Reviews Stories Yesterday

Finding the perfect bag to take on a trip has never been an easy task for me. I want to carry my camera gear, clothes, toiletries, and my laptop too; along with all of the necessary cables and cords I’ll need for that trip. I’ve used several bags over the past few years, from the TYLT Energi to Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack 30L, Messenger Bag 15, and even the WaterField’s Air Porter.

Each serves a purpose unique to itself: the Messenger Bag 15 is great for carrying one camera body and a few lenses along with a laptop, the Everyday Backpack 30L is an awesome bag to carry tons of stuff, though it’s not super comfy. The Air Porter is an awesome laptop bag with plenty of room to carry other tech items, like my Switch. But, in the past, I’ve always had to carry multiple bags when going on a weekend vacation or convention. That all changed with the Peak Design Travel Backpack.

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Reviews Stories September 12

sEach fall we’re blessed with annual releases from some of the most popular video game series out there. In recent memory, no other franchise has enjoyed such a cult following like NBA 2K. Each year the series gets a fine tuning, along with updated rosters and varies tweaks that take the game to a new level.

NBA 2K19 hit the scene on Friday with more hype than I can recall in the last few years. Right out of the box it’s clear that 2K is set to shine again with buttery smooth gameplay and an exceptionally deep Career Mode that takes you on a journey from no-name to star. That’s not to say this year’s release isn’t without any issue as microtransactions continue to be a bother throughout. Despite that, NBA 2K19 continues to reign supreme as the best basketball simulation on the market today.

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Reviews Stories September 10

Today it’s all about IK Multimedia’s latest analog synth hardware. IK’s lineup of music production and live sound gear is largely considered to be for those with a budget in mind or as amazing beginner rigs for aspiring producers. The new UNO synth is designed to be just that with an extremely competitive price tag and wide platform compatibility with your existing recording environment. After having the chance to put the portable analog synthesizer to the test over the last couple weeks in some electronic-based music productions and more, it’s time to see what the new IK Multimedia UNO Synth is packing. expand full story

Reviews Stories August 31

When I first saw the announcement for the MX Vertical from Logitech, I was intrigued. I had seen vertical mice like this from other companies on Amazon before but was never quite sure if they “really” worked.

I came from the MX Master 2S (and MX Master before that, with a few MX Anywhere mice thrown in as well.) In my mind, nothing could be as good ergonomically as the MX Master. It felt better than other mice and had tons of features. My views were completely changed after using the MX Vertical for just over a week.

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It was just earlier this year that LEGO brought the Harry Potter line of kits back from a nearly decade-long hiatus. And just a few months after the initial announcement, LEGO returned to show off its second biggest set to date, the 71043 Hogwarts Castle.

Now with the 6,000-piece set’s release right around the corner, we’re ready to get down to the nitty gritty and take a hands-on look at this year’s largest LEGO kit. So be sure to head below and see what the Wizarding World of Hogwarts has to offer.

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Reviews Stories August 30

This morning, Ultimate Ears announced the follow-up to two of most popular Bluetooth Speakers with the BOOM 3 and MEGABOOM 3. The latest from UE delivers the same bright colors and in your face design, but this isn’t simply a re-branded version of the previous generation. Both speakers feature a new ‘Magic Button’ on top that allows for users to control music and instantly start pre-determined playlists. UE has also completely remodeled its iOS app to include a handful of new features.

I’ve been able to go hands-on with the latest BOOM speakers from UE over the last few weeks. Head below for a quick look and a few thoughts on today’s release.

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Reviews Stories August 29

Working at 9to5Toys, I’ve been able to get my hands-on some pretty cool technology over the years. As trends come and go, different products will catch my eye, but perhaps none more than the slew of electric bikes that we’ve reviewed over at Electrek. In recent months, Seth, Fred and Micah have detailed just about every style of two-wheel transportation you can imagine, so long as it’s powered by electricity. In that time, I’ve been watching and waiting for the perfect chance to ride on my first eBike. That day is today.

Pure Cycles first arrived on the scene six years ago, but it wasn’t until recently when we featured a deal on 9to5Toys that I became familiar with its offerings. For the past few weeks I’ve been able to take one of its latest releases, the Volta, out for a spin. I couldn’t have picked a better ride for my first eBike experience.

