We Got Served http://www.wegotserved.com Sun, 26 Apr 2015 16:06:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2 Silicondust Seeks to Reimagine Network TV Recording With HDHomeRun DVR Kickstarter Campaign http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/26/silicondust-seeks-to-reimagine-network-tv-recording-with-hdhomerun-dvr-kickstarter-campaign/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/26/silicondust-seeks-to-reimagine-network-tv-recording-with-hdhomerun-dvr-kickstarter-campaign/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2015 16:06:28 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=72080 If you're seeking new adventures for your home server or NAS device, then the HDHomeRun DVR is well worth a look.

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If you’re seeking new adventures for your home server or NAS device, then take a look at Silicondust’s new Kickstarter campaign.

It’s been a little while since we heard from the company, but their HDHomeRun DVR vision looks set to reinvent the DVR – and it’s very nearly fully-funded.

They say:

“It’s our mission to simplify and change the way we watch and record live television. SiliconDust is readying the ultimate live television viewing and recording software tool called HDHomeRun DVR. It enables the viewing and recording of your full over-the-air and cable TV lineup using your home network.

Our concept is that Live and recorded content can be watched from media devices with our brand new and innovative interface. And yes, it even works with protected content. HDHomeRun DVR doesn’t require an always-on PC (or media center software) – it works with network attached storage devices.

The best part? It requires practically zero configuration. With HDHomeRun DVR combined with current HDHomeRun products sold today, you will soon have the freedom to watch and record Live TV. Your way. On your terms.

The best part? It requires practically zero configuration. With HDHomeRun DVR combined with current HDHomeRun products sold today, you will soon have the freedom to watch and record Live TV. Your way. On your terms.”

 

 

You’ll need to own the company’s network tuning devices to take advantage of the HDHomeRun DVR, but if you already do – or are thinking about picking one up – adding network recording capability seems like a no-brainer, especially as we say goodby to Windows Media Center in Windows 10″.

More: HDHomeRun DVR

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Review: innerexile hydra Self-Healing Case for iPhone 6+ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/26/review-innerexile-hydra-self-healing-case-iphone-6/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/26/review-innerexile-hydra-self-healing-case-iphone-6/#comments Sun, 26 Apr 2015 15:33:55 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=71755 The innerexile hydra is a very well presented case, which offers excellent protection for the back of your phone and has sufficient durability to battle against day to day knocks and scrapes. Healthy competition for Apple's own protective cases and well worth a look.

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Straight off from the bat, I’ll come clean and lay it on the table: I am the kind of user who doesn’t use a case with their phone.

Don’t get me wrong – I am obsessive about looking after my gadgets and my iPhone is no different. I’ve owned every iPhone since their conception over the last seven years (has it really been seven years?)  Every iPhone I have had has always been kept in a sleeve when not in use.  But there’s something that just feels wrong about hiding that beautiful device you’ve just purchased in a case that simply doesn’t look as good.

So, using a case with my iPhone is new for me. I have been road-testing the innerexile hyrda Self-Healing iPhone 6+ case (the non-existent capitalisation of the product name is theirs – we’re just following along!) for the past two weeks – would it convince me to adopt a case full-time?

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The innerexile hydra is priced between $25.00 – $30.00 from online retailers (and around £17.00 in the UK) and is available in pink, clear and black – all are translucent, allowing you to see the rear of your phone – just in case you need those reassuring glances at the Apple logo. While I’m testing the iPhone 6+ case, a version of the hyrda is also available for the standard iPhone 6.

In what is a highly-competitive (and price sensitive) market, innerexile take their packaging seriously and have invested to create a high-quality, branded outer-sleeve. A clear view of the product is offered through the display window, wrapping around from the back to lower portion of the front.

innerexile hydra - front packaging

On the reverse of the hydra packaging we have a brief outline of features along with a QR code; upon scanning with a suitable app on your phone, you are taken to a webpage with an animated image confirming a genuine product.

Upon opening the packaging you are greeted with brief User Manual, clearly depicting how to fit the case to your phone and remove it.  You will also find an additional QR code to register the product with innerexile for your warranty.

innerexile hydra - instructions

In the hand, the case feels like a high-quality product, if a little basic. I’m not sure why, but I was expecting the hydra to have a textured finish, offering a more assured grip of the phone, rather than the silky smooth product I was presented with.  As some of you are probably aware the iPhone, in particular the iPhone 6+, can be slippery in hand at times (I have come close to dropping my £700 phone on more than one occasion!) However I did find that while using the hydra my concerns were unfounded – the finish may be smooth, but my phone always felt safe in-hand.  The case hugs the phone well without causing any damage and is easy to remove and clean when needed. The hydra’s design also offers easy access to all features of the phone without issue.

