Tag - tech

Turtle Beach Elite Pro Headset and TAC Unit Review

turtle-beach-elite-pro

Recently, we got the chance to check out the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Headset and Tactical Audio Controller (T.A.C.) unit, two of the company’s newest products. The Elite Pro is geared specifically for tournament gamers and has a lot of qualities that should be of use to those gamers or, for that matter, any hardcore gamer! The Elite Pro Headset features a strong, yet flexible body with sleek gunmetal, black, and orange color scheme bound to open up conversations with those wondering what kind of headset it is. The Tactical Audio Controller is an optional, $200 addition to the Elite Pro Headset which performs some nice audio processing and customization.

Built for tournament gamers, the Elite Pro is replete with comfort-focused features. The best of these is what Turtle Beach calls the ComforTec system. This system is a really ingenious way to get the proper headset fit, every time you put it on your head. There are two sliders on the top of the headband, one on each side, that allow you to independently adjust the fit. The cool part is that they have a numbered measurement system next to the slider so you can know what size is best suited to your head. Furthermore, each earcup also has some slight independent motion – allowing you to get the best fit possible. Speaking of ear cups, the Elite Pro ear cups are made of a very comfortable foam material with an inner core of gel! They are very soft and a joy to wear for hours of gaming. If you wear gaming eyewear or simply eyeglasses, you can wear them with the headset by flipping a switch that create a small channel in the ear cups for the arms of the glasses.

turtle-beach-elite-pro-tac-unit

The Tactical Audio Controller is a small black box with some slider controls as well as a silver knob on the front of it. The TAC’s sliders control game volume, the background noise limiter, outbound microphone volume boost, and the microphone monitor level. The silver knob adjusts the overall volume of the headphones. On the top of the TAC you will find numerous audio input and outputs – both for your PC as well as game consoles. The TAC unit is the only way to get 7.1 channel virtual surround sound from the Elite Pro Headset, and it handles audio processing really well – the sound output is great and really helps immerse you into your game.

We got the chance to test out Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro Headset and TAC unit with several of our favorite games. Star Wars Battlefront’s explosions sound incredible and the TAC’s surround sound works very well here. Additionally, you can select the Superhuman Hearing preset on the TAC which increases the volume of those softer sounds like footsteps and weapon reloading. This allows you to hear a lot more of what’s going on around you in FPS games and, as a result, a better kill to death ratio. Master of Orion, Wargaming’s new 4X game, may not feature a ton of explosions, but the Elite Pro Headset and TAC unit handles high-end sound really well here. One of the best things about the Elite Pro Headset and TAC units is that the audio controls and preset are all adjusted on the unit itself. You don’t need any special software.

Pros

  • Extremely adjustable for comfort
  • Very good sound quality on both high and low ends
  • No software required to adjust sound
  • Excellent style
  • Usable by consoles and the PC platform
Cons

  • Expensive – especially if you buy both products

Overall, Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro Headset and TAC unit are a match made in gaming audio heaven. Each product costs $200 dollars but, if you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed in the audio experience delivered by them.

Turtle Beach Elite Pro Headset and TAC Unit Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

HTC Vive Now Available on Amazon

htc-vive-header

Seattle — September 15, 2016 – HTC VIVE virtual reality system can now be purchased from Amazon.com in the United States, bringing best in class virtual reality to a wider audience than ever before.

“VIVE offers consumers the most immersive virtual reality experience available today with the most complete hardware system and a robust portfolio of content. Our expansion to Amazon further underscores our commitment to our customers to deliver options across virtual reality,” said Dan O’Brien, VP of VR at HTC.

HTC VIVE, priced at $799, was designed from the ground up for room-scale VR, allowing true-to-life interactions and experiences thanks to an adjustable headset displaying stunning graphics, two wireless controllers with HD haptic feedback and 360° motion tracking. For a convenient and safe experience, HTC VIVE incorporates essential functionality from your phone and features a front-facing camera that blends physical elements into the virtual world. Working in concert, this system immerses you visually, physically and emotionally in the virtual world.

With more than more than 500 VR experiences now available on Steam, VIVE owners have a massive selection of virtual reality content to choose from that will yield hour after hour of fun in VR.

In addition to Amazon, HTC VIVE is available in North America to purchase direct from HTC at www.vive.com, at select Microsoft Stores, GameStop and Micro Center locations and online at Microsoft, GameStop, Micro Center and Newegg.

