Best Hoverboard 2018

Hoverboards also known as ‘Self Balancing electric scooters’ are a fun and easy mode of transport. With several hundred products on the market, all with comparable features, it can be difficult to determine which is the best hoverboard in 2018.

But, after 30 hours of research, extensive testing and consulting, we’ve concluded that the #1 hoverboard on the market is the Swagtron T1. Why?

The Swagtron T1 charges in 1 hour, has an 8 MPH top speed and a range of 7-12 miles. This is the hoverboard that set the standard for those that have followed.

It is UL 2272 Fire Safe and has a 3 hour battery life.  Moreover, it gives you the best all around value for your money and packs in the features you want.

So without further ado, here are the top hoverboards for 2018.

Top 3 Hoverboards Compared 2018

#1 Swagtron T1 The Best All Around Hoverboard

Pros

  • 3 hour battery life
  • Range of 7-12 miles
  • Charging time is 1 hour

Cons

  • No Bluetooth and lack of GPS
  • No accompanying app
  • Build Quality could be better. Scratches easily.

The Swagtron T1 remains the best hoverboard for kids and adults. It supports a maximum weight of 220 lbs. This model is durable, easy to use, and is safe for everyone since it is UL 2272 compliant. The ABS outer covering is not only durable, but also fire-resistant.  It features a SentriShield battery pack  to prevent overheating and a Safestop feature that lets you get off the device safely while adding to the efficiency of the battery. That battery can be charged in about an hour and you are ready to roll. It even sports 2 learning modes for beginners. This model will offer you a smooth ride, great battery life and you will be using it for a long time to come. Great features combined with safety make this model a true winner in the field. It is the best all-around hoverboard that you can buy today.

#2 Epikgo Self-Balancing Hoverboard

Pros

  • All-terrain 8.5″ tires
  • Charges in under 2 hours
  • Maximum speed of 10 MPH

Cons

  • New riders may have a hard time with the large tires
  • Price is higher than some other models, but well worth it.

For those who like to trade the sidewalk and roads for a more off-road experience, this hoverboard is a dream come true. Especially since you won’t have to worry about potential damage to your hoverboard. The Epikgo self-balancing hoverboard should be your number 1 choice for off-road adventures.  With large 8.5 inch tires, powerful 400W dual hub motors, 1P56 certification, great handling, quick charging and excellent range, it is a good investment. You will find it to be stable ride on a wide variety of terrain and it has ample foot space for comfort. It will handle any terrain, whether it is grass, mud, sand and more. It sports a strong ABS body with aluminum fenders, a quick charge of under 2 hours and a top speed of 10 MPH. A 1 year limited warranty covers parts and labor from the manufacturer.

#3 Halo Rover

Pros

  • Powerful 800W motor
  • Maximum load of 265 lbs.
  • Bluetooth speakers and mobile app

Cons

  • Weighing 32 lbs it is quite heavy
  • Expensive compared to other models, but you get a great set of features for theprice.

If you are looking for a hoverboard that can handle any terrain, this one will do so effortlessly and will deliver an excellent riding experience. The Halo Rover Hoverboard also has the safety credentials that you want in a hoverboard. It is UL 2272 certified hoverboard with a UL certified LG battery. This model also delivers an impressively durable build with advanced water resistance. Rain or shine it will perform. The 8.5 inch wheels will handle any terrain and it can even climb hills with grades up to 20 degrees. This Halo Board also includes LED headlights to improve visibility for riders and pedestrians alike. You can have complete control over your hover board using a smartphone app that lets you monitor power, speed, distance traveled and more. The app can also adjust the speed, steering sensitivity, and other features. This is a solid choice for most experienced hoverboard users.

#4 Segway Minipro Self-Balancing Personal Transport

Pros

  • Made from aircraft grade material for a durable and lightweight frame
  • 800W motors
  • Easy to ride and maneuver

Cons

  • Long charging time
  • Automatic speed reduction keeps things under 10 MPH
  • Customers report issues that some units do not charge properly

The Segway Minipro Self-Balancing Personal Transport is the best all-round hoverboard for those who don’t have experience riding personal transports.  The adjustable knee bar makes it easy for new riders and experienced riders to maneuver. It is UL 2272 compliant, with a lithium ion battery and features IP54 certification so that it is resistant to water. The unit is lightweight and the large 10.5 tires deliver a smooth and satisfying rider experience, which also means that it absorbs shocks nicely. The customizable LED lights keep you visible and safe at night. The Segway Minipro Self-Balancing Personal Transport has a maximum speed of 10 MPH and a range of 14 miles. The powerful 800 watt motors round it all out. It also features 3 riding modes and a mobile app that provides tutorials, an anti-theft feature and also acts as a remote control. This is a solid hoverboard, especially for the inexperienced.

