New Product Stories Today
I’m a big believer in mechanical keyboards. Das Key’s Mac model is my daily driver, there’s just something about that clickity-clack that makes you feel productive. Many typewriter enthustiasts feel the same way, but have struggled to find an alternative on modern day computers. Let alone a wireless option. The new Lofree Keyboard looks to answer all of these questions with its throwback looks and cord-free design.
Called “the first mechanical keyboard inspired by typewriters”, Lofree has engineered round keycaps with an Apple-friendly layout. In fact, it works with Mac, PC, iOS and Android with the ability to pair up with three devices at once. Additionally, each key is backlit for use on-the-go or in dimmer environments. The Lofree Wireless Mechanical Keyboard is slated to ship in multiple colors in the coming weeks, final pricing has yet to be announced.
There’s no denying the success of Raspberry Pi and its affordable DIY motherboards. Through multiple iterations, this project remains notable in the world of homebrewing and, more recently, kid-focused coding kits. ASUS is hoping to cash in on this trend (albeit a bit late to the party) with its new Tinker Board. Coming in at nearly an identical size as the Pi 3, it features a quad-core Rockchip processor, four USB ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi and a gigabit ethernet jack.
The Tinkerboard has a couple of notable specs, including 2GB of RAM and 4K video output. Both of which go above and beyond the typical list of features on these DIY boards. That, of course, will come at a price. ASUS has listed its latest creation at £55 across the pond, which transfers to around $70 in the US. It certainly has a long way to go to catch up to Rasperry Pi’s name recognition but the upgraded specs should help along the way.
New Product Stories January 20
It’s been a long journey for the Dash button, Amazon’s physical one-press ordering system, since it was announced nearly two years ago. But with the advent, ease-of-use and success of its Echo lineup, some have wondered what the future holds for this add-on. Today, Amazon revealed new digital Dash buttons that reside on a virtual shelf for quick re-ordering of your favorite items. Of course, you’ll have access to all of the brands already associated with this service.
Unlike the physical buttons that cost $4.99 per unit, the digital alternative is free. This could potentially be the beginning of the end for Amazon’s at-home buttons. There have always been a number of pitfalls along the road to success for Dash, most notably consumer’s dependance and access to smartphone devices. Simply put, it’s easier to access the Amazon app on your phone or offer a command to Alexa than ordering and setting up one of these buttons. Digital Dash is available today and can be setup by visiting this page.
New Product Stories January 19
With Zelda Breath of the Wild and the new Nintendo Switch only a month and half out at this point, excitement for the next generation of Nintendo is at all-time high. For the most part, the Switch and its accessories including the Carrying Case + Screen Protector bundle, Joy-Con Charging Grip, extra Joy-Con controllers and more have been largely sold out across all major retailers. And now, the official third-party options are up for pre-order. Most of which come in at a much more affordable price point and get the job done just as well.
Down below you’ll find our top picks for the best third-party Nintendo Switch accessories including everything from stands and cases to screen protectors, controller chargers and more. All of the items listed below are currently in-stock and slated for a March 3rd release date alongside Nintendo Switch: expand full story
NAMM 2017 is officially in full swing this week, which means product unveilings galore for the latest and greatest in music and audio production gear. We’ve been covering some of the bigger announcements on 9to5Toys (and over on 9to5Mac), but below we’ve rounded up the best of the best so you don’t miss anything. Check back for more NAMM product announcements as the show continues over the weekend.
Dave Smith is one of the world’s best known and well respected synth designers ever to grace the soldering iron. He has been making world-class instruments since the early 70’s and is referred to as the “Father of MIDI” after having developed the technology we still use to this day. Fast forward more than 30-years, Smith’s company DSI is still releasing some of the most sought after hardware synths on the market and has now given us our first taste of the brand new REV2 poly synth at NAMM 2017. Head below for all the details:
Leica, creators of some of the world’s most visually attractive cameras, has announced its newest model: the M10. Designed to blend vintage styling with new technology, this digital camera offers full manual controls and a new 24 megapixel sensor. Leica is also offering Wi-Fi and GPS radios in the M10 with eyes on attracting travelers that transfer photos on-the-go to a compatible iOS device (Android coming soon). The magnesium-alloy chassis houses a large display on the back that visually communicates the changes made via the manual controls.
