January 23rd, 2015
There’s probably no annual event more focused on the TV than the game that decides the champion of the NFL. We can’t use its name, but you know the game we’re talking about. New England and Seattle will be battling it out next Sunday and it’s going to be…Super.
If your TV’s not up to snuff, there’s no better time to buy one than right now. Whether you’re springing for a big screen for your den or a secondary TV for the kitchen or bathroom, we’ve got what you need. In this list of TV suggestions, we’ve highlighted models from a variety of brands, at all price points, with every feature you can imagine. With one of the largest TV inventories anywhere, all of the TVs listed below are in stock and ready to be taken home. Order by January 23rd and receive free nationwide shipping in time for the Big Game.
The Second String- Samsung 24″ Black 720P LED Smart HDTV
This guy is a perfect secondary TV, so folks grabbing a bite to eat or heading to the bathroom won’t miss out on any of the action. It’s small enough to fit on a shelf but large enough to get a decent view of the game. And built-in Smart functions mean it can access the web, so you can get updated game stats, replay the best commercials or talk trash to your buddies on Facebook.
The Affordable 40- Toshiba 40″ Black 1080p LED HDTV
If you ask us, 40″ is the absolute minimum size for a den where more than a couple people will be watching. Years ago, even a 40-incher was costly. Today, you can pick up this 40″ Full HD LED TV from Toshiba for just under $300. Perfect TV for that first apartment or basement rec room. Read the rest of this entry »
January 21st, 2015
Next weekend, the biggest sporting event in the country takes place, and the next-best thing to actually being there is throwing an epic football viewing party at home. But a party’s not championship-caliber without a giant TV and a spread of delicious finger foods that would make the nearest buffet hang their heads in shame. Abt has everything you’ll need to throw the ultimate party. Over the next few days, we’ll be taking a look at some of the must-have items for the Big Game, from a variety of HDTVs to small appliances like deep fryers and slow cookers. We’ll also offer tips on getting the most out of your TV setup, and you might even see some of our favorite recipes. So whether you’re rooting for East Coast or West Coast, we’ll help make sure you throw a party that pleases even the most die-hard football fans.
January 16th, 2015
There are a lot of mixed emotions today at Abt. Our colleague, Elaine Guberman is retiring, and it’s with a heavy heart that we say goodbye. Almost 30 years ago, Elaine’s husband Earl Guberman started working at Abt as a Sales Associate. In 1997, after 10 years of being with us, Earl unfortunately passed away and we lost a beloved Sales Associate and friend. Shortly after, we were lucky enough to have his wife Elaine come in and start working with us. Now, after 17 years with us, we have the privilege to wish her the best with her retirement.
When Elaine started at Abt in ’97, she worked with Judy O’neil in the Electronic Service Department. She remembers how nice everyone was, especially for how hard a time it was for her. She would like to thank Judy “for not only being a good friend, but for having the patience to explain everything to me.” Elaine would also like to thank the Abt’s for always being so “thoughtful and wonderful.” Elaine is sad to retire, but thinks “it’s the right time to leave.” Elaine doesn’t have any definitive plans for her retirement, though she is interested in following and volunteering for the upcoming political campaigns. She is looking forward to spending more time with her family and grandchildren.
Though Elaine is excited to be retiring, we at Abt are sad to see her go. We wish you the best, Elaine! We hope that retirement is a wonderful adventure. Congratulations, and know that you will always have a family here at Abt.
January 13th, 2015
We can’t stop watching this aerial video of winter in Chicago, shot by Soaring Badger Productions. The film was created with a GoPro Hero 4 Black, a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter, and a large helping of some mad flying and vidoegraphy skills. It looks great on the small screen, but I’m most interested in seeing it on one of the 4K TVs in the showroom. The embedded Youtube clip has 4K resolution enabled, so if you’ve got an UHDTV or monitor at your disposal, it’s probably worth giving that version a viewing. And be sure to click through to the Soaring Badger Youtube page for even more incredible aerial videos.
Interested in more drone action? Check out this choreographed drone display we saw at CES, with a whole squadron of quadcopters flying in synchronized formation.
January 9th, 2015
While many of the new products shown at CES are items you’d use in your home or carry in your pocket, the annual show is also a chance for brands in the automotive electronics industry to show off their hot new wares. We caught up with the folks at Kenwood to get the rundown on some of their new car audio components. With a lineup that includes new amps, CD head units and in-dash infotainment centers, one of the features uniting all of these products was a focus on connectivity. By connecting your smartphone to your car audio system and connecting that system to the web, drivers have access to more entertainment and information than ever before. Have a look at the videos below to see what Kenwood has in store for your vehicle in 2015.
In addition to a pair of traditional audio amps, Kenwood showed us the KAC-M1824BT, an amp with built-in Bluetooth. With this amp, users can completely eliminate the head unit and instead wirelessly connect a smartphone or other Bluetooth device right to the amp. This opens up some interesting installation possibilities: Owners of classic cars can get modern sound without altering their vintage interiors; motorcycles and ATVs can be wired for sound without the addition of a head unit; and users looking to add Bluetooth connectivity to car audio systems they’re otherwise happy with now have an easy, high-quality option.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 9th, 2015
The hardest part of your daily run is actually getting in the mood for it. Wish you could have a personal trainer with you? Someone constantly in your ear telling you to keep going? Well, although Sony can’t provide you with a personal trainer, they can provide you with what we believe to be the next best thing. Sony is working on a prototype that we’re sure runners and fitness enthusiasts alike would love. Sony introduced the Smart B-Trainer - the “B” stands for beat, as in musical beat and heart beat.
