Anker Astro Pro and Pro 2 and Introduction
While roaming the floors at Pepcom Digital Experience, we ran into many vendors that we were familiar with and many that we were not. We expected to find some great new products from the many vendors that were there and we found a few products that we thought were neat, checked them out, and have compiled some information for you to read. It was a Wizard of Oz theme here, so we give you this next picture of some Munchkins!
One vendor that we’ve worked with in the past is Anker, a leader of mobile charging solutions, should your mobile gadget need a little extra juice while on the go. Anker was showing off some products that have been on the market for a while, but they also had a soon to be released Astro Pro Series battery. This is Anker’s second generation charging solution that has intelligent device detection, called PowerIQ. The thing that got a lot of people, me included, was the fact that some devices didn’t charge at full speed with some of the original technology. Anker fixed that with PowerIQ as it can detect what type of device you just plugged in and it makes sure that you charge up at full speed, no matter the device!
The first of the chargers is called the Astro Pro, which features a 15,000mAh battery and has two PowerIQ ports to charge multiple devices at one time. This charger features a sleek black aluminum shell and is designed to be thin. It is somewhat large, but you can easily drop it in a bag and not have to worry about the bulk. The on-board LCD is nice that it tells you exactly how much battery you have left in a numerical representation, not LEDs.
The Astro Pro 2 is the other battery that was on display, which this features a larger 20,000mAh battery and the same shell and finish that the standard Pro offers. The other difference is the inclusion of one more PowerIQ port, making it a total of three. You will also find the nice LCD displaying your battery percentage.
Anker does also have a 5-port desktop charger that is out now, but will be upgraded to include PowerIQ, along with a few other devices.
Expect to find the Astro Pro Series charger on Amazon starting at $69.99 later this month.
JAM Shows Three New Portable Speaker Products
If you haven’t heard of JAM, you may be in the minority. JAM is well known for their portable and compact Bluetooth speaker products; hooking up to your favorite mobile gadget and letting you jam to music on the go, in your office, at your computer desk, or anywhere that you probably won’t have a stereo sitting around. One nice thing about JAM products is you don’t have to compromise sound quality for the compact size. We all know that smaller speakers commonly don’t sound that great, but that’s not what JAM wants.
One new product that JAM was showing was a system that they call the JAM Rewind. It’s called rewind for a reason, because they gave it a retro look – looking like a cassette tape. Does anyone remember these things anymore? This speaker system isn’t nearly as small as an old cassette tape, but it isn’t gigantic either. This system features four speakers for super base and sound performance, so you will be wowed if you hear one. You can expect to get up to eight hours of use out of this speaker system and it will be available sometime in Spring 2014 for $99.99.
The next new product for 2014 that they were showing off was called the JAM Touch. The Touch is an upgrade to the ever popular Classic. JAM Touch is nearly identical, in appearance, to the Classic, but it sports a few new features. For starters, it is slightly larger, which they say will provide even better sound quality than the previous generation. The “Touch” name comes from the touch sensitive capacitive buttons on the top for controlling playback. You should expect 6 hours of battery life out of this portable speaker and it will be available this Spring.
Finally, they were showing off the JAM Street, which offers a large radius of sound to your ears, but it is designed to be very rugged. With this speaker, you can expect it to continue functioning should you drop it, splash liquid at it, or get it all full of dirt. In all honesty, who would want to do that to their new investment? I suppose if you’re on the run a lot, stuff does happen. Like many of their other products and the previous ones that were mentioned, there is a speakerphone integrated into this, so you can take calls with it. JAM Street is rated for up to 8 hours of use, which means you can party hard when you’re on the run. Look for these to also be available this Spring for $99.99.
myCharge Brings Several New Intelligent Power Banks
From the title you might be asking, “What’s an intelligent power bank,” right? Can it do your homework? Well, they’re not quite that level of smart, but the latest line of myCharge Power Banks are intelligent enough to detect what type of device you just hooked up. The iPhone takes a different input amperage than what an Android phone does, so this will make your device charge at the rate it should. The other improvement on their latest line of power banks is the fact that they can charge up to 200% faster, based on their input source.
myCharge’s light weight power bank is called the Talk & Charge. This portable battery is designed to be ultra-thin and is designed to be roughly the same size as your smartphone; it also has a soft touch (rubberized) to help keep it and your phone from sliding around while utilizing your phone. With that said, there is a specific iPhone and Android version of this battery. The iPhone version comes in a 3000mAh capacity and is compatible with the entire iPhone 5 line. Something you don’t find on a lot of products yet, is that it included a built-in lightning cable. The Android or Windows Phone version of this product will come in a 4000mAh capacity and is definitely larger in physical size, more closely representing the Galaxy S3/S4 in size. Of course with this power bank you will find a built-in MicroUSB cable. Finally, both versions of the Talkk & Charge include a second full-sized USB port to allow you to charge a second device. This power bank will run you $99.99.
The Razor Series is the next product they had available. This line of batteries, called the RazorPlus and RazorMax will come in 3000mAh and 6000mAh capacities, respectively. There are no built-in cables with this power bank, but instead it has two full-sized USB ports and you have to provide your own cable. The Razor Series power banks are super sleek and super thin, in which you should expect to find them for with a suggested price of $59.99 - $79.99.
