Brian Fagioli

StarTech.com launches laptop backpack for commuters, travelers, and IT professionals

The COVID-19 pandemic really turned the world upside-down, effectively killing work travel and relegating workers to their own homes. Yes, remote work has reigned supreme for a few years now, but finally, many of us are returning to the office and resuming business travel. Whether or not this is a good thing is debatable, but it is what it is, folks.

Road warriors know just how essential a quality laptop backpack is, not only for holding the actual computer, but for accessories, documents, devices, and yes, even snacks! And now, StarTech.com has begun selling its first-ever backpack designed for on-the-go professionals. Available in two sizes to accommodate either 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch laptops, the backpack features an ingenious removable travel accessories pouch to help keep you organized. And yes, the backpack has a water-bottle pocket on the side.

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System76 Oryx Pro gets Intel Core i7-12700H and GeForce RTX 3070/3080 Ti

If you want a thin and light Linux laptop, there are plenty of options on the market these days, including the excellent HP Dev One. A svelte laptop is ideal for those that travel often and highly value having something lightweight.

Some consumers, however, don't care about the heft of a Linux laptop at all. These performance-junkies want hardcore specifications... weight be damned! For these folks, the System76 Oryx Pro has long been an excellent option. This hefty portable workstation is a great choice for both gamers and enthusiasts.

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Dell XPS Plus 13 Developer Edition is certified for Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS

Earlier this year, HP made waves in the Linux community by partnering with System76 on a developer-focused laptop. Called "Dev One," the notebook comes pre-loaded with the Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS. This new HP machine is quite impressive, as you can read in our review.

Of course, seasoned Linux veterans were already familiar with a different major computer manufacturer selling a Linux-based developer machine. Yes, Dell has been releasing XPS "Developer Edition" models for many years -- these computers come with Canonical's Ubuntu pre-installed. Dell's XPS 13 in particular has been lauded by professional reviewers and consumers alike thanks to its balance of power and elegance.

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TP-Link Archer AXE75 AXE5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E router is shockingly affordable

Being an early adopter can be expensive, right? Absolutely. Wi-Fi 6E with its 6Ghz band is the latest and greatest Wi-Fi standard, right? Correct. And so, buying a Wi-Fi 6E router must be a pricey affair, right? Actually, no. Not anymore.

Today, TP-Link launches the Archer AXE75 -- a beautiful AXE5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E router. While you'd expect it to be priced quite high, it actually costs a penny less than $200. For a limited time, however, TP-Link is offering an Amazon coupon that drops the price to only $169.99! Yes, that price is absolutely crazy for such a cutting-edge router.

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Ultimate Ears UE DROPS are custom-molded Bluetooth wireless earbuds

So, here's the deal, folks -- everybody is physically different, and that's a good thing. Everyone is special in their own way. For instance, there are many different body types -- some people are short, while others are tall. Some people are fat, while others are thin. And of course, there are many body types in-between. Plus, there are different skin colors, hair types, and more. Not to mention, there are the two genders -- male and female. All are beautiful.

So with so many people having different physical characteristics, how can headphone companies expect earbuds to meet the needs of all ear sizes? Even with several earbud tip sizes included in the box, some people will still find they can never truly find the perfect fit. To remedy this issue, some manufacturers offer custom-molded earbuds that are designed for a specific "earprint." Today, the popular maker of audio gear, Ultimate Ears, launches just such a new product called "UE DROPS."

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Silicon Power unveils Stream S05 USB HDD

Are people really still buying mechanical hard drives in 2022? Believe it or not, yes! And no, these consumers are not crazy. Actually, if you don't care about performance, the cost per GB is still much lower with hard disk drives compared to solid state drives. And so, if your sole focus is getting the highest capacity for the lowest price (speed be damned), a HDD can make sense.

Silicon Power seems happy to cater to those that still want portable external hard drives, and today, the company announces its latest model. Called "Stream S05," this USB-A HDD is quite unremarkable. Hell, even the aesthetic is rather ho-hum -- a boring black rectangle. The drive is offered in several capacities, however, ranging from 1TB to 5TB, with the larger capacities being physically thicker.

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System76 Launch Lite keyboard ditches the USB hub in favor of a smaller form factor

System76's "Launch" keyboard has been wildly popular with the Linux community thanks to its open source firmware, ability to be customized, and excellent build quality (it's made in the USA). Many people love the "split" spacebar too. Even though System76 is a Linux-focused company, its keyboard is obviously compatible with Windows and macOS as well.

The Launch keyboard uses a USB-C connector to interface with the host computer, but you can utilize either a USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to USB-A cable to connect it -- depending on what ports you have available. Launch even serves double-duty as a USB hub, allowing you to plug USB devices directly into it. And yes, the keyboard features RGB lighting too.

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Download Linux Mint 21 'Vanessa' Beta now

Back in April, we learned that Linux Mint 21 would be named "Vanessa." Not much was revealed about the operating system at the time, but the developers did share a small bit of information. For instance, we now know that version 21 of Linux Mint will be based on Ubuntu 22.04, and as expected, the same three desktop environments will once again be offered -- Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce.