Some may find the way the case sits around the face of the phone a little peculiar.  Once fitted, the case edges are not flush with the device – however I found I was able to fit a screen protector to my phone without the case lifting the film at the corners. I have seen this issue happen on many other phones, so this is a big plus point.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the hydra is its billing as a “self-healing” case. What witchcraft is this? There’s no wizardry here, other than some technical genius – the innerexile hydra uses a patented coating that “heals” itself from light scratches. It is tested against a 1000g bronze brush, so should be robust enough to withstand everyday knocks and scrapes. Indeed, after two weeks of heavy usage I cannot see a single mark on the case.

To see the case in action, check out this (Chinese) video from the company showing the innerexile hydra undergoing automated tests – note the self-healing properties of the case once it has been scratched.

So overall, an excellent offering from innerexileWill I continue to use it? I’m a sleeve user at heart and the innerexile hydra doesn’t do quite enough to change my personal preference, but that’s not to take anything away from the hydra’s good looks and high quality – it’s a really good case.

innerexile hydra - on phone 1

If you are in the market for a case that’s going stay looking fresh for quite some time, along with the ability to fit a screen protector neatly, then the hydra is well worth a look.  Its ability to “self-heal” light day-to-day scratches will keep it looking as good as new and offer a good degree of protection to the back of your phone, while its un-obtrusive branding will not detract from the phone itself.

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The Garmin nuviCam Upgrades Your Car With Navigation, Dash Cam and Lane Guidance http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/23/the-garmin-nuvicam-upgrades-your-car-with-navigation-dash-cam-and-lane-guidance/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/23/the-garmin-nuvicam-upgrades-your-car-with-navigation-dash-cam-and-lane-guidance/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:53:51 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=72044 New Garmin nuviCam brings together satellite navigation, dashboard video recording, lane guidance and augmented reality features to boost your driving experience.

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While we’re seeing an increasing number of Dash Cams attached to car windscreens nowadays, I’ve yet to see one that delivers quite the package of features that’s promised by the new Garmin nuviCam.

The navigation specialist took the wraps off their latest model today – a true convergence device that brings together satellite navigation, dash cam video recording and advanced alerts to enhance driver awareness on the road.

You’ll know all about Garmin’s satellite navigation credentials (if not, check out our review of the Garmin Nuvi 2599 LMT-D), but this device builds on those core features with enhancements typically found in the most premium of vehicles. Forward Collision Warning alerts drivers if they’re driving too close to the car ahead. Lane Departure Warning alerts will appear and sound if the driver drifts off the road or into oncoming traffic while Garmin Real Vision uses augmented reality to take the guess-work out of deciphering hard-to-see house numbers – it displays the camera view along with a bright arrow to direct drivers where to go when approaching select destinations.

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The nuviCam includes a 6-inch pinch-to-zoom glass display with a high-definition dash cam built-in to the rear of the device. Video is recorded to a microSD card (included with the device) and if an accident occurs, the nuviCam’s Incident Detection feature kicks in to automatically save video on impact. The onboard GPS records where and when events occur and video can be viewed directly on the device or from a computer using an app available from http://www.garmin.com/dashcamplayer

Otherwise, the nuviCam ships with the features we loved on other Garmin satellite devices. They include voice-activated navigation, Bluetooth connection smartphones, traffic alerts real-time weather and safety cameras updates (via the accompanying Garmin Smartphone Link app for iOS and Android) and more. The device is preloaded with detailed maps of Europe and free lifetime map updates are included too.

The Garmin nuviCam is set to ship in May at £299.99. We’ll bring you a review very soon.

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Linksys WRT1200AC Dual-Band Wireless-AC Gigabit Router Offers High-End Features to Price-Savvy Networkers http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/23/linksys-wrt1200ac-dual-band-wireless-ac-gigabit-router-offers-high-end-features-to-price-savvy-networkers/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/23/linksys-wrt1200ac-dual-band-wireless-ac-gigabit-router-offers-high-end-features-to-price-savvy-networkers/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 17:51:42 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=72035 If you like the look of the Linksys WRT1900AC router but have been put off buying by the price, there's good news in-store - today, the Linksys WRT1200AC Dual-Band Wireless-AC Gigabit Router was announced.

