Curved televisions are gimmicky and an overall bad idea. I bought a curved 4K TV several years ago, and while I do like it overall, it has a big negative -- it shows a lot of glare when the sun comes through the windows. Ultimately, the curved aspect doesn't seem to provide much (if any) value over a flat set when sitting on my couch
Where curved displays are wonderful, however, is for computer monitors. When you are sitting closer to a display, such as at a desk, it provides a more immersive experience -- particularly for gaming. Today, YEYIAN unveils its latest curved display. The 34-inch "Sigurd 4000," as it is called, features a 3440x1440 resolution, wide 21:9 aspect ratio, and one millisecond response time.
Last year, Samsung released the T7 Shield -- a fast and durable USB-C SSD. At the time, the portable drive was offered in three colors (beige, black, and blue) plus two capacities (1TB and 2TB).
Today, Samsung adds a new 4TB capacity option to the T7 Shield lineup. Yes, you can now get the drive with double the storage of the previous top capacity. Unfortunately, this 4TB variant is only available in black -- fans of beige and blue are out of luck with this capacity.
Are the Linux Mint developers fans of the Spice Girls? That I don't know. What I do know, however, is Linux Mint 21.2 has been code-named "Victoria." I'd like to think this version of the operating system is being named after soccer-star David Beckham's wife Victoria (who once went by the stage name "Posh Spice" as a member of the aforementioned pop singing group), but probably not.
Anyway, besides the codename of "Victoria," the Linux Mint developers have shared some interesting tidbits about the upcoming Ubuntu-based operating system. Most importantly, it will be released in June 2023. As expected, Linux Mint 21.2 will once again come with your choice of three desktop environments -- Cinnamon, Mate, and Xfce. If you opt for the Xfce variant, you will be treated to the cutting-edge version 4.18.
Plugable USB-C Stand Dock can turn an Apple iPad, Windows tablet, or Android device into a legitimate desktop PC
Apple's iPad is a tablet, obviously, but when you add a keyboard case, it magically becomes a laptop too. But did you know M1 or M2-powered iPad tablets (running iPadOS 16.1 and higher) can also serve as a desktop PC with full-screen monitor support? It's true! By plugging in a USB-C dock, you can connect a keyboard, mouse, monitor, external storage, and more.
Today, Plugable launches a new USB-C Stand Dock (model number UDS-7IN1). While this product is primarily designed for M1/M2 iPad devices (such as iPad Pro and iPad Air 5), it can work with USB-C Android devices and Windows tablets (such as Surface Pro) as well. While this dock should technically work with laptops and desktops, the "stand" aspect (which props up the phone or tablet like a monitor), would be wasted.
On January 17, Apple unveiled new MacBook Pro laptops with M2 Pro and M2 Max processors. Fans of macOS around the world were very excited for these powerful new notebooks.
If you end up buying an M2 MacBook, and you want to add a bit of functionality, Satechi has a new product called "Pro Hub Slim" that you need to check out. This mini-dock converts two of the Thunderbolt ports into several different useful ports. While it is technically designed for the M2 MacBook Air, it will actually work with any MacBook from 2017 or later.
A new TCL smartphone will be hitting prepaid carrier Metro by T-Mobile tomorrow (January 26). Called "ION X," this Android 12 phone will cost only $119, but if you open a new line of service, you can nab it for free. While that is an affordable price, the specifications of the 4G LTE phone aren't exactly exciting.
The TCL ION X is powered by a MediaTek octa-core processor and comes equipped with a meager 3GB of RAM. Onboard storage is just 32GB. The phone features an edge-to-edge 6-inch display with a rather pathetic 1600×900 resolution. You get a 5MP front camera (with face unlock), a 13MP rear camera, and a respectable 3000mAh battery.
Back in the day, people often scoffed at the idea of switching to a Linux-based operating system due to a lack of software. While that is still true for some people -- especially business users -- it is less of a concern these days since so many things are done through the web browser. For many consumers, just having the Google Chrome browser on, say, Ubuntu, is more than enough to accomplish all of their wants and needs. Not to mention, there are many quality Linux apps like GIMP and DaVinci Resolve.
But OK, lets say you really want to use a Linux-based operating system, but there's some Windows-only software that you absolutely cannot live without. Thankfully, you may still be able to ditch Windows and upgrade to something like Freespire or MX Linux. How? Thanks to the excellent Wine! This compatibility layer can sometimes enable you to run certain Windows software on Linux. Today, version 8.0 is released, and Microsoft should be very worried.
