So-called smart speakers became the darling of every big tech company in the last three years, with Amazon, Google, and Apple all trying to push their digital assistants as a complementary and indispensable part of their locked-in ecosystems. Incremental advancement continues, and the Assistant-powered responses to Amazon's trailblazing, screen-equipped Echo Show have started to land, the first one being this: Lenovo's Smart Display. And far from just being an interesting first try, Google's Assistant on a screen has already become an indispensable part of my home, especially in the kitchen. Read More
At MWC, Asus showed off its 2018 Zenfone lineup. Most of the attention fell on the 5Z and 5, with their display notches and fresh designs. Perhaps left to the wayside was the lower-end device of this family, the Zenfone 5Q (or Lite, depending on where you are). It doesn't resemble its brethren whatsoever, right down to even lacking a notch. Read More
Chrome OS has always been designed with low-power laptops in mind. There have been a few desktop machines over the years, like the ASUS Chromebit and LG Chromebase, but they're vastly outnumbered by Chromebooks. Seemingly out of nowhere, several companies announced new Chrome OS desktops at CES earlier this year - all of which are capable of running Android apps.
Acer's new desktop is the 'Chromebox CXI3,' which went on sale back in April. There are multiple configurations available, from an Intel Celeron version with 4GB of RAM to a Core i7 model with 16GB of RAM. Interestingly, Acer isn't marketing the CXI3 to consumers - it's designed for use in schools, where Chrome OS is wildly popular. Read More
For many of us, an external battery pack comes in near the top of our accessory priority list. Whether you travel for work or pleasure, topping up your gadgets on the go can be important, and that need can extend into durations or locations that require a few extra features or added durability. So, for all you outdoorsy types prepping for summer trips, we're taking a quick look at two new RAVpower batteries. One is "waterproof," both are solar-powered, and they clock in at 10,000mAh and 25,000mAh respectively. Read More
Affordable phones will always be a compromise, but Google hopes it can make entry-level devices a bit better with something new: Android Go. It's the same Android platform you know and presumably love, but optimized for sub-1GB RAM environments. That way low-end hardware can have its own low-end version of Android, rather than suffering an OEM debate between shoehorning in the latest version to perform terribly, or an older version which won't be secure or feature-filled.
Enter the Alcatel 1X. It's the second Android Go device to hit the US behind the ZTE Tempo Go—and the only one you can actually buy right now—at a mere $100. Read More
When smartwatches first hit the market several years ago, I immediately hopped on board. As an avid lover of watches, I found myself very interested in the concept of wearing a timepiece that also doubled as a notification mirror for my phone. At the time, I worked in jobs where phone use was either discouraged or outright prohibited, whether by policy or the frantic pace of the position. But unfortunately for me, I have a compulsion to know what's going on with my phone at any and all times — I can't just ignore my phone going off. So smartwatches offered me a chance to keep my phone in my pocket, but still be kept apprised of my incoming notifications. Read More
We spend a lot of time researching the gadgets we use, but often gloss over things when it comes to accessories. That seems to be especially true in the case of power, where most of us just sort of use whatever battery or charger we have on hand—convenience is the most important thing. But if you look into the matter, not all batteries are created equal. Thankfully, RAVPower's 27,000mAh, 110V AC-compatible battery has some decent specs in an inexpensive package, and we've got a coupon that makes it even cheaper. Read More
Everyone knows you should keep a spare tire in the trunk of your car, and possibly tools like jumper cables and scissor jacks. Dashcams can be just as helpful as those, but many American drivers never install one. This can be for many different reasons — most them are ugly, the driver thinks they don't need one, and so on. Read More