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.
Although I love the look of my Jet Black iPhone 7, I can be a bit clumsy at times, so I’ll always protect it with a case. There are plenty of phone case choices out there, but my new favorites -- by some margin -- are those from the RÖK collection.
The latest cases from WÜD are made with real stone harvested from a slate quarry. The pieces are sliced thinly, so they don’t add a lot of weight to your device (around 1.2oz/34 grams), and each one is handcrafted and unique. The cases aren’t exclusive to the iPhone either -- you can buy them for numerous Samsung models, Google Pixel phones, and the LG V20.
Samsung nailed it with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The two flagship smartphones are a huge hit, as the strong sales and raving reviews prove -- and that is in no small part due to their cutting edge hardware and attractive software. In fact, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are so good that Consumer Reports thinks they're the best smartphones that you can get today.
As in any ranking, there has to be a winner and the bigger Galaxy S8+ takes first place in Consumer Reports' ratings. The Galaxy S8 is a close second though, being different basically only in terms of display and battery size.
There are lots of programs you can use to keep your personal files and folders private, but can you be sure they’re 100 percent secure and don’t have any hidden backdoors to worry about?
The diskAshur Pro 2 range of portable USB hard drives takes this worry away because they offer PIN authenticated XTS-AES 256-bit hardware encryption, and are fully tamper-proof/tamper evident.
The action camera market has exploded. There is an overwhelming number of options to choose from, with the vast majority targeting price-conscious buyers. In fact, many of those affordable action cameras are actually underpinned by the same chip, even though the price difference may lead you to believe otherwise.
The WiMiUS L1 is no different, having the same processor as, for instance, the hugely popular SJCAM SJ5000X Elite. The L1 is on the low end of the price spectrum, undercutting its rival by a significant margin, but is it any good? I've tested it to find out.
No other device in Chuwi's range stands out more than the Hi13 does right now. The large tablet, with a proper keyboard and a stylus, is similar to Microsoft's Surface Book and Surface Pro devices in a number of key areas, but can be had at a fraction of the price as it costs less than $400 for the whole shebang.
It has all the right features that you expect from a modern Windows 10 device, a nice design, and some unexpected benefits as well. But, just how good is it to use? I've tested the Hi13 to find out.
I have a one-year old Norwegian Forest cat called Daisy (see above) who likes to chew on cables. While she will occasionally have a go at thick cables, her preference is to gnaw on thinner ones. To date she has managed to destroy three microUSB charging cables, three Lightning cables, and two headphone cables. She’s very good at finding and biting through cables no matter how well hidden they are.
UNBREAKcable, from Syncwire, is a charging cable with a lifetime warranty -- if it breaks or malfunctions, the company will replace it for you free of charge. That sounds promising, but is it Daisy proof?
System76 Galago Pro is the MacBook Pro alternative the Linux community has been waiting for [Review]
System76 sells really great Ubuntu Linux laptops, but there has been one glaring issue -- the machines aren't exactly svelte. Don't get me wrong, the notebooks aren't ridiculously large or heavy, but compared to, say, a new MacBook Pro, there is a very big difference.
Many people have been anxiously awaiting a thin and light System76 laptop, and I am happy to say that it is finally here. The newest version of the Galago Pro notebook is very elegant, featuring an aluminum body and HiDPI display. But is the whole package worth your money?
In its quest to make its laptops smaller, lighter and faster, Apple has made modern MacBooks harder -- if not impossible -- to upgrade. Take my mid-2013 MacBook Air for example. It comes with an SSD design for which there are only a handful of aftermarket options around -- and the cost of buying new storage may be higher than what my laptop is now worth. Some newer MacBooks are even worse though, leaving no such option on the table.
TarDisk is a very interesting alternative to the replacement route. It fits into the SD card slot and can be used either as an external drive, that you would not even know is there, or as combined storage. In the "Pear" mode, as TarDisk calls it, the internal drive and the TarDisk are merged, giving you a single drive with their combined capacity to play with. And, unlike a replacement drive, it does not put your warranty at risk.