Articles about Review

Sizing Up Google Pixel C [Review]

Google Pixel C

If you're thinking about buying Pixel C, Google gives two good reasons to do so now: Android N beta program and developer discount on the hardware. The tablet normally sells for $499 (32GB) or $599 (64GB) but you could instead pay $375 or $449, respectively. Keyboard is another $149. The discount and beta OS are meant for developers, but anyone can get them.

Pixel C is the best Android tablet I have ever tested, but that's acknowledging prejudice against Samsung tabs, which are worthy contenders, but I dislike TouchWiz UI. Sammy's hardware hums, particularly the stunning screens. But only Google serves up a Marshmallow feast in Android 6.0, and the hardware design and construction are preemo to the max. For less than $400, Pixel C might as well be free, there is so much value here.

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Choetech Choe Qi is an affordable fast wireless charging pad [Review]

Chotech fast wireless charger Choe Qi pad

Wireless charging is one of the nicest and most convenient features added on smartphones in the past couple of years. Increasingly seen on mid-range and high-end offerings, it enables devices to charge simply by resting on a small pad. After experiencing the benefits, you will not want to go back to using a wall charger and cable again.

It is not enough to have a smartphone that offers this feature, as you also need a compatible pad to wirelessly charge it. A very interesting proposition is Choetech's Choe Qi, which offers fast wireless charging at an attractive price point. I have been using it for a few weeks to find out whether it's worth buying, and here are my impressions.

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My journey from iPad Pro lemon to Apple lemonade [sixth in a series]

Apple iPad Pro

My previous post in this series begins: "I cannot presently recommend Apple's big-ass tablet as a laptop replacement—using the official-issue Smart Keyboard". The statement is retracted.

Apple PR contacted me after the story published, asserting that the short battery life I experienced was abnormal behavior. Seeing as it was the last day to return iPad Pro under T-Mobile's buyer's remorse policy, I took the assertion at face value and returned the rig. The exchange interrupted my plans to use the tablet as my primary PC for a month. From today, the clock resets to zero, and I start over.

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Moveable type: iClever Tri-folding Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard [Review]

iclever_keyboard_side

A few months back, I took a look at the iClever Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard and I was impressed. Now iClever is back with an updated version of the keyboard, the iClever Ultra Slim 3 Color Backlight Bluetooth Keyboard.

There are a number of enhancements to the original design, the most noticeable of which is that the keys have now grown to full size. As you'll have guessed from the name, the keyboard is now also backlit, and there are also little kick-out legs to help improve stability.

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Huawei MateBook first-impressions review

Huawei Matebook display

At MWC 2016, Huawei has announced the MateBook 2-in-1 tablet, entering an ever-growing market already populated by the likes of Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Pro devices.

Aimed at business users, the Intel-powered MateBook provides the mobility of a smartphone with the power and performance of a laptop, enabling the modern mobile workforce to work anytime, anywhere.

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iPad Pro's fatal flaw? [fifth in a series]

Apple-iPad-Pro

Editor's Note: Apple contacted me on February 16th, suggesting the short battery life is abnormal. We discussed tech support option but I chose instead to replace the whole kit—iPad Pro and keyboard—to see if the short battery life with Smart Keyboard is a one-off hardware problem.

The follow-up post, on February 24th, countermands the negative conclusions stated in this review. Battery life from the second kit is hugely satisfying and plenty long enough for the typical workday. The user experiences aren't comparable. I debated about deleting the original story but that feels like hiding something. Hopefully this addendum sufficiently retracts the original conclusion.

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CloudMagic is a great cross-platform email app [Review]

CloudMagic for Mac 1

Finding an email app that I can enjoy using has proven to be quite a challenge. I want an app that is available on multiple platforms, that works on smartphones, tablets and PCs equally well. I also want it to support all my favorite email services, and make it easy for me to sort all my messages quickly. Sounds simple, right?

Those are not outrageous requirements, yet, until recently, the only app that came close was Outlook. However, it is far from perfect, as it lacks an OS X version -- which forces me to either use a different app on my Mac or turn to the browser -- and it also has some usability issues, depending on the platform or the provider I am using. I said until recently because I now find CloudMagic to be a superior option.

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Don't say Enigma Software's SpyHunter is rubbish or you just might get sued

don't_shoot_the_messenger

Technology website BleepingComputer is being sued by Enigma Software (ESG) over a negative review of its SpyHunter antimalware software. In fact, it's not really a review that has caused Enigma Software to start complaining about "false, disparaging, and defamatory statements", but a thread on its forums.

The lawsuit also suggests that BleepingComputer is "driving traffic and sales to Malwarebytes and driving traffic and sales away from ESG" (Bleeping Computer runs an affiliate program involving Malwarebytes) The timing of this is interesting, as it comes at the same time as the European Court of Human Rights ruled that website owners are not responsible for comments posted by readers.

