Sony's original PlayStation is an iconic console, right up there with Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment System, and Sega Genesis. The CD-based gaming system was wildly popular, thanks to a fantastic game library and impressive graphics (for the time). Tragically, I never owned one, as I instead opted for the Sega Saturn. Thankfully, I was able to play Sony's console when visiting friends and family, but I digress.
Following the success of Nintendo's mini NES and SNES consoles, Sony is looking to capitalize on the trend with the all-new PlayStation Classic. Just as with Nintendo's offerings, Sony has shrunken the PlayStation to a diminutive state and embedded several games -- you are limited to the included titles.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone owns either a smart TV or a media box. They are a great way to consume streaming media, including Netflix, Hulu, and more.
The problem? Searching for content using a remote can be very tedious. Quite frankly, it can be maddening to search for movies, TV shows, and music using an on-screen keyboard. Sure, voice search is a passable alternative, but it’s far from perfect. In an effort to improve both navigation and search on smart TVs and media boxes, Logitech unveils an elegant new product. Called K600 TV Keyboard, it features a full keyboard, trackpad, and d-pad.
Linux may be the future of computing, but Windows is the present -- on the desktop, at least. For now, both business and home users are wise to stick with Microsoft's operating system. With that said, tech savvy users might be better served by, say, Linux Mint or Ubuntu. While Windows 10 is riddled with privacy and user interface issues, it is still the least stressful way to use your computer -- you are less likely to have hardware or software compatibility issues.
If you are interested in Linux but need to use Windows 10, there are many ways to also run operating systems based on the open source kernel, such as dual-booting or running a virtual machine. Not to mention, with Windows Subsystem for Linux, you can even download and install distros directly from the Microsoft Store! Today, the Windows-maker and Canonical announce a new way to run Ubuntu on Windows 10 -- a special "Hyper-V Quick Create" VM image
If you are using the free earbuds that came with your smartphone to listen to music, you aren't living your life right. I mean, if you are happy with those chintzy pack-ins, more power to you. With that said, you would be much better served by a set of premium headphones.
Today, Samsung launches a trio of new AKG Bluetooth headphones. Why three? Well, each one has a different style -- N700NC is over-ear and features adaptive noise-cancelling, Y500 are on-ear, and Y100 are in-ear. And because they fall under the premium "AKG" brand (a Samsung subsidiary), they are a bit pricey, although not insanely so.
Smart outlets are awesome. In my home, I have a couple lamps plugged into them, allowing me to control lighting using my smartphone or Alexa. I can even turn the lights off and on remotely.
Today, TP-Link brings smart outlets to a whole new level with its HS300 Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip. Not only does it allow you to control up to six outlets, but it will monitor energy use too. And yes, it features surge protection too -- it is ETL certified. Unfortunately, the number of joules is not disclosed, but we will update this article once we know.
When it comes to external storage, solid state drives are ideal. Since they have no moving parts, they won't be damaged by being jostled about in a bag. Not to mention, they are significantly faster than mechanical hard disk drives too. The problem? Solid state drives can be rather pricey compared to hard drives when cost per gigabyte is considered. And so, some people still leverage HDDs when on the go.
Looking to mitigate the potential dangers of using an external hard drive when out and about, ADATA today announces an extremely rugged model. Called "HD830," the aluminum body has an internal anti-shock coating and an external silicone casing. Yeah, this turns a typically slim 2.5-inch hard drive into a chunky monstrosity, but if protecting your data is important, the added thickness and heft could be worth it. Even the USB port is protected by a cover, although it is not USB-C sadly. Instead, it utilizes the awkwardly shaped micro USB 3.0. The drive exceeds IP68, and ADATA claims it can be submerged in 6.5 feet of water for up to two hours.
I generally love Apple products. Every day, I use an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac. For the most part, I am very satisfied with these devices. With that said, not all Apple products are great. For instance, Apple Watch, AirPods, and HomePod are spectacularly terrible. Not surprisingly, the products I hate are the ones released after the death of Steve Jobs.
The HomePod may offer high sound quality, but its high price and limited usefulness make it an overall poor product. Oh and don't forget -- it can ruin your furniture. For the money, you are much better off with a smart speaker powered by Alexa or Google Assistant -- Siri pales in comparison. In an effort to make HomePod less terrible, today, Apple announces a new software update which will improve it. Not only will the speaker get new features (including the long-awaited ability to make and receive phone calls), but new languages too -- Spanish (for those in Mexico, Spain, or USA) and Canadian French. While the update is appreciated, it is simply too little too late.
