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Microsoft Surface Smart Watch

Yes, it’s true—Microsoft is about to get into the smartwatch game, and I got the opportunity to play with it. As we'd previously reported, Microsoft has filed a patent that details a smartwatch. However, often these patent filings aren’t exactly what we see companies end up releasing. So, let’s separate the cruft and get to the meat of the matter. A number of months ago I took a trip to New York where I came across someone who was testing the upcoming Microsoft wearable device. I saw it on their wrist and asked about it. They tried to explain that it was a random fitness wristband ordered from China at first, but eventually (with some prodding) gave me the scoop. Here is your exclusive first look at what Microsoft is planning for its first wearable smart device, what we are referring to as the Surface Watch:

  • As far as looks, the image above is a parody, but not far off. It has an elongated form factor, but isn't as comically large as what's in the image. It is much more akin to something like the Fitbit One or Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit in shape rather than taking on the shape of a traditional watch, like Pebble did, or like what Google showed off with Android Wear. What we saw had a flat display, while the inner portion that would rest against your skin was curved.
  • The icons are the flat style that Microsoft has been using on its other devices like Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Xbox One. That's what tipped me off in the first place.
  • Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy is how it interacts with the rest of the world
  • The flat glass display, and was definitely not high resolution. We hope that both of these change in the final product--a high-resolution curved display already exists on the Samsung Gear Fit, and the Microsoft device just didn't look as good.
  • The watch is packed with sensors. It has a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, and most interestingly, a galvanic skin response sensor all built-in. The galvanic skin response sensor is built into the watch band, while everything else is built into the unit itself.

Click to continue reading Exclusive: I used Microsoft’s Surface watch


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Beats Solo2 headphones

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Apple is buying Beats, the company has announced the brand new Beats Solo2 on-ear headphones, the latest in the Beats by Dr. Dre line. Touting a newly-refreshed physical design alongside improved sound quality, Beats Electronics says that the new Solo2 model will offer “a wider range of sound and enhanced clarity.” It's a good thing, too, as many have complained about the Beats by Dr. Dre line having bass-heavy sound that loses the highs and mids.

If wearing previous models of Beats headphones was something you found to be a chore, you should know that the Beats Solo2 has also been redesigned with a new look that's said to also be more comfortable thanks to better weight distribution and a memory foam-like material in the larger ear cups that should make them feel cooler and put less of a hard squeeze on your ear lobes.

You can pick up the new Beats Solo2 now. They're available in pink, grey, white, blue, and red for $199.

Read More | Beats Solo2 Heaadphones

ASUS PadFone X

So, these days just about everyone owns a smartphone. I own one. You own one. Even my grandmother owns one. If you are part of a smaller group of people, you might also own a tablet of some sort. I own an iPad for instance. And they really fulfill the same role- wasting precious moments of my life on the internet when I really could be doing something productive. Sure, one has a big screen and can't make calls, but I have often wondered why I really need both.

Apparently, so has ASUS. Back in 2012 they came out with the PadFone, a smartphone dock that was also a tablet screen, so you could view your phone in larger than life (ok, larger than phone anyway) detail. But unless you wanted to hop a plane to Taiwan and buy it there, chances are you would not get your hands on one.

Now you can. ASUS announced that starting July 6th, the PadFone will be available on the US market under the name PadFone X through AT&T. It is projected to cost $200. It only works with ASUS smartphones though, so US companies will have to get in the game.


Surface pro 3 prices

Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 3 this morning, and noted that the device would be priced starting at $799. Of course, with multiple configurations and processors available, you're probably wondering what pricing across the entire Surface Pro 3 line might look like. Well, we've got the answer:

  • Intel Core i3, 64GB SSD, 4GB RAM: $799
  • Intel Core i5, 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM: $999
  • Intel Core i5, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM: $1299
  • Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD, 8GB RAM: $1,549
  • Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD, 8GB RAM: $1,949

Here's the kicker, though. Microsoft has positioned the Surface Pro 3 as the tablet that can replace your laptop. Well, in order to do that, you need a keyboard. The Surface Pro 3 Type Cover keyboard costs a ridiculous $129.99. So, in other words, that $799 entry-level Surface Pro 3 price jumps to $929 with keyboard. Extra Surface Pens cost $49.99 as well, so, you'll want to not lose the one that comes with the device.

You can pre-order the Surface Pro 3 now. Who's buying one?


Tzukuri Eyewear iphone sunglasses

Sunglasses are one of the items that are easy to leave behind and lose, and Tzukuri Eyewear is looking to make that problem a thing of the past by using iBeacon technology. Imagine, if you will, a pair of shades with an iBeacon embedded into its frame that your iPhone connects to and is aware of. Since the iPhone can tell the distance of the beacon signal, you get a notification letting you know that you left your sunglasses behind. You can see just how far away from you they are as long as you are still in range of the iBeacon signal. Pretty cool, right?

