Just published: my review of the Parrot Anafi drone, the latest in the craze of folding portable video drones.
The Parrot Anafi has a lot to like. It’s one of the most compact full-featured drones we’ve ever tested, packing into a small, water-bottle-sized package that fits easily into a backpack. And when you reach the destination, it’s easy to take out and fly the drone. The Anafi has a good selection of flight modes to take interesting shots, and the video it captures is pretty good, delivering clean, smooth video with plenty of detail.
But there are a couple of caveats. It’s a small drone, which means it is easily buffeted by wind, and the lack of object avoidance requires more careful piloting. These factors mean we wouldn’t pick the Anafi over the Mavic Air, but it is worth considering if you are looking for a light drone that takes excellent video.
My review of the Yunnec Typhoon H, a rather cool hexacopter drone.
If you are serious about taking high-quality airborne video, you need a drone that offers serious quality and flexibility. The Typhoon H is the latest model from Yuneec for the high-end drone user, shooting very high quality 4K video and offering a lot of features. Relatively quiet operation, a 360-degree pannable camera and a big-screen HD video preview are among the features on offer in this attractive package.
I reviewed the Extreme Fliers Micro Drone for Toms Guide, a promising but troubled small drone.
Crowdfunding sites have been the home of ideas that range from sublime to stupid. Fortunately, the Extreme Fliers Micro Drone 3.0 is a success story, because the result of this $3 million Indiegogo campaign is a simple drone that has some neat features and is fun to fly. It isn’t cheap, though: We looked at the $229 combo pack, which includes the drone, controller, Wi-Fi HD camera and a Google Cardboard FPV viewer. However, a few design issues dampen our enthusiasm.
Just published on Toms Guide, a review of the Pocket Drone, a cute little drone that is part quadcopter, part transformer.
It might look like a black box the size of an iPhone, but there’s more than meets the eye in the Odyssey Toys Pocket Drone. This neat little quadcopter folds down into a small rectangle that easily slides into a pocket. With the companion controller, which is similarly sized, you can deploy your drone anywhere the urge grabs you, and capture video at the same time.
Just published on Toms Guide, my review of the rather nice Lulzbot Mini 3D printer.
There is a lot to like about the LulzBot Mini. It has an attractive design and provides high-quality prints at good speed. It is flexible, handling a wide range of materials that are unknown factors with other 3D printers, and the software is mature and easy to use. The Mini costs significantly more than competitors like the Cube 3 and da Vinci AiO. However, the LulzBot Mini printer is better than both rivals’ offerings. Its extra cost is justified by its greater flexibility of printing materials and the higher quality of its prints.
I reviewed the XYZ Printing da Vinci 1.0 AiO, an interesting 3D printer and 3D scanner combination. However, the scanning portion of the product proved to be rather disappointing, producing low quality scans.
The da Vinci 1.0 AiO is a frustrating combination of a good printer and a poor 3D scanner. It outputs decent quality 3D prints of most objects, but struggles with smaller details or more complex objects. The scanner does an acceptable job with simple objects, but struggles to capture small details and has a lot of glitches. That makes the da Vinci 1.0 AiO a weak combination device.
Just published on Toms Guide is a review of the Formlabs Form One+, a high-end 3D printer that uses a resin material.
The benefit of the SLA printing process that the Form 1+ uses is that you can create very thin layers that result in extremely fine detail. The downsides are that it is complex and requires special resins. Oh, and it is expensive: $3299 for the printer and $149 for each liter of resin. This is still an evolving technology, though, and there are a few quirks on this printer.
For Wired I reviewed the FLiR One Infra-Red camera, which fits onto the iPhone 5.
The FLIR One is certainly an interesting product, but I found myself constantly saying “if only” when writing this review. If only the charger could recharge both the device and the phone at once, it would be easier to keep both charged. If only the temperature range of the sensor was a little wider, I could use the spot sensor to check how far below freezing the food in my freezer is. If only it could be used to take IR photos of small objects. If only the final images and videos didn’t have a FLIR logo in the corner all the time…
I assisted one of my cats in writing an article about how to take better lolcat photos.
Listen up, humans. Us felines are sick of being mocked with the things you call LOLcats. I’ve seen the greatest kittens of our generation reduced to tired clichés by incompetent photography and poor typography. Frankly, we are sick of it, and it needs to stop….Now, that was simple, wasn’t it? Frankly, we as a species are somewhat disappointed that you needed this sort of guidance. But we will, as always, forgive you in return for a nice head rub and a big bowl of noms. Or perhaps a nice cheezburger.
Videoconferencing is great, but you don’t always look your best. Here’s how to look great in Skype.
Whether it’s for a job interview, meeting the in-laws or talking to friends, video services like Skypeare making it easier to connect with people all over the world. They are also good ways to give a bad first impression, though, by making you look unattractive and inattentive. Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks that can help you look (and sound) better online. Here’s how to look good on Skype.