If you are a fan of consuming media, Roku devices are some of the best values out there. Not only do these affordable little boxes have access to many paid music and video services, but many free ones as well. In other words, even if you don't have any paid subscriptions, there are many free "channels" that offer quality entertainment -- no credit card needed.
Today, Roku gains yet another free option -- ET Live. For those that enjoy celebrity and showbiz news, Entertainment Tonight is a great way to get your fix. Look, there's no need to be embarrassed -- we all love some entertainment gossip every once in a while!
Netgear's Arlo cameras are so popular, that earlier this year, the brand was spun into its own publicly traded company (Arlo Technologies). The success of Arlo is hardly a secret -- it offers quality products that people like. What a crazy concept!
Today, Arlo announces an impressive outdoor wireless camera (that can also be used indoors). Called "Arlo Ultra," it offers 4K video streaming and recording. The weather-resistant UHD camera comes with the new Arlo SmartHub -- a wireless hub that serves as a range extender, but also, has a micro SD card slot for saving 4K video clips locally. Arlo Ultra comes with a free year of the Smart Premier cloud service, but it will only allow 1080p video saves without shelling out an additional annual fee.
Mechanical keyboards can be great, but for a while, it felt like they were all designed for millennial gamers. Many of these keyboards look like futuristic alien devices -- chock full of multi-colored RGB lighting and textured WASD key caps. There's nothing wrong with that if you are a young gamer in his/her bedroom, but what if you are an adult professional that just wants a mechanical keyboard for typing? An appropriate product is much more elusive.
Last week, Razer launched a mechanical keyboard designed for productivity, although it could still be used for gaming, of course. Today, famed manufacturer CHERRY announces a new keyboard that focuses on work, rather than play. The "MX Board 1.0 TKL," as it is called, is both compact and affordable. Best of all, the tenkeyless keyboard features conservative dimmable white lighting -- nothing colorful or funky.
Google's products and services can be "hit or miss." For every revolutionary offering, such as Gmail or Maps, there are utter failures such as Google+ or Glass. I don't fault the search giant for failing, however, as I appreciate its risk-taking.
One of the company's biggest successes is Google Translate. If you aren't familiar, it quite literally translates languages, helping people communicate the world over. Is it perfect? No, sometimes the translations are a bit muddied, but more often than not, the message is conveyed well enough. Today, Google announces big changes to Translate on the web. Not only is it getting prettier, but it is gaining new functionality too.
Windows 10 is terrible these days for many reasons. It started out pretty great, but the quality of the operating system has been rapidly declining with every passing update. The only thing seemingly worse than Windows 10 is the horrible Microsoft Store -- an embarrassing collection of low-quality apps with a handful of decent ones sprinkled in.
Earlier this year, Apple brought its popular iTunes to the Microsoft store, and today, another music app shows up there -- Tidal. Yes, rapper Jay-Z's struggling streaming music service now has an app for Windows 10 in the Microsoft Store. Does anyone really care, though?
When you are a college student in the USA, money is usually very tight -- unless you come from a wealthy family. Sadly, education and housing costs are astronomical these days, often making the stereotype of eating lots of Ramen soup a reality. Finding money for entertainment can be extremely difficult, but hey, at least YouTube is free (thanks to ads)!
Google offers two premium YouTube services -- YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium -- which unfortunately cost money. The former costs $9.99, while the latter is $11.99. This puts it out of reach of many university students. Today, however, the search giant is giving these learners a massive discount on the services.
One of the biggest knocks against solid state drives, is their capacities are typically much lower than those of mechanical hard drives at the same price points. With that said, this really only matters if you truly need a lot of local storage space. For some, performance is the most important aspect, especially thanks to the cloud.
These days, however, solid state drives are becoming more affordable and gaining higher capacities all the time. Today, Samsung unveils an affordable drive that doesn't compromise on speed or capacity. The "860 QVO," as it is called, uses 4-bit multi-level cell (MLC) NAND and starts at 1TB capacity. Yes, the base model is 1TB -- how crazy is that? You can also opt for 2TB or 4TB if you need. Speeds are exactly what you'd expect from a SATA drive -- slower than NVMe, of course, but more than fast enough for most people.
This time of year in the United States is full of excess and commercialism. It starts with Thanksgiving -- a day that should be about giving thanks and spending time with family, which has morphed into overeating and watching football for many. The following day is Black Friday, where people spend huge amounts of money to buy things they probably don't need -- sometimes even fighting with fellow shoppers. Yesterday was Cyber Monday -- yet another holiday focused on buying things. Sigh.
Thankfully, there is one day that Americans can use to atone for their sins of greed and gluttony -- Giving Tuesday. Yes, the day after Cyber Monday is celebrated by donating to charities and being an overall better person. Today, Amazon announces that people can donate to Toys for Tots using its popular Alexa voice assistant. Not familiar with this charity? Well, the name is quite descriptive -- it is literally donating toys to needy children.
