Handy and Funny – The Best Gadgets for the Office

The monitor is positioned to low, the coffee is cold, there is cable clutter everywhere – the office can be full of annoying trifles. Here, cool, handy and funny office gadgets can be the solution to brighten up your workday.

The Perfect View with Monitor Arms

How dangerous is it to sit in front of the computer screen? According to a Microsoft study 86% of all respondents who work more than three hours a day on the PC suffer from pain. Where desk and chair are not sufficient, adjustable monitor arms provide comfort and adaptability. The height adjustment and flexibility bring the monitor in the ideal position thus allowing optimal posture. Moreover, dual-monitor arms expand the viewing area and make different applications available parallely. The two monitors not just facilitate the work but also increase the productivity by 35 percent as the Fraunhofer Institute discovered.

ARCTIC Z2 Pro Dual Monitor Arm

Enhance your overview with a dual monitor arm

No Clutter and Full Power with Desktop Chargers

With all of the USB-powered devices we have to charge throughout the day, a dedicated USB charging station can be a real life saver. Using a multiple USB desktop charger can reduce clutter on your table and makes it easier to keep multiple devices charged at the same time. When choosing a desktop charger it’s important to consider the number of USB outputs it offers, the rating of each, and the total output of the device. New desktop chargers use IC technology that lets them recognize the attached device and automatically deliver the correct amount of power.

ARCTIC Smart Charger 8000 USB Charging station

Avoid clutter and power your devices with a charging station

Creativity and the Perfect Overview with Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive whiteboards can revolutionize business communication. An interactive whiteboard is a whiteboard that lets you project PC screen images onto it. That way it lets you operate the PC right from the board surface. Information and images from the whiteboard can be sent, saved, printed out and expanded on. This contributes to smooth, easy-to-understand presentations and is ideal for meetings in which websites are displayed, images are shown and additional information is written while meeting.

Jolly Times with Funny Gimmicks

Of course, not all the time at the office is serious and full of working. There should always be some time for fun. Therefore, there are not only handy, but lots of funny and nerdy office gadgets. Those gadgets also make the working space more personal and entertaining. E.g., USB beverage warmer and coolers keep your favorite beverage hot or cold. The USB device plugs right into your computer for power so it is completely portable. Also, stamps can get quite funny. “Like”, “Dislike” or “WTF?” stamps show your thoughts on documents and projects, when you can’t find the confidence to say what you’re really thinking or when words just aren’t enough.

USB coffee mug for the office

Keep your coffee warm with an USB heater

Make a Present to Your Loved Ones – The Gift Guide for Music Lovers

It’s the season for giving! As the days get colder and shopping lists get longer, things can get a little overwhelming. The Xmas shopping season is in full swing, already. Especially shortly before the holidays, everything can get a little hectic. That’s why we put together the perfect gift guide with ideas for music lovers.

Sound Gift Guide by ARCTIC

Perfect Gifts for Music Lovers

For the Vinyl Junkie

With vinyl record sales rising over the last few years, odds are that there’s an old-school vinyl fan in your life. Between new bands releasing music on vinyl, and old classics getting polished up with new mastering technologies, music lovers of all ages are hopping onto the vinyl bandwagon. If you don’t have the money to buy a new record player, a record can be a nice gift. Online marketplaces, records shops and special flea markets offer a great variety of old and new vinyl records for little money.

For Those on the Move

Wireless headphones allow the listeners to cut the cord, avoid cable clutter and experience the freedom of listing to their favorite music on the go. This experience is perfect for everybody with a busy lifestyle – like students on their way to university or business travelers. The handiest BT headphones are equipped with a microphone and multi-function controls allowing users to answer calls and manage their music with ease.

ARCTIC P604 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Wireless BT Headphones – Perfect for People on the Move

For Listening at Home

If your friends and family members don’t use headphones, but still love music, a new speaker for their tablet or smartphone can be the perfect gift. The new speakers come with a surprising punch for their small size and have a great battery life. You can get the speakers equipped with either a robust Bluetooth connectivity or an auxiliary 3.5 mm jack to connect older devices. On the most current Bluetooth speaker versions, you can also expect built-in track controls and speakerphone calling.