#5 Razor Hovertrax 2.0

Pros

  • Silent Operation
  • Detachable battery that extends battery life
  • Range of 15 miles

Cons

  • Low battery life
  • Top speed could be better
  • Not water resistant

The Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Hoverboard is a definite improvement over the 1.0 model.  Fans of the company will be happy to upgrade to this model. It is UL 2272 certified hoverboard to meet the industry’s electrical safety standards. It has a cruising speed of 8+ mph with silent 350 watt motors and a run-time of up to 60 minutes of continuous use for riders up to 220 lbs. The company’s advanced Ever Balance Technology and non-slip rubber foot pads make it a simple to use hoverboard for any child or adult. The detachable battery means that you can extend your battery life. The range on this unit is 15 miles. While the top speed could be better, it offers silent operation, and ease of use that both make up for it. New features on this model include the cool-blue LED light bar display, fender bumpers, LED battery power indicator, and two riding modes for training and normal riding. The price is just right on this model if you are looking for a budget hoverboard that is durable and easy to use.

#6 Swagtron T5

Pros

  • 5 level battery indicator
  • Light and durable
  • Range of 10 miles

Cons

  • 5 hour charging time
  • Low speed of 7 MPH
  • Not water resistant

The Swagtron T5 is perfect for anyone looking for an entry level hoverboard at a great price point.  This is a good first hoverboard for any user. You will get great functionality and features that you would expect from a budget hoverboard. This unit still does it all and is easy to ride. The light and durable construction make it easy to use and give it a long life. This one is really portable, weighing just 18.9 lbs. It has a maximum load of 187 lbs, is UL 2272 compliant, features SentryShield Battery protection and a Smart battery Management system. The air-tight aluminum alloy body protects the battery, mainboard, and gears from heat dispersion, making sure you are safe. It delivers a range of 10 miles and has a battery level indicator so that you know where your charge is at all times. It also features a handy learning mode for new riders. For those not ready for bigger and more fully featured hoverboards, this is the perfect model to choose. Many newcomers are flocking to the T5.

#7 Swagtron T580

Pros

  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Comes with app
  • Smooth ride

Cons

  • Low max speed
  • Low range
  • Mid-range power

The Swagtron T580 is a great middle of the road model from Swagtron. It packs in some very good features like the fact that it is Bluetooth enabled, allowing you to change modes, check the battery, access maps, and play music. The maximum speed is only 7.5 mph, but it has a respectable ability to climb inclines of up to 30° with its 150W dual motors. This model has 3 modes and travels up to 8 miles per charge, with a maximum weight load of 220 lbs. 6.5″ hard rubber tire give you a smooth ride. Your charging time will be 90-100 minutes. A single charge will yield a maximum range of 8 miles. It also comes with an app that is compatible with both iPhone and Android. There is a reason that this model sells. The Swagtron T580 is a great middle of the road model that delivers the features that most users want at a great price point.

#8 Skque Self Balancing Scooter

Pros

  • Smart battery charges quickly
  • Built-in Bluetooth speakers
  • Solidconstruction

Cons

  • Low max speed
  • Lack of smartphone app

The Skque Self balancing Scooter provides a comfortable ride and features a high quality chassis, giving it superior durability for a long life.  Another nice feature are the built-in gyros that give the ride some added stability.  As far as riding around your neighborhood or making quick rides back and forth to work, this one is a great choice. It will also be ideal for you if you only travel short distances. The LED lights will keep you visible at night. This models weighs just 22 lbs. Other features include 15 degrees of climbing, a max speed of about 7 to 10 MPH, a charging time of 1 to 2 hours and built-in Bluetooth speakers. It will hold a rider of up to 220 lbs. It lacks an app to add some extra features, but this is a solid basic model for kids or adults who just want ride around their local area. If you don’t need any extra bells and whistles, it is a great choice for the price.

#9 Hoverzon S Self Balancing Hoverboard

Pros

  • Smart battery management
  • Range up to 12 miles
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • No Bluetooth speaker
  • Low top speed
  • Not waterproof

The Hoverzon S Self Balancing Hoverboard has several great features that all make for a simple and fun experience. It has a top speed of only 8 MPH and a full charge will give you up to 12 miles distance. Construction is solid and durable, making it safe to use. It offers several riding modes so that users of all skill levels can enjoy and experience the best that this hoverboard has to offer. If it is an entry level hoverboard that you are looking for, you can’t go wrong with this one. Other features include 250W dual motors, a maximum weight is 220 lbs, gyroscopic motors that make your ride smoother, LED headlights, battery indicators, and smart battery management to keep things extra safe.

