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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for September, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Part Tablet, Part Phone and the Best of Both.

Friday, September 27th, 2013

As the line between smartphones and tablets continues to blur (creating the so-called “phablet” devices), Samsung continues to push the limit with the capabilities of these devices. Featuring the best of both worlds, the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes packed with some of the most cutting-edge features of any mobile device available today.

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 3

With a Full HD Super AMOLED screen measuring in at 5.7″, the Galaxy Note 3 is plenty large for watching videos or productively multitasking, yet still compact enough to comfortably hold with one hand. Slightly larger than its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 3 combines its generous screen real estate with the clever Multi Window functionality we first saw on the Galaxy S III, letting users view multiple apps at once. The S Pen makes calling up and selecting multiple apps a breeze. Taking notes with the S Pen will also be easier thanks to the larger screen. New features add to the S Pen’s functionality, letting you jot down a phone number or email address and then use that exact note to launch your dialer or email client.

Some of the most exciting aspects of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are features hiding under the cover. A 13-megapixel BSI sensor claims to offer zero shutter lag, and the backlit tech should help out with low-light photos. One thing we’re particularly eager to test out is the native 4K video recording. 4K TV sets are starting to really gain a presence in the showroom, but we haven’t seen many options for recording the Ultra HD content. The Note 3 does 4K recording at a full 30 fps. We’d like to get a look at that footage on one of the new Samsung 4K TVs available. Complementing the UHD video recording is support for Ultra High Quality Audio (24 bit @ 192 KHz). With 3GB of RAM, 32 or 64 GB of memory (plus up to an additional 64GB via microSD) and the industry’s first mobile device with Micro USB 3.0, the Galaxy Note is looking like it will really be a multimedia powerhouse.

Other impressive specs include a wealth of sensors beyond the standard accelerometer/gyro you’ll find in most phones. Among those are a geomagnetic sensor, which will provide accurate compass and mapping apps; a hall sensor, which will interact with smart covers; an RGB light sensor which adjusts not only the brightness of your display but also the hue to perfectly balance with environmental light; and a barometer, thermometer and hygrometer, which will give you accurate weather readings without needing a third party weather source. App and accessory developers are certain to find innovative ways to leverage all of the technology packed into the Galaxy Note 3.

Abt is currently taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and will begin shipping it within the next two weeks.

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Technologist Tuesday: Consumer Cloud

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

Ironically, the sources of all cloud-based services are giant data centers plastered to the Earth.  However, the obvious “cloud” element to these services resides in their wireless capabilities.  Do you own an iPhone, Android or Windows phone? Do you have important information stored on your home computers?  If you do, Apple, Google or Microsoft and many cloud based backup companies offer you a grocery list of cloud services.  These cloud-based services have come a long way.  Massive updates in the last few months have really pushed them to new limits.  Knowing your Smartphone’s cloud based service options and picking out a cloud based home backup service are two good simple ways to take advantage of the mighty cloud.

Smartphone Cloud Service breakdown(Apple/Microsoft /Google)

Apple’s iCloud Core Services: 

icloud

 

The Good:

  • Photo Stream is an amazing and fully automated solution for ensuring your pictures easily flow among all devices and can be shared.  Also, the sharing quality is better than most big software photo companies.
  • Contacts, Calendars, Notes, Reminders & your iCloud.com Email sync seamlessly throughout your Apple hardware

The Bad:

  • If you’re Apple ID doesn’t end in “icloud.com” then you’ll find some limitations to this service.  Notes & Mail primarily (however, it’s usually not a big deal as there are ways around it)
  • Also, This system is just fantastic if you have all Mac product.  Throw a PC with Outlook into the equation and it starts to get sloppy

The Ugly:

