Archives For Gadgets

lyve-perspective

With the amount of pictures that I take every year, making sure they are backed up and easily accessible is a primary concern of mine. In the past, I have been burned by losing all my digital photos from a drive crash. Once that happened, I vowed to never let it happen again. Now, at any given moment, my photos are backed up via a local NAS, Dropbox, Google Plus Photos, and Amazon Cloud. Prices have come down for online storage that it is actually affordable to store 80+ gigs up in that beautiful cloud.

Lyve ($300) brings yet another solution to the mix. Think of it as a centralized place that sucks in all your photos from a mobile phone, tablet, computer, etc. You can even just pop in an SD card or attach a USB drive and have it transfer photos directly to the device. On top of the centralization, Lyve also then presents your photos and videos in a streamlined view. All of this done within a small white box with a touchscreen interface. Safe to say, I was definitely interested in the product when it was announced.

Now Lyve has finally shipped. And we wanted to give a quick unboxing before a proper review. Stay tuned for our impressions!

nest-ads

Google, by way of the WSJ:

We expect the definition of “mobile” to continue to evolve as more and more “smart” devices gain traction in the market. For example, a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.

I can’t say I’ve been a huge fan of Dropcam ($149-199), primarily given their recurring fees – an upload-everything model that starts at $99/year for 7 days of cloud DVR capabilities (potentially threatening your broadband cap). However, the introduction of Dropcam Tabs to augment one’s camera with motion detection, via accelerometer, around the house seriously sweetens the deal. For example, afix Tabs to a door to receive alerts when it opens or closes. Further, it looks like there’s some basic geolocation smarts built-in via Bluetooth LE (which is also how it communicates with the Dropcam Pro you’ll need). Like existing Dropcam hardware, the incoming battery-powered Tabs ($29) are more attractive than most of the utilitarian hardware in this space and a prime selling point has been an extremely user friendly interface. Hm!

amazon-fire-tv-update

Just a few short weeks after launch, Amazon has rolled out their first Fire TV update. Sadly it doesn’t include expanded voice search functionality, an updated Netflix app, or Prime browsing (as promised). In fact, Amazon has yet to even update their support page with new 51.1.0.2 software versioning. So we’re left to assume this is merely a minor maintenance release… but pleased to see the new platform is worthy of Amazon’s ongoing development.

A Tale Of Three Remotes

Dave Zatz —  April 12, 2014 — 8 Comments

While we rarely have the inclination to tackle a full-on review (like Adam), the $99 Amazon Fire TV streamer that we tracked so closely ahead of launch is worthy of a few posts. Overall, it’s a solid debut… but not quite ready to displace the similarly priced Roku 3 or Apple TV, for those that have already outfitted their televisions.

I’m always fascinated by the decisions companies make in regards to the remote control, which is the primary interface to their TV-based experience. Take the now defunct Sezmi for example – they originally promoted a unique and beautiful remote… only to launch with an off-the-shelf skinned variant to save a few bucks. While that alone didn’t sink the product, a clunky clicker earns no fans. By comparison, TiVo is quite well known for their iconic and practical peanut… still going strong well over a decade now.

In the small streamer category, and without the need for channel number buttons, all entrants have gone for similarly small remotes. None more minimalistic than Apple’s metal sliver of a thing. Continue Reading…

amazon-fire-tv

As most know, I’ve been tracking the Amazon streamer for some time — turning up a Best Buy planogram as the first hard proof of its existence, followed by regulatory filings of the dual-band box itself and curious Bluetooth gaming controller. Of course, the devil is in the details, with complete capabilities and pricing eluding us until launch. Fortunately, Amazon has moved on from the awful “Firetube” and settled on the much more palatable Fire TV. And the $99 box is shipping now! (Which is really how all product announcements should go.)

While Fire TV lands at the higher end of category pricing (for 2014), Amazon touts voice search of Amazon content via remote along with quad core processing and dedicated GPU, suitable for handling Android gaming via the aforementioned controller accessory ($40). Dozens of apps are available immediately, Continue Reading…

Unboxing 0

Netgear ReadyNAS is a line of network attached storage devices that allows you to centralize all your content into one place. The main benefit being that you can then access your content from one place. The Netgear ReadyNAS 102, released about a year ago, incorporates a new modern UI for web management, a marketplace for apps that can be installed, and additional backup tools for your computers and mobile devices. Overall, the ReadyNAS is a fairly intuitive system that should fit basic storage needs while providing additional features with app support (and is a distant descendant of the highly acclaimed Infrant NAS line).

Hardware
The ReadyNAS 102 is the base model for the home ReadyNAS series. It provides 2 bays for hard drives and the ability to swap drives if your storage needs should grow. The 100 series is meant for home use with multiple users accessing the device. Along with the 100 series, Netgear also has a step up in performance with their 300 series, but those devices are geared towards business office crowd. You can view the different model’s on Netgear’s site here.

You can purchase the 102 with or without hard drives depending on how much you want to spend, and whether or not you have extra drives sitting around. The base 102 model starts out at $199 (diskless) and goes up depending on storage amount. Other options for the ReadyNAS 100 series included a 4 bay option.  Our loaner review unit arrived with two preinstalled 1TB drives in RAID 1 mode, meaning that the data was mirrored on both drives and the over storage space was 1TB.  You have the option to put the device in RAID 0 which would provide double the storage at the loss of drive mirroring. Continue Reading…