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What I Don't Like About Apple iPad Pro [third in a series]

iPad Pro Batman Returns

Day 5 morning, and I am close to returning the iPad Pro to T-Mobile. There are too many quirks that reaffirm my contention in this series' second post: Apple's big-ass tablet is a proof-of-concept device that's ready, or so I thought, for few users (digital content creators) but not the masses. Now I wonder if the thang is ready for anyone.

Setting up Apple Pencil should be as easy as pulling off the rear cap, inserting into Lightning port, and acknowledging Bluetooth connect request prompt. But there is no response from the tablet, after a half-dozen attempts, so I Google for solutions. No luck there, and I check Bluetooth settings, where the device doesn't appear. Disconnect my Harman Kardon speakers. No change. Turn off and on Bluetooth. Nope. Detach Pencil, try again. Success! Device shows up, pairs, then disconnects, and stays that way until I try again, and then it's "Groundhog Day" time. I'm Bill Murray reliving the same moment over and over without progress.

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Is Apple iPad Pro too big? [second in a series]

Apple iPad Pro and Rolling Stone

"Look up, waaaaaay up" is a phrase familiar to Canadians of a certain age, who watched "The Friendly Giant". The kids program aired from 1958 to 1985 on CBC, which our TV antenna grabbed from the local affiliate across the border in New Brunswick (I'm from Northern Maine). There's something about iPad Pro's enormity that makes it feel more like something the Giant would use.

My question this fine Friday: Is iPad Pro too big? For the majority of potential buyers, my answer is unequivocally yes. I don't see a product made for the majority. Whatever Apple's post-PC ambitions, iPad Pro is more a proof-of-concept for future laptop replacement. However, for the few -- creators looking for larger digital canvas -- iPad Pro offers much. For the many, the first version will work out the kinks, such as getting the app platform placed, for mass-market successors. Warning: Embracing the expansive tablet may make switching to something smaller nearly impossible. Size matters, and sometimes larger is better.

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OnePlus X: Impressive mid-range smartphone [Review]

OnePlus-X-sleeve

OnePlus may not be a name that springs instantly to mind when you think of smartphones, but it really should be. It is a Chinese company that is fast developing a reputation for turning out quality handsets at something of a bargain price.

The company's latest OnePlus X model starts at around £200 which is only about £40 below the price of its flagship, the better specified OnePlus 2 model, so does it live up to the company’s claims that this is an affordable phone with premium features?

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My Apple iPad Pro adventure begins [first in a series]

iPad Pro

The first thing you notice about iPad Pro is the size. The tablet is ginormous. Its 12.9-inch screen lays before you like a chalk slate -- a blank canvas demanding typed text or drawings made with Apple Pencil. Yet something also feels wrong about the thing. During the so-called Steve Jobs era, refined designs were smaller -- like iPod nano. Apple is no stranger to larger; 27-inch iMac today or 17-inch MacBook Pro of yesteryear are examples. Perhaps. But there's big, and BIG.

The giant tablet arrived around 2:50 p.m. PST on Groundhog Day 2016, marking a bold computing adventure for February: Using iPad Pro as my primary PC, and hopefully only one. Perhaps you read my recent obituary to Apple love lost and might wonder why buy anything Apple? I like to experiment and am paid to try out new things (so you won't have to). By sheer size, PC replacement -- not companion -- is the only sensible use for iPad Pro. Can it meet the demands? I want to find out.

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Lenovo ThinkPad 10: A viable laptop substitute [Review]

Lenovo ThinkPad 10

The majority of tablets are aimed at consumers and, therefore, business features can sometimes feel a little tacked on. Some manufacturers take a different approach, however, and there is little doubt that latest second generation of ThinkPad 10 from Lenovo is not aimed squarely at business users.

It runs 64-bit Windows 10, has Trusted Platform Module encryption and other features and options that will make it an attractive corporate choice. Add in the fact that it is solidly built and has lots of accessories available to improve its usefulness as a business tool and it looks even more impressive, and even more similar to the Microsoft Surface. So, is this a better option for serious tablet users than a device based around a mobile OS, like Android?

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Inateck BR1002 Bluetooth transmitter/receiver [Review]

Inateck BR1002

We live in a world where we increasingly expect everything to interface with everything else. New cars come with Bluetooth and wireless connections for example to access information from your phone, and audio systems are able to stream music around your home.

But what if you have an older car, or if you want to link a smartphone to your non-smart home Hi-Fi? Inateck has an answer in the form of the BR1002, a neat little gadget that can turn your older devices into Bluetooth enabled ones.

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Penclic R3: Not your typical mouse [Review]

Penclic Mouse R3-1

Using a mouse for long periods can be uncomfortable and in severe cases may even lead to repetitive strain injury.

There are various pieces of kit on the market to help you avoid this including ergonomically designed mice and wrist rests. Taking a slightly different and more innovative approach to the problem is the Penclic which is a sort of fusion of mouse and pen.

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