Reviews

Review: Cozy's 'Drink Different' Molds Turn Your Ice Into Vintage Macs

Cozy, a company that has a variety of clever solutions for managing Apple accessories, recently released its latest product, a whimsical "Drink Different" ice cube tray that makes ice shaped like a vintage Mac. Cozy sent me some of the Mac molds to test out, and I can confirm that they work well and result in Mac-shaped ice cubes that Apple enthusiasts are sure to like. The $12.99 Drink Different molds are made from a malleable food grade silicone material, which you fill up with water and then put in the freezer, much like a standard ice cube tray. These are larger than the standard cubes that you get with an ice cube tray, so one or two are ideal for a regular cup. For something like a glass of whiskey or scotch, one will suffice. On the outside, the molds read "stay thirsty" and "stay foolish," and on the inside, there's Mac detailing that creates the classic Mac shape, which includes a "Hello" script, an indentation for the display, and small cutout for the disk drive. You can get the mold in three colors: space gray, classic beige, and granny smith green, all of which are identical and make the same shape. Once frozen, you can peel away the silicone to get the ice out. It's not quite as easy as cracking ice out of an ice cube tray, but it's not much more involved, either. The mold results in a fairly accurate representation of a Macintosh Classic in ice form. Mine didn't look quite as perfect as the ones in Cozy's photos, but the cubes weren't too far off. I think it takes a little bit of trial and error with water level to get the ideal shape

Review: Withings Sleep Provides a Simple Way to Track Your Nights for $50 Cheaper than Apple's Beddit

Sleep tracking has become a popular activity for many people, since the practice can result in major benefits to your daily wellbeing, restfulness, stress levels, and mental health. There are many ways you can go about tracking your sleep, and Apple itself sells a few products that can help, including the Apple Watch (paired with a third-party app like Pillow) and the Beddit Sleep Monitor. Withings' solution to sleep tracking is similar to Beddit's, coming in the shape of a slim mat that you place beneath you as you sleep to automatically track and assess your sleep quality, heart rate, snoring, duration, and more. With the latest update, Withings Sleep can even detect breathing disturbances, and later this year the device will add an ability to detect the symptoms of sleep apnea. Design and Setup Withings Sleep is a 25" x 7.5" mat that has a straightforward design with a very nice and premium fabric finish, which matches well with the braided power cord. In reality, you don't ever really see Withings Sleep once it's placed where it needs to go, but it's easy to see that the company strived to make a nice-looking product despite the fact that it's not something everyone coming over to your house will see. Withings Sleep is also super easy to install: you simply unroll the mat from the box, plug in the included USB power adapter into an outlet near your bed, and place Withings Sleep underneath your mattress at chest level. This is a crucial difference between Withings and Beddit's sleep trackers, since the Beddit Sleep Monitor sits right below your fitted

Review: Seagate's New Backup Plus Slim and Backup Plus Portable Offer Lots of Storage at Low Prices

Seagate in January announced an updated lineup of its popular Backup Plus hard drives, debuting the Backup Plus Slim and the Backup Plus Portable, both of which are now available for purchase and are ideal for those who need lots of storage space at an affordable price. The Backup Plus Slim and the Backup Plus Portable are your average, run of the mill hard drives. The Backup Plus Slim is the thinner of the two models as it has less storage space, measuring in at 4.5 inches by 3 inches with a thickness of just about half an inch. The Backup Plus Portable is about the same size but it's close to an inch thick and about twice as heavy (eight ounces vs. four). Neither one of these drives takes up much space, so they're ideal for backup or other purposes and can be tucked away in a drawer afterwards. Design wise, the two hard drives are made from a black plastic material with a brushed aluminum front plate. The test models I have are in silver, but these also come in black, a light blue color, and red. The Backup Plus Slim offers 1TB or 2TB of storage, and the Backup Plus Portable is available with either 4TB or 5TB of storage space. Both are formatted to work with either Mac or Windows. These hard drives are using standard USB-A cables to plug into a computer, which means that you're going to need a USB-A to USB-C adapter if you want to use them with one of Apple's modern Macs. USB-C hard drives aren't much more expensive than these Seagate Backup hard drives, so it's maybe not even worth picking one of these up if you have a USB-C machine unless

