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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

New Radiant Heated Sidewalk at Abt

September 30th, 2014

It might still be September, but around here that’s not too early to start thinking about the winter. Last winter was nothing short of epic, with many businesses and municipalities across the country blowing their snow-removal budgets and salt reserves just halfway through the season. Snow buildup was an issue at Abt, with the soggy, salty front sidewalk turning the entire main entrance into a safety concern and a visual eyesore.

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We decided to preempt those issues this winter (which some are saying will be as bad as—or worse than—last year) by attacking snow accumulation before it starts. For the past few days, workers from nearby Redi-Heating have been busy tearing up the old sidewalks that line most of the front of the store, and laying radiant heating tubes that will be embedded in the new concrete.heated sidewalk 3

Radiant heating works by running hot water through those tubes, which then heat the entire sidewalk to keep it above freezing temperatures. The warmth melts snow before it can accumulate, and also prevents ice patches from forming, so making your way into the store will be easier than ever this winter. We’ll also be able to use significantly less salt, the costs of which add up both economically and environmentally. And less salt and snow buildup means less soggy, salt-stained carpets in the interior of the store. Of course, now that this is in place, it probably won’t snow all season, but it’s nice to be prepared.

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David Bowie Is, Powered by Sennheiser Audio

September 23rd, 2014

Today is officially David Bowie Day in Chicago, a city holiday created to coordinate with the opening of the David Bowie Is exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibit is a multimedia, multisensory experience that explores the multi-faceted career of singer/actor/cultural-icon David Bowie. Chicago is the only US stop on the exhibit’s international tour, making it one of the hottest tickets in town. We were lucky enough to be invited to an exclusive preview of the show, courtesy of Sennheiser.

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David Bowie Is will be showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art through January 15th, 2015.

 

davidbowie4 Read the rest of this entry »

Gutter Cleaning Made Easy With the iRobot Looj

September 16th, 2014

Performing certain home maintenance tasks in the autumn can prevent potentially costly problems from occurring in the winter. Unfortunately, some of these chores can be messy, time-consuming and just downright annoying. One of those tasks is the dreadful gutter cleaning. Anyone who’s ever owned a home near maple trees knows the pain of clearing out thousands of maple tree seed pods from clogged gutters. Sure, they’re fun to watch twirl through the air as they fall from trees on a crisp fall day. Trying to fish soggy bunches of them out of an entire house-worth of gutters? Not so much fun.

 

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Maple tree seeds. Source of endless entertainment for young kids and endless annoyance for homeowners.

Enter the iRobot Looj. From the makers of the wildly successful Roomba vacuum cleaner robots, the Looj is a self-contained, automatic gutter-cleaning robot. Designed to fit into most standard household gutters, operating the Looj is simple. Place it at one end of a span of gutters and use the included remote control to propel it the length of the gutter. While it traverses the gutter, the flexible auger up front spins at 500 rpm, dislodging debris and launching it from the gutter. When it reaches the end of the gutter, the Looj quickly returns to its starting spot.

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The iRobot Looj

Cleaning your gutters is important not just for aesthetic reasons. Clogged gutters don’t let water properly drain through the downspouts, which propel water away from your home and keep it from over-saturating the ground around your foundation. which can potentially lead to a flooded basement. Additionally, when the temperatures drop, clogged gutters will retain water which can cause cracks in the gutters when it freezes. But with the iRobot Looj, cleaning your gutters doesn’t have to be a chore that no one wants to do. No digging into rotten-leaf slop with a tiny shovel, no more soggy gloves and leaning dangerously over the side of a ladder just so you don’t have to climb back down to move it over again. The iRobot Looj takes all of the muss and fuss out of cleaning your gutters, so you can focus on more important autumn tasks, like carving pumpkins and watching football. Check out the video below for more info, and get your iRobot Looj at Abt.

Apple iPhone 6 and Apple Watch News

September 8th, 2014

The New iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

The iPhone, Bigger

The predictions for the iPhone 6 were correct. Less than a year after the iPhone 5 refresh, today Apple debuted the newest iteration of their ubiquitous phone, releasing a pair of different-sized models. The new iPhone 6 will sport a 4.7-inch display, while the screen on the aptly-named iPhone 6 Plus measures in at 5.5 inches. You’ll find Retina HD displays on both models, with the iPhone 6 Plus featuring the first-ever 1080p Full HD screen on an iPhone. Both screens will have better colors, higher contrast rations and wider viewing angles, and will be enhanced by an improved polarizing layer. Pictures will look better, text will be crisper and everything will be easier to see outdoors in the sun.

 

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The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

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Screen sizes of iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 models compared.

 

Even with the larger screens, both new models will be thinner than the iPhone5:

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The iPhone, Faster.

Powering these larger iPhone models is the all-new A8 processor, which is up to 25 percent faster and 50 percent more efficient than last year’s A7 chip. Utilizing the impressive 64-bit architecture we first saw in the iPhone 5S, the new models promise significant speed improvements over their predecessors. Users can also expect longer battery life, even while the chip pushes the GPU to power these larger screens. A new technology, dubbed “Metal,” joins the power of the CPU and GPU to deliver a gaming experience on par with today’s video game consoles.  Video playback options will also be improved, so you can get the most out of the new HD displays.

