Yeelight's M2 smart light came out of nowhere at the end of last year, with a low price (for RGB smart lighting) and the convenience of Google's seamless setup. That means no third-party apps or services, no external hubs, and no long tedious process to get things working. In fact, this is almost the perfect Assistant-connected smart bulb. The only bummer is how dim it is in warm white lighting modes.
Millions of people transitioning to working from home this year has led to more than a few problems. Products like webcams and laptops have been in short supply, and home Wi-Fi networks are pushed to their breaking point with dozens of connected devices, Zoom calls, Netflix sessions, and email threads. In most cases, a mesh router is the best way to build a home network that deals with these new demands.
Good true wireless earbuds are getting cheap in a hurry. You can still spend hundreds for fancy features like ANC if you want, but you don't have to break the bank to get decent sound. OnePlus's first true wireless earbuds, the succinctly named Buds, were a great value at $80. The OnePlus Buds Z take it a step further — for just 50 bucks, these earbuds might lack polish, but they deliver on fundamentals.
Xiaomi has a reputation of offering great value across its vast product verticals, often without compromising on features (or quality, for that matter) — something you can also say about its first smart vacuum cleaner launched in India. The Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P, as its name implies, is a versatile device that can do both sweeping and mopping, and spoiler alert: It’s pretty good at both. It’s got plenty of smart features to make your life a bit easier, but it goes without saying that you’ll have to make do with a few of its limitations as well, which may even turn out to be trivial based on how you plan on using the robot.
While Google did release a "flagship" Pixel 5 this year, I think the more budget-friendly Pixel 4a 5G has stolen its thunder. The sleeper-hit is basically a bigger Pixel 5 that's missing a few features, but $200 cheaper. That means skipping out on an IP rating, 90Hz display, a bit of RAM, and a metal (ish) build, but you get a bigger screen and a headphone jack, paired with with the same camera, internals, and the Pixel software experience. At just $500, this is my favorite phone of 2020.
The bounty of budget Chromebooks continues to grow year by year, but most of them aren’t worth your time or money. Lenovo recently launched its C340 Chromebook, which shook up the budget segment by offering great specs at a low price. Now, Acer has a similar offering, the Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-3H-K5GD), offering decent hardware and incredible battery life for just $320. The mediocre touchpad and disappointing display keep me from whole-heartedly recommending this device for everyone, but in broad strokes, the Spin 311 is a fantastic value for students and basic personal use if you're not too picky.
Sennheiser is one of the most recognizable names in audio. Even though the company's wireless products sometimes lack features found in competitors from Samsung or Sony, they usually offer best-in-class audio. We've tried Sennheiser's Momentum True Wireless 2 and CX 400BT earbuds not long ago, and we came away impressed with the sound quality on both.
Sennheiser also released a pair of over-ear headphones recently, the HD 450BT. They feature active noise cancellation, Bluetooth 5.0, and 30-hour battery life, all for an MSRP of $199.95 (though it's currently on sale for $150). However, the design isn't for everyone.
Christmas is coming up, and before all the gifts are open, there's one thing you should remember: Most of those snazzy new gadgets need to be charged. But before you toss a five dollar Amazon special in little Billy's stocking to go with his new Nintendo Switch, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Although the dark days of dangerous and out of spec chargers are mostly past us, we still think it's worth throwing a few extra bucks at a known-good charger. To help your purchasing decision, we took a look at a handful of different models from Aukey's current charger lineup, from 18W to 100W and $15 to $50.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Razer released its first fully-wireless Bluetooth earbuds last year, the Hammerhead True Wireless. The earbuds were functional enough, but they ultimately failed to stand out against competing products from Apple and Samsung. Razer has now returned with an upgraded model: the Hammerhead True Wireless Pro.
Razer's new earbuds feature an in-ear design, support for active noise cancellation, and the same low-latency Gaming Mode. However, battery life is still a sore point, Gaming Mode isn't incredibly useful, and there's no support for Qualcomm aptX.
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.