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Here’s What Logitech is Showcasing as 2017 Holiday Tech Gifts & My Thoughts

In Audio, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

A few week’s ago, I got an exclusive press preview of some of the tech goodness coming from Logitech, Jaybird, Astro, and Ultimate Ears for this 2017 holiday season. From cameras to speakers to headsets to remotes to mice and keyboards, just about every possible drool-worthy home tech gadget was on display. And while I know many of the previous iterations of many of these products fairly well, the upgrades and new products are just as drool-worthy as their predecessors. Also, Logitech continues to fold new companies into their brand, each with compelling products for a variety of lifestyles. In this article, I will go through a few highlights for each. Do note, I haven’t had that much hands-on with the new stuff apart from some demos at the event (or from experience with a previous version)! (*Disclosure below.)

As I visited the various booths set up in the swissnex offices on Pier 17 right next to the San Francisco Exploratorium (great venue to have a media event, by the way), I realized how many older Logitech devices I was actually carrying with me (a true testament to the fact that I enjoy their products). I carry and use a Logitech MX Master wireless mouse, I use a pair of the previous generation Jaybird Freedom, and I have an old Logitech Bluetooth keyboard case for my iPad mini. Coincidentally, this past weekend I just hooked up a Harmony Ultimate remote control and hub.

But this isn’t about the past. This is about the new products coming for the 2017 holiday season, some of which are already available! Let’s take a quick look at the devices that particularly got my attention at the holiday media preview event. (And note, I have provided Amazon links to many of the items as well as the current Amazon price as of this writing – they are affiliate links.)Read More

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How To Protect Your Breathing Indoors – Blueair Blue Pure 211+ & 411 Air Purifier Review

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Sponsored, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

For the past week or so as of this writing, just 40 miles north of where I live in Northern California, tragic and devastating wildfires have been burning out of control. There has been a horribleBlueair Blue Pure Family air purifiers in box loss of life and property, and countless numbers of lives have been completely upturned. And while I do know people who have been affected, for the most part, our family has luckily been spared. But every time I walk outdoors, I’m instantly reminded of the devastation just an hour away. The air in the San Francisco Bay Area is filled with smoke and ash, causing respiratory problems and itchy eyes. In fact, some have said that our current air quality is equal to super-polluted China. While masks and outdoor activity can help, these solutions can’t really stop the smoke and smog that is actually occurring IN my home. As luck would have it, just a week prior, I received two Blueair Air purifiers to review. And I instantly turned them on to start cleaning the smoky air from inside our home. (*Disclosure below.)

A quick note, Blueair is currently offering a 20% discount (directly through their site) on Classic and Pro filters for residents living in California and Oregon. Use “WILDFIRE2017” at checkout. I’m not sure how long this discount will be active though.

Blueair has an extended family of air filtration and purification products. A few months ago, I reviewed the Blueair Aware and Blueair Classic 205. Since then, Blueair has launched a new line of air purifiers simply called “Blue Pure.” They have a much cleaner and modern look than previous models. And they require less energy to run and produce less noise, all while filtering the air. You can check out the new Blue Pure family at in-store at your local Best Buy.

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How To Easily Apply Multiple PowerPoint Slide Designs or Themes to a Single Presentation

In Application, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Microsoft, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

One of the biggest mysteries of Microsoft PowerPoint for me has been working with themes and design. While I had figured out how to use Slide Master editing instead of making formatting changes to each and every slide, for what seems forever, I couldn’t figure out how to have two different slide designs in the same slide presentation.

Here’s the scenario. You have two presentations from different companies or departments or people. Each deck has its own formatting or design. And you need to combine them and even mix and match some slides. As soon as you paste slides from a different deck, they immediately assume the style and formatting of the other presentation. Does this sound familiar at all? It’s unbelievably frustrating!

HTD PowerPoint Design - two in one

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Archeer A320S Bluetooth Speaker Review – 2 are Way Better than 1!

