Best Holiday Gifts-Tech Edition

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It’s not easy being a geek. Every year we salivate over the latest technology and we need want to have it all. But unless you rob a bank or take a second mortgage out on your home it’s just not possible. We have to pick and choose what we want the most. Here’s a list of some of the best products out there and how you can get the best deals this holiday season.

Streaming Player

By now we all have HD televisions. Many of us don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars a month on cable bills. That’s where Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast come in. All of these products allow users to watch a wide array of programming on their TVs. The Roku and Apple TV are very similar as you plug a HDMI chord into them and connect them to your television. Chromecast works a little differently. It’s basically an HDMI dongle that you plug into your TV that allows you to stream content from your smartphone or tablet.

So which one should you buy? If we’re going by price the Chromecast is the clear cut winner at only $35. If you’re lucky you can find a retailer or two that is offering it for $30 this holiday season. The Roku is the option with the most content to offer. You can get hundreds of channels and even play games like Angry Birds if you are so inclined. You can get the Roku 3 for $99 or if you don’t mind last year’s model the Roku 2 can be had for $79.99. Last but not least is the Apple TV. If you are tied into the Apple ecosystem in any way look no further. Being able to Airplay your iPhone or iPad’s screen straight to your TV is fantastic. Apple TV is also $99 but I recommend picking up an Apple certified refurbished model for $75. It comes with the same 1 year warranty and you save 24% to boot. Read the rest of this entry »


Nexus 7 (2013) Review

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Nexus 7

Last year Google, with some help from Asus, released its first generation Nexus 7 tablet. It was an inexpensive ($199) way to get into the Android eco-system. Quickly it became the most popular tablet not named iPad. It was small and portable, fitting in most pockets, while still packing a punch with a quad core processing chip. A big selling point of the Nexus brand of devices is that they are the first to receive Android software updates. The Nexus 7 (2012) was indeed the first device to ship with Android 4.1. It was a solid device which received much acclaim, but some improvements were needed to its 2013 offering in order to become a more well rounded tablet.

This past July Google released the updated Nexus 7 (2013) in 16GB ($229), 32GB ($269), and 32GB LTE ($349) variations.. This tablet would prove to be one of the most sought after tech products of 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

Coin, The New Age Credit Card, Reaches Its Preorder Goal Within An Hour

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If you carry several credit and debit cards in your wallet then you know how much of a pain in the ass (literally) it can be. Coin is looking to change the way you carry your cards. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Releases Nexus 5 Smartphone Silently, Some Models Already Sold Out

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Last year Google released the Nexus 4, to go along with their Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. The smartphone was a success despite its lack of LTE connectivity. Those with cellular companies that used the GSM standard (AT&T and T-Mobile in the US and most of the rest of the world) were able to buy an unsubsidized smartphone for the relatively affordable price of $299 for the 8 GB model. This year in a silent rollout, Google released the Nexus 5 (Nexus devices are typically named after their screen size). Read the rest of this entry »

‘Ping’ App Promises To Change The Way You Think About Email

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For some time companies have been trying to come up with new ways to make email more enjoyable. Orchestra Inc. came out with a great new app earlier this year called Mailbox, which helps  clean up your inbox by using intuitive swiping gestures. Ping is looking to take things a step further and revolutionize your email habits.

Ping’s goal is to turn your emails into sleek IM- like conversations. Features include being able to see when the other person is typing and custom notifications for each contact.

The iOS app will be released on September 18th with Android and Web apps to follow. Ping will be taking reservations on a first come, first serve basis in order to not overload their servers upon launch. If you want to get your hands on the app soon after its release, head on over to their website to get yourself on their waiting list today.


Nike+ FuelBand (Review)

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“The older you get, the harder it is to stay in shape,” stop me if you’ve heard this before. I can certainly relate, which is why for the better half of the past five years I have taken up running with various degrees of success. While it is still possible to go to the gym and work up a sweat without any form of technology, I found that I was more motivated by doing so. First, as is common, I ran with my iPod. Listening to music seemed to get me to run just a little bit harder. Then when I finally took the plunge and bought my first smartphone I started trying out GPS based apps. They not only mapped my runs but also showed me how fast I was running. I still use these applications today but I have added some exciting new technology into the mix, the Nike+ Fuelband.

Nike first released the FuelBand in February of 2012. It is worn on the wrist and its main purpose is to provide its user with information on how active they are on a given day. Nike does this by using their own propiertary measurement, NikeFuel. It takes a little while to get used to but given time you start to learn what constitutes an active day for yourself. Out of the box Nike tells you that 3000 NikeFuel points is what they consider to be active.

When first unboxing your Nike+ FuelBand you must connect it to your computer via the USB chord supplied. This is where you set up your daily goal for the first time. Listening to Nike, I stuck with 3000. This means that every day I reach 3000 points my FuelBand lights up with a cool little graphic. Along with Fuel, the FuelBand also shows how many calories you have burned, steps you have taken, and the time of day by pressing the button on the band.

This product sounds pretty great on paper, so how well does it work? Read the rest of this entry »