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My Honest Review Of The Opkix One After 3 Months Of Use

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The Opkix is unlike anything else on the market right now. If wearable tech and action-cameras had a child together, the result would be the Opkix. We previously reviewed it on Owner’s Magazine. See the review here.

However, our team was so impressed with the Opkix that we decided to test it for 3 months and write a much more in-depth look at what it can really do. In our extended review of the Opkix we discovered a lot of things that weren’t obvious at first. We found even more things to like about it and also unearthed quite a few issues.

Here’s what we found after 3 months of using the Opkix on a daily basis.

How Did I Use It?

The Opkix comes with accessories to clip it onto your glasses or hat. Luckily I wear prescription glasses 24/7, so it was fairly easy to adapt it to my daily routine. For the most part, I just carry the Opkix in my bag with me and have one of the cameras clipped onto my glasses at all times.

One of the best use for the Opkix that I found was having it as a video camera that was literally always on and always within reach. Whenever an opportunity for a video comes, I would simply press the bottom on the camera, and it would start recording.

The Opkix Is A Game Changer…

If I wanted to record something smartphone where I’d have to take it out of my pocket, unlock it, open the camera app, choose “Video”, focus…and then finally hit record. I’m usually discouraged from trying unless the moment absolutely NEEDS to be captured.

Everything changed with the Opkix. One of the most amazing yet subtle features of the Opkix is that there’s no on/off buttons on the cameras. You just tap the “record” button and it begins recording. The fact that it’s always on and always available makes it so easy and seamless to record quick clips. It was so easy to record that I find myself recording even the silliest moments in my day that I would’ve never thought of capturing.

At the end of the week, I’d have a whole collection of these short funny clips of my week that I never had before. This little device completely changed the way I capture moments in my life. It’s not just the important moments that deserve to be captured anymore. Now it’s everything in between.

Immersive 1st Person View

This is the first time you’re able to create immersive 1st person view content. Holding your phone up to your face is awkward. Having a Go-pro mounted in front of your chest or helmet makes you joke in normal settings. The only product on the market right now that lets you actually record AND be a part of the conversation and experience is this Opkix. For the first time, you can record people singing “Happy birthday” AND clap at the same time.

The cameras can also be used in any orientation. No matter what orientation you record in, your videos will never be upside-down.

My one concern with the Opkix is that the halo light around the camera can’t be turned off when you’re recording. This is often obvious and glaring to others that you’re recording them and can also take you out of the moment. The lights are especially noticeable under lowlight. Hopefully, this gets fixed in future updates.

Battery Life & Portability

The actual record time is about 10 – 15 minutes for each camera. After they’re depleted, I can just put them back into the egg and recharge. Recharging the cameras from 0 – 100% is fast and I’m usually able to get back into the action quickly. Considering the cameras are always on, battery life is pretty good. Leaving the house with a fully charge egg it’s able to last me an entire day and returning home usually with 20 – 25% juice left.

Having the cameras always on my glass also wasn’t much of a hindrance because it’s so lightweight you forget it’s there. Although I do get a lot of questions about it since it does stand out.

Video Quality

This was a hit and miss for me. Video quality was capped at 1080 resolution, which isn’t a problem. The problem is the quality of the videos. The lenses are great during day-time and when there’s an abundance of light. However, the camera fails to accurately capture colors when you’re indoors or in low-light situations. The halo light around the lens doesn’t do much.

There’s also a lot of over-saturation in some of my clips. I certainly can edit these clips to be perfect, but that defeats the purpose of the Opkix. It’s meant to be a user-friendly device for the average everyday person to capture moments. I shouldn’t need to boot up any video editing software to correct the clips.

If this was a $99 device, I wouldn’t complain. But given its $299 price tag, most would expect better quality videos.

Connectivity Issues

After a day’s worth of recording, I usually plug both cameras back into the egg and then try to extract the clips. You can’t plug the egg into your computer via USB to extract the clips. The only way to get the clips off the cameras is through the App via Bluetooth. The App is very well designed and you can see a lot of work went into refining it. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and has a lot of great features. Overall, a polished product.

