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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for the ‘Abt Exclusive’ Category

CES 2016: ASUS Chromebook C202

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

ASUS just designed a new laptop that can save classrooms money and time. Many schools provide laptops for students and sometimes when they are returned at the end of the year, they’re in pretty bad shape. Luckily at CES 2016, ASUS showed us how classrooms and students can benefit from the durable design of the Chromebook C202. The Chromebook C202 is designed to prevent damage from drops and spills. To prevent major damage from being dropped, the edges of the laptop are rubberized. Also, the laptop has a comfortable keyboard that students can type on that is spill proof. The spill proof keyboard is meant to protect the bottom layer from light spills. The spill proof feature should work properly so your laptop doesn’t get fried.

The modular design of the Chromebook C202 disassembled.

The modular design of the Chromebook C202 disassembled.

Worst case scenario, if the laptop does get damaged, it isn’t the end of the world. The design of the laptop makes repairs easier by having the capability of being disassembled in a maximum of 4 steps. The modular design of the laptop makes it easy to swap out damaged parts with new ones. Repairs will be easier, that means less downtime and more learning. The Chromebook C202 and other Chromebook models are designed to access your Google account and for basic school work. The Chromebook C202 will have models with 2 GB and 4 GB of RAM and will be available in a few months!

 


Keep an eye out for the Chromebook C202 to hit the stores or you can click here to check out our selection of ASUS laptops.

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CES 2016: HYDRAO Smart Shower Head

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

When it comes to taking a shower, many of us do not realize how much water we actually consume on a daily basis. A simple ten minute shower can eat up to 50 gallons of water, which according to the AWE (Alliance for Water Efficiency) is considered to be “wasteful”.

Prototype of the HYDRAO Smart Shower at CES 2016.

Prototype of the HYDRAO Smart Shower at CES 2016.

At CES 2016, we’ve discovered a nifty tool created to track water usage in order to help conserve it and in turn reduce our aquatic footprint. The HYDRAO Smart Shower Head (developed by French firm Start & Blue) is designed with an array of built-in LED lights, each of which changes color based on the amount of water you are consuming during each session. The HYDRAO system connects to a special app, available for iOS and Android that allows you to set three alert intervals. For example, you can set it to 5 gallons, 10 gallons, and 15 gallons (start at a point where you are comfortable), and the HYDRAO will light up each time you pass a set amount with the color you chose. Once the final color continues to flash, this is your cue to hop out!

The special HYDRAO app let's you choose the amount of water and LED light color you would like to be notified at for your three separate intervals.

The featured app helps track your progress.

The HYDRAO Smart Shower Head fits any standard shower head and uses no batteries, making it eco-friendly. Instead, a small turbine inside the shower head uses the water flowing through which creates enough energy to power the lights and the need for Bluetooth connection. The app allows you to set profiles for different users, so that the whole family can compare and encourage each other to change their water-usage habits. The HYDRAO Smart Shower can help save you money in the long-run, which is always an added bonus.

As of right now, the HYDRAO Smart Shower Head is only available to pre-order for $99 here and should be available in the US around September 2016.

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CES 2016: Panasonic Counter Top Oven With Instant Heat

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

This week at CES 2016, our team stopped by Panasonic and got a closer look at their new upcoming product. Panasonic showcased their new Counter Top Oven with Instant Heat. The product displayed Panasonic’s new, sleek design that will carry over to other upcoming products in their product line. The counter top oven has an all blue interior with a blue non-stick coating. The new Panasonic counter top oven with instant heat is a 6 slice standard sized counter top oven.

The all blue interior of the Panasonic Counter Top Oven With Instant Heat.

The all blue interior of the Panasonic Counter Top Oven With Instant Heat.

The  Panasonic counter top oven also has great features, the small appliance has instant heat technology, making it convenient and easier when you cook, broil, bake and more. The device also has a touchscreen interface, it’s just like using your smartphone. You touch the screen to interact with the device. The touchscreen feature replaces the buttons that you find on any other appliance, you simply touch the screen to cook, bake, broil and more! But what makes this counter top unique is the USB port found on the side of the oven. The USB port can pull in information from a connected device and can allow you to  pull in recipes or from cooking websites like allrecipes.com or the foodnetwork.com. Talk about easy cooking! No more damaged and stained cooking books.

You can pull in recipes by using the USB port on the side of the oven.

You can pull in recipes by using the USB port on the side of the oven.

Panasonic’s Counter top Oven with Instant Heat makes cooking easier and the cooking ideas are endless. From roasting a chicken to baking pizza rolls, this counter top oven can make cooking hassle-free. This great small appliance will be available to you in the Fall 2016.