The Top Questions About Hoverboards Answered

The following post Best Hoverboard 2018 is republished from www.gadgetreview.com

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Best Tactical Flashlight: Powerful Can Be Small

After taking a look at a dozen different flashlights from the top brands in the business, we focused on one big question: how well does the flashlight perform when you need it most? That’s really what the best tactical flashlight is all about.

After measuring brightness, timing how long the batteries lasted, dropping lots of flashlights on the pavement, and similar tests, we’ve finally come to a conclusion. If you want a durable flashlight with up to 800 lumens, a compact design that can fit just about anywhere, and more than 15 hours of light on AAA batteries, then the Lumify X9 is your model.

It also comes with an option to switch over for a rechargeable battery, strobe functions including SOS signals, and several other useful features that’s we’ll discuss below. You can also check out our other top picks, learn more about tactical flashlights, and find quick links to make a purchase!

Top Tactical Flashlights Compared & Reviewed

Lumify X9

Brightness Test: 315 lux at 10 feet

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Compact, rugged design
  • Multiple battery options
  • Dependable battery life

Cons:

  • Light modes can take time to learn
  • A little small for full-room illumination

Design of the Lumify X9

Arriving in its own foam-padded case, this Lumify flashlight is trying hard to be elite – and backs it up with an excellent design or the modern user. This is one of the most compact tactical flashlights that we’ve seen, easy to hold in your hand, drop in a coat pocket, or loop around your belt without the weight being an issue. It also comes with a small holster if you prefer this method, although it’s not necessary

The on/off button is recessed in the back of the flashlight, which is a little awkward for fast use but helps keep the design trim and water resistant, which are important bonuses. The flashlight concentrates the beam with a simple push/pull method that can narrow the beam from a tiny spot to a large circle as you need. You can also hold or tap the on/off button to switch between a strobe and an SOS light, although this takes some practice to get just right.

As for the frame, it’s made of military grade aluminum and largely impervious to any accidental damage – the compact design also helps here!

Performance of the Lumify X9

Lumify surprised us with a light that’s particularly reliable: Even after 15 or so hours of constant use, the light remained bright enough for use in dark spaces, an excellent rating for such a compact flashlight that can create up to 800 lumens.

Note that Luminify’s model has several energy source options: We used the three AAA battery option, but you can also buy a specific rechargeable lithium-ion battery for the model if you want to recharge your battery every day. This type of versatility in batteries is nice to see, even if it means going to some extra work when you need to switch.

Overall, the Lumify X9 has such a focus on usability that it’s easy to recommend for a variety of uses and situations.

The major criticism we found is that, due to the compact nature of the light, it faces some difficulty in lighting up large dark spaces (entire rooms, etc.), making it more useful in nearby illumination or confrontations.

At the broadest light beam setting, the model produced, on average, 315 lux at 10 feet. This is again a surprising powerful rating for such a small flashlight, and another reason we made it our top pick!

5.11 XBT D3

Brightness: 340 lux at 10 feet

Pros:

  • Excellent illumination
  • Great battery efficiency

Cons:

  • Bulky, heavy design
  • Requires D batteries

Design of the 5.11 XBT D3

The XBT D3 is made in the model of traditional, patrol-style flashlights that were quite common back in the day, and so probably looks very familiar to many buyers. However, the model has been updated with an integrated circuit, a low/high power mode, a more ruggedized design with better gripping, and three XMLB LED bulbs.

This is all good news, but you still have to account for the weight, which is rated at 32 ounces with batteries. That’s a lot of heft for a flashlight, and that makes it more difficult to carry around or store. If you’ve used these patrol flashlights in the past you know what to expect here, but if this is your first tactical flashlight purchase, you may be disappointed with how heavy this flashlight can feel after a couple hours. On the plus side, the size and weight make this model a defensive option where compact models really aren’t, so that heft isn’t all bad news.

Performance of the 5.11 XBT D3

This 5.11 model far and away beat the rest of our reviewed models when it came to battery longevity. Even after 40 hours of constant use at a high level, the flashlight still managed to put out a beam with enough illumination to be usable (although significantly less so than at the beginning). That’s far better than the stated specs, and we were duly impressed.

The price, of course, is those three large D batteries that you need to use in the flashlight. They add a lot of weight, some extra maintenance, and of course an ongoing cost if you regularly use the flashlight and need to replace the D batteries regularly.

This traditional model is a little annoying, but the big benefit is a lot of luminescence. Rated at 1231 lumens and casting 340 lux at 10 feet, this is the brightest flashlight we reviewed, and excellent for pumping out a lot of light into large spaces when necessary. Those batteries fuel particularly powerful, long-lasting LED lights that are a vast upgrade to the old bulbs of more traditional patrol flashlights, and makes this 5.11 model an easy recommendation – as long as you don’t mind carrying it around.