Upgrades abound throughout this model in comparison to its predecessor, perhaps none more than the impressive 100 to 50,000 ISO range. The updated image processor can capture five frames per second and spits out 30 RAW or 100 JPEG images in that time. Additionally, a refreshed viewfinder has a 30% larger field of view that Leica claims will offer increased relief of eye-strain. In typical fashion, this blend of technology and vintage looks will not come cheap. Leica will sell the new M10 for $6,495 at authorized retailers.
New Product Stories January 18
Teenage Engineering is responsible for some of the most unique and creatively thought-provoking synthesizers on the market. Its quirky OP-1 – which saw a much appreciated update well into its life cycle recently – is one my favorite hardware instruments, and it doesn’t get much more fun than the Pocket Operators. The tiny calculator-sized synths offer up loads of functionality and even more character. After expanding the line even further las year, Teenage Engineering is back at it again with the new PO-32 Tonic. Head below for all the details:
Beeline, a 2015 Kickstarter success story, is now officially shipping units of its smart navigation system for bicycles. Designed with simplicity in mind, this add-on for your two-wheeler brings smartphone connectivity and turn-by-turn direction in a small circular display that mounts right to your handlebar. Beeline starts in a small rubberized shell that fits on a keychain, so you can store it when not in use. The e-paper display is not much bigger than a coin but it packs a ton of information.
Inside is an accelerometer and gyroscope that works in tandem with your phone’s GPS radio to provide directions to your desired location. You’ll start on by setting a path within the free iOS and Android app, from there, simply follow the directions on the display. A potential downfall for some is that Beeline only communicates with arrows and distance remaining to the next action. If you’re someone that prefers a street or map view, opting for a smartphone bike mount may be more beneficial. Beeline’s inconspicuous design is likely to be a hit with those looking for a minimalistic alternative to traditional bike computers. It is currently available for purchase direct from the manufacturer for $119.
When it comes to a digital assistant in the home, there are two big players ─ Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home. However, Google Home has a big advantage in the entertainment field since it can connect to Google’s Chromecast ecosystem, including those from third-party manufacturers. Now, that includes Vizio’s collection of SmartCast products.
New Product Stories January 17
With the success of STEM programs across United States schools, more new products are hitting the scene based on these hands-on education programs. The newest of which is Plezmo. This Kickstarter project is the latest iOS and Android coding kit that allows students to build a variety of projects with step-by-step instructions. Plezmo uses connectable blocks (called elements) that represent actual code seen within the app. As pieces are put together, projects then come to life.
Like littleBits, each block provides a different function. For example, the proximity sensor and bulb can be combined to light a Christmas tree or space when someone enters a room. Or you can place the buzzer on your mini basketball hoop and program a scoreboard that countdowns to the final horn. Plezmo is also compatible with LEGO Mindstorm and Sphero products, so you can use it in conjunction with some of our favorite robotics kits. Currently a pledge of $109 will deliver a bundle in September if all goes to plan.
New Product Stories January 16
We all know the way computer design goes these days. You have Apple’s sleek aluminum design (copied by many competitors) and a wide range of machines that are user upgradeable. There really isn’t much in-between. That’s where the Volta V computer comes in. This PC has a beautiful case that is made from American hardwood and offers full access to all of the components on the inside if you need to tinker down the road. It ships with either a walnut or bamboo chassis that has a magnetically-sealed access lid. You’ll need to provide your own monitor that will rest on the 5.5-inch tall stand.
Volta is offering its latest V Computer creation in a variety of configurations, priced from $2,000. Obviously, you’re paying a handsome up-charge for the design aspects of this product. That said, if you’re someone that’s deep in the world of PC and wants to standout from the crowd, Volta might be right up your alley. It is slated to ship in March but is currently available for pre-order with a required $300 down payment.
New Product Stories January 13
Competition in the electric scooter market is heating up, with Kickstarter becoming a proving ground for this evolving product category. GoTube has raised over $110,000 with what it claims to be “the world’s most portable electric scooter.” Thanks to its unique foldable design and sleek finishes, it’s flown past its original goal. So what makes GoTube different from the competition? It collapses into a cylinder and can be transported just like a backpack. In fact, it looks like you’re ready to go to yoga class. There is a built-in display on the handlebar that relays speed and range alongside push-button speed control. Of course, like any good 2017 release, it has a USB port for charging your smartphone.