Earlier this month, we also learned that the controversial systemd-oom will thankfully not be included in Linux Mint 21, while the Blueman Bluetooth manager will replace Blueberry. And now, the developers have shared something much more exciting than tidbits of information -- actual ISO files! Yes, the Beta of Linux Mint 21 "Vanessa" is now available to download.

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5 million people have tried YouTube TV

I decided to cut the cord and switch to YouTube TV over four years ago, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. No longer do I have to rent clunky boxes from the cable company to watch live television. Instead, thanks to YouTube TV, all of my devices serve as makeshift televisions! I can watch live TV anywhere on all my devices -- my smartphone, tablet, laptop, Apple TV, and more.

While the price of YouTube TV has gone up over the years, I never really minded the cost increases too much. Why? Because YouTube TV has remained consistently excellent thanks to the unlimited DVR, top-notch customer service, and ever-expanding channel lineup. It is rare to be completely satisfied with a service, but with YouTube TV, I literally have no complaints.

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Sony launches trio of X-Series Bluetooth speakers to get your booty bouncing

The summer is officially here! Yes, it is time to go outside and enjoy the nice warm weather. Whether you go to the park, the beach, or just stay in your own backyard, it is a good idea to have some music playing. After all, some funky tunes can make everything better.

While you can play music from your smartphone's built in speakers, that is hardly a great experience -- especially if you are having a party with friends and/or family. To truly have a great music experience, a Bluetooth speaker is an absolute must-have accessory -- it can really get your booty bouncing. Today, Sony launches three new water-resistant wireless speakers under its X-Series branding -- SRS-XG300 (up to 25 hours playing time), SRS-XE300 (up to 24 hours), and SRS-XE200 (up to 16 hours).

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GEEKOM launches mini PC Summer Sale

Times are hard right now for many people; everything is extremely expensive, including gasoline and groceries. Many economic experts predict we will soon enter a recession -- if we haven't already.

And yet, despite the financial woes many are currently experiencing, consumers still need to buy computers. Look, for most people, it simply isn't feasible to live a successful life nowadays without having a computer -- especially with so many jobs being remote since the pandemic happened.

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beyerdynamic Free BYRD wireless earbuds are a legit alternative to Apple AirPods Pro

Apple's AirPods Pro wireless earbuds are cool, but they are far from perfect. They are uncomfortable and not at all attractive -- the white stems that protrude from your ears are very unsightly. Not to mention, they are only offered in white -- don't like that color? Sucks for you. Worst of all, most of the unique features, such as spatial audio, are only compatible with Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

If you are an Android and/or Windows user that wants some premium wireless earbuds that aren't made by Apple, then today, you are in luck. The company beyerdynamic has launched its first-ever "True Wireless" earbuds, and they look incredible. Called "Free BYRD," these Bluetooth earbuds are discreet, attractive, come in two colors, and best of all, beyerdynamic promises exceptional audio quality.

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Crucial launches affordable P3 and P3 Plus M.2 PCIe SSDs

So, you need a PCIe M.2 solid state drive for your laptop or desktop and you aren't sure what type to buy, eh? Well, while your computer should support PCIe 5.0 SSDs and below, the performance will be determined by your machine's PCIe type. In other words, a PCIe 3.0 M.2 slot can only achieve PCIe 3.0 speeds at best -- even if you install a PCIe 4.0 or 5.0 SSD. And so, it usually doesn't make sense to spend a premium for a drive that is rated higher than your computer.

Today, Crucial (a subsidiary of Micron) officially launches its P3 and P3 Plus M.2 PCIe solid state drives. Both affordable SSDs come in capacities ranging from 500GB to 4TB and use Micron's 176L 3D NAND, but they have a big difference between them. You see, the "Plus" designation indicates that the drive uses PCIe 4.0 as opposed to the "regular" P3 that uses PCIe 3.0. As a result, the P3 drive achieves read/write speeds up to 3500MB/s, while the superior Plus variant gets read/write up to 5000MB/s.

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Nintendo Switch OLED Model Splatoon 3 Edition looks absolutely amazing

If you don't already own a Switch console, and you have been wanting one, then prepare to get very excited. Today, Nintendo unveils its latest special edition of the video game system. This time, it is the OLED model Switch with a funky Splatoon 3-themed paint job.

Nintendo explains, "Adorned with splashy, squid-tastic images straight out of Splatsville, the Nintendo Switch – OLED Model Splatoon 3 Special Edition includes a set of one blue and one yellow gradient Joy-Con controllers with white underbellies and a white, graffiti-themed Nintendo Switch dock."

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Microsoft's Bing Maps can now alleviate some of your pain at the gas pump

Does anybody actually use Bing Maps? I mean, I am sure some people do (right?), but I have never met any of them in my travels. In my experience, most folks use either Google Maps or Apple Maps -- I prefer the latter.

However, thanks to some new features being added to Bing Maps, maybe it is finally time to consider trying Microsoft's offering. You see, the Windows-maker has added some new things, such as a parking finder and a distance calculator to its app.

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