When searching for the right tablet, there's so many options out there that it's often hard to cut through the clutter. With expanding features and a wide breadth of price points and options available, the market is always-evolving, and I'm always interested in checking out the latest. One feature that I'd not previously had on a tablet before is 4G LTE, and that just changed with the release of the new ASUS MeMO Pad 7 LTE, available exclusively through AT&T. This new, feature-packed, competitively-priced Android tablet just hit the streets a few weeks ago, and after spending some time with a a review sample, I'm ready to share some thoughts.
IRON MAIDEN have long been doing well on the cross-branded merchandise, but as recent forays into everything from beer to airlines has shown, there is no limit to the might that can come from the 'Maiden. Today comes news out of CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas that the legendary band has teamed with ONKYO for a new project called MAIDEN AUDIO. With a booth that's decked out complete with a large-scale statue of band mascot Eddie (holding a blaster and wearing Iron Maiden headphones) housed within the Gibson Guitars tent, it's a true teaser of a launch.
Disney Imagicademy: Opening New Worlds of Learning and Magic for Kids & Grownups #DisneyImagicademy #CGWritten by James Zahn
In the short period of time since I finally decided to allow my girls to get some hand-held screentime, we've gone from having no tablet to having at least three (there might be more). The iPad Mini is largely THE ROCK FATHER's tablet, and that means that it's pretty much set-up for me, but over the past couple of months, I've really started to kid-ifiy it a bit, loading up the best Apps that can both teach and entertain. One of the best new releases comes from Disney, a name that families like ours are immersed in on a daily basis, and with Disney Imagicademy there's a whole new world of learning opening up for kids ages 3-8, and a parental component that can enrich the entire program through an interconnected experience.
Technology and kids. If you've been following my online ramblings long enough, you probably know that I'm hesitantly cautious whenever new tech comes along that in some way involves the little ones. I put my money on crushing the "App Toy" trend a couple years ago - those annoying items that required someone else's technology (like a quickly-outdated smartphone or tablet) to be inserted in it to run. Once the tech was obsolete, so was the toy. I was the mean Dad that bought a new crossover without screens in the back, and I absolutely despise seeing grownups instinctively shove "devices" into their kids hands like a micro-chipped pacifier (funny enough, we really didn't do actual pacifiers with our girls, either). I've actually had other people's children tug on my shirt asking to use my phone to "play a game." No. As an adult, I'm already too tethered to my gear, so I'd rather my kids not be. But, like most things, tech can be great in moderation, and there's some fine stuff out there that serves a real purpose if you're looking in the right place. Unexpected tech, like the elo™ Pillow.
Doing what I do and living the way I live, I've used a lot of headphones over the years. While styles have changed and the type of application can be different (I like studio at home, earbuds at the gym), it all comes down to the perfect match of sound and style to impress me, and when the chance came to check out a pair of Margaritaville Audio's new MTX Headphones, I snagged it. After a box said to contain their "Margarita Lime" headphones arrived here at Rock Father HQ for review, I put them to the ultimate test and took them out on the road... after giving them an in-home test with a bottle of Landshark Lager, which I figured was appropriate.
It's taken exactly 32 years, but something I wanted as a child has now become a reality. You see, back in 1982 the best television program that the world will ever know made it's premiere on NBC. David Hasselhoff, a talking Trans-am, and a whole lotta awesome rolled into living rooms on KNIGHT RIDER, the adventures of Michael Knight and K.I.T.T. inspiring generations... but it started with kids like me. Much like the science fiction of STAR WARS and STAR TREK has become reality over the years, so has that of KNIGHT RIDER. Think of how many "gadgets" K.I.T.T. had that now come standard on new cars - GPS, DVD/Blu-ray screens, games, computer-aided driving, crash protection, hands-free calling and even voice recognition. But there was one other thing from KNIGHT RIDER that I wanted, something my own imagination would have me pretending to have as I spoke to my own wrist: Michael Knight's watch, or "comlink." Thanks to VTech, it's real, and they've partnered with THE ROCK FATHER to get one of you hooked up with the new Kidizoom Smartwatch for your kids!
I have to say, I'm pretty excited about the opportunity that I'm bringing you tonight. While I've given away a lot of cool items here on THE ROCK FATHER over the past few years, I've never held a giveaway for a tablet... but that changes right now. Earlier this week, I shared by thoughts on the newest ASUS MeMO Pad 8 - but that's not the only new tablet that hit the streets from ASUS this week. For those looking for something even lighter and slimmer, the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 (ME176) hit retail, packing a lot of punch into a 7-inch tablet that weighs just 295 grams, and features the same Intel Quad-Core processor of it's bigger brother. Would you like a chance to win one? ASUS and THE ROCK FATHER have your chance, right now!
It finally happened. Despite the fact that I'm fully-connected at all times, I'd been a holdout when it came to getting a tablet. Thanks to ASUS, I now have one - the new MeMO Pad 8 ME181C, which arrived at Rock Father HQ earlier this month, and hit retail this week. The Android-based MeMO Pad 8 is is considered a "value tablet" due to it's attractive $199 price point, but the feature-packed unit should not go overlooked for it's lean size and beefy power. So how does the MeMO Pad 8 hold up under normal use here at HQ - as a device being used by kids and grownups? Find out below...
Back in February, the very persistent folks at Meze sent me a pair of their Meze 11 Deco Wood Earphones for review here at Rock Father HQ. With the amount of stuff that rolls in here sometimes, it's tempting to rush things through and look at it like - "hey, they're earbud"s - and do a quickie review. Something that I learned a long time ago is that while media is fast moving and people often want coverage yesterday (or now, now, now), I need time on certain items, and when it comes to those things that fall into the musical realm, I need to actually live with them for awhile. I need that true experience, the time in which an item can take it's place with me, and go through all of my regular adventures. Only after that is complete will I know my true feelings. The Meze 11 Deco's have become a part of my daily routine, and thus fully integrated into my life. The sound of my music is important, and music is the foundation on which this entire site was built.
As the year-long celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Brother P-Touch continues (the first was released in late 1988), so concludes my series of organizational posts as a P-Touch Ambassador here on The Rock Father (revisit part one and part two if you'd like). When the folks at Brother USA hooked me up with their PT-H100 labelmaker prior to the holidays, I knew that the only appropriate conclusion for my series would be a job that no one really likes: packing away the Christmas decorations.
When I last checked-in with an update about using my new Brother P-Touch PT-H100 Label Maker to get Rock Father HQ organized for the holidays and beyond, I tackled the pantry, and left things hanging with a promise to delve into the girls' craft cabinet. I wasn't kidding when I said that it needed an overhaul (something that I've done repeatedly), and with the cold, snowy weather forcing us to spend more time inside in these days prior to Christmas, we've been doing a lot more crafty stuff. And, adding to the cabinet regularly, it's been a real mess. Not anymore.
I tend to be really into organization, which is sometimes surprising given the regular condition of things such as... my garage, for example. Back when I was really into things like building a library of movies and music in physical form, everything needed to be perfect at all times, broken into category, and properly alphabetized. While that's not really a thing for me anymore, I still get hit by the organizational bug, and with the holidays here certain things need to be done... especially the ones that have been getting let go because of my on-the-go lifestyle as The Rock Father - chasing two little girls all day. Brother sent me their new P-touch PT-H100 label maker, and I've started getting down to business. First up: The Pantry.