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Tools of the Trade: March 2016

By Michael Castelluccio
March 1, 2016
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03_2016_tools

1. HP SPECTRE x2 2-IN-1

 

Following the success of the work tablets from Microsoft and Apple, HP has released the Spectre x2 2-in-1, combining the PC power of a laptop and a full HD tablet. The Spectre’s thin (0.3″) profile is fashioned from a single piece of aluminum, and it has a fold-away kickstand and attachable full-sized, backlit keyboard with trackpad. An optional input is available with active pens that use Wacom technology. The central processor is an Intel Core M, and the solid-state drive is available in 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB. RAM is customizable up to 8GB. The Lithium-ion polymer battery provides up to 10 hours on a charge. The Spectre x2 has an on-board Wi-Fi antenna as well as one for Verizon 4G LTE. The 5 megapixel front-­facing camera and 8 megapixel rear-facing camera include full HD video capture, and an Intel RealSense 3-D camera lets you scan, share, and print in 3-D. The 12-inch screen is a 1,920 × 1,280 full HD IPS display with multitouch gesture support, and the audio system is Bang & Olufsen with two speakers on the keyboard and a speaker on each side of the tablet. The operating system is Windows 10. www.hp.com

 

 

2. MY PASSPORT ULTRA

 

The My Passport Ultra ­external drives are available in four colors (black, white, blue, and red) and four capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 3TB. They are conveniently portable at 3.21″ × 4.33″ and just a half-inch thick for the 500GB model. The terabyte capacities make these a backup solution that you can pocket. You can even duplicate the process with the addition of your Dropbox cloud-service account as one of the options for backup. The drive’s USB 3.0 compatibility provides 5 GB/s transfer speeds—three times faster than USB 2.0. The WD Drive Utilities enable registering your drive, setting a timer, running diagnostics, and setting up security features such as password protection and 256-bit hardware-based data encryption. They’re compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista operating systems and Mac OS X. www.wdc.com

 

 

3. THINKWARE DASHCAM

 

The ThinkWare H50 HD DashCam is an economical and efficient way to record your daily commute or vacation trip. Easily installed with adhesive tape mounts for the camera and cable holder, the DashCam has several recording modes, including an optional Parking Surveillance mode that is motion activated. When heat build-up in the car becomes excessive, a built-in thermal sensor turns off the device to protect the camera and your stored footage. The memory card is an 8GB MLC type micro SD. The camera comes with a USB micro SD card reader, and there’s a PC viewer application on the card that simplifies viewing on your computer. Three other models in the ThinkWare line offer built-in GPS, Wi-Fi, traffic updates, LCD screens, and rear-camera support. www.thinkware.com

 

 

4. PULSE SOLO LED AND SPEAKERS

 

Indoor lighting is getting smarter, adding functions from smoke detection to emergency weather alerts. One of the more interesting of these is the addition of quality audio. The Pulse Solo is a dimmable LED light with a JBL Bluetooth speaker built in. Just screw it into any standard light socket, and you will be able to adjust the brightness and sound from any Bluetooth-enabled device, like your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Just load the iOS or Android app from Sengled on your device, and you have a new remote control for your lighting/sound system. The 1.07″ high-fidelity speaker features surround sound effect. www.sengled.com

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 21 years. His SF TECHNOTES blog is in its 19th year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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