Accell USB-C to DisplayPort Cable and UltraAV Mini Dual Display MST Hub

It has been a while since I reviewed a good Accell product, and I really liked the Powramid. They make a lot of excellent accessories that are good for the office, and I was pleased to review two of them.

Accell 6-Feet USB-C to DisplayPort Cable

Accell 1This first device takes advantage of two ports that have become very popular: the USB-C and DisplayPort. Since there are many displays that have that DisplayPort port, and many devices with USB C (MacBook Retina, MacBook Pro 2016, and Chromebook Pixel, as well as the HTC 10 that I use and have reviewed), it just makes sense to combine the two.

In this case, this is one nice 6 foot cable made to support 4K at 60Hz resolution, at up to 5.4Gbps per lane, which is good for games, video, or just about anything that you want on the screen. Best of all, it works from all operating systems like Mac, Windows, or Google, provided it will support DisplayPort Alternate (ALT) mode.

All that, and it is compliant to VESA DP Alt mode on USB-C ver. 1.0. If this is something that you want or need (or both), head on over to the Accell site and lay down $31.99 for it.

UltraAV Mini Dual Display MST Hub

Accell 2Now, if you are looking to expand your device into two monitors, you can use the UltraAV Mini DisplayPort 1.2 to 2 DisplayPort Multi-Display MST Hub. Yes, that is a long name, and this particular device is ready-to-use for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, or Surface Pro 2, but will also work for a DisplayPort Windows PC.

The setup of this particular device is simple allowing you to plug it in to Microsoft’s favorite all-in-one PC/laptop, and there is a scan button that refreshes . It uses a multi-stream transport (MST) protocol, which supports up to 2 displays independently at 2560 x 1600 at 60Hz or 3840 x 2160 at 30 Hz with DP 1.2.

For those that don’t have two DisplayPort Monitors, the MST Hub has Dual Mode or DisplayPort ++. This is where it directly outputs with single-link HDMI, VGA, and DVI signals using either an active or passive adapter.

For those that want to get in on this, head on over to the Accell site and lay down a good $79.99 for it.

The Accell Powramid Air Power Center and USB Charging Station

Powramid AirIt’s been a few years since I have reviewed an Accell product, and I am back to reviewing the Powramid once again. This is the Powramid Air Power Center and USB Charging Station, and it is a sequel better than the original.

I believe that the original was called the Powramid because its shape resembled a pyramid. I believe that worked well because you know how certain plug-ins are big these days? However, the new Powramid Air is more of a discus. It is not totally flat, but it can hold a lot of big plug-ins (six), as well as two USB ports.

There is a six-foot power cord, and a scratch-resistant base. There is an odd on-off power button like right in the middle. I hope that won’t get triggered by accident and shut off the whole thing.

So if you are looking for a surge protector that is pretty good with 1080 Joules of surge protection, then head on over to the Accell Cables site and get the Powramid Air in white or black.

Cherry G80-3000 MX Board Silent Keyboard Review

cherry max board silentI’ve said before that when I review a keyboard, I write the article on it. This is what I am doing now, and I will say that Cherry’s MX Board Silent is quite something.

I have reviewed keyboards that said they were silent before, such as Matias Quiet Pro Keyboard but I have to admit there was a lot of clickity-clicking going on. In fact, it is really low in the click department, and my wife wants me to keep typing while she is trying to sleep. Think of it as a white noise machine, apparently.

I will have to admit that I love the look of the keyboard. It comes in black and white, and I had the chance to try out the white version. It has this look about it that reminds me of an IBM that I used to own back in the late eighties. The setup is almost exactly the same.

What is interesting is how the keyboard has both USB and the traditional keyboard connector functionality. It also has QWERTY key layout with 104 keys, and the user can operate 14 keys simultaneously.

So yes, I would love to recommend this, and you can get it on Cherry’s website for about $149.

Our Review of the Autonomous A.I. ErgoChair

ErgochairI realize that normally when I review a product from the same company, I have this thing about spacing out the reviews or at least calling it “Part 1” and “Part 2” and so forth. Today, I just said “the heck with it” and here’s a review of another great Autonomous AI product that I had a chance to try out with the ErgoChair.