ARCTIC S111 M Mobile Speakers

Mini Sound Cube for the Perfect Sound at Home

Make a Present to Your Loved Ones – The Gift Guide for Gamers

It’s getting colder. It already smells like Xmas cookies and the city is decorated with lights and ornaments – it’s holiday season! And that means it’s also time to start thinking about gifts for people you care about. For some of them it can be a pain to find the right present. But if you have some gaming fans and PC enthusiasts on your shopping list, you don’t have to look any further for the best gifts – just use some ideas from our gift guide for gamers.

Merch – Show Your Love for Your Favorite Games

Plushies, action figures, backpacks, shirts and mugs – there is a never ending list of cool merchandise for all kind of PC games.  If your budget is a little tight, you can do nothing wrong with a fan article of your loved one’s favorite PC game. Sure, it won’t expand his gaming repertoire or enhance his playing experience, but it will definitely conjure a smile on his face.  Also, there are some cool fan articles and merchandise that are also quite handy. A cool and colorful Pacman lamp will brighten up the day every time it’s turned on. And thanks to a cool hoodie or jumper with a game logo or nice geeky quote on it, there is no feeling cold during winter days.

Let Your PC Stay Cool as a Winter Day

PC gaming systems develop quite some heat. If you don’t want to hear your gamer friend complaining about it, a cooling solution can be a nice idea for a Xmas gift. Try to find out which component he wants to save from overheating.  Also ask which brand he has for his graphics card and CPU to get a compatible cooler. Also it’s good to know whether he prefers air cooling, water cooling or perhaps a hybrid model. No matter how small or great your budget is, you will find a compatible solution. And one thing is for sure – a new CPU or GPU cooler will be his highlight for Xmas.

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer 120

Liquid CPU cooler – the perfect gift for gamers

Best View and Best Sound

For the best gaming experience, a good gaming headset and an ideal monitor setup are important. You surely can make a gamer happy with a new and stylish headset. Here, it’s a nice idea to select one with a design that reflects his gaming preference. E. g. for military games, a gaming headset camouflage design is a nice idea. You could also look for a headset in his favorite color.
To get the best overview while playing a video game, two or even three monitors are the best. To set them up, monitor arms are a good option. If the monitor arm also has a USB hub, the gamer can easily plug in his keyboard, mouse or even a desktop fan to stay cool during the excitement of gaming.

ARCTIC Z3 Pro tripple monitor arm

Get the perfect overview while gaming with monitor arms

Play Offline

You want to get your gamer friend away from his PC? You try to share his love for video games, but don’t get the hang of it? Present him with a board game version of his favorite PC game on Xmas. From World of Warcraft over Starcraft to the Zelda themed Monopoly – there are lots of different parlor games that are based on video games.

Neutral, Bassy or Great Highs – The Best Headphones for All Tastes in Music

Actually, a good pair of headphones is an all-rounder and therefore, should be suitable for all styles of music. However, different models are distinguished by nuances in sound. Ultimately, the resulting sound differences of each headphone model make them more suitable for certain genres of music. So, when you buy a new headphone you should take your own musical taste on consideration. Whether you love classical sounds, techno beats or the heavy tones of metal – choosing the right headphones can be vital for the highest musical enjoyment.

Neutral Sound for Classics

For classical music a balanced sound beneficial. Here, the perfect headphones are distinguished by a balanced, harmonious and very natural sound. Often, the neutral tone is also compared to a studio sound.In addition to the sound, the headphones’ comfort is important for classical music. Classical works often go for several hours. In order to listen to an entire opera or symphony concert in a relaxed way, the ear pads should be particularly soft and the headband should be padded in high quality.

Sound Curve Neutral Sound ARCTIC P614 BT

Neutral sound is perfect for classical music.

Give Me Bass

Fans of hip hop, soul, rock and heavy metal should pay particular attention to purchase headphones with a powerful bass. To enhance the sound, headphones with a headband and closed form are the most suitable. These shield the ear almost completely from the outside world. Since the environmental noises are almost completely blocked, nothing disturbs the listening experience, here. For models that rest on the ear, it should be ensured that adequate and comfortable upholstery is available. In addition, the wearing comfort is increased when the headband can be changed individually in size.

