My home office is in the basement, and -- since that’s the place where I need the best, most consistent internet access -- so is my router. That, coupled with thick walls and floors, means Wi-Fi in certain other parts of the house tends to be patchy, unreliable, and weak.
I’ve tried several different solutions to address this, including Homeplugs and wireless repeaters, finally settling on ASUS’s RP-AC52 Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender a couple of years ago. But needing to extend my Wi-Fi reach further, I was faced with having to once again look for a solution to my conundrum, and I’ve found it thanks to Google.
During the camera film era, Fujifilm battled kingpin Kodak with brighter, more vibrant colors that either photographers loved or hated—perhaps both. That was last century. In the 21st, Kodak is a shadow cast against aged Kodachrome, while its rival has successfully transitioned from print to digital—and with amazing bravado. Fuji's transformation started six years ago with the cleverly-engineered, retro-designed X100, which I reviewed in May 2011.
The compact digital camera's success led Fuji to develop a series of additional bodies and lenses; all are designed with professional shooters in mind. The X series family features compact, mirrorless designs that incorporate digital SLR-size sensors and manual controls—meaning dials and buttons to directly manipulate settings rather than rely on software menus. The X100 line—from the original to the S, T, and now F—remains the most distinctive for how well features and benefits balance set against truly innovative design concepts.
Businesses often envision the modern desktop computer as being a boring piece of kit, one that not only costs a lot of money but also doesn’t offer much in terms of innovation.
The reality is slightly different; between dongle PCs, mini and micro PCs as well as all-in-ones, there’s plenty of innovation around if you know where to look.
For many of us, there is no device more important than our smartphone. There is so much valuable data on it -- contacts, business emails, private messages, personal photos and videos, sensitive files and so on -- that you really do not want it to fall into the wrong hands. Some believe it would be impossible to replace, which is why they'd rather have their wallet stolen instead of lose their data.
However, when using a smartphone, security is often an afterthought, which is why so many users fall victim to malware. And that's a shame, because covering your bases is not all that difficult. You can set up a PIN, password or configure the fingerprint sensor and use a dedicated security app to keep your smartphone and the data on it safe. AVG's AntiVirus is a very popular option on Android, thanks to its robust feature set and ease of use.
It's always a good idea to use a dash cam when you get behind the wheel. In case you have a close call or get into an accident, you'll have a video that you can show to the authorities or your insurance company. But there's also an entertaining side to it as well, which is just as important to some folks, as you can also record a spirited drive on a fun road or some interesting things that you stumble upon on your daily commute.
Pretty much all dash cams let you do those things, but some do it better than others. Thinkware's X550 is among the best premium options on the market, featuring a solid camera with an effective "super night vision" mode, GPS info, driver assistance, speed and red light camera database, LCD display on the back, and dedicated software for PC and Mac as its standout features.
News of Dell's upcoming convertible version of the XPS 13 leaked back in January, now it's here and we’ve got our hands on one.
Dell has essentially taken its XPS 13 laptop and turned it into a convertible whilst maintaining most of the conventional system's features. First impressions are that it feels solidly made with a machined aluminum chassis, carbon fiber composite palm rest and a gorilla glass screen. It has a smart silver/gray finish but what strikes you most on first acquaintance is the compact size.
While I am a huge fan of mechanical keyboards, I am not a fan of all mechanical keyboards. What I mean to say is, not all of them are created equally. In fact, many of these keyboards can be downright terrible -- even from some so called reputable brands. You see, it is not uncommon for a company to simply slap its name on a low-quality offering. With that said, some lesser-known brands sometimes make really good keyboards -- it can be a crapshoot.
All of these variables can make it difficult for consumers to make a good choice -- especially when they are looking at low-priced budget models. Logitech is looking to change this, however, with the all-new G413 Mechanical Backlit Gaming Keyboard. Priced at a very low $89.99, you get the company's legendary quality and much-respected Romer-G switches. I have been testing this keyboard and have come away very impressed.
