Sunday, December 17, 2017

Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo 64GB Review

Smartphones are so advanced now, we can use them for everything. Phone calls and text messaging is a given. They also have high speeds for internet browsing. Most also have built in cameras for photos and videos. But photos and especially videos, can take up a lot of space. With iPhones, storage in the phone tends to be a premium. Up for review today is the Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo 64GB.
Features and specs:
  • Extra space for more memories
  • Back up all those priceless photos
  • Shoot new pictures & videos directly to the Bolt
  • Easy to take with you using the included accessory
  • Apple® certified -- designed to be used with iPhones & iPads
Capacity
32GB
Up to 8,000 photos
or 2 hours video
64GB
Up to 16,000 photos
or 4 hours video
128GB
Up to 32,000 photos
or 8 hours video
Specifications
Connections
(1) Lightning®
(1) USB 3.1 Gen 1
Dimensions
Bolt - 40.7mm x 12.2mm x 7mm
Bolt with accessory - 65mm x 20mm x 11mm
Weight
Bolt - 7.2g
Bolt with accessory - 14.4g
Compatible with
iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, iPhone, 6s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, iPhone 8+, iPhone X

iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad (2017), iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, iPad Pro (1st generation), iPad Pro (2nd generation)
OS Support
iOS 9.0 and newer
Memory type
Flash storage
Warranty/support
2-year warranty with free technical support



The Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo 64GB came in a nice printed box with a door window to see the drive. Printed on the box were the specs. The Bolt Duo was made mostly of metal with an excellent built quality. Also included was a rubber keychain holder to protect it. It’s the quality I have come to expect from Kingston.

I loved the design of the bolt. Photos and video can take up a lot of space. Many iPhones don’t have a whole lot of built in storage. They also don’t have an expansion card slot. So Kingston’s Bolt Duo makes a ton of sense! The DataTraveler Bolt Duo connects to the lightning or USB 3.1 slot, and allows you to transfer your photos and videos onto the drive, and frees up all that space on your phone.  The idea of including a keychain holder so you can always have it with you and never worry about running out of storage space was pure genious!

Functionality of the Bolt was extremely simple! Just connect the Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo and you’re directed to the app store to download the needed app. Once it’s installed, organizing your media files just got a lot easier! Bolt allows you to transfer, capture and view. To transfer, all you do is press the transfer button, select the files you want to transfer from your iPhone to your Bolt Duo drive and then select if you want to delete those files from your phone once their transfer is complete. Or, choose not to delete them and just use the Bolt Duo as a back-up drive.

Bolt Duo also lets you capture photos or video directly onto your iPhone. There’s no need to capture them onto your phone and then transfer them to the Bolt Duo drive. You can just capture it directly onto the Bolt Duo drive. The last option is to view. This allows you to view all of the photos and videos that are stored on the Bolt Duo drive.

Performance of the Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo drive was stellar! Not only is the Bolt Duo drive a great idea, and made even better with the Keychain protective rubber holder, it performs awesome as well. Installation was extremely easy. The interface was so simple a child can use it, and the speed was very fast. Transferring photos, even a lot of photos, was very fast. Transfering video clips was slower than transferring photos due to file size, but it was still just a matter of several seconds, to a minute for a large video file.  Transferring multiple photos and videos at the same time could take a few minutes. Bottom line...speed is not an issue when transferring files with the Bolt Duo.

I have yet to be disappointed by a Kingston product. I was pleasantly not surprised to see the tradition continuing with the Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo 64 GB drive. With multi-media getting more and more popular on our iPhones, the Kingston Bolt Duo drive makes for an excellent holiday gift. With an MSRP of $89, it is also a great value. Based on its design, features, quality, and performance, the Kingston DataTraveler Bolt Duo 64 GB drive has earned our Editor’s Choice Award.  Kudos to Kingston on another great product. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.Kingston.com.


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Elite Screens Yard Master 2 Dual 120" Outdoor Projection Screen Review

When you want to entertain, watching a movie can be a lot of fun. But if you have a large group, that movie may need to be done outside, like in your backyard. If that’s your plan, you’re going to need an outdoor screen. Up for review today is the Elite Screens Yard Master 2 Dual 120” outdoor projection screen.