VIVE demonstrations are currently open to the public throughout North America, providing consumers with a chance to experience first-hand the world’s only room-scale VR system. For more information about VIVE, to find a demonstration location or learn where to buy VIVE, please visit www.vive.com.

HyperX Gears of War Gaming Headset Now Available

hyper-x-cloud-gow-headset

Fountain Valley, CA – September 13, 2016 HyperX™, a division of Kingston® Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, announced today it is shipping its official Xbox® licensed gaming headset, CloudX™ Revolver Gears of War. Fans of Gears of War can show their pride as the headset features an exclusive battle-weathered design that complements the Xbox One S Gears of War 4 Limited Edition 2TB Bundle and Xbox One Gears of War 4 Crimson Omen Limited Edition Wireless Controller1.

HyperX CloudX Revolver Gears of War headset is ideal for FPS and open-environment gameplay. It offers a studio-grade sound stage that lets gamers hear opponents from farther away and more accurately. HyperX CloudX Revolver Gears of War features a 3.5mm (4-pole) plug and 2M PC extension cable to go with the genuine leather headband and high-quality, award-winning HyperX memory foam for hours of gaming in ultimate comfort.

“HyperX is especially excited to offer Gears of War fans the opportunity to enhance their gameplay with our newest headset,” said Daniel Kelley, director of marketing, HyperX. “We’ve worked hard on the sound and design, and together with Microsoft and The Coalition, this headset gives gamers the full Gears experience.”

HyperX Cloud Revolver Gears of War is backed by a two-year warranty and legendary HyperX reliability. For more information visit the HyperX home page.

HyperX CloudX Revolver Gears of War Specifications:

Headphone:

  • Driver: Dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
  • Type: Circumaural, Closed back
  • Frequency response:12Hz–28,000Hz
  • Impedance: 33 Ω
  • Sound Pressure Level: 104.5dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
  • T.H.D.: < 2%
  • Input Power: Rated 30mW, Maximum 500mW
  • Weight: 364g
  • Weight w/ mic and cable: 380g
  • Cable length and type: Headset (1.3m) + Audio Control Box (2m)
  • Connection: Headset – 3.5mm plug2 (4-pole) + Audio Control Box – 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs

Microphone:

  • Element: Electret condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern: Uni-directional, Noise-canceling
  • Frequency response: 50Hz–18,000Hz
  • Sensitivity: -40dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)

Adapter required for Xbox One™ controllers with no 3.5mm port. (Adapter sold separately).
Compatible with devices with CTIA standard connectors.

MSI VR One Backpack to Debut at TGS 2016

msi-vr-one-backpack

Taipei, Taiwan – September 12, 2016As the leading brand of the gaming industry, MSI Computer Corp  is always ahead of others in meeting gamers’ needs by introducing the most up-to-date solutions for extreme gamers. MSI has built deep relationships with the VIVE team of HTC Corporation for quite a long time, determines to deliver and promote the best VR experience on the mobile platform. In Tokyo Game Show 2016, MSI and HTC VIVE team shall bring to light another MSI revolutionary product to the world, the MSI VR One!

msi-vr-one

In Tokyo Game Show 2016, MSI will announce the world’s first-ever VR Backpack, the “VR One”.The concept has been discussed since 2016, however, none but MSI was able to make the actual product happen with the fancy style and lightest weight but highest performance.

MSI VR One is the world’s lightest and thinnest backpack PC system. It is sure to have massive impacts on the global VR market by removing the current VR experience limitations of having to stay close to the PC and the monitor due to cables connected. MSI VR One weighs merely 3.6kg. It comes with 2 battery packs and is able to deliver 1.5 hours full speed gameplay. Powered by overclocked CPU and GeForce ® GTX 10 series graphics card, MSI VR One is able to deliver full throttle gaming performance under noise of 40dBA.

The rest similar products simply can’t compare with MSI VR One in terms of its futuristic look, the chassis’s material quality, the lightweight of 3.6kg, the longevity of its battery life and the non-stop hot swap design. On top of just making the MSI VR One looking good, MSI has paid a great amount of efforts on the ID, the cooling and the interior hardware designs to make sure the highest performance and the best user VR experience of this masterpiece.