The Tzukuri Eyewear models of sunglasses are made using 3D analysis so that they look good on more faces than the average pair. They have six designs in three sizes, each of which is handcrafted in Japan and incorporate high-quality anti-scratch, polarized lenses with 100% UV protection.


Western Digital My Passport Pro

Western Digital has announced its new My Passport Pro external Thunderbolt storage drive. The new device features two internal drives with user-selectable RAID functionality, making it perfect for those working with high-end graphics and video, and those who need more reliable mirroring.

On the inside, you'll find two 2.5-inch drives, with one model totaling 2 TB, and another providing 4 TB of storage. As the drive used Thunderbolt for connectivity, there's no separate power cable--the Thunderbolt cable is all you need to power the 233 MBps My Passport Pro. The 2 TB model sells for $299.99, while the 4 TB version is available for $429.99.

Read More | My Passport Pro

Loot Crate launch giveaway

If you love tech and geeky goodness and haven't heard of Loot Crate, where have you been?! We are big fans of the subscription box, which delivers a bunch of cool, geeky gear and nerdy swag that happens to fit our lifestyle perfectly. Each box contains 6-8 new items, all within a common theme, kept secret until they're delivered. The theme we are giving away this time is LAUNCH. What's in the box? Take a look:

  • Superman POP! Vinyl - Funko
  • Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book - Randomhouse
  • Minecraft 2014 Calendar - Trends International
  • Star Wars Pocketmodel TCG - Wizkids
  • Melting Rubik's Cube - Walls360
  • Star Trek Communicator Badge - Walls360
  • NASA "Meatball" Emblem Patch - A-B Emblem

Cool, right? Ready to enter? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! If you're a Gear Live Patreon backer at any level, you get an extra 25 entries in this giveaway! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter even if you aren't, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh, and if you wanna get in on all this awesomeness, use this link to get $3 off a Loot Crate subscription!

Click to continue reading Giveaway: Loot Crate Launch box!


Xbox One Media Remote

Microsoft has been trying to push the idea that the Xbox One is your all-in-one media device, so it's curious to see that it's taken them four months to release a remote control for the console. However, the Xbox One Media Remote is finally almost here, ready to launch in early March:

Releasing across Xbox One markets worldwide in early March, the Xbox One Media Remote lets you control video playback for Blu-ray movies and streaming video on Xbox One. Additionally, there are dedicated Back and OneGuide buttons. The OneGuide button provides one-touch, quick access to your favorite TV shows and movies through the Xbox program guide. This remote is designed to help you listen, watch and switch among experiences instantly – allowing you to rule your entertainment. The Media Remote can also control TV/Receiver power and volume through Kinect, which uses IR blasting to send signals to your TV and/or receiver.

You'll be able to control your television and receiver power and volume as well as the Xbox One, which is nice. The Media Remote also has an integrated motion sensor, so when you pick it up, the backlit buttons will illuminate, making it simple to use in the dark. The Xbox One Media Remote will sell for $24.99 when it launches in a few weeks.


Squa(red) Reader

Square is joining in the fight against AIDS with a new, red version of the Square Reader. You can pick up the new device, affectionately referred to as Squa(red), right now for $10. 97.25% of the purchase price will go to the Red charity, and is enough to cover "more than 24 days of life-saving medicine for someone living with HIV." Even more interesting, when a card is swiped through the Squa(red) device, buyers will get a link on their email receipts that allows them to donate directly to the Red charity and the global fund to fight AIDS.

Read More | SQAU(RED) Reader

Loot Crate console wars giveaway

If you love tech and geeky goodness and haven't heard of Loot Crate, where have you been?! We are big fans of the subscription box, which delivers a bunch of cool, geeky gear and nerdy swag that happens to fit our lifestyle perfectly. Each box contains 6-8 new items, all within a common theme, kept secret until they're delivered. The theme we are giving away this time is CONSOLE WARS. What's in the box? Take a look:

  • Console Wars II - Shirt Woot
  • Grip-It Control Protectors - Grip-It
  • Tintastic Creative Activity Set - Funko
  • Energems - NRG Innovations
  • Bravest Wars Sticker - Mike Vasquez
  • Split Personality Wristband - Loot Crate Labs
  • Legends Never Die Magnet - Loot Crate Labs
  • Shirt Woot coupon
  • Energems coupon
  • A candy cane

Cool, right? Ready to enter? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! If you're a Gear Live Patreon backer at any level, you get an extra 25 entries in this giveaway! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter even if you aren't, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh, and if you wanna get in on all this awesomeness, use this link to get $3 off a Loot Crate subscription!

Click to continue reading Giveaway: Loot Crate Console Wars box!


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