USB cables may look durable, but it does not take much to bend a connector or damage the rubber jacket. These things happen, as you may have learned by now, and when they do they can easily ruin your day. Unless you have a spare, which is not always the case, you may be unable to charge your smartphone or power an important device.
Enter rugged USB cables. With tougher connectors and a more durable jacket, they can withstand a great deal of abuse -- even from curious pets. I've been testing Syncwire's "durable" microUSB offering for the past couple of weeks, and here are my impressions.
Last year we reviewed the Rock Jaw Alfa Genius V2 earphones and they impressed with their adjustable filters, offering a premium listening experience at a mid-range price.
Even so, not everyone is prepared to spend more than $60 on a pair of earphones, so now British company Rock Jaw is targeting more frugal listeners with the new Clarito.
Windows 10 is a great desktop operating system, and for the most part, OEMs have manufactured some solid hardware to showcase it. Respectable companies like HP and Dell have done Microsoft proud with some truly satisfying touch-friendly laptops. Unfortunately, Microsoft has been a bit deficient with its Surface line. Don't get me wrong, the Pro 4 and Book are pretty good choices, but there have been many known bugs, and they are quite expensive.
There's a new player in the Windows world, however, and its looking to outdo Microsoft at its own Surface game. Huawei -- a well-known company in China -- is looking to make a name for itself in the USA. Its all-new affordable MateBook Windows 10 tablet/laptop hybrid is the company's biggest move yet. In such a crowded Windows 10 device world, is this computer worth your money?
You’re probably familiar with the free version of the CCleaner system clean up tool. What you might not know is that there’s also a Business Edition aimed at ensuring small and medium business endpoints run efficiently.
Like the standard version it can remove unneeded files, recovers hard drive space, speed up Windows, reduces crashes and helps protect privacy and security. Business Edition adds the ability to clean multiple user profiles, it updates itself automatically, supports scripting, and comes with priority technical support.
There aren't many small Android tablets that can set your world on fire. The manufacturers that are still invested in this market no longer seem to be interested in producing smaller devices, as their attention is now either focused on larger slates or hybrid devices. So, if you are in the market for a small tablet that runs Android, you clearly aren't spoiled for choice.
This is why, after nearly three years on the market, the second-generation Nexus 7 is still my favorite. Google's last small slate got so many things right back in 2013 that I have been struggling to find an attractive replacement for it. But since Xiaomi introduced the Mi Pad 2, I have been wondering whether it is the successor that I have been waiting for so long. Given the opportunity to test it, I set upon to find out whether there truly is a small Android tablet to get excited about these days.
Over the past few years Inateck has made a name for itself with good value audio kit including headsets and Bluetooth speakers.
Its latest offerings are in the closely-contested earphone market, so how well do they measure up to more established players?
Up and coming Android manufacturers are proving that you do not have to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get a good smartphone. The Xiaomi Mi4c, which I reviewed late last year, is a fantastic alternative to big-name devices from the likes of Samsung and LG that does not break the bank. The new Mi4s is shaping up to be even better, and the Mi5 looks to be more impressive still.
But, say you prefer something that's a bit larger that is also relatively inexpensive. Well, in this case, you should take a look at the new Ulefone Vienna, which packs a big display, large battery, nice camera, and competitive specs, all at a sub-$200 price point. You can read my impressions below.
Quick Charge is a wonderful technology that enables your smartphone or tablet to top up its battery at a much faster rate -- up to 400 percent faster, for its latest iteration. But, to enjoy the benefits that Quick Charge has to offer, you will have to use a compatible charger. One may be provided in the box, but if that is not the case there are some very nice wall chargers that are great for the job.
But if you need to charge your smartphone or tablet while driving you will have to pick up a dedicated car charger. I've been testing Tronsmart's CC1T car charger, which is one of the more-basic options with Quick Charge 3.0 support in the company's lineup, and you can read my impressions of it below.
The world is a harsh place and if you carry your laptop around with you it's almost inevitably going to pick up knocks and scrapes.