The connectivity on the other hand – a complete failure. Pairing the egg with your device the first time was easy. But connecting the egg with your device afterward is a nightmare. It would connect sometimes but not always. When you hit “Connect” on the App, it takes a lot longer than it should connect. The wait is usually between 10 – 15 seconds before it tells you connection failed and to try again. I tested this with an Asus Zenfone 6 (Android), Samsung S20 Ultra, and iPhone 11, all with the same connection problems.

Eventually, I learned that the device connects best when the egg is above 30% battery. I don’t know if this is a bug or done for a specific purpose. However, a warning or some instructions on the App to connect would be appreciated.

Recording videos with the Opkix is an enjoyable good experience. Exporting them is another story.

The App

The App is about 50% of the product if not more. The egg can’t function without the app. It’s available for both Android and iOS. Usually, tech hardware that has an app companion tends to overlook the user experience and functionality of the app. Not this time. The team over at Opkix invested heavily in the design and development of the App, and it shows. The main connection screen shows you a neat image of the egg.

The app works flawlessly and does everything you’d expect it to. However, there is one major downside. Exporting videos from the cameras to your device takes far too long. For a 10 minute clip, you’d probably wait about 5-10 minutes to be fully exported.

Image stabilization

https://vimeo.com/453502862

The image stabilization process is actually done via software through the App. And for the most part, it’s pretty good. After you’ve exported the video clips from the camera, there’s an option for you to Stabilize the video. Again, this was another source of pain for me. I wish video stabilization was done automatically. Given the nature of 99% of the video clips, I can’t imagine anyone NOT choosing to stabilize their videos.

Time-consuming Video Processing

I do believe the folks at Opkix thought extensively about their user’s experience. However, they missed a major one. The time it takes to export and process the videos. My smartphones, although clunkier to use, can automatically stabilize everything I record in real-time.

I understand there may be a hardware limitation given the size of the cameras on the Opkix, but having the video stabilization be an extra step AFTER I export the videos is a mistake. The export time is already extensive. Now I have to wait just as long all of the videos to stabilize.

Not to mention, there’s no option to “stabilize all”. I have to sit there and manually click “Stabilize” on every single video. All the fun, seamlessness, and intuitiveness of the Opkix is completely derailed because of this.

Final Verdict

The Opkix is trying to do something new and for that alone, it should be celebrated. For my 3 months of using the Opkix to replace my smartphone as a primary video camera, I enjoyed every moment of recording. The portability, ease of use, and plethora of attachment accessories made it incredibly simple to integrate the Opkix into my day.

My biggest surprise after 3 months was the sheer volume of video clips I now have. Scrolling through my collection, I’m amazed at all the tiny little moments in my life that had been captured.

The Opkix is an innovative tech that found a specific niche in the wearable market. There’s simply nothing like it. Despite the connectivity and time-consuming video processing issues, I still think it’s a great product with massive potential. At $299 it might look expensive, but trust me you’ll be recording with this thing a lot. For countless hours of footage you’ll be able to capture on-demand with the Opkix, $299 is a steal.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Eric

    February 19, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Conclusion flies in the face of your own criticisms. It it’s a pain to export clips, and a pain to stabilize them, and there are color correction issues in the camera (which were abundantly obvious, especially in things like bricks which turned quite vibrantly magenta), you shouldn’t be saying that at $299 it’s a steal. Sounds to me like a fun toy that’s also a pain in the butt, producing uneven results.

    I’ll wait for Gen 2.

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Reviews

Power Block Review: Are They Worth It?

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Gripping powerblock dumbbells

Since the pandemic started, working out at home has become all the rage. Workout equipment, especially dumbbells, has been flying off the shelves and hard to track down. One of those companies that have been having a fantastic year is Power Block. Power Block specializes in professional-grade dumbbells. Their dumbbells are both adjustable and expandable, making them highly versatile and sought after on the market today.

