Articles about Review

Dell Venue 8 Pro 5855 is an attractive business tablet [Review]

Dell Venue 8 Pro front

The first generation of Dell’s Venue 8 tablet hit the market back in 2013. In January of this year the company launched the updated version that we have here, which comes with a faster Intel Atom X5 processor and 64-bit Windows 10 as standard.

So, how does this latest version measure up, and is it a good option for business users?

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There's something you should know about 12.9-inch iPad Pro [seventh in a series]

iPad Pro B&W

April 3, 2016 marks the first day that I truly could use Apple's over-sized tablet to replace my laptop. But I had to spend another $84, before California tax, to do it. Gadget reviewers who say that iPad Pro cannot be your computer are wrong. The apps, performance, and utility are there. Anyone creating content should consider this device as compliment to, or replacement for, an existing PC. The problem with 12.9-inch iPad Pro isn't what it can do but how much it costs to assemble what you need. This kit is far from budget-friendly, which also can be said of Microsoft's competing Surface Pro 4.

I started my iPad Pro sojourn on Groundhog Day, planning to use the device as my primary PC for 30 days. The objective: Apple CEO Tim Cook says the big-ass tablet can replace a personal computer, I want to see if he is right. The experiment isn't my first journey like this. I tried something similar during summer 2011 with one of the first Chromebooks. The path was a dead end. But Spring 2012, when new commercial models released, I started down the path again and never looked back. Google's Chromebook Pixel LS was my main computer before adopting the iPad lifestyle.

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Can’t afford Dyson's Pure Cool Link? Try the Mi Air Purifier instead [Review]


Having revolutionized the world of vacuum cleaning, James Dyson moved his attention to hand drying, heating and cooling. The latest gadget to roll off the Dyson production line is the IoT-enabled Pure Cool Link air purifier. Like just about every Dyson product out there, reviews are almost universally positive, but there is the question of the price tag.

The Pure Cool Link comes at something of a premium (be prepared to part with around $500), but it's certainly not a unique product. Dyson may have blazed a trail in many areas, but when it comes to air purifiers, it wasn't the first, and it certainly isn’t the cheapest. Take, for instance the Mi Air Purifier from Xiaomi. It's a relative snip at just $200, and the lower price tag doesn’t mean missing out on the Internet of Things.

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Master & Dynamic MH40 headphones [review]


Newcomer is the only way to describe Master & Dynamic, which on Dec. 31, 2015 completed its first full year of revenue. Young or not, its audio gear is vintage and refined. Wanna see? You can find the MH40 headphones, which look like something World War II bomber pilots would wear, inside any Apple Store. Distribution partnership of that caliber from a near start-up says much about M&D earphones and headphones—design, price, and sound.

The signature sound is full, which is atypical in a market where booming bass ranks among headphone buyers’ top priorities. But for those listeners who delight in the faintest tap of the symbol, warmest treble, and deep lows that reveal details rather than thump, thump, Master & Dynamic delivers. For Christmas I bought the company’s MW60 wireless headphones, which I will review soon. Today's topic is the MH40, which are wired.

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Cubot X17 -- a premium smartphone at a budget price? [Review]

Cubot X17

Cubot is a name you may not have heard of, but the Chinese company is seeking to make an impact on the smartphone market with the X17, offering premium features at a more down market price of around $170 (£130).

First impressions are positive, the phone comes in a box with a textured bronze colored finish. In the package you get a USB cable, mains adaptor, SIM tray opening tool, a clip-on protective cover for the back, a spare screen protector -- there's one pre-installed -- and a printed quick start guide. You also get a couple of cleaning wipes which is a nice touch.

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Choetech 6 port USB charger: The quick way to charge multiple devices [Review]

Chotech six port USB charger

Having multiple mobile devices is great. Charging them? Not so much. If you need to top the battery on a few smartphones and tablets at the same time, you are going to need as many wall chargers to be plugged in. But there is a better way -- enter the multiport USB charger.

A multiport USB charger can allow you to charge a significant number of handsets simultaneously, freeing up sockets in the process. I have been using Choetech's six-port USB charger for the past couple of weeks to find out how good it is and, ultimately, whether it's worth buying.

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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]


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]


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


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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