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Other Reviews

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AmpliFi Mesh Point HD review: The benefits of a mesh system with your existing router

My new apartment is laid out in a longitudinal way with the master bedroom on an opposite end of the living room/balcony. This makes the terrible internet situation in Lebanon even more challenging because finding a router system that reaches both ends is tricky. After a lot of research, I opted for a TP-Link Archer VR2600 that we had to place toward the living room side of the house. On paper, it seemed to fit the bill with speed, dual-band, guest network, parental controls, and a neat Android app. Most importantly, it had an RJ11 port, which is how our ADSL internet is delivered.

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Anker Nebula Capsule review: The best portable projector, but it'll cost you

Last year, mobile accessory company Anker released its first portable projector, the Nebula Mars. It was roughly the size of a lunch box, with powerful JBL speakers, great video quality, and Android built-in. The hardware was great, but the ancient version of Android (4.4.4, to be precise), lack of Play Store support, and high price made the product hard to recommend.

Not long after, Anker announced a smaller version, called the Nebula Capsule. It's roughly the size of a soda can, and works as both a projector and a Bluetooth speaker. It's almost certainly the best portable projector you can buy, but it commands a high price.

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ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 long-term review: The laptop that brought me back to Chrome OS

I've never been a fan of buying expensive laptops, even once I could actually afford them. Just like with smartphones, there's a certain point where the added features can't justify the $1,000+ prices, unless you are doing heavy productivity or gaming. My first laptop was the ASUS Eee PC 1001PXD netbook, which I was pretty happy with at the time (now the 1024x600 screen sounds atrocious), but the casing eventually started to crack apart. I later switched to the original Dell Chromebook 13, but the limitations of the browser-only environment were too much to bear, so I bought a Surface Pro 2.

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Review: Satechi's 75W charger has USB-C PD, Quick Charge, and extra ports to keep all your gadgets going

When you travel, you get a good idea of the stuff it takes to keep your lifestyle going. It's one thing to be surrounded by all the things you need at home, but it's another to selectively pack them into a limited space with the expectation of maintaining the same standards. For me, the limiting factor has always been power: charging all my stuff means toting a pile of cables and bricks around. In fact, that's one of the biggest advantages of the growing ubiquity of USB-C and the PD spec.

So when I saw Satechi's 75W Travel Charger, with one USB-C PD and three USB-A ports, I knew I was interested, and it didn't disappoint.

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Wacom Bamboo Tip review: A pricey fine-tip stylus that works on all touchscreens

A couple of weeks ago, Wacom announced the Bamboo Tip, a fine-tip stylus that had us interested. We've seen several of these "active capacitive" pens before, but they still occupy a rather forgotten category - one that's neither fully active neither as cheap as regular capacitive pens. So to get a better idea of how these pens work and whether or not they're worth the rather hefty price tag, I decided to take the Bamboo Tip for a test drive. I think it works well, but the $49.95 asking price is tough to justify.

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Anker Roav Viva review: It's a car charger with Alexa

Many things come to mind when I think of smart home accessories: speakers, locks, displays, TVs, or maybe wall plugs. The list continues to grow each day it seems, but here comes Anker with a car charger that, while itself not unique for the company, features Alexa as a defining feature. Don't want to fork over the money to get Assistant in your car? Here's the next best thing... kinda.

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Mophie Powerstation AC review: USB Type-C, 22000mAh, 110 Volts, 100 Watts, $200

Just ahead of this year's CES, Mophie announced a massive 22,000mAh battery capable of spitting both 30W USB-PD over Type-C and 100W over a standard AC outlet, all in a relatively dinky 7.5" x 4.5" x 1.1" package. It even had what looked like a swanky gray fabric shell, so our interest was certainly piqued. The only real potential drawback we noted at the time was the price. $199.95 is pretty serious cash for a 22,000mAh battery.

Since then, the battery has been marked down to ~$125 on Amazon. Now that I've had a chance to play with one for a while, I can say that it's a great battery, but depending on your use case it might not be a great value. 

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Wonder Workshop Dot and Cue review: One of these is not like the other

A few months ago, I reviewed the Collectors Edition of Anki's popular 'Cozmo' robot. Cozmo was first and foremost a toy, but the app included a 'Code Lab' where owners could create simple block-based programs (Anki has even extended that in subsequent updates).

After that review, Wonder Workshop asked me if I wanted to try out two of its toy robots - the 'Dot' and 'Cue.' Unlike the Cozmo, where coding functionality was more of an afterthought, programming is at the heart of the Dot and Cue. Almost all the activities you can do with these robots involve some level of coding, but they are accessible enough for most kids to get some enjoyment out of them.

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Google Home Max review: The best (and most expensive) smart speaker

The chances are almost 100% that everyone reading this has some way to access the Google Assistant. You might even have more than one Assistant device now that most phones released in the last few years have support and Google is handing out Home Minis like they're going to expire. The original Google Home has a respectable speaker for the size, and many people use it to listen to music. Yet, for anyone who's serious about their tunes, the Home and Home Mini just don't cut it. That's where the Home Max comes in. This smart speaker is not screwing around—it's big, heavy, and incredibly loud.

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Synology NAS mega-review: DS418play, DS718+, and DS1517+

Storage space is getting cheaper, whether you're talking about phones or computers. It used to cost astronomical amounts of money to get even 1GB of storage. As storage has become cheaper, files sizes are increasing. A photo taken with the Pixel 2 might be nearly 10MB, and that adds up over time. 4K video? We're talking many gigabytes.

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