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If you like the look of the Linksys WRT1900AC router (check out our review) but have been put off buying by the $200+ price-tag, there’s good news in-store – today, the Linksys WRT1200AC Dual-Band Wireless-AC Gigabit Router was announced.

The latest router from the company, currently celebrating as the first company to sell 100 million routers globally, provides users with many of the high-end features of the WRT1900AC router at AC1200 speeds and a lower price point.

Shipping now at $179.99, the new AC-class router delivers wireless speeds up to 400 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mbps at 5 GHz, with four Gigabit Ethernet ports on board for high-speed wired connections.

The same retro-styled chassis design seen on the WRT1900AC covers a networking engine built around the Avastar Wireless & ARMADA Processor product series from Marvell, featuring a 1.3GHz dual-core CPU. Wireless range is strengthened by twin external, adjustable (and removable) antennas, while a beamforming feature – now commonly found on advanced routers – ensures your wireless devices receive optimum Wi-Fi signals.

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Other features that carry over to the Linksys WRT1200AC include a USB 3.0 port and a dual USB 2.0/eSATA port which allow you to share external storage across the network. Enhancements to the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi management dashboard bring the following new features to the WRT1200AC, alongside other selected routers (via firmware update):

  • OpenVPN Server (Coming in May)
  • New Network Map features
  • Wireless Widget
  • Wi-Fi Scheduler
  • Improved device identification

Meanwhile, advanced users can opt to abandon Linksys’ own firmware in favour of an OpenWrt image which allows greater control of the hardware. The company announced today that via a collaboration with Marvell, the open-source Wi-Fi driver for the WRT1200AC and WRT1900AC has been released to OpenWrt. This driver has been incorporated into the latest open source firmware image snapshot, available from https://downloads.openwrt.org/people/kaloz/openwrt_wrt1900ac_snapshot.img – command line experience is recommended for those wishing to jump-in on the new open source firmware.

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You can pick up the Linksys WRT1200AC Dual-Band Wireless-AC Gigabit Router today at your favourite online retailer or big box store.

MoreLinksys WRT1200AC Dual-Band Wireless-AC Gigabit Router

 

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Prices and Release Dates Announced for 2015 Sony BRAVIA TVs http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/23/prices-release-dates-announced-2015-sony-bravia-tvs/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/23/prices-release-dates-announced-2015-sony-bravia-tvs/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:15:56 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=72025 Back in January at CES in Las Vegas, Sony announced their new TVs for 2015. Sony have now taken the cap off of when they will be available to purchase in the UK and how much they're going to cost.

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Back in January at CES in Las Vegas, Sony announced their new TVs for 2015. Sony have now taken the cap off of when they will be available to purchase in the UK and how much they’re going to cost.

Starting at £1,800 for the 55″ variant, the X85C will be the first in the 2015 Sony BRAVIA TV range to be released, coming out in May. Along with the rest of its 2015 siblings it will feature PlayStation Now – a subscription-based streaming service allowing for console-free gaming of hundreds PS3 titles. This year’s range is going full-throttle with Android TV, supporting Google Cast, voice control and Android apps & games. Coming in the summer of 2015, the TVs will be the first in the UK to gain YouView built-in which will allow you to watch live and catch-up TV (up to seven days) from BBC iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Player and Demand 5.

The X85C series will also be the first to show off Sony’s new 4K Processor X1 showing off it’s TRILUMINOUS Display and 4K X-Reality PRO technologies and will also be available in 65″ (£2,700) and 75″ (£4,500) options.

Alongside the X85C will be the 4K X83C as a 49″ TV (£1,300) which drops the TRILUMINOUS Display and NFC One-touch screen mirroring.

In the form of full HD TVs Sony have announced the W85C available in 65″ (£1,500) and 75″ (£2,500), the W80C in 43″ (£800) and 50″ (£100) and the W75C in 43″ (£750) and 50″ (£950). Finally, Sony have the Android TV-less W70C series available in 32″ (£460), 40″ (£550) and 48″ (£700).

Head on over to the Sony store to check these out or place your pre-order.

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Review: Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/23/review-logitech-mx-master-wireless-mouse/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/23/review-logitech-mx-master-wireless-mouse/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:46:34 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=72006 An already fantastic mouse series sees a new, improved addition with some great features. Check out the Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse.

