact, I rarel...

Review: All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa

To start out, I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of the Android platform. For me, its always been slow and unpredictable. But, I’ve also owned almost every version of Amazon’s Fire tablet. So, despite my disdain for the OS, I snagged the latest updated Fire tablet device from Amazon. And, after testing, I’m glad I did. Those that are already familiar with Amazon’s tablets are familiar with how Amazon has completely customized the Android experience. The core is definitely Android, but Amazon has taken it and molded it into a media and shopping experience. Understand that these are media consumption devices – not something you should expect to use to get work done (I have my Surface Pro 4 for that). And, that’s what Amazon does just right – ...

Review: iXCC Bluetooth 4.0 Stereo Sweatproof Sport Earbuds

Finding just the right pair of earbuds for active sports is a fool’s task, it seems sometimes. Good connectivity, usability, features, and the ability to stay comfortably attached to your head with constant jarring all seem like things that should be easy enough to accomplish, but there’s never a perfect option. My personal favorite earbuds are still the Bragi Dash. But, these are extraordinarily expensive due to the type of technology and the futuristic feature set. But, unfortunately, the battery life of the Bragi Dash isn’t stellar. I can get about an hour and half from them – after that I have to switch to a backup pair. So, I’m always on the lookout for a good pair of backup earbuds. I’ve been testing out the ones from iXCC recently and have determi...

Review: Unitek Aluminum Car Charger for Front and Backseat Charging

When this car charger arrived I couldn’t wait to try it out. Our youngest is always running out of tablet battery in the back seat and I’ve always wanted to find a way to keep her gadgets powered on long trips. This car charger from Unitek does the trick. Essentially, you plug the charger into the car’s cigarette lighter outlet (do they still call them that?) just like you would for any other charging system, but this one offers an extension that delivers three additional USB charging ports to the backseat (or any location in the car where more power is needed).  The extension cable is long enough to snake it out of site between the seats and still attach it (with the provided clip) somewhere in the backseat. For long trips or just for anyone that needs to charge a device...

Review: Unitek Dock – a Poor-man’s Surface 3 Dock

Docking stations for Surface devices can get expensive – particularly if you buy the Microsoft brand.  Though it supports a number of tablets and smartphones, Unitek’s USB 3.0 dock is actually marketed as a Surface 3 dock on the box, i.e., “Best Mate of Surface 3” While the dock is nothing truly spectacular, it is useful. And, for the price (around $30), you do get USB ports and a Gigabit Ethernet Adapter in addition to a pop-up bracket stand that holds a Surface 3 perfectly. So, you can effectively sit the Surface 3 in the slot, connect a mouse and keyboard to the USB ports, and sit at a desk. Plus, the dock is lightweight plastic, making it an easy travel companion so you can set this up anywhere. Amazon has this dock for just about $30: UNITEK USB 3.0 3 Port Hub ...

Review: EasyAcc 20000mAh Compact Power Bank

What a life saver. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when thinking back during my testing of the EasyAcc 20000mAh Compact Power Bank. My dad had surgery recently to clean plaque out of his carotid artery, but the doctors found additional blockage that they initially decided they’d have to operate to remedy. A couple days and more decisions later, they ended up deciding that due to my dad’s age (83) that surgery was too risky and they’d, instead, manage the blockage with meds. I tell that story to tell the story of how I (and my family) came to completely appreciate the EasyAcc 20000mAh Compact Power Bank. This is one amazing device. Spending a lot of time at the hospital, power plugs weren’t always available to charge our smartphones and tablets. But, ...

Review: Unitek 10-Port USB Charging Station with Quick Charge 3.0

If you want a beast of a charging station, right now I can think of no other option than this Unitek 10-port edition. I’ve been testing this out for a week or so now and it has quickly become one of the most used devices in the house. With eight normal charging ports and two quick charge 3.0 ports, family members are constantly rearranging the dividers and plugging in. Just by adjusting the dividers we’re able to fit tablets, smartphones, portable gaming systems, and any other device that charges using a USB connector. There are always pieces of technology that fit right into your daily habits. This is one of those. Unitek produces a solid and sturdy charging station. The only caveat here (and its really not something that can be helped) is that a full-size AC adapter is requir...

CHUWI Surface Pro Competitor Crowdfunding Goes Live Today

On the day Microsoft announced its evolved Surface Pro in Shanghai, China, Chuwi is beginning its crowdfunding efforts for its low-priced Surface Pro competitor. We’ve reviewed quite a few Chuwi devices here on myITforum, and they have all proven to be quality devices. To participate, go here: https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/07614804#/ 200 super early bird users can pay $299 to take home a Chuwi Surbook (6GB+64GB) with a 19% off 200 super early bird users can pay only $349 to gift yourself a Chuwi Surbook ( 6GB+64GB) + stylus+keyboard with 26% off 200 units are available for $399 (6GB+128GB) + stylus+keyboard with 20% off  for super early bird users     Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections...

WaterField Invites Customers to Create the Perfect Travel Bag

WaterField – the fine maker of the only bags I carry – is trying to design the perfect airline traveler’s bag. The company wants to deliver a bag that carries just the right amount of applicable travel gear, and to do so is inviting the public to help create the perfect solution. Run through the survey here: https://www.sfbags.com/pages/air-porter-design-team   Follow me on Twitter Add me to your Google+ circles or Connect with me on LinkedIn Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

Trekstor Puts Windows 10 IoT Core on a Wearable for Microsoft

Today Microsoft has outed German-based Trekstor as one of the first device makers to deliver a wearable that uses Windows 10 IoT Core. This is not a fitness device – like the Microsoft Band was – but instead a device that can run full Windows UWP apps, boast security, and be managed like any other Windows 10 device or PC in the enterprise. Microsoft sees this device as a valuable prospect in the following areas: Inventory management in retail Building automation for guest services in hospitality Industrial automation in manufacturing Patient care in healthcare And several cross-industry scenarios like asset management, fleet management, and others.   According to the announcement post… The 1.54 inch TrekStor IoT wearable is both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, has plent...

First Look: CHUWI Hi13 2 in1 Tablet

A new gadget just arrived for testing and review. This one is the CHUWI Hi13 2 in1 Tablet. I have been waiting for this to show up, excited to give it a good test. However, just the tablet showed up today, so I’m still waiting for the keyboard to arrive. Without the keyboard its really just a tablet and not a full-fledged 2-in-1. So, while I wait for the keyboard to arrive, I’ll give you some initial thoughts, specs, and photos. My first take on this is that the tablet is heavy. Oh man…is it heavy. This is a large tablet, but CHUWI didn’t skip on innards to save the weight apparently. The heft is going to be interesting to manage. The tablet arrived “on’ inside the packaging. I don’t know if it turned on during shipping or whoever packaged it after...