November 4th, 2014
Whether the upcoming holiday season has you spending more time with friends and family or escaping to warmer regions, it’s almost certain to have you taking plenty of photos. Wherever you find yourself, having a good camera bag is key to any photographic travels. Camera bags protect your gear from accidental bumps and bruises, and make carrying your equipment much more comfortable—especially when you start carrying a flash unit, multiple lenses and assorted accessories.
Abt recently added camera accessories from ProMaster to our product line. In addition to things like lens filters and memory cards, you’ll find an assortment of camera bags in a variety of sizes and styles. Carl recently took a closer look at three different bags that are each perfect for a different level of photographer.
First up is the ProMaster Adventure 20 Compact Camera Bag, which is ideal for storing a large point-and-shoot or a small compact system camera:
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October 29th, 2014
2014 is Abt’s 78th year in business. After all that time, we’re still family-owned and operated, and still committed to giving our customers the best service possible. While we often get congratulated on these points, the truth is that we wouldn’t be where we are today without our customers. So, twice a year, we hold our Customer Appreciation Sale as a way to thank everyone who’s supported us over the years. Today marked the start of the sale, with prices reduced on thousands of products throughout the store. You’ll have to act fast, because the sale lasts only through this weekend. Stop by in person, or if you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, shop the entire sale online at the Abt Customer Appreciation Sale. And once again, a resounding “Thank You!” to all of you who’ve helped us get this far.
October 27th, 2014
The LG UltraWide Monitor is the ultimate productivity tool.
One of the most exciting tech trends of the last few years is the increase in screen resolution for all sorts of devices. Smartphones are sporting 1080p (or better) resolution on 5″ screens, 4K resolution is nearing mainstream adoption in the TV world and computer monitors keep packing more and more pixels into their screens. Apple made a big splash with the recent release of the new iMac 5K display. But for windows users, or those looking for a higher resolution screen without replacing their entire computer, the LG UltraWide monitor (34UM95-P) is a fantastic upgrade.
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October 21st, 2014
We have seen the idea of a digital wallet in the past with Google Wallet, but it has not had much success. Apple launched Apple Pay, their virtual wallet service, for their iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 yesterday, and we are curious to see its success.
Apple Pay allows you to pay for your goods with a touch of a button. There is no more reaching into your pocket or purse to pull out your wallet and search for the right card. You are allowed to store multiple cards and even select a default card. What does this allow for? Assume you have a credit card that offers you a certain percentage off a certain good purchased in a given timeline. With Apple Pay, you can set that card as your default and reward yourself. No more marking or forgetting which card to use to add up those reward points.
So, how does it work? For the iPhone 6, Apple has installed an innovative Near Field Communication antenna to make purchasing as easy as holding the Touch ID near the contactless reader. There is no need to unlock your phone or even look at it. Once the payment has been confirmed, the phone will beep and vibrate. So, how does it work for iPads? Assuming that we would not use our iPads as wallets, Apple Pay works a bit differently for iPads. Apple Pay for iPad allows for one-touch purchasing within apps. This means no more having to get up off your couch to get your credit or debit cards anymore.
Apple Pay is available at over 220,000 stores and available for most major credit card and banks. With that said, what do you think about the Apple Pay services? Would you, or have you used it? We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
October 12th, 2014
Let’s face it, Chicago has some of the most diehard fans in the nation, am I right? Think you are one of those fans? Well, here is your chance to prove it! Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears and Abt Electronics have teamed up this season to bring you #BriggsManCaveMonday on Instagram. Follow @LanceBriggs on Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date and see some awesome man caves.
Post pictures of your man cave, weekly, for a chance to be crowned. Lance Briggs will personally choose a winner each Monday of the week. At the end of the season one lucky man cave owner will win an Apple iPad Air from Abt Electronics! You know, just to add a little something extra to that man cave of yours. So, Hashtag #BriggsManCaveMonday on Instagram, and show us how you #BearDown in your man cave!
October 8th, 2014
As many of you may know, October is officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Pink that you see in grocery stores, building lights and even on the football field is there to call attention to a disease that will strike about 1 out of every 8 women in the USA. Survival rates have been on the rise in recent years, thanks in part to increased awareness and earlier detection. Abt is proud to support the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation in the continued fight against breast cancer. For the entire month of October, our Glenview store will be lit with pink lights as part of the Foundation’s “Light the Way to Find a Cure” campaign. Local customers will also see our store staff decked out in pink shirts on weekends throughout the month. For more info the LSCRF’s mission, please visit www.lynnsage.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
David Bowie Is will be showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art through January 15th, 2015.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
Screen sizes of iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 models compared.
Even with the larger screens, both new models will be thinner than the iPhone5:
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.
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.
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