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Having been loyal to Logitech’s MX Revolution mouse since 2007 I have found it pointless (mouse joke) to move to another mouse. The Performance Mouse MX was released a couple years later but my Revolution was still going strong and did not need replacing. Logitech have now, six years on, released the first upgrade to the Performance.

What’s in the box?

The mouse comes packed with a micro USB cable for charging, one Logitech Unifying Receiver and some documentation. Looking at the images on the box I wasn’t sure I was going to like the gold accents, but they’re surprisingly subtle and look fantastic.

MX Master Box 1

Logitech have a nice ‘set up’ page (here) for the mouse, which goes through using the mouse with both the Unifying Receiver and also with Bluetooth. Setup on Windows and Mac is incredibly easy. If you’re using the USB receiver (for the first time with no other devices) then you simply plug it in and turn the mouse on. Done. If you’re using Bluetooth you just need to find the device in your computer’s Bluetooth settings and click pair. Also done.

MX Master Box 2

Features

One of the MX Master’s key features is its ability to be connected to up to three devices. Toggling between the devices is as easy as pushing a button. I first connected to a Windows laptop using the Unifying Receiver, followed by an Android phone with Bluetooth and, finally, a MacBook with Bluetooth. When toggling between devices the mouse reacts pretty much instantly (bar some connection delays with Android) for frustration-free pointing. In addition, it also offers more buttons than previous MX mice.

Logitech have slightly shuffled some of those buttons since the Revolution and Performance. The middle scroll wheel only scrolls vertically and a second scroll wheel has been added next to the forward and back buttons. Just like every other button, the side scroll wheel can be configured independently, with options including horizontal scrolling and desktop navigation in OS X. This is done with Logitech’s aptly named Options software, available for OS X and Windows.

MX Master Buttons

As with previous MXs, there is a button directly behind the middle scroll wheel, which, by default, toggles the style of scrolling from free spinning to click-by-click.

The forward and back buttons are no longer in one line but are now slightly angled with the forward button on top. I found the back button easy to use while the forward button was slightly awkward to press, due to my familiarity with the layout on the MX Revolution.

The last button is in an odd – but surprisingly convenient – location just below your thumb. I have found this button to be useful for showing me my running applications (the alt+tab display in Windows and Mission Control in OS X). As you would expect, each device has its own configuration which is maintained when switching between them.

For anyone with a glass desk this is the mouse for you, thanks to Logitech’s Darkfield tech, which is also found in the Performance MX. This enables the mouse to be used on virtually any surface, including glass and other transparent surfaces. With a high resolution (from 400 to 1600 dpi) the mouse tracks beautifully and accurately.

Windows and applications can also be controlled by with gestures. When moving the mouse while pressing whichever button has been selected, you can resize windows, control media, and more. I found this a little tricky to master but it can save the user a lot of time once set up correctly.

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Design

The mouse looks and feels great with its ergonomic design and rubberised, matte finish. The MX Master retains some design cues from its predecessors and is very comfortable to hold. The left side where your thumb sits is also matte black but has an interesting polygonal design making it look a bit more sophisticated.

Just like the Performance MX the MX Master has a micro USB charging port at the front allowing for easy charging and the ability to use the mouse at the same time. A non-removable 500mAh lithium-polymer battery powers the mouse and provides up to 40 days use. It also has a quick-charge feature, which can power the device for a whole day in just four minutes.

MX Master vs MX Rev

Final Thoughts

While the MX Master includes many improvements over the Performance MX there are some changes I would welcome. Switching between devices could be easier – perhaps a button on the right side – and an Android/iOS equivalent of Options would be a welcome addition to configure the buttons on mobile devices.

Used in conjunction with the Logitech Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard K480 it will be possible to boost productivity further when using three devices.

It’s great to see the direction Logitech is taking in this age of mobile devices and the MX Master Mouse comes highly recommended.

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Review: Garmin Nuvi 2599 LMT-D Sat Nav (2599LMTHD North America) http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/22/review-garmin-nuvi-2599-lmt-d-sat-nav/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/22/review-garmin-nuvi-2599-lmt-d-sat-nav/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:13:04 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=71948 Having owned a Garmin satellite navigation device for a few years, Tim Bader takes a fresh look at the new Garmin Nuvi 2599 LMT-D and finds a lot to like - whether you're thinking of purchasing your first Sat Nav, or seeking an upgrade.

