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Top Smart Thermostat Apps Turn Your PRIV into …


Our world is becoming more connected at every turn. Access to real-time social and news updates on your mobile phone is now the norm. A growing trend is being able to control or access your home remotely from any location on their mobile device. In this three-part series on connected apps, we ll look at a few of the top mobile products that connect with your PRIV1. The Android-powered PRIV by BlackBerry features a slide-out physical keyboard, 5.4-inch dual-curved screen and 3410 mAh battery, allowing you to stay connected to everything that matters in your life. Looking for home automation products available on the PRIV? Here are three of our top picks for thermostat control apps.

Whether it s Nest2, Honeywell Total Connect Comfort3 or ecobee34, these awesome apps and automation products allow you to control your home s thermostat remotely from your PRIV. Although each offer many of the same (and some differentiating) features, these products main intention is to reduce your heating and cooling costs within your home or business by automatically changing your settings when you are home or away.

Honeywell Total Connect Comfort

Nest5, for instance, integrates with many other products including Nest Cam6, Nest s Wi-Fi security camera, as well as the Nest smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector7. The Nest app allows you to control all of these smart home devices from one central app. You can manage up to two profiles, for example your home and cottage, so you can continuously monitor all of your thermostats. Nest is also working with various other smart home products, including the Phillips Hue8 smart light. Keep an eye out for the Works with Nest9 logo to find products that integrate with Nest.

The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control10 offers similar features to Nest, allowing you to control your home heating and cooling system settings, and it also allows you to manage multiple locations if you have more than one system registered. If you need to manage two or more locations, or are interested in voice control or a customizable colour touch screen, Honeywell may have a solution for you.

The Honeywell Lyric11, for instance, has a water leak and freeze detector that can be an important early warning if you have a water leak.


Another great solution is the ecobee312 home thermostat. The ecobee3 has a smart and simple user interface, but one of the awesome differentiating features of the ecobee3 is that it has additional room sensors you can connect to your thermostat so that you can manage temperatures in various rooms. Unlike Nest and the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat, you don t need to buy additional thermostats to manage different rooms; you can purchase additional room sensors13 at a fraction of the cost of buying additional thermostats. The great news is, no matter which of these products you decide is right for you, they all work extremely well on the PRIV. With almost 2 million applications on the Google Play store14, you can find all of the above connected apps and more on the most secure Android device, BlackBerry s PRIV.

For information on other types of connected apps, look for part two of our connected apps for PRIV series next week.

Brooke works on the App Ecosystem team, managing and building relationships with application partners.


  1. ^ PRIV (us.blackberry.com)
  2. ^ Nest (play.google.com)
  3. ^ Honeywell Total Connect Comfort (play.google.com)
  4. ^ ecobee3 (play.google.com)
  5. ^ Nest (nest.com)
  6. ^ Nest Cam (nest.com)
  7. ^ Nest smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector (nest.com)
  8. ^ Phillips Hue (www2.meethue.com)
  9. ^ Works with Nest (nest.com)
  10. ^ The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control (author-yourhome.honeywell.com)
  11. ^ Honeywell Lyric (yourhome.honeywell.com)
  12. ^ ecobee3 (shop.ecobee.com)
  13. ^ additional room sensors (shop.ecobee.com)
  14. ^ Google Play store (play.google.com)

Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme 4000 Review

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What makes a gaming PC a gaming PC? Some years back, all gaming rigs had a lot in common. Catering to a niche audience of users who demanded the best performance possible at almost any price, they were almost invariably huge, hulking systems that cost enough to make the average PC buyer gasp. But in recent years, falling component prices and the comparatively modest abilities of gaming consoles (which many games get written for first) have made it easier to buy a gaming desktop that can play the latest games at high detail settings without taking out a second mortgage. The latest of these reasonably priced but surprisingly capable gaming rigs we ve tested is the Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme 4000.

Priced at $2,231 in our test configuration, our review system is far from inexpensive, especially if you don t have a monitor and other peripherals you want to carry over to your new PC. But it s important to keep in mind that for the price, you re getting some pretty solid and powerful components. Powered by a liquid-cooled Intel Core i7-6700K1 processor and 16GB of DDR4-2400 of memory, the system also comes equipped with a 500GB m.2 solid-state drive, a 2TB, 7,200rpm hard drive (to house your media collection), a 14x Blu-ray writer, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti2 graphics card with 6GB of memory. The CPU here is the highest-end current-generation Intel “Skylake” chip available, and the graphics card is also currently the most powerful single-chip graphics option on the market here in late January 2016. So this machine is plenty powerful, whether you plan to hook it up to multiple 1080p displays or a single 4K monitor.

