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Reviews

149

Hands-on: Turns out Stadia is a pretty good way to play Cyberpunk 2077

Hands-on: Turns out Stadia is a pretty good way to play Cyberpunk 2077

Stadia's been able to secure precious few high-profile day-and-date multiplatform releases since its launch last November — Doom Eternal, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and not many others. This week, the service landed its biggest yet: the hotly-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077. It's an enormous and ambitious game that's already developed a reputation for running poorly on most hardware. But while Stadia definitely isn't the best way to experience the sci-fi epic, it turns out it's far from the worst.

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50

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ review one month later: Flirting with affordability

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ review one month later: Flirting with affordability

Do tablets still fit into our vision of the future? Star Trek may have its ubiquitous PADDs, but here in the 21st century, tablet sales have been declining at a pretty steady clip since 2013. Even as some of that interest fades, we're seeing the release of some of the most impressive tablets ever made. Apple turned heads last month with its new iPad Air design, while Lenovo's got its crazy folding-screen laptop. In the Android camp, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Tab S7 series this summer, and you'd be hard-pressed to argue that these aren't the best Android tablets anyone's produced.

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66

OnePlus 8T long-term review: One of the better phones of 2020 — but not the best

OnePlus 8T long-term review: One of the better phones of 2020 — but not the best

2020 has been a very, very good year for smartphones. We've seen some wild and crazy stuff land, from folding to flipping devices, and the average phone is better than it's ever been. That puts the OnePlus 8T in a tough spot: It's a good phone that adheres to OnePlus' usual formula, but the competition is better than it's ever been, and "good" isn't enough to beat them.

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16

I bought a Barnes & Noble Nook in 2020, and I didn't expect it to be this good

I bought a Barnes & Noble Nook in 2020, and I didn't expect it to be this good

Amazon has dominated the e-reader industry for so long that most of its competitors have either become niche products or faded out of existence entirely. I'd forgive you for thinking Kindles were the only e-readers sold in the United States, but not only is Barnes & Noble still around, but the company continues to release new Nook readers. And I bought one.

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35

Fitbit Sense review, one month later: Making a comeback

Fitbit Sense review, one month later: Making a comeback

In the era before modern smartwatches, Fitbit's name became synonymous with wearable fitness trackers. Full-fledged smartwatches have become the norm as consumers have demanded more and more from wearables, and Fitbit stepped in with the Ionic and Versa smartwatches a few years ago. I had high hopes that Fitbit would continue to improve and provide Android users a viable alternative to the increasingly frustrating Wear OS experience, but the Sense has some of the same shortcomings and bugs I remember from the Ionic. The Sense also has its own raft of new glitches that I find equally annoying.

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55

Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen) review: You should probably buy a Chromecast

Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen) review: You should probably buy a Chromecast

Amazon has been producing Fire TV streaming sticks for several years now, but most of them have been mediocre at best. That’s what you’d expect for the bargain-basement price Amazon is charging. The cheapest 1080p-only Sticks have used bottom-of-the-barrel processors, making them unbearably-slow compared to a Chromecast or Roku, though the upgraded hardware in the Fire TV 4K isn't nearly as bad.

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5

Hands on with Immortals Fenyx Rising, a new open world RPG best played with the voiceover turned off

Hands on with Immortals Fenyx Rising, a new open world RPG best played with the voiceover turned off

It's always exciting to see a renowned game studio launch a brand new IP, especially when that studio designed some of the biggest hits of the decade, like Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, Watch Dogs, and Assassin's Creed: Black Flag. Originally teased at E3 2019 under a different name (and with a different main hero), Immortals Fenyx Rising promises a new adventure set in the annals of Greek mythology. I've been playing Ubisoft's latest title on Stadia for the last couple days, and these are my early impressions.

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35

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential review: It's a (time)keeper

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential review: It's a (time)keeper

The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is not a massive leap in technology—it's a clock radio. A glorified clock radio. A more sensible, smart clock radio. But it's still a clock with a speaker. It tells the time and weather, and it's got Google Assistant. It's missing a few features, and the audio is about what you'd expect for $50, but I found it to be a great addition to my home. Whether or not you agree depends on what you want out of your Assistant devices, but there's a lot to like about the Smart Clock Essential.

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2

Zhiyun Smooth-X and Smooth-XS review: The new standard for travel gimbals

Zhiyun Smooth-X and Smooth-XS review: The new standard for travel gimbals

Smartphone gimbals (a.k.a. stabilizers) aren't a new product category, but they've changed and improved quite a bit over the years. While there are always new features being added, that can make them cumbersome and get in the way of usability. Zhiyun is trying out a more simplified and compact design with the Smooth-X and Smooth-XS that's targeted at travelers and casual users. These aren't as flexible as most gimbals, but they're easier to use, cost less, and take less space.

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12

Seven great cases for your Pixel 4a 5G

Seven great cases for your Pixel 4a 5G

The Pixel 4a 5G is a fantastic device, offering specs comparable to the flagship Pixel 5, albeit at a much more affordable price point. If there are any clear drawbacks, it’s the plastic body that’s certain to attract scuffs and scratches over time. Luckily, there are plenty of great cases out there to keep this from happening. Here are some of our favorite options for the Pixel 4a 5G.

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