Review: Logitech's Slim Folio Pro Offers a Lower-Cost Alternative to Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro

Apple makes a keyboard designed for the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, the Smart Keyboard Folio, but some people dislike it because of the thin keys, the lack of key travel, and the high price tag. For those who don't like the Smart Keyboard, Logitech has designed the Slim Folio Pro, a new keyboard case available for the 2018 iPad Pro models. Logitech's Slim Folio Pro is more affordable than Apple's Smart Keyboard, with the 11-inch version priced at $120 and the 12.9-inch model priced at $130. For comparison's sake, Apple charges $179 for its 11-inch Slim Folio Keyboard and $199 for the 12.9-inch model. Design wise, the Logitech Slim Folio Pro is a lot thicker than the Apple Smart Folio Keyboard and it adds quite a bit of weight and bulk to my iPad. I am not and have not ever been a fan of thick cases that add a lot of extra weight to my devices, and for my iPads, I almost always go case free and use a Smart Cover. With my iPad Pro, I've been using Apple's Folio, which is already more thickness than I like. If you're like me and prefer devices with thin cases or with no case, the Logitech Slim Folio Pro probably isn't going to be what you're looking for, but let me go into a bit more detail on how it works and how it looks on the iPad. Like the Smart Folio Keyboard from Apple, the Slim Folio Pro is available in dark gray. It would be nice to have color options, but the gray is an appropriate neutral color. The Slim Folio Pro connects to the iPad Pro using Bluetooth, so you're going to need to set it up in the Settings app the first time you use it. After

Review: Sphero's Specdrums That Turn Colors Into Sounds Are Great for Kids

Sphero last summer acquired a company called Specdrums, which made finger-worn rings that are designed to turn colors into music. Specdrums are now being sold under the Sphero brand, and are now available in Apple retail stores. Specdrums fit on an index finger and are meant to allow kids and adults alike to play a musical note when tapping one of the rings against a specific color, creating music by using different colored notes. We tested out the Specdrums ahead of their Apple Store release to see if they're worth the $65 asking price. Design Specdrums are small, silicone rings that have optical sensors embedded into the front. The silicone is stretchy, so it can fit a small finger or a larger finger without issue. I have relatively small fingers and the Specdrums fit comfortably and snugly, and it was not a problem to wear it for a long period of music making. There's a slit at the bottom that allows the ring to expand if necessary. Specdrums are meant to be worn on an index finger with the optical sensor in the front facing downwards so that you can tap it on various colored surfaces to make sounds. On the side of the Specdrums, there's a micro-USB port that's used for charging through the included micro-USB cable that comes with it. At the top of the silicone ring, there's a Sphero logo, and at the bottom, the Sphero name. The optical sensor built into the Specdrums will light up when tapped against a surface, and the rectangular front of the sensor takes up most of the ring. It's comfortable to tap on things and was very responsive, easily

Review: Sony's WH-1000XM3 Headphones are the Best Noise-Canceling Cans You Can Get

Sony threatened to topple the apple cart in 2016 when it unleashed its flagship MDR-1000X cans on a headphones market which up until then had been dominated by Bose in the premium travel-grade noise-canceling department. Combining excellent wireless sound with active NC that made even QuietComfort fans sit up and take notice, Sony's awkwardly named headset proved that the Japanese company's extensive acoustic R&D had finally hit on a winner, giving rival NC headphone makers due cause for worry in the process. Unsurprisingly, Sony has sought to improve upon this winning formula in the intervening years, starting with another tongue-twisting rebrand of its flagship range (the inexplicably named WH-1000X series) and two follow-up models boasting incremental improvements, both of which have been well received. What's perhaps more surprising about these developments is Bose's lack of response to them, having released in that time only a tweaked version of its flagship QC35 cans with support for Google Assistant. Whether that's down to complete confidence in the quality of its existing noise-canceling smarts or just lack of innovation is a moot point, given that Sony's adaptive NC technology and sonic prowess has essentially overtaken the company, as these latest cans exemplify. The WHX-1000XM3's are essentially an upgrade to last year's 1000XM2's, featuring a series of minor improvements that Sony believes collectively justify a new model number. Let's take a look at them and see just how far the company's noise-canceling range has come. Design On the face

