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accessory reviews

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Vinpok Split review: An undeniably neat and totally overpriced portable touchscreen monitor

Like an increasing number of people, I do all my work on a laptop. When I'm at home, it's generally docked at my desk, attached to a large, stationary monitor. When I take the show on the road, I find I miss the convenience of having two screens at my disposal. Less real estate to work with means more switching between tabs and windows, making for a workflow that's less productive overall.

So conceptually, I find the Vinpok Split enticing. It's a portable, 15.6-inch, 1080p touchscreen monitor that connects to your laptop over either HDMI or USB-C. I'm not the only one intrigued: the product's Indiegogo campaign, which initially set out to raise $5,000, has collected nearly $2 million since October.

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Pixel Stand review: A cool but tragically overpriced wireless charger

You could be forgiven for thinking Google was new to wireless charging if you haven't been obsessively following its products for years. The Nexus 4, 5, and 6 all had wireless charging capabilities, and Google even released its own wireless charging pad in 2013. After ignoring wireless charging for several years, the feature is back on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Google is also selling a wireless charger again: the Pixel Stand.

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Jaybird X4 review: Great earbuds without much new to offer

A confession: I gave up on my previous pair of Bluetooth earbuds, Jaybird's own X2, after about a year. It wasn't their fault; they sounded good, they were comfortable, and the battery lasted long enough. But keeping the things charged (with microUSB, no less — yuck) and juggling connections became a chore. I gave them away and cozied up to a pair of no-name wired buds. Once I got a Pixel 2, I was living the dongle life.

After spending a week with the Jaybird X4, though, I'm reminded of what I was missing. By virtue of being wireless, they're miles ahead of any wired earbuds for exercising — they don't catch on gym equipment and pop out.

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Jaybird X3 review: An improvement, but not a huge one

Wireless headphones are more important than ever as phones start (inadvisably) ditching the venerable 3.5mm headphone jack. Jaybird has been on the scene for a few years, making some of the most highly regarded wireless earbuds you can get. The Jaybird X2 are particularly popular, and have been coming down in price a lot. Earlier this year the company launched the Freedom earbuds, which didn't get such high praise.

What everyone wanted was a successor to the X2, and now we have that with the Jaybird X3. The design has been refined, it's got some cool new software features, the sound is nicer, and the launch price is more competitive.

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