Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen nowadays. For such a speaker to stand out, it has to have something to differentiate it from competitors. While exceptional sound quality is always the goal, it is sadly not enough anymore.
The onanoff SoundCover for iPad Air piqued my interest because it offered a unique design. Quite frankly, the concept was so odd, that I didn't even understand it at first. As you can see in the below unboxing video, I assumed that it would prop up the iPad Air with a Surface-like stand, while sending the sound through the rear. This is not the case.
What do you do with the SATA hard drive you took out of that old machine you threw away a couple of years ago? One answer is that you get hold of an external enclosure and use it as an archive or for making backups.
Inateck's latest external enclosures allow you to do just that for both 3.5- and 2.5-inch drives. Let's take the larger one first, the FE3001 is USB 3.0 for fast transfers and the case is made of sturdy aluminum with a smart, grained finish. There's an external power supply, USB cable and everything else you need -- screws, rubber pads and even a small screwdriver -- is included in the box.
As a self-confessed gadget fan, I have to admit, I’ve been excited about the Apple Watch ever since the hype started.
I’m no Apple Addict (only started using an iPhone 18 months ago, have never purchased music from iTunes and I don’t own a Mac) however I ordered the Apple Watch two minutes after the advance ordering opened... And now it has arrived -- so the question is, does it live up to my expectations?
Lenovo's Yoga line of laptops has been a favorite of mine. In addition to Microsoft's Surface line, Yoga has proven to be a great way to experience Windows on a 2-in-1 with very little compromise. While I was a fan of the 13 inch Yoga variants, I found them a bit too large for my liking. Believe it or not, I prefer 11.6 inch laptops as I am always on the move; I'll turn anything into a work space as long as there is Wi-Fi (shout-out to Starbucks).
When I got the opportunity to review the all-new Lenovo Yoga 3 11, I was elated. Not only does the size and Yoga flexibility meet my needs, but Lenovo quality is something I am fond of too. Historically, I have found the manufacturer's hardware to be well-built and reliable. Will the Lenovo Yoga 3 11 match my high expectations?
In a world increasingly dominated by mobile devices it's easy to forget that many people, particularly in business environments, are still using desktop PCs.
Desktops of course tend not to come with built-in Wi-Fi which means adding a PCIe card or a USB wireless adaptor. With the KT9001, what Inateck has produced is a PCIe card that's a clever mash up of wireless adaptor and three port USB 3.0 hub.
I want to love Google-branded, HTC-manufactured Nexus 9. But ours is a contentious relationship. N9 is not a bad tablet; others offer better value and performance for the price (or less), with Apple iPad mini being high among them. That said, if pure (aka stock) Android is your thing, there is no worthy alternative. Just prepare for a few compromises, particularly if moving up from Nexus 7.
In his November 2014 review, my colleague Brian Fagioli calls Nexus 9 "magical". I can't agree. During my four months using the tablet, response occasionally hesitates and WiFi too often disconnects. Last week, my N9 received the newest Android update, which somewhat resolves both problems. I purposely delayed this review, waiting for v5.1.1.
It's always the way with technology that it starts out expensive then tumbles in price as more manufacturers enter the field. With smartwatches that fall in price has come pretty quickly as Chinese manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon.
The last budget smartwatch we looked at proved pretty impressive for the price. The GV18 Aplus is cheaper still and yet packs in even more features. So, is it cheap and cheerful or cheap and nasty? Let's find out.
Imagine if every time you wanted a Windows computer, you had to buy a Mac, format the hard drive and install Microsoft's operating system. That would suck, right? This is pretty much how it is for Linux users, sadly. If you are a user of a Linux distro such as Fedora or Ubuntu, for the most part -- unless you are a system-builder -- you have to buy a Windows machine, and install your preferred operating system.
What if you want to buy a computer with an operating system such as Ubuntu pre-installed? Enter System76. The company sells computers -- both desktops and laptops -- running the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. Recently, the company began selling the Meerkat -- a mini computer based on Intel's NUC. I have been using the computer for a few weeks now, with both Ubuntu and Windows 10 and I am ready to share the experience with you.
My daughter's cat Cali loves to chew cords—a habit we will eventually break. Meanwhile, it's good excuse to invest in new wireless speakers that diminish some of the cord clutter. Our 20 year-old also is moving home for the summer, putting more wires at risk and necessitating some speaker swaps. She takes my Harman/Kardon SoundSticks, which subwoofer meets her requirement for thumping bass; I don't need it and switched to a space-saving, cord-reducing duo set.