From an overall market share perspective, iOS trails Android quite dramatically. It’s not hard to see why -- devices running Google’s operating system are often far more inexpensive compared to Apple’s. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for Apple -- there are far more General Motors vehicles on the road than Mercedes, for instance.
People that prefer quality hardware and actual operating system upgrades choose Apple when possible -- iOS is an absolute delight to use with many quality apps available. Today, to highlight the success of the operating system, Apple CEO Tim Cook made a shocking revelation regarding how many iOS devices have been sold.
If you aren't familiar with Roblox, you probably don't have any young children. You see, the Minecraft-like game is wildly popular with younger folks -- it is a legit phenomenon. And yes, older kids and adults enjoy the game too.
Today, Roblox announces a partnership with the National Football League. Players can now customize their avatar with an NFL helmet, and all 32 football teams are represented.
Mechanical keyboards are a dime a dozen these days. In fact, Amazon is littered with countless inexpensive models from no-name companies. You know what, though? They are not created equally. Quite often, the build quality on these cheap offerings is downright terrible. When it comes to typing, a defective or non-functioning key can be absolutely maddening. That's why I always suggest sticking with a reputable brand, such as Logitech or HyperX -- you'll be glad you did.
Speaking of the latter, the company has a new mechanical gaming keyboard that looks quite intriguing. The "Alloy FPS RGB," as it is called, features Kailh Silver switches. Don't be scared off by the switches being made by a company other than Cherry -- Kailh is a respected brand. The silver switches found here are short and designed for speed. And yes, as the product name implies, this HyperX keyboard features RGB lighting!
Linux Mint is a rather great operating system. The distribution is based on the fabulous Ubuntu, so it is very stable and has plenty of compatible packages. Not to mention, the Mint developers focus heavily on the user experience. Linux Mint isn't just designed for Linux experts (although they can totally use it), but beginners too -- it is easy to start using straight away.
The developers have a long history of using female names as the code name for each version of the operating system. For instance, in the past, they have used "Tara," "Sylvia," and "Sonya," to name a few. Today, we learn the female name assigned to the upcoming Linux Mint 19.1 -- "Tessa."
Thunderbolt 3 docks can be quite amazing. I recently reviewed such a dock made by StarTech and came away very impressed. That dock can transform a MacBook Pro or Windows 10 laptop into a desktop. It is designed to be kept at home or in the office -- stationary on a desk.
But what if you want a Thunderbolt 3 dock for when you are on the go? If you have a MacBook Pro, for instance, that isn't so crazy. Since you only have USB-C ports, a portable dock can be a great way to expand connectivity without carrying multiple dongles. In fact, there are already some portable TB3 docks on the market, Today, Elgato (a company recently acquired by CORSAIR) unveils its latest such product -- Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock.
TP-Link is mostly known for offering cost-friendly networking equipment, but that doesn't mean it can't also focus on the high-end too. Quite frankly, it is wise to offer many models with differing specifications -- and at different price points -- to best meet the needs of all consumers.
Today, TP-Link releases a router that caters to gamers and enthusiasts. The "Archer C5400X," as it is called, is breathtakingly designed -- it looks like an alien spaceship, or some sort of overturned robotic spider. To be honest, it is almost a bit scary in its appearance -- the eight antennas look intimidating and menacing. Looks aside, it is chock full of top specs and plenty of useful ports. And yes, it features Amazon Alexa support, because, why not?
There are two types of Linux users -- those that think GNOME 3 is the overall best desktop environment, and those that are wrong. Yes, if you use Linux on the desktop, you should be embracing GNOME for optimal productivity. Sure, other DEs such as KDE Plasma, Xfce, and Cinnamon are good, but they simply pale in comparison.
Today, the latest version of the desktop environment -- GNOME 3.30 -- sees release. It is has been dubbed "Almería," which apparently is the Spanish city in which this year's GUADEC conference was held. As you can expect, it is chock-full of new features, bug fixes, and improvements. In fact, there are an insane 24,845 changes! The GNOME developers claim it will use fewer system resources too -- nice! There is even a new podcast app -- the simply named "Podcasts."
For many consumers, dial-up internet is a distant memory. Broadband has long replaced the slow and unreliable telephone-based internet connection. Believe it or not, some people in rural areas still utilize it -- ugh, those unfortunate people.
Surprisingly, TiVo still offers dial-up access to some of its users, allowing them to download program guide information. Yes, really. Sadly, today, the company began alerting those users that it will be discontinuing dial-up connectivity later this month -- the end of an era.