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Other Reviews

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Logitech K380 Keyboard Review: One Keyboard To Rule Them All (At Least In Theory)

Logitech has been all about keyboards that are designed to handle multiple connections to several different devices for the last couple of years, starting with the (freakin' awesome) K810. About a year ago, the versatile K480 was released, with its biggest feature being price point — it comes in at just $50. The trade-off, however, is the overall size: it's a lot bulkier than most people would want, making it mostly impractical to just toss in a bag for on-the-go typing.

A few weeks ago, the company announced the K380, another sub-$50 entry into its multi-device lineup ($40, to be exact), this time with a much more streamlined form factor than the K480.

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[Hands-On] These Wooden Phone Cases From Carved.com Are Freakin' Awesome

I hate cases. For the last…bunch of years, I have refused to use a case on any of my phones. Sure, I'd used them back in the day when we actually did a lot of case reviews — and I always tried to be as objective as possible — but really, I've never liked cases. I don't need the added bulk, and I just hate how they make phones look most of the time. Why hide the beautiful design of most modern smartphones under a gaudy plastic and rubber shell? (That's rhetorical — I totally understand why people do this.)

It's been a while since we've done a hands-on or review with any sort of case, mostly because they're all basically the same at this point (and are generally just rehashes of older versions).

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[Android Car Review] The 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Is A Great Way To Get Android Auto For Just $21,000 (Or Even Less)

The Volkswagen Jetta is, admittedly, the occasional butt of car enthusiast jokes. Long considered a slightly snobby small economy sedan because of its comparatively high price of entry and less-than-great reliability reviews, the car didn't sell amazingly well here in the states for quite some time. Five years ago, VW tried to turn that sales situation around, completely redesigning the Jetta and drastically reducing the cost of many of its constituent parts - the result was the Mk.VI Jetta, and sales did go up quite noticeably.

But the car was compromised, and reviewers generally weren’t fans. Cost-cuts included things like fitting an unrefined rear beam-axle suspension system on most models, ditching optional leather trims, saddling the base car with a gutless 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder engine, and conducting most of the design and assembly in Mexico instead of Germany.

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Amazon Fire TV (2015) Lightning Review: Like The Original, But Somehow Worse

A little more than a year ago, Amazon launched its first set-top box, Fire TV. That was followed by the weaker, but far more wallet-friendly littler brother, Fire TV Stick. Now that the company has been in the streaming market for a little while, a refreshed version of its flagship box makes sense, right? I mean, there's technically nothing wrong with the first Fire TV, but more horsepower and support for more modern resolutions are always better, right?

Actually, no. There are definitely some quirks that you should be aware of before jumping into a new Fire TV — especially if you're just upgrading from the old one.

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TomTom Bandit Review: A Capable And Fun Action Camera, But You Need To Buy The Accessories

TomTom, who you may know best as the company who makes car GPS and fitness products, has decided to dive into the blossoming industry of action cameras. As an extension of their sporting background, this is a logical move. The TomTom Bandit is surprisingly polished and offers some unique functions for a first generation product, signaling to me that this is more than a “me too” business strategy.

Of course, I’ve already given away the review in saying that. Expectations are in some ways lowered for the Bandit given its status as TomTom’s first action camera. When it comes time to reframe things in terms of what you should buy and for what price, the Bandit is far from a failure but will come up short for many potential buyers.

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The Life Of Fi - Almost Two Months With Google's Mobile Service

After signing up for Google's Project Fi I had only to wait a couple of days before a SIM card and "Welcome Kit" showed up at my door. I noted that the accessories - a battery pack, earbuds, and white case for the Nexus 6 - seemed to be carefully and thoughtfully designed, even if the hard plastic boxes for each seemed a little extravagant. The welcome kit was foreshadowing for the rest of the Fi experience - thoughtfully put together and pleasing.

I've been using Fi (switching over from T-Mobile) for over a month now, so I thought it might be helpful to rewind through my experience and answer some questions would-be Fi users might be asking.

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Spigen Stealth Car Mount Review: A Really Good Solution To A Really Old Problem

You know what drives me crazy? Trying to hold my phone and use it for navigation while driving. Or putting it in my lap and glancing down every few seconds. Or trying to put it in whatever car dock I'm using at the time. Or getting the "perfect" car dock, then getting a different phone that no longer fits said car dock.

Ugh. You'd think we have this stuff figured out by now.

And honestly, I think Spigen actually may have with its new Stealth Car Mount. It fits phones up to six inches — with or without cases — at two different viewing angles, is easy to drop the phone into with one hand, and has an adhesive on the bottom that adheres it to basically any dash.

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Chromecast Audio Review: You Can Just Throw Away All Those Crappy Bluetooth Dongles Now

Chromecast Audio is a very simple product, and that’s probably the best thing about it from a consumer’s standpoint. You plug it in to power and then into an audio output source like an A/V receiver or a powered speaker. The Chromecast Audio supports either standard stereo audio cables or optical via a mini-digital connector. From there, just open the Chromecast app and get the device set up on your Wi-Fi network. That’s it - you’re done.

Now, any cast-enabled device within a reasonable proximity of the Chromecast Audio can tell it to play audio, regardless of whether it is on your Wi-Fi network, just like Chromecast.

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JBL Xtreme And Flip 3 Review: Competition, Destroyed

When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, there are a few brands that I find to be consistently awesome. After spending a few weeks with the Xtreme ($299) and Flip 3 ($99), I think JBL may have made itself a mainstay on that shortlist of manufacturers that make great speakers, because these are two of the most impressive pieces of Bluetooth audio equipment I’ve ever laid, um, ears on.

Seriously — I was not expecting either of these speakers to be as awesome as they are. Let's start with the big one.

Xtreme

I like to put BT speakers into a few categories: ultra-portable, portable, boombox, and bookshelf (or non-portable).

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Spigen F300 Wireless Charger Review: Look Out, TYLT

When it comes to wireless charging, TYLT is generally the first name that comes to my mind, as the VU has been my primary charger for Qi-enabled devices since...well, for a long time. I prefer the stand-like design of the VU over that of chargers that lie flat, as it just makes it easier to look over and see my phone without having to actually pick it up (does that make me lazy?).

When I saw the new F300 Wireless Charger from Spigen ($50, $27 on Amazon) - which shares a lot of the same design elements that I love about the VU - I knew I had to check it out.

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