Spectacular sound is my description for Harman/Kardon Nova, which deliver rich treble, magnificent highs, fine detail, and more-than-adequate bass for the kind of kit. Separation and soundstage are bold—dynamic! The speakers are best appreciated when matched to the right source. I stream from lossless leader Tidal on Chromebook Pixel LS, connected via Bluetooth. The combination is immensely enjoyable and makes me happy while working, which boosts the quality and speed of my productivity.
There are lots of Bluetooth speakers on the market, so which one you choose really comes down to the features you value most. Is sound quality your top priority or is portability and long battery life a bigger attraction?
The EasyAcc DP100 certainly qualifies on the portability front. It's a compact design, about the size of a Coke can, feels nicely weighty and has a rubber base so it won't slip around. The design is quite stylish in matt black with a shiny highlight around the top. There's an on/off switch and sockets for charging and aux-in at the back. Playback controls are operated by a grey, rubbery button on the top, this works well enough but doesn’t have a particularly nice feel.
Removable batteries in smartphones are becoming quite the rarity. While Apple never offered such a thing on the iPhone, it was once very common on Android devices. While some smartphones running Google's mobile operating system still have this feature, it is far less prevalent (the upcoming LG G4 is a surprising exception). Unfortunately, the battery life of these devices can be very short; making it through a full work day can be challenging. Since you cannot swap the battery, what are you supposed to do?
You need a USB battery pack. These battery boosters are all the rage nowadays; Amazon and other manufacturers are littered with them. Deciding on a model can be tough, but luckily, I discovered a winner -- the IOGEAR GearPower Mobile Power Station. It has made my Nexus 6 more usable when on the go. Battery anxiety, be gone!
Mark the date with an alarm. Around May 28, 2015, sellers likely will fill eBay and Craigslist with spanking new Chromebook Pixels, available for bargain prices—if anything less than $999 or $1,299 could be considered a deal. Google's developer conference commences that day, when I expect many attendees will receive and quickly dispatch shiny, new laptops. Big G gave away the pricey Pixel two years ago, and it's good guess will do so again. Smart developers will keep the machines; many will not. Dumb move, but who am I to judge, eh? Pixel rests at the precipice of future computing, for those open-minded enough to welcome it. They are few.
If you are among those who get the Chromebook concept, who thinks about purchasing the laptop, but waffles indecision, watch for short-term selling prices that could meet what your sensibilities and spending budget can tolerate. It's good background for me to finally review the higher-end of the two costliest Chromebook configurations. My primer can help you decide whether or not to bother, either for full price now or for the chance of less later. Why wait? I wouldn't and didn't. I received my Pixel in March, on Friday the 13th, ordered two days earlier from Google. I use no other computer. It's more than my primary PC and could be yours, too.
The absolute best upgrade for any computer that's operating system is running from a hard disk drive, is a solid state drive. Why? The performance increase is significant, while SSD prices are decreasing. In other words, you can speed up your PC without hurting your wallet.
The problem, however, is deciding which SSD to buy. While affordability and speed are important qualities, I tend to put a premium on reliability. Of course I want the drive to be fast, but the contents of the drive -- important documents and family photos -- trump anything else. Luckily, Samung's offerings have proven to be both reliable and fast, while also being reasonably priced. Today, I am taking a look at the latest and greatest SATA variant; the 850 EVO.
Smartphone speakers are rubbish when it comes to playing music. There are some exceptions, like HTC's One M flagships, but, generally speaking, the sound quality just isn't there. There is only so much you can ask for from a tiny little speaker, trapped inside a small shell. So, if you want more oomph, you will have to hook up your smartphone to an external speaker.
Of course, if you want something that you can carry with you, you should actually be looking at a portable speaker. An interesting such offering is Divoom's rugged Voombox-Outdoor, which can connect to your smartphone either through a cable or, better yet, via Bluetooth. Here is what you should know about it.
With smartphones and tablets increasingly becoming the focus of our entertainment a decent portable speaker is becoming an essential accessory if you don’t want to be tied to headphones or want to share your music with others.
Inatek's latest offering has a pair of 5W speakers mounted in a stylish, compact (around 9.5 inches long by 2.5 inches high) black and silver enclosure. It has a nice weighty feel and there's a slot in the top into which you can sit a smartphone or tablet -- a pop-out strut at the back prevents the unit from becoming top heavy and tipping over as well as keeping a comfortable viewing angle -- so you can use it to watch videos. A built-in microphone means you can make hands-free calls too. However, it isn't an actual dock so it won't charge your phone or tablet.