Reviews

Review: Infiniti Joins the CarPlay Club With the 2020 QX50

Friday February 14, 2020 10:37 am PST by
Apple touts that there are now over 500 car models supporting CarPlay, and Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti is one of the most recent (and perhaps the last significant brand in the U.S. other than Tesla) to add the feature with the 2020 Q50 and Q60 sedans, QX50 crossover, and QX80 SUV. I've had an opportunity to spend some time with a 2020 Infiniti QX50 and check out how the updated InTouch...

Review: Pioneer's AVIC-W8500NEX System Upgrades Your Car With Wireless CarPlay and More

Friday January 31, 2020 9:41 am PST by
Pioneer has long been one of the biggest names in aftermarket car audio, and the company's lineup of NEX receivers offers a terrific option for adding CarPlay and other enhanced functionality to older cars or entry-level models that lack some of the latest technology. Pioneer's 2019 NEX lineup includes models at a range of price points offering varying feature sets. Several months ago, Pioneer ...

Review: Samsung's Portable SSD T7 Touch is Compact, Super Speedy and Keeps Your Files Safe With Fingerprint Sensor

Wednesday January 29, 2020 10:17 am PST by
Samsung at CES unveiled the T7 Touch SSD, a follow-up to its super popular T5 SSD. The T7 Touch is now available for purchase, and Samsung sent us a 500GB model for review purposes. Design wise, the T7 Touch SSD is just about palm size, measuring in at 3.35 inches long, 2.24 inches wide, and 0.31 inches thick. It weighs just two ounces, so it's small enough to tuck into a bag or even a pocket. ...

Review: Moment's 14mm Fisheye Lens Lets You Take Better Ultra Wide-Angle Shots on Latest iPhones

Tuesday January 28, 2020 8:20 am PST by
Moment, known for its line of high-quality lenses designed for the iPhone, recently came out with its newest lens, a 170-degree 14mm fisheye lens that works with Apple's iPhones, including the newest triple-lens models. Fisheye lenses are by definition ultra wide-angle lenses and are some of the widest lenses you can get, often offering up a wide view with artful distortion to capture as much...

Review: Zens Liberty Wireless Charger is a Solid AirPower Alternative With Room for Two Qi Devices and Apple Watch

Friday January 17, 2020 5:31 am PST by
It's been nearly one year since Apple cancelled the AirPower wireless charging mat, which would have allowed you to place your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods anywhere on the mat to wirelessly charge each device. In the subsequent months, numerous third-party companies have stepped forward in an attempt to reproduce this product, and now Zens has released its own take on an AirPower-like device: ...

Review: 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus Brings a Bigger Battery to the Popular CarPlay-Equipped EV

Thursday December 19, 2019 6:56 am PST by
Earlier this year, I spent some time in a 2019 Nissan Altima, checking out how CarPlay interfaces with the native NissanConnect infotainment system, and I came away fairly impressed with the flexibility and ease-of-use of NissanConnect and the carmaker's decision to make ‌CarPlay‌ standard across all trims. Looking to show off more of its technology and how some of it integrates with iPhones,...

Review: CalDigit's Tuff Nano Portable SSD Offers Fast Speeds in a Compact Package

Monday December 16, 2019 8:47 am PST by
CalDigit is a popular maker of docks, external storage, and other accessories that work well with Apple's ecosystem, and the company recently released a new Tuff nano external solid-state drive that packs blazing-fast transfer speeds into a tiny package. I don't have a huge need for external storage with my MacBook Pro, but when I have needed it I've used CalDigit's previous Tuff SSD, which I r...

Review: CalDigit's USB-C Pro Dock Adds Ports to Your Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C Mac, or Even an iPad Pro

Thursday December 12, 2019 8:12 am PST by
Over the past few years, Thunderbolt 3 docks have become nearly ubiquitous, with a variety of different docks offering varying sets of ports in a few different body styles. Similar docks, albeit with more limited capabilities, exist for connecting over USB-C to machines that lack the more powerful Thunderbolt 3 standard, even in some cases including the iPad Pro. Since the introduction of...

Review: AT&T's Power Drum Can Charge Your Apple Watch and Another Qi Device on the Go, but Phones Are a Bit of a Balancing Act

Wednesday December 11, 2019 10:03 am PST by
Ever since the Apple Watch launched in 2015, we've seen countless products that save up some counter or desktop space by letting you charge your Apple Watch and iPhone in one spot. There are numerous versions of this type of accessory, and now AT&T has released its own with the Power Drum. The Power Drum is a cylindrical charger with a small 3-inch footprint that houses a built-in Apple Watch...

Review: Audi's 2019 A7 Offers Wireless CarPlay and Up to Three Big Dashboard Screens

Friday December 6, 2019 11:04 am PST by
Wireless CarPlay has yet to take off with car manufacturers, with BMW (as well its MINI brand) being the first major car manufacturer to support the feature several years ago. As we recently covered, Porsche is in the process rolling out wireless ‌CarPlay‌ to its lineup, but there's at least one other notable manufacturer adopting the technology, and that's VW's luxury brand Audi. Audi's...