We've looked at Inateck's range of protective sleeves in the past and the company has just launched three new versions aimed at keeping your kit in peak condition.
I love my iPhone 6s, but the battery life often isn’t as good as I would like. On most days I can make it through to the late evening before the device requires charging, but occasionally it needs a bit of a boost before then. The Low Power mode built into iOS 9 comes in handy, but like most people I’d rather just have longer battery life.
While carrying around a power pack saves the day when I’m out and about and away from a charging point, it’s a bit of pain having to lug it around. This is where ThinCharge comes in handy -- it’s a battery pack built into a thin case.
At the top end of the smartphone market the likes of Apple and Samsung are competing to offer the latest technology. But down at the lower priced end of things, for people who want a smartphone on a budget, there are a swathe of Chinese makers competing for your cash.
Set aside your techno-snobbery and many of these phones turn out to be surprisingly good for the price. The latest to come our way is the Oukitel K4000 Pro. It's a 64-bit, quad-core, 4G phone with a five-inch screen, running last-but-one Android 5.1 Lollipop and costing less that $150. Its key selling point though is that it's designed to be tough. On paper the spec looks impressive but how does it stack up in the real world?
Microsoft's Surface 3 and Surface Pro 4 are among the best tablets for enterprise use. A full-blown version of Windows, light and sturdy build, adjustable kickstand, good battery life and optional keyboard enables them to work equally well at the desk and on the go. In harsher conditions, however, some extra protection is required.
For use in the field, MobileDemand has introduced a rugged case, called xCase. It promises "unparalleled durability and superior protection" for Surface 3 and Surface Pro 4. Offered in two versions, basic and premium, I have tested the latter in a Surface 3 trim -- here are my impressions.
The more I use Apple's smaller Pro tablet, the less likely I am to reach for the larger one. I have tested the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch tabs side-by-side since March 31st—and the bigger one is my primary PC (most days). Unquestionably, the behemoth is capable of replacing a laptop, as Apple CEO Tim Cook asserts. The smaller-size model is a fine notebook companion, and certainly can substitute sometimes. But more than two weeks using this surprisingly satisfying kit, I can't yet (and may never) recommend it as your next PC.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which screen measures like all its forebears, falls into a category I griped about in September 2015: Apple products without purpose—or none that's easily obvious to majority of shoppers. Don't misunderstand. The technology under the hood is quite innovative, and I really, really, really enjoy using this tablet. But I'm not most people, and looking at the broader consumer marketplace, I see the device as being more for the few than appealing to the many; that is until the next release cycle, when current prices decrease. Now, putting aside these caveats, 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the device I most often grab first. Many of the benefits have purpose that is subtle. The question: Are they good enough for you?
For the past 6 months or so, I have been using an iPhone 6S Plus. After years of living in an Android world, I decided to give Apple's offering a try. Why? Well, I don't like how some Android manufacturers fail to issue regular updates for their devices. Many people use phones and tablets with known vulnerabilities that will never be patched, and that is not cool. Regardless of your opinion of Apple or iOS, you must admit that the company is timely with updates for all of its currently supported devices.
As a lover of all tech, however, I am still very interested in Android. Google's Linux-based operating system is a very rewarding experience. And so, I found myself extremely intrigued by the HTC 10. That company is known for using premium materials, while also providing a close-to-stock Android experience. More importantly, it historically offers respectable support. Can the 10 live up to my expectations?
A multiport USB charger is a great tool to have if you need to top up the battery on a couple of devices at the same time. Finding the right one might prove a bit difficult though. There are lots of options available, featuring all sorts of configurations, and with support for different charging standards.
The Chotech six-port USB charger that I reviewed previously is a great all-around option that should keep most people happy for a long time, but for some folks the lack of Quick Charge 3.0 support may be a let down. So, if you have a device that supports Qualcomm's latest fast charging technology you will need to look at a different option, like Tronsmart's latest five-port USB charger which includes a Quick Charge 3.0-ready port.