Streamlight Protac HL USB

Pros:

  • Handy USB charging
  • Multiple light modes
  • Useful clip

Cons:

  • Less illumination at a distance

Design of the Streamlight Protac HL USB

One of the first things you noticed about this Streamlight is that it’s strictly a USB charge model. How does this work out in practice? Pretty great! Connect a USB cable from your computer, laptop, battery charger, spare battery, or another source: the flashlight quickly charges up, and you are good to go! It’s an efficient recharge option that’s particularly easy to use in our high-tech times, and far better than replacing clunky batteries.

The flashlight also includes a strobe mode and a low/medium/high mode for saving money or raising the brightness. The anodized aluminum is very durable, but for water resistance, you will want to keep the USB sleeve tightly closed and double-check it if it is raining.

This model also comes with a removable pocket clip and a nylon holster. The pocket clip is particularly handy and durable, a strong addition if you want to clip this light on a belt or strap rather than worry about a holster.

Performance of the Streamlight Protac HL USB

The lithium-ion battery holds up well, with around 20 hours of powerful use (after which a recharge needs to boost the battery back to brighter levels. The single LED-powered bulb is rated at 350 lumens on the medium setting, but it has the lowest lux rating on our list at 40 lux across the surface of our sensor, at around 10 feet. That makes this compact flashlight well-suited for more enclosed spaces and up-close uses.

How We Tested + Understanding Brightness in Terms of Lux & Lumens

If you take a look at the specs for tactical flashlights, including many of the features we discuss, you’ll see that the light intensity is typically provided in lumens. Lumens is an easy measurement to get: It measures the total amount of visible light that something produces. The more lumens, the more light the flashlight makes: Not that difficult to understand, and easy to compare!

However, we also measured our reviewed flashlights in lux, and we had a very good reason for doing that. Lux is the measurement of “illuminance,” a fancy way of saying the amount of light transferred to a surface (per unit area). One lux equals one lumen per square foot.

You can see how lux can be a particularly valuable way of evaluating something like tactical flashlights, where it’s important to consider how much a surface is illuminated for clarity, visibility, and so on.

Take the moon for example: On even the clearest night, a full moon really only shines up to one lux – it can’t really go beyond that. The sun, tends to shine for at least 10,000 lux. The difference in visibility between the two is obvious: lux, then is a great measurement of the intensity at which a flashlight operates when shining on a given surface.

So, we made sure that all our reviewed flashlights were set to their standard beams, then positioned a lux sensor around 10 feet away and took multiple measurements to see what the lux rating was for that point of space – a good test for how much illumination you would get when shining a light at a person’s face, for example. It’s not quite as good at showing how well the flashlight would light up, say, the inside of a dark building, but that can be extrapolated based on the results.

How We Choose the Top Rated Tactical Flashlights

Our tactical flashlight review process can be divided into three basic parts: light performance, usability, and battery performance.

Light performance, of course, refers to how well the light shines. Today’s flashlights often use clusters of LEDs and other methods to achieve a very bright, pure white light, unlike the flashlights of older times. We examine these lights with sensors, see how well they function up close and far away, and generally review how well they light up dark spaces (as well as any focus features, although these are relatively rare on tactical flashlights).

Usability refers to the design of the flashlight. How heavy is it? How easy is it to grip and operate quickly? Is it comfortable to store or carry around? This also touches on durability and how well the flashlight can handle drops, accidents, and rain.

Battery performance simply covers what kind of battery the flashlight uses, how long it lasts, and how easy it is to recharge or replace.

Tactical Flashlight Reviews Buying Guide

Heavy-Duty Flashlights: Rechargeable vs Traditional Batteries

The tactical flashlight world has faced a key question in the past several years: What type of battery is best? Today, there are two popular choices – good old fashioned batteries, and USB rechargeable flashlights that typically use lithium-ion battery packs. Currently, the USB recharge option appears to be a more popular choice, but let’s break down the advantages of both.

Traditional D or C Batteries:

  • Familiar replacement option, and easy if you have access to a lot of spare batteries
  • More weight or heft to the flashlight
  • More dependable beam strength over time – new batteries give reliable maximum brightness

USB Rechargeable Batteries:

  • Less expensive and easier to maintain
  • Regular charging prevents slow dimming seen with traditional batteries
  • Flashlights can be smaller, more compact, and easier to store

What is a Strobing (Flashing) Flashlight

You will have noticed that the majority of tactical flashlights come with a strobe light option, maybe even a couple different strobe modes. If you are wondering why this feature is included and how it should be properly used, here’s what to know.

First, the strobe is primarily used as a defensive feature. Shine a strobe light in someone’s eyes, and there’s an effect that creates after images and induces disorientation. That could be an important strategic choice when dealing with a threat or providing backup for someone in trouble. Plus, you can use it at a distance, it’s relatively harmless for most people, and you don’t need a lot of training or precision to turn on a strobe and point it the right way.

