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App Pick #198
App Pick - PhotoDirector

Kingston @ CES 2016

Kingston was back at CES this year with some new and interesting products. The first two products are two MobileLite Wireless units that can act as power banks but at the same time both have a USB port and an SD card slot for easy connectivity along with the ability to use as a storage device. The MobileLite Wireless G3 unit does not come with any internal storage unlike the MobileLite Wireless Pro which comes with 64GB of storage. Both devices have wireless capability and when used with the MobileLite app will allow for file transfers in order to help free up space on a mobile device. In addition to wireless file transfers, the MobileLite products have a built-in ethernet port that can serve as a personal Wireless Access Point if you want to connect a few people to a single network.



The next new line of products that Kingston showed was the HyperX Cloud headsets made for Xbox One as HyperX is now the officially licenced headset for Xbox One. This console line of headsets were designed off of their PC headset line the HyperX Cloud II. Large 53mm drivers and over-ear closed cup design are a couple of reasons to get interested in this headset.

Xbox Headset


BenQ @ CES 2016

CES 2016 is in the books but we managed to slip in one more visit before the doors closed. Today we met with BenQ to check out what they've got in store for 2016.

BenQ is of course best known for their LCD monitors and video projectors, which they of course had on display at CES 2016. BenQ is showing off their new monitor which they are calling the ultimate gaming monitor, the BenQ XL2730Z. After checking out a demo of this QHD (2560x1440) LCD monitor that offers 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms GTG response time, we think they might have a point. In addition to high end specifications, BenQ has added software that gamers will appreciate when switching between games or even if they have to get some work done. The BenQ XL2730Z is a very nice monitor and we will hopefully get a chance in the future to take this new model for a test drive on our test bench. 

Another monitor on display this year was BenQ's XR3501 35 inch curved LCD monitor. Curved monitors definitely have a "WOW" factor to them, but they are also very nice for people who want to replace to monitors with one single device. The gaming crowd also likes the extra wide screen space in particular for racing of flight simulator games. 

And then last but not least, BenQ had a display of all of their gaming peripherals on display. Now before you scratch your head wondering why BenQ is making mice and keyboards it is helpful to remember that BenQ recently acquired Zowie, who is very well known for making high quality gaming products for many years. Thanks to this new relationship, BenQ is able to offer proven products that compliment their gaming monitors, the relationship had been strong between the two companies for years but after the acquisition BenQ is able to offer a full range of gaming peripherals. BenQ isn't trying to make the flashiest gaming mice and keyboards on the market, they'd rather focus on quality and performance which gamers will appreciate. Zowie's slogan is "Strive for Perfection" and that shows in their design.

If you'd like to see more of these Zowie/BenQ gaming products (and a whole bunch more of them), check out Zowie's website.


For more on BenQ's announcement at CES 2016, make sure to check out their website.

If you'd like to see more from our final day of CES 2016 coverage, check out our CES day 4 photo gallery.

Martian Watches @ CES 2016

Martian was one of the companies that started the smart-watch thing - and they've done it with style from the get-go. Their watches have always focused on one thing first - the watch. They are great analog timepieces that also have a few smart features thrown in for good measure. They have a pretty wide distribution in the USA and have limited retail locations in Canada. It's too bad, because their current generation of "Active" watches - including the Envoy, Alpha and Electra have been doing very well.

As CES, Martian announced some new watches that are geared more toward female users. These do not have a notification display, but instead use different vibration pulses and a mutli-colored LED to indicate what app is sending a notification. It could be a text message, incoming call, Facebook post or pretty much anything that sends notifcations. You have the ability to specify a ton of options and notification settings via their handy app. 

CES Releases

The battery life on their devices is about two years for the actual watch, while the new watches should last about a week on a charge for the smart features. The new watches charge via pogo pins, while the current "Active" series charge by way of a microUSB port that gets covered up for water resistance.

There are a lot of very attractive products coming later this spring from Martian - and the best thing of all - they are watches, that just happen to be smart. Sometimes there is more beauty in less features than a watch that drains the battery by 2:00pm.

Please check out more images from our CES coverage here and be sure to check out all the current lineup of products from Martian here.

