For about a fortnight, I have used Google's Pixel C as my primary tablet. I like the 10.2-inch slate much more than anticipated, particularly after being negatively influenced by some rather lukewarm techsite reviews before FedEx delivered the tab to my door.
Google designed and produces Pixel C, which is by far the best Android tablet you can buy anywhere. Like Nexus smartphones, which debuted in January 2010, the tablet is meant as a reference design for OEMs and developing Android apps appropriate for larger, but still mobile, screens. I primarily will focus on the hardware this round; apps and Android will come next year in my full review.
These days you do not have to spend much to get a good smartphone. Using a Xiaomi Mi4c as my daily driver for the past couple of weeks has made it clear that you can get an impressive handset for just around $200. It is the sort of smartphone that makes you believe that you can have your cake and eat it too -- its specs read like those of some flagships while its price is similar to that of more affordable mid-rangers.
The software is pretty nice as well. Unlike some other interpretations of Android, Xiaomi's MIUI looks good and adds some worthwhile changes that overall add up to a solid user experience. Now, let's take a closer look at Mi4c.
Let’s face it, backups are pretty boring, which is probably the reason why they often get overlooked and people find themselves staring into the abyss of lost data. Part of the reason why so many of us hate backups is that the software used often seems to overcomplicate things with lots of options that many people never use.
Bvckup 2 aims to change all of this with a backup solution that’s clean, simple to use, elegant and fast. Produced by Swiss company Pipemetrics, Bvckup 2 is small -- the installer is less than 2MB in size - but packs in a surprising amount of sophistication.
Tablets are often seen as a consumer device, allowing you to update Facebook from the sofa while you watch TV, or catch up with iPlayer in bed. But they’re increasingly finding a place in the business world too, allowing mobile workers to catch up with emails or update documents on the move. They can also be a viable laptop replacement for tasks like making sales presentations.
The iPad remains popular, since it popularized the tablet format, but of late, Android devices have been catching up in terms of quality and capability. Samsung has long been one of the biggest players in the Android tablet market and its latest premium tablet, and the Galaxy Tab S2 is clear evidence of the company’s intention to park its tank on the iPad’s lawn. But how well does it succeed and what does it have to offer to tempt business users away from buying the Apple device?
Sitting down, so medical professionals tell us, is bad for you. As a species we’re designed to stand up and move about rather than sit in front of a screen. The trouble is, modern office-based work doesn’t really lend itself to this hunter/gatherer lifestyle.
The answer for some people is to have a standing desk so that you can bash away at your keyboard from a vertical position. It may not match the thrill of the hunt, but at least it gets you off your backside. The trouble is, purpose built standing desks can be eye-wateringly expensive, especially some of the sophisticated motorized models, and you have the problem of where to accommodate an extra piece of furniture.
As Christmas comes closer, it's time to think about rewarding your ears, or someone else's, with exceptional audio experience—headphones that I would ask Santa to bring for myself or deliver to another. If big, booming bass is your thing, read no further. Buy Beats, Sony, or another brand boasting barreling lows that shake your skull as well as eardrums.
My picks deliver broader audio range, each with warmer mids and highs and amazing detail, depending somewhat on the source of your content. Highly compressed AAC or MP3 tracks lack lots, but these cans will get a little more fidelity from them. CD or lossless source might change how you listen to music forever.
We already know the importance of defending endpoints to keep business systems secure. The latest release of Panda Internet Security offers protection for PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices, and aims to provide a wide spectrum of security in an easy-to-use package.
For businesses looking to help staff protect their BYOD devices or smaller organizations looking for desktop protection, what does it have to offer?
If you're smartphone shopping this holiday and wondering what to buy, my primer can assist—with caveats. I focus solely on Androids that are higher end but affordable, and I ignore iPhones. No slight against Apple devices is intended. I figure that people who want an iPhone won't likely consider an alternative. Also: The differences aren't as pronounced. For example, the major benefit choosing 6s or 6s Plus over the two previous models is slightly lower price (3D Touch is an unnecessary gimmick). The major benefit picking 5s over the 6 or 6 Plus is again price but also smaller size.
Among Androids, differences abound—and many, such as older OS versions or custom UI skins, are carrier or manufacturer imposed. That's without considering the bloatware that either or both parties might impose. I intentionally focus on devices that offer the most value for price paid, which includes upfront or payment-plan purchased unlocked.