Highs for Electro

House and techno sound the best when pronounced highs are woven into the carpet of sound. Especially DJ headphones with extra-clear highs and a slight gain of bass, even at the highest volume, will let the hearts of music fans beat faster. The over-ear and on-ear models with a closed form shield the wearer from disturbing noises. Everybody who actually uses the headphones as a DJ has the agony of choice between different styles with cool, edgy designs, in addition to a wide range of sound quality products.

ARCTIC P402 BT with great highs and bass

Headphones with great highs and crystal clear sound are perfect for elctronical beats.

Liquid Cooling Solutions – Step Up Your Cooling System

Every computer, from home theater PC to the most hulking of gaming system, generates heat during operation- and this heat can kill your PC’s precious internals if you’re not careful.  For quite some time, air cooling systems were the solution to stop the CPU and GPU from overheating. As this method is quite successful, air coolers are still extremely popular in the marketplace. But there are some new solutions, as well.

The Next Level of Cooling

Over the time, cooling solutions were reworked to new sizes and methods. Thereby, liquid coolers became the next level of cooling. Especially for the CPU, this method becomes more and more popular. Here, the liquid used is a low conductive mixture that loops from the radiator to the CPU block which dissipates heat faster than air cooling does. That way, the CPU will run cooler at idle and under load.

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer Water Cooler for CPU

Water Cooler for CPU

No Worries

New liquid coolers are quiet, save internal space where it matters most, and perform well – all at a price that’s not far off from a good air cooler. Who thinks that water and a computer system won’t go together can be reassured.  When you follow the installation instructions correctly, there should be no leaks and therefore, your system stays dry. Moreover, thanks to the innovation of all-in-one water coolers like the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer, there is only need to install it once and the cooler won’t require to be maintained constantly in the future.

Water Cooler installation

ARCTIc Liquid Freezer in a standard PC case

Easy Installation

The easiest way to get into liquid cooling is with an all-in-one loop. These consist of a single closed loop with a radiator on one end and a pump/water block combo on the other. The system is pre-filled and pre-sealed so you don’t need to mess with it. You just install the radiator and its included fan onto one of your case’s existing fan mounts, attach the water block to the CPU and fire it up.
Most all-in-one loops cool the CPU only. There are some all-in-one loops for GPUs, like our ARCTIC Accelero.

ARCTIC Hybrid Cooler for GPU

ARCTIC Accelero Hybrid III-140

 

Pair via one click: NFC pairing for smartphones

The term “NFC” occurs more often nowadays when there’s talk about smartphones and gadgets. Most new smartphones have the technology. Speakers, headphones and even payment systems are using it to ease the users’ handling with the gadgets. But what is NFC? And what are the advantages when using this technology?

NFC – Near Field Communication

NFC means Near Field Communication. It describes the communication between two elements that are near each other. The new standard for wireless transfer is mostly used for smaller transactions like payment, transmitting a web address or pairing gadgets. Both gadgets have to be held just some centimeters apart to make the transfer work.

NFC logo

NFC – Near Field Communication

Diverse usages

NFC is very reasonably priced and offers a huge potential for using it in the identification and simplification of coupling processes with small amounts of data. Especially in everyday life, NFC is highly practical for smartphone users. Fast printing a snapshot, transferring small amounts of data to another smartphone and the quick and easy pairing with headphones or speakers are the most popular utilizations here. Here, NFC serves only as a pairing and connection wizard for much faster wireless locations, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Here, can larger data can be sent.
The other NFC usage possibilities are endless: opportunity to pay with NFC cards, inventory control, animal identification, personal identification, NFC tags with links to right information on sights, shop windows or in offline stores.

P614 BT wireless headphones paired via NFC with a Smartphone

Easily connect your smartphone with a pair aof NFC headphones

Combination of NFC and Bluetooth

There is a wide range of NFC speakers and headphones. The mere holding both gadgets near each other is sufficient to establish the connection. Yes, you read that right: To connect, simply put the NFC-enabled smartphone next to a device for a brief moment  to establish a connection via Bluetooth.
Here, the actual connection setup and data exchange takes place via Bluetooth, but NFC facilitates the connection between your phone and the device as a manual and often idle pairing of the two devices is eliminated. NFC speakers are ideal for BBQs or parties. Anyone can fast, easy and simply play his favorite music.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHU7emKksJk]

The innovative PWM Sharing Technology – Use PST to control the fan speed

How is the temperature decreased by PST?