Features and specs:
Screen Material
·         WraithVeil Dual tensioned front/rear projection material
·         4K Ultra HD, Active 3D, and HDR Ready
·         Black masking borders enhance picture contrast
·         Available in the following diagonal sizes:
·         100", 120", 135", 150” and 180” in 16:9 format

Design and Operation
·         Assembles in minutes with no tools required
·         Corner pull-tabs make installation easier
·         Snap-button attachments on material 
·         Light-weight aluminum square tube construction
·         Single-piece frame system unfolds effortlessly
·         Detachable T-legs included
·         Stakes, rope, and support rings included for additional support and stability
·         Soft-padded carrying bag stores entire product for portability
·         Optional extension legs (ZOMS2-Legs) increase height by 27" - sold separately

Quality and Reliability
·         2-year manufacturer's warranty
·         3-year warranty offered through ENR-G program (Education, Non-Profit, Religious and Government)

The Elite screens Yard Master 2 Dual came in a basic cardboard box. Opening the box revealed the black vinyl bag the Yard Master 2 Dual is kept in. Opening the box showed the internal sections that separated the frame from the legs, and the internal dividers also separated each of the two legs. There was a separate bag that held the WraithVeil screen. Also included was some rope, stakes, and owners manual. Materials used in the frame was all aluminum. The quality of materials used was very good, as was the fit and finish. It’s the quality I have come to expect from Elite Screens.

I absolutely love the design of the Yard Master 2 Dual! The original Yard Master had multiple pieces that snapped into place. And the pieces were labeled with letters, and a diagram of how to put it all together. It worked well, but could have been simpler. New models are usually better than the previous generation. But not always. With the Yard Master 2 Dual, it is significantly better! The Yard Master 2 Dual comes in only 4 pieces; frame, two legs, and the screen.

Setting up the Yard Master 2 Dual is so simple. It’s just a matter of the following four easy steps:
1) unfolding the frame and locking the four corners into place
2) unfolding the two legs and locking them into place
3) attaching the two feet to the bottom of the frame
4) snapping the WraithVeil screen into place
And you’re done. It's that easy. Taking my time, it only took maybe 15 minutes to set up for the 1st time. But having done it now, it will only take 5 minutes from now on. And if there is a little wind, some tie lines and stakes were included to help stabilize it.

Sound simple?  It really is.  And I cannot emphasize enough how AWESOME it is!  There's really no small parts that you need to worry about losing. No labels on the different pieces that are required to put it together that can wear off or fall off, which would make it much more difficult to set up.  The Elite Screens Yard Master 2 Dual is truly a dream to use.  Unfold the frame, unfold and attach the legs, and snap the screen into place. And no tools to worry about. So simple! And the excitement with the family seeing that it's movie time...outside!.......priceless! And don't get me wrong.  The original Yard Master is a great screen, especially if you're on a tight budget.  But if you can manage to spend a little more...the Yard Master 2 is so worth it!

Not only was it very simple to set up, but it's performance was also very good!  The square metal tubing is very strong, and fits very solidly in place.  The snaps hold the screen material in place very well.  And once it is up and it's movie time, the WraithVeil screen material works extremely well!  Colors were very accurate with lots of pop and saturation.  Yellows popped, blues were warm, reds were nicely saturated and deep. The screen was very transparent giving an image that was true to the colors of the source material. Here's a great example of how well the colors looked with the Disney movie Up.


We all work hard for our money, and want to get the best bang for our buck.  In this regard, Elite Screens with their Yard Master 2 Dual didn't just hit a home run.  The hit the ball out of the park!  It's very well made, puts together very easy, and stores well in its carry bag.  And with its WraithVeil screen you have flexible viewing options of front and rear projection, and you are even 4K ready!  With a $454 MSRP for the 120" version, the Elite Screens Yard Master 2 Dual is a huge bang for the buck!  Based on its design, features, quality, and performance, the Elite Screen Yard Master 2 Dual has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.elitescreens.com.


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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater Review

The future of travel entertainment has arrived? It’s in a product from Royole. It’s their Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater. If you’re traveling by plane, especially on long flights, you will want something to do. Sometimes sleep is used, but not much fun. Music on an mp3 player or smartphone, with some headphones, is really popular. So are movies or TV shows on your smartphone. But Royole just introduced a game changer.