In Audio, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Back in March of this year, I reviewed the Archeer A320 portable Bluetooth speaker which completely impressed me with the power of its bass as well as its design. Just as soon as I got used to thumping bass and loud music coming from my daughter’s room, Archeer came out with an upgrade to the A320. Honestly, I wasn’t too sure how they could improve on this already nice portable Bluetooth speaker. But they came out with some innovations which made me believe there is room for improvement, or better said, enhancement. I got a pair of the Archeer A320S to review and wanted to share what those little enhancements did to an already great sound. (*Disclosure below.)

First, let me outline what the Archeer A320 and the new Archeer A320S share in functionality. Both speakers have:

  • Two 5 watt drivers for the mid and high sounds
  • One 15 watt subwoofer
  • 25 watts total output power
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: Bass ? 75DdB; Treble ? 80dB
  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
  • Natural bamboo wood with a grey fabric wrap around the sides
  • Controls for playback on the top
  • Rechargeable and portable
  • Carrying bag, USB cable, 3.5mm audio cable

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Top 14 Tips to Get Your Car Ready & Safe for Winter (or Anytime)

In Auto, Fix It, General, How To, Safety, Sponsored, Travel by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

According to the National Safety Council, motor-vehicle deaths have risen 6% in 2016 and for the first time, have exceeded 40,000 since 2017. Interestingly, however, is that recently the winter months (December, January, and February) tend to have slightly lower numbers than the other months of the year. People are driving more because of more reasonable gas prices which would account for more possibility of accidents due to increased road travel. With more people on the road coupled with increased distractions from smartphones, it’s no wonder that driving continues to be a dangerous activity. However, there are several things that car owners or leasers can do to make their car safe and ready for the winter driving season.

Some of the following tips can be easily done by the car owner themselves, while others may require the help of a trained auto mechanic or service station. Whatever the means you choose, doing some pre-work before the rain or snow hits during the winter months can not only make your drive more pleasurable, it can also make it safer for the driver, the passengers, and others on the road.

Car Winter Tips - winter road

A winter road

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The ONE SmartPiano Keyboard is Smart Enough to Teach You How to Play (Review)

In Application, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play the piano but didn’t have the time for lessons? Or perhaps you just wanted to learn one song and didn’t want to put in years and years of study. Or maybe you just want to perk the interest of your kids and perhaps inspire them to be musicians? Or, you just needed an activity to amuse your kids so that they didn’t just stare at their phones or the TV for hours without moving. There is a solution for all of these scenarios and it is called The ONE Light Piano (I actually like calling it The ONE SmartPiano because it has some intelligence). It’s essentially a smart piano keyboard that can amuse adults or children alike and teach or help relearn piano basics.

The ONE Light keyboard is not just a basic piano keyboard. It can integrate with an iPhone or iPad to present sheet music that you can play along with. And the play-along function is assistive, meaning that the keys you need to play according to the notes on the iPad will light up with red lights on the appropriate keys to press. From classics to modern pieces, you can find a variety of music using The ONE smart piano app.

The ONE smartpiano keyboard - learning music

Learning music on the ONE Light keyboard

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Top 10 iOS 11 Features You Should Know About & Use Immediately

In Apple, General, HTD Tech Tip, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Opinion, Software, Tech News, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

iOS 11 will be available on September 19, 2017, and with it comes the usual list of great enhancements, new features, and bug fixes. While each major update like this brings what many call “refinements” others may find the operating system to be “too complex” or “too confusing”. So, since I have been trying out each and every developer build, I have gone through and tested many of these and found my top iOS 11 features. Here you go!

HTD's top iOS 11 features -

I’m sure you will discover your own top iOS features as you dig through this new release. Remember before doing the update to back up your iOS device, either via iCloud or by syncing with iTunes, my recommended approach. With a local backup, you don’t have to compete with other people syncing to iCloud and it is easier to restore from a local backup if you need to. I compiled some tips specific to developer and public betas that you may want to review prior to installing.

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