  • When Apple turned “Mobile Me” into “iCloud” they got rid of idisk.  So now, Unlike Google’s Drive or Microsofts Skydrive, Apple’s data hides inside it’s apps.  Word docs hide inside Pages, Excel files hide inside Numbers, Powerpoint presentations hide inside Keynote and PDF files hide inside iBooks.  Want to save something other than that in your 5GB of storage?  Too bad.  Want to organize your docs into nice categorizing folders?  Think again.
  • 5GB Free total storage for below services
  • Backup:  Cloud based backup system for iOS devices
  • Mail, Contacts, Notes, Reminders & Calendar syncing: affirmative
  • Find My iPhone: Cloud based app to find, message, lock or wipe iOS device(s)
  • Pages, Numbers & Keynote: Cloud based apps similar to Word, Excel & Powerpoint.  Each App is also going to store its corresponding file types. Exa:  you can store your word docs inside the app Pages.
  • My Photo Stream&Shared Photo Stream: Automatic Photo syncing cloud service

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Technologist Tuesday: iPhone 5S Camera: Focus Beyond Hardware

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

iphone 5s camera

One of the most touted iPhone 5s improvements Apple discussed was its amazing new camera.  The new 64-bit A7 brain behind the camera and dual LED smart flash are a first of their kind.  They stressed the importance of the camera’s new 15% larger image sensor & increased f/2.2 Aperture.  It’s these core elements that significantly affect the quality of a smart phones image.  I took a look at the many phone cameras out there and compiled some info.  Compare Apple’s new iPhone 5S to the HTC One (one of the best camera phones made) that came out 6 months ago.  HTC has not only a higher max aperture but already features the same size image sensor and even adds optical image stabilization.  Nokia’s Lumia 1020 not only has an insane 41MP camera, but it’s image sensor is double the iPhone 5S!  It’s very clear that these Apple improvements to the camera are significant compared to previous iPhone models.  Although, it’s also clear that compared to the industry, this technology is already getting stale.

Comparison

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Denon Headphones Giveaway

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Attention, sweepstakers, runners and anyone who loves winning things ! We’ve teamed up with Denon, makers of some of the finest audio equipment available, to give away a pair of their awesome Exercise Freak Wireless Headphones!

banner650

Click the banner to be taken to the sweepstakes’ page!

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New iPhones Announced: iPhone 5S and 5C

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Apple’s iPhone announcement earlier today may be the first in its history that offered something to please nearly everyone. With a pair of new phones, dubbed the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S, it looks like Apple is hoping to further broaden the reach of its immensely successful phones.

The iPhone 5C is intended to be an entry level phone, which is reflected in both its price and construction. With a service contract, the iPhone 5C will cost just $99. The first thing you’re likely to notice about the iPhone 5C is the option to choose from a variety of bright, almost pastel colors: green, blue, orange, yellow and white. A new choice for iPhone users, the color options are thanks to an all-new plastic construction. While some may see this as a cheapening of the iPhone’s traditionally substantial construction (it is surely a source of the reduced price) a plastic body comes with inherent benefits. Besides the new color options, a plastic body addresses two of the more popular dislikes about the iPhones: that the glass back panel is prone to shattering, and the glass and metal construction makes the phone heavy. A lighter phone with one less piece of glass to shatter could attract younger users. The plastic iPhone 5C packs the same internals as the current iPhone 5, so users who are finally entering the Apple ecosystem because of the lower price won’t take a performance hit compared to previous models.

iphone 5c

The new iPhone 5C in bright green.

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Technologist Tuesday-Football Tech Talk

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

1)      Camera Technology:  Have you seen the techie fight scenes when two rivals are flying toward each other in slow motion and then the camera begins to circle around them?  Well, Thanks to Replay Technologies’ proprietary freeD technology, you’ll see this on the field.  In fact, you may have already seen it in the 2012 Olympics, 2012 PGA Championship and Yankee Games.   If you’re a Cowboy fan or a fan of an NFL team that will visit Arlington Texas’ At&t Stadium, then be excited when a review is needed.  There are 12 Cameras stationed on both ends of that field.  They will be able to provide some pretty serious reviews from the end zone to the 20 yard line.  They use Teledyne Dalsa Falcon 2 cameras that are all synchronized to record a moment from all different angles.  The freeD technology considers this group of 12 4K equivalent cameras acting as one.  The result is the sci-fi ability to re-position your view in ways the traditional cameras won’t.  The data from the cameras courses into a brain room where you have the right staff ready to provide you a quick replay that will definitely impress you.  I polled Abt employees to see if anyone witnessed some freeD reviews in Sunday night’s Cowboys vs. Giants game.  Some of those I asked said they watched some of the game and none witnessed any freeD action.  It would be nice if they used this technology all throughout the game instead of the limited review moments.  https://vimeo.com/66628788     http://vimeo.com/73813078