The Pro Series is adjustable from 5 to 50 lbs and comes in a unique form factor, unlike traditional dumbbells.

About the company

Aaron Tilton founded Power Block in 1993 in Owatonna, MN. He took a leap of faith and purchased the building and equipment needed to fulfill his dream of creating the world’s best dumbbells. Today, Power Block created one of the most unique-looking and straightforward dumbbells. Dumbbell adjustments have always been clunky and prone to damages if dropped. The engineers at Power Block solved this problem by creating a U-shaped pin adjustment mechanism. The result is a simplified dumbbell with few moving parts, making it indestructible since there’s nothing to break.

The Features

The Power block Pro Series is made from a series of solidly constructed weight drawers stacked on top of one another. Each drawer is color-coded to let you know the weight.

The weights are from 10lbs to 50lbs in increments of 5 lbs. However, there’s a nifty little feature that lets you make micro 2.5-5lb adjustments by removing a steel bar inside the handle.

The dumbbells have a matte powder coating that’s soft to the touch but seems pretty durable. Overall, the Power Block Pro Series dumbbells are a well-engineered piece of equipment that’s durable and simple to use. I like that there are no gears, levers, or complicated turning mechanisms to adjust the weights.

How to adjust the Power Block Pro Series

Usually, adjustable dumbbells have a twist and lock mechanism on the handle. The challenge with that is you have to perfectly align the discs every time you put them back, which can be a hassle after a serious arm workout.

The Power Block’s drawer design doesn’t require any precision to put back. Adding and removing weights can be done by sliding the U-shaped pin into the correct slot. It’s a no-frills, no-complex design that gets the job done.

Pros & Cons of Power Block Pro Series

After using the Pro series for most of my home workout routine, I noticed a few awesome things you can do with it and one major issue with the design.

Pros: 

  1. Easy to take out and put back
  2. Solid construction. I’m not afraid to drop the weights (not that you should)
  3. It doesn’t roll. The box design keeps it in place when laying them on the floor.
  4. Comfortable grip.
  5. Micro adjustments. The ability to remove one or both of the 2.5lbs mini weights on each dumbbell is genius!
  6. Multiple grips. You use it like a kettlebell by gripping the bottom bars instead of the actual handle. Not sure if this was intended.

Cons: 

  1. Limited range of motion. You’re putting your hand inside a metal box. This limited my range of motion, and there were a couple of exercises I had to use a regular dumbbell.

Overall, there are far more Pros and Cons. However, the limited range of motion is a big one for me. I couldn’t fully relax my wrist without the rails pressing against my forearm when doing concentrated curls. There were a few other exercises where the cage-like design limited my wrist’s movement.

Is the Power Block Pro Series Expandable?

Yes, they’re expandable up to 70 and 90lbs per dumbbell. For $169, you can buy the Pro EXP Stage 2 Kit to expand the weight capacity from 50 to 70 for each dumbbell. The Pro EXP Stage 3 Kit allows you to expand further from 70 to 90lbs.

However, to upgrade to 90lbs, you’ll need to buy both the Pro EXP Stage 2 AND 3 kits. Your total will be $338 to upgrade your dumbbells set to 90lbs per dumbbell.

Also, keep in mind there’s a non-expandable version. So if you plan on expanding later, make sure you get the expandable version.

Is the column stand worth it?

At $129 – $139, they’re certainly not the cheapest accessory. However, the column stand makes reaching your weights much more accessible and looks good enough to put inside a gym. I recommend picking the column stand if your budget allows for them. Just like the Power Block dumbbells, these are well made and can withstand abuse. They also happen to look great.

Final Verdict

The Power Block Pro Series is a piece of professional-grade equipment that lives up to its name. They’re extraordinarily well-engineered, and the drawer designs with the U-shape pin are a game-changer. Gone are the days where I have to align the discs when putting my dumbbells back perfectly. The micro 2.5 – 5lbs adjustments are also helpful in increasing the intensity by just a hair. Depending on your daily exercise routine, the limited range of wrist movement may or may not be an issue.