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Reviews Stories August 24

Choosing the right desktop speakers can certainly be challenging. It usually boils down to something like how much you value high-quality over how much cash you’re willing to part with. I would personally rather fork over some serious loot for a hardcore set of drivers. But I thought it was time to start taking a look at some of the extremely affordable options on the market to see what saving a thousand dollars or more sounds like.

Enter Samson’s latest MediaOne M50 Power Studio Monitors. The extremely affordable desktop speakers are set for release later this month so we thought no better time than now to see how the sub $120 monitors will hold up in a typical podcast/music production workflow. expand full story

Reviews Stories August 10

LEGO Ideas’ latest release has been in our sights for almost two years now. Since the creation’s inception way back at the beginning of 2017, we’ve been eagerly awaiting to see if it would ever get its full LEGO debut. Last fall it was announced that LEGO would be bringing the Legendary Defender into brick form and after a year of waiting, Voltron is finally here. So of course, we couldn’t help but get our hands on LEGO’s largest mecha yet. Be sure to head below to get an in-depth look at the 2,300-piece set.

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Reviews Stories August 9

I was recently in a wedding, and was prepared for the usual smattering of groomsmen gifts that were destined to find their way into a drawer somewhere. Turns out, the groom had something pretty cool up his sleeve…or should I say, in his wallet.

Amongst the selection of gifts was this nifty 11-function stainless steel survival tool. At under $4 via Amazon, this is a must-have for your wallet. It’s capable of doing just about any task you might come across, and is arguably less likely to be lost than those Swiss Army knives we’ve seen around for years. Head below for a quick look.

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Reviews Stories August 3

LEGO’s Harry Potter line of kits is finally back after a near decade hiatus. Over the first half of 2018 we’ve seen a variety of releases get added to the lineup and while there’s no beating the new 6,000 piece Hogwarts castle, the most popular of the new releases are LEGO’s BrickHeadz figures for the wizards. Today we’re going hands-on with the new figures, so be sure to hit the jump for an in-depth look.

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Reviews Stories July 25

In the past few years of LEGO releases, the company’s lineup has been defined by a two-fold focus: releasing larger, more part-intensive kits packed with eye-catching details alongside expanding its lineup of offerings by bringing in as many partnerships with existing IPs as possible. LEGO’s most recent release just so happens to fit into both categories, with the all-new Aston Martin DB5 packing many iconic features and details from the James Bond franchise, the first LEGO kit to tie in with the famous spy flicks. 

As we reported last week, LEGO debuted its most recent kit in partnership with the British luxury sports car manufacturer, Aston Martin. Stacking up to just under 1,300 pieces, the 007-themed DB5 is sure to be one of this year’s must-have sets. Luckily we got our hands on it prior to widespread release and will be diving in to see if the brick-built recreation of the iconic ride stacks up to a gadget worthy of the famous secret agent or if Q should have just left this one in the shop.

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Reviews Stories July 20

littleBits is one of our favorite company’s in the STEAM space, and has been shaking up the industry by pairing top-notch coding and electronics kits with eye-catching and interesting themes. One of their newest releases took tinkerers to a galaxy far, far away to build and program their very own astromech droid. Today we’ll be taking a hands-on look at littleBits’ Droid Inventor kit to see if it stacks up to be a prized robotic companion or a bucket of bolts.

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About a month ago, Incase formally introduced its latest MacBook sleeves and a new nylon accessory organizer. While working at home has its perks, it’s not ideal for testing out travel gear. I was luckily able to change that last week and fully go hands-on with the latest Incase releases. A few thoughts and a quick look below.

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Reviews Stories July 13

Amazon’s Echo Show and Echo Spot have garnered mixed reviews, from people not sure if they want to put an all-knowing camera in their home to those who absolutely loved it because it gave them their beloved Echo with a built-in display. The Echo Show, however, is somewhat limited (and normally expensive).

Until now, the Echo Show or Spot have been the only way to get Alexa on a screen (besides using Fire TV). However, Amazon recently released the Show Mode Charging Dock for Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 8 and it offers one of the best ways to experience Alexa on the big screen, in my opinion.

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Reviews Stories July 11

Trying to occupy small children during the summer can be a difficult task. In my part of the country, it’s hot and humid. The only outdoor activity I want to do from June to September is something water related. My kids feel the same way. Since we don’t have a pool, we looked for options to give them something in our backyard. We used the classic Slip N Slide – $27 for a few summers, but they quickly got bored with it.

