On Gear Live: The Technics 1200 Turntable Returns

Apple Watch woven nylon bands

During this morning's Let Us Loop You In event, Apple announced a few new Apple Watch bands. The company announced a new woven nylon band, with a four-layer construction, and will be available in blue, pink, and orange. The current bands also get new colors, like a yellow sport band, aqua blue leather band, and a space black Milanese Loop. Additionally, Apple announced a price drop on the Apple Watch - the Apple Watch Sport now starts at $299, a $50 decrease from the previous $349 price point.


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Toshiba Chromebook 2

Are today's laptop prices starting to worry you? If you have a laptop that's about ready to hum its last and need a replacement, there are inexpensive and dependable computers out there…if you know where to look. We're specifically talking about Chromebooks, those lightweight laptops that run Chrome OS and come with much cheaper specs than the average mobile machine. Even the best Chromebooks are limited in some ways: Because they can only run Chrome and have very limited storage, most of their work needs to be based in the cloud, on the web, or on more simple apps. However, if you don't need to run any demanding programs or save up a lot of data, they can be a very effective solution to your laptop vs. wallet problem. Here are several of our top picks for the best Chromebooks and why they shine.

Toshiba Chromebook 2 - $400

It's common to expect not-so-impressive specs on a Chromebook, so when one of these computers actually has impressive features, it's worth talking about. This Toshiba Chromebook 2 has a particularly great HD, 1080p screen: At around 13 inches it isn't huge, but it is bright and beautiful, and makes this Chromebook an entertainment device in its own right. The other features include 4GB of RAM, a Core i3 processor, and only 16GB of storage, so remember to take it easy and stream your entertainment instead of downloading it.

Click to continue reading Laptop Prices Got You Down? Here Are the Best Chromebooks


I bring you my Keurig Kold review in this episode! This is a soda machine that uses Keurig Kold pods to make sodas, teas, mixers, sports drinks, and other cold drinks on demand, right from your home. There is no CO2 canister to mess with, and no syrup bottles either - the magic is in the pods, which contain the syrup needed for the Keurig Kold Drinkmaker to make your drink and have it come out nice and carbonated.

I'll let the video do the rest of the talking - check it out to see the Keurig Kold in action, find out if it can make a great glass of homemade Coca-Cola, and see if it's worth the money overall.

You can pick up the Keurig Kold Drinkmaker now.

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Latest Gear Live Videos

This is the HTC One A9 - this isn’t an iPhone. But, if you wish you could get an Android device in the shape of an iPhone, well, here you go. HTC says  that it sold aluminum unibody devices before Apple did, and they’re right. Ever since the One M7 at the start of 2013, HTC has been promoting its signature aluminum unibody design, characterized by a particular mix of subtle curves and precise straight lines.  But hey, the camera, camera flash, and even corner radius on the A9 device matches the iPhone 6 and 6s, and those antenna bands look awfully familiar as well.

If you read the One A9’s spec sheet, you’d probably think of it as a mid-range phone with nothing special about it. But that’s why spec sheets should be ignored for the most part. Using the One A9 shows what happens when a phone makes the most of its components, resulting in a device that compares favorably with most other companies' flagship smartphones.

The HTC One A9 is a good phone. However, the price is the issue. $500. Decent battery life, above average performance, decent software options, decent camera. This is a mid-range phone with mid-range specs with an expensive price tag. It doesn’t compete in a market where you can drop $500 on a Nexus 6P flagship, Galaxy S6, or the iPhone 6.

When the A9 launched at $399 In the United States, that was the time to pick one up, despite the insane backorder. The metal unibody frame is nicer than what you will find on the Nexus 5X.. But after a week, the price increased to $499, and that 25% jump in price means that the One A9’s value diminishes greatly. Now you compare it to the Nexus 6P, which many consider to be the best Android smartphone to date. No way HTC is winning that contest, even if simply for the fact that the Nexus device  includes long-term assurance that you will get Android updates faster and for a longer period of time.

You can pick up HTC One A9 now.

