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Reviews

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Hands-on with Google Tasks: Another beautiful but disjointed way to get things done with Google

Google just launched its rumored Tasks revamp alongside a new Gmail experience this morning. The new interface will show up inside Gmail, if you activate the latter's redesign, and also comes with a new Android (APK Mirror) and iOS app. In this post, we'll take a look at what Tasks can - and can't - do and see how well polished its experience is.

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Sony LF-S50G review: Novelty features don't redeem this expensive Google Assistant speaker

In the personal assistance arms race, the two real options for Android users are Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa, and both companies have realized that victory will require ubiquity—not as the final result, but as the means. To that end, each has opened its platform up for third-party hardware, and Sony's (un)imaginatively named LF-S50G takes advantage of Google's Assistant in the same way the first party Google Home does, seasoned with a few unique features like gesture controls and a clock.

At around $200, though, I don't think Sony's speaker is worth the extra cash for most people over the $130 Google Home, unless you have particular requirements.

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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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ASUS Zenfone Max Plus M1 review: A big battery alone does not a good phone make

Back at CES, Asus showed off a follow-up to the not-so-old Zenfone 4 Max, which was a phone that ultimately disappointed me. Attempting to capitalize on the love for big batteries, the Taiwanese company decided to spin off the Zenfone Max line into its own device family. These phones will offer large batteries and many of the latest smartphone trends for budget prices.

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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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Fitbit Ionic long-term review: Fitbit may be on track for a wearable win

I reviewed the Fitbit Ionic when it launched late last year, and at the time I didn't much care for it. I was not into the design, and there were multiple software issues. I've continued to wear the watch on and off since then, and I spent about a week with the Fitbit Versa just recently. The Ionic has gotten several updates since my original review, including the recent bump to FitbitOS 2.0 that matches what ships on the Versa. With Google's Wear OS still on a downward trajectory, I'm giving Fitbit's flagship smartwatch another shot.

With the software improvements, I find myself liking the Ionic much more than I did when it launched.

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Android P initial impressions: Two weeks daily driving Google's latest OS

Android P is the latest iteration of Google’s mobile operating system, and it’s been available to test as a Developer Preview on the company’s Pixel phones for about a month now. I flashed the preview on my Pixel 2 XL a few weeks ago and have been using the phone as my daily driver since.

Overall, this is easily the most polished day-one build Google has released. I’m not having any battery drain issues, annoying app crashes, or random reboots. The P preview is, dare I say, very usable.

Still, flashing an early preview to your personal phone generally isn’t advisable.

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Phiaton BT 150 NC review: Great sound and noise canceling in an affordable package

Taking a step away from fitness-oriented audio, I have recently spent some time with Phiaton's BT 150 NC noise canceling earphones. This is aimed at traveling professionals who want to have great noise canceling without breaking the bank. Phiaton manages that with the $150 BT 150 NC, all while providing very good sound quality and comfort.

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Wicked Audio Endo review: The boring kind of cheap headphones

Bluetooth audio products take many forms at several price points, offering us the consumers multiple options to meet our respective needs. While some can go for the top-dollar, high-end items from Bose, others may need something under $100 or even $50. Affordable audio is potentially lucrative, especially when a customer can go find them at his or her nearest Walmart. Growing up, the only name of true note I knew in this particular market was Skullcandy, an edgy company set on providing decent-ish headphones and earphones that looked nice/cool, but didn't cost a whole ton.

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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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