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Garmin has been in the satellite navigation business for years. They specialise in a wide range of devices – for walkers and hikers, drivers and bikers, sailors and more. Recently, the company has launched a range of activity trackers and GPS smart watches under the Vivosmart and Vivoactive brands (which we’ll be taking a look at in the coming weeks), but over the past week, I’ve been focusing on their core product line that’s now become synonymous with the Garmin name.

I took the latest Garmin digital traffic satellite navigation device for a spin – the Nuvi 2599 LMT-D, to give it its full title. This is the European version of the device that is sold as the Garmin Nuvi 2599LMTHD in North America). Alongside that, I’ve been trying out the company’s brand new Smartlink app for iPhone, which Garmin touts as a big step up in the feature stakes.

For history fans, this is not the first Garmin device I’ve tried. In fact, I first invested in one of their units, a Nuvi 3595 LMT, only 3 years ago. I’ve always been impressed by Garmin’s navigation features, but over time, have felt a little let down by their traffic offering.

This new device, priced at £179.99 (but shop around for discounts), includes a 5 inch pinch-to-zoom, touchscreen display (480 x 272 pixel resolution) that works in either horizontal or vertical orientation. It includes support for Bluetooth, allowing you to connect a compatible smartphone and take advantage of hands-free calling as well as a range of value-added features from Garmin. In these days of pervasive social networking you can also check-in on Foursquare to access more detailed information about points of interest, including ratings, price range and hours of service.

If all that’s not enough, the Nuvi 2599 LMT-D is fully loaded with Digital Traffic alerts, detailed maps of Europe and free lifetime map updates to boot. Does the new model take us kicking and screaming into an era of joyful driving, on clear roads? Read on to find out.

What’s In The Box?

The Nuvi 2599 LMT-D is small and neatly packaged, with the following items included:

  • The Nuvi 2599 LMT-D itself
  • A suction windscreen mount (shipped in two parts, which click together)
  • Long cable for in-car charging
  • USB cable for connection to PC or Mac
  • Mounting guide and safety leaflets

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First impressions, the front of the Nuvi 2599 LMT-D is simple, plain and shiny black, with the Garmin logo appearing underneath the screen on the front. There’s nothing to distract the eye when driving, other than the screen itself, which is great.

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The rear of the device is similarly minimalist, with a single button to switch it on and a micro-USB socket to insert either of the supplied cables.

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In the three years since I opened my previous Garmin sat nav, the company has been working hard on its industrial design. The Nuvi 2599 LMT-D is lighter than my Nuvi 3595 LMT (at just 184 g), although pleasingly it has a more solid, robust feel in the hand. I noticed that the charging cable supplied with the new model is nice and thin, too.

The older Nuvi 3595 LMT chassis is bulky too, with protruding parts containing the traffic receiver. However, while the new Nuvi 2599 LMT-D keeps the traffic receiver on board, the designers have managed to shave off any unnecessary bulk. This also means it can still check traffic while running off the battery – a nice touch.

The accompanying documents bear a mention, but only because there’s no manual anywhere to be seen. You’ll find a safety pamphlet, registration information and a small fold out leaflet, showing you how to mount the device on your car windscreen. There’s a link to download the full manual, but there’s nothing in the box to indicate how to actually use the device, which delays you getting up and running. A simple quickstart guide, perhaps supporting your first few minutes with the device, would have been appreciated.

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Setting Up the Garmin Nuvi 2599 LMT-D

Pressing the button on the back of the device did nothing, until I plugged it in with the charger. Even then, there was no indication of how long to charge it for, or how long a full charge would last. (According to Garmin’s website, the rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts 2 hours)

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As a Garmin veteran, I knew that the next thing I needed to do is plug the device into my computer to grab the latest maps and software updates. However, the booklets supplied only give you a cryptic looking picture, which appears to show you can plug it into your PC. As it happens, there is an online help area on the device itself, although you’ll only discover it if you drill down into the “Applications” option. Once discovered, I found the help documentation didn’t always explain things terribly well.

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The Intel Compute Stick is Now Available http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/22/the-intel-compute-stick-is-now-available/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/22/the-intel-compute-stick-is-now-available/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:04:49 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=71990 Chip-giant Intel today announced the availability of their eagerly-awaited Intel Compute Stick, a pocket sized computer powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor running Windows 8.1 with Bing.

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Chip-giant Intel today announced the availability of their eagerly awaited Intel Compute Stick, a pocket-sized computer powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor running Windows 8.1 with Bing.