Review: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Gets a Boost From CarPlay Even on Lower-Level Trims

Volkswagen's Jetta compact sedan, a mainstay of the German automaker's lineup for 40 years, received a significant redesign for the 2019 model year, bringing a new platform, fresh new design, technology upgrades, and more. The Jetta is popular with car buyers looking for a cost-efficient daily commute vehicle, and the new Jetta starts at a little under $19,000 but can rise to around $27,500 if you opt for the high-end SEL Premium trim.. I spent some time testing out a relatively modestly specced 2019 Jetta SE, which is the second lowest of the five available trims and starts at just over $22,000 before any additional options. VW offers three different infotainment systems across the Jetta trims, starting with the 6.5-inch Composition Color system on the S, SE, and R-Line trims and moving up to an 8-inch Composition Media system on the SEL trim that adds features like voice control, CD player, and premium Beats Audio in addition to the larger screen. On the top-level SEL Premium trim, you'll find that same 8-inch screen but with what VW calls its Discover Media system that includes built-in navigation. As an SE trim, my test vehicle came with the 6.5-inch Composition Color system, which gave me an opportunity to see what a buyer with a relatively modest budget can expect to experience in a Jetta. Composition Color On its own, the Composition Color system is pretty basic. It includes AM/FM radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity for media sources, Bluetooth phone support, and some vehicle efficiency data. Main FM radio screen on Composition Color

Review: Nomad's Titanium Band for Apple Watch is a Stylish and Cheaper Alternative to Apple's Link Bracelet

Nomad is a company that creates useful accessories built around rugged simplicity, and in the past it has released iPhone cases, Lightning cables, and Apple Watch straps. This year, Nomad launched its first metal strap for the Apple Watch, called the Titanium Band, a full-metal link bracelet built with over twenty titanium links and a set of custom lugs, designed for the 44mm Apple Watch Series 4 and the older generation 42mm models. Design Similar in design to other metal link bracelets for Apple Watch -- including Apple's own accessory -- Nomad's Titanium Band has a series of metal links connected by a slim clasp system that snaps closed around your wrist. The Titanium Band comes in both Silver and Black, to match both metal finishes available for the Apple Watch Series 4. To adjust the fit, the accessory has up to ten removable links that lets you customize the band length so that it can fit any wrist, according to Nomad. On the clasp, which sits under your wrist, there is a small and unobtrusive Nomad logo, and the lugs on the band are designed like most other third-party Apple Watch bands, built to slide easily into the Apple Watch case. Adjusting Size The Titanium Band ships at the largest size, so most people will have to go through the size adjustment process before they're able to wear the band. I found this process to be lengthier and a bit more troublesome than I was expecting, and definitely not as simple as Apple's Link Bracelet. Nomad provides you with a link removal tool, which is a small metal device with a screw system that pushes

