As a younger man, I was obsessed with audio equipment. I invested in expensive stereo receivers, multiple large speakers, and countless components -- turntable, cassette, CD, mini-disc, and more. Of course, I also connected my television and computer. Over time, however, with the explosion of downloadable and streamable media, all of that went away. Now, my living room just has a soundbar and subwoofer hooked to my TV -- Apple TV handles video and music. It is simple, and I like that.
So yeah, soundbars are great for living rooms, but what if there was one that was designed for computer desks? Weird concept, right? Yes, but as I have learned from the Sound BlasterX Katana, it totally makes sense. This speaker system from Creative is designed to sit under a computer monitor and provide exceptional sound quality. It is not just a soundbar, though -- it comes with a subwoofer, remote control, and has an integrated USB DAC.
If you want to keep your personal data safe and secure, then a hardware encrypted drive is your best bet. Secure drives, like the Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z, require you to enter a PIN into the integrated keypad to unlock the drive. These also come with a variety of security measures to make sure they can’t be brute forced.
If you prefer a different way of securing your data -- one that doesn’t require remembering a long PIN -- then you might prefer a biometric solution like the Aegis Bio 3.0. This a USB drive with a built-in finger reader. Unlocking the drive, and therefore your data, just involves swiping your finger down the AuthenTec TouchStrip sensor.
When designing a dash cam it's easy for manufacturers to focus more on features rather than benefits. That's why we end up with so many devices that look bland, have pretty much the same features, but lack that special touch to set them apart from the crowd. With its new dash cam, VAVA decided to do things differently.
The VAVA Dash Cam is an intriguing proposition, featuring a cylindrical design and a magnetic mount connection, but no display or physical buttons. However, it's not lacking in features, as it packs lots of useful functionality. But how well does it work? I've tested it to find out.
If you have important data that you need to have easy access to at all times, carrying it around on a USB flash drive makes sense. Unfortunately, these tiny storage devices are easily lost, and software encryption methods may not be 100 percent reliable.
If you want to guarantee that your personal data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands in the event of the loss -- or theft -- of your drive, the best solution is a hardware encrypted memory stick like the new USB 3.1 Aegis Secure Key 3z from Apricorn.
While other markets have long moved beyond 1080p, the dash cam space continues to churn out devices that top out at this resolution. So, drivers looking to try 1440p or 4K do not have a whole lot of options to choose from.
The Azdome DAB211 is among the more interesting exceptions, as it comes with 1440p video recording and a solid design at a very affordable price. But just how well does it perform? I've tested it to find out.
Nowadays, more and more consumers are embracing the cloud for data storage and backup. This is not a mistake -- it is smart to store your files off premises. With that said, it is even smarter to also store the data locally for redundancy purposes. For instance, with local storage, if your internet connection is down, you can still access your files. With the cloud, if there is a disaster -- such as a house fire -- your data can be retrieved even if your local storage drives are destroyed. In other words, using the cloud and local storage together gives you the best of both worlds.
Picking local storage can be tricky, however. For cost purposes, a mechanical hard disk drive is still your best bet for backup. If you have a desktop, you can probably buy an internal drive, but laptop users aren't often as lucky. If you own a notebook, you most likely need to opt for an external USB drive. With USB 3.0 being fast enough for connecting a mechanical hard drive, even desktop users should probably consider it for convenience. I have been testing a very intriguing new external USB-C HDD with my MacBook Pro (running High Sierra). What makes the drive so special? It features 20TB of storage!
Star Wars fever is once again high as The Last Jedi arrives in cinemas around the world. Sphero offers a range of Star Wars droids -- R2-D2, R2-Q5, BB-8 and BB-9E -- which you can control via an app, and which also interact with one another.
The BB-8 model I’ve been testing for a few weeks now is a perfect scaled down version of the orange and white droid first introduced in The Force Awakens. Like most of Sphero’s robots, it’s a gyroscopic ball that rolls around, but with a dome on top that moves independently.
The new DS218+ is the most impressive NAS in Synology's two-bay range for home users. It's got powerful hardware and lots of features that you expect in the high-end segment, like a versatile operating system, a solid selection of ports, and support for 4K video streaming.
Those specs make it a very attractive option for power users and consumers who want a future-proofed NAS. Question is, does it have what it takes to also impress in real-life? I've tested the DS218+ to find out.
The SJDASH is SJCAM's first dash cam and, just like the other devices in the company's range, it is designed to appeal to consumers looking for a good balance between quality and price. Question is, how does it perform? I've tested it to find out.
There are many ways to secure your personal data, but if you have a lot of files and folders you want to keep completely private, then you really need to be looking at a hardware solution.
iStorage sells a range of external OS and platform independent USB drives that use hardware-level, real-time military grade AES-XTS 256-bit encryption to secure your content, with access via a built-in PIN pad.
It does not take long to realize that the OnePlus 5T is designed to impress. The new flagship killer ticks all the right boxes with its high-end processor, cutting-edge display, dual camera and premium unibody construction. It is a tour de force, and that is before we even consider the price.
But specs do not tell the whole story. There is more to the OnePlus 5T than meets the eye. It feels balanced, as my colleague Joe Wilcox would put it, unlike any other flagship killer before it and many of its rivals. Undoubtedly, it is the most attractive smartphone that OnePlus has released so far.
When looking at the OnePlus 5T, it is difficult to believe that it is not a completely new flagship killer. You can thank the novel new display for that. It takes up more space on the front, giving you the impression that you are in for a completely different experience.
The new display is also larger, but it has small bezels all-around, which means that the whole device feels manageable in the hand. The aluminum body, which sports a Midnight Black finish on my review unit, has a quality feeling, which is what you expect from a OnePlus device.
Of all the action cameras that I have used, the SJCAM SJ5000X Elite is probably the one I liked the most. The video quality was top-notch, it was well made and it also got lots of updates. The SJ6 Legend has replaced it, but does it live up to its predecessor?
The new action camera is similar in terms of specs, but thanks to some key changes it makes for a much more interesting proposition. But how does it perform? I've tested the SJ6 Legend to find out.
I consider myself lucky, although some commenters (you know who you are) will disagree, by successfully ordering from Verizon Wireless the iPhone X for delivery on launch day—November 3rd. A FedEx driver brought the anticipated package to my door yesterday afternoon. I hauled down to Apple Store to purchase AppleCare+ before my grubby paws caressed the steel rims (vroom) and generous glass (screen measures 5.8 inches diagonally).
Replacing iPhone 7 Plus, which features and benefits greatly satisfy, is a bit extravagant. But I wanted the X to review and for its smaller size but larger display—understanding caveats: Home button's removal changes fundamental interaction and means adapting habits (oh my aching muscle memory).
When we reviewed the Maze Blade back in June, we were flabbergasted by the sheer amount of quality components that the Chinese vendor, Maze, managed to cram in this smartphone.
The Maze Alpha is the bigger brother of the Blade and has an even higher specification without adding much to the price.