MSI VR One is designed with an armer pack, a futuristic robot machine style, with 2 battey packs on the bottom right and left of the backpack. Once removing the 2 batteries aside, MSI VR One is merely 2.2 kg in weight. As a stand alone PC system, MSI VR One is even lighter than some performance gaming notebooks. The design is more compact and the performance is even better than any other similar products. Moreover, it is more convenient thanks to the the longevity of its battery life and the non-stop hot swap design. You may play hours of VR games non-stop. For B to B business or VR developpers, the portability and the mobility of MSI VR One is the best solution both for the limitedless VR environment possibilities and the VR content demonstration all around the world.

VR One is fully HTC VIVE Optimized. It comes with 1x HDMI port, 1 Mini DisplayPort and 1 ultra-speed Thunderbolt3 by Type-C port support highest bandwidth for dual 2K displays per eye. All these ports support smoother VR experience with over 90FPS for any high level VR devices. Moreover, there are 4x USB 3.0 ports for more external devices for some VR set requests.

The secret to keep the VR One cool and silent for long sessions of VR experience relies on the cooling system. The cooling design consists of dual 9cm ultra blade fans and 9 heat pipes. Working together, the cooling system easily keeps the VR One silent under 41dBA. The only sound you will hear, therefore, is from your VR headsets. The silent and powerful VR One allows you to immerse yourself totally in the VR world at night without waking up your pets and parents!

The “VR One” is designed for highest VR HMD mobility, therefore it comes with unique design of 2 hot-swappable batteries. It also comes with battery indicators: each battery’s life is illuminated through 4 white lights located next to the mount. 4 lights illuminating means the battery life is 75%~100%; 3 lights means it’s 50%~75%; 2 lights means it’s 25%~50%; 1 light means it’s under 25%. The last light will be flashing to remind users that the battery may run out of power within a short time.

When users want to hot-swap a battery they can swap one at a time without using an adaptor. However, if users plug in the adaptor, they can remove both batteries simultaneously while VR One will still keep the same high performance for VR experience or other type of heavy loading gaming as an ultra slim PC.

The VR One is equipped with the latest and unique software “MSI Dragon Center”. Get ready to get a total control of your VR platform with 1 Click VR key. This software not only permits users to monitor the hardware status in details from your cell phone, but also allows adjustments and managements of unique MSI gaming features. SHIFT Technology grants users the power to boost the performance and the fan speed to the extreme for the best VR experience.

MSI VR READY: http://vr.msi.comMSI GAMING Products: http://gaming.msi.comMSI Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/MSIHQFANCLUB

Apple Watch Series 2 Announced

watch-os-hero-3up_pr-print

SAN FRANCISCO — September 7, 2016 — Today, Apple® introduced Apple Watch® Series 2, the next generation of the world’s most popular smartwatch. Apple Watch Series 2 is packed with incredible fitness and health capabilities including a water resistance 50 meter rating for swimming,*  and built-in GPS so users can now run without an iPhone®. Apple Watch Series 2 also features a dramatically brighter display and a powerful dual-core processor. Combined with the performance enhancements of watchOS® 3, Apple Watch Series 2 makes it even easier to access third-party apps, receive and respond to notifications and conveniently use Apple Pay®. Apple Watch Series 2 will be available in more than 25 countries beginning Friday, September 16.

“We’re thrilled with the response to Apple Watch and how it’s changed people’s lives. We are committed to fitness and health and think our customers will love the new capabilities of Apple Watch Series 2,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “With a powerful new dual-core processor, water resistance 50 meters and built-in GPS, Apple Watch Series 2 is packed with features to help our customers live a healthy life.”

Fitness & Health 

Apple Watch Series 2 is rated water resistant 50 meters for swimming, surfing or just playing in the pool. For swimmers, Apple developed all-new algorithms after hundreds of hours of research for two new workout options, pool and open water. Apple Watch Series 2 can count laps, track average lap pace and auto-detect stroke type to accurately measure active calorie burn.

With built-in GPS, Apple Watch Series 2 records precise distance, pace and speed for outdoor workouts such as walking, running or cycling, without needing to take an iPhone. Users can begin an outdoor workout immediately as Apple Watch Series 2 uses Wi-Fi, GPS and locally stored satellite data to quickly identify their location. On completion of an outdoor workout, view a route map that shows variations in speed in the Activity app on iPhone. Whether running, going for a swim or walking between meetings, the Activity app on Apple Watch Series 2 counts all daily activity towards the Stand, Move and Exercise rings.

