Thursday, January 7, 2016

Kiss your torch goodbye, Dr. Dabber releases The Boost

Here we have a new one in the way of reviews, Dr. Dabber has provided me with the Boost, a portable battery powered rig for recreational and medicinal marijuana concentrate use. This rig has everything one would need for their concentrate enjoyment in one easy to take on the go case. This kit includes the Boost eRig, glass water attachment, 2 domeless titanium nails, magnetic carb cap and loading too, two silicon containers, charging cable, and a neat little keychain. Now that we have the basics taken care of, it is time to add water, put together, fill it up and see if the Boost is the answer to needing a torch. 
I have to say this, the Boost is a solid unit and not like the flimsy and cheap devices I have used to take my concentrates on the go. Instead of coils or atomizers that clog, the domeless nail cleans easily and heats evenly. Speaking of heating, my first concern was if the battery-powered unit would get hot enough. Boost heats up in less then a minute, just wait for the light to turn blue, dab, grab the carb cap, and inhale. A full charge lasts 50-60 uses so I never had to worry about it dying on the go but because it charges via usb, an external battery pack can help in a pinch. The glass water chamber and the magnetic carb cap were my favorite parts to this rig as the glass was a sturdy high quality and the dab tool unclips from the carb cap so I didn't have to worry about getting stabbed in the eye if careless.  
While it is portable, it is not inconspicuous, at all. This is not a unit to hopefully be used in public in hopes to not draw attention, as it is more of a primary unit or to take camping or group occasions. While I loved the use of the glass water attachment for a smooth draw, the hardest part of my usage with the Boost, filling it to the right point takes a bit of trial and error before I wasn't getting water in my mouth during use. The rig also gets dirty pretty quickly and while the nail and carb cap are easy to clean, the complex glass was awkward to get sparkling clean and requires cleaning more often.

Dr. Dabber did a wonderful job with the Boost in providing a solid rig that does away with the sketchy looking torch while still providing the same effectiveness but by battery. From the case to the littlest of accessories, Dr. Dabber provides quite a bit of bang for your buck with a piece you will want to take on the go with everything you need in one little box. The Boost is available online now from Dr. Dabber’s site for $199.95 and if this rig is more than what you are looking for, they have more discreet units with some pretty crazy accessories. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Polk Audio's Striker Pro P1: One headset for multiple platforms

Hot on the heels of the small handheld keyboard, we have a gaming headset to put through the gauntlet and these come courtesy of Polk Audio, the Striker Pro P1. This headset is built to work across platforms that include the PS4, Wii U, PC, Mac, tablets, and smartphones. As you recall, we previously reviewed the Polk 4 Shot shortly after the release of the next gen consoles and while they are a decent headset, the retractable microphone needed some work. Luckily the Striker Pro’s use a newly designed removable microphone that has a push button mute. Three detachable cables are included for use across multiple devices and both the headband and ear cups are wrapped in a leatherette material for comfort during extended play times. Let's see how they perform.
The Striker Pro P1 is a great gaming headset and could easy the only headphones one could need. I will start with the lay flat pivoting cups, they make this large headset quite a bit more compact to take on the go and the durable build quality did not feel flimsy at all, even the cables were pretty thick. The removable flexible microphone works great, without changing any settings, those in my party were able to hear me clearly without feedback, even picking up my dog playing in the background. The sound is equally amazing, from movies and music to games, these can deliver in spades at any volume, I would have just preferred a bit more bass. The Striker Pro's packaging emphasizes the tuning of the drivers with Polk Optimized Electro-Acoustic Tuning (POET) so I figured I would use Battlefront to give them a beating and they sounded beautiful with crisp and clear sound, making the a fully immersive gaming experience.
 