Features and specs:
Exterior
ColorBlack, Gold, White
Headset DimensionsExtended 215x220x223mm
Folded 98x220x223mm
Box Dimensions133.6×66.6×14.8mm
Display
Screen Size800-inch curved screen at 20 meters (adjustable screen size)
Resolution1920×1080(x2 displays)
Interpupillary Distance58 to 70mm
Diopter adjustment-7.0 to +2.0 (No need for contact lenses)
Contrast>10000:1
Color Mode24bit RGB
Refresh Rate60Hz
Sound
Noise Cancelling ModeActive noise cancelling
Noise Reduction Percentage>92%
Noise Reduction Rating>22dB
Total Harmonic Distortion<1 db="" khz="" span="">
Sensitivity105±3dB/mW@1kHz
Response Frequency8Hz to 20kHz
Impedance300Ω±10%
Storage
RAM2G
Internal Storage32GB
Battery
Battery capacity6000mAh
Battery Life5 hours of video playback
Charging time2 hours
Connectivity
WLANIEEE 802.11b/g/n @2.4GHz
BluetoothBT2.1+EDR / BT3.0
Cable Interfaces
USBMicro-USB(connect to Flash Memory)
HDMIMicro HDMI (connect to game consoles, PC, and smartphones)
Operating System
SystemMoon OS
LanguagesSimplified Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Danish
Video
3D FormatsSide by side, Anaglyph
2D FormatsMP4, MKV, MOV, AVI, 3GP, FLV, M2TS, M2V, M4V, MPEG, MPG, TS, VOB, WEBM, ASF and other mainstream video formats
Subtitle FormatsSRT, ASS, SSA, etc.
Audio
Supported FormatsMP3, WMA, AAC, APE, M4A, MID, MP2, OGG and other mainstream music formats
Lyrics FormatLocal LRC files
Picture
Supported FormatsJPG, PNG, BMP, GIF and other mainstream video formats
Environment
Working Temperature0 to 45°C
Storage Temperature-20 to 60°C
Working Humidity≤90%RH
Storage Humidity


The Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater came shipped in a nice looking color printed box, with photos of the player and it’s specs. They were held in place with custom plastic molding, well protected, and in a soft cloth bag. Materials used in the construction were mostly plastic with some metal and leather. Quality of materials used was excellent as was the fit and finish. They are a solid, well built product, and feels solid in hand. This is a premium product, and it shows.


I love the design of the Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater. In terms of travel entertainment, it’s a real game changer. They are a mobile video player with built-in headphones. It looks like a virtual reality device, but instead allows you to watch your movies and tv shows on the go. And it also does 3D!

The concept is actually simple, and the components were high end. The front are closed goggles with a separate small 1080p display for each eye. On the sides is an earcup for the headphones. On top is a headband to hold the device in place. There is a separate controller. The controller is about the size of a smartphone, and also doubles as the battery, and the storage. The outside of both earcups is touch sensitive and provides the navigation. Here is where you will raise or lower volume, pause, fast forward, rewind, and navigate through different media options.

The different parts of the Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater are pretty cool. But it’s the synergy of all the parts working together that is off the charts, and the game changer. The video panels were like watching a huge flatscreen TV. The colors were excellent with great contrast and vivid detail. Motion was very smooth with 3D content, the images had excellent depth and really popped off the screen, better so then watching it in a movie theater.

The headphones provided sound that was just as good as the video presentation. Highs were crisp and vocals had nice texture and harmonics. Bass was tight, clean, and provided lots of output with authority, and was only just a tad muddy.


I love the holiday season. I remember as a kid making my Christmas list and sending it to Santa. If you’re looking for gift ideas, the Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater is definitely worth your consideration. After all, it has now made its way onto my wish list! And with an MSRP of $799, it's a good deal. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. Kudos to Royole on such a great product. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.royole.com.