Review: Fans of Classic Mac Designs Will Love the iBot G3

If you're a fan of classic Mac designs, you may be interested in the iBot G3, a figurine that's modeled after Apple's iconic iMac G3, first released in 1998. The iBot G3 was designed by Philip Lee, who previously released another Mac-related figurine called the Classicbot. The iBot G3 is Lee's latest project, and like the Classic bot, it's a fun take on one of Apple's original Mac designs. There are two variants of the iBot G3, one in Bondi Blue and one in Tangerine, both of which are two classic iMac G3 colors. The figures are made from plastic and are injection molded with details that closely mimic the design of the original iMac G3. Injection molding allows for the smallest of components to be included, which means you get the classic iMac G3 design with translucent teardrop-shaped enclosure, carrying handle at the top, side hatch that gives a peek into the internal components, and even a tiny round mouse and matching keyboard. It's so accurate to the original design that the inside components have also been separately created so you can see the machine's hardware through the translucent outer shell. You can see the CRT tubes, the speakers on the front, the vents, the CD drive, the power button (and the power button on the tiny keyboard), all of the ports (hidden by an access panel complete with mouse cord cutout), and the spot where the power cable plugs in. The only thing missing is an Apple logo, as not including one prevents Lee from running into trademark issues. The Apple logos traditionally at the top and the back of the iMac G3 have been

Fibaro's HomeKit-Connected Flood Sensor Notifies You When Leaks Are Detected

Fibaro has been making smart home devices and HomeKit-compatible products for a few years now, and the company has several sensors that work with HomeKit, including the Flood Sensor. The Flood Sensor, along with the Button that we reviewed last year, are the two Fibaro branded HomeKit accessories available for purchase from Apple. Fibaro's Flood Sensor is designed to detect water, which sounds super basic, but it's something that has the potential to save you a lot of money because if you've ever had a flood or a water leak, you know the kind of damage that water can cause to your home. Design When I saw the Fibaro Flood Sensor online it looked like a rather sizable device, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's actually small, unobtrusive, and able to go anywhere. The Flood Sensor, made from a white plastic material, fits in the palm of my hand. It's round in shape with three corrosion resistant gold feet at the bottom that are designed to detect liquid. The feet are retractable at the ends which makes sure the sensor's feet are in contact with the ground even if the surface is a bit uneven. "Flood Sensor" is written on one side of the device, and there's a Fibaro logo at the top. Inside the Fibaro Flood Sensor, there's a CR123A battery, which can be accessed by twisting the top of the cover counter-clockwise. This is also where the serial number is located. You can put the Flood Sensor just about anywhere it will fit. It's just about an inch thick at its widest point, so you can tuck it into some tight spots. I have it located

Eve's HomeKit-Enabled 'Eve Flare' Offers Awesome Mood Lighting, Long Battery Life, and Water Resistance

Eve Systems, formerly known as Elgato, has been making its Eve line of HomeKit products since HomeKit was first announced, and it was in fact one of the first companies to come out with HomeKit devices. Eve recently expanded into lighting, launching the Eve Flare and the Eve Light Strip. I tested the Eve Light Strip earlier this year, and now that its sister product the Eve Flare has come to the United States, I thought I'd take a look at it to see how it measures up to other available HomeKit lighting options. Design The Eve Flare is a sphere-shaped LED lamp that reminds me a lot of the white FADO lamps from Ikea. I've used Ikea's lamps for years with my Hue bulbs, so I expected the Eve Flare's sphere-shaped form factor to look great with colored and white light alike and I was not disappointed. Ikea's FADO lamps are made of glass with a plastic base, but the Eve Flare assembly is all plastic because it's meant to be portable. A plastic design makes it lighter weight and safer to move around than glass. There is a seam that I can feel at the top of the Flare where the two halves come together, but it's not very visible when the light is in use. There's one flat side on the base of the Eve Flare that allows it to sit flat on a table and charge on its included charging base. You can use the Eve Flare while it's on the base, but you can also pick it up and take it with you outside, in the bath, next to the pool, in the kitchen, or wherever else you might want portable mood lighting. It's kind of similar to the Hue Go in regard to portability, though the

Review: LaCie's New 'Mobile SSD' Features Fast Transfer Speeds and an Attractive Design