Overall, I highly recommend the Power Block Pro Series. They’re usually out of stock and often marked up quite a bit online. But if you do manage to get your hands on them, they’re well worth the investment.

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Lifestyle

Best Equipment To Add To Your Home Gym

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Due to the pandemic, many regular gym-goers and fitness buffs have had to settle for a home gym set-up. To maintain physique and not lose exercise progress, they’ll need the best equipment at home. In this article, know the 15 best home gym equipment for any workout and fitness level. 

For those who have yet to start their fitness journey, all the equipment included here is beginner-friendly too!

1. BWSS Adjustable Dumbbell Core

Dumbbells are a great way to strengthen your upper body and tone your muscles. But as you move up a weight, you’ll need a new set of dumbbells. It can become expensive if you buy individual dumbbell weights. 

You can save money by purchasing something like the BWSS Adjustable Dumbbell Core. Basically, by using this dumbbell, you can simply adjust the weight without needing iron plates or free weights. It’s why many consider this one of the best home gym equipment.

The weights range from 5 lbs to 45 lbs.

Price: $399

2. Power Block Pro 50 Series

Here’s another dumbbell you can use at home. Like the BWSS one, the Power Block Pro 50 Series is adjustable. It also has an auto-lock function keeping the weights in place. This one has more increments than the BWSS as you can do some curls or lifts up to 90 lbs.

Price: Starts at $439

3. Yoga Zeal 

Even if you don’t do yoga, a yoga mat is necessary for most workouts. But you need a non-slip yoga mat whenever you’re doing push-ups or lunges. And any of the Yoga Zeal mats would do just the trick. Whether you’re doing hot yoga or an intense workout, you’ll have much more grip on the mat even when you’re sweating.

Aside from that, it uses eco-friendly and biodegradable materials too! To care for it, you can either hand wash it or use a washing machine. 

Price: $79 to $145

4. TRX All-in-One Suspension Training Fitness System

The TRX All-in-One Suspension is ideal for any workout. Anyone can use this equipment, from beginners to fitness buffs. It improves movement and strength. Plus, it can tone your lower and upper body and core. You can even do some resistance training using these.

Many consider this one of the best home gym equipment because of its portability. As for safety usage, they have locks that will ensure you won’t slip while you do any workouts.

Price: $169.95

5. Fit Simplify Resistance Bands

Many reviewers rave over the Fit Simplify Resistance Bands. Not only is it inexpensive, but it is also sweat, snap, and stretch resistant. So, you can expect to have this for a long time. It’s also lightweight, so you can workout anywhere. Plus, it’s also comfortable on the skin.

A set on Amazon comes with five resistance bands ranging from extra light to extra heavy. The set comes in handy as you work towards better control and strength as well.

Price: $7.95 to $10.95

6. Crossrope Get Fit

What makes Crossrope Get Fit different from others is it has a clip system. This means you can switch between different weighted ropes. And unlike the fabric ones, you won’t have to worry about tangles with the Crossrope Get Fit set. It’s all because of the steel cable. That’s why many consider this as one of the best home gym equipment pieces to own.

You can buy your Get Fit set on the official website. Make sure to choose the right length for your height, which you can do before adding it to your cart.

Price: $238

7. Theraband Exercise and Stability Ball

An exercise and stability ball is useful in core workouts. Plus, it improves your posture and mobility. As such, many love using the Theraband Exercise and Stability Ball. It does the job and won’t deflate quickly as compared to its competitors. You will need a pump once this gets delivered to your home.

Also, the exercise ball can double as your office chair at home. It engages your core while you work. At least if you can’t spare a few minutes to workout, the ball can give you the exercise you need for the day.

