With cheap high-capacity external batteries abounding, is there still a need for solar-powered chargers? Contributing Editor Chuck La Tournous shines some light on SolarTab—a solar panel charger/battery combo that's a bright spot in the field. But has the sun set on solar?
There are now small, unpowered USB-C hubs or docks that are good for travel with a MacBook. They have extra USB-A ports and, typically, not much more. However, there's a real need for a full-featured dock that has it all: high-power USB-A ports for charging, SD Card, Ethernet, HDMI video, and audio. This OWC dock has all those ports, all combined into a beautiful piece of hardware.
The just released Satechi Aluminum Wireless Presenter is a beautifully designed red LED laser pointer combined with slide navigation buttons, all wrapped in Bluetooth and a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. It's available in the matching Apple colors of Silver, Space Gray or Gold.
There are many ho-hum and many good portable battery chargers for our iDevices. Most are just little boxes with a battery, LED lights and USB ports. However, the new Lynktec (5,300 or 8,000 mAh) charger has a multitude of thoughtful features, expansion options and usage profiles. John Martellaro has been putting one though its paces and files this review.
The Apple iPad Pro is a larger iPad than most users are accustomed to and, therefore, requires special handling. Any case for it should fit in with the intended use and be compatible with Apple's Apple Smart Keyboard and pencil. This iPad's extra weight and size make drop protection critical. John Martellaro reviews the Urban Armor Gear Composite Case for the iPad Pro to see how it measures up.
The Hewlett-Packard Z27s is a 27-inch, 4K Ultra High Definition display suitable for use with any modern PC or Macintosh. The IPS, anti-reflection display is flat, bright and the multiple mechanical adjustments as well as multiple inputs are superb. John Martellaro connected one to his Mac Pro and spent several months with this display. Here is his review in detail.
Wireless speaker leader Sonos has replaced its flagship PLAY:5 with a new speaker called... the PLAY:5. This new model replaces its six-year-and-two-day-old predecessor in the line-up, though new PLAY:5 has been designed and engineered from the ground up to truly stand on its own. For one, this unit has six independent speakers instead of five, but Sonos said instead of calling it the PLAY:6 they decided their flagship speaker should retain its name. Fair enough.
In addition to one more speaker, the new PLAY:5 sports a completely new design, the ability to rotate and be operated while placed on any three of its front-facing sides, a multitouch control pad and some additional magic that really allows it to create a stellar stereo field.
Wi-Fi is great -- until it's not. TP-LINK's new Powerline adapters promise to let your home's electrical wiring do double duty as a high speed wired network. Can they really be the solution for dead spots and out-of-range areas in your home? Chuck La Tournous takes one for a spin to find out.
The new Apple MacBook comes with with a USB-C port precluding the use of any USB-A Flash drive without an adapter. Patriot Memory has solved that problem by launching a dual port USB-C, USB-A, combo Flash drive in 32 and 64 GB sizes at good price points. It's called the Stellar-C. John Martellaro has been testing one and posts his review.
We've come a long way since Steve Jobs told us we already have ten styluses on our hands thanks to the creative efforts of many companies. Over time, iPad and iPhone styluses have become more complex, gained pressure sensitivity, and trimmed down the size of their tips. Adonit's latest addition to the stylus world is the Jot Dash and instead of moving us forward by adding in new features, it takes us a step in the right direction by taking some away.
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