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Reviews Stories June 29

When it comes to car infotainment systems, stock units are rarely good. For years, you had regular knobs, buttons, and small screens to show you what radio station or CD track you were listening to. Fast forward to today and companies are building GPS into car radios, though the interface is never pretty, and they often feel difficult to navigate.

Alpine, an industry leader, has always produced solid car receivers, and recently has been stepping its game up with better interfaces, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and more with its offerings. The latest head unit from Alpine, dubbed the iLX-F309 HALO9, is one of the nicest I’ve ever had the pleasure of using, with a capacitive 9-inch touchscreen, built-in light sensor for dimming, dedicated GPS antenna, and more. This car radio has it all.

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Reviews Stories June 28

As of late, there have been a variety of miniature projectors that have made their way to market. The latest of these is from 1byone, a company that has taken to Indiegogo to raise funds to release its new GoSho Mini Projector.

GoSho takes the form-factor of a hand-held cube with metal accents. Alongside its miniature casing, it sports four-hour battery life, the ability to project up to a 200-inch screen, and built-in speakers among a variety of smart features.

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Reviews Stories June 27

Earlier this week Nintendo announced that it would be pairing its newly-released cardboard accessories with the fan-favorite Switch title Mario Kart 8. While we took a look at what the team-up would mean for the hit racing game in our announcement coverage, we figured only a hands-on could really show if Labo’s first shot at mainstream use is worthy of the star treatment or if cardboard should stick to being a pizza box. So head below to see us put Labo’s cardboard motorbike accessory to the test.

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Reviews Stories June 25

A few years back when the original 12-inch MacBook came out in 2015, people were clamoring for a monitor that could not only send video, but also audio, and power to the notebook all over a single USB-C cable.

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Reviews Stories June 22

At the beginning of the month, Amazon announced the new $119 Fire TV Cube, a hybrid Echo device and streaming media player that promises a glimpse into the future of content consumption. As set-top boxes from Apple, Roku and now Amazon have grown in popularity over the last few years, two key issues have repeatedly popped up for viewers. How to best manage an overflowing chest of content and the headache that comes with multiple remotes.

Fire TV Cube looks to cure that with an all-in-one solution centered around its Alexa voice platform. In our hands-on testing, it delivered as a means for sorting through content but fell short as an intuitive hub for home theaters. The potential is there, but don’t count on it changing the game just yet.

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Reviews Stories June 19

For many of us, assembling the first computers we could call our own was a right of passage to the freedoms that came with owning them. The same can’t be said for those growing up today, as often times the first device many receive is a hand-me-down smartphone, tablet and laptop.

Kano, one of the better-known companies in the STEAM and educational market, has a new kit in which kids, or really anyone for that matter, can assemble their very own portable computer and experiment with coding thanks to a variety of interactive tutorials.

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Reviews Stories June 12

This morning, Nomad unveiled its new Battery Cable designed for iPhone. Fans of Nomad’s lineup will recognize this as an upgraded version of the original model. The new Battery Cable sports that familiar rugged design that we’ve come to love with the added bonus of an integrated 2800mAh power supply inside. iPhone X and 7/8 users will be able to fully charge their devices one time with that integrated battery pack, adding an extra level of peace of mind. More details and a quick hands-on are below.

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Reviews Stories June 8

Audioengine has been cranking high-quality speakers and audio equipment for sometime out of its Texas-based headquarters. Recently, they introduced the new A5+ Wireless, a revamped version of the previous generation that fits between its HD3 (review) and HD6 (review) offerings.

The A5+ are touted as “an exciting evolution” to Audioengine’s lineup with eyes on bridging the ever-expanding gap between wireless convenience and sound quality. At a time when every major player in tech is introducing a new speaker, Audioengine looks to go above the fray with its $499 A5+. Full hands-on and impressions below.

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Reviews Stories June 7

Distil Union is back with its latest Wally Case, this time for iPhone X. While there are lots of wallet-style options on the market, Wally Case and Wally Stick-On stand out as two of the most slim and refined ways to protect your iPhone and discreetly carry your wallet essentials. Follow along for a hands-on look.

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