With summer in full swing and kids across the country out of school for the next month or so, tech expert Mario Armstrong was kind enough to join me for an interview recently to dish on the top “cool” hot summer tech and games that everyone in your family will love.
Candace Rose: What’s hot right now in laptops?
Mario Armstrong: “Candace, there are so many laptops to choose from! I tell people all the time if you want to buy a laptop, buy one that’s versatile; understand what your needs are and what you need to get from it and really find one that’s flexible enough to be versatile with you. A great example of that is the HP Pavilion x360. This is built with Windows 10 in mind. It comes with four different modes on how you can use it because the screen is completely bendable. What that means is you can use it as a notebook for work or a stand for entertainment viewing of all your videos or video content, a tent for games or you can fold it as a tablet on the go. This is great for taking vacations, it’s lightweight to take with you, but it’s also powerful enough to use for home or work as well.”
Candace Rose: What’s a cool way to organize and share photos?
Mario Armstrong: “There are so many different ways and so many different apps that are out there that you can choose from. Here’s the deal, many people are taking a lot of pictures and all of their digital memories are on their devices. If you lose your device and you’re not really backing it up or you only have some things backed up to the cloud but not all, then it becomes a real nightmare, so use a free solution that will handle all of this for you, it’s called Flickr. Flickr has been around for a while, they are a trusted name and they have some great features that they have added recently. It’s a free solution to store, organize, edit and share all of your photos and videos. One of the new features I really love is the automatic backup. Listen to this, Candace – it’ll automatically back up for up to half a million photos, so you’re not going to run out of space.”
Candace Rose: Are there any highly anticipated video games this summer?
Mario Armstrong: “The kids are going nuts over Skylanders. This one is launching September 20th. This is the Skylanders SuperChargers. It’s an entirely new way to play with land, sea, and sky vehicles that come to life. It’s lots of fun, plus their Dark Edition Starter Pack extends that experience with the highly sought after chaos trophy that unlocks special game play content. All the kids are going to be trying to get that trophy and unlock that exclusive content inside.”
Candace Rose: What’s your go-to-app for kids right now?
Mario Armstrong: “It’s funny, I say this is for kids but I’m also a big kid. Let’s just be honest, I’m like an adult kid and I love what Crayola has done. They have an app that’s called Crayola Color Alive. You can use the Crayola Color Alive on any device – Windows, Android, Apple and then you use it in conjunction with their coloring books and it takes you to a whole new level. For example – a kid colors in the coloring book, then you take the app and scan that image ( you can use your tablet or your phone) and then the characters from that page come to life in animated 4D images. They have sound, movement; you can interact with them, move them around, put them in your living room. I have a little dragon that hangs with me on my shoulder that I’ve been playing around with, so it’s a lot of fun.”
Candace Rose: Do you have a money-saving idea to access or enhance digital TV?
Mario Armstrong: “Digital TV, especially when we’re talking about HD and the free HD, a lot of people still don’t understand that if you have a great antenna you can get a ton of free HD channels. Maybe that’s going to help you save some money on paying that enormous cable bill that’s still rising or maybe you’re going to get this for a different room in the house or maybe there’s a parent or friend that’s going to get a TV in another room and they don’t want to have cable – this is a great antenna, it’s the ClearStream Eclipse TV antenna with Sure Grip technology. The Sure Grip technology is what really makes this revolutionary for two reasons – for one you get 50 miles range, which means you’ll get up to 40 HD channels and the design lets you stick this up against any flat surface – a window or a wall. No tools are needed to install it, so it’s a great and easy HD antenna to use.”
Candace Rose: Is there a smartwatch that stands out for you?
Mario Armstrong: “There are a lot that are out there on the market, but the industry leader, the people that actually started this category is Pebble. Pebble came out and launched a whole smartwatch category, I’m wearing Pebble Time right now. This can be used with an iPhone or an Android phone. It comes in multiple colors. You can get all of your work done, but all your fun done anywhere – the beach, the office, while you’re traveling. Here’s what’s really cool, Candace – water resistant! It’s not just like splash proof, you can swim with this watch on your wrist, so that’s really, really good. You don’t have to worry about washing your hands and getting it wet. You can customize it with thousands of apps that they have and watch faces as well. I’ve used Evernote on my Pebble watch. They have fitness tracking as well, which is great if you are swimming and in the water. Tons and tons of apps and reasons to use it, and most of all a week without needing a battery charge. It’s only $199, great price for what you get with the Pebble Time watch.”
Candace Rose: Well, thank you as always, Mario! Where can we go for more information?
Mario Armstrong: “Head on over to our website! Our website has everything we talked about and more, and that is ThunkNews.com/CoolTech.”