LaCie, Seagate's premium brand, recently launched a new external SSD, the LaCie Mobile SSD, which offers up to 2TB of storage space along with USB-C transfer speeds up to 540MB/s. The LaCie Mobile SSD follows the LaCie Portable SSD, offering a thin, light enclosure that's easily pocketable but still eye catching. LaCie first introduced the Mobile SSD at CES 2019, and it's now available for purchase from Apple. LaCie designed the Mobile SSD with unique "diamond-cut" edges, which look quite nice in person. The Mobile SSD is futuristic but simple, which is appropriate because this is an Apple exclusive product. I'm not sure how important SSD attractiveness is to the average person, but this is certainly the best looking external SSD I've used. It's made from a brushed aluminum material that matches well with Apple's MacBooks (especially the Space Gray model), and since it's aluminum, it's light but durable. LaCie says it can withstand drops up to 3 meters, though it's never a good idea to be rough with a data storage device if you can help it. The LaCie Mobile is available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities, and LaCie sent me the 1TB version to test. It comes with both a USB-C to USB-C cable for use with Apple's most recent Macs and a USB-C to USB-A cable in case you need to use it with older machines that only have USB-A ports. When using a USB-A to USB-C cable, you won't get maximum transfer speeds from the SSD because USB-A doesn't support USB 3.1 Gen 2. There's a single USB-C port at one end where one of the cables can plug in, and with the

Review: Weatherproof Hue Outdoor Motion Sensor Lets You Automate Your Indoor or Outdoor Lights

The Philips Hue line of lights have been controllable via an indoor motion sensor for some time, but Signify is today introducing an Outdoor Motion Sensor that's designed to control the range of outdoor Hue lights that are now available for purchase. The Outdoor Motion Sensor works just like the indoor Smart Motion Sensor, automating your lights and other HomeKit products to come on when motion is detected and turn off when there's no motion detected, all on an automatic basis. As with all Hue products, the Outdoor Motion Sensor is designed to work with a hub, so a Hue hub and Hue lights are required to use the product, even though it can interface with other HomeKit devices. Design The Outdoor Motion Sensor is small and relatively unobtrusive, but it does have a design that stands out somewhat, so it's not entirely unnoticeable. It features a square-shaped plastic housing with a protruding white circle where daylight and motion sensors are built in. At the back, Outdoor Motion Sensor features a mounting plate and a variety of mounting options so you can put it wherever it works best. There's an option for a flat wall or mounting it at a corner, which would allow for maximum view of a driveway, lawn, or entryway. I live in an apartment so I'm not able to do wall mounting, but I'm including this image of the Outdoor Motion Sensor from Amazon to show the different ways that it can be mounted -- flat, on an inward corner, or on an outwards-facing corner. For testing purposes, I have tall shelves outdoors where I keep plants, which is what I used, so it

Review: La Roche-Posay's My Skin Track UV Sensor Offers Interesting Concept, but Needs Improvement

Skin care company La Roche-Posay (owned by L'Oreal) recently released its first tech product, a UV sensor that's designed to tell you how much sun exposure you're getting on any given day. The My Skin Track UV Sensor, available from Apple, is meant to help you make sure you have adequate sun protection for long days spent in the sun. It's tiny, solar powered, and transfers data over NFC, so there's no battery and no need for charging. The Skin Track UV Sensor sounds great in theory, but there are some design flaws and issues that I discovered over the course of several months of testing, which I've outlined below. Design The My Skin Track UV Sensor ships in two pieces. There's the blue and white plastic sensor portion, and a metal clip designed to fit on a sleeve, shirt collar, or cap where it can be exposed to the sun. The sensor slides into the metal clip, which can be a little bit tricky. I'm not sure why it's shipped in two pieces because there isn't ever a need to take it out of the clip, but maybe La-Roche Posay is planning to release different enclosures in the future. Size wise, the Skin Track Sensor is tiny. It's about the same size as my thumb nail, and I have a small thumb. There's a little window on the sensor that houses the UV detecting equipment and an NFC chip, with the window designed to let in light for tracking purposes.

