What can I tell you: it's a small, weather-resistant Bluetooth speaker that sounds much better than it has a right to. I like it a lot. If you've got a need for a wee speaker that can churn out a big amount of noise, you can read my full review over at TechHive.
The writing of a product hub, like this one, is never complete. As new pieces or hardware come out, the writer responsible for wrangling them is forced to update the pecking order of which items are the best for which people, and explain why each is worth buying. Happily, I love reading, and as I live in a motorhome, I adore e-readers, for the amount of space savings that they afford.
While I'll still continue to evaluate other electronic reading devices on a case-by-case basis, my work on PC World's new Kindle hub will allow folks to quickly figure out which of one of the world's most popular e-readers is right for them. A week after the hub went live, I've already been hit with the need to update it: look for my take on the New Kindle Oasis this November.
I've flown drones in the past. They've all been expensive and too large for me to consider using in my life as a full-time RVer, or to haul along with me in a backpack on a trip. The DJI Spark has changed all that. Small, insanely light and surprisingly capable, it can be had for under $600. It its lowest point of entry, the Spark is a lot of fun, but unlocking its full potential requires the purchase of a few extra batteries and a physical remote control.
For more information on the Spark, check out my full review at Macworld.
I didn't write this one, but I was involved in bringing it together. This past July, for the second year in a row, my partner and I drove around Alberta and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, gathering data for PC Magazine's annual test of Canada's cellular networks.
The testing involves days spent in a car with multiple cellphones in your lap. You have to watch that the handsets are connecting to their networks, watch the road, navigate and note stop and start times at each testing locations. Much questionable food is eaten. It's a huge shift from the way that my workday typically looks.
For the results of the tests, you'll want to click this.
I've been using Moment's system of interchangeable lenses for the iPhone since they first became available. If you take your smartphone photography seriously, they're a smart investment that can upgrade your handset with capabilities once only available to DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
When version two of their lens system was announced, I jumped at the opportunity to review them. I tested them over the course of a month and a half on assignment in China, Japan and western Canada. The glass is just as great as Moment's version one lenses. The new mounting system, however, is eons ahead of their old one. I love it.
For the full review, click here.
A few years ago, it would have been pretty difficult to convince me to buy a Kobo e-reader. The hardware was of middling quality, they had no unified design language, which led me to feel like they were farming the hardware out to multiple manufacturers and, most importantly, the selection books, magazines and other reading materials available for use on their devices was pretty slim.
Man, have things changed.
Provided you're not already locked into Amazon's ecosystem, the Kobo Aura H20 Edition 2 is a great electronic reading device that most people will like. It offers clear text, great back lighting and a wide selection of reading material. Best of all, it's waterproof, making it a cinch to use at the beach or in the tub. I was surprised that it doesn't come with Overdrive compatibility or the Pocket integration that the Aura One offers. But that isn't enough to keep me from recommending it.
For my full review, head on over to TechHive.
I love music--my iTunes library contains over 11,000 tracks of music that I've purchased on CD or online over the past 30 years. There's always music playing in my home, be it on speakers, headphones or in my head. As such, I take reviewing audio gear pretty seriously. I want to experience the best sound possible in my life, and I want the same for my readers.
After spending a good chunk of time with it, I feel comfortable recommending the Bose Soundlink Revolve+ to anyone interested in picking up an indoor/outdoor speaker with brilliant omnidirectional sound. It's certainly not the best speaker that I've heard recently. But it is one of the best.
You can read my full review over at TechHive.
Despite being machined out of a block of aluminum, it's far too easy to scratch, dent or scuff a MacBook Pro. For most people, slapping one of Apple's laptops in a sleeve or padded backpack provides an adequate amount of protection against such damage. But if you travel rough, work in hostile conditions or feel strongly about protecting your investment you might want to consider investing in some next level protection. That's where the UAG Rugged case comes in.
I recently tested the case on two different generations of MacBook hardware. You can read my thoughts on the cases here.
Lifeproof makes two different waterproof cases for the iPhone 7 Plus. I've spent time with both. I can say with a great deal of authority that only one of them is worth your money. Yes, this post reads a little like click-bait. But it's mostly because I'm jet-lagged, and can't think of anything witty to say. I mean--iPhone cases.
Check out the review here.
In the final installment of my PC World series on switching from Mac to PC, I talk about my closing sentiments on switching operating systems, who should consider doing it and who I feel should stick with their Macs.
Spending a number of months using both a Mac and a Windows PC helped me to discover what my needs, as a computer user, really are. More importantly, it allowed me to separate those needs from what my computing wants are. I 'want' to play the games that are available to the owners of a Windows PC. I 'want' my new computer to have the latest internal hardware and a crazy amount of power for a reasonable price. But, I 'need' my computer to run a number of piece of MacOS software that I'm not able to find good replacements for on Windows.
Anyway, here's the story. I hope you find it helpful.