As we can see, the Sony Smart B-Trainer is a pair of Bluetooth headphones, but what Sony has packed into this wearable technology is outstanding. The Bluetooth headphones allow you to listen to your music wirelessly, but they also have the capability to store your music. With this option, you can leave everything behind and focus solely on your run and your music.
Now, here’s where things get interesting. The Smart B-Trainer has a built-in heart monitor in the ear bud portion of the headphones. With a heart rate monitor, you can track your intensity levels throughout your run, but that’s not all. Remember that little voice we wanted to help push us? Well, the Smart B-Trainer has the ability to understand the fitness goals you have set through the app and provides you with live feedback. Let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds, the Smart B-Trainer will measure your heartbeat during your run and tell you when to pick up the pace, and when you can relax. Upon doing so, the Smart B-Trainer chooses the best fit song from your collection of music to help you manage that pace. If you need to pick up the pace, the B-Trainer will pick an uplifting song; it will also choose a more mellow one if you are pushing yourself too hard to prevent you from burning yourself out before your run comes to an end. With that said, this is one product we hope to see sometime in the near future!
January 8th, 2015
While best known as the revolutionary portable cassette player of the 80s and 90s, the Walkman name has since been used on a variety of portable music and media players. At CES, Sony showed off a device that it hopes will once again make Walkman synonymous with cutting-edge, pocketable listening devices.
The Sony NWZ-ZX2 Hi-Res Digital Music Player
Read the rest of this entry »
January 7th, 2015
Griffin Technology is well-known for their collection of accessories for smartphones, tablets and laptops, which combine practical features with clean designs. We caught up with them at CES to get a look at the new Griffin Guide system, which brings that same sensible design to the desktop to create a cable accessory so ingenious that the only response we can come up with is “why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?”
Desktop cable management is usually dealt with in one of two ways: Feeding all of your cables through a tightly-packed cable port cut into the desk itself; or not at all, instead letting your cables flop around freely, disappearing behind the desk at random spots. Each has their advantages: the port keeps your cables together, while free-range cabling makes it easier to swap out your devices or rearrange your setup. And of course, each has its disadvantages: Feed multiple cables through the port and they will be hard to fit through, pulling on each other whenever you move one. Unguided cables are always in the way, and lightweight cables often fall back behind the desk when you remove the device they were attached to.
The Griffin Guide combines the pros of each system while removing the cons. It consists of a weighted metal base that can be placed anywhere on your desktop, and a set of magnetic guides that stick to the base, capturing your cables. This creates an organization system this is infinitely customizable, and can be undone instantly. If you want to remove a single cable from the bunch running behind the desk, no more fumbling around trying to unbraid it from the others. I’m personally interested in the Griffin Guide because at any time on my desktop I have a card reader, external hard drive, camera and smartphone that are plugged in to charge or transfer files. Four devices share a pair of cables (I prefer the free-range cable method), but every time I unplug something, the thin cable wants to slip back behind my desk. The Griffin Guide is a simple way to prevent that from happening, and it looks good, to boot.
We’ll be keeping an eye out for the Griffin Guide, which should be hitting stores in the fall of this year.
January 7th, 2015
Whether it’s because we’re away for school or travel for work, we depend on our laptops to keep us connected and organized. Unfortunately, there are some things that a desktop offers that a laptop cannot – unlimited battery life being one. Well, Lenovo went ahead and conveniently solved that problem. Lenovo introduced its ThinkPad Stack earlier, and are we impressed. The Lenovo ThinkPad Stack is a variety of modules ranging from a Bluetooth speaker to a portable battery that stack on top of each other and can be charged/used together.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Stack gives you the ability to turn your laptop into something more. The portable battery not only charges the other modules and your laptop, but it can charge any other USB devices. If that’s all you want, you have the option to just purchase the portable battery, but why stop there? Another module they offer is a Bluetooth speaker. The Bluetooth speaker can connect to your phone, tablet or laptop to give you 8 hours of sound, but stack it with the portable battery to get up to 45 hours of sound. Again, if that or those two are the only modules wanted, you can simply purchase just that, but let’s keep stacking up and see what comes of this. Next comes the external hard-drive. The 1 TB external hard-drive allows you to store and access large files wherever you are, and since we’re on the go, why not stack up the wireless Hotspot?
January 7th, 2015
Samsung has found a way to take the stress out of cooking. How many times have you had to plan out your meals because of different cooking temperatures? Well, with the Samsung Dual Door Flex Duo Range, you can spend your time enjoying your food rather than cooking.
The Samsung Dual Door Flex Duo Range allows you to cook two different meals at two different temperatures with a built-in divider. This isn’t uncommon technology, but what this range has to offer is. Previous year’s ranges allowed for only a single door, disrupting the temperature of both meals. What the Samsung Dual Door Flex has to offer is the ability to open the top door of the range, allowing your other meal to cook without being disrupted.