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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

iRobot Looj Gutter Cleaning Robot

September 27th, 2016

Falling leaves are one of the highlights of autumn for nature lovers everywhere, but they’re also the source of a season full of frustration for homeowners. Having to rake up piles of leaves is a minor nuisance, but cleaning gutters is a real ordeal. It’s tedious, tiresome work that can actually be quite dangerous. After a typical autumn rain, you’ll be stuck dealing with soggy rotten leaves that have begun to decompose into a heavy, sticky mess. Looking for an alternative to cleaning your gutters by standing on a rickety ladder, dirty gutter scoop in hand? Consider the iRobot Looj Gutter Cleaning Robot.

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MICHELE Trunk Show Returns to Abt

September 22nd, 2016

Visit Abt this weekend to see what’s new at one of our most popular events of the year, the semi-annual MICHELE trunk show. All weekend, our Time Watch Boutique will be displaying exclusive, limited-edition designs from MICHELE. Experts from the company will be on hand to answer your questions and give you guidance on selecting the perfect timepiece for the special person in your life. Find the watch that perfectly accents your fall fashions, or get a head-start on your holiday shopping. Come see what exciting, new styles MICHELE has to offer, Friday from 6pm-9pm, Saturday from 10am-4pm, and Sunday from 11am-4pm.

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Healthy Breakfast Recipe for the First Day of Fall

September 19th, 2016

 

Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe

We’re only a few days away from the first day of fall, so say hello to apple, squash and pumpkin flavored recipes! September 22 is the official first day of Autumn and here at Abt, we’ve decided there is no better way to celebrate one of our favorite seasons than with a pumpkin flavored breakfast recipe. After all, breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and we’ve got just the Pumpkin Spice Granola recipe to make it even better. It’s extremely easy to make and it’s made with real pumpkin & tons of pumpkin pie spice. You can combine it with milk and fresh fruits for a cereal substitute, mix it in with pretzels, dried fruits, and chocolate for the perfect trail mix, or create a delicious yogurt parfait! The possibilities are endless, so let’s get started!

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Join Us for the Pandora “Spend More Save More” Event this Weekend

September 15th, 2016

Looking to add a bit of bling to your fall wardrobe? Visit Abt this weekend for a special savings event from PANDORA and grow your collection while minimizing your bill.  The PANDORA “Spend More Save More” event rewards you with increased savings based on your total purchase price. Stop by the Abt Time Boutique to see the latest pieces from PANDORA, including the new Autumn Collection, which features sterling silver pieces embellished with pavé stones and pastel hues. While you’re here, enjoy complimentary refreshments, enter for a chance to win free PANDORA prizes, and get a free gift with any PANDORA purchase. The Save More Spend More event starts this evening and runs through Sunday. We hope to see you there!

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Football Season is Here! Get Tailgate Ready at Abt.

September 14th, 2016

We’d been paying attention to the calendar as it crept closer to fall, but this still took us by surprise: Football season has begun! And that means it’s time to get started on the ages-old tradition of the tailgate. Because one of the greatest ways to spend a Sunday afternoon is in close proximity to thousands of like-minded fans while enjoying tasty foods and beverages. Abt is your headquarters for everything you need to throw the perfect tailgate party. Let’s get started!

Food

If a tailgate party is a house, then food is definitely the foundation. There seem to be two main schools of thought when it comes to setting up your stadium smorgasbord: pack it ready-to-eat at home and bring it on the road, or cook it on the spot. We say pack the side dishes at home, but it’s no tailgate unless you’re cooking marinated meats in the parking lot. But while you may be master of your massive, backyard BBQ grill, it’s probably going to be a huge hassle trying to lug it out to the stadium. Instead, opt for a smaller, portable grill. Thankfully, “portable” doesn’t have to mean a compromise.

Enter the Weber Q series of portable grills. They’re packed with everything you love about your backyard Weber, squeezed into a size that’s meant for easy travel. With three different versions, you can find a model with enough grill space to fit anywhere from 8 to 19 full-size burgers at once, yet still packs into your trunk or the back of your pickup. Plus, features like electric ignition, a built-in thermometer, and fold-out side trays give you all of the convenience of a full-sized grill, all in a compact package. The icing on the cake (or the sauce on the ribs?) is that the Weber Q grills are available in a variety of colors, giving you one more way to show your team spirit.

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Abt Goes Gold for Cal’s Angels

September 9th, 2016

One of the cornerstones of Abt has always been our emphasis on family. We’re a family-owned and operated business, and we’re always looking for ways we can support our extended family and friends, whether that consists of donating raffle prizes to a fundraiser, taking a cake break to celebrate a birthday party, or bathing our store in colorful light for a month. If you’ve driven past Abt in the past few days, you may have noticed the building looking a bit different. All month, Abt is Going Gold in support of Cal’s Angels, a local nonprofit foundation dedicated to the fight against pediatric cancer.