Diving into the specs reveals a 4Ah 36V electric battery that powers a 120W motor. The trade-off for its slim design is around eight miles range with a maximum speed of 10MPH. The carbon fiber body weighs in at just under 13-pounds, which gives this eScooter a lot of potential for college campuses and the like. Currently an early bird pledge of $299 will deliver a GoTube Scooter and backpack system in March of 2017.
New Product Stories January 12
SpeedX hit the scene just under a year ago with its Leopard Smart Aero road bike on Kickstarter to massive success. In that time, it has worked to develop a new version with updated features. This week, SpeedX returned to the popular crowdfunding site with its Unicorn road bike. A slimmer design, Android-powered head unit and built-in power meter highlight its lengthy list of features. In just 75 minutes, this project reached its full Kickstarter goal and has raised nearly $1,000,000 in the meantime.
So what makes the Unicorn so special? Its “ultra-lightweight” frame has a number of gadgets that are meant to make your ride easier. According to SpeedX, it features the first of its kind integrated power meter that works in tandem with a number of sensors and GPS to accurately track your rides. The SpeedForce computer has a 2.2-inch touchscreen that relays key data points via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Just a few of the noted measurables include heart rate, cadence, speed, calories and distance. A wireless toggle switch on the handlebars serves as an input device for the computer. However, this kind of tech doesn’t come cheap. Currently a pledge of $2,999 will deliver a unit in April.
New Product Stories January 11
Steadicam first came on to the scene back in the 1970’s when it introduced buttery smooth shots in hit films like Rocky. Since then, it has become an industry standard for filmmakers. Skip forward to 2017 and the brand is bringing its well-known name and technology to smartphones. The new Steadicam Volt landed on Kickstarter this week with a $139 price tag. It uses a mix of traditional gimbal balance and a built-in motor to deliver jitter-free shots on your iPhone or Android.
The Volt is similar to DJI’s Osmo handheld (review here), but does so without all of the added bells and whistles. Creators will be able to continue to use it without the motorized gimbal when the eight hour battery is dead, which is helpful on those long trips. There isn’t much in the way of extras here aside from simple iOS and Android apps. In exchange for a lower price point, you can expect a higher learning curve in comparison to the costlier competition. That said, this has the potential to be an excellent entry-point into the world cinema for aspiring videographers. Steadicam’s Volt has already surpassed its $100,000 goal and is expected to begin shipping units in June.
New Product Stories January 10
Ok, Apple Watch fans, here is the nightstand dock that you’ve been waiting on. Elago recently introduced a new home for your wearable that looks like a miniature Macintosh 128K! The design itself is pretty clever. A cutout for your watch face recreates a mini display that looks just like the original desktop computer. It leverages Nightstand mode to show the time, alarm settings, and more.
There are plenty of nighstand chargers out there, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one that resonates with an Apple-enthusiast more than this one. Elago is selling this cute dock in white or black colorings for $15 at Amazon and it’s also available direct for $14. Shipping varies in both instances.
When Apple Watch was first unveiled, accessory makers sprinted to fill the market with add-ons. One of the less popular items have been cases, which have largely added bulk without much function. MTM Status has landed on Kickstarter with a design that does both. Made of “weapons-grade” materials, this Watch case has a pair of analog dials with a built-in clock and compass. It’s no surprise that its robust design and dials would be attractive to outdoors-types that also coincidentally own an Apple Watch.
MTM locks around your wearable with a series of metal screws that tighten from each side. There are two material choices, including 7075 aluminum and Grade 2 titanium in silver and black, respectively. At this time, the plan is to only have 500 Titanium models made as a limited edition run. MTM is also offering a series of silicone, nylon, leather and metal bands in multiple colorings as a part of this Kickstarter campaign. Other official and third-party bands will not be compatible with this accessory. Prices start at $129 for the aluminum model and go up to $449 for titanium with a May 2017 ship date if all goes to plan.