2)      Protection Technology:  We used to sell Tech21 iPhone & iPad cases.  They use D3O material inside their products.  They were even cool enough to send us a vat of raw D30.  We had a blast.  We wrapped up our thumb and took a hammer to it (just like their videos) and to our amazement, it worked!  This gooey orange stuff is made of molecules that, upon shock, lock together.  They absorb the impact and spread the shock across the D3O.  Today, over 20 sporting good brands have partnered with D3o Technology.  One of these brands, All-Star, already sells d3o integrated Girdles, Shoulder Protective Base Layers, Crash Pads for forearms and Lineman Gloves.  Schutt Sports just created the first sport helmets lined with d3o for baseball and softball.  Perhaps football helmets are next?  D3o goo  On a related note, Professor Vijay Gupta from UCLA has been getting a lot of attention for his shock absorbing polymer.  Hope these scientists entered the NFL Head Health Challenge II.  This NFL Sponsored program is awarding millions of dollars to those that participate in this quest to reduce brain injuries.  Meanwhile, I wish the 2013 NFL season the best of luck handling the average 1600lb force the average tackle brings.

3)      3D TV!: Eye popping amazing graphics flying at your face and changing the way you experience the big game is…….not going to happen (yet).  ESPN 3D channel is apparently shutting down by the end of the year.  Don’t worry though; our 3D favorite Avatar has a sequel that’ll hit the theaters in 2016.   By then we’ll probably have enjoyed a 3d Super bowl.  I’m sure the future will help to ease the burdens associated with broadcasting a live 3D event. Once technology gets us over that hurdle, we’ll see more 3D TV broadcasts.  Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy some really cool 3D movies.

4)      LASERS!  Laser projected First Down lines? Seen at the stadium or on TV could be a laser projected line instead of the old school chain measurement.  NFL still not sure if this is going to be a reality.  Seemed to be a hot topic in January 2013 and suddenly, no one is talking about it.  First Down Laser Systems, LLC seems to  have a positive attitude.  I can hear the sportscaster now, “Ooooh, looks like a close one Roger…Oh Yea!  They’re firing up the lasers!”

nfl lasers

5)      Microsoft & NFL: New Xbox One delivers us a new way to watch the game?  Microsoft and the NFL struck a deal that enables Microsoft to get hands on with how people enjoy the game.  I have a feeling that this will be most important to fantasy football fans.  We’ll see. It does look very cool.

nfl xbox 1

6)      Full Field View:  64:9 720P Ultra-Wide Cameras that can record the entire field at once?  Can you image hanging’ out a bar to watch your favorite NFL team play and instead of a big screen TV there’s a wall of 4 monster HD TVs?  Your team’s end zone is off on the TV on the left and on the 4th TV to the right is the End zone of your opponent.   As silly as that may seem, I’d visit that bar at least once.  Panasonic’s already built this recording beast.

full field view

Da Bears!

-The Technologist

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Big Apple Announcement Tomorrow!

Monday, September 9th, 2013

apple-sept-10-event

Tomorrow, September 10th around 11 am Central Time, Apple will be hosting a big event in Cupertino.  Many are anticipating the new generation iPhone, as well as some additional Apple goodies.  What do you think will be on the docket for tomorrow’s even?  Be sure to check back with us tomorrow for a full update on the new goodies Apple has to offer.

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Abt Labor Day Sale

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

 

abt labor day sale

Today is the last day of our Labor Day Sale.  Get an additional 5% off already low priced electronics and appliances.  Weather you are looking to upgrade your home entertainment center, or upgrade your kitchen with the newest appliances.  Head on over to our Labor Day Sale Page and just what you are looking for, or give us a call at 888-228-5800.

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