This does have uses…but it also comes with some serious disadvantages, which is why you don’t see a lot of law enforcement organizations recommending strobe lights. The first problem is that the strobe light also makes it very difficult for you to see, and this can be dangerous. A threatening person may be able a number of fast movements before you are able to tell that they moved, and that’s bad news if they are rushing you or trying to pull out a weapon.

Additionally, strobe lights can cause seizures in some people with epilepsy, which opens up another can of worms that many people don’t want to deal with. As a result, strobe features are often unused in an official capacity, and you should be very careful when using them yourself. It’s a good idea to practice with the strobe features of your flashlight and understand how they work so you don’t accidentally switch the strobe on.

RoHS Compliance

Scan information on tactical flashlights, and you may see a phrase like “RoHS compliant” advertised. What does that mean? RoHS is a standard, specifically the Restriction of Hazardous Substances standard. It was created by the European Union, but is widely used throughout the world to help limit products with dangerous materials.

What sort of dangerous materials are we talking about? Mostly toxic metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and some toxic plastics – stuff that you really, really don’t want in your local landfill or leeched into the groundwater. Some electronics and light bulbs (especially in the past) have been made with materials like these. The RoHS compliance means that these flashlights do not contain such substances, and can be freely sold in countries that implement the RoHS.

What is a Tactical Flashlight?

Traditionally, a tactical flashlight was made to be used specifically by law enforcement or the military and was typically designed to be used alongside a weapon or attached to a weapon when patrolling dark areas. As a result, these flashlights had to be relatively compact, highly durable under a variety of circumstances, and very, very reliable. They also had to be easy to wear, equip, or generally carry around as needed.

Over the years, the tactical flashlight was adopted by other groups, like the mall and college security forces, private security for companies or office buildings, and so on. And then even later, neighborhood watch groups, preppers, and those concerned about family safety started adopting tactical flashlights as well, so there’s currently a surprising amount of demand for these elite flashlight products.

That demand has expanded the market, encouraged new flashlight technologies, and added a lot more variety to the types of tactical flashlights that you can find today. While we will be looking at tactical flashlights through the eyes of the individual consumer, many of the spec considerations and feature ratings remain similar for all target audiences.

Best Tactical Flashlight: Powerful Can Be Small is courtesy of http://www.gadgetreview.com

Microsoft Surface Book Review Roundup

The Surface Book is an important hybrid laptop model for Microsoft, which is trying to combine a lot of power and a lot of graphics into this computer, whether or not you are using it as a tablet. Does this approach work for people? Let’s see what they have to say.

Features

The 13.5-inch ultra HD touchscreen (comes with Surface Pen) is a notable feature for this laptop, and the lightweight 3.48 pounds is pretty great, but you should also know that you can push specs to the max with this model, getting 16GB of RAM, a TB of storage, the latest Intel chips, NVIDA GPU, and so on. It’s very much a high-end ultrabook.

Pros

  • Detachable hybrid design for tablet use
  • Responsible ultra HD touchscreen
  • Comfortable keyboard

Cons

  • Hinge is a little awkward on 1st gen
  • Conflicting battery life reports
  • Some features, like face recognition, not always reliable

Techradar

For the Surface Book, Techradar noted that the design appeared to be top-notch and that the display was particularly good for such a compact laptop. They also really enjoyed the tablet separation feature and how you could use the screen as an outsized tablet at all. However, they did not care for the battery life at all, which they reported fell well below reported specs.

“With the Surface Book, you can accomplish that and so much more than you would with a notebook that flips inside out or a tablet alone. Likewise, you can do so no differently than you would using a Surface Book 2 at that. And, if you thought you would be netting a more attractive design as a result of purchasing Microsoft’s new laptop, you would be dead wrong. The Surface Book we’re reviewing here boasts a classic design that Microsoft will iterate on for years to come.”

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports noted the opposite of Techradar, that the Surface Book had a long battery life. This happens quite a bit with compact laptop models, probably because battery life depends so much on settings and what you’re actually doing on the laptop. Otherwise, CR liked the SSD, lightweight nature, and touchscreen of the Surface, but noted that it does not come with an optical drive to read disks…and may encounter some of those infamous Windows bugs.

“Microsoft’s first laptop uses a unique electro-mechanical hinge to lock and unlock the display from the base to turn it into a tablet. It’s a powerful computer with long battery life and excellent performance, but it’s also expensive. The screen moves when you tap on it. There’s a rear-facing 8MP camera on the tablet and a forward-facing 5MP camera near the top of the screen, as well as stereo microphones at the top rear edge of the display. While this product scored well in lab testing, Consumer Reports cannot give it a “recommended” designation in this category because of its brand’s comparatively high problem rate, as determined by a reliability analysis based on a survey of Consumer Reports subscribers.”