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The A8 processor in the iPhone 6 is up to 50% faster than the 5S, and up to 50 TIMES as fast as the original iPhone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alpine Restyle Demo Truck Stops By Abt

September 4th, 2014

Earlier today, the Alpine Restyle demo truck rolled into the Mobile Audio department at Abt Electronics. The truck, a lifted 4-door Chevy Silverado, is outfitted with the newest in-dash A/V system from Alpine, the Alpine X009 Series. A direct fit for select GM vehicles, the X009 is an all-in-one entertainment and navigation system that provides the ultimate in control for your truck.

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In addition to typical navigation capabilities, the 9-inch touch screen—currently the largest available aftermarket in-dash screen—gives you access to a nearly endless supply of entertainment. Integrated support for Pandora, HD Radio and SiriusXM, as well as Made For iPod certification and HDMI compatibility let you listen to or watch just about anything you can imagine. A 24-Bit D/A converter and optical digital output ensure that whatever you do listen to sounds its absolute best. Read the rest of this entry »

Casting Call for Customer Testimonials!

September 3rd, 2014

Are you a fan of Abt Electronics and interested in letting others know it? Enjoy being in front of a camera? If so, we may be looking for you! We’re currently on the lookout for happy customers that would like to appear in video testimonials about their experiences at Abt. It’s a pretty simple, low-pressure process. If you’re in the area and interested in appearing on camera, please let us know. Send Shirley Hood an email, give her a call at 847-544-2606, or leave us a comment below to get the full details.

Abt Labor Day Sale

August 27th, 2014

The Abt Labor Day Sale is now underway!

Abt Labor Day Sale

It’s hard to believe Labor Day weekend is already here! And with reports of an epicly-cold winter on the horizon, we know it’s especially important to enjoy the rest of the winter. Maybe you’ve been meaning to grab a new outdoor grill or renovate the kitchen. Or, let’s be honest, maybe you’re already prepping for the brutal cold season by planning the perfect home theater room. Whatever’s on your list, there’s no better time to grab it than right now during the Abt Labor Day Sale. Click the link to find a pair of discount codes, giving you extra savings on top of our already-low prices. You’ll also find free shipping on thousands of items throughout the site, including all grills over $649.  The Labor Day Sale discount codes are only valid through September 1st, so don’t delay!

The New Abt.com

August 26th, 2014

The All-New Abt.com Has Launched

Some of our regular shoppers might have noticed a little something different at Abt.com. Just this morning, we launched our first major site redesign in over five years. While the previous Abt.com was perfectly functional, we thought we could improve it even more. The new site reduced some of the clutter of the old version, simplifying navigation and giving us more room on the homepage to display our featured products and specials, like the current Labor Day Sale. Titles on product pages will be larger, and finding the details that you really need will be easier. Of course, like any major technical project, there might be a few bugs here and there. We graciously welcome any feedback you have about the redesign, good or bad! Feel free to leave us a comment here, or via the Abt Facebook or Twitter pages. Thanks, and Happy Shopping!

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Student Discount

August 19th, 2014

Act now for an exclusive Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Student Discount!

 

We’ve talked a bit about the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 here before, and that’s because we think it’s one of the most impressive new computer gadgets to come out in recent memory. While tablets have enjoyed increasing popularity since the original iPad first brought them into the spotlight, they’re often subject to complaints about not being as powerful or as useful as a “real computer.” The Surface Pro 3 changes that completely, packing high-end, cutting edge components like a 2160 x 1440 resolution screen, Intel Core i7 processor and SSD hard drives into a slim tablet body. Billed as a worthy competitor to the Apple MacBook Air, the Surface Pro 3 can go toe-to-toe with some of the most advanced laptops available today.

For a limited time, Microsoft is offering college students an instant $150 student discount on all Surface Pro 3 models. That brings the Core i3 model down to just $649! The promotion runs through September 6th, 2014, so you’ve still got a couple weeks to take advantage of it. Just enter a valid .edu email address and you’ll be emailed a coupon code to be used upon checkout at Abt.com. Click on the photo below to go directly to the promo page.

surface pro 3 student discount

Save $150 on any Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with an instant student discount from Microsoft!

2014 WGN-TV Back-To-School Kids Fair

August 11th, 2014

On Friday, August 8th, Abt had the pleasure of taking part in the WGN-TV Back-to-School Kids Fair. Held at the WGN-TV Studios on the northwest side of the city, the 13th annual fair helped Chicago kids and parents get ready for the upcoming school year. Area businesses were on hand offering up free food and activities, and offering helpful seminars on health and public safety. Hundreds of families turned up for the event, and we’d say it was a definite success. Here are a couple photos we managed to grab during the busy morning. Check out the link at the bottom of this post for more photos, as well as our very own Josh Davis talking tech with WGN-TV’s Marcus Leshock.

 

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More Pics and Video: WGN-TV Back-To-School Kids Fair @wgntv.com