HTC 10 Released – Comeback for HTC?

HTC, one of the early smartphone leaders five years ago, has struggled in recent years. The newly released high-end HTC 10 has everything that’s needed for a successful comeback. The hardware specs and the battery life are among the best in the market, and the camera is top-rated. Continue reading “HTC 10 Released – Comeback for HTC?”

Kindle Oasis – Thinner, Lighter and More Expensive

Kindle Oasis is the new top-end Kindle eBook reader by Amazon. It’s 30% thinner and 20% lighter than previous Kindle versions. A bump at the bottom of the device functions as a hand grip. The page press button introduced in Kindle Voyage has been evolved into a real, physical page turn button. Continue reading “Kindle Oasis – Thinner, Lighter and More Expensive”

HP Elite X3 – Smartphone or Hybrid Tablet?

HP is trying to break into the smartphone market again after its last
attempt two years ago. The newly released HP Elite X3 targets
business customers and runs Windows 10 mobile. HP believes it’s the first phone able to replace a desktop. HP Elite X2 are hybrid laptops, so X3 is a different kind of beast. Continue reading “HP Elite X3 – Smartphone or Hybrid Tablet?”

New Roku Streaming Stick Released

Roku has released a new version of its popular streaming stick that replaces the 2014 version. It’s a pocket-sized device used for streaming online content like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube to a large TV screen or LCD monitor. NZ specific content from Lightbox or Neon isn’t supported. Note that access to full Netflix and Hulu content requires a foreign DNS setting in your router. Continue reading “New Roku Streaming Stick Released”

New Acer Chromebase Offers Affordable Video Conferencing

Acer Chromebase is a desktop computer running ChromeOS that has
been designed and optimised for video conferencing in small meeting areas. It integrates closely with Google’s conferencing solutions and is easy to set-up and operate. A Google Apps account is the only requirement.

Chromebase is related to the existing Chromebox computer currently sold and manufactured by Acer, Asus and HP. Chromebox is a more basic solution lacking a monitor that relies on Google Hangout, while Chromebase offers a more comprehensive, turn-key conferencing system.

Hardware

Acer Chromebase comes with the hardware one would expect from a conferencing system. The monitor is a large 24-inch full-HD screen that supports touch display. Four microphones and stereo speakers provide a good audio solution. Connectivity is handled by 3 USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port.

Software

Acer has worked closely with Google to improve the user interface of Chrome OS. One guest account that doesn’t require login is available. 25 Hangout accounts are supported.

The administrator in charge of the system can monitor the sound and video quality. Adjustments can be made using external admin tools. The administrator is notified using alerts when the sound and image quality drops below a certain threshold value.

Pricing for Acer Chromebase

The price for Acer Chromebase is set to US$799 (NZ$1,174), which includes one year of support from Acer. It will initially be sold only in North America and Europe, and a roll-out to other continents is expected later this year.

How does the Acer Chromebase compare to other conferencing systems on the market? Audio conferencing systems like Konftel 250 and Polycom Soundstation 2 cost between $800 to $1,000 and support 20-25 participants. Hence, a turn-key video conferencing system for a small company for $1,174 seems like a good deal.

Nvidia Quadro M6000 Memory Upgraded to 24GB

Graphics Card Need a really powerful graphics card with abundant graphics memory for professional usage such as product design, 3D visualisations etc? Then you should note that several Nvidia Quadro M6000 graphics cards have recently received a performance boost. The internal GPU memory has doubled from 12GB GDDR5 to 24GB. The other specs remain the same, including the Maxwell GM200 processor with 3072 CUDA cores. Continue reading “Nvidia Quadro M6000 Memory Upgraded to 24GB”

AOC Launches Gaming Brand AGON

Gaming and powerful hardware go hand-in-hand. Gaming hardware is big business given the large number of gamers in the world and the propensity of gamers to purchase premium gaming products. The Taiwanese firm AOC isn’t well-known for gaming and it has therefore launched a premium brand called AGON for its high-end gaming monitors in order to position itself in the market.AOC just launched ten new AGON branded monitors targeted at gamers during a launch event in Beijing. The goal according to AOC is to “provide gamers with the most versatile gaming experience” possible. Continue reading “AOC Launches Gaming Brand AGON”

Samsung Washing Machine Recalls Under Fire

Six Samsung washing machine models are faulty and could catch fire in case of moisture that condenses and drips on an electric component. Samsung started the recalls of 36,000 affected washing machines back in 2013, and it has so far recalled 78% of these washing machines. This implies that there are still more than 7,900 faulty washing machines out there that might catch fire anytime (assuming that the majority sold are still in used, which is likely given the lifespan of typical washing machines). The owners of these hazardous home appliances have either ignored the recalls or for some reason haven’t been notified yet. Continue reading “Samsung Washing Machine Recalls Under Fire”

iPhone 5S Not Sold Anymore – Price Drops Expected

Apple has stopped selling the iPhone 5S following the release of iPhone SE on the 21st of March. The only way to purchase an iPhone 5S in new condition is from retailers that still have it in stock. We expect the price of iPhone 5S to drop relatively quickly the coming weeks, so now is a good time to act if you’re looking for an inexpensive yet high-quality iOS phone. Continue reading “iPhone 5S Not Sold Anymore – Price Drops Expected”

Dick Smith Sold to Kogan and Warranties Honoured

Kogan.com has acquired the online assets of Dick Smith including the brand and goodwill. Dick Smith will phase out its physical stores and Kogan will start operating Dick Smith as an online business from the first of June. Hence, the iconic Dick Smith brand will live on. The acquisition amount hasn’t been disclosed. Continue reading “Dick Smith Sold to Kogan and Warranties Honoured”

PlayStation 4 Dominates the NZ Console Market

PlayStation 4 (PS4) sales accounted for 59% of consoles sales in New Zealand last year according to data recently released by research firm NDP Group. Sales were especially strong during the Christmas period with Sony NZ achieving record-breaking home console sales. Continue reading “PlayStation 4 Dominates the NZ Console Market”

Top Nutri Ninja Blenders

Healthy juices and drinks keep growing in popularity. A convenient way of preparing these healthy liquids  while maximising their nutritional values are to use a powerful type of “extraction” blender. Nutri Ninja is one of the market leaders in this segment and a very popular brand in New Zealand. Here’s a closer look at some of the hottest Nutri Ninja blenders in the market. Continue reading “Top Nutri Ninja Blenders”

Oneplus 3 Release Scheduled This Winter

The Chinese mobile phone maker Oneplus has been successful in the New Zealand market. Its powerful phones and high features to cost ratio have generated impressive sales worldwide. Oneplus has launched three phones so far during its brief 3-year history. The fourth one named Oneplus 3 is scheduled for release in June. Continue reading “Oneplus 3 Release Scheduled This Winter”