Fans using the PWM feature just function with the necessary speed to endure maximum cooling at the lowest noise level.
Thanks to the patented innovative PWM Sharing Technology (PST), up to 5 fans (including CPU fans) connected to the ARCTIC F PWM fan can share the PWM signal. The speed of all the fans in this PST system is then centrally controlled by a single PWM signal via BIOS.
This means if the system load becomes greater, the fan speed of all fans within the PST system increases to reduce the chassis temperature. If the utilization is low, these fans will operate at a relatively low speed to ensure a proper cooling.

ARCTIC PST fans to lower noise level

Patented PWM Sharing Technology (PST) lowers noise level

All advantages at a glance

  1. Regulate the speed of different fans with only one PWM signal
  2. Quiet and effective case ventilation: Several fans rotate slowly and quietly at a little load.
  3. Save energy through lower fan speed

    several case fans working in parallel with PWM Sharing Technology

    Centralized controll with PST

How to install several PST fans

The following video gives an overview about the feature and explains how to install up to 5 fans with the PWM Sharing Technology feature.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKi_7UVF3z0]

Summer Gadgets – Cool Devices for the Summer Holidays

It’s summer and that means that it’s time to get excited about the vacations, beaches, the sun and warm weather. Everyone knows tons of things to do before the season ends, whether it’s staying in shape, tanning on the beach, hosting BBQs or travel with friends and family.
There are plenty of handy devices and gadgets on the market that can help fully take advantage of all cool summer activities.

Music to Go

Nothing shows us that it’s summer the way music does. Whether you prefer the current No. 1 summer hit or some oldie like “Summer in the City”, the beats and lyrics make you dance and have fun in the sun. A portable Bluetooth speaker can add some of your favorite tunes to wherever you are – a campsite, your hotel room or at the local pool. The small sound cubes and wireless stereo speakers make the beach or park to the perfect summer party location.

ARCTIC S113  portable speaker with Bluetooth feature

Enjoy your favorite music everywhre with portable speakers

For plane flights, train rides or just for enjoying some music alone in the sun, wireless BT headphones are the perfect summer gadget. They do a far better job of blocking out noise than the earbuds your smartphone came with. And, a wireless headset means you don’t have to mess with tangled cables in your bag.If you want to have a splash of color in them as summer is the best time for colorful outfits and accessories, you can look for wireless headphones in come vibrant colors like pink, lime or blue – like the ARCTIC P311 BT.

Power Wherever You Are

As smartphones and tablets get better, and more indispensable, their batteries are getting worse. So it’s ever more important to get a good charger when traveling. To charge your USB devices fast and easy, a car charger is the perfect way to do so while you’re on the road. Thanks to its small size, the charger takes little place and will not hinder you while changing gears. Moreover, a fast charger can be stowed away in the glove compartment easily if it isn’t needed.
For the time at a hotel, a smart charger can be the perfect gadget for you. Most times, you will travel with friends or your family and all of you will have the need to charge your tablet, smartphones and cameras at the same time. Here, a multiport charger with IC technology guarantees that up to several devices from any brand are charged fast and save at the same time.

Smart USB Wall Charger Used as a Travel Charger

USB multiport charger with IC technology – perfect when travelling

For days at the beach, a power bank will be the savior of your smartphone. The small external and portable batteries can charge any USB device on the go. Thanks to its small design, a power bank fits perfectly in your pocket and is ready to charge whenever you need.

Cool Down at Your Desk

You even can enjoy the summer while working – when you know how to stay cool at your desk. USB fans not only provide a fresh breeze at the office, but can also bring some color to your everyday work. The USB powered fans often are available in colorful designs and some of them even provide a USB hub for other gadgets like your keyboard, mouse or a thumb drive.