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Cal’s Angels was founded in 2007 by Tom and Stacey Sutter after losing their son Cal to leukemia the year before. The organization’s mission is to grant wishes for children battling cancer, to raise awareness for the disease, and to fund research that may one day find a cure. To this date, Cal’s Angels has granted 957 wishes for children, and pledged $200,000 to Lurie Children’s Hospital. Their 12 Days of Christmas program provides holiday gifts for all of the kids of families with a child fighting cancer, giving those families one less thing to worry about during trying times. And throughout the year, Cal’s Angels takes part in dozens of events that help spread their mission. As part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Cal’s Angels has teamed up with area businesses and organizations to “Be Bold, Go Gold.” Abt was honored to be asked, and more than happy to take part in the fight against childhood cancer. You’ll see our store lit up in gold every night for the rest of September, and you’ll even see it pop up in other places, like our new atrium fountain.

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Click through for more information on supporting Cal’s Angels and to find out how you can Go Gold this month.

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The New Apple Watch

September 7th, 2016

It’s no surprise that Apple made a huge splash with the debut of the original Apple Watch. It quickly became the best-selling smartwatch available, ranking at the top of countless “Best Of” tech lists. A worthwhile revamp would no doubt be a tall order. Here’s what improvements were brought to the Apple Watch Series 2.

The most major upgrade is the addition of fully-waterproof construction. While the original Apple Watch was water-resistant, the Apple Watch Series 2 is built to survive daily dunks into serious depths of water, with a waterproof rating down to 5o meters.

apple watch series 2

The new Apple Watch Series 2, now fully-waterproof.

Inside, a full technical revamp promises overall snappier operation. The system-in-package is now rocking a faster dual-core CPU that’s up to 50 percent faster and a GPU that offers up to twice the graphic performance, so your wrist-mounted screen will be able to offer a visual experience closer to that of a high-end smartphone. The new graphic advancements will help power a more beautiful multi-media experience that will be supported by the 2nd-gen display that’s more than twice as bright as the original Apple Watch screen.

Built-in GPS means you can navigate your way around a city or accurately track your daily run without carrying your phone. The data gathered by the Apple Watch pushes automatically to your iPhone, so there’s no worry about keeping track of your workouts across two devices. Another great feature is the offline mode that gives you full navigation access even when you’re not in range of data service.

Apple also showed off an all-new ceramic body, reminiscent of the bright white designs that helped put the iPhone, iPad and Macbooks on the map so many years ago. The new material is not only super-sleek, it’s also four times stronger than stainless steel.

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New ceramic edition of the Apple Watch.

As part of a new collaboration with Nike, Apple Watch Nike+ combines the best of what both companies have brought to the fitness tracking and analytics world. The foundation of the new system is a simple interface that makes it easy to start and monitor your run tracking, plus a clever motivational system that gives you reminders of the beautiful weather, your running partner’s stats, or just a playful suggestion to get moving. There’s even a special “Sunday” mode that encourages you to hit the pavement on the weekend, based on the knowledge that a Sunday spent exercising usually leads to a week more dedicated to fitness.

apple watch nike

Overall, the new Apple Watch Series 2 takes what made the original Apple Watch such a success and greatly improves upon it without deviating too much from expectations. Apple Watch Series 2, including the Apple Watch Nike+, will be available for pre-order on September 9th (Nike+ version coming in late October), priced starting at $369. The original Apple Watch will stay on the roster, get an updated CPU, and get a price-drop to just $269.

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The New Apple iPhone 7 is Here.

September 7th, 2016

After the typical round of rumors, leaks and prognostications, the fall Apple iPhone Event has finally arrived. Here’s our first glimpse of the new iPhone 7:

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As expected, many of the rumored features are present in the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+.

Perhaps in response to growing popularity of more robust phones like the Samsung Galaxy S 7 and Sony Xperia Z-line, the new iPhone 7 features an upgraded level of water and dust resistance. While not as waterproof as the new Apple Watch Series 2, the iPhone 7 meets the IP67 protection standard, so it will be able to survive not just getting caught in a rainstorm, but also accidental dunks in the sink.

apple iphone 7 waterproof

Most visually apparent is the new, refined construction. The striking new “Jet Black” finish gives the appearance of the the body and screen melding into a “seamless surface” that resembles an onyx monolith.  Those who prefer something a little less flash might want to check out the new “Black” colorway, which offers a tactical matte-black, bead-blasted finish with a stealth Apple logo. The iPhone of course is also available in the standby Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold finishes.

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Color options for the new iPhone 7, including the new Black and Jet Black finishes.

We turn our attention to the camera hump. Apple has always prided itself on the photo quality that the iPhone has offered, so developments to the camera are always exciting. Both new models of the iPhone 7 will feature faster, higher-quality lenses with optical image-stabilization, helping the new phone perform better in low-light situations. A revamped imaging sensor and processor, capturing a wider gamut of colors and featuring DNG raw capture, promise an all-around better photographic experience and make it easier for you to get better photos than any iPhone has done before.

