As we all get more and more devices charging them becomes a problem of where do we put another wall plug, to answer this there are multi-port USB chargers, but just a normal charger wasn’t enough when I went looking. That’s when I found this new smart charger from Anker that has up to 40W of power to push your gadget. The good thing though is that it has a chip on each port that detects the proper amount of wattage to send and not to send so that your devices charges at the maximum speed but won’t burn it out.
After unboxing this little guy, with the smooth rubber to keep it from sliding off the table and minimal packaging I gave it a test. With my Samsung Galaxy Nexus I was able to charge 20% of my battery in about 20 minutes, which sounds about right for it to send it the proper amount of wattage to charge correctly. Later I plugged in my phone, a Nexus 7, and a pair of Bluetooth headphones and all charged just fine. With the 5 ports it should give you the flexibility to keep everything charged in one place and as fast as it was intended.
Check out the unboxing video and photos. You can get this charger on Amazon for around $26 as I did; Anker seems to sell primarily on though Amazon.
Product page: Anker 40W 5V / 8A 5-Port Family-Sized Desktop Charger
My Field Trip took me on to see the Kindle Fire HD that was setup, and it made me happy I have a Nexus 7 tablet. It did have some store app showing how things worked and I closed that because I don’t need it, and I went in to seeing how things looked.
The first thing I could see was that when swiping through the apps and content it would stutter and wasn’t all the smooth. This should be something that would always be nice since people are going to do that first thing. So I took note of how it was not performing well and went on.
I saw Cut the Rope was installed and having played it on my Nexus 7 though it would be a good comparison. But again the system was very slow to load the game; it took almost 30 seconds to load and also took some time to load the level. The game performed as it should and seems fine but the low-speed had made me not so interested in the device. I also was seeing that the price was just too close to a Nexus 7 where I could get a full Android experience.
With the modified Android OS that Amazon hides you miss out on a lot of things that the content doesn’t always make up for. Mostly missing those Google Apps that just add the full experience you would want such as good email, maps, and even the Google Now search that is way better than anything Siri can give you.
I would not recommend one of these for someone looking for a mid-sized tablet especially when you can get the Nexus for the same price but with more power and a better app selection. You do miss out on the Amazon Prime video and books but you can make up for that by getting the Amazon Kindle App and Netflix.
Just took a Field Trip to the Verizon and Best Buy stores after lunch today, I’m going to call these posts Field Trips because I have to go out and play with new tech. Some of the main things I played with at the store were the iPad Mini, MacBook Pro with Retina display, Kindle Fire HD, and Nokia Lumia 822. I also played with some of the ASUS gaming laptops and a dead Samsung Chromebook.
While these aren’t the best settings for playing with them because I could not spend a lot of time playing and they were tethered to the display I did my best just playing with them. I also would like to get some of these in as review units or if some donations come in for a specific product I would review it also.
Mac Book Pro with Retina Display is a very powerful laptop computer, and with the higher resolution screen it looked nice but is it going to be worth the extra $500 or so for that nicer screen. I liked how it worked and had the older model side by side and couldn’t see much difference other than the Retina had more contrast, I’m sure more using it from the older model you may see a difference. Read the full mini review for more.
Nokia Lumia 822 is one of the flagship Windows Phone 8 devices while it has smooth operation and looked good, Windows Phone 8 seemed empty and just lacking in non-core apps even from a display model. See what I saw in the mini review.
Those are the big ones I played with but I did look over some other devices such as the ASUS gaming laptop that had good specs and all the keyboard was kind of clunky and seemed overpriced for what I could get a Mac Book for almost the same specs. I also don’t like Windows 8 all that much on a non-tablet or touch screen.
The Samsung Chromebook was set up kind of off to the side in an under equipped display that only had one left in a box that looked like it was taped closed after being opened at Best Buy I wanted to see it work but the system said click to start but I only got a spinning indicator and even after trying to power cycle it nothing came up so I left not knowing how things will work on that system. Too bad because I wanted to know how the system performed but bad displays will not sell these even with a low price tag.
The new updated version of the Amazon Kindle Fire was announced today; this includes an update to last year’s Kindle Fire, the Kindle Fire HD in a 7″ and 8.9″ that is in a WIFI and 4G LTE version. They also updated the software to add things like X-Ray IMDB people look up when watching movies, Wikipedia and YouTube videos when looking at words in text.
They spent some time in the announcement talking about how fast the OMAP4 processer with built in graphics engine. The display on the 8.9″ is an HD 254 ppi 1920×1200 pixel resolution, and on the 7″ has a resolution of 1280×800 pixels. Amazon also talked about how good the WIFI is that includes both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz radio systems with MIMO technology to use two antennas to boost reception depending on what antenna is getting the best signal. As for battery life they claim 11 hours on the 7″ Kindle Fire HD.
Few extra things they included was an HD front camera, HDMI out, Bluetooth, updated email and calendar applications, Wispersync for games to keep location in the game and scores. The Dolby dual stereo speakers are supposed give great audio sound to make watching videos better.
The 4G service is kind of cool but kind of limited; it costs $49.99 a year, and includes 250MB of data a month. It also includes 20GB of Cloud Drive storage and a $10 Amazon Appstore credit.
|Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE||Fire HD 8.9″||Fire HD||Fire|
|32GB $499||16GB $299||16GB $199||8GB $159|
|64GB $599||32GB $369||32GB $249|
|Ships November 20 2012||Ships November 20 2012||Ships September 14 2012||Ships September 14 2012|
Amazon updated there Kindle e-ink book reader today with a backlit LCD at 212ppi display. They say it gives 62% more pixels and 25% more contrast. They also talked about how the battery life on this is going to be up to 8 weeks with the backlight on. The interface has been updated with better touch controls along with what they call X-Ray to look up more information on a word. Wispersync for voice now syncs your books with audiobooks so you can read and listen at the same time or just listen then sync to text to read.
They also updated the previous Kindle e-ink reader with faster page turns and higher contrast displays. Prices are reasonable as usual, and also include a 3G version for the people that don’t have access to WIFI all the time.
|Paperwhite 3G||Paperwhite WIFI||Kindle|
|$179 with Offers||$119 with Offers||$69 with Offers|
|$199 without Offers||$139 without Offers||$89 without Offers|
|Ships October 1 2012||Ships October 1 2012||Now Available Worldwide|
Barns & Noble just posted new lower prices for their Nook Color and Nook Tablet. These 7-inch tablets are built using Android OS and have a good amount of power for reading books, watching streaming video and playing music. This lower price is most likely a response to slowing sales of the now lower powered tablet and the introduction of new tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. This also follows reports of Amazon Kindle Fire sales dropping off.
If you’re looking for a cheaper reading tablet the prices are now $159 for the Nook Color, $199 for the 16GB and $179 for the 8GB version of the Nook Color. But I would say you may just want to spend the extra or the same amount on a Nexus 7 and get more power and the full and new Android 4.1.