Amazon Users

Amazon users appreciated the design and hybrid nature of the laptop, especially from a professional perspective, as the lightweight nature and power of the model allowed it to easily be used in a busy work environment.

“To give an example, I have been working on a design competition over the past week. With the rate of production we needed to meet the deadline, printing everything out for review would have been a pain and a little difficult to deal with. By putting the laptop into what I’ll call “heavy tablet mode” (detach the monitor, flip it around, re-attach, then fold flat), I could use the laptop like instant paper: rotate my 3d model into the view we want to sketch on, then activate screen-sketch mode, which takes a screenshot and displays it immediately in a simple sketching environment.”

Bottom Line

If you like the idea of a hybrid and don’t mind Windows 10, this could be an excellent option…but make sure you compare early and new models for price and model specs before you buy. You can compare top models and get the best reviews from Gadget Review here.

Microsoft Surface Book Review Roundup was originally published on Gadget Review (GR)

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar Review Roundup

This version of the MacBook Pro laptop comes with a significant hardware upgrade, including the new Touch Bar (although you can also find models without the Bar). Is it worth upgrading from your current college MacBook? Lets see what people are saying about it!

Features

In addition to that Touch Bar of programmable icons, the 13-inch model also has USB-C connections, a 3.1 GHz Kaby Lake CPU upgrade, and storage up to a 1TB SSD. Battery tests show a life of around 14 hours, and RAM goes up to 16GB.

Pros

  • Faster processers appear to make a real difference
  • Screen is very high-quality

Cons

  • Keyboard is shallow and awkward to learn
  • Ports are limited to USB-C

PC Mag

PC Mag notes that the latest version of the MacBook Pro includes new Intel processors and a significant graphics upgrade for faster performance and an incredibly beautiful screen that somehow doesn’t impact battery life. However, they were less excited about the keyboard, which they said had shallow key travel, and weren’t sure about the expense that the Touch Bar brought to the model.

“Meanwhile, the keyboard might require a more drastic adjustment. Apple says the butterfly style of its switches are more stable than the conventional laptop key switches, which resemble scissors. The result is very shallow key travel. In testing, it took me several pages of typing to become accustomed to the keyboard, which feels more like pecking away on a tablet or phone screen than typing on a laptop. The experience was tolerable—not necessarily enjoyable—but the keyboard (which is also backlit) will likely meet with your instant approval if you learned to type on a smartphone rather than a PC.”

Techradar

Techradar approved of the performance changes that Apple had made to improve the speed the of the MacBook Pro. Interestingly, while PC Mag praised the battery life, Techradar said just the opposite – that the battery was subpar. Both reviewers, however, noted that the keyboard was difficult to get used to and the price may be a little too much for the common consumer.

“Otherwise, MacBook Pro is a fine machine whose appeal derives from the fact that it now has the latest 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake processors, up to 16GB of memory and up to 1TB of storage. But, more importantly, it uses all of these hardware features together in order to deliver the best macOS 10.13 High Sierraexperience possible within the confines of a neatly wrapped and compact computing package.”

Amazon Users

Amazon users appeared to agree that this version of the MacBook Pro was, if nothing else, better than the earlier versions that they had replaced, with a more favorable design and typically faster performance. However, many noted that the Touch Bar was a fun gimmick but didn’t really add anything to the overall experience.

“Purchased this laptop to replace a 2013 model. I have been blown away by the speed, the bright crisp display. The keyboard takes some getting use too for sure, but it’s not bad. I know I will get use to it quickly. The big trackpad is very nice. Then there is the touch bar, which is interesting. I have really gotten use out of it and I really didn’t think I would. The one thing about this model too is that it has 4 USB-C Thunderbolt 3 Ports. The non touch bar version only has 2. Also I really like using Touch ID to be able to login to my computer. Overall this is a sweet MacBook Pro and I know it will last me for awhile given the 2013 model has giving me great performance for many years.”

Bottom Line

The price is high, but this Pro appears to be a worthy upgarde. However, you may want to consider ditching the Touch Bar version unless you absolutely need this expensive feature. Get all the latest laptop reviews by Gadget Review by visiting http://www.gadgetreview.com/reviews/laptop-computer-reviews.

The blog post MacBook Pro with Touch Bar Review Roundup is courtesy of GadgetReview Website

Dell XPS 13 Review Roundup

The Dell XPS 13 is a compact laptop that offers a broad number of spec options in a slim package that’s suitable for pretty much everything and can easily last for years – ideal for students and professionals alike. Let’s take a closer look!

