The Backerjack Podcast, Episode 12: Remixed tablets, light hydras, and motivation in a jar

In Episode 12 of The Backerjack Podcast, Steve and Ross check out four of the latest products seeking funds and preorders.

  • Remix, a tablet/laptop hybrid that stuffs the soul of Android into the body of a Microsoft Surface
  • kSafe, a pre-commitment jar in which you can place rewards that are unlocked only if certain activity or time goals are met
  • Adaptalux, a cool set of camera-mounted colored light arms that mount to the top of a camera for intense macro photography effects
  • Zhor, a chunky integrated dashboard touchscreen that integrates many different features.

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Remix tablet offers a cure to Android users with Surface envy

When it comes to traditional laptop-style computing, Google has pushed Chromebooks for the world of keyboards and mice. Nonetheless, some companies such as HP have taken a few stabs at putting Android in a 2-in-1 laptop-style device.

Now, Beijing-based Jide Tech is looking to infuse Android into a device that’s a dead ringer for the Microsoft Surface with Remix. Like Microsoft’s spin on a tablet-laptop hybrid, the 11,.6″ Remix has a kickstand and a removable cloth-textured keyboard/trackpad cover that attaches via magnets. And the similarity doesn’t end there. The company has added the ability to run apps in windows as well as a Windows-like file manager and taskbar.

Jide Tech seeks $100,000 by April 24 and the Remix is available in limited quantities at prices up to $349. A ridiculous $39 early bird sold out quickly. Units are expected to be delivered by May 2015 and the company assures that the product is already in production in China and it simply needs to bring it to the U.S. and other markets.  What appeared to be a simultaneous campaign on Indiegogo turned out to be fraudulent and has been removed.

As noted, Android-based keyboard devices have not seen the level of success that Chromebooks have despite having so many apps available. It’s also somewhat surprising that the new device wlll not have the latest version of Android — Lollipop — that is rolling out to new devices. While the Remix  was a clear value-based alternative to the Surface Pro, the recent introduction of the Surface 3 at $499 makes the original far more competitive although that price doesn’t include the Type Cover.

Tablet Accessories

Ears augment Surface’s sound, match its covers

EarsNeed a boost to your Surface’s sound without buying crazy expensive speakers? The iPad has had a number of silicone speaker enhancements and now the Surface has a stereo answer of its own. Ears offers a simple solution to your quiet woes. This product pair attach to the Surface tablet’s speakers on each corner to amplify the sound that comes out. Ears are designed to direct the sound to the user in front instead of towards the back. This nifty product comes in seven colors  to match Microsoft’s colors and is available for the Surface 2 or Pro 2 for $10 with an estimated delivery date of June 2014. Hopefully in the future. Ears hopes to raise $5,500 on Kickstarter in its 30-day campaign.