If you are a fan of light and thin laptops, you are probably very satisfied with the current crop of notebooks on the market. Whether you want Windows 10, macOS, or Chrome OS, there are plenty of svelte machines from which to choose. It is quite remarkable to see how much power can be packed into such a slim body.
ASUS has a new addition to its VivoBook 14 series, and it looks very pretty. The "X420," as it is called, features a "frameless display." This is really jut marketing speak for extremely thin bezels. As you can see from the images, there actually is a frame. While the selling point is a misnomer, it is impressive nonetheless. The X420 is not form over function either -- the internal specs are respectable too.
Holiday shopping is now in full effect. Black Friday may only be a memory at this point, but Cyber Monday is just a day away.
Here's the cool thing, though -- stores are not waiting until Monday to launch their special "Cyber" deals. For instance, Amazon -- the king of online retailers -- has tons of amazing deals live right now. Not only are there discounts on the company's own offerings, such as Fire TV and Echo, but on products from Netgear, Ecobee, and more. To make your shopping even easier, we have compiled the top "tech" related deals.
Gaming is a big business these days, and some companies offer special branding for such products. For instance, Kingston's gaming offerings are typically sold under the HyperX brand. It is sort of similar to car companies that have luxury brands, like Ford to Lincoln, or Honda to Acura. It's the same company, but it signals that the product is a cut above its "normal" vehicles.
ADATA is yet another tech company that has a special brand for its gaming and enthusiast-grade products -- "XPG." This week, there are two new gaming accessories to fall under that umbrella -- the XPG INFAREX K10 keyboard and M20 mouse. Both products look well made and full of great features. And of course, they both have RGB lighting, because... gaming!
When Apple abandoned the home networking business by discontinuing its popular AirPort routers, there was a huge void left behind. Sure, there are plenty of router manufacturers out there, but Apple's offerings were fast, stable, and super easy to set up and maintain. Also important was the AirPort designs -- they didn't look out of place in a living room or bedroom. There really wasn't much like them. Rest in Peace!
Seeing there was an opportunity in the market, popular company Ubiquiti Networks set its sights on the home with its AmpliFi HD mesh networking system. Not only did it match Apple's AirPort excellence, but it exceeded it with features like an LCD touch screen. Last month, Ubiquiti launched the AmpliFi Instant for shoppers on a budget, but today, it goes in the opposite direction -- the high end. Its newest product, the "AmpliFi HD Gamer's Edition," features NVIDIA GeForce NOW QoS which should provide lower latency when playing games like Fortnite and PUBG.
Sticks of RAM on their own are fairly boring aesthetically. These days, however, manufacturers are dressing them up to look fancy thanks to colorful heatspreaders and RGB lighting. There's nothing wrong with that -- it is nice to have an attractive PC build.
Today, popular memory maker G.SKILL takes things to an entirely new level. Its new Trident Z Royal Series DDR4 RGB memory kits feature gold or silver heatspreaders with transparent "crystalline" for the RGB lighting to shine through. Some may call it tacky, and maybe it is, but I find the gold in particular to be drop-dead gorgeous. As the "Royal" in the name implies, these are RAM kits fit for a king (or queen)! Even the font used on the sticks looks wonderfully pretentious.
Ivanka Trump used a personal email account for government business, but no we shouldn't 'lock her up'
While I am not a fan of Donald Trump, I am hardly an admirer of Hillary Clinton either -- I had serious concerns about her use of a personal email server. I mean, look, the former Secretary of State was sending and receiving classified emails through a personal server set up in her home. She then deleted some of the communications which were property of the American people. Regardless of what you think about Ms. Clinton, it cannot be denied that she broke the law by doing these things. It felt very shady, and quite frankly, it probably cost her the 2016 election.
With that said, I cringed at the calls to "lock her up" where a vicious mob mentality took over at Trump's rallies calling her "Crooked Hillary." Should she have faced justice for breaking the law and arguably making the USA less safe? Absolutely. But we did not need the vicious chanting or name calling. Fast forward to 2018, and now the tables have turned in dramatic fashion. Donald Trump's daughter and White House administration member, Ivanka, has been exposed by a group called American Oversight for using her personal email accounts for official government business. Yes, she essentially did the same thing that Clinton did, albeit on a much smaller scale.
If you are a fan of mechanical keyboards, you are probably in heaven these days. After all, there are many manufacturers producing quality products. Unfortunately, many of these models are designed for gaming, meaning they are ostentatious, with RGB lighting and funky teen-friendly style. They often have noisy keys, too -- great for the user, but annoying to those around them. If you want a more conservative mechanical keyboard, your options are a bit limited.
Today, Razer launches a very beautiful mechanical gaming keyboard that looks very sophisticated rather than childish. The "BlackWidow Lite," as it is called, has regular white back-lighting and forgoes a number pad, making it very compact. Best of all, Razer's own orange switches are silent, meaning you won't bother family or coworkers when gaming or typing. It is reasonably priced too.