As you might have guessed, the ErgoChair makes an excellent companion for the SmartDesk 2, only it can’t stand you up. While I am talking about the SmartDesk 2, I will say that it took me hours to assemble that desk, but I was able to assemble the ErgoChair in less that time. I would like to say “in minutes”, but it took less than an hour, I’m sure.

The moment that I sat down on the ErgoChair after it was assembled, I was instantly comforted. It is a chair that I would feel great taking a nap in, and feel that I could do a lot of work with. Seriously, I said “oh yeah”, and I really like the mesh stuff the seat is made of.

The ErgoChair has so many points of adjustment. The armrests alone can go up, down, left, right, front, and back. There is this one lever in back that locks it in place, or allows the user to lean back pretty far. The headrest can lean back as well as extend upwards as well.

The main website says that “customizable tilt tension to perfectly balance your weight, seat position can be locked or unlocked for flexibility or maximum support”, and it looks like there is some technology in place that makes the comfort possible.

Therefore, I’m going to recommend the ErgoChair for anyone in office. That is, for those that work an office and want something with a swivel and wheels, not those that are in political office. You should be able to purchase the ErgoChair on the Autonomous AI website for a price range of about $249-$299.

Our Review of the SmartDesk 2 from Autonomous AI

Smartdesk 1I’m very pleased that I had a chance to try out the SmartDesk 2 from Autonomous AI, and this is going to be one of those reviews where I am going to talk about the delivery, assembly, and usage.

I’ll start by just saying what it does: the SmartDesk 2 is one of those desks that is a standing desk and a sitting desk. At the touch of a button, the user can have a standing experience or sitting experience, and should probably be the new standard of desks.

I was pleased that it was sent to me, and it came in two forms on two separate days. The first was the big flat top of it, and the other part contained the legs and the motor that could raise or lower that top.

Smartdesk 2I will have to say that assembly was pretty simple, even though it took about two-and-a-half hours. I had no problem assembling the legs as it was simple inserting thick bolts with the included square bolt alum wrench.

The biggest issue is when you have to insert the legs into the top section. Now, there are holes marked where you can insert the legs and screw them into the wood, but the issue is that assembly allows to adjust the width of the legs.

I am not certain why in the world these legs need to be adjustable at the width for construction. In the end, I just chose a width that lined up with the holes. The issue is that adjusting the width of the legs was step 2, but that didn’t really come into play until step 12, where I had to adjust the width of the legs again to make it fit.

The same applied to the driveshaft. This particular part joined the motor on one leg with another mechanism on the other leg so the desk can be raised or lowered. Honestly, the driveshaft should probably be put on last, because I had to take it out in order to screw on the top in the center of it.

Smartdesk 3Yes, I realize that this is rather difficult to follow, but trust me, I would actually recommend following some of the steps out of order to assemble this desk in the most simple manner as possible. However, if you are not technically capable, like me, I was able to get it working as soon as I plugged it in.

The controls of the desk screw on in the front, and I was able to raise it up to carry a lot of weight on the top. It can hold 220 lbs for the Home Edition and up to 300 for the Business Edition.

So the real question is whether or not you want a standing desk. There was a recent Family Guy sketch that I felt addressed the issue of how standing desk people relate to “chair-people”. I put it here so you can read it for yourself after the jump.

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We Three Kingston Part 1: MobileLite Wireless G3

kingston-mobilelite-wireless-g3Okay, we will be writing about three products from Kingston, and two of them are headphone related. The other one is the MobileLite Wireless G3, which is a product that is somewhat difficult to describe.

The MobileLite Wireless G3 is made to be two things. I will start with a personal cloud. I talked about this with Apollo Cloud from Promise Technology. The personal cloud is a place where you can access files that exist in your personal space, and the Mobile Wireless G3 gives you a lot of it.

Maybe it’s not as much as the Apollo Cloud (which gives 4 TB), but you provide the SD card or insert a USB drive. If you want to clear off some space on your wireless device, you can do that for as much as you can put on your memory devices. By the way, you can get some great memory devices on Kingston.

Now there is another use for this: charging a mobile device. You can charge a phone up to 2 times when this thing is fully charged. Yes, this is a mobile device, and you can connect your tablet or smartphone to the USB port.

Now, the Kingston MobileLite Wireless G3 is available at a holiday rate for $65.00. Then there is the MobileLite Wireless Pro, which comes with 64 GB already installed, which costs a little more at $130.00 (also a holiday rate). Check them out on the Kingston site here.