 

If you can’t wait until the Fall for a new counter top oven, check out our selection of counter top ovens by clicking here.

 

Stay tuned for more coverage from CES 2016!

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CES 2016: Transparent TVs

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Televisions have been getting thinner and thinner every year, bringing us to today’s svelte OLED TVs that measure under a centimeter in depth. An ultrathin TV flush-mounted to the wall blends into existing home decor much better than the huge tube TVs of yesteyear. Even relatively recent plasma TVs are bulky in comparison. But view an OLED TV from the side and it almost disappears. So perhaps the next evolution in TVs will be to make them almost literally vanish with the push of a button. This year at CES, we’ve scoped out transparent TVs from two of the big names in display technology.

Panasonic cleverly integrated their transparent LED TV into home shelving, so when the TV is powered off it acts as a display case for knick-knacks or photos.

Samsung, meanwhile, utilized OLEDs to achieve a similar effect.


Samsung’s display hints towards a more commercial application, as opposed to home use. Although, we do like the suggestion that panels like these may one day replace windows—we’d never have to suffer through a gloomy Chicago winter day again! There’s no definitive release information set for either of these examples, so don’t expect to see transparent TVs (pun intended) in stores any time soon.

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CES 2016: Faraday Future Electric Supercar

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

One of the concepts getting the most buzz at CES isn’t a home electronics device or an appliance, it’s an electric car from a company that almost no one has heard of before.  Faraday Future, a California-based electric vehicle startup, pulled the wraps off their concept vehicle, the FFZERO1.

With a single look, it’s clear that the FFZERO1 is no electric econobox. It’s not here to compete with the Prius or the Volt or even the Tesla. This drool-worthy EV is straight-up supercar. And it’s got the chops (allegedly) to prove it. Because it’s not just about sleek lines. Each wheel is powered by a dedicated electric motor that put out a combined 1,000 horsepower, pushing the FFZERO1 from 0 to 60 in less than three seconds and hitting a top speed of 200 miles per hour.

FARADAY FUTURE

FARADAY FUTURE 2

The Faraday Future FFZERO1

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CES 2016: Samsung with World’s Largest 170″ SUHDTV

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Samsung is one the largest manufacturer of TVs in the world, they just showcased the largest 170 ” SUHDTV this week at CES 2016 and our team got to see it. It is huge! The gigantic TV and the rest of Samsung’s SUHD TV line, 8 series and above, possess quantum dot display. This type of display will enhance the view of colors, brightness, and contrast, making it an enjoyable, realistic view. The quantum dot display consists of 1000 nits of brightness that will create a brighter picture and with Samsung’s new ultra black technology, this feature will accentuate the blacks while viewing. The quantum dot display is great for high dynamic range content like Amazon. To make the viewing experience exceptionally realistic, the SUHD TVs will have a larger color spectrum, that means more colors and a brighter picture.

The picture is amazing on Samsung's 170" SUHD TV.

The picture on Samsung’s 170″ SUHD TV is amazing!

But that’s not it! This 170″ TV isn’t just one big TV. The 170″ TV is made up of multiple small TVs to make one big picture, Samsung calls this concept “Modular TV“.  Modular TV consists of  smaller TVs -without bezels , linked together to create a seamless and bigger view. Although Samsung has not started this concept, the bezeless design is carried over to their consumer line. Customers interested in the 8 and 9 series SUHD TVs can also benefit from the bezeless design with a near invisible bezel.

 

These modules have a bezeless design to create a seamless look.

These modules have a bezeless design to create a seamless look.

It might be a while for Samsung to have 170″ TVs in stores, but Saumsung’s 8 and 9 series SUHD TVs are available to customers. Maybe one day this 170″ SUHD TV will be displayed at our store!

 

 

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CES 2016: Alpine In-Dash Restyle System for Trucks and SUVs

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

It’s no secret that we love Alpine audio. Their lineup of Restyle in-dash navigation and entertainment units for trucks and SUVs has been immensely popular, with the X009-WRA system being the choice for our very-own Jeep Wrangler project vehicle.

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The Alpine X009 Restyle unit installed in our Jeep Wrangler project vehicle.

So we were stoked to spend some time at Alpine’s CES booth, learning about what they’ve got in store for 2016. As expected, much of the focus was on the continued evolution of the Restyle line, including improvements to the user interface for easier operation, especially in a truck. There’s also a new ability to control external vehicle accessories—like LED fog lamps or powered winches—from the in-dash touchscreen.