Price: $29.95

8. AmazonBasics Medicine Ball

Medicine balls are another option to improve your posture. And the AmazonBasics Medicine Ball is helping achieve that goal. You can grip it easily and bounce it anywhere. Plus, it’s durable too.

It comes in different weights from 4 lbs to 20 lbs. You have to buy each weighted med ball separately from Amazon.

Price: $22.99 to $46.99

9. Trigger Point Grid Original Foam Roller

Many swear by foam rollers because of its versatility. It can aid your core workout or help in recovering when you’re sore. It can even aid in circulation. 

The Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller has become the best companion for many fitness buffs. It’s durable and acts as a massager.

Price: $34.99

10. JaxJox KettlebellConnect 2.0

Kettlebells are another alternative to dumbbells. And for the advanced gym regulars, kettlebells have become part of their workout routines. One of the best kettlebells they can use is the JaxJox Kettlebell Connect 2.0.

There’s no need to buy different kettlebell weights because it’s adjustable. Plus, it’s also digital, so you don’t have to lock it manually. Switch between 6 lb increments, it will do the job for you.

To get more out of this, download the JaxJox app too. It tracks metrics like movements, heart rate, and fitness level. Even if it’s a hefty price for a kettlebell, many still consider this as one of the best home gym equipment they have.

Price: $229

11. Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar and Portable Gym System

Pull-ups are great for upper body strength. And you can set one up at home by installing it on the doorframe. And one great example that many love using is the one from Perfect Fitness. It comes in three different sizes, depending on the space of your doorway.

It’s also versatile, so you can use this one on the floor too. Challenge yourself by using this when doing sit-ups and push-ups.

Price: $24.78 to $44.99 (depending on which pull up bar you’re getting)

12. Bowflex SelectTech 5.1S Stowable Bench

For those who practice weight training, a bench is a necessary piece of equipment. The Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench is one of the best. This one’s ideal for small apartments. You can stow it away when you’re not using it, saving you 50% of space.

It has six different variations in terms of angles, ranging from 30 degrees to flat and a -20 degree-decline. The seats are also comfortable and can hold up to 272 kg of weight.

Price: $329

13. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk Trainer Elliptical

Here’s another space saver gym machine you can have at home. The Sunny Health & Fitness elliptical is a piece of must-have equipment for all fitness levels. It’s great for a whole body workout.

You won’t have difficulty with the grip, thanks to the non-slip pedals. Plus, you can track your distance and time because of the LCD monitor. It also has an abdominal pad for support.

Price: $104.24

14. NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill

A treadmill is another must-have home gym equipment. And if you’re also looking for one that’s foldable and compact, go for the NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill. Once you buy this treadmill, you have one-month free access to iFit. It’s a personalized training membership.

Love to run with music? Connect it by using the auxiliary port and blast your favorite tunes as you run. Plus, you have access to more than 16,000 workouts and monitor your stats every time you step on that treadmill.

Price: $599

15. Peloton Bike

The Peloton bike has skyrocketed in popularity because of the infamous Peloton woman. However, it hasn’t stopped potential customers from buying one. 

This bike is perfect for your cardio training. You can watch the best instructors in the comfort of your home. Plus, you can have access to all workout videos and features by signing up for a membership. It’s one of the best home gym equipment because of its inclusions and value for money.

The bike doesn’t take too much space as well, so if you live in a small apartment, you can definitely have this at home.

Price: Starting from $1895

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Reviews

Need a Cheap Laptop? Find Out The Best 8 Choices

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Is it worth buying a cheap laptop nowadays? You may think that you’d lose money over time when you buy one rather than investing in one that’s jam-packed with so many features that you may not need. However, with technology improving over time, owning a cheap laptop doesn’t sound like a bad idea. And while you have tons of options online, we’ve narrowed down the eight best cheap laptops and help you make a decision soon.

What Should You Look for in A Laptop?

That depends on your needs. Do you need to work or study only? Then, a cheap laptop can fulfill that need. But if you want it for gaming and other visual-heavy processes, then going for a $1000 and above laptop would be the best option for your needs.