Recent reports have highlighted that it’s security at the endpoint which often leaves businesses exposed. This applies not just to machines in the office but also to mobile and BYOD devices, so some sort of security solution is essential.
BullGuard has released its latest Internet Security suite this month which is fully Windows 10 compatible and includes a number of things that make it an attractive option for business users. New features like Dropbox compatible backup and storage ensure that business data is properly protected.
If you’re suffering a touch of deja vu looking at the photo above it's probably because my colleague Mark Wilson reviewed Inateck's similar sleeve for the Surface Pro earlier this year.
This one is designed for the iPad and MacBook fraternity and features a neat fold over design that allows it to act as a stand for the device as well as a sleeve to protect it. It has a smaller pouch in front of the main one and here are a couple of pockets on the back, one of which is big enough to take CDs. It also comes with a separate little pouch containing a cleaning cloth and which is big enough to take a mouse. It's not really suited to carrying bulky mains adaptors around though, so you’ll need to charge your device before you go out.
If you are still running your operating system from a traditional hard drive, I want you to slap yourself in the face. Why? You are doing your computing wrong. Sure, a mechanical hard drive is great for storage, but your OS will absolutely fly with a solid state drive. While they used to be expensive, the prices have dropped so dramatically in recent years, there is no excuse not to upgrade. It has become a cliché, but an SSD is the best upgrade you can make.
Recently, I have been testing the Toshiba Q300 SSD. The particular model I have been using is 480GB. Keep in mind, capacity can impact performance, so your mileage may vary based on the size you pick. This is a SATA variant, so performance won't be mind-blowing, but with that said, SATA will remain the most-used connection type for the near future, and for folks upgrading older machines. Is the Q300 a smart choice?
With tablets it’s usually true that you get what you pay for. The more you can afford to spend on a device, the better the product you’ll end up with. That said, there are some decent, very affordable tablets available. Take the new Amazon Fire, for example, which is a pretty good 7-inch tablet for just $49.99.
The Hisense Sero 8 Pro is a little more expensive -- £108 from Ebuyer -- but for that you get a larger screen, 7.85-inches, with "Retina" graphics (2,048x1,536), that offers excellent color, contrast and detail and is hard to fault. The tablet also packs a quad core ARM Rockchip processor running at 1.61GHz, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. There’s a microSD slot so you can boost capacity by 32GB should you require more space.
People have different needs. This is why saying one piece of technology is better than another is subjective. The Xbox One, for instance is a more powerful device than the new Apple TV. It has, by far, superior hardware and can do more things. And yet, if you do not need that raw processing power, and prefer casual games to expensive console-grade games, Microsoft's console may be too much. In other words, it doesn't make sense to spend the money on Xbox One if you only need it for streaming media. Sure, it can run Halo 5 and play Blu-ray movies, but I really don't want those things and I am sure there are others like me too.
Enter the Apple TV. I bought this little 4th generation box for $200 despite owning plenty of devices that can already handle streaming media. Why? because of its potential. You see, with access to Apple's App Store, the future will be really bright for it as a media machine, but more importantly, a gaming console. Yes, the Apple TV is a Trojan horse in a sense -- it comes into your home disguised as a run-of-the-mill media streamer, but becomes the future of gaming too.
While I am not a hardcore gamer, I do enjoy gaming on both my PC and Xbox One. While playing single-player games can be fun, I much prefer the online multiplayer variants. I am still blown-away at the concept of playing a game against random people from around the world. Keep in mind, my first console was a hand-me-down Atari 2600 -- you younger cats probably take it for granted.
While playing against other people is cool on its own, I also like talking with them. Whether trash-talking or planning strategies, gaming with a headset is super great. If you are going to invest in a headset, however, you should do it right. I have been searching for a really nice headset for games, movies, music and chat and recently came across the Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum RGB 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset. When looking for accessories, Logitech is always a great place to start. Will the G633 continue the long tradition of quality?
Top-end specs, a large screen, near-vanilla Android, and a price tag on the South side of $400 make OnePlus 2 a force to be reckoned in the battle for the "Smartphone of the year" award. It certainly has what it takes to get consumers' attention, as over four million reservations were made in the first couple of weeks after launch. But, hype can only get the "2016 flagship killer" so far. Question is, does it live up to it?
I have used a OnePlus 2, in 64GB trim, as my daily driver for well over a month now to find out whether it is worthy of its self-given title, and how it stacks up against some of the flagships it has in its sights, like Apple's bigger iPhone.