A few things that I was not so fond of out of the box was the overly snug fit, the optional in line remote, and the inability to hear myself speak. In regards to the snug fit, the headband is made up of sturdy metal, so firm use of thumbs at the top and a few test fittings and it no longer felt like they had a Kung Fu grip on my dome. The over the ear for do such a good job at blocking out so much noise, such as yourself speaking at higher volumes so it was often times hard to hear myself speak or other party members in the middle of loud firefights. At lower to medium volume, I did not have this problem at all. Lastly, the OPTIONAL in line remote, mine may have been defective as I got constant feedback and would not recognize the microphone. Like I said it is optional, so it did not take away from my experience.
I love the Polk Striker Pro P1's as there are no one trick pony. They now go with me just about everywhere thanks to the fold flat design and I even use them while working to take and lead conference calls. Even using on plane, the headset does a great job at blocking out engine noise, chatty neighbors, and crying babies. When using them for what they are made for, online gaming, is where I truly appreciate what they had to offer, as I got immersive sound with party chat without the loss of sound quality from using a cheap headset so I could talk with teammates. Polk's Striker Pro P1 is available now and priced at $129.95 but at the time of this review, they are modestly priced at $99.95 with free shipping from Polk's site.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Brydge Keyboard turns the iPad mini into a notebook

We have another Bluetooth keyboard for the multiple iPad Mini’s out there. This one is similar to the Zagg Folio Keyboard reviewed previously but rather than snapping into a clamshell that was damn near impossible to keep clean, the iPad Mini slides into two hinges. The Brydge Keyboard also come packing other neat features like aluminum case, Bluetooth connection, function keys specific to the iPad, and the keyboard goes into a sleep status when closed. The sleek metal body matches the design of the apple iPad mini well with the quality of that found in apple-licensed accessories. It took a minute to get the mini into the clamps, so it is time to sync to the keyboard and complete my impressions. 
The Brydge Keyboard has a nice solid feel to it without the added girth of having to put the iPad into a case that is attached to a keyboard. I have always been a fan of turning the tablet into a smaller, more portable keyboard, and this small keyboard does well at accomplishing this. In my week of use, I did not have to recharge the device at all and it appears after looking at the box that the battery life is up to 3 months, this is based on usage types of course. The keys are also backlit, which was not of much use to me but I know of some that prefer this feature. The keys felt natural and had a decent resistance reducing mistyping due to clumsy fingers. Getting the clamp fit just right took a few attempts though, as it is built to house the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generations, pinching and resetting was necessary to get a tight fit. 

I was pleasantly surprised with the Brydge Keyboard from it’s solid build and long battery life. I had previously preferred Zagg’s attempt at turning the small tablet into notebook, but this keyboard has since removed it from it’s pedestal. My only complaint came from the clamp design, but did not take long to grow on me. The look of the keyboard also matches the design of the iPad, looking like the two were made for each other while also providing protection to the screen on the go when the hinges are closed. Brydge’s Keyboard is available now in silver, gold, and my preference, space grey; all of which are priced at $129.99.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

MashButtons goes nostalgic with Transformers:Devastation

It is time for another game review and this time around we have the latest from Platinum Games and Activision a provided us a complimentary copy of Transformers: Devastation. Like previous games in their lineup we have another visceral, lightning fast action title which will bring back memories to us 80's babies as its inspiration comes straight out of Generations. Devastation comes in a bright cell shaded look and with the ability to play as a handful of your favorite Autobots, voiced by actors of the original tv series, so let's see if it is a trip down memory lane.
From the start, I immediately felt a strong sense of nostalgia with Peter Cullen's distinctive voice of Optimus Prime and once I got past the tutorial is where the fun really started. On top of being a strong action game, the vast customizations that come with the gameplay is what had me coming back for more. Each level is fast and action filled, making it incredibly easy to both pick up and play for short amount or to play for extended periods with varying types of Decepticons and bosses. I was a bit apprehensive with how the gameplay between vehicle and ass-kicking robot would feel but after the tutorial and a few missions under my belt, it felt like it was always meant to be.
There were a few items in which took away from my experience and the first would have to be the linear level designs and the invisible walls. The majority of the level structure is making your way from point A to point B and killing everything between. There is also a lot of repetition in the levels while making your way to the big boss fights, and while they big battles are very satisfying, they are far between. 
All in all, I had a great time with Tranformers: Devastation, nuances aside. My entertainment came largely from the nostalgia value in which PlatinumGames and Activision delivered in spades by focusing on Generations in which most of us grew up watching as children. My satisfaction came from playing as my favorite Autobot in which the movies destroyed, Grimlock, and he along with the rest of the playable Autobots were very very satisfying to play as. Transformers:Devastation is available now for $29.99.