Apple's AirPods have started a conversation around wireless earbuds. Are they worth the premium over a wired pair? Is the sound quality any good? How long do they last without charging? These are the most common questions that consumers have, and it's only natural to be wondering how wireless earbuds perform and whether they are a legitimate alternative to the established wired options.
As someone who has used two excellent pairs of wireless headphones (the Noontech ZORO II and Hammo TV), I find that it's hard to go back to wired pairs. The Syllable D900 mini earbuds are no different, being a good example of a quality wireless pair that won't actually break the bank.
Wireless headphones are great. There's no question about it. I became a convert after using the Noontec ZORO II last year, which are so good that I haven't touched a wired pair since. But recently I found myself using -- and liking -- another Noontec product more.
It's called Hammo TV and it's pair of wireless headphones designed for the television crowd. But, based on my experience, the Hammo TV is also great if you just want to listen to your favorite tunes on your smartphone or enjoy a movie on your laptop. And, compared to the ZORO II set I reviewed, they have a lower MSRP and are better value too.
USB Type-C has a number of benefits over older connectors, but the one that might appeal the most to the average Joe is its reversible design. This makes it easy to plug a cable in, as you no longer have to guess which way is up -- unlike, for instance, with microUSB. It's not a game-changing feature -- considering Apple's Lightning offered it years ago first -- but I think it's pretty damn close to it.
The problem is that, in order to enjoy that reversible design, you need devices that support USB Type-C. And, right now, not many of them do. However, there is a way to have your cake and eat it too. WinnerGear's MicFlip 2.0 gives you the best of both worlds: it has reversible microUSB and USB Type-A connectors, which means that you can use it without problems with the vast majority of smartphones and PCs.
I'm a huge fan of LG's second screen phones, the V10 and V20. These are Android smartphones that are well designed with outside-of-the-box thinking. The company's "G" series of flagships don't conjure the same excitement in my heart. Don't get me wrong, they can be great phones too, but they are sort of, well, boring. The LG G5, in particular, was rather terrible -- a largely panned device. It felt cheap, and provided an underwhelming experience. LG really needs to sell a new model to wash away the bad taste of that device.
I have been testing that new phone, the LG G6, and I can definitely say that it is better than its predecessor. Here's the problem -- LG isn't only competing against its past self, but with other manufacturers, such as Samsung, HTC, and even Apple. There is one question you probably have -- is the LG G6 worth buying over all other flagships, such as the Galaxy S8?
Inateck has for a long time been producing good quality, reasonably priced sleeves and cases for laptops and tablets. It's now added to its selection with two new offerings.
There's not a great deal to say about the Inateck LC1302, it's a simple neoprene sleeve designed to fit 13-inch laptops and notebooks or larger tablets like the Surface Pro. A wide opening zipper allows for easy access, waterproof material keeps the contents safe from rain and spillages, and three layers of fabric protect from shocks.
A multiport USB charger is great when you need to charge a couple of smartphones and tablets at the same time. It supports a wide range of devices, cuts down on the number of sockets that you use and is usually small enough so you can take it with you on a trip. Over the years, I've become a bit of a fan.
There are many options to choose from and Tronsmart's W2TF is certainly among the most interesting as it strikes a nice balance between functionality and portability.
If you are looking for the perfect weather app, let me save you the trouble of reading all those roundups out there: there isn't one. They are all flawed. And it's not necessarily because of their design, functionality or support, but rather what they can -- and do -- often get wrong: the forecast.
The forecast is based on information from a weather station that is usually miles and miles away. And while I have no doubt that you can get accurate predictions for that respective area, it's been my experience that things can be totally different in your area. So, how do you fix that? Enter the personal weather station.
Around a year ago I took a look at the iClever Tri-folding Backlit Bluetooth Keyboard, having previously examined the iClever Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard. The latest addition to the range follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, but this time boasts a trackpad.
This is a Bluetooth keyboard that can be configured to connect to up to three devices -- phones, tablets, laptops, and so on. The keys are nearly full-sized (just 9 percent smaller than normal), and the right-hand side of the fold-out unit is occupied by a laptop-style trackpad that allows for easier control of the device you connect to, and eliminates the need to carry a mouse as well.