The Intel Compute Stick is an exciting prospect for Home Theater PC enthusiasts and media streaming fans, as it can transform any HDMI display into an entry-level computer or media streamer capable of working with apps, or playing local or network-hosted content.

While it make not have the horsepower of the higher-end, but still diminutive Intel NUC (my current favourite small-footprint PC), there’s still a lot of love in this tiny device – it includes 2 GB RAM with 32 GB eMMC Flash Memory for storage and supports wireless 802.11 b/g/n. Also included is a microSD card for expandable memory, MicroUSB power supply and Bluetooth 4.0 support for keyboard and mouse.

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The $149 Windows version of the Intel Compute Stick (BOXSTCK1A32WFCR) is shipping imminently from retailers such as Amazon, Newegg and Best Buy (although all are showing zero stock at the time of publication). Meanwhile a cheaper version of the product, running Ubuntu (BOXSTCK1A8LFCR) is set to ship this summer for just $110.

I’ll be picking one of these up just as soon as they’re available.

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New TP-LINK AV1200 Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Starter Kit Promises Fastest Speeds to Date http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/21/new-tp-link-av1200-gigabit-passthrough-powerline-starter-kit-promises-fastest-speeds-to-date/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/21/new-tp-link-av1200-gigabit-passthrough-powerline-starter-kit-promises-fastest-speeds-to-date/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 22:40:33 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=71933 New TP-LINK AV1200 Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Starter Kit promises "true Gigabit-broadband speeds" of up to 1.2 Gbps, according to the networking specialist.

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The new TL-PA8010P KIT AV1200 Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Starter Kit has been unveiled by TP-LINK, and looks set to push the Powerline standard further with speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps promised by the company.

It features the latest HomePlug AV2 standard with MIMO Powerline technology (multiple-input multiple-output), taking advantage of all three wires in a building’s electrical wiring (power, ground and neutral) to maximise throughput. According to TP-LINK, the resulting speeds will offer the highest Powerline throughput available today.

The new adaptors, shipping now for around £85 online, are equipped with a passthrough socket, ensuring that you don’t lose an electrical outlet when in use – you can simply plug an additional appliance into the adaptor. There’s also a single Gigabit Ethernet port for a high-speed, wired connection to the Powerline network.

The full list of features includes:

  • The HomePlug AV2 protocol standard
  • One Gigabit Ethernet port for stable connectivity
  • Extra power outlet for additional device
  • Plug and play configuration with no setup required
  • 128-bit AES encryption for secured data
  • A power-saving mode that reduces energy consumption by up to 85%
  • A range of up to 1,000 feet over existing electrical wiring
  • Backwards-compatibility with existing TP-LINK adapters: (AV1200, AV1000, AV600, AV500 and AV200)
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We’ve been big fans of TP-LINK’s Powerline adaptors to date. Check out our review of the previously-released TP-LINK AV500 Powerline Adapter Kit (TL-PA4020PKIT). I’ve also been recently using the TP-LINK AV600 Powerline Adapter Starter Kit (TL-PA6010KIT) at home and have been really pleased with its performance.

But if TP-LINK is to be believed, these new adaptors will break new ground. The question is how will they stack up against competing devices such as the devolo dLAN 1200+WiFi ac Starter Kit? (Our review here). Our review kit is on the way from TP-LINK – stay tuned to find out!

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Review: Amped Wireless High Power AC1750 Plug-In Wi-Fi Range Extender (REC33A) http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/21/review-amped-wireless-high-power-ac1750-plug-in-wi-fi-range-extender-rec33a/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/21/review-amped-wireless-high-power-ac1750-plug-in-wi-fi-range-extender-rec33a/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 18:23:37 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=71795 For long-distance network connections, the powerful range of the Amped Wireless AC1750 Plug-In Range Extender is designed to connect you in places where lesser devices fail. How will it fare in our hands-on review?

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Amped Wireless is a new brand to We Got Served, but they’ve been selling networking equipment in the USA and Canada for quite some time. Browse the aisles of retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, and Fry’s or the virtual shelves of Amazon, Newgg, Tiger Direct and others and you’ll discover a wide range of networking equipment from the company. The roster includes routers, range extenders, access points and a whole lot more, with both consumers and business users catered for.

Our first test subject from Amped Wireless is the company’s new High Power AC1750 Plug-In Wi-Fi Range Extender (REC33A). It’s designed to extend the range of any Wi-Fi network by up to an impressive 10,000 square feet.

