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Halos CatDrive 1TB Networked Drive (Update) :: Posted On March 06, 2018
Halos CatDrive 1TB Networked Drive (Update)
A few weeks back we posted a review for the Halos CatDrive 1TB networked drive, and well, it wasn't very good. The app's interface was mainly in Chinese, and quite honestly the basic functionality never worked. The Halos team didn't give up and requested we take a fresh look at an updated version of the device. Since the hardware for the device didn't actually change I will only be revisiting areas of the review that are impacted by the firmware update.
August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge :: Posted On February 26, 2018
August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge
In October of 2017 we reviewed the August Smart Lock with HomeKit. Overall we thought it was a pretty solid smart lock offering. but were left hoping for a little more. One area lacking was its ability to deal with multiple users smoothly, and for remote access. At the time we thought the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge might be the perfect solution to these issues. We have one on hand now, so let's see how it actually works.
August Smart Keypad :: Posted On February 26, 2018
August Smart Keypad
In October of 2017 we reviewed the August Smart Lock with HomeKit. Overall I was very happy with the operation of the lock and that it, unlike many other smart locks, kept its presence under wraps to people outside your home since it only replaces the inside portion of the lock. Well recently I came across the August Smart Keypad and thought I would give it a try even though it sells you out to passers-by. So let's see if this device is worthy of your consideration.
Batteroo Boost Battery Life Extender :: Posted On February 22, 2018
Batteroo Boost Battery Life Extender
Last year I went to a trade show and spoke with the inventor of Batteroo. The presentation almost sounded too good to be true, citing a recent study that showed most discarded batteries had up to 80% of the original energy still stored inside. Of course their device can solve this problem by maximizing all of your alkaline batteries. Currently the product is for sale through Indiegogo and directly from their website, where a 4-pack of AA Batteroos is $10 plus shipping.
Sengled Element Classic BR30 9W Smart LED Floodlight Bulb :: Posted On February 16, 2018
Sengled Element Classic BR30 9W Smart LED Floodlight Bulb
We covered the Sengled Element Classic LED A19 9W smart bulb in the fall of 2017, and I have been keeping my eye on their expanding lineup of products since then. Recently there was a deal on one of their other smart bulbs, the Classic BR30 9W smart LED floodlight bulb. This bulb is typically just over $14, but it does wind up being just over $7 with some promotions at Amazon. I picked one up to see how I liked it and decided to write up a little something about it.
Ecolink Firefighter Z-Wave Plus Smoke and CO Audio Detector :: Posted On January 30, 2018
Ecolink Firefighter Z-Wave Plus Smoke and CO Audio Detector
In this review we will take a look at an alarm audio detector that features Z-Wave Plus communication, allowing it to be integrated with SmartThings and other Z-Wave controllers. The Ecolink Firefighter is the device in question, and I picked one up at The Smartest House for about $40 in hopes that I would end the uncertainty surrounding my previous attempt to integrate my smoke detectors using a contact sensor.

From Around The Web
MSI Vigor GK70 Gaming Keyboard
When we think of keyboards, we see a large bulky device with lots of keys and specific functions. MSI has provided us with an elegant compact gaming keyboard, the MSI Vigor GK70 Gaming Keyboard. Does the MSI Vigor GK70 Gaming Keyboard's elegance end at its looks? We will explore this GK70 and find out.
SteelSeries Rival 600 Gaming Mouse
After installing two 4g weights on each side of the mouse, we started gaming in CounterStrike: Global Offensive, Guild Wars 2, Diablo III but also tried a bit of Agents of Mayhem; Rival 600 succeeded to keep the comfort level optimal even 2-3 hours of continuous gaming and during this time we did not spot any erratic movement. While our lift-off setting was set at 0.5mm, players that use to lift the mouse more during the sessions should adjust the value as necessary. The main sensor (SteelSeries TrueMove 3) remains the same as with the Rival 310, but sports a more aggressive appearance, while much more RGB segments are available for configuration.
Synology DiskStation DS918+ NAS Server
World Backup Day is slowly creeping up on us. This year we will be celebrating this holiday on March 31st. The whole point of this holiday is to raise awareness of the importance of "Data" in our lives and ways we can protect it.
SilverStone Redline RL06 Case
With the SilverStone RL06 you have a good platform for just about any cooling situation. The three intake fans and open front bezel are great for basic aircooling and if you wanted to use an AIO watercooler you have two really good options for radiator placement.
NETGEAR Nighthawk XR500 Wireless Gaming Router
Network gaming performance is about a lot more than raw router throughput. With the Nighthawk XR500, however, networking heavyweight NETGEAR is promising gamers the full package - namely, a router that offers not only an excellent connection, but also the necessary features to give gamers the best possible experience.
SuperMicro SUPERO C7Z370-CG-IW Z370 LGA1151 Motherboard
C7Z370-CG-IW is a feature-packed ITX motherboard which supports the latest range of Intel processors and for additional reliability, SuperMicro has used server-grade components. The UEFI interface has not changed much from the previous iterations and contains plenty of options, many of which a lot of users will never touch. In terms of overclocking, this board has some limitations in place in order to avoid overheating but even in this case, C7Z370-CG-IW was able to obtain some solid scores in our benchmarks.
ASRock X299 Extreme4 Motherboard
ASRock proclaims that their X299 Extreme4 motherboard is the ultimate X299 motherboard option for mainstream users that do not need a ton of PCIe slots. We put it to the test to see just how extreme the X299 Extreme4 really is.
QNAP TS-431P2 4-Bay NAS Server
The QNAP TS-431P2 is a home NAS for demanding users, offering good performance along with increased storage capabilities. Its external looks are appealing as well due to its modern design with a white finish, so it won't look strange in a modern office or your living room.
TP-Link Archer C5400 V2 AC5400 Gigabit Router
Single-link wireless performance may not be its forte but thanks to its Tri-Band AC5400 technology, 8 high-gain Antennas, extremely detailed web GUI and support for link aggregation the 2nd release (V2) of the Archer C5400 Router by TP-Link is ideal for device-heavy homes on a budget.
Nest Thermostat and Protect
As you guys have most likely noticed, things have been slow around here for a few months now. In addition to being sick a few times and hurting my back. We also bought a new house and had been working on the move and later doing work around the house. One of the best parts about moving and getting a new place is that I finally have an excuse to take a closer look at more of the home automation and smart home products that have been coming out. Even before the move I had a few things already planned and upgrading to a smart thermostat was one of them. Well, I reached out to Nest and they sent over a new Gen 3 Thermostat as well as one of their Nest Protect smoke and CO detectors. I finally have some time with both and wanted to run through what they do and how they have performed for me so far.
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