Monster Christmas, Part 3: Power and Charging Station

monster-3Monster might be known for their cables, but they put out quite a bit of great products for audio, as well as some power strips. This Monster Power and Charging Station is one of the more high quality ones that you can buy.

This Monster Power and Charging Station is part of the company’s new Living Spaces collection, which means it is made for the “demands of today’s charging lifestyle”. So what does a charging family need? How about 4 power outlets and 4 USB ports (4.8 A).

The Power Outlets have Monster Fireproof MOV technology, as well as power filtration shields that protect from EMI/RFI. Anyone know what that is? Oh, it has a 6 foot power cord.

You can’t really see this in the picture, but from the side, the shape is like that of a house. You can use the “roof” as a stand for a phone or tablet, so that is handy if you keep this power strip on your desk, like many do. Another interesting feature is the back light, made for an accent or night light.

The Monster Power and Charging Station is quite an office-themed gift. It can be purchased on the Monster site for $79.95 (MSRP of $89.95).

Kensington Duo Gel Keyboard Wrist Rest

kesington-keyboard-comforterI don’t really get a chance to review many wrist rests, but I figured that if I was going to review one, it would be from Kensington with the Duo Gel Keyboard Wrist Rest. Some of you might recall my review of the Kensington SmartFit Conform Back Rest, and they make a lot of great office as well as ergonomic products.

One thing that I got to love about the Duo Gel Keyboard is how it feels. You press your fingers into it, and it feels like you are putting your hands on Jello, but without the squishy sticky feeling. This will definitely help you if you are having problems with your wrist with carpel tunnel or whatever.

By the way, the soft finish is easy to clean when it gets dirty. That is very handy for this “gel pillow”, and I don’t know how else to describe it.

What is interesting is how the shape has this “ventilation channel” which can “keep your hands cool and dry”. Personally, I like the look of this channel, as it makes it look like a yin/yang symbol.

If this sounds like something you want to put your hands on, head on over to the Kensington site and pay $17.99. It is available in Blue/Black or Red/Black.

Kensington SmartFit Conform Back Rest

kensington-smartfit-conform-back-restIt has been a few months since I tried out a Kensington product, and the last time was SD 1500 USB Type-C Mobile Dock, which means that this company makes very diverse accessories and…things. I was very interested in trying out the SmartFit Conform Back Rest for some sitting comfort.

As you can see, it looks like a set of robot lungs. Seriously, I don’t know how else to describe their shape. Those two lungs are actually ventilated supports for you back, and there are four independent springs that hook it together.

To set it on your chair, just use the strap and drape it on the back. Then you get to sit on it, and I will admit, it makes my back feel different. Honestly, I am wondering how I could have lived without it.

Now, there is this very odd color-coded chart with orange, red, purple, and green. I am not certain what the colors mean, but you have to unscrew the supports and move them up. It produces the effect that you would think. I think the colors are so you can remember them later.

It is quite an interesting item, and is ideal for a good Christmas gift. Particularly an office Christmas gift, and it’s no joke present. It can be purchased for $59.99 on the Kensington site.

The OGIO Ascent and Apollo Backpacks

Ascent ApolloSince we are getting into the holiday season since we started the month of October, it is time to think about gift ideas. I’m thinking anything by OGIO for a young or old active professional is good, and the Active and Ascent Packs would be a great big gift under the tree.

I’ll go ahead and start with the Apollo. It is a laptop backpack with a “streamlined” design for 15-inch laptops and a pocket made for tablets. Yes, it is made for the tech age and it has two stretch accessory pockets in the roomy main compartment for all the extras like chargers or even non-tech items like notebooks and textbooks. By the way, there is a side bottle pocket as well as an EVA molded top Tech pocket made for even more fragile stuff.

As for the Ascent, this thing looks like it could be used hiking through the mountains or some day-to-day activities. Like the Apollo, it also has a padded laptop compartment made for a 15-inch laptop with a a front organizer for the tablet. Also included is a hard-shelled Tech Vault on top, and the side water pocket.

It seems like these backpacks are a lot alike. However, if you want more information and have found your gift for yourself or someone else, find them on the OGIO site here for the Apollo Pack ($99.99) and there for the Ascent Pack ($119.99).