ZOTAC @ CES 2016

We had the chance today to get the full tour from ZOTAC of their new products for 2016 and they didn't disappoint as they've made a bunch of new product announcements for CES.

ZOTAC is pretty popular in the mini PC market thanks to the success of their ZBOX devices. ZOTAC is once again adding even more options to their already extensive lineup with devices like the ZOTAC PC stick, the ZBOX PICO, the ZBOX C Series, and they've even got a ZBOX that can now support 6 displays.

The ZBOX PC stick features a full Intel Cherry Trail system on a device that plugs straight into your HDMI port on your TV for a killer home entertainment system.

The ZBOX C Series features the new Intel Skylake CPU which offers some pretty impressive performance in the small ZBOX form factor. This is the most powerful ZBOX available and offers more performance while still being super small.


ZOTAC also offers a lineup of SSD products with one of the new addition in 2016 being a PCI-E SSD offering. The PCI-E SSD from ZOTAC is still a few months out but they are very excited at the performance numbers a drive like this will be capable of.

ZOTAC's Premium lineup of SSD drives now includes capacities of  240 and 480GBs. Their Premium SSD drives all feature Toshiba MLC NAND flash memory and are more than capable of giving your system a nice boost in performance.


For more information on ZOTAC's announcements at CES 2016 make sure to check out their website at www.zotac.com/us

If you'd like to see more of our coverage of ZOTAC's new products check out of CES 2016 Day 3 photo gallery for more from ZOTAC and all of our other coverage of CES 2016.

Remix OS and Remix Mini @ CES 2016

Every year at CES one the best parts is being able to wander around aimlessly and check out new products from up and coming companies. The Remix Mini is one of those products that somehow slipped under the radar even though they managed to raise a little over $1.6 Million dollars during their KickStarter campaign recently.

The Remix Mini is a full Android-powered computer that retails currently for $70 USD. Now I know what you're thinking already, "So what? There are tons of inexpensive Android-powered devices!" and you'd be correct in thinking that, but what sets the Remix Mini apart from the rest is their Remix OS version of Android that comes installed on the Remix Mini. Remix OS is a desktop version of Android that offers you all the basic desktop functionality you'd expect from a Windows PC, but due to the fact that it's Android, the performance and portability is fantastic. 


The Remix Mini features a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage with 2 USB ports and a MicroSD cardslot offer you lots of expansion options. All of this weighs in at 14.6 ounces and is small enough to fit into your pocket easily. 


As I mentioned earlier, the Remix Mini is powered by Remix OS which sets this device apart from all other Android-powered devices that I've seen. Remix OS is extremely functional and at first glance you'll question whether or not it's actually Android-based. The cool thing about Remix OS is that the folks at Jide (developers of Remix OS) are going to be giving away Remix OS for free for anyone to install on their x86 computers starting January 11th, 2016. In the demo that we saw, Remix OS had been loaded onto a USB flash drive and booted up on an older Dell desktop and the performance was very good (even much better than it would be on a new tablet running a mobile processor). Remix OS might just be the solution to breathe some new life into that old PC that you have sitting around. This product is one of the more impressive Android based products I've seen in a long time and was a nice surprise at CES 2016.


If you'd like to find out more about the Remix Mini or the Remix OS (and get a copy for yourself), head on over to Jide.com.

If you'd like to see more pictures from our CES coverage, check out our CES 2016 photo gallery.


Linksys @ CES 2016

Linksys always has a good presence at CES and this year was no different. Things on the Belkin side of the business were really busy as they were putting on high quality screen protectors for people as they brought their devices by. On the Linksys side of things, they seem to be aiming toward the consumer enthusiast once again as they have resurrected some of their WRT routers that are DD-WRT compatible.

On the super-fast side of things, they have just announced their new Max-Stream Next-Gen Tri-Band router. This is the EA9500 and they claim it can push as much as 5400Mbps through the 802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies while ramping up the 802.11ac and stacking it on top for crazy speeds. You will need a client device that has at least six antennae to maximize the power of your router.