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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Nextbook Flexx 11A 2-In-1 Windows 10 Tablet Review

Computers have come such a long way in the last 50 years. Computers that used to have dedicated rooms now fit easily on our laps. And with the internet, a lot of what used to be stored on hard drives now can be accessed through the cloud. So how much computing power does the average user really need? Can a Nextbook do the job? Up for review today is the Nextbook Flexx11A. MSRP in only $229.

Features and specs:

·         11.6 inch High-resolution 1366 x 768 IPS Screen
·         Intel® ATOM Quad-Core Processor 1.84GHz (Z8300)
·         2GB DDR3L; 64GB onboard storage
·         WIFI 802.11 b/g/n
·         Bluetooth 4.0
·         Front and Back Camera 2.0 M
·         Micro HDMI
·         Pogo Keyboard with one USB 2.0 port
·         Micro-SD card slot for expansion to 128GB
·         Support 3 -axis G-sensor
·         Built-in microphone
·         9000 MAH Internal rechargeable battery
·         Charging indicator light
·         Windows 10
·         Office Mobile
Get Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote apps that are built for Windows tablets for a rich offline experience.


The Nextbook Flexx 11A came packaged in a great looking color printed box with pictures on the product and specs listed on it. Also included was a charging cord, instruction manual and an easy start up guide. Opening the box revealed the product well protected with cardboard cutouts and custom fit compartments. Materials used in construction were mostly plastic with some metal and the unit was wrapped in a fitted cellophane pouch. Quality of materials as well as fit and finish were excellent and it appears to be a solid construction.  It may not be as polished as some tablets, but it’s also a lot less expensive.

The Nextbook Flexx 11A is a two in one product; tablet and computer combined. The screen and keyboard fit together snugly and are held in place with sturdy magnets that make switching modes a dream. The touch screen is responsive and I really enjoyed being able to touch icons instead of moving the mouse and double clicking on them.

Setup was easy. Upon turning on the computer for the first time, the Nextbook Flexx11A walked me screen by screen through the set up process, including setting up cloud accounts and logging into your Wi-Fi. Switching between the laptop mode and the tablet mode was as simple as detaching the screen. The Nextbook automatically recognized when this happened and would switch modes without any further action on the user’s part. The internet is fast and easy to navigate. While there aren’t many programs preloaded, the Nextbook does have access to the Playstore for apps for the tablet mode. I enjoyed customizing the desktop to my needs.

The keyboard is a tad small for full typing, but not nearly as cramped as these keyboards normally get. It is easily compatible with note taking or working with a document. I especially appreciated that there was no delay in typing on the keyboard and the symbols appearing on the screen. The screen and the keyboard worked together seamlessly. The graphics were very nice, with sharp contrast in the colors and brightness levels to accommodate any circumstance. The speakers were adequate. At higher volumes it did have a tinny quality, but that is typical for small internal speakers, and they worked very well. Most of the games I played on this unit were for the tablet mode, but the screen was very responsive to touch while playing games and there was no lag time involved with response. The battery life was very good, with a run time of about 6 hours while using non-stop combination between games and documents, or up to three days with intermittent use. And it charged quickly and can be used while charging.


The Nextbook Flexx11A proved to be a very capable 2-in-1 tablet.  I loved the versatility of being able to just take the screen off and use it in tablet mode.  Yet keeping the screen on provided a nice built-in screen protector when closed, as the keyboard protected the screen.  The screen was very responsive, graphics looked great, and it sounded good too for a tablet. It provided great functionality, and impressive performance.  It’s bang for the buck is off the charts!  Based on it’s design, features, quality, and performance, the Nextbook Flexx11A has earned our Editor’s Choice Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.nextbookusa.com


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Sunday, December 3, 2017

JBL Link 300 Voice-Activated Speaker Review

JBL makes some great sounding products. Up for review today is their JBL Link 300. It’s a speaker system with Google Home built-in. There are a lot of options for Google Home products, but most don’t provide the big sound of the JBL Link 300. MSRP is $249.