If you want a keyboard, mouse, monitor, or other peripherals, Cyberpower will give you plenty of options to choose from when you are customizing your system. And when we wrote this, the company was also running a special where a free Cooler Master gaming keyboard and mouse come included with all desktops. But the general assumption is that many users buying a system like this will be upgrading from an older PC, and so they might want to carry over their existing, familiar peripherals and screen to their new gaming tower.

The Phanteks Enthoo Pro M case that our review system came housed in has surprisingly understated looks for a gaming rig. From the front, in fact, the Xtreme 4000 could be confused for a generic mainstream mid-tower system. It s only when you make your way to the partially windowed side of the case that it becomes clear you re looking at a gaming system, thanks mainly to the RGB lighting system that you can control with the included remote. If you re looking for a gaming-ready system that looks sufficiently grown-up for an office environment, this might even be a selling point. Those who like their gaming rigs to look aggressive might be a little disappointed, but you can choose from several other cases when configuring the system from Cyberpower.

At the front of the Enthoo Pro M case of our review unit, though, there s not a whole lot to point out. A single 5.25-inch bay is accessible near the top, allowing for the installation of only one optical drive (an LG Blu-Ray burner here).

Along the left edge of the case’s front bezel, you’ll find two of the system s SB© USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone ports, and a reset button. The power button, meanwhile, is at the top of the case, near the front. As you make your way to the rear, you ll find the system s Asus Z170 Pro Gaming motherboard offers a fair number of ports, including two SB© USB 3.1 ports (one with a Type-C connector, the other with the more traditional Type-A), four SB© USB 3.0 ports, and two SB© USB 2.0 ports. Also available are digital and analog audio jacks, a PS/2 port, and a Gigabit Ethernet jack for wired connections.

No wireless networking capability is included, though serious gamers often strongly prefer wired Internet for its reliability and speed. You ll also find an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, a DVI-D port, and a VGA port on the board, none of which you are likely to make use of. Instead, you’ll plug your monitor or monitors into the ports on the GeForce GTX 980 Ti card. There, you ll find three DisplayPorts, one DVI port, and one HDMI port. As far as expansion slots go, the motherboard offers three PCI Express x16 slots (one of which is occupied by the video card), three PCI Express x1 slots, a SATA Express port (which also doubles as two SATA 3 ports), four additional SATA 3 ports, and one M.2 slot (occupied here by the boot drive).

When the time comes to make your way inside the case to make use of the expansion options, you ll be pleased at how much space there is work in. Measuring 18.9×9.25×19.7 inches, the Phanteks case that our Gamer Xtreme 4000 review system came housed in is technically a mid-tower. But inside, it felt almost as spacious as a full tower. In part, the case feels roomy thanks to the modular Corsair CS650M power-supply unit that Cyberpower went with. While its wattage isn t all that high, it easily meets the needs of the system as configured.

But if you re thinking about adding a second or third graphics card for an SLI setup, you ll want to upgrade to a higher-end power supply, either when buying the system, or later on. Last but not least, there’s cooling to consider. Cooling is one thing that this system offers plenty of: The front, top, and rear of the case are meshed to ease airflow, and the processor is water-cooled on a double-wide radiator, with a 140mm fan at the rear of the case, two 120mm fans at the front, and two additional 120mm fans mounted on the radiator. So while you shouldn t have to worry about things ever getting too hot inside the case, even if you’re considering overclocking, this definitely isn t a quiet PC even compared to other gaming desktops. In fact, if you aren’t overclocking your processor or graphics card, and you don’t live in a particularly warm environment, the level of cooling here is arguably overkill.

Cyberpower likely could have done without a couple of the fans here and delivered a quieter system with enough airflow for the components included here.

Our review configuration of the Xtreme 4000 came with Windows 10 Professional as its operating system, with the OS disc included in the box. Other than Windows and a few utilities for the motherboard, that s about all you get in terms of software and we mean that in a good way. No bloatware was installed, leaving you with oodles of space in which to install software and media onto the system s 500GB SSD and 2TB hard drive. This is fairly standard practice for boutique-PC sellers, but it’s a stark and appreciated contrast from the big-name PC makers, who often overload even their high-end gaming-capable machines with unnecessary and generally unwanted software. This is an annoyance we ran across most recently with the HP Envy Phoenix 860st3.

Moving, finally, to support, the Gamer Xtreme 4000 is covered by a standard three-year limited warranty, a much longer plan than you see from most desktops these days (even high-end ones).

An extended service plan that covers the system for up to five years, including labor on any needed repairs, is available for an extra $349.


  1. ^ Intel Core i7-6700K (www.computershopper.com)
  2. ^ Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti (www.computershopper.com)
  3. ^ HP Envy Phoenix 860st (www.computershopper.com)