There are two very important technologies changing the computer landscape nowadays -- solid state drives and USB-C. SSDs are flash-based storage devices, meaning they are faster than traditional hard disk drives, while having no moving parts either. USB-C is just a connection type, but its reversible nature makes it an absolute dream for users -- Type-A connectors were a hassle as you had a 50-percent chance of inserting it incorrectly.
When these two things come together, you get a fast portable drive that can easily connect to the newest computers, such as the Apple MacBook Pro. I have been testing a very intriguing such external SSD lately from renowned company ADATA. This manufacturer is known for its high-quality memory products, such as RAM, flash drives, and solid state drives. The 512GB SSD I am testing, called "SE730H," is extremely small, very fast, and quite durable. It uses the USB 3.1 generation 2 interface.
Drones are great fun to fly, and if you’ve never had the chance to pilot one the Micro Drone 3.0 is a good place to start. The personal drone is easy enough for beginners to master, but with enough options to please more expert pilots.
Micro Drone 3.0 is small enough to fit in your hand, but offers pretty much everything you’ll require, including sensor-assisted flying, inverted flying, a camera port, and first-person view piloting.
Many drivers pay more attention to their smartphone than to others on the road, which is why it's smart to have a dash cam in your car. If you have a close call, or get into an accident, there's footage of what happened that you can share with the police or the insurance company.
Choosing a dash cam can be pretty difficult though, and this is also true for high-end models. In this segment, a dash cam needs to go beyond the basics. Thinkware's new flagship, the F800, is one of the most promising options, packing some cool features and solid image quality. But how good is it in real life? I've tested it to find out.
VPNs (Virtual Private Network) work by routing all of your web traffic to a VPN server through a secure, encrypted tunnel. Their usage has grown substantially in recent years as web users seek not only to circumvent geoblocking, censorship and ISP blocks, but also simply to enjoy a degree of anonymity online.
There are number of free and paid VPNs to choose from. While free might seem like the way to go, the truth is these tend to have restrictions, such as a limited amount of free traffic each month, fewer servers to choose from, and throttled speeds. They’re fine for occasional use, but if you plan to employ VPN protection on a more regular basis, particularly for downloading files via BitTorrent or streaming on Kodi, then a paid solution, like IPVanish, makes a lot more sense.
Smartwatches. I'm not a fan. People may fawn over the likes of the Apple Watch, but I'm yet to be convinced by timepieces of this ilk. To be honest, I'm not -- or at least haven't been for a while -- much of a fan of watches in general. But that could be about to change.
The Casio Edifice EQB-501 is a chunky, stainless steel bracelet watch that's hard to ignore; it is big, bold and striking. It is also Bluetooth enabled so it can, via a connection to your phone, automatically set the time (both locally and for a second timezone), check for emails, and serve as a phone-finding tool -- oh, and it's solar-powered. Compared to an Apple Watch it barely classifies as a smartwatch, but for me it's ideal.
For a dash cam to stand out from the crowd it needs to go beyond the basics of recording video. It has to be easy to use. The quality needs to be very good. It has to be reliable in a wide range of conditions. It must not lose footage in the event of a crash. And, last but not least, it needs a couple of differentiating -- but useful -- features to give it an edge in this highly competitive market.
The F770, one of the most attractive dash cams in Thinkware's high-end lineup, promises all those things and more. Question is, just how well does it perform in real life? I've tested it to find out.
There are many great wireless routers on the market nowadays, from companies like Netgear, Linksys, and D-Link. My favorite router of all time is not being made anymore, sadly. Unfortunately, the company that made the aforementioned product is no longer making routers at all. That company's name is Apple. The AirPort Extreme was a great wireless router for many reasons -- it was secure, easy to use, and looked great. Yes, when you are putting a router in, say, your living room, the appearance does matter.
A new router that borrows design cues from Apple's routers caught my eye recently, and I knew I had to try it. Not only does the AmpliFi HD Mesh Wi-Fi System sort of look like an AirPort router, but it promised an easy app-based setup. What really sweetens the pot, however, is that the 802.11ac system uses "mesh" technology, allowing several access points to work together. Oh, and let's not forget that this home-based product is made by the much-respected Ubiquiti Networks.