Ubuntu is a Linux distribution based on the Debian operating system. Xubuntu is an operating system that is based on Ubuntu, but using the Xfce desktop environment instead of GNOME. Freespire is an OS that is based on Xubuntu. What does this mean? Well, besides too many Linux distributions existing, it means Freespire is, very loosely speaking, sort of like the great-grandson of Debian.
Anyway, today, Freespire 9.0 becomes available for download. A 64-bit ISO of the Linux-based operating system can be had immediately. It is notable for using Xfce 4.18.
Netrunner is one of my absolute favorite Linux distributions, but I haven’t been recommending it to people lately. Why? Well, to be honest, I thought the operating system was dead. You see, the last time the developers released a new version of Netrunner was early 2021. I assumed development had ended. The year 2022 came and went without any substantial Netrunner news.
But no, Netrunner lives! Out of the blue, a new version of the KDE-focused operating system is made available for download. Code-named "Vaporwave" (no, not vaporware), Netrunner 23 is based on Debian 11 "Bullseye" stable for the first time. Yes, fans of Netrunner can finally have modern Debian.
If you need a new webcam and don't want to break the bank, there is a new product from Logitech that you definitely need to check out. Called "Brio 300," this beautiful cone-shaped webcam connects via USB-C and comes with an integrated privacy shade. And yes, it is certified for both Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Brio 300 costs just $69.99, which seems like a great value for a 1080p webcam from a top brand such as Logitech. It includes a microphone with noise cancellation, of course, but also, you get features like auto light correction and high dynamic contrast. If you love the environment, you will love the Brio 300 too, as it is partially constructed of post-consumer recycled plastic.
The Mac mini is a great computer. As the owner of an M1 model, I am beyond satisfied with my purchase. Surprisingly, my only real complaint about Apple's "mini" desktop is that it is too big. You see, there is a bunch of wasted space inside the chassis since Apple moved from Intel to its own Silicon. Not redesigning the Mac mini with a smaller chassis is simply laziness by Apple.
Today, Apple finally refreshes the aging M1 Mac mini, now equipping it with newer M2 processors instead -- either an M2 or M2 Pro. Unfortunately, the company has once again failed to shrink the chassis. In other words, you will get improved performance, but in the same outdated body. Come on, Apple, you can do better than this.
New year, new solid state drive. Now that 2023 is here, many computer users will think about upgrading their machines. One of the simplest and most cost effective ways to improve performance is by installing a fast new SSD.
Today, Silicon Power unveils its latest solid state drive. Called "UD85," this PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD offers impressive performance. The company claims the drive is "budget friendly," but pricing is not yet revealed. What we do know, however, is that four capacities will be made available -- 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB.
Today, the Linux community is treated to yet another new distribution version. An ISO of MX Linux 21.3, the third point release in the "Wildflower" series, can be downloaded here immediately with your choice of Xfce, KDE Plasma, or Fluxbox.
Most notably, the operating system (which is based on Debian 11.6 "Bullseye") has Linux kernel 6.0 available (in addition to 5.10). The Xfce variant of MX 21.3 now uses version 4.18 of the desktop environment, which is the latest and greatest. Obviously, many packages and applications have been updated too.
Earlier today, System76 announced its AMD-powered Pangolin Linux laptop is getting a significant redesign. The computer comes with either Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS or the Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS. The laptop has a 144Hz 15.6-inch matte display with a max resolution of 1080p.
The refreshed notebook now comes equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800 processor and 32GB of RAM (LPDDR5 @ 6400 MHz). You can configure the computer with up to 16TB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe solid state storage. You get three USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A) ports and a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C) port.
Tomorrow is one of the most important days of the year -- Jesus Christ's birthday! Also known as "Christmas," many people celebrate the holiday by giving gifts to friends and family. And of course, Santa Claus will be delivering many great presents to all the non-naughty children of the world too.
As an early Christmas gift, the Linux community is getting something very special today -- Manjaro 22.0! Code-named "Sikaris," this operating system is based on the excellent Arch Linux. If you love using a modern kernel, you will be happy to know Manjaro 22.0 comes with version 6.1. There are three desktop environments from which to choose -- GNOME (43), KDE Plasma (5.26), and Xfce (4.18).