What about the much-rumored dual-lens system? Turns out only the iPhone 7+ sports a pair of lenses, which are connected to two separate imaging sensors. The second lens is a telephoto, and users can seamlessly switch between the normal-angle lens and the longer one, essentially giving the iPhone 7+ an optical zoom function without trying to pack a zoom lens into a slim camera body. iPhone 7+ photographers now get a 2x optical zoom, instead of having to rely on digital zooming, which degrades image quality. The twin-lens system also offers other interesting imaging features, like the ability to simulate the low depth-of-field look usually indicative of a fast-aperture lens and large-sensor camera.

apple iphone 7 plus dual cameras

Dual-lenses on the iPhone 7+ will offer some new photographic functions.

To complement the camera’s new color-capturing capabilities, the iPhone 7’s Retina HD display is 25% brighter, now displays a wider color gamut and offers color management, so professional users can ensure consistent color across all of their digital devices.

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The improved Retina HD displays promise truer, more vibrant colors.

Much to the chagrin of audiophiles around the world, the iPhone 7, as rumored, did remove the headphone jack. In its place is the single Lightning interface. All iPhone 7 and 7+ will ship with a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter, so you can still use your favorite analog headphones. One of the biggest complaints about removing the headphone jack was the question of how users will be able to charge their iPhone 7 and listen to music at the same time.

And it looks like that question has been answered, with the debut of the Apple Airpods. These wireless earbuds are truly totally wireless, with each bud a separate unit. The pair of earbuds promises five hours of battery life, with the protective case featuring its own battery, charging the Airpods when they’re stored. The Airpods are technological marvels, featuring processing chips. microphones, optical sensors, accelerometers, and multiple speakers, in addition to the built-in battery. The Apple W1 processing chip promises ultra-high audio quality, even wirelessly. This wireless audio processing advancement will find its way into third-party products as well, including upcoming Beats Wireless Headphones.

apple airpods

The Apple Airpods are technological marvels. Just try not to lose them.

 

Under the hood is the all-new, quad-core A10 Fusion processing chip, which makes the iPhone7 and iPhone 7+ the highest-performing iPhones ever. One of the most welcoming features is the promise of better battery life, thanks to a pair of low-power CPU cores devoted to conserving power when high-performance isn’t needed. On average, Apple expects you to get at least two hours more battery life on a daily basis, as compared to an iPhone 6S. But when you do need the power, the two high-performance cores ensure you’ll have more than ever before, up to twice the processing abilities of the iPhone 6. Combined with graphics speeds up to three times faster than the iPhone 6, the new model will offer GFX experiences unlike any iPhone before, giving gaming experiences on par with current-gen consoles.

Rounding out the upgrades are improved Wi-Fi and LTE antennas. Access to more LTE bands, including LTE Advanced, gives the iPhone 7 a theoretical top data throughput of 450 Mbps, which is three times faster than an iPhone 6, while voice over LTE provides lifelike voice quality. And Wi-Fi calling keeps you connected when you lose your cell signal deep inside a building.

The new Apple iPhone 7 and 7+ will be available for pre-order on September 9 at 12:01 a.m. PDT, and will begin shipping on September 16. The smaller model will be priced starting at $649, with the bigger sibling starting at $769. Storage will be doubled from previous debuts, with 32GB, 128GB and 256GB models available. Following tradition, the existing iPhone SE, 6S and 6S+ will stay in the lineup, with the 6S and 6S+ getting their storage capacities doubled to 32GB and 128GB options. Pre-order your iPhone 7 at Abt.

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Congratulations to Our Star Employees!

September 6th, 2016

Abt is family company in every sense of the word. Not only are we literally family-owned and operated, but each employee is considered part of the extended family, with everyone doing their part to keep making Abt an extraordinary place to work and shop. But with over 1200 employees in that family, we know the importance of making sure everyone gets the recognition they deserve.  So twice a year, we honor four Abt employees that go above and beyond what is expected of them in their daily duties, and who are generally all-around awesome members of this giant family. The Abt Star Employees excel at applying the Abt motto of “The answer is always YES to any reasonable request” to all facets of the Abt experience, from product purchase, through the delivery process, and into post-purchase support. So to Amanda, Rafal, José, and Joey, thank you for being Star Employees, and congratulations on your award!

Abt Star Employees

 

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Saying Goodbye to Our Summer Interns

August 31st, 2016

And just like that, school is back in session. Last Friday marked the final day for our remaining summer marketing interns, so we wanted to take a moment to say farewell, wish them good luck with their studies, and thank them for their hard work over the last few months.

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This summer’s all-star interns (clockwise from left) Jeremy, Kylie, Jordan, and Abby

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