Roku was one of the first companies in the streaming set-top box market. Over the years, it has released quite a few devices, ranging from Chromecast-shaped sticks to 4K-capable boxes. You may recall that Roku revamped its lineup last month, and now sells five different products for different use cases.
The original Streaming Stick was released in 2012, and while it received generally favorable reviews, the requirement of MHL-enabled TVs (to draw power) and the poor performance were major drawbacks. An updated model with a microUSB power connector was released in 2014 to positive reviews. Roku replaced it again in 2016 with a smaller and more compact version. Read More
The Pixel Buds mark Google's first foray into personal wireless audio. I won't make you wait: it's not gone well. Read More
Chromebooks compose an interesting product category and provide a new perspective on the question "What do I need my laptop to do?" While I've been a fan of Chrome OS and its accompanying hardware since its inception, I have not been able to convince myself to buy one in recent years. Part of this has been due to the fact that Chromebooks typically don't come in larger screen sizes. Read More
Chromebooks have come a long way from the dark, buggy days of the CR-48 and laggardly Intel Atom processors. Back when Chrome OS really was just a browser, it was fairly easy to write off as just another strange Google experiment, unlikely to succeed and conceptually far ahead of its time. Who could get by on a laptop with just the web? I, like many people, thought Chromebooks wouldn't appeal to anyone.
But 7 years after the first Chromebook, Google's browser-based OS is still with us. And, much to everyone's surprise, it's going stronger than ever.
The reason for that, primarily, is the browser-focused laptops turned out to be ideal terminals for students accessing web applications. Read More
You might recall that I reviewed Anker's first portable projector back in August. While it was sold under the company's 'Nebula' sub-brand, the Nebula Mars retained Anker's top-notch build quality and premium design. It certainly had a few problems, like the lack of a Google Play Store, but overall it was a good product.
A few weeks ago, AAXA Technologies contacted me, asking if I wanted to try out their P2-A portable projector. Like the Nebula Mars, it runs Android (a newer version, at that), but it's even smaller and less than half the price. I agreed, and not long after, the P2-A arrived at my front door. Read More
Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending a few days with DJI's latest and smallest drone, the Spark. The Spark is a remarkable piece of engineering. Weighing in at just 300 grams it's diminutive and dare I say, rather adorable. Everywhere I took it during our long weekend together people stopped to gawk at it, most with stupid grins on their faces. No one was intimidated by its small form or its bee swarm-like sounds, and everyone was astonished that such a small drone could fly so fast and stable and take such clear, sharp videos.
I have seldom had as much fun, or experienced as much stress, testing a new product. Read More
We've all heard the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none," and there's a distinctly negative connotation to it. The more something tries to do, the worse it is at any one task. Unfortunately, it still holds true today. But some products, like this one, are starting to toe the line.
ASUS' latest Chromebook Flip C101PA combines performance with excellent build quality in a convertible package. So not only do you get a great Chromebook, to a certain degree, you also get a good Android tablet. And it will only cost you $299 — and a somewhat disappointing screen. Read More
The Google Home Mini is a product so obvious that its announcement likely ushered in more sighs of relief than genuine excitement. Let's face the facts: Google Home desperately needed something to compete with Amazon's popular Echo Dot. Without an entry-level smart speaker, the Home ecosystem was plainly at a disadvantage.
I won't keep you waiting: Google Home Mini is the low on compromise, high on value device we hoped for. It's not perfect, but it more than gets the job done. Read More
There are many perks to living in the US: Google services availability, frequent Amazon deals, lower tech prices (on average), and the fact that many tech companies are based there, meaning you never have to worry about plugs and voltages when buying your gadgets. Cross the Atlantic and the story gets a bit more complicated. Each time we, the poor souls living in Europe and countries that follow the European electricity standards, want to buy something new that isn't officially available for us, we have to make sure it works on 220-240V and that as a bonus, it has an EU plug so we don't have to use a small adapter that will add weight and could cause the whole thing to fall off the wall at any time. Read More
Anki is one of the biggest names in electronic toys right now, and for good reason; it's one of the few companies that has brought robotics to kids. This all started with its 2014 introduction of "Anki Drive," a more modern take on slot car racing that added weapons and artificial intelligence. "OVERDRIVE" was released in 2015 as a successor to Drive, and proved to be a market success. After all, it's the first Anki product I'd ever heard of.
Now, Anki has released a Fast & Furious edition of OVERDRIVE, which throws Dom Toretto's crew and cars into the mix. Read More