Increasingly, consumers are turning to range extenders to solve problems with home and small business Wi-Fi. Cold spots, especially in older, brick or concrete-built buildings lead to poor signal strength, slow or no wireless connections and can cause immense frustration. In these days of omnipresent networking, we expect – no, demand – high-speed wireless available everywhere our devices travel. Range extenders are designed to deliver on that demand.

The principle behind a range extender is reasonably simple. The device plugs into an electrical outlet positioned roughly halfway between your router and the Wi-Fi cold spot your attempting to warm up. It detects the wireless signal from your router and repeats it, extending your wireless coverage throughout the home or office. Integrated amplifiers ensure the signal reaches into the darkest, coldest corners of your building and ensure you can connect to your network from wherever you may be – or at least within the range of the extender!

The dual-band Amped Wireless REC33A is equipped with a total of twelve amplifiers –  six 2.4/5 GHz amplifiers to power its signal and a further six low-noise amplifiers (for improved wireless reception). These amplifiers, combined with a high-gain external antenna (like you see on many modern routers) and two internal high-gain antennas work together to provide the quoted 10,000 sq ft of additional Wi-Fi coverage – more than sufficient for most homes and many offices.

This device, priced at $159.99, sits almost at the top of Amped Wireless’ range extender line up. Rated as an AC1750 range extender, it offers the fastest connection speeds across the range (450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band) – however, the company’s $169.99 REA20 offers slightly higher amplification (700mW vs 600mW on the REC33A) and five Gigabit Ethernet ports, compared to just one on the AC1750 device.

What’s in the Box?

The Amped Wireless High Power AC1750 Plug-In Wi-Fi Range Extender ships in a green, black and white branded outer box, which includes helpful information about the device’s purpose and how it works. Open up the packaging and you’ll reveal the device itself plus a Setup guide and accompanying Documentation and Installation CD. You don’t need the CD for setup, but includes a range of support materials including the manual, setup guide, registration lines and a handy Wi-Fi Analytics Tool for Windows and Android devices – more on that later.

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Despite the device having a Gigabit Ethernet port, for connecting wired devices to the network, no Ethernet cable is included so you’ll need to supply your own.

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The range extender itself is reasonably compact, but not tiny – wider than a Powerline adaptor, its proportions lead to the device resembling a plug-in carbon monoxide detector (a strange comparison, but true).

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New Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC Portable Hard Drive Announced http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/20/new-buffalo-ministation-extreme-nfc-portable-hard-drive-announced/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/20/new-buffalo-ministation-extreme-nfc-portable-hard-drive-announced/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 22:18:30 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=71887 New Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC portable hard drive offers advanced data encryption, water and dust resistance and a novel way of protecting your data.

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Buffalo Americas got in touch with us today to tell us all about their new Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC Portable Hard Drive.

They’re billing is “the most complete rugged portable drive on the market”, a claim backed up with features including advanced hardware encryption, IPX3 standard for resistance against water and IP5X standard for protection against dust.

There’s also support for NFC on the new drive, which ships in 1 TB and 2 TB capacities. An included smart-card with an NFC chip allows users to easily unlock files using without having to remember a password. The feature also ensures you can securely ship data to others by mailing the hard drive and smart card separately, protecting the stored data even if the hard drive is lost or stolen.

The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is compatible with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connections, with data transfers clicking in at up to 5 Gbps. You’ll find an integrated flex connect USB cable wrapping around the device ensuring you won’t have to dig around in bags or drawers when you need access to your data.

The MiniStation Extreme NFC portable hard drive includes a limited three-year warranty and is available now at $129.99 for the 1 TB model (HD-PZN1.0U3B) and $199.99 for the 2 TB model (HD-PZN2.0U3B). 

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Review: ASUS RP-N53 Dual-Band N600 Wireless Range Extender http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/19/review-asus-rp-n53-dual-band-wireless-range-extender/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2015/04/19/review-asus-rp-n53-dual-band-wireless-range-extender/#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2015 21:02:37 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=71812 The ASUS RP-N53 is a 802.11n range extender packed into a small, stylish wall-plug design. Check out today's hands-on review where we put it through its paces.

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Review model kindly supplied by Ebuyer.com

Range Extenders are currently the hottest property in networking – consumers are purchasing the devices in droves as they seek to eliminate “cold” or “dead” Wi-Fi spots in their homes and offices. In these days of mobile computing, we demand bandwidth everywhere, but if you live in a brick or concrete-constructed building, a strong signal from your router can drop-off quickly when faced with a couple of thick walls.