Advanced Technology
Apple pioneered the custom designed System in Package (SiP) for Apple Watch, and continues to develop this breakthrough technology with the second generation S2 chip. With a dual-core processor, the S2 chip takes performance to a new level, making Apple Watch up to 50 percent faster. In addition, a new GPU has been added, which delivers up to two-times-greater graphics performance. Apple Watch Series 2 also features a dramatically brighter display — at 1,000 nits, it’s more than two times brighter— making this the brightest display Apple has ever shipped, so it’s even easier to see important information at a glance when outside on a sunny day.

watchOS 3
watchOS 3 features significantly improved performance that makes it even simpler to launch favorite apps instantly, either from the watch face or with the new Dock, which displays the latest information already updated in the background. New fitness and health capabilities include the breakthrough Breathe app, designed to encourage users to take a moment in their day to do deep breathing exercises for relaxation and stress reduction. The Activity app now includes the ability to share, compare and compete, keeping friends and family motivated. There is also a customized experience for wheelchair users to close their Activity rings, in addition to dedicated workouts.

Apple Watch is even more personal with new watch faces including Minnie Mouse, Activity and Numerals. Simply swipe edge-to-edge to swap out a new watch face and with the new Face Gallery in the Apple Watch app on iPhone, it’s even easier to customize watch faces and discover third-party apps.

Apple Watch Lineup
Apple Watch Series 2 is available with all the new fitness and health capabilities in lightweight aluminum or stainless steel cases, paired with a wide variety of gorgeous new band colors.

Apple Watch Series 1 is available in lightweight aluminum and combines the new powerful dual-core processor and GPU with all the incredible features of the original Apple Watch, making it up to 50 percent faster and available to even more customers, starting at just $269 (US).

Apple Watch Edition™ now comes in a beautiful ceramic, that embodies craftsmanship with a lustrous white case and all the incredible features of Apple Watch Series 2. Ceramic is one of the hardest materials in the world — more than four times harder than stainless steel — with a beautiful, white, pearl-like finish, making Apple Watch Edition extremely scratch-resistant.

Pricing & Availability 

  • Apple Watch is available in two different case sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm. Apple Watch Series 1 will be available in gold, rose gold, silver or space gray aluminum cases paired with a Sport Band and starts at just $269 (US); Apple Watch Series 2 will be available in gold, rose gold, silver or space gray aluminum, or silver or space black stainless steel cases paired with a wide variety of bands starting at $369 (US); and the new ceramic Apple Watch Edition starts at $1249 (US) from Apple.com, Apple Stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers and carriers. For local availability, visit locate.apple.com. Apple Watch Nike+ starts at $369 (US) and Apple Watch Hermès starts at $1149 (US).
  • All-new Apple Watch Band Kits in gorgeous new colors are available, beginning today.
  • Customers will be able to order Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Edition beginning Friday, September 9, with availability beginning Friday, September 16, in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK and the US.
  • Apple Watch Nike+ will be available to order on Apple.com beginning Friday, September 9, with availability in late October, in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK and the US.
  • Apple Watch Hermès will be available beginning Friday, September 23 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Macau, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK and the US.
  • Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Edition will be available beginning Friday, September 23 in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Jersey, Kuwait, Macau, Monaco, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and the US Virgin Islands.
  • Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Edition will be available beginning Friday, October 7 in India and Mexico.
  • Apple Watch Series 2 requires iPhone 5 or later running iOS 10 or later. watchOS 3 and iOS 10 will be available beginning Tuesday, September 13 as a free software update. Some features are not available in all regions or all languages.
  • Every customer who buys Apple Watch from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup, in-store or online,** to help set up and personalize their new Apple Watch with calendars, notifications, apps and more.
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about Apple Watch or watchOS 3 can register for the free workshops offered at every Apple Store®.

Razer ManO’War 7.1 Available for Pre-Order

man-o-war-71-headset

IRVINE, Calif. – Razer, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, today announced the launch of the Razer ManO’War 7.1. This analog-digital gaming headset is an encore to the recent debut of the wireless Razer ManO’War, an editor’s choice among the ranks of TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, VentureBeat and more.

Powerful 50 mm drivers deliver virtual 7.1 surround sound* to the listener. The Razer Synapse configuration software allows gamers to customize the sound. The Razer ManO’War 7.1 is equipped with sound isolation technology, while in-line volume controls and a retractable MEMS boom mic offer a streamlined gaming audio experience.