Hands-On With Wireless CarPlay on the Porsche Macan S

Tuesday November 26, 2019 10:28 am PST by
Five years after the launch of CarPlay, there are still very few car manufacturers supporting Apple's in-car platform wirelessly. The main benefit of wireless ‌CarPlay‌ is a nearly seamless experience of having much of your phone's core functionality available just a fingertip or voice command away on your car's infotainment system while your phone remains in your pocket. So far, wireless...

Review: Fuse Launches New Cable Organizer Lineup for Wrangling All Your Apple Device Cords

Tuesday November 26, 2019 9:42 am PST by
Fuse, known for its Side Winder cable organizers for keeping the MacBook's cord and power adapter neat and tidy, is today launching a whole new lineup of cord management products. There are cord winding options for Apple's MacBooks, the iPhone, the iPad, and Apple headphones, which basically covers Apple's entire lineup. Ahead of the debut of the new products, Fuse sent me a selection to...

Review: Mophie's Juice Pack Access Case Gives Your iPhone 11's Already Great Battery Life a Modest Boost

Tuesday November 19, 2019 10:46 am PST by
Mophie is known for its smartphone battery cases, which provide you with a way to keep an iPhone battery topped off while not having to worry about carrying around a large portable USB battery. Continuing this trend, Mophie recently launched Juice Pack Access cases for the the latest iPhones: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. I've had a chance to check out the Juice Pack...

Review: The Philips Hue Play Sync Box Matches Your Hue Lights to What's Playing on Your Apple TV

Monday November 11, 2019 7:55 am PST by
Signify, the company behind the Philips Hue lights, in September announced a new Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, which brings a capability that many Hue users have wanted for years now: the ability to sync Hue lights with content that's playing on the TV for an immersive home entertainment experience. There's already a Hue Sync app that lets Hue lights be tuned to Macs and PCs, but it's...

Review: Pad & Quill's $495 Gladstone Leather Briefcase is an Ultra Luxe MacBook Bag That Could Use a Bit More Document Organization

Friday November 8, 2019 6:59 am PST by
Pad & Quill is a company known for its leather accessories, crafted mainly with Apple devices in mind. The company offers iPhone cases, iPad sleeves, Apple Watch bands, and even paper journals and full leather bags and briefcases. For the past week, I've had a chance to check out Pad & Quill's Gladstone Leather Briefcase, which is priced at $495.00 on the company's website (although you can...

Review: Mophie's Latest Wireless Chargers Will Juice Up Multiple Devices at Once, But Are Expensive

Thursday October 31, 2019 10:50 am PDT by
Mophie earlier this year came out with several multi-device charging solutions after Apple failed to deliver the AirPower. The $80 Dual Wireless Charging Pad can charge two devices at one time, while the 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad ($140) is designed to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once. Design wise, these chargers are fairly simple, made from a black plastic covered with ...

Review: LIFX's HomeKit-Enabled Candle Bulb Offers Multi-Colored Lighting

Monday October 28, 2019 12:21 pm PDT by
LIFX earlier this year teased the Candle Color, a candelabra bulb that uses Polychrome Technology, which is a fancy way of saying it can display more than one color at once. Now the Candle Color is available for purchase. LIFX has used Polychrome Technology in the Tile, Beam, and Z Strip light strip, but this is the first time the color blending feature has been available in a light bulb. ...

Review: Eve Extend Adds Wi-Fi Connectivity and Longer Range to Your Eve Bluetooth HomeKit Devices

Friday October 25, 2019 9:12 am PDT by
Eve, known for its line of HomeKit-enabled smart home products, recently came out with an accessory called the Eve Extend, which is a Bluetooth range extender that's designed to work with existing Eve products. Many of Eve's HomeKit devices work over Bluetooth, and while that often works fine, in larger homes, Bluetooth connectivity can be problematic because it can be limited in range....

Review: Philips Hue Vintage-Style Filament Bulbs Are Perfect for Accent Lighting

Thursday October 24, 2019 10:34 am PDT by
Signify, the company behind the Philips Hue line of lights, recently introduced new filament bulbs, which are designed to look like vintage filament-style light bulbs. These bulbs, which come in three sizes, are the first bulbs in the Philips Hue lineup that are meant to be used with or without a lamp shade, making them perfect for decorative-style lamps that are meant to have naked bulbs. ...

Review: Mophie's Juice Pack Air Doubles Battery Life for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and X in a Slim Case

Monday August 19, 2019 8:22 am PDT by
Earlier this summer, Mophie announced and launched a new line of Juice Pack Air cases for the iPhone XS and XS Max, which promise to add extra hours of battery life to your iPhone while providing drop protection. The cases offer many of the same features as Apple's 2019 Smart Battery Case line, but there are a few key differences that I found in terms of their physical design and day-to-day...