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Articles Tagged:

opinion

86

Chromebooks desperately need more than 4GB of RAM in 2020

Earlier this month, I had the chance to review Lenovo's new IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook. It's a great machine, with an excellent build quality and guaranteed Chrome OS updates for the next eight years, but it had one fault that kept me from wholeheartedly recommending the laptop — it only had 4GB of RAM.

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663

The Pixel 4a has already lost to the iPhone SE

Apple launched brand-new iPhone SE this spring, and it's already been pitted against the expected Pixel 4a as the budget smartphone war of the year. But it's a war I think Google has already lost. With the Pixel 4a nowhere in sight, the iPhone SE continues to win praise from critics, is selling well, and no major flaws or issues have emerged. With Google not expected to launch the Pixel 4a until later this summer, I think the budget phone battle ended before it even had a chance to begin.

Let's take the two side by side. First, you've got the iPhone SE: a 4.7-inch display, a single 12MP rear camera, "iPhone 8"-ish battery life (so, totally fine), 64GB of storage, the powerful A13 Bionic processor, gigabit LTE with dual SIM (via eSIM), Touch ID, no headphone jack, IP67 water resistance, 18W fast wired charging, and wireless charging.

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45

Of course Google should make a successor to the Google Home

The original Google Home was a wildly successful product. Google sold millions of its debut smart speaker, and when it came on the scene in late 2016 to challenge Amazon's Echo, while it lost the market share battle, Google showed the world a smart speaker didn't have to feel quite so dumb. It is plainly obvious Google should build a successor to this now-discontinued product.

The Home was the Volkswagen Golf to the Home Mini's Polo.

Subsequent launches of the Home Mini (replaced by the Nest Mini) and Home Max filled out Google's smart speaker range, and the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max later offered a more visual stationary Assistant experience.

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22

CES 2021 is a bad idea

At earliest, the top infectious disease official in the United States says a coronavirus vaccine may be deployable at scale by the very tail end of 2020. If everything goes right, and the vaccine works. And not for everybody, at least not until early 2021. Again, this is at the earliest if everything goes exactly right. In unrelated news, CES thinks it can hold a giant convention next January.

CES brings well over a hundred thousand people down on the city of Las Vegas via airplanes from every corner of the globe. CES is known for its extreme human density, not just in the convention center, but in hotels, restaurants, public transit (yes, people use the monorail at CES), event venues, taxis, buses, clubs, and bars.

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157

The march toward the $2000 smartphone isn't sustainable

Whether it be a crazy foldable or just a 5G mega-brick with more storage than most laptops, smartphones are summiting peaks almost no one is asking them to, particularly on price. Samsung in particular has been on the cutting edge of what is a larger and growing trend, with its nearly-$2000 Galaxy Fold and maxed out Galaxy S20 Ultra (which retails for $1600 in 512GB trim). With Apple's new $400 iPhone SE making waves in the market like no handset has in a long time simply for the amazing value it provides, suddenly super expensive smartphones have a lot more of us feeling skeptical.

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56

Why doesn't my Google Nest Hub work with Netflix?

Assistant-powered smart displays like the Nest Hub aren't exactly "new" anymore. But almost two years since they were first revealed and a year and a half since the Google Home Nest Hub went on sale, they still have one glaring omission: Netflix. You can't play content from the biggest streaming service out there on them, even though they have support for cast streaming. And, surprisingly, it isn't Google's fault.

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76

The 5G is too damn high

When's the last time you really, deeply lamented the fact that your phone's mobile data connection wasn't marginally—maybe 10 or 20%—faster? Never? Because right now, and for the foreseeable future, that's statistically all 5G is going to get you. In return, manufacturers of 5G phones are asking for a hell of a lot from you, the consumer. Specifically, the dubious real-world benefits of 5G come attached to phones that are becoming legitimately, ludicrously expensive.

OnePlus wants a minimum of $700 for its cheapest 5G phone, and Verizon wants another $100 on top of that for its version with (currently literally pointless) mmWave 5G.

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362

The iPad is the only tablet worth buying during lockdown

Between marathon Netflix binge sessions and Zoom calls with the family, we're all spending a lot more time online these days. And though we might be encouraged to stay six feet apart in public, we're closer and more connected with one another than ever before. So if you're getting tired of carrying your laptop between rooms at home, and your phone just isn't cutting it, tablets are the perfect middle-ground for content consumption and communication. But even if you're a die-hard Android fan, you should probably consider the iPad before anything else.

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21

The time for a pair of OnePlus true wireless Bullets earbuds is now

When OnePlus announced the Bullets Wireless Z earlier this week, we already knew we were in for a new generation of the company's neckbuds. And perhaps the most compelling thing about them is the price: they're just $50 (free if your pre-ordered a OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro), and you can probably expect the same respectable sound and strong battery life previous generations have offered. But in 2020, neckbuds are decidedly not the kind of audio accessory befitting a $900 smartphone: it's true wireless or bust, OnePlus, and everyone knows it.

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102

Android's backup and restore features still haven't caught up to the iPhone

Android’s built-in backup system has improved immensely over the years, but it still falls short in a number of key areas, leading to much frustration for users. Its shortcomings are even more apparent when compared with Apple’s iCloud backup for iPhones, which — while not perfect — is better at copying over app data so users don’t have to spend hours setting up a new phone.

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