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Blink Mini Security Cam Brings 1080p Live Feed, Two-Way Comms, And Offline Storage At Affordable Price
Modern security cams are great. They’re easy to set up, easy to use, and easy enough to manage with the accompanying smartphone app. They even come with advanced features like 4K recording, subject identification, and unlimited cloud storage. For majority of folks, though, it’s overkill. That’s why it’s great there are also options like the Blink Mini.
An entry-level home security cam, the device packs on all the basic functions, from motion sensing and night vision to 24/7 live feed and two-way communications, so you get all the necessities you need to keep proper tabs on your home. While it won’t be an adequate replacement to full-service security cams, it should be enough for most folks who just want the bare minimum in keeping their homes secure.
The Blink Mini is an indoor security cam with a built-in stand, so you just need to set it down on a flat surface, like a table or a shelf, instead of having to mount screws or plates elsewhere in the house. From there, it’s mostly plug and play, so you just hook it up to a power outlet, pair it with the phone app, and follow the steps from there, which basically just requires you to connect it to your home network. According to the outfit, the whole setup should take no more than 10 minutes, so you should be ready to monitor your home in short order.
Once set up, the camera can record anything within its 110-degree field of view in 1080p resolution at 30 fps, complete with infrared night vision, so it will continue monitoring your home even in the dark. You can see what the camera is seeing in real time via the smartphone app at any point during the day, all while storing any recorded clips on the cloud (requires $3 a month subscription per camera) or local storage (via the Blink Sync Module 2, which saves footage to a USB flash drive).
The Blink Mini comes with a motion detector that triggers automatic recording, so it can alert you any time that movement is detected in the space, saving you from the hassle of having to check your live feed periodically just to make sure no one’s creeping around in your house. There’s also the option to define motion detection zones, so it can restrict monitoring to sensitive areas liked doors and windows to further minimize any false positives. It has two-way audio support, so you can talk to anyone in the house using the onboard mic-and-speaker setup.
With Blink being an Amazon company, this naturally works with the outfit’s Alexa intelligent assistant, so you can control the camera, stream live video, and play recorded clips using voice commands, provided you have a compatible Alexa speaker or app. The app, by the way, is available for iOS, Android, and Amazon’s Fire OS.
The Blink Mini is available now. Each one comes with a free trial of the cloud storage up to the end of the year.
•DJI Mavic Air 2 Brings 34 Minutes Of Flight Time, 4K Video At 60 FPS, And More
The last five years have seen DJI pile on the drone models. Seriously, they crank them out almost as fast as smartphones these days. So while the Mavic Air’s tech is hardly obsolete, given its 2018 release, it’s also no surprise that the outfit has already made its follow-up in the form of the DJI Mavic Air 2.
Designed to sit between the Mavic Mini and the Mavic 2 Pro, the quadcopter combines the compact dimensions of the former and the advanced feature set of the latter. While it’s neither as small as the Mini nor as feature-heavy as the Pro, it does makes a compelling option for those who want to strike the ideal balance between portability and more advanced capabilities.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a foldable consumer drone that measures 7.2 x 10 x 3 (length x width x height) inches when it’s ready to fly, leaving it large enough to be perfectly stable during outdoor flights, all while collapsing to 7.1 x 3.8 x 3.3 inches with all four arms folded in, making it easy to stash inside a pouch or a backpack pocket. According to the outfit, the drone doesn’t just deliver a bump in specs over its predecessor, as is common with successive product iterations. Instead, it’s been designed from the ground up to create more refined user experience, courtesy of longer flight times (13 minutes longer than its predecessor), improved aerodynamics, and much better handling in windy conditions (it can handle level 5 wind resistance).
Rather than use the same 1/2.3-inch sensors common in drones and action cams, it’s fitted with a slightly larger half-inch sensor that shoots 4K video at 60 fps, double the frame rate of the previous drone, all while shooting slow-motion footage up to 240 fps, capturing stills at up to 12 megapixels, and providing HDR support for both photos and videos. A three-axis gimbal and electronic image stabilization ensures all your footage are stable, regardless of what happens during the flight.