A cheap laptop should have at least one USB port to use for peripherals or access an external hard drive. In addition, If you’re using a laptop for presentation purposes or binging movies or shows, an HDMI port will come in handy. Finally, you want good RAM (8GB would be the highest, but that’s sufficient) and storage as well.

What are The Disadvantages of Paying for a Cheap Laptop?

Well, obviously, having a cheap laptop won’t have you playing games or watching UHD videos. You might have to sacrifice that when buying a cheap laptop. Another thing to note is you might have a lower RAM or storage space. A lower RAM means that the laptop may not handle many different tasks at once. Plus, for storage space, don’t expect it to go above 500GB.

Should You Even Consider Cheap Laptops?

The long and short of it, yes. Since technology has evolved over the years, you can buy a cheap laptop without compromising the tech specs. After all, a cheap laptop can get you so far, so long as you know its limitations and your purpose of using one.

The Best Cheap Laptops

The hunt for the best cheap laptops ends here. You don’t have to search far and wide anymore. Here are the eight best cheap laptops to buy.

1. Microsoft Surface Go

For a laptop/tablet, the sleek and modern Microsoft Surface Go is your best bet for a high-quality cheap laptop. At only 10 inches tall, you can carry this anywhere. Plus, it has a high storage of 128GB SSD, allowing you to store more files than you can ever imagine. Not only that, but it also includes:

  • 1 USB Port
  • Headphone Jack
  • MicroSD Card Reader

Price: $949.00

2. Lenovo Chromebook Duet

Like the Microsoft Surface Go, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a great companion when you’re on the go. You can use the laptop/tablet hybrid for up to 10 hours straight on a single charge. In a hurry? You can start using the laptop in less than 10 seconds. If you need to access files from a USB or an external hard drive, it’s only compatible with USB-C connectors.

Price: $299.99

3. Dell Latitude 2-in-1

The Dell Latitude 2-in-1 is a laptop for all ages (well, older kids would make great use of this). It’s guaranteed to ensure that spills or drops won’t break this laptop. It also doubles as a tablet for a better learning experience.

Price: $449

4. Asus Vivobook

Unlike most of the cheap laptops on this list, the Asus Vivobook is the only one that has a great processor, allowing you to multitask with ease. In addition, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank (and even your back) since it’s a light laptop you can carry anywhere. Plus, you can rely on this laptop for long battery life and fast charging.

It also includes USB ports:

  • Type C
  • 3.1
  • 2.0

Price: $469

5. HP Pavilion x360

While the HP Pavilion x360 isn’t a laptop/tablet hybrid, it has touch screen capabilities, making it easy to switch to different windows or click programs. In addition, it boasts high storage at 128GB, giving you much more space to save files without the need for a cloud. Plus, like most cheap laptops here, it’s also a lightweight laptop you can bring anywhere.

Price: $479

6. Acer Swift 1

If you need a simple and basic laptop without too much fuss, consider the Acer Swift 1. It’s incredibly light, at 1.3kg, you won’t feel it when you carry it around. It also has a fast-charging capability of up to four hours to full charge (up to 15 hours). Plus, It has no fan, too, so you don’t have to worry about noises even late at night.

Price: $399.97

7. Samsung Chromebook 4

The Samsung Chromebook 4 can be your starter laptop, but note that it can handle only a limited amount of storage like most in this list. You can choose between 32GB or 64GB (add $50). But, you’ll also have 12 months free of 200GB cloud storage. Even if the laptop is slim and light, it meets military-grade standards, ensuring that it’s durable and tough under any circumstances.

Price: $229

8. HP Stream 11

One of the cheapest on this list, the HP Stream 11 is your new portable companion when you travel. It does have the basics down with storage and RAM, but you’ll get more out of it because of the 1TB cloud access and the one-year free subscription to Google Drive. It also has two USB ports and an average battery life of 14 hours on a single charge.

Price: $250

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