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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for September, 2015

Free Electronics Recycling and Donation Event

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

E-Waste in Recycling BinThis may be of interest for Chicago-area customers who are doing some cleaning and organizing around the house before the cold sets in. On Saturday, October 3rd, Abt will be teaming up with The Burke Group, US Bank, McShane Construction, The Salvation Army, and The Village of Rosemont for a special community recycle and donation event. From 10am-1pm, area residents are encouraged to bring any unwanted clothing and home goods, along with old electronics and appliances, to The Burke Group office (9575 W. Higgins Rd., Rosemont, IL 60018). Usable goods will be donated to the Salvation Army, while Abt will provide environmentally-responsible recycling of all non-working electronics and appliances. Donating and recycling your old wares will give them a second life, keeping them out of landfills.  See below for a list of what will and will not be accepted.

 

Items Accepted:
Electronics (NO TELEVISIONS)
Linens/Blankets/Towels
Batteries
Furniture
Appliances
Household Goods/Kitchenware
Documents for Shredding*
Books
Clothing
CDs/DVDs
Styrofoam (PURE WHITE ONLY)
Wood Pallets
*Limit 4 boxes/bags, no businesses

Items Not Accepted:
Hazardous Waste
Televisions
Lightbulbs
TV Consoles/Armoires
Medical Items/Needles
Baby Furniture

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Stand Up to Office Work

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Chances are that you’re reading this while seated at your desk, staring at a computer screen. If you’re like many of us, that’s a familiar location for 40 or more hours a week. Sadly, sitting at a desk all day is not just tiresome, it can lead to a range of health issues.

To combat the monotony and health risks of constant workplace sitting, many office workers are turning to alternative desk solutions, like the Elevate Desktop work surfaces from InMovement. These workstations don’t look much different than a large monitor riser, which is a common sight in office environments. However, a clever hinged design and spring-assist system let you easily lift the entire surface up an additional 14 inches, putting your keyboard, mouse and monitor at the perfect height for use while standing. The adjustable design lets users switch between standing and sitting for periods of time, because regardless of the benefits, attempting to stand for a full work day is a significant undertaking.

InMovement Elevate Desk

The Elevate Desktop DT2 in lowered and raised positions.

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MICHELE Watch Trunk Show

Friday, September 25th, 2015

This weekend, the Abt Time Boutique is hosting our annual MICHELE Trunk Show. The trunk show is a great chance for watch lovers to get an up-close look at exclusive limited-edition releases by MICHELE, along with their entire collection of  fine timepieces. If you’re looking your new fall fashions, stop by Abt and enjoy a mimosa while you shop for the perfect accessory.

michele

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Celebrating Our Star Employees

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Abt has always prided itself on being a close-knit family business, even with 1200 employees working together. To help keep focus on the individuals who make up such a large team, we take the time twice a year to recognize a quartet of employees who have gone above and beyond what’s expected of them in their daily roles. These employees exemplify the Abt ideal of taking care of the customer, that “The answer is ‘Yes’ to any reasonable request.” Congratulations to David, Kurt, Cecilia and Kiera. Read more about each of them and their history at Abt:

 

abt star employees

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Pandora Free Charm Event

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

This weekend, visit the Abt Time Boutique to take advantage of a special promotion from Pandora Jewelry.  From September 17-20, get a free charm with your purchase of Pandora products totaling $100 or more. With an extensive selection of charms and bracelets in a range of prices, Pandora Jewelry makes the perfect gift for everyone in your life. Give the free gift to your giftee, or keep it for yourself (we won’t tell).  Choose from any of the hundreds of charms stocked in the Time Boutique, included those from the 2015 Disney charm collection. For more information, stop by the Time Boutique this weekend, or call our watch and jewelry specialists at 847-544-2250.

Pandora Free Charm Event

 

Pandora Disney Charms

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The Apple Buzz Continues With Abt’s Own Josh Davis!

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

As to be expected, everyone’s still buzzing about yesterday’s Apple event, where quite a few new features were unveiled. Today, our in-house Apple guru, Josh Davis, made the rounds to discuss the new Apple products and take a closer look at some of the upgrades and what they mean for Apple users.

And he also paid a visit to the lovely ladies at You & Me This Morning, who finally let him sit on the couch!

Preorders for the Apple 6S and 6S Plus will begin Saturday, September 12th. We’ll reveal dates for the rest of the new Apple products when they’re officially set.

