I have recently started reviewing laptops for the US branch of T3: so far I have reviewed the Gateway FHD 14.1 Ultra Slim, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, and the Lenovo X1 Fold. In a historical note, T3 magazine was started while I was at Future in the UK: I think I had a short piece in issue 1.
The future, William Gibson once observed, is already here: it just isn’t very evenly distributed. That’s definitely true when it comes to the new technology of folding screens. We’ve seen folding phones from Samsung and Xiaomi, plus prototypes of other devices from companies like LG that use flexible screens in a variety of devices, but Lenovo is the first to put one in a commercially available laptop.
Hot off the press today is my review of hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) controllers for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.
Mind you, FS2020 is not really a game but rather a realistic flight simulator, which means that staying aloft on those rippling breezes is not easy. One thing that can make the experience more enjoyable is flying your virtual airplane with a set of controls that mirrors the setup a real pilot might use in a real airplane. There are many options for realistic flight controllers, and I looked at several that work well with FS2020, including a simple joystick, a few hands-on throttle and sticks (HOTAS) controllers like those in military jets, and a flight yoke that approximates what you would find on a small aircraft like a Cessna.
Just published: my review of mechanical keyboards for Reviewed.com. Spoilers: I liked the clicky Logitech G513 the best, although there are lots of good ones to check out if you prefer more blinkiness.
Our top pick is the Logitech G513 (available at Amazon for $99.99) , a durable keyboard made of aircraft-grade aluminum that’s great for typing for long periods. For those on a budget, our Best Value pick is the Havit Mechanical Keyboard and Mouse Kit (available at Amazon), which offers a responsive keyboard with an attractive minimal design.
Just published at Wired is this roundup of alternative SBCs to the Raspberry Pi, looking at devices that are cheaper, more powerful, or more Windows-y.
We’ve picked five single-board computers (known as SBCs) that offer more power or flexibility than the Pi, more inputs and outputs, and more of what your project might need. Which alternative is right for you depends on what you want to do with the device. For homemade robots and other projects that don’t need a screen display, it’s hard to argue with the low cost, processing power, and profusion of in/outputs of the PocketBeagle.
I can finally reveal the reason I have been standing in the yard staring at my laptop screen over the past few weeks: this review of several mesh WiFi systems for Reviewed.com. These systems spread the reach of your WiFi by sharing it amongst several routers that work together, rather than a single router.
…Nest WiFi has an extra trick up its sleeve: it works as a Google Voice Assistant speaker. That means you can ask it to do things, such as play tunes from Spotify while you cook, or control smart devices. That could be a pro or a con depending on how you feel about things talking to you: personally, with three meowing cats and a barky dog, I have enough things in my house talking to me without Google joining in.
Just published at Wired is a review of cell phone keyboards that I wrote a few months back. To my surprise, my long-suffering editor at Wired let my description of the overweight Samsung Note 10+ as a chonker through.
My top pick was the Arteck HB066 Bluetooth Keyboard, a small keyboard that combines a nice foldable design with a consistent key size and a layout that will immediately feel comfortable. None of these choices are as comfortable to use as a full-size keyboard, though, so be prepared to compromise some luxury in the name of portability.
Following up from the USB battery articles I wrote for Reviewed.com is this review of AA rechargeable batteries. Bottom line: most were pretty good but there was a surprising amount of variation.
After hours of testing, we chose the Energizer Recharge Universal (available at Amazon for $20.99) as our best rechargeable batteries. They provide the best balance of capacity and price, holding about 2200 mAh of charge and supporting up to 1000 charge cycles…For a less expensive alternative, we recommend AmazonBasic Rechargeable Batteries (available at Amazon). Each individual cell holds about 1800 mAh of charge so your devices won’t run for as long as they would with the Energizers or other higher capacity batteries.
Looking for a place to park your posterior? Check out this roundup of the best office chairs that I wrote for Toms Guide.
Wherever you park your posterior to do work, it deserves the best office chair to call home. A decent home office chair doesn’t just look cool; it can make you more productive and more focused and keep you feeling comfy during long video calls. It will encourage good posture, which makes working from home easier on your back, and it helps you feel better when you get up from a long day at the (home) office.
My review of the Form 3 3D printer has just been published at Toms Guide. Spoilers: it is pretty good, but it ain’t cheap.
The whole process was clean and generally hassle free, which is a lot different from typical SLA printers that require a lot of tweaking, calibration and other fiddling to get good results. The Form 3 just works.
This 3D printer was fun to review: The Toybox prints toys, like trains and tracks, minifigs and other stuff to nurture your inner child.
So, is this 3D printer going to replace a big box of Legos? No. The prints the Toybox produces are not as high quality as mass-produced plastic blocks, and some users will find the print times frustrating. But for older children who know where not to stick their fingers, and who want to add a creative angle to their play, the Toybox is a great and not overly expensive printer.