For anyone forced to work or travel in a high-noise environment, Active Noise Canceling headphones are a blessing. The price of a good pair of ANC cans, however, is a curse. If a set of ANC headphones by Sony, Bose or B&O are out of your price range, you might want to consider giving Pantronics' Backbeat Pro 2 headphones a listen. While the company cut corners on the quality of the materials used to make them, the Backbeat Pro 2 sound good enough to keep you from tossing them out and keep out enough noise to make them a good investment in preserving your sanity.
You can read my full review here.
In my first feature for USA Today/Reviewed.com, I walked my readers through 11 different tools that will make any road trip, scenic drive or morning commute just a little bit safer or, should things go sideways, make you more capable of handling the situation. As I keep all of the items mentioned in this roundup in my personal emergency kit, I feel confident in suggesting them to others too.
You can read the story, here.
I don't like a lot of people--they're generally shifty and want you to do things like 'socialize.' But, I consider Richard Kadrey to be a good friend. More than this, he's a damn fine author. If you haven't read any of his books, you should. And, if you're writing a book, or plan to, you should definitely read my latest for Fast Company: It's a short, but helpful collection of advice and tools that Richard recommends to help you to keep the words flowing.
I recently spent some time with the Gaems M155 Portable monitor, and I love it... with a few reservations.
It's compact, lightweight, has a built-in speaker and comes with a remote control. It's damn near perfect for playing a little PS4 on, working watching content streamed to an Apple TV or using as a second display. My only real beef with it is its lousy viewing angles. It's great if you're sitting right in front of it. But if you want to watch something with someone else or play games with a pal, one of you is gonna have a bad time. Still, for under $200, it's a tough piece of hardware to beat.
For my full review, click here.
I don't often do game reviews. The time commitment it takes to play through a game, for me at least, is just too great. I might enjoy the work, but playing pretty much always gets in the way of other the other projects I'm responsible for. In the case of Torment: Tides of Numenera, however, I was willing to make an exception. It's the spiritual sequel to Planescape: Torment--a game that I lost days to at the turn of the century (man, that felt weird to type.)
I'll let my review at Macworld do the heavy lifting on my thoughts about the game, but I will say this: If you love a good story or long for the CRPGs of yore, don't hesitate, download this one immediately.
I really wanted to love the Midia InkBook 8 (especially since I bought it for my own personal use,) but its lousy display resolution, sluggish performance and the highly questionable security of its homegrown eastern European Android app store left me frustrated and disappointed in it.
That said, the InkBook 8 showed me the enormous potential that an e-ink Android device could have. I'm sold on the concept. I just need to find something a little bit snappier with a display that's easier on the eyes and I'll be a happy camper. The search has already begun--stay tuned to my site or TechHive for updates.
In the meantime, you can read my review of the InkBook 8 here.
If playing video games is one of your key reasons for buying a computer, chances are, you'll be looking to pick up a Windows PC. It's not that Macs don't play games well--it's just that, for the time being, Windows-powered PCs do it better. In my opinion, it's really the only area that Microsoft and their third-party developers have Apple beat.
In the fifth part of my guide for Mac users looking to switch to Windows, I spend some time pointing my readers in the direction of some of the best online sources for games around.
You can read it, here.
I type a lot and have very strong opinions about keyboard. Most of the time, this leads to my either hating a keyboard or merely putting up with it as it allows me to get my work done. The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is the first typing deck that I have loved to work on that I've encountered in a very long time. If you don't mind the sound of a mechanical keyboard disrupting your home's calm, I highly recommend checking it out. But before you do, be sure to read my review at Macworld.
Do you own a Kindle Paperwhite? Have you used a Paperwhite? Perhaps you've seen one. Well, this is exactly like that, except it won't die if you dropped it in the drink during an extended toilet reading session. If you've never dealt with a Amazon Kindle Paperwhite before, here's my review.
I live and work out of a 35' long motorhome. I love it--it's the first home that I've owned. But, it's close to 26 years old and in need of a few upgrades. Currently, we've got a 12-volt battery system that keeps our water pump going and allows our water heater, fridge and furnace to light. But we can't use it to charge our computers or make toast. Eventually, we'll upgrade it's power system to include a lithium-ion battery set, rooftop solar panels and with pure Sine Wave inverter setup so that we can charge and operate everything in the RV, even when we're not connected to shore power or running the generator. For now, however, we rely on the Goal Zero Yeti 400 to help us get by. Being as I work on the road, often for weeks without being able to plug into shore power, it's an absolute essential piece of hardware.
The Yeti 400 allows me to charge all of the gadgets I use for my work. And when the time comes to replenish its store of energy, I can do so using our RV's 12-volt system when we're driving (the alternator charges it up wicked quick, plug it into an electrical socket when we're on shore power or running our gas generator or hook it up to a pair of portable solar panels for a little trickle charging.
Interested in learning more about this thing? Well, you're in luck: my full review of the battery system can be found over at Macworld.