Review: Casper's Easy-to-Use Glow Light Promises to Improve Your Sleep

Mattress company Casper recently introduced its first non-bedding product, the Glow Light. Designed to help you fall asleep and wake up, the Glow Light provides timed, smart lighting that gets gradually dimmer or brighter based on your needs for the purpose of improving your sleeping habits. Design Casper's Glow Light will look familiar to Apple users because the design is reminiscent of the HomePod. The Glow Light is cylindrical in shape, with a flat top and a flat bottom, but it's about palm-sized and smaller than the HomePod. Made of a translucent plastic material, the Glow Light puts off a soft yellow light with several available brightness levels. Light emanates from the entire body of the lamp, with the exception of the top and bottom. A wireless charging base provides power to the Glow Light, which does have a battery so it can be used when off of the stand. Both ends of the Glow Light can be used for charging purposes, so putting it on the charging base is hassle-free. Reversible charging is a nice touch because there's no need to pay attention to orientation. The charging pads on the top and bottom of the Glow Light also double as buttons for certain gestures, but other than these areas, there are no other physical controls on the Glow Light. All adjustments are made via flips and turns thanks to a built-in accelerometer, though there are also iPhone control options. The Glow Light puts off a soft yellow light and the color is not adjustable, but it can be made brighter or dimmer. At full strength, the Glow Light offers even lighting, but

Review: 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Forgoes Built-In Navigation in Favor of CarPlay

Mitsubishi isn't one of the biggest-selling car manufacturers in the U.S. these days, but the Japanese automaker has been rebounding substantially in recent years thanks in large part to its focus on the popular crossover segment, led by the Outlander. The Mitsubishi Outlander has been offered in a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant for the last few years, and I've been testing out a brand-new 2019 model of the Outlander PHEV just as the first units are starting to roll out to dealers around the country. In the U.S. at least, changes from the 2018 model are primarily cosmetic aside from some tweaks to the suspension, noise and vibration reduction, and comfort. 2019 models in other countries are seeing some more substantial upgrades under the hood, but those have yet to make their way into the U.S. models. The U.S. version of the 2019 Outlander PHEV offers a 2.0 L 4-cylinder gas engine paired with dual 60 kW electric motors and a 12 kWh Li-ion battery. Operating solely on electric power, the Outlander PHEV can drive up to 22 miles depending on conditions, while it gets 25 MPG in gasoline-only mode, for a combined rating of 74 MPGe. But with a relatively small 11.3-gallon gas tank to make room for the batteries, overall range is only a little over 300 miles. Level 1/2 (left) and CHAdeMO (right) charging ports A 110–120 V Level 1 charging cable is included with the Outlander for charging from a standard electrical outlet, and it offers the ability to switch between 8 A and 12 A charging options. A full charge requires approximately 13 hours at 8 A or 8 hours at 12

Review: Eve's New Light Strip is a Great HomeKit-Enabled Hub-Free Accent Lighting Option

Eve (formerly known as Elgato) was one of the first companies to come out with HomeKit accessories when HomeKit was announced in 2014, and since then, Eve has been expanding its portfolio of HomeKit-connected products. The newest addition to the Eve HomeKit lineup is the Eve Light Strip, first introduced at CES and launched in February. The Eve Light Strip is one of several HomeKit-connected LED-based light strip options on the market, but Eve has a few new innovations worth noting. Design Design wise, the Eve Light Strip looks similar to many other light strips on the market, including the Philips Hue version, which is probably one of the closest competitors in terms of price and functionality. The Eve Light Strip measures in at 6.6 feet, though it can be cut at one foot intervals. It also includes a connector at the end which is designed to allow for extension strips to be attached, and the extension strips are more affordable. A single Eve Light Strip can be extended to 32.8 feet via the extension options. As with all light strip-style products, this is a thin, flexible strip that has interspersed LEDs in different colors along the strip that are used to make up different color shades when it's turned on. Colors are accurate, with the Light Strip able to reproduce red, pink, orange, yellow, green, and blue accurately, along with in-between shades. Purple is more of a blue or a pink, but that's true of most LED lights.