An included USB digital-to-analog convertor (DAC) allows the Razer ManO’War 7.1 to deliver crisp, outstanding audio on PC and Mac platforms. The pure analog connection (3.5mm audio jack) offers universal compatibility for Xbox One®, PlayStation® 4, and other platforms.

“The Razer ManO’War 7.1 is a fantastic addition for any gamer, especially those that play on both PC and console,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “There may not be a more versatile high-performance headset available today.”

The Razer ManO’War 7.1 headset is available now from RazerStore.com and other retailers. For more information, visit http://www.razerzone.com/manowar-7.1.

Price:

U.S. $119.99 / EU 134.99

Availability:

Razerzone.com Pre-order now

Worldwide October, 2016

Product features:

  • Advanced 7.1 virtual surround sound engine* for pinpoint positional audio
  • Powerful 50mm drivers and sound isolation for immersive gaming audio
  • In-Line controls and fully retractable microphone for easy access
  • Works perfectly with standard 3.5mm jack devices
  • Compatibility with PC, Mac, PS4 and Xbox One (Xbox One stereo adapter may be required, purchased separately)

*7.1 Surround Sound only available on PC through Razer Synapse.

For more information about the Razer ManO’War 7.1, please visit http://www.razerzone.com/manowar-7.1

Razer Stargazer Available for Pre-Order

razer-stargAZER

The Razer Stargazer is available for pre-order now at $149.99. The webcam is the most advanced of its kind with category-leading features for gamers and broadcasters.

Full product details: www.razerzone.com/stargazer.

The Razer Stargazer was produced as an advanced webcam with features for video production and broadcasting. Among its many abilities are ultra-high frame rate capture, dynamic background removal to create professional-looking streams without a green screen, 3D scanning for game immersion, and advanced facial/gesture recognition for desktop experiences.

Shipping from Oct. 2, 2016, on RazerStore.com and selected retailers.

Starbreeze AB Makes First Shipment of StarVR HMDs

star-vr-render

BERLIN, GERMANY (August 31, 2016) Acer (TWSE: 2353, LSE: ACID) and Starbreeze AB (First North: STAR) today announced at a global press conference in Berlin that they have started to ship StarVR® Virtual Reality (VR) Head-Mounted Displays (HMD) to IMAX Corporation in preparation for the highly anticipated opening of the IMAX VR® Center in Los Angeles, expected later this year, and others in the near future. Earlier in 2016, Acer committed to delivering a small volume of units of StarVR® HMDs this year with mass production of the devices to commence in 2017. Also on hand at the press conference were Bo Andersson Klint, CEO at Starbreeze and Rob Lister, Chief Business Development Officer at IMAX Corporation.

“With this shipment to as important a player in the entertainment industry as IMAX, we are absolutely thrilled that we are well on our way in bringing the virtual reality experience to the next level and to the world” said Jason Chen, President and CEO at Acer. “The realization of the most premium VR experience ever offered isn’t just our dream, but one of an entire ecosystem that encompasses hardware makers, videogame developers, theater companies, filmmakers and many others.” Chen highlighted at the global press conference that movies and videogames have exceedingly become ever more closely entwined. The lines are blurring between movies and videogames, and are moving beyond just two mediums that have traditionally only complemented one another. He said they were converging to become a more dynamic, immersive form of storytelling, and virtual reality would feature prominently in this development.

“We’re extremely proud to be able to show the first manufactured units of the StarVR® headset produced in our collaboration with Acer. Since announcing the StarVR® headset in 2015, we’re finally at a place where we can see the pieces of our vision coming together. From day one we’ve been convinced that we can deliver premium experiences with premium hardware. The search for great partners sharing the same vision was long, but we’re happy to be able to lay down these two fundamental parts in Starbreeze VR-ecosystem together with Acer and IMAX. We can’t wait for people to start experiencing world-class virtual reality in the StarVR HMD and at IMAX VR® centers, said Bo Andersson Klint, Starbreeze CEO.

“We are looking forward to the launch of our first IMAX VR® center and pleased with the progress demonstrated by the initial shipment of StarVR® HMDs from Acer and Starbreeze, as this exciting industry continues to develop and grow,” said Robert D. Lister, Chief Business Development Officer, IMAX Corp. “IMAX is committed to delivering immerse, multi-dimensional virtual reality experiences, featuring some of the world’s best entertainment and gaming properties, to premium locations, including multiplexes, malls and other commercial destinations.”