The RP-N53 from ASUS is a compact, wireless network extender. It’s classed as an 802.11n device, compatible with older a/b/g networks, and supports simultaneous connections on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands (using different antennas). Why is this useful? Say you have an old wireless g device (for example, a printer) connected on the 2.4 GHz band – while that device is connected to your network, that antenna will be limited to wireless g speeds, even for newer wireless n devices. Having a separate 5 GHz band available will allow devices that support it to operate at full speed.

Now, I’ve always been a little sceptical of devices which promise to boost a wireless signal. The few that I’ve used have generally suffered from reliability issues after being connected for a few days, requiring a power cycle to reconnect to the network. Another potential concern for me is network lag – if all of my data is passing through a range extender, wouldn’t it slow down the network?

That said, ASUS has a strong reputation in networking and the Internet is packed with five star reviews of their kit. The specifications for the RP-N53 include reassuring features like dual-band, MIMO antennas and easy setup. It sounds full of promise, but can it deliver?

What’s in the Box?

When opening the box, I expected a little more than I got. Perhaps I’m just too used to superfluous accessories, but the full contents are:

  • ASUS RP-N53 Range Extender
  • Quick start guide
  • Warranty card

Yep. That’s it. The RP-N53 has a reset button, On/Off slider switch, WPS button, 3.5mm audio output, Ethernet port, and a tactile button on the front of the unit which toggles an integrated nightlight (this button can also be changed to control a number of other things, however). The status LEDs on the front show which bands are connected, alongside the signal strength.

ASUS RP-N53 Boxed ASUS RP-N53 Box ASUS RP-N53 Wireless Extender RP-N53 Right RP-N53 Left The packaging promises much! RP-N53 Paperwork The RP-N53 even sports a nightlight

Setting up the ASUS RP-N53 Range Extender

Setup is supposedly very easy, thanks to the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button on the left of the device. You simply press the WPS button on your router and then do the same on the RP-N53, and setup is complete. However, my router doesn’t have WPS, and even if it did, well, where’s the fun in that?!

Manual setup involves waiting for the device’s wireless SSID to appear after plugging in and switching on. After connecting, a window should pop up to guide you through setup (if this doesn’t happen, the quick start guide directs you to access the setup wizard via your web browser at http://repeater.asus.com).

The first thing you’re prompted for is a new password. After definitely not leaving it as the default (admin/admin), the RP-N53 moved on to a site survey, where it scanned all available access points. I selected my router’s 5 GHz band, then I was asked if I wanted to also pick a 2.4 GHz band, which I did.

Once the extender has connected to your router, you’ll be shown a summary screen where you can confirm the setup. If you leave the ‘Use default setting’ box checked, it will use the settings from the first network you selected to form the new SSIDs and passwords. This isn’t an assumption I wanted the device to make, as I wanted the 2.4 GHz band to be named as such. Also, my router has a different password for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, so I wanted the repeater for each band to match its equivalent on the router.

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SSID and security settings: Default vs Custom

Changing these settings is also important if you want to use the repeater transparently (i.e. you want to change the SSIDs to match your router, so that the connecting device will automatically switch between the extender and main access point, depending on which signal is stronger – the passwords will need to match your router/AP).

Troubleshooting and Reliability

After configuring the range extender, I was expecting to be able to leave everything else as-is, and get a feel for the RP-N53’s reliability, however, the RP-N53 repeatedly dropped its connection to my router.

RP-N53 Losing Connection

The spelling mistake annoyed me a lot more than it should’ve done…

I tried changing various settings to no avail. Rebooting the device would allow it to connect for a few minutes before dropping again. My last resort should have been my first; checking for new firmware! I rebooted, to give the RP-N53 enough time to check online for firmware, and then let it do its thing.

RP-N53 Checking for Firmware

RP-N53 New Firmware

Since updating the firmware, I’ve not had any connection/reliability issues with the unit, however, whilst testing it, I’ve been moving it around and restarting it, so I can’t say whether or not it will start to slow down after weeks of uptime.

Change your password! Scanning for access points ASUS-RP-N53-Setup-Wizard-6 ASUS-RP-N53-Setup-Wizard-9 Setting a static IP is useful Repeater mode AP mode ASUS-RP-N53-Tweaking-Settings-11 Back your settings up Tactile switch settings

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