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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for June, 2013

Chicago Hosts Blackhawk’s Stanley Cup Championship Parade

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Part of the beauty of working in a stellar electronics store is the many, many TVs we have. When there is an awesome sports game happening, chances are, we will be showing it.  Today, Chicago is celebrating the Blackhawks and their Stanley Cup Championship.  A huge parade is being broadcast and the TVs are full of cheering fans, thrilled Blackhawks players, and since the TVs are all high-definition, you can see Lord Stanley’s Cup in all it’s shiny, championship  glory.

stanley cup 1

stanley cup 2

Congratulations again to the Chicago Blackhawks on their incredible run!

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Chicago Rain Brings a Wedding Party To Abt

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

We’re only halfway through 2013, but the Chicagoland area has already received more rainfall than in all of 2012. June has been especially rainy, as it seems to have been across the entire country. Earlier this month, a local couple (and Abt customers) faced what every bride and groom hope to avoid: rain on their wedding day. The bad weather meant they couldn’t use the outdoor location they’d planned on for shooting the wedding party’s formal portraits. Luckily, one member of the bridal party was a former Abt employee, and she suggested using the Abt Atrium. We were glad to host them, and their photographer (RRG Wedding Photography) was able to get plenty of creative shots with the unique decor the Atrium offers. Here’s a couple shots from the day. We wish Suzie and Cody many years of happiness, and want to thank Robert G Gigliotti of RRG Wedding Photography for providing the photographs.

 

wedding

The Bride kisses Humpty…or is that the Groom?

 

wedding 2

The Bridal Party in front of the Atrium Fountain.

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iOS 7 Beta: A First Look

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

TECH TUESDAYS

Initial impressions of iOS 7 Beta

 

ios 7 flat icons

The new “flat” design icons of iOS 7.

 

I just missed a call, but the caller left a voicemail. Because I’ve been on iOS 7 Beta since it was launched, I’ve got a system to retrieve my message:  Open phone app, hit home button to get out of phone app, open phone app again, wait 13 seconds until it freezes and crashes and then reopen one last time and BAM! now i can check my voicemail. Yes, we iOS 7 beta testers play a sort of technological Indiana Jones, crunching across a virtual bug-infested cave and reaching into a hole where our arms are coated with overgrown insects, just to use our phones.  However, I feel that when iOS 7 graduates beta, we’ll all enjoy using this iOS, an operating system coursing with the power of all five Sankara stones.

Despite the bugs, iOS 7 is the best OS Apple has engineered yet.  The new fluid motion between all apps is a visual delight.  Major apps—Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Safari, iTunes & Phone—all received upgraded functions.  New controls that help us manage our device’s features also  increase ease and efficiency of use. The changes are so dramatic that I’d choose a glitchy iOS7 over a smooth functioning iOS6 any day.

iOS 7 has been under the gun for allegedly nabbing Android OS elements, as well as not being very intuitive.  I agree that Apple has taken on a great deal of other companies’ features and put the Apple spin on them.  The Android community shuns them for it, Microsoft takes a jab at features they feel are inadequate and the Apple user community seems rather content with their existing iOS devices-sometimes arguing back as they often think themselves superior.  We all know that Apple has proven themselves as an innovative company, and there’s no doubt that they have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves. This round, they’re catching up with the competition.  It is very probable that they’re simply setting themselves up for a pretty big come back.

 

On to the iOS! (more…)

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B&W Speaker Gallery Now Open

Monday, June 24th, 2013

B&W Speakers find a new home at Abt Electronics

One of the latest additions to our product selection, and one that’s got our audio guys really excited, is our new collection of speakers from Bowers & Wilkins. B&W Speakers (as they’re known to their fans) are some of the most highly-rated speakers available today. One of the progenitors of audiophile-level speakers, B&W have continuously put out innovative products that have won over the hearts and ears of audio fanatics the world over. B&W equipment can be found in the most prestigious studios in the professional audio industry, including George Lucas’s Skywalker Sound and the storied Abbey Road Studios in London.

B&W SPEAKERS 1

The new Bowers & Wilkins gallery at Abt.

 

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Keep Prying Eyes Off Your Data With a Transporter Private Cloud Drive

Friday, June 21st, 2013

The Transporter Private Cloud Drive gives you  totally secure, remote access to your files.

You don’t need to be attuned to tech news to have heard the recently-revealed information about alleged government spying programs. Whatever the extent of this snooping, one thing is now certain: data you store on the cloud will never be truly safe, regardless of a storage-provider’s claim. If all this talk of privacy breaches is making you search an alternative storage solution, consider a Connected Data Transporter Private Cloud Drive.

transporter drive

We took an in-depth look at the Transporter Private Cloud last month, but the quick version is that it combines the safety of local storage with the convenience of cloud access. Once you set up the Transporter Drive, you can access it from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. But the files you save on the Transporter will only ever be stored on the actual physical Transporter Drive in your home. No third party ever has access to your files.

We’re running a special on the bare Transporter Drive, throwing in a free Toshiba 500GB hard drive with every purchase. The Transporter is easy to set up, simple to use, incurs no monthly fees and best of all, it’s completely secure from unwanted intrusion.

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Samsung Galaxy NX Camera/Android Hybrid Revealed

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Samsung today showed off the Galaxy NX, the newest entry into the Galaxy line of Android devices

With the release of the Galaxy Camera, Samsung showed the world a device that was more camera than phone, as opposed to the typical smartphone with a crippled camera function. The Galaxy Camera was an amalgam of a super-zoom point & shoot camera’s sensor and lens with the brains and display of an Android smartphone. It did everything either device could do on its own (except make phone calls), opening up new ways to take advantage of each half’s strength.