Features

The XPS 13 gets a new version once or twice a year, with new and updated features, so listing features is a bit of a waste. Suffice it to say that Dell keeps up on all the latest laptop specs, including a 4K touchscreen, up to 16GB of RAM, USB-C connections, and all the other latest feature that you could want…as long as you are willing to use Windows 10, which is fortunately much more stable than it was a couple of years ago.

Pros

  • Reliable, fast, and compact
  • Many model and spec options

Cons

  • New models cut down on ports
  • Webcam positioning can be problematic

Techradar

Techradar had a lot of praise for the Dell XPS 13’s latest model, reporting that it improves on the already great early version by adding more security capabilities, better mics for voice commands, and of coures faster chips for better performance. There’s also an option for a 4k display to really push things as far as they can go for this slim laptop.

“For 2018, the new Dell XPS 13 is hard evidence that Dell has its ear to the ground for your feedback, judging by the newly centered webcam that now has infrared optics for facial login through Windows 10. But, of course, there will always be room for improvement, considering the newly centered webcam is still beneath the display, not above it.

All told, we’re deeply impressed by the new XPS 13, thanks in large part to a new, stunning 4K Ultra HD display and a beautiful, new color option called Rose Gold on Alpine White. In fact, we’re so impressed by Dell’s design revisions that it’s once again earned TechRadar’s Best in Class award for laptops.”

Laptop Mag

Laptop Mag has been a fan favorite of the XPS 13 for years now, admiring its design and lightweight performance, so of course they liked that the latest model is slimmer than ever before and has an alternate color scheme to choose from. However, they did note that this model had fewer ports than past version, which made some connections more difficult than before.

“Unfortunately, when slimming the XPS 13 down to 0.46 inches, Dell had to ditch the standard, USB Type-A ports and full-size SD card reader that appeared on all the previous generations. On the left side of the XPS 13 9370, you’ll find two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can charge the laptop or connect to high-speed peripherals. There’s also a Noble lock slot and a battery gauge, which shows the charge level on a series of five white lights.

On the right, you’ll find a 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card slot and a USB Type-C port, which can output DisplayPort video. Both the Dell XPS 13 9360 and ThinkPad X1 Carbon have standard USB ports in addition to the Thunderbolt 3, while the HP Spectre 13 also lacks USB Type-A connectors.”

Amazon Users

Amazon user reviews are scattered across the hundreds of models for sale on Amazon and vary considerably depending on many factors. Ultimately, however, they tend to be very positive regarding the top-notch features and slim design of the XPS 13. Some, however, complain about getting used to a new keyboard, which is a common factor when buying a new laptop.

“This laptop is the BEST. It is super fast and allows me to get all my work done without having to get frustrated. It is extremely light and is perfect to carry from place to place. It is also great quality and I would highly recommend it.”

Bottom Line

The XPS 13 is easily one of the best ultrabooks available, and has been a great pick for years. However, the latest model may cut down on ports a little too much for some users, so research is advised. Get all the latest Gadget Review laptop reviews.

Dell XPS 13 Review Roundup was originally published to check out gadget review’s recent reviews

Optoma HD142X Review Roundup

Available for only around $530, the Optoma HD142X home projector is designed for homeowners on a budget…but it doesn’t skimp on features, especially if you like brightness and 3D capabilities. Let’s dive in and see just what features are included on this model, and what the reviewers and users think.

Features

This 1080 projector offers a 66-inch screen from 8 feet and 107-inch screen from 12 feet, with a high-brightness 3,000 lumen lamp (rated at 6,000 hours) that allows for a high contrast ratio. When it comes to adjustment, there is keystone correction but no lens shift, and a six-segment color wheel for shifting colors. Ports include two HDMI with MHL compatibility in one, 3D-sync, USB service display, and 12V trigger.

Pros

  • Great color and brightness for price

Cons

  • Some rainbow artifacts noted

C-Net

C-Net found that this Optoma model provided some of the best color around, especially for its price, making it a good choice for those who value their vivid hues. However, they noted that the projector struggles a little with black levels compared to alternatives.

“The Optoma’s picture handily outdid the cheaper non-HD projectors I’ve tested recently, and kept up very well with the more expensive competition, too. So well, in fact, that its low price point already begins triggering noticeably diminishing returns. Higher-end units like the BenQ HT2050($800), for example, did turn in slightly better performances in some areas, but the differences would be tough for many viewers to appreciate. To get a truly substantial leap in image quality, you’ll have to pay a lot more.”

Sound & Vision

Sound & Vision enjoyed the easy controls for this Optoma build and especially liked the low price, which they said makes it an excellent starter projector if you are really interested in picture quality. However, contrast doesn’t do quite so good, and you’ll need to pay close attention to the installation requirements.