Features and specs:
  • Get Help from your Google Assistant 
  • Hands-free voice control 
  • Simple setup with the Google Home app on iOS & Android 
  • Chromecast built-in 
  • 24 bit/96kHz High quality sound, powered by the cloud 
  • Multi-room playback across speakers that have Chromecast built-in 
  • 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi connection network support 
  • Wireless Bluetooth® streaming 
  • Room filling sound

Transducer1 x 89mm woofer, 1 x 20mm tweeter
Output power2 x 25W
Frequency response55Hz–22kHz (-6dB)
Signal-to-noise ratio>80dB
Power supply19VDC, 3.0A
Wireless network802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz)
Bluetooth® version4.2
Supported audio formatsHE-AAC, LC-AAC, MP3, Vorbis, WAV (LPCM), FLAC, Opus
Dimensions (W x H x D)236mm x 134mm x 154mm
Weight1.7 kg

The JBL Link 300 came in a great looking color printed box, with photos and specs of the Link 300. Opening the box revealed a well protected product held in place by custom fit foam. Also included was the quick start guide, and power cord. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic with some rubber, and wrapped in a black meshed cloth. Quality of materials was excellent, as was the fit and finish. As I have come to expect from a JBL product, the JBL Link 300 was built very well and feels very solid in hand. I couldn’t wait to test it out.

The JBL Link 300 is not a wireless product. So you will want to first figure out where you want it in your home. Setting it up was very easy. All you have to do it download the Google Home app on your smartphone. The app will then walk you through the setting up your JBL Link 300, and it was amazingly easy! And once setup, using Google Home was also very easy. I was quite surprised at how sensitive the JBL Link 300 was. I could be in the other room, and the JBL Link 300 would hear me and respond.

What I really liked about the JBL Link 300 was its Google Home being in a larger speaker size. Not only does it do Google Home, but it is a great speaker. Due to its larger size, it has improved bass response. So now you can have Google Home and a nice home speaker in one device.  The specs show the JBL Link 300 as having only 2 drivers:  a 20mm tweeter, and an 89mm woofer.  When I first unwrapped the JBL Link 300, I saw the rear firing woofer on the back.  That was exciting. The cloth wrap hid the front firing speakers.   Sometimes a speaker this size can have stereo speakers on the front, like a separate tweeter and midrange on each side.  Or due to it's size it can have just a single tweeter and a single midrange.  But JBL must have some faries doing some magic behind that black meshed cloth.  To have just the one woofer on the back and a single tweeter on the front, JBL pulled out an amazing aural magic trick from under their sleeve. 


When it came to the JBL Link 300’s speaker functionality, the Link 300 delivered in spades. It can be used as a stand alone speaker for Google Home, used to play music through the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or Chromecast.  Chromecast will also let you link multiple speakers together to play your music to multiple rooms. When it came to music performance, the JBL Link 300 continued it’s stellar performance.  My only disappointment was the JBL App.  In order to be able to link multiple speakers together in a whole home system, you use the JBL App so your music plays out of all of the linked speakers.  But there is currently a glitch in the app, and I could not link the JBL Link 20 and the JBL Link 300 to play music together.  JBL is working on it, and will post an update once it is fixed.  The Bluetooth functionality worked well, was easy to pair, and worked well at over 45 feet away and thru walls without a loss of signal.

What did not disappoint was the sound.  Initial listening session had me impressed with the sound.  I loved the bass response.  After realizing the JBL Link 300 has only 1 tweeter and 1 woofer, I was in awe, and did some critical listening.  Afterwards I was even more in awe.  As I mentioned before, JBL really pulled a trick from under their sleeve with this one.  The JBL Link 300 actually threw a deeper than expected soundstage, and actually provided imaging.  I wasn't expecting to hear much if any soundstage or imaging in a small speaker like this.  I threw several different songs from different genre, and was very surprised.  Based on my experience from JBL's high quality products, I have come to expect quality sound.  But this was better than expected.  The highs were crisp and clean, mids were not overly warm, and the bass was tight, had impact, and provided depth deeper than expected for it's small size.  Flutes were crisp and had good air.  Vocals were natural sounding with nice texture and harmonics.  Percussion was dynamic with good resolution.    

If you like good sound, and want to have Google Home functionality, the JBL Link 300 should be on your short list.  It provides great functionality, features, and stellar sound for it's size.  With an MSRP of $249, they are a bargain and worth every penny.  Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the JBL Link 300 has earned our Editor's Choice Award.  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.jbl.com.


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