There are lots of affordable action cameras on the market, but not many of those deserve your attention. In their attempt to compete with upmarket products, vendors tend to focus more on specs rather than the user experience, delivering action cameras that look great on paper but do not work as well as you might expect in real life.
That was the case with WiMiUS' L1, which did not live up to my expectations despite having solid components. However, with the new L2, things should be different. The quality is said to be better than before, and the selection of accessories is much more interesting as well. So, I have put the WiMiUS L2 to the test to see just how good it really is.
Let's get one thing out of the way: I hate earphones. I always have. This is not an irrational hatred, I've always liked the idea of in-ear buds -- I've just never been able to use them. The problem, it seems, lies with my right ear. To my knowledge it is a perfectly normally-formed ear, but it is singularly incompatible with earphones -- while the left will grip the bud nicely, the right vomits it out in next to no time.
So, I have long shied away from earphones, opting instead for either fully enclosed headphones, or the clip-on variety. At least that was the case until I tried the AUKEY EP-B40 Latitude Wireless Earbuds. While certainly not from a big name in the world of audio technology, they get off to a great start by featuring ear hooks that succeed in keeping the damned things in my ears -- win!
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You finally broke down and shelled out a bunch of money on the latest 4K HDR TV, or laptop, or computer monitor -- or all three. You eagerly sign into your favorite streaming service, navigate to the 4K Ultra HD section, and break out the popcorn.
And then...buffering...dropped connections...and that streaming provider so very conveniently bumping you down to a lower resolution so you can have a "better" and interruption-less experience.
Microsoft sent shockwaves around the technology world back in 2013 when it released the first edition of its Surface Pro. As its first computing release, the device was a bold change by a company best known for its software, but the success of this initial model, and the three successive releases, have proved it to be a shrewd idea.
Released last month, the latest edition of the Surface Pro has dropped the model number seen in previous generations, meaning this product goes back to basics when it comes to naming, however when it comes to what's inside, the device has received a welcome upgrade.
It's hard -- for me at least -- to get too excited about hard drives. They get bigger, they get faster, and that's about it. But the iStorage diskAshur2 is a little different. This is a 1TB USB 3.1 external hard drive with a twist.
It offers hardware-level AES-XTS 256-bit encryption -- so no software is needed -- secured with PIN authentication. As you can see from the photo, there's a PIN pad built into the drive for easy locking and unlocking, and it's compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux ("it will work on any device with a USB port!"). We've already look at the diskAshur Pro 2, but this diskAshur2 drive is nearly 20 percent cheaper.
There are lots of affordable action cameras on the market today, many of which have similar specs and features. In fact, save for a couple of design tweaks here and there, you could be forgiven for thinking they are identical.
In practice, however, action cameras that appear to be the same on paper will produce different results. The WiMiUS L1 that I tested last month, for instance, is not on the same level as the SJCAM SJ5000X Elite, which is underpinned by the same chipset, and neither is on the same level as the ODRVM OD9000R, which I've been testing for the past couple of weeks. The OD9000R is a more attractive proposition, despite costing basically the same as the L1.
When you want to buy a business-class laptop, there are many brands to consider, such as Dell and HP. Of course, we cannot forget the iconic "ThinkPad" line of portable workstations from Lenovo, which were made famous by IBM. There is one brand in particular that doesn't get enough attention, however -- Toshiba. Actually, its Portégé line is arguably the best such laptops for business, both large and small.
I've been testing one of the company's latest such notebooks, the X30, and I am quite impressed. Since it is a business-grade laptop, it has a pointing nub that many professionals seem to appreciate. Of course, there is a traditional trackpad too.
Xiaomi may be best known for making smartphones, but that is not the only market the company focuses on. You can also find a Xiaomi VR headset, drone, action cameras, TVs, wearables, power banks, headphones and, last but not least, Wi-Fi routers.
Routers are a good fit in the Xiaomi ecosystem. In its lineup, the Mi R3P is the fastest router that you can get, sporting AC2600 transfer speeds, and just like you would expect, it is also priced competitively. But is it worth your attention? I've tested the Mi R3P to find out.