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The New Apple TV Is Here

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

More than three years after its last major design change, the new Apple TV is finally here. Earlier today Apple announced the changes and upgrades, specifically designed to make a better, more engaging Apple TV device. The ultimate goal for the new Apple TV is to make interacting with your television across the room natural and easy. Apple accomplished this through new voice and touch capabilities, along with a redesigned interface.

new apple tv

It’s a little larger, but Apple crammed a lot of good stuff into the new Apple TV.

 

Key to the improved Apple TV experience is the new Siri Remote, which features dual microphones and, you guessed it, Siri support. With the new Siri Remote, simply tell your TV exactly what you want to watch, or ask Siri to provide you with different options. For example, you might request “Find me some funny TV shows” and Siri will automatically search among popular services like iTunes, Netflix, and more.

Along with the Siri Remote, Apple has said goodbye to endless button pushing by adding their new glass Touch surface. With Touch Surface, you can control the new remote by using your thumb to easily scroll, select, and navigate throughout your Apple TVs screen effortlessly. You’ll also be able to navigate through a wide selection of Apps, like Apple Music, HULU, Netflix and more.

siri remote swipes

Touchpad controls promise to make navigating menus and tasks, like fast-forwarding, much easier.

 

The Siri Remote also brings new functionality to gaming. An integrated accelerometer and gyroscope turn the remote into a motion-sensitive gaming controller.

apple tv remote

The new Siri Remote brings voice recognition, a new touchpad, and Wiimote-like motion-sensitivity to the Apple TV.

 

Overall the Apple TV seamlessly encompasses Apple’s immersive experience that fans are familiar with from the iOS world of devices, and puts it onto a larger screen. By adding the new Siri Remote, a wide selection of apps, and Apple Music, the new Apple TV finally achieves everything Apple has strived for in the past few years. The new Apple TV will be available next month, priced at $149 for a 32GB model and $199 for 64GB.

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iPad Mini Gets a Refresh

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

While the iPad Pro got all the big news at today’s Apple event, fans of smaller tablets were not left wanting. Apple announced a revamp of the iPad mini, which hasn’t seen a serious upgrade in almost two years. While still sporting the same 7.9-inch Retina display, the new iPad Mini—technically the iPad mini 4—is slightly lighter and 18% thinner than its predecessor.

ipad mini

A processor boost, new camera and other refinements make a fan favorite even better.

 

The big news is in the iPad mini’s internal upgrades. Apple bumped the processors up to the A8/M8 chip combo found in the iPhone 6 models, which brings it almost up to par with the iPad Air 2. The 30% bump in processing power should let the new iPad mini take advantage of iOS 9’s multitasking option.  The new mini also gets a 8-megapixel camera with burst mode, a refined FaceTime camera, and the fully laminated display with antireflective screen coating that are found on both the iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro. Additionally, the iPad mini will now be available in 64GB and 128GB models.

Available now, the iPad mini 4 will be priced at $399 and up. Those hoping for a lower-cost option in the small iOS tablet department are in luck. With the iPad mini 4 as the flagship small tablet, Apple is dropping the price of the base model Apple mini 2 to $269.

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The New iPad Pro

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

After existing at a comfortable 9.7-inch size since its debut and venturing into smaller territory with Mini versions, the iPad finally got big today. The iPad Pro is Apple’s answer to the Microsoft Surface Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note Pro, and other large-format tablets that have been making their way into enterprise roles in recent years. As tablets have begun to replace laptops as legitimate business tools, the Apple iPad Pro looks to take advantage of that market segment.

ipad pro

The iPad Pro. It’s big.

 

Obviously, the major news is that the iPad Pro is big. At 12.9-inches, it’s over 3 inches larger than the iPad Air, and slightly larger than the aforementioned competitors. And that screen is packed with pixels. At 2732×2048, it has the most pixels of any iOS device, ever. It shares the same 4×3 aspect ratio as the iPad Air, but pixel-wise, it’s as wide as the Air is tall. Needless to say, a display of that size has multiple benefits, and the iPad Pro aims to leverage them all.

ipad pro size

How the new iPad Pro stacks up, size-wise.

 

One of the new features of iOS 9 is the ability to multitask, running two apps side-by-side. The nearly 13 inches of screen real estate should make that an enjoyable task, with each half of the iPad Pro nearly as large as a full-screen view on the iPad Air.

If you’re worried about using the iPad as a serious business tool, Apple’s beefed up the internals to keep up with ultrabooks and other business-oriented tablets. The new A9x processor is nearly twice as fast as the chip in the iPad Air and offers double the graphics performance, and, according to Apple, is speedier than “80 percent of portable PCs” that were sold in the last year. Apple is promising the ability to do big things with their big iPad, like editing 4K video (the Pro can play three simultaneous 4K video streams in iMovie) or rendering in AutoCAD 360. Even while offering professional power, the iPad Pro offers up to 10 hours of battery life.

