Gadgets pebble

Published on March 31st, 2011 | by Greg


VEHO Gear: Battery, Speaker, Air Keyboard/Mouse and Camcorder

Veho makes a lot of interesting stuff in the consumer electronics arena. We visited them at CES and got a picture of their latest gadgets, covering ground as diverse as movie making and Bluetooth audio. They also make electronic microscopes and digital photo viewer, and have some interesting-looking products coming soon, like the Mimi X-Series wireless speaker. We’ve checked out a fair number of wireless speakers, with mixed results, as well as plenty of keyboards, mice, backups batteries and sports cameras. But most of VEHO’s products, we’re happy to say, hit a nice balance between feature set, price, and style.

Let’s start with the Pebble Backup Battery, a 5000 mAh beast crammed into a deck of cards. To be fair, it’s much larger than a pebble- more like a stone- but it comes with most all of the adapters you could need and a nice, optional carrying case. The texture of the devices is nice and rubberized, and we were able to get three complete recharges of our iPhone 4s before we need to top off the Pebble. Included tips include the iPhone adapter, as well as ones for Nokia, mini-USB/Motorola, and Sony. We dropped the device a couple of times to no damage, and we liked the battery meter. And at only $40 and available widely, it’s one of the best overall backup batteries that we’ve tried. The XT model on Amazon even comes with a bunch of extra adapters!

The Veho 360 Bluetooth Speaker is not quite as solid. For it’s size and cost, it puts out surprisingly good and voluminous sound. But there are a couple of negatives, even if they don’t matter too much. There aren’t any volume controls on the speaker, an odd omission, and . Bluetooth pairing was easy, and the rechargeable battery lasts four hours or so- not a lot, but good enough considering the size. 2.2 watts of power doesn’t seem like much, but was plenty for our use cases, Line-in is a good option for those without Bluetooth, and pairing and use are super-simple. It’s solidly made, fairly attractive, and small enough to lose. There’s A2DP support, but the speaker is only mono. Again, a low $30 pricetag seals the deal.

We’ve tested the slightly large Muvi Micro, but it’s smaller sibling is the Veho Muvi Atom. Available in both black and white, this is even smaller and more lightweight than the speaker or battery or… well, just about anything we regularly use. It’s around 4 centimeters tall, comes packing 2GB of memory on a microSD card, and is said to be the world’s smallest high resolution camcorder. Granted, the audio produced is… not so hot. But the bundled sports kit makes it a cheaper and smaller alternative to many sports cameras. The rechargeable battery only provides about 45 minute of recording time, and there is no easy playback from the device itself. Despite the claim of high resolution, it’s not high definition- only 640×480 video- but up to 1280 x 960 photo stills. Sound activation is a cute feature, but we were a bit disappointed by the 30fps limitation (many others allow 60fps, important for some extreme sports and outdoor activities). Also, there isn’t much in the way of anti-shake, so many videos came out really blurry. You’ll want fairly good light conditions for this camera- there isn’t a night vision mode, and anything less than daylight meant dark and muddy results. Too much movement meant blurry results. In short, careful filming and stabilization are the trick, and you should still keep your expectations in line with a cell phone camera. At $130 list, we found it for $90 online, and it makes much more sense at the lower price than the higher range.

Finally, the Air Keyboard Conqueror is a weird sort of addition to their lineup. It doesn’t feature the same sort of design, and in fact, does not seem to be listed on their website. A company called Cideko actually makes the Conqueror, and it’s a combination of gamepad, wireless mouse, and wireless keyboard. It’s got a rechargeable battery, and can last around 20 hours- pretty good, if a little less than we like for home theater use. It uses 2.4GHz wireless with a ten meter range, will automatically switch off to save power, and charges via mini-USB… in short, it’s pretty normal. But the design is crazy, and you’ll either love it or hate it- gamers thought it was kind of similar to a PS3 controller with an added keypad. But it doesn’t work for consoles, only computers apparently and unfortunately. The keys get a bit uncomfortable, and the unit itself is a bit heavy, with a too-stiff D-pad and a slightly off weight balance. Overall, we found it interesting and quirky, but perhaps in need of some more refinement. Perhaps that was the wider opinion, as pricing was not available.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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