Finally, myCharge also displayed a smaller capacity power bank to accommodate those with a smaller budget, as well as a moderate size version. This line of power banks is called the Amp Series and there are three different models. We’ll find the Mini, Plus, and Max, each sporting a capacity of 2200 mAh, 3000 mAh, 6000mAh, respectively. The Max would be your best bet if you want to charge a tablet just due to its larger capacity. The unique feature to the Plus and Max is the integrated LED flashlight, should you desire a feature like that. This line of power banks will run you $29.99 - $49.99.
All new myCharge products do come in a variety of colors and will be launching sometime between Late Q1 and Q2 of 2014.
TP-Link Brings Us Two New SOHO Wireless Products
TP-Link was showing off two new products in their growing line of 802.11AC products. 802.11AC is becoming popular, but it is still very new and expensive technology. If you’re not familiar with AC, it basically uses Dual-Band technology which can run simultaneously, but the client will connect to either the 5GHz band or 2.4GHz band. AC ends up being about 3 times faster than N on the 5GHz band.
The first new product in their line is the AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router, which again features the latest 802.11AC WiFi technology. Inside the AC1900 you’ll find the fastest speeds on the market today; 1.3Gbps over the 5GHz frequency and 600Mbps over 2.4GHz. On the AC1900 you can find the traditional 4 gigabit ports and a USB 3.0 port to allow for a simple NAS solution.
You should be able to find this new AC router for $179.99 in Q2 2014.
Because we’re always on the move with our mobile gadgets, the Beamforming technology built into the AC1900 can only work to a certain level. What you will end up needing to do next, if your throughput isn’t up to par, is get a wireless extender, which moves us onto the TL-WPA4220KIT that was also shown at Pepcom.
Most end users end up wanting to utilize the faster speeds of the 5GHz band, but that frequency fades off much quicker than 2.4GHz, which leads us into The TL-WPA4220KIT: An Ethernet over Powerline device that can extend your WiFi network, and with ease. The TL-WPA4220KIT will intelligently grab the settings from your AC1900, with the touch of a button, and clone them so you don’t have to do any additional configuration. Talk about user friendly, right?
Expect to find this kit here in the First Quarter of 2014 for $59.99.
Gunnar - Computer and Gaming Eyewear
When Gunnar first came on the scene in 2008, their goal was to reduce eye strain for computer users. With amber tinted lenses with an anti-glare coating they quickly became an important company in world where computer usage was exploding. Since then, they have greatly expanded their product line and enhanced the technology behind the glasses.
The Intercept line is the low cost line, without sacrificing Gunnar quality and features. Previously the Intercept line was only available in Onyx, a solid black. Now, that line has expanded to provide more options with five new colors: Cobalt, Fire, Kryptonite, Ghost and Ink; Blue, Red, Green, White and Purple. In my opinion, they look very similar to the classic Ray Ban, with a semi-transparent frame.
Made out of engineering grade polymers, they are designed to be worn for long hours. They include the well known Gunnar amber lens, in a larger format to provide a wide viewing field.
These are currently only available through BestBuy.com, and has a retail price of $59.99; however when they go on sale, they can be purchased for around $44.99.
Ventev Brings Several New Mobile Chargers
Working to help resolve power needs of mobile devices, Ventev is announcing several new models of chargers at CES 2014.
The UtilityCharger 2100 is both a wall and car charger for mobile devices. It is capable of charging two devices at a time, whether it is a tablet or smartphone. It features an unfolding 12V DC vehicle accessory plug and an AC wall plug. Finally, to connect to the device, it has integrated cable wrap system to keep the cables nearby.
The Powercell 6000+ is a powerful 6000 mAh Li-ion battery with dual USB charge ports. It is powerful enough to charge multiple devices at the same time, to maximum capacity several times. A 1A port will provide a standard charge to a smartphone, while the other 2.1A will provide a rapid charge to a smartphone or tablet. When in storage, the Powercell 6000+ will hold it's charge for up to 6 months.
The new Dashport R2240 is very simply a dual device charger for the car. With two USB ports, two smartphones can charge at the same time with its maximum charge rate of 2.4A. The dual USB ports have LEDs which will make it easy to plug in your USB cable.
Ventev products are available at www.ventev.com
This concludes our coverage of Pepcom Digital Experience 2014 in Las Vegas. We saw many new products here and several with great potential for the market. We had a chance to get in and work with Anker on some new power bank chargers that have PowerIQ – an intelligent device detection system for proper charging; similarly myCharge also showed us a several new power banks with a technology similar to PowerIQ.
JAM showed us several new portable speakers for your on-the-go listening needs. We found a variety of sizes and styles here.
TP-Link introduced a new 802.11AC router and a WiFi extender to help keep your wireless network speedy.
Gunnar was displaying their latest eyewear for gamers, which helps reduce stress on your eyes while staring at your monitor.
Finally, Ventev had a few new mobile charging solutions for the wall, car, or on-the-go.
Thank you again to Pepcom for another great event! See you again in 2015!