When I reviewed the Ultimate Ears BOOM back in July of 2013, it quickly became my favorite portable speaker, and held that title all throughout last year. To this day, in terms of portability, form factor, and sound quality, I don't think you can get a better all-around package. Sure, there are more robust speakers (like the Fugoo speaker), and there are even speakers that sound better (like the Bose SoundLink Mini, which is amazing for the size), but when it comes to one do-it-all monster, the BOOM is it.
Naturally, when Ultimate Ears announced the MEGABOOM at CES, I had to jump in line to check it out. Read More
Dell has a new Android tablet, and it's actually interesting for once. You don't usually think of Dell as a leader in the area of tablet design, but that's what seems to be happening here. The new Dell Venue 8 7000 series tablet is currently the thinnest slate in the world at just 6mm. Ignoring for a moment whether or not it's a good design, you can't deny that's impressive—even the iPad is thicker. The Venue 8 makes some compromises to get there, but maybe that's okay. Let's see how this tablet measures up. Read More
At CES this year, Blu announced a handful of new devices that should all show up in the first half of 2015. We've already taken a look at the sleek and slim Vivo Air, which really surprised me in almost every possible way. So much, in fact, that I've been using it as my daily driver for the last few weeks. I really like it.
As much as I enjoy using the Air, however, I had to put it off to the side to spend some time with the newest Blu handset, the power-packed Studio Energy. Read More
You can walk into basically any department or electronics store right now and be overwhelmed with the assortment of Bluetooth speakers. And when you start to dig in online, the competition gets even tighter - there are so many legitimately good options available today, it can be incredibly challenging to pick the one worth your hard-earned dollars.
As a result, manufacturers are looking to things other than just sound quality to give their offering an edge. Things like size/form factor and available accessories are starting to be much more important than they were this time a couple of years ago, which is exactly why the Transit XS from Soen ($130 retail) was born. Read More
On November 3, 2014, I published our review of the Nexus 9. It wasn't especially pretty, if I'm honest. But as with all things Nexus, time and software updates (mostly software updates) can smooth out rough edges and straighten up quirks, so a revisit seemed necessary. Now, three months on, have things really changed with Google's flagship tablet? Or is it still the HTC-made misfit I wanted to love, but just couldn't?
The end of a review is nothing to spoil, so I'll just be out with it: the Nexus 9 feels like basically the same kind-of-OK-but-not-great tablet today as it did the morning it arrived on my doorstep. Read More
The second mobile title based on The Witcher series of games has arrived on Android, and it's a bit more action-packed than the board game from a few months ago. The Witcher Battle Arena is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game based on The Witcher universe. It's free-to-play, but the developers say it's not "pay-to-win."
Gameplay And Controls
The Witcher Battle Arena is played in a top-down isometric view in a number of small arenas populated with control beacons. You and your teammates must capture these beacons to drain the enemy team's energy until it hits zero. There are nine different heroes to unlock, each of which has different skins and weapons that can be equipped. So, as you're playing you see the same nine characters over and over, but they don't actually look the same. Read More
In the realm of wall-tethered wireless speakers, there isn't a great shortage of high-end brands. B&O Play, Sonos, and Bose are probably getting the lion's share of revenue in this space, considering the absolutely bonkers prices of some of their products. They all offer something, too - with B&O, you buy into the striking European style of Bang & Olufsen. Sonos offers a unified, proprietary communication protocol with good platform support and a variety of speakers and price points. And Bose offers the Bose name, which as I recall did mean something circa 2003 daytime TV infomercials (I kid, I kid - sort of, their connected speakers look terrible). Read More
In June of last year, Blu released its sleekest phone yet, the Vivo IV. This ultra-thin, super-svelte handset really put an emphasis on design, something that no other Blu phone before had really done. At CES, the company announced the newest member of the Vivo line, the Vivo Air. At just 5.1 mm thick, this is the thinnest smartphone you can currently buy in the US. It's stupid-thin, but it also weighs under 100 grams, so it's equally as light. So, stupid-light.
Based on its specs, I wouldn't necessarily call the Vivo Air the IV's successor, but rather just a new addition to that product family. In fact, the Vivo IV is still more powerful than the Air, though both devices feature the same MediaTek octa-core chipset. Read More
When it comes to IP security cameras, Dropcam is (and has been) one of the biggest names in the game. It's easy enough to use, sets up quickly, and can basically be left alone once everything is in place (most of the time, at least). That's the kind of simplicity that most home and small business owners want, which is what Dropcam has been offering since day one. Add in the fact that the company is constantly adding new, useful features to its apps, and you have a winner.
Naturally, challengers are going to come. There's clearly a market for products like this, so why let one manufacturer own it? Read More