Review: Satechi's Type-C Stand for iMac Offers Easy Access to USB Ports With Ergonomic Design

Satechi has offered a few options for iMac stands over the past few years, allowing customers a chance to elevate their iMac for a more ergonomic workspace, and gain access to a limited number of ports. Now Satechi has released the Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac, an all-new iMac stand that is a bit of a combination of the two previous accessories, offering a greater number of useful ports and some added height under your iMac. Design Satechi's new iMac stand is designed with a brushed aluminum finish and unibody construction, perfectly matching any modern iMac with a silver aluminum finish. The front plate of the stand is matte black, mirroring the silver and black colors of the iMac, and this area is where you'll find the stand's seven ports. There's also a very faint white LED to the right of the ports that indicates a successful connection to the iMac. In total, there is a microSD card slot, SD card slot, audio jack, three USB-A ports, and one USB-C data port (not meant for fast charging). The stand itself has a USB-C cable to connect to Thunderbolt 3-enabled iMacs, and it comes with a small USB-C to USB-A dongle adapter so it's essentially compatible with any iMac. As a note, I have a late 2015 27-inch Retina iMac, and have not faced any issues with the adapter and ports on the Satechi stand. In terms of height, Satechi's accessory sits about 1.63 inches tall, with small rubber feet that ensure your entire workstation is stable after placing the iMac on the stand (max load being 50 lbs). There aren't any storage compartments or drawers

Review: 2019 Buick Regal TourX Features a Clean and Modern Infotainment System Design With CarPlay

GM was one of the early adopters of CarPlay, with the feature debuting on a few 2016 Chevrolet models and rapidly spreading across the company's various brands including Buick, GMC, and Cadillac. As part of a 2018 model year redesign intended to breathe some more life into its Regal sedan, Buick introduced the Regal TourX, an all-wheel drive wagon version that offers more cargo space to compete against some of the top models in the class including the Subaru Outback and Volvo V60. I've spent some time testing out a 2019 Buick Regal TourX to get a sense of GM's latest infotainment system (which GM is calling next-generation Buick Infotainment) and how it integrates with CarPlay. My test vehicle was the high-end Essence trim, nearly maxed out with most of the available upgrades including built-in navigation, panoramic moonroof, automatic cruise control, park assist, automatic emergency braking, and more. Buick Infotainment GM has been working on unifying its infotainment offerings, starting with the 2017 Cadillac CTS that launched with the "next-generation CUE" infotainment system. The same general system with some slight tweaks has been starting to expand across the Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC brands since that time, with the Buick Regal receiving the new Buick Infotainment version of the system on some 2018 vehicles. The Essence trim of the Regal TourX comes with a generous 8-inch touchscreen display integrated nicely into the dashboard, while the mid-level Preferred and base TourX trims come with a slightly smaller 7-inch display as standard. The Buick

Review: 2019 Nissan Altima Offers CarPlay Standard Alongside an Updated NissanConnect Infotainment System

Since debuting CarPlay in the 2017 Maxima, Nissan has been gradually expanding support for Apple's in-car platform throughout much of the carmaker's lineup, integrating with its NissanConnect infotainment system. I've had an opportunity to spend some time testing out CarPlay and NissanConnect on a new 2019 Nissan Altima, one of the most popular midsize sedans on the market, and I've found it to be a solid combination. For the redesigned Altima, Nissan is offering CarPlay standard across all trims, meaning that even the base model starting at $23,900 will support it. That's a welcome distinction from many other vehicles where a higher-level trim or a special package is needed in order to get CarPlay. Not all Nissans include CarPlay on the base trims, but the company tells me that it's moving in that direction and the Altima redesign for 2019 was a good opportunity to make it a priority. My tester was an Altima SR with front-wheel drive, which represents the model's second-level trim and starts at $25,250. It includes a spacious 8-inch touchscreen display atop the center stack that's standard across the lineup. The SR trim does not include built-in navigation or more advanced NissanConnect subscription services, but it offers a good idea of what you can get at a relatively low-level trim that minimizes the hit to your pocketbook. NissanConnect The Altima comes with a standard 8-inch touchscreen and an updated version of NissanConnect that is similar to versions found in other recent Altima models but includes some improvements in visual appeal and