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CES 2016: Alpine USA’s Jeep and Chevy Silverado Display Vehicles

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
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Alpine USA’s Jeep Wrangler Unlimited display.

While you’re not likely to see any CES action from the major car makers, the show does attract its fair share of killer automobiles, usually in the form of product displays that show off other manufacturer’s newest wares. A couple that caught our eye were these beasts in the Alpine USA booth. This Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and Chevy Silverado have both been transformed into rides that might be better suited to the Dakar Rally than the Las Vegas Strip. Of course, in addition to countless body and performance upgrades, the interiors are sporting the latest in Alpine’s in-dash multimedia/navigation units, speakers, and subs. Check out the videos for a closer look at the extensive work that’s been done to both vehicles, and keep your eyes peeled for another post later today where we’ll get a closer look at all of Alpine’s audio offerings.

Alpine USA Jeep Wrangler Unlimited at CES 2016

 

Alpine USA Chevy Silverado at CES 2016

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CES 2016: IndoTraq Indoor Tracking for Virtual Reality

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

One of the most exciting technological advancements of the last few years has been the dawn of functional, high-quality virtual reality headsets. Products like the Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR hold the promise of truly immersive gaming and movie experiences. And while they have the optics and illusion of immersion down pat, they do tend to suffer when it comes to truly seamless integration of the user’s movements and the reactions of the displayed environment. Lag in the display compared to your movements, even if so slight it’s almost imperceptible, tells your brain that something’s not quite right. It breaks the virtual reality experience and is one of the leading causes of VR-helmet-induced motion sickness. This sophisticated motion-tracking system from IndoTraq promises to revolutionize the industry by offering uber-accurate, real-time motion tracking.

IndoTraq is accurate down to the millimeter, measuring the user’s position about 60 times a second. With the vast majority of displays running at a matching 60Hz refresh rate, the system ensures that what the user sees with every new frame matches their position in real space. Thanks to a miniature tracking tag that monitors 12 axes of information and transfers data over a variety of wireless protocols, the IndoTraq fits into an unobtrusive (relative to the giant goggles you’ll already be wearing, anyway) device that sits atop your head. Have a look at the video to learn more:

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CES 2016: Adult Beverages, Smart Style

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

As connected devices further wend their way into every corner of our homes, enterprising brands are finding new and interesting ways to take advantage of smart technology. We’ve seen plenty of smart kitchen appliances in the past, and two we scoped out at CES 2016 offer a bit of a twist (lemon, if you like). These devices bring new levels of customization to the ages-old tradition of enjoying alcoholic beverages.

picobrew

The PicoBrew Pico Smart Home Brewing System. Brew beer on your kitchen counters in three easy steps.

If a Keurig coffeemaker and a slow-cooker got together one evening to enjoy some beer and a little alone time, the resultant baby would be the PicoBrew Pico Smart Brewing System. The craft beer explosion has made home-brewing more popular than ever, but it’s still a task that requires patience, specialized equipment, and at least a basic understanding of typical beer ingredients. PicoBrew is a home-brewing option for those looking for a lower barrier to entry. Simply insert the prepackaged ingredient combo into the brewing system, add optional additional ingredients, and turn a knob. In a week, you have freshly-brewed custom beer to enjoy, straight out of a mini keg. Agreements with popular breweries let you make your favorite beers at home. The PicoBrew might never replace the handcrafting process for dedicated home-brewers, but it will put custom brews in the bellies of those hoping to dip their toes in the hobby.

The Keurig analogy continues on with our next find, the D-Vine from French startup 10-Vins. Described as having a personal French sommelier in your home, the D-Vine is designed to select and pour you the perfect glass of wine in only a minute. True wine aficionados understand the importance of proper decantation and serving temperature to the taste of a wine, but casual wine drinkers who aren’t as in-the-know might  inadvertently let their vino suffer, and they probably don’t have a wine refrigerator full of options to choose from. 10-Vins created the D-Vine so everyone can get the maximum enjoyment out of every wine, without needing extensive knowledge of the craft.

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The 10-Vins D-Vine smart wine dispenser, with an assortment of wines.

To enjoy a perfect glass of wine from the D-Vine, you select a wine from the selection of available types, which come packaged in single-serving canisters. Each canister is labeled with an RFID chip that stores info about the optimal serving temperature and level of aeration. In less than a minute, the D-Vine brings your wine to that temperature and oxygen level, ensuring you get maximum taste out of every sip. The single-serving flacons let you throw a dinner party and serve a different varietal of wine to every guest, without the worry of letting an open bottle of vino go bad.  We got to talk to the inventor of the D-Vine at CES:

And they even gave us a hands-on demonstration:

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