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Eero is a new player in the home Wi-Fi space, and the company claims that its Home Wi-Fi System can put an end to those Wi-Fi dead zones for good. In the box you'll find three Eero units, one of which needs to be plugged directly into your main router using the included Ethernet cable. Two more units simply need to be plugged into wall power in order portions of your home. The three Eero devices then essentially team up to create one mesh Wi-Fi network in your home that is broadcasted from those three locations, eliminating areas that would otherwise have a weak (or non-existent) Wi-Fi signal. In this episode I open up the Eero Home Wi-Fi System and give you a closer look at the hardware.

You can get the Eero Wi-Fi System now.

Don't forget to subscribe to Gear Live's YouTube channel--also, we are giving away awesome perks for our Patreon backers - thanks for your support!

 
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Nintendo sent me an early copy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD bundle, which includes the exclusive Wolf Link amiibo. In this episode, I open up the Twilight Princess bundle, and give you an up-close look at the unique Wolf Link amiibo figure. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is a Wii U remake of the Nintendo GameCube and Wii game, Twilight Princess. It's the second remaster of a Zelda title on the Wii U, following The Wind Waker HD.

Twilight Princess HD features reworked graphics with primarily new textures, giving the game a cleaner look and feel. The original had just a 480p resolution on both the GameCube and Wii, Twilight Princess HD instead has a 1080p resolution, resulting in additional clarity, especially for faraway objects and precise aiming. Most textures in the game are touched up with added details, with notable examples including Link's hair, Zant's armor, and several background textures.

You can get the Twilight Princess Wolf Link bundle now.

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With the rumors that Apple will be removing the headphone jack with the introduction of the iPhone 7, many are hoping that wireless Bluetooth headphones and earbuds will be available in a big way come this fall. I ran into Kanoa at CES, makers of an amazing pair of truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds.

With Kanoa, there's no wire connecting the earbuds to your device or to each other. In addition, no wires are needed for charging either, as the earbuds are charges in a wireless case. Kanoa earbuds also allow you to hear the ambient noise around you if you choose - so, when you are out bike-riding and listening to music, you can also hear important cues around you.

You can pick up the KANOA Wireless Earbuds now.

Don't forget to subscribe to Gear Live's YouTube channel--also, we are giving away awesome perks for our Patreon backers - thanks for your support!

 
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Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes Review

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, a role-playing game released for mobile platforms last fall, initially struck me as a game I could skip without a second thought. It had the appearance of a cheap cash-in meant to capitalize on the launch of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Although I'm not generally not the sort of person to write off a game for being free-to-play (some of my favorite games don't cost a dime to start playing), there's something about the combination of that business model, mobile, and a major franchise that made me assume it was not worth so much as a download.

I was wrong.


The ConnectSense Smart Outlet is an Apple HomeKit compatible device that plugs into any outlet in your home, allowing you to turn just about any device into a smart device. The Smart Outlet gives you two outlets, which can be powered on and off by using the ConnectSense app, Siri voice control, or even pressing a button on the side of the device. Plug in a lamp, and you can now control that lamp from anywhere, using your smartphone or tablet - even outside of your home if you own an Apple TV. I bring you my full rundown of the ConnectSense Smart Outlet in this episode!

You can pick up the ConnectSense Smart Outlet now.

Don't forget to subscribe to Gear Live's YouTube channel--also, we are giving away awesome perks for our Patreon backers - thanks for your support!

 
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iPhone SE

Apple is reportedly working on launching a 4-inch iPhone model dubbed the iPhone SE. Similar to what Apple has done with the iPhone 5c version albeit, in this case, with upgraded specs that are akin to the iPhone 6; perhaps higher. This is great news for those that find the bigger smartphones a bit unwieldy but without sacrificing cutting edge specs.

The iPhone SE design is slated to look closer to the iPhone 5s but with tapered edges mimicking the iPhone 6 design. A hybrid of sorts. All the newer bells and whistles will be included such as Apple’s in-house designed silicon A9 processor, M9 co-processor, perhaps all-in-one chip, “Hey Siri”, full Live Photo support, and an improved 8-megapixal iSight camera. Also rumored is Touch ID/Apple Pay features and, of course, upgraded wireless capabilities. Storage will likely be 16GB and 64GB. I must say, you might as well pony up for the 64GB version because 16GB is so 2007.

Mark your calendars for March 21st because it’s that time of year again where Apple reveals all the new cool gear. There’s a high probability that iPhone SE might go on sale as quick as March 25th.
 

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