To take full advantage of the iPad Pro’s serious performance, Apple also introduced a couple of accessories that will complement the device. The Smart Keyboard is a combination keyboard/stand/folio cover that offers a full-size typing surface. A new construction process allowed Apple to create a keyboard that is extremely durable, does not require an external power source, and connects seamlessly to the iPad Pro. While just 4 mm thin, it’s designed to offer the satisfying key feel of a traditional keyboard. It’s also resistant to water and stains.

apple smart keyboard

Apple’s Smart Keyboard replicates the size and feel of a traditional keyboard, and doubles as a stand and folio cover for the iPad Pro.

 

The Apple Pencil gives iPad Pro users a new way to interact with their tablet with greater precision. Perfect for drawing fine lines or hand-writing notes, the Pencil has functions beyond that of just a stylus. Because it is both pressure and tilt-sensitive, the Apple Pencil interfaces with the Pro much like a full-fledged digitizer tablet that a graphic artist or photo retoucher might use. This will give users the ability to create lines of varying thickness and orientation, creating a more accurate digital pen and paintbrush experience. The iPad Pro can distinguish between when fingers or the Pencil are being used, and reacts to track the Pencil twice as fast, for responsive, virtually lag-free use. A full charge (via Thunderbolt port) gives users 12 hours of  use, but plug it in for just 15 seconds to get another 30 minutes of battery life.

apple ipad pencil

The Apple Pencil gives iPad Pro users greater levels of precision input.

As you might imagine, the big size and big functions of the iPad Pro will command a bigger price. Base model iPad Pro—Wi-Fi-only with 32 GB of memory—will retail for $799, while the top-tier, LTE-equipped 128GB model will be priced at $1079. No specific release date has been confirmed, but expect the iPad Pro to be available in November.

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Apple Announces iPhone 6S an 6S Plus

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

As expected, today Apple announced refreshes to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with both being upgraded to “S” versions, which means that while the form factor stayed the same, each model received internal upgrades that will improve performance in many different aspects.

While both the 6S and 6s Plus are shaped the same as their predecessors (so your cases and other accessories will still fit), there are some significant differences in the construction of each phone. To start with, Apple has upgraded the body of the phones to a new 7000-series aluminum alloy, which is purported to be much stronger than the alloy used in previous phones. This should ease any worries about the phones’ durability and avoid another Bendgate. Additionally, the display glass has been upgraded to an Ion-X glass panel (the same used on the Apple Watch), which is stronger than any used on an iPhone before and, according to Apple, “the most durable in the smartphone industry.”

Beneath that extra-strong glass is one of Apple’s premier features, 3D Touch. 3D Touch lets the iPhone touchscreen recognize the variable amount of pressure a user applies when interacting with the phone, assigning different levels of touch the ability to perform different tasks. In many apps, this can take the place of a double-tap. Touch a thumbnail of a photo in your gallery to open that photo, press a little harder to zoom in. It’s likely most native iOS apps will take advantage of this. Working in conjunction with the new 3D Touch system is the all-new Taptic Engine system, which provides haptic feedback quicker and more accurately, promising an all-around quicker, more responsive interactive experience.

ios9

iOS 9 and 3D Touch will allow for all-new ways of interacting with your apps, like pulling up brief email info without entering the app.

 

 

Other promising refinements include a new 12-megapixel camera module, which should improve the already class-leading image quality of the iPhone 6. The new camera also allows for the capture of “Live Photos,” which exist somewhere between a GIF and a short video clip, capturing the sound and brief moments before and after you snap a picture. Rounding out the new features of the main camera is 4K movie capture, giving iPhone filmmakers some serious video chops. Around front, the FaceTime camera has been bumped to 5-megapixels, and is complemented by Retina Flash, a feature that turns the iPhone display into a camera flash, ensuring your selfies are always perfectly lit.

iphone 6s rose gold

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will be available in the same finishes as the iPhone 6 models, as well as the Rose Gold finish familiar to the Apple Watch.

 

Underneath it all, the new A9 processor promises to run phone tasks up to 70% faster, with a bump in graphics processing up to 90%. iOS9 promises to be more responsive, intuitive and secure, while extending battery life. Users can also expect faster Wi-Fi and LTE speeds. And of course, Apple Pay and Touch ID are both present in the new models. Preorders for the new iPhone 6s and 6 S Plus start on September 12th, with the phones available on September 25th, in the familiar iPhone 6 colors—Silver, Space Gray, and Gold—along with a new Rose Gold finish.

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