Acer Inc. and Starbreeze AB announced earlier in the year that their respective Board of Directors had approved the establishment of a joint venture, for design, manufacturing, promotion, marketing and sales of the StarVR® Head-Mounted Display. The joint venture has since obtained regulatory approval and will be known as Acer Starbreeze Corporation. its best-in-class cinematic experience, StarVR® targets professional- and location-based entertainment markets such as high-end cinemas, gaming arcades, automotive retail and aviation training. StarVR® provides a truly immersive VR experience with its unique ultra-wide 210-degree horizontal field of view, with custom optics that deliver great image quality across the eye’s natural vision.

Nutri Ninja Blending System with Auto-iQ Review

nutri-ninja-5

The folks at Nutri Ninja are definitely putting out some products that will appeal to the tech-savvy as well as food-loving people out there. Last time, we got to check out their Ninja Coffee Bar. Providing much-needed caffeine for long gaming sessions, we loved the product for its smart Auto-iQ technology. Now, we get the chance to check out the Nutri Ninja Ninja Blender System With Auto-iQ. The Nutri Ninja Blender System with Auto-iQ will, hopefully, provide gamers with nutritionally-strong, yet great-tasting smoothies and a lot more.

nutri-ninja-2

The Nutri Ninja Blender System with Auto-iQ is actually made up of several products, all bundled into one super pack of blending goodness. Headlining the system is the blender itself which packs a whopping 1500 watt motor base pushing 2 horsepower. In case you are wondering how that stacks up – most 800+ watt blenders easily cost over $300 dollars and they don’t come with all the extras the Nutri Ninja Blender System package does. I blended up smoothies with all kinds of fruit – fruit which, usually, gets stuck in the carafe and never gets blended up until I turn the unit off, push it down, and restart. With the Nutri Ninja Blender System, you get a central column with ridges that pull food down into the blades. This kind of feature is usually only seen on professional-grade smoothie blenders at places like Jamba Juice. Having it on a home blender makes an absolute world of difference, and is one of my favorite things about this blender.

Aside from the central spinning column, this blender is equipped with Auto-iQ, the same tech I loved so much from their Ninja Coffee Bar. With that system, the Auto-iQ changed the levels of water and intensity depending on the type of drink you were looking to brew. I didn’t know how they would adapt the tech for the blender until I dove into using it.

nutri-ninja-4

Auto-iQ on the blender system comes in the form of 5 preset programs. These programs are listed as: Blend, Ultra Blend, Frozen Drinks Smoothies, and Food Puree – each doing kind of what you would expect them to. There are also manual controls on the blender in case you want to tweak the finish product to your liking.

This is where I went out of my comfort zone. You see, if the Nutri Ninja Blender System were JUST a blender, I would be fine making smoothies for post-workout recovery and that would be fine. I would even rate it highly at $249 dollars for just the blender unit – it is that good at making smoothies. This system does so much more, though, thanks to all its added accessories.

AutoiQ_popup2

 

For instance, the blender system comes with a food processing bowl attachment, crushing blades, extractor blades, two different size blender cups, a pitcher pour lid, and even a dough-making blade set for use in the food processor bowl. This is all way beyond my pay-grade as someone who usually doesn’t do much cooking.

Overall, the Nutri Ninja Blender System with Auto-iQ is a great way to prepare healthy smoothies for any occasion – whether you need a post-workout recovery shake or just a weight loss promoting meal replacement drink. If you cook, however, you will LOVE the added functionality of the food processor and dough making bladeset. The blender system retails for $249 but is on sale at many online vendors now.

Nutri Ninja Blender System with Auto-iQ Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

Learn About Our Rating System!

HTC VIVE Review

htc-vive-header

Recently, we got the chance to take a look at the HTC Vive virtual reality headset for a three week test run. With quite a few virtual reality headset options out on the market right now, we were interested in finding out what exactly sets the HTC Vive apart from the rest. Does the HTC Vive pull ahead of the competition or is it just one of the crowd? Read on and find out!

Housed in very thorough packaging, we removed all of the components of the HTC Vive VR system. Upon seeing the small USB pass-through box, two sensors, and all the cabling, we were worried as it looked quite complicated. Thankfully, setting up the HTC Vive is anything BUT complicated thanks to its setup software, which literally walks you, step-by-step, through what to connect where and when to do it.