One feature of the EA9500 is the MU-MIMO capability. It supports multiple users on the multiple-input, multiple-output protocol. This means that you can stream 12 4K streams at once over a wireless connection. It looks impressive, but we'll have to see how it performs in the real world and not in a theoretical environment.

Please check out more of our CES images here.

AfterShokz @ CES 2016

We first met the fine folks at AfterShokz at CES 2012 when they released their first set of bone induction headphones. Every year we stop in and see the latest version of bone induction headphones and CES 2016 is no different with AfterShokz showing off their new wireless Trekz Titanium headphones. You might have heard about these headphones thanks to their recently ending Indegogo campaign that saw AfterShokz raise just under $700,000 which was a hair over 10x their original goal. 

The new Trekz Titanium version of AfterShokz's bone conduction headphones features a titanium frame that is designed to be durable enough to stand up to any activity you can think of. In addition, the Trekz Titanium also features dual noise-cancelling microphones so making clear phone calls won't be a problem. 

Trekz Titanium

We've arranged to review these new headphones in the near future so make sure to keep tuned in to BCCHardware for that upcoming article. In the meantime, if you'd like to find out more about the Trekz Titanium bone conduction headphones makes sure to check out AfterShokz's website.

For more pictures from our visit with AfterShokz as well as everything else we saw on day 3 at CES 2016, check out our 2016 CES picture gallery.

TP-Link @ CES 2016

We had a chance to meet with TP-Link at CES this year and boy have they come a long way. When they first arrived on the scene, they were the ultra-budget router that you could pick up for $30 - $50 that just plain worked. They weren't the fastest, didn't have the most features, but they worked.

Talon AD7200

Fast forward to today. TP-Link has some of the fastest wireless options available. They were showing off their Talon AD7200 802.11ad router. The 802.11ad standard uses a multi-band 4-stream technology to push data through the 2.4GHz spectrum at up to 800Mbps, combined with the 5GHz spectrum at speeds up to 1733Mbps. Then the stack the new 60GHz band on top of those that can theoreticly handle data throughput at up to 4600Mbps. When those are all combined, you get a maximum theoretical throughput of 7133Mbps (which they round up to 7200Mbps).

802.11AD Real-World Demo

In the real world, you'll never see anything close as it would take a client connection that has at least 8 antennae. That doesn't exist. They did have a life demo running though showing some pretty impressive numbers when connected to an ASUS gaming laptop.

Other product they showed at CES included their Archer C5400 Router, and a new SR20 touchscreen smart home router that includes a touchscreen. This router supports ZigBee, Z-Wave and other Wi-Fi smart home products.

Please check out all of our Day 2 CES images here.

MiLi @ CES 2016

As we were wandering around CES 2016 on Day #3 we happened to run into a company called MiLi who has a couple neat mobile accessories that caught our eye. MiLi has their iData flash drive that plugs right into your iPhone, iPad, Android, or PC, and allows you to easily offload files for backup or to free up some space, and is also able to encrypt all of that data for safe keeping. MiLi isn't the only company offering a device like this, but the sleek an small design along with the fact that the iData Flash Drive is available in capacities up to 256GB, makes this device very intriguing. Running out of storage on mobile devices is a common issue as we use them to record more and more media and the MiLi iData Flash Drive might be the device to help you out.



MiLi also has some other new products in their digital health products categories which you can find more information about over at MyMiLi.com.

For more pictures from our MiLi visit as well as all of our CES 2016 coverage check out our CES 2016 photo gallery.


HOMiDO VR @ CES 2016

Homido is a relatively new and fairly unrecognized name when it comes to VR headsets. The Homido headset is very similar to the Samsung Gear VR and in some some cases could be considered similar to the Oculus. The headset has a snug fitting for a smartphone and can be adjusted for a snug fit around the head while the Homido mini has a clip that you can position onto your smartphone so that you don't always have to carry around a bulky headset with you when you want to play VR games. Another cool feature about the mini, is that it can fold up and easily fit in your front pocket without any issues.


There is also an application that can be downloaded for the PC and the smartphone which will allow you to stream games from your PC to your phone. At a price of about $80 USD, it really could be an option to look at in the future compared with other units that are way more expensive. 

Please check out more images from our Day 2 coverage right here.

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