The DJI Mavic Air 2, of course, comes with a complement of the outfit’s continually expanding automated tools for photo and video capture. There’s a photo mode, for instance, that integrates scene recognition, HDR, and light-adjustment algorithms for capturing more vibrant images, as well as multiple intelligent tracking modes that allow it to keep a subject in frame all on its own. For cinematic shots, it can switch to any of six pre-programmed aerial routes with just a few taps, allowing you to take sweeping, moving footage without having to perform challenging flight maneuvers.
The drone’s range has been expanded to half a dozen miles in ideal conditions, which, let’s be honest, is way too far for you to keep an eye on the quadcopter, which should make the obstacle sensors and geofencing sensors even more valuable, as they keep your flying camera away from potential dangers. Other features include a modified radio controller (the smartphone now goes on top) with dual 2.4/5.8GHz frequencies, 1080p 30fps real time video transmission, and 8GB of internal storage.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 comes out mid-May, priced at $799.
• Polar Grit X: Finally, A Multi-Sport GPS Watch That Can Run 40 Hours With All Sensors Switched On
Multi-sport GPS watches have grown to be more accurate at recording stats, more versatile at tracking different sports, and more efficient at providing the necessary information to their users. What they haven’t gotten better at is extending the battery life, requiring you to charge them on a daily basis if you frequently use your sports watch with the GPS switched on. The Polar Grit X changes that.
You know how most GPS sports watches run for 20 hours or less with all functions turned on? That won’t be the case here, as Polar claims that the wearable can run for up to 40 hours between charges even with every single sensor, including the GPS and the heart rate monitor, running. So yeah, instead of charging every day, you can change up your schedule to every other day, making it just a tad more convenient than whatever model of Garmin, Suunto, or Casio GPS watch you’re currently using.
The Polar Grit X’s 40-hour battery life is only applicable, of course, if you have everything running at the same time at all times. If you use the power save option, which turns the sensors on and off as needed, you can stretch that to a whopping 100 hours, all while lasting up to seven days if you turn off the GPS permanently. Suffice to say, this battery will last far longer than any other GPS sports watch in the market, making that the absolute primary reason to even consider picking this up.
Of course, it’s also highly capable at its job. Aside from the GPS and heart rate monitor, it also comes with a compass, altimeter, and all the other usual sensors found in activity trackers, which it uses to track your stats during running, cycling, swimming, and over 130 other activities, including, of course, your sleep cycle. You can use the watch to plan all your training, analyze results, and even get advice from the built-in “smart coaching” feature. According to the outfit, the smart coaching can prepare daily workouts, design adaptive training plans, and get all sorts of feedback about your overall fitness.
The Polar Grit X won’t just actively monitor all your physical activity, it can also let you plan your running, cycling, or hiking route, all while sending you regular alerts to make sure you’re staying in the right path. Want turn-by-turn guidance? That’s available here, so you can explore the trails the same way you explore all the tiny streets in your city. That is, with a virtual voice telling you where and when to turn.
The watch has a 47mm case, so this is a pretty big thing to have on your wrist, with a durable stainless steel construction and a glass-reinforced polymer on the back cover. It has an always-on 1.2-inch round touchscreen display, so you can interact directly via touch controls, while a 346mAh battery provides the impressive batter life. Other features include water resistance up to 100 meters, a silicone band, and compatibility with many existing sensors (such as those for cycling, power, and cadence, among others) for even greater precision.
The Polar Grit X is priced at $429.95.
• 2020 Razer Blade Stealth 13 Beefs Up Performance While Retaining An Ultrabook Form Factor
Razer’s 13-inch ultrabook offers one of the most portable gaming options in the market, with its impressive combination of processing muscle and compact size. It’s a great computer that’s easily the most powerful at its size. This year, it gets even better in the 2020 Razer Blade Stealth 13.
As powerful as the previous generation was, it had limitations. While capable enough as a gaming computer, it does fall just a bit short when it comes to the needs of more demanding gamers. Suffice to say, if you want to get consistent 60 fps framerates in a resource-heavy online game, it’s going to fail you along the way. This machine potentially changes that.