HTC-Vive-sensors

The two sensors, or “lighthouses”, get mounted above the play area in opposite corners of the space (wall screws and drywall anchors are included). They only need to be plugged into a wall outlet via two included adapters. They do not need a wired connection to your computer to function, which is great! They do include an optional sync cable which allows to you connect the sensors together in spaces where line of sight is an issue (they need LoS with each other to sync up their sensor data), but we didn’t need to go this route.

One VERY smart thing that HTC has included in the HTC Vive system is a nifty pass-through box. Unlike other VR systems on the market, which requires the user to plug everything into the USB 3.0 ports on the back of the PC, this pass-through acts as a middle man of sorts. It plugs into the appropriate ports on the back of your PC then your HTC Vive plugs into the pass-through box. It’s a small thing, but also VERY important for increased ease of use.

Finishing setup, we powered everything up and Steam VR started automatically (I LOVE the integration with Steam). There is a separate HTC Vive environment but the integration with Steam is where it’s at for this gamer. Steam will run a first-time room setup application that allows you to setup your play area and style. In this, the HTC Vive can be configured for sitting/standing or room scale modes.

Sitting/standing is what most VR headsets do these days – but they Vive leaps ahead of the pack with room scale mode. In this mode, you are able to walk around a play area and more immersively interact with your virtual environment. The play area can be pretty large, and my 6ft x 6ft room was actually about the minimum size for the setup process.

htc-vive-controllers

After setup, I decided to start up some VR titles that I had previously downloaded via Steam. The first was Trials on Tatooine, a Star Wars themed VR demo. In the demo, you have to do some maintenance on the Millennium Falcon and even get to use a lightsaber to deflect blaster bolts. Using the two motion controllers to manipulate objects in VR space is simply outstanding. The feedback built into the controllers do a great job of syncing up with your virtual input to give your brain the impression of “hitting” a VR object.

The moment I ignited the lightsaber was one I shall never forget. Ever since I saw the original Star Wars film, I wondered what it would be like to wield one of the fabled weapons of the Jedi. Holding the saber in my hand and rotating it in front of my face, it felt like I was holding it for real. The sense of scale and presence are perfect. I also discovered that I apparently have NO Force Sensitivity whatsoever! I can’t deflect blaster bolts to save my life. I was more like Finn in The Force Awakens. But, I digress…

Now, a lot of the motion controller functionality has to do with how well the application or game has applied it but, for a developer worth their salt, these motion controllers are awesome and are truly a revolution in gaming.

trials-on-tatooine

One thing that should be noted is that the HTC Vive does not come with an integrated headset for audio. However, it does have an audio jack on the Vive unit itself that you can plug your headphones into. The nice part of this is that you can choose whatever headphones you like. HTC does include some simple earbuds in the box that you can use if you like, but they blocked out a lot of the ambient noise and I personally like hearing what’s going on around me while I am in the VR space.

Due to the increased comfort padding around the HTC Vive, there appears to be a slightly narrower field of view when compared to the Oculus Rift. Despite this, I actually found the visual clarity of the HTC Vive to be better than that of the Rift’s. Adjusting the width of the lenses that the wearer looks through is done by a digital rotary knob. This adjustment system is very easy to use and extremely precise (with an onscreen indicator) – as opposed to the Rift’s slider control which, while functional, gives no on-screen indication of current position.

While my experience with the HTC Vive was amazing, there were a couple issues that are worth noting which you might encounter when you use it. The first was the occasional “jittering” of my point of view when I skirted around the outskirts of my play area. It was as though one of the sensors was losing sight of me, causing the issue. Gamers with larger play areas shouldn’t experience this as much.

The second issue to be aware of is one of cable management. The cables coming from the HTC Vive are thick and rugged, but you will undoubtedly end up stepping on them and having to scoot them out of the way with your feet while walking around your room. There are some third part cable rigs that you can buy, but I haven’t had the chance to check them out yet.

The HTC Vive is the only choice you should consider if you are in the market for a good virtual reality headset right now.  It has an extremely high immersion factor thanks to its room scale play and excellent motion controllers while also boasting great visual clarity. The HTC Vive retails for $799, which is very economical when compared to the Oculus Rift (which does NOT include motion controllers and only has one sensor). The HTC Vive gaming experience has to be seen to be believed, and I can’t wait for more AAA developers to start putting out games for it. Fallout 4 and Skyrim for HTC Vive can’t get here fast enough! We give the HTC Vive a 5 out of 5 and our “Seal of Excellence”.

Order an HTC Vive Here

HTC VIVE Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

gs-seal

Learn About Our Rating System!