Today, Samsung took their vision one step further with the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy NX. Instead of a small-sensor point & shoot body, they melded an interchangeable-lens NX-model camera with an oversized smartphone to create one of the most unique multi-use products in recent memory, ushering in a new way to take and share photos and videos.

From the front, the Galaxy NX looks no different than a regular NX-series camera, or any other DSLR camera for that matter. Flip it around, though and that’s where the surprise is. Where you’d normally find a modest-sized LCD screen and smattering of buttons, knobs and levers, is instead a massive 4.8-inch HD display featuring Samsung’s Super Clear LCD technology. Like a smartphone, all settings and functions are controlled through this touchscreen display, so you’ll find not a single additional button on the back face of the Galaxy NX. The top plate holds only a few: A dedicated video button and the shutter release are placed on the grip side, just in front of a command dial. To the right of the viewfinder hump is the power button, and to the left you’ll find the button that raises the built-in flash.

samsung galaxy nx front

The Samsung Galaxy NX Cameraphone. Phonecamera. Maybe we need a new name for this kind of device…

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Tumi Monogramming Now Available at Abt

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Tumi Luggage is well known for its high-quality construction, which combines the finest materials with elegant styiling. The result is a product that will last years, and look great the whole time. Their wide variety of travel bags and accessories are also a great way to express yourself with something a bit more unique than the average carry-on case. Abt is happy to begin offering our customers an additional way to customize their Tumi luggage: Complimentary Tumi Monogramming.

tumi monogramming

The Abt Tumi Store is now equipped to apply custom monograms to any Tumi Luggage that features a monogram patch. Monograms can contain any combination of up to three letters or numerals, and can be done with silver or red characters, or as a “blind stamp” embossment which adds no color. The font is a classic yet bold serif-style, which perfectly complements the Tumi design philosophy. Best of all, since the process usually only takes 30 minutes, you can often get your new Tumi luggage monogrammed while you shop.

For more information, stop into the Tumi Store at Abt or give us a call at 847-967-8830.

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Introducing Josh Davis, The Technologist at Abt

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Technology is changing more rapidly than ever, these days, and we know it can be hard to keep up with this shifting landscape. We do our best to lend a helping hand by building a team of knowledgeable, passionate sales and service associates. Regular training and a commitment to customer satisfaction make our employees some of the best in the industry. But even with a team of on-call experts, we know wading through a sea of specifications, menacing-sounding acronyms and countless model variations can still be intimidating. Because if you don’t know where to start looking, how do you start at all?

So in our quest to make the Abt Experience better for all of our customers, both local and nationwide, we’re happy to introduce Josh Davis, The Technologist at Abt. Some customers in our local delivery area might recognize Josh as one of our head Apple sales specialists, and general go-to gadget guy. He’s also, over the last few years, built up something of a name for himself as a trusted source of product reviews and recommendations for area media. Chicago-area folks have probably caught Josh on a local news broadcast, having seen one of his many appearances on WGN, WCIU and NBC news programs, highlighting the hottest tech products for upcoming seasons or holidays.

 

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In-Dash iPads: A Growing Trend

Monday, June 17th, 2013

In-Dash iPads, available at Abt Electronics, are a growing trend

The home audio industry is one that is continually evolving, constantly creating new technologies to make listening to music easier and more enjoyable. With every new advancement, sound quality increases while device size decreases, and a device standard or physical media often becomes obsolete.

It’s usually not long after the home debut of a technology that we begin to see it implemented in automobile usage. Car stereos have evolved from scratchy AM-only radios, to multi-channel, THX-certified Bluray players, just as our home stereo systems have. Along the way, they’ve made stops at the 8-Track player, Cassette deck, and compact disc player. Carmakers even briefly visited the idea of a dashboard-mounted turntable. And if a skipping CD ever bothered you, you’d probably be endlessly frustrated trying to peacefully play a record in your DeSoto. Let’s just say that in-car vinyl didn’t ever amount to anything.

The last decade gave rise to a new technological beast, however. Today, the majority of our entertainment tasks are handled by a single, powerful all-in-one device, like a smartphone or tablet. An iPad replaces our music player and video player, our computer and more. Media is moving off of physical hardware and into the cloud, where it can be played at any time without having a physical disc on hand.

As these portable devices rapidly evolve, the car audio industry has kept pace, somewhat. Nearly every head unit available today offers some form of device integration, letting you control your iPod from the stereo’s display, or offering a USB port to plug a smartphone in and stream music from. But few include all of that functionality natively, and perhaps none with the intuitive usability of an iPad. Now, however, enterprising mobile installers and their customers have decided to beat device makers to the punch and go straight to installing an iPad or Android Tablet right into the dashboard. (more…)

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WGN TV Visits Abt for Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Friday, June 14th, 2013

WGN-TV Chicago reporter Marcus Leshock, who covers Chicago’s most interesting cultural and social offerings, swung by Abt a few days ago to give viewers a glimpse of some epic Father’s Day gifts. While we mentioned yesterday that plenty of Dads would be happy to just have a fun Father’s Day with their loved ones in lieu of a gift, we’re also pretty sure that most Dads wouldn’t refuse an 85″ Samsung 4K TV  as a gift. Check out the video below to see what other hot items Mr. Leshock scoped out while wandering our showroom, and if you’re in our area, feel free stop by and see them for yourself.

(more…)

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