I'm a big fan of value. Is that because I'm not a wealthy person? Partially. Even when I can afford something, however, I don't necessarily buy it. When buying a car, for instance, I try to get the most bang for my buck while getting a reasonable vehicle -- my only new car purchase was a Ford Focus priced below invoice. Could I have gotten a better vehicle? Sure, but the Focus provided value.
When it comes to monitors, I am the same way. My main computer these days is a 2016 MacBook Pro. Now, the obvious choice of a monitor wold be a fancy 5K variant from a company like LG. And yeah, I am sure a 5K display looks brilliant with macOS. But guess what? It is expensive. Instead, 4K is more than enough for my needs. When I want a monitor, I usually turn to AOC. Why? Its products are very good and budget-friendly. I've been testing the company's U3277PWQU 32-inch 4K UHD Professional Monitor lately, and I have some definitive opinions.
The new DiskStation DS418j is among Synology's most attractive options for home users with higher storage needs. Part of the entry-level J Series, the four-bay NAS has solid hardware and all the right features that you expect in this segment, including a powerful operating system and lots of useful software add-ons.
It is also among the most-affordable NAS devices in the four-bay range, which makes it a prime choice for buyers on a budget. But, just how good is it in real life? I've tested the DS418j to find out.
With many consumers owning laptops or tablets as their sole computers nowadays, the concept of installing a sound card -- let alone any add-on card -- can be totally foreign. Believe it or not, however, many people still use and love desktop computers -- including yours truly. Not only can a tower be more powerful than their mobile counterparts, but they can be much easier to upgrade too.
Even if you do own a desktop computer, a high-end sound card, such as the Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 which I have been testing, may not be in your best interest. This card is designed for computer enthusiasts that are audiophiles, gamers, or both with decent headphones or speakers; there is no point in buying a high-end sound card to use with $10 Walmart speakers, right? The big question is, should you purchase the card?
If you want to teach children how to code, then buying them a product like the Raspberry Pi makes a lot of sense. It’s versatile, and cheap enough that if they break it, buying a replacement shouldn’t be too big a deal.
Not every child is going to want to learn how to program a Pi though -- the appeal of it won’t necessary be apparent to a kid who just wants to play. This is where SPRK+ comes in. The Sphero robot can be driven using an app, and then -- when the appeal of that wears off -- programmed in a choice of ways.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Doogee seems to be on fire; the outfit, which is several orders of magnitude smaller than bigger names like Lenovo, Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi, has been pushing out new models like there’s no tomorrow. The vendor embraced a niche approach with the S-series (for secure), the BL series, the Mix (bezel-less), the Shoot series (for photography aficionados) and a few more.
After the Doogee Mix and the Doogee T5 and just before we review the S60 rugged smartphone, we’re taking a look at the BL7000 with the first two letters meaning "Battery Life" and 7000 representing the battery capacity (in mAh).
For people who have invested in a large screen TV with a view to enjoying a home cinema experience, one of the most common complaints is the quality of the built-in speakers.
The latest flat-screen TVs lack the big wooden cabinets of old for sound to resonate around in and so the audio quality from their on-board speakers tends to be a bit weedy. Most therefore look to add a soundbar or external speaker system to improve the experience.
There are few smartphones that attract as much attention as a new OnePlus flagship. And it is easy to understand why. You get pretty much everything that you expect from a flagship device, but at a fraction of the cost. That recipe has not changed with this year's OnePlus 5.
Though it has not changed dramatically on the outside, the new "flagship killer" is more powerful and exciting than ever. It's also more expensive, which brings up an interesting question: Is the OnePlus 5 still special in today's crowded market?
When I bought my MacBook Pro last year, I knew I would end up buying some dongles. Since the laptop only has USB-C ports, I would need adapters to complete some tasks. If I want to use a traditional USB-A flash drive, for instance, I need a dongle. What if I need to plug into Ethernet? Yep, another dongle.
Truth be told, I very rarely connect to Ethernet or access flash drives these days, so those dongles are almost never needed. With that said, there is one big limitation of my MacBook Pro that impacts me regularly -- lack of video out. For this, I need to use a USB-C adapter (or a docking station). I've learned that not all of these dongles are created equally, however. While many can do 4K, they often max out at 30Hz. Thankfully, I found a really great USB-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter from a company called ACCELL that can do 4K @ 60Hz.
Gretel is not a company name you easily forget as it is associated with one of the more popular Grimm’s brothers fairy tales, Hansel and Gretel, one which features a house made out of cookies, biscuits, cake and chocolate and inhabited by a cannibalistic witch.
This is likely to be the most memorable aspect of the GT6000. It is Gretel's flagship model. Sadly, with a quad-core processor and a component list that fits more into an entry level smartphone, it is likely to face some stiff competition from an ever bulging list of rivals
The Chinese smartphone market works in such a way that its insularity has caused the number of small vendors to surge over the past three years, all competing for the hundreds of millions of potential Chinese smartphone users.
At the last count, the number had reached 80, most of which are no household names; only Lenovo, Xiaomi and Huawei have managed to cross that east-west chasm. Now, a newcomer, Doogee, aims to challenge the status quo with a raft of new smartphones.
GoPro started a trend when it launched the Hero4 line with 4K video recording. Today, it is pretty much impossible to find a new action camera that does not advertise this feature -- even when, in reality, most are not actually capable of it.
The Hawkeye Firefly 8S is different. It is the first action camera that I have tested that offers true 4K video recording. It is also among the most affordable options on the market, which, on paper, makes it great value for money. But how good is it in the real world? I've tested it to find out.
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.