ARCTIC Breeze USB Desktop Fan

Cool down at your desk with colorful USB fans

Thermal Pads or Thermal Paste – Differences and Advantages

The surface of a CPU or a heat sink is never entirely flat. If you place a heatsink directly on a CPU, there will be tiny, nearly invisible, gaps between the two. Since air conducts heat poorly, these gaps have a very negative effect on the heat transfer. Therefore, an interface material with a high thermal conductivity is needed to fill these gaps to improve heat conductivity between CPU and heatsink.
Here, you can decide between using thermal paste and thermal pads. But when should you use which solution? What are their differences and what advantages do both solutions have?

Thermal Paste

Thermal grease, thermal compound, thermal goop, thermal gunk or heat paste – thermal paste has lots of different names. It is a sticky paste applied directly on the heatsink or CPU and the most commonly used interface material in the electronics cooling area. Thermal compound with a good quality will provide the best possible performance. Unfortunately,  to apply thermal paste can be quite messy. Also, thermal paste isn’t the best way to fill bigger gaps sometimes. Here, you can use thermal pads.

Thermal Grease on a CPU

Installing thermal paste

Thermal Pads

Thermal pads are a lot easier to install than thermal grease. Unfortunately, they aren’t as effective as a thin layer of thermal paste. Some stock CPU coolers come with pads, because they’re nice and clean, and they’ll work fine.
But they are one-shot solutions only. You have to replace the pad if you ever remove the heatsink from its mounted position, because the heat of the operating CPU will have caused the thermal pad to conform the top. So, once you move the heatsink there will be new gaps between the surfaces. So never forget: If you dismount the heatsink, replace the thermal pad and remove all debris.

High Performance Gap Filler for CPU Cooling

Thermal pad on a heatsink

Avoid Common Mistakes

When using thermal pads or thermal paste, there are some mistakes that are often made. So, here are some ideas to avoid those:
Never use thermal compounds and thermal pads together. Just because you use both, the effect won’t increase. The reverse is true.  Adding thermal grease on top of a thermal pad actually reduces the ability of heat to flow to the heatsink.
Also, never stack several pads on top of each other. Two or three pads on top of each other between the CPU and a heatsink might kill the CPU.

Headphones – Choose the best pair for you

Whether you are at home or on the go, music makes everything way better. Thanks to headphones, you can listen to your favorite bands and songs all the time. It’s nearly like having a personal soundtrack. But as there seem to be thousands of different wearing styles and sound qualities in headphones, how do you choose them?

Earbuds or Headphones?

Earbuds and in-ear headphones are tiny earpieces that go inside your ears. You mostly know these, as cheaper earbuds often come with smartphones and MP3-players. I f you want to keep them in a very small purse or your pocket, earbuds are probably a good choice. But some people find them less comfortable, because they’re uncomfortable with putting things inside their ears.
Headphones rest on your outer ears. Some models cover the entire surface of the ear, but don’t entirely seal them. Headphones can also block out ambient noise, such as that encountered when traveling on airplanes or walking on a busy street.

Wired or Bluetooth?

If you use your headphones with an iPod, smartphone or tablet, you have to decide whether you want a wired or wireless pair. Wireless headphones are pretty self-explanatory: they don’t have wires, letting you roam the world cable-free.

ARCTIC Wireless BT Headphones P614 BT

Taking a walk with wireless headphones

The great advantage of wireless Bluetooth headphones like the ARCTIC P614 BT is the greater freedom they offer. You don’t have to unknot the cables of your headphones when taking them out of your bag. Also, you can move freely without worrying about catching on obstacles like door handles or worrying about to little freedom to move because of short cables. And thanks to NFC pairing, it’s a breeze to connect the headphones to your devices in no time.

Sporty or Relaxed?

When do you want to use the headphones? If you like to listen to music while doing sports, in-ear headphones or headphones with a neckband could be the best for you. Thanks to their design, the sports headphones ensure you the perfect fit and don’t slip while running or jumping. Moreover, new models like the wireless P324 BT have exchangeable ear pads than can be easily washed and are just as new after cleaning. That way, no displeasing smell or discoloration can arise.

ARCTIC Wireless Bluetooth Sports Headset

Be active with sports headphones

If you like to listen to some music on the way to work or just for relaxing, headphones with a leatherette and comfortable headband are great. Especially on-ear headphones with soft ear cushions will guarantee a nice and smooth musical experience.