“At a foot wide by 9 inches deep and weighing only 5.5 pounds, the HD142X is compact enough for portable use. This 3D-capable 1080p-res projector uses a sixsegment (RGBCYW) color wheel and features Texas Instruments’ BrilliantColor technology to enhance color richness. It also has a Reference preset picture mode that, according to Optoma, delivers accurate Rec. 709 color straight out of the box. Brightness is spec’d at 3,000 lumens and lamp life at 6,000 hours when the projector is used in Eco lamp mode.”

Amazon Users

Amazon users had two words of warning for this model: First, it does have some rainbow artifacts, so its important to prepare for this or avoid it if you are especially sensitive. Second, some complained that the projector could occasionally start buzzing. But overall, they praised the projector for offering a great picture at a discount price.

“Having had a background in sales for A/V equipment, as well as the installation of them, I have seen top shelf quality products as well as equipment that doesn’t quite meet my high expectations. With this projector I was skeptical because the price was so low but the features were on par with what I was looking for, so I took a chance. Let me just say my gamble paid off big time! This projector exceeds my expectations and looks magnificent. The blacks are black and the whites are white. Color is superb and I didn’t even have to adjust out of the box which surprised me. I have cable, which is usually not the best when it comes to picture quality because of the feed my cable company provides and yet this projector nails it! My PS4 on blu-ray however is what really blew my mind.”

Bottom Line

If your budget is only around $500, this is one of the best projectors you can currently get on the market. You can read all the projector reviews from Gadget Review here.

Optoma HD142X Review Roundup is courtesy of Gadget Reviews(GR)

Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Router Review Roundup

The Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 (with a retail price of $280) is part of the Nighthawk line of super powerful routers for managing business areas or homes where there is a whole lot of tech: Let’s take a look at how this router performans and compares to the alternatives!

Features

This tri-band router offers a maximum combined speed of 3.1GBps, a 1GHz profeccors with three offload processors when the load gets heavy, and a smart connect option that picks the best band for any device at the time to improve reception. Setup includes automatic backup options and home network management. There is one USB 3.0 band

Pros

  • Lots of power and antennas
  • Smart connections for managing bands automatically

Cons

  • Not the fastest tri-band model
  • No MU-MIMO for future devices
  • A bit pricey

Tom’s Guide

What do you want to use the X6 for? Tom’s Guide found that it’s an incredible general use router, with tri-band operation, multiple types of USB ports, and six antennas to give in great range over a number of rooms. However, it doesn’ have MU-MIMO for fast future mobile connections, and there’s no eSATA port if you want to dig deep and attach it to a big hard drive. Additionally, TG found that other tri-band routers tended to be a bit faster.

“The R8000 has a theoretical maximum throughput of 3.2 Gbps. In real-world testing using ixia’s ixChariot software, the R8000’s two 5-GHz and one 2.4GHz channels added up to a peak total throughput of 702.4 Mbps 5 feet from the router. That’s good, but 5 percent slower than the combined output of the Linksys WRT 1900AC tri-band router (732.3 Mbps).”

PC Mag

PC Mag loved how well the X6 managed multiple wireless devices, making sure that they are all as speedy as possible. However, at distances of 30 feet, the review did find some lapses in the signal, along with issues with a somewhat confusing setup app. It is possible that these issues indicate the need for a firmware update, or could point to a long-term range problem (although Nighthawks are not known for this issue).

“More and more home networks have tablets, smartphones, and gaming consoles performing heavy-demand throughput tasks, such as streaming HD video. You’d normally want to assign those devices to the more-robust 5GHz band, but with so many gadgets competing for throughput, you’d soon saturate it.  The X6 automatically configures its two 5GHz bands on different channels, so you can connect more devices at 5GHz without the performance suffering.”

Amazon Users

Amazon users who upgraded from an older router to this Nighthawk loved the speed increase that they realized. However, some noticed that firmware updates seemed to be a little hit or miss, with some updates making the router slower and some solving past problems – so it’s important to keep up on updates, and be patient with them.

“All these years I paid for a 50mbps speed from my cable company. I had an older Netgear from 2009 which has served me well all these years (and still works) but I decided it was time to upgrade. Typically I was getting only 12-17mbps through my wi-fi (for example, to my iPhone6). After getting this Nighthawk Router, I now get 57mbps on the same iPhone. All of my devices are much faster now… PS4, iPhones, iPads, Epson Printer, Baby Monitor, Tablets, Roku 3 box, Roku Streaming Stick, etc…”

Bottom Line

This Nighthawk seems a little slow for its tri-band and may have some reliability issues: However, the Nighthawk router family is large, and it’s worthwhile looking for a reliable model.

Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Router Review Roundup See more on: GadgetReview – www.gadgetreview.com