The 2020 Razer Blade Stealth 13 is now powered by a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 (up to 3.9 GHz clock speeds), a GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which should equip it with the core hardware needed to put up consistently high framerates, regardless of the game. It pairs that with a 13.3-inch 120Hz 1080p display, which should take full advantage of the more powerful hardware, ensuring you don’t miss any of the split-second action that happens onscreen at any time. As with many modern gaming laptops, you can also opt for a 4K touch display instead of the gaming-focused 1080p panel, in case you want to use for content creation tasks like editing videos, splicing up VR footage, and more. Both display options boast 100 percent sRGB compatibility, individually-calibrated settings, and impressively slim 4.9mm side bezels.
Do note, it only come with a 512GB SSD, so you’ll definitely need external storage if you want to do anything on this machine. There’s no option for an extra HDD, either, as the compact size means they already crammed everything as tightly as they can.
The 2020 Razer Blade Stealth 13 comes with a four-speaker setup with a built-in amp, so audio should be plenty decent for a laptop, while a mic array setup allows you to trash talk people on Warzone like you’re a 13-year old having illicit affairs with other people’s moms from halfway around the country. Yes, just like you trash talked people on Call of Duty back when you were actually 13. Hey, some things never change. On second thought, maybe it’s best you actually use the headset for that (yes, it comes with a 3.5mm port).
Features include Razer Chroma RGB backlighting, a generous selection of I/O ports (Thunderbolt 3, four PCI Express, USB-C, two USB-A, and more), and a 53.1Wh battery. When closed, the whole thing measures just 11.9 x 8.2 x 0.6 inches (width x depth x thickness), making it as compact as any productivity-oriented ultrabook, all while packing enough muscle to run through any AAA game pretty well. It is, of course, compatible with Razer Core X, in case you want an even beefier GPU for your gaming needs at home.
Want one? Pricing for the 2020 Razer Blade Stealth 13 starts at $1,799.99.
• Deciwatt Nowlight Uses A Cord You Can Pull For Kinetic Charging With Minimal Effort
Most kinetic-charged devices we’ve seen used cranks. You know, the kind you have to turn many times over to juice up the onboard battery. It’s useful enough when you have no access to any other power source, but you have to admit, it takes a lot of elbow grease to get those things running. The Deciwatt Nowlight makes kinetic charging a bit easier by having you pull on a cord instead.
A battery-powered lamp, the device comes with a loop of cord at the bottom that you pull on repeatedly to get a trickle of power onto the battery module. From what we can tell, pulling the cord turns some gears inside the housing, which, we imagine, is the same type of action that happens when you turn the lever on crank-powered devices. Is this more efficient than cranking? We’re not entirely sure, but from the looks of things, it looks like you can lean back and just use your wrist to pull that cord repeatedly, instead of having to put your forearm to work as turning a crank would require. So yeah, it just might be more convenient enough to serve as a more enticing alternative.
The Deciwatt Nowlight is a 160-lumen lamp housed inside a plastic enclosure. It’s designed to be mounted on a hook using a groove out the back, although you should be able to set this down on a table just fine. Do note, the cord is at the bottom, so you won’t be able to pull on the cord to charge it if it’s set down on a table (unless you turn it over or something). According to the outfit, pulling on the cord for a minute straight is enough to generate up to two hours of light at the low setting, although you’d have to do a lot more pulling if you want to keep it on bright setting for extended periods.
Speaking of settings, it has five brightness levels, ranging from a five-lumen nightlight to a maximum setting of 160 lumens, which should be bright enough to capably illuminate smaller rooms. It draws power from a 3200 mAh battery, by the way, which can keep it running on the lowest setting for up to 50 hours (no word on how long it will run at maximum brightness, though) .
While the Deciwatt Nowlight looks like a camp light (and would definitely be useful as one), it should also make a functional accessory lighting at home, whether you want to add some illumination to the basement, the garden shed, or that section under the stairs you currently inhabit as your home office. Yes, this will definitely find plenty of use, especially with IP33 water resistance, which should allow it to shrug off splashes, potentially making it useful as a functional work light. Aside from charging via the cord, the battery can also be charged from a standard outlet via DC input, apart from being able to replenish the battery using the bundled 3W solar panel. Just to make it even more useful, they threw in a 5V USB port that allows it to serve as a power bank for charging mobile devices.
The Deciwatt Nowlight is available in kit form, bundled with a solar panel and an accessory light that can be plugged to the USB slot to better spread the lighting. Price is $109.
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