USB charging stations for your desk are, frankly, dull. Most of them, while functional, are black or white boxes with a row of USB ports and not much pizazz. That’s what makes the Jelly Comb Charging Station stand out. This 5-port USB station for your desktop has a unique design that makes it easy to plug in your accessories while not looking like a slap of plastic on your desk. It supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology and has a blue LED light to let you know when it is powered on. It’s a different take on what is usually a utilitarian accessory for most of us.
The team over at Jelly Comb sent me the charging station a few weeks back to test and review. It is the first product from the China-based company I have reviewed and for its unique look and technology supported, the $14.99 price tag is hard to beat. Here’s my review.
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I have always been a fan of book-style folio cases for phones. I like the look and feel of most of them plus the added benefit of protection for the entire device when it is in use or in my pocket. The Huawei P10 is one of the best selling phones so far in 2017 and although it has yet to make its debut in the United States, the Chinese company has a line of cases ready for the phone when it hits US shores. If you live in Europe, your life is much easier and the Huawei Folio Smart View Case for the P10 is one to strongly consider.
The Folio case is designed by Huawei and works tightly with the P10 to provide you not only protection but information at a glance. It’s Smart View window uses the settings of your P10 to give you time, weather and other information with the case closed on your phone. No need to open it up to check the time. But this case provides stylish protection for you investment too. It protects all the edges of your phone, has precise cutouts to access ports and buttons, and fits your P10 firmly.
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When it comes to multi-port USB hubs, especially those that support the 3.0 standard, it is a mixed bag. Often you can find them at a low price but only one or two of the ports will support 3.0. The others are only 2.0. Or, the other side of this coin, is that you have one that supports 3.0 across all the ports but it comes at a steep price.
Enter ICZI. The China-based manufacture has long produced accessories for smartphones and laptops and one of their latest offerings is a 4-Port USB 3.0 hub. Not only does it support USB 3.0 across all four ports of the hub, it comes in at just under $13 on their Amazon storefront. Recently the ICZI team sent me one of these hubs to review and after using it on my MacBook Pro for the last couple of weeks, I’m impressed. It’s a solid performer… no, an excellent performer, with backlit USB ports and a compact, if not utilitarian design.
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In October 2016 I received my Google Home from the Google Store. I quickly unpacked it, got it setup using the Home app on my Nexus 6P and began issuing it random commands as I tried to learn the limits of the device. And in that process, I found out there were quite a few. As I put in my review of the device in November,
Can I without any doubt recommend Google Home? No, not yet at least. There is a lot of growing room to happen with this device and Google Assistant within it. Do I think I will change my view in 6 months? Almost certainly. By that time, Google and other developers will have leveraged the platform and APIs available to integrate more apps and more services.
So here we are, six months later almost to the day. Has it improved? Undoubtedly and it is continuing to improve.
What I expect to happen has to a large degree, with dozens of new services now available for Google Home along with better smart home integration. It feels far more complete than it did back in October, partly because of these new services but partly because Google Assistant, built into Home, has gotten smarter too. It is continually learning both on how I use it but also behind-the-scenes as Google tweaks it.
Can I recommend Google Home now? Yes, without question and here is why.
Continue reading “Google Home Six Months Later – Seemingly Always Improving”
I’ve been reviewing mobile devices for the better part of 15 years now. I’m often asked, “What is the best phone to get?” My answer is always the same: The phone that works best for you. For some, that’s iPhones. For some, that’s Android. But when it comes to any phone, rarely do you find one that ticks all the boxes when it comes to performance, a solid camera, good battery life and user experience. I’ve found one of these rare phones in the Huawei P10. It’s not perfect, but it is close and this 5.1″ phone is once to seriously consider.
I’ve had the opportunity over the past few weeks to use the Huawei P10 as my daily driver and it has not disappointed. It has the power to get me through the day and the performance to do anything I need it to do – from email, to streaming music and video, to playing a game or two. It is a device that I have no reservation in recommending. Yes there are some things to get use to with it, most notably the multi-function fingerprint scanner, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll really unlock this phone.
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Like many of you, I have a lot of gadgets around my office that require charging. It is logical, therefore, that I’m usually hunting around for a cable to charge said gadgets. In my office, I’ve pretty much got it setup the way I want but when I go on the road, I have to take some of those cables with me. Inevitably I forget one (or two) at home. Or, worse, I have one break. That’s where bundles of cables really become a great value for me personally and I suspect I’m not alone.
Choetech has been making accessories for Android and iPhones for several years now and recently they sent me their 6-Pack of USB-C to USB-A cables to review. I accepted the review cables because, having reviewed several Choetech items here on the site, I suspected that they would be good quality, solid construction and great performers. I wasn’t disappointed. I tested all of the cables in the pack for this review and all of them did exactly as I would have expected. Considering that you are getting 6 of these cables in the pack for $19.99, they are also a good value.
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When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, the vast majority of them are rectangles or maybe an elongated pill design regardless of manufacture. That’s why the new iClever BTS09 Bluetooth speaker stands out in the crowd. It is a striking, modern design that is dominated by the aluminum disk that covers the dual 10W speakers. It is a far cry from your run-of-the-mill box style that will get anyone’s attention at first glance. Looks are one thing but the expectation of a Bluetooth speaker is that it will have solid audio quality. The BTS09 does not disappoint. Its design allows sound to project, easily filling a room with music but in a distortion free, crisp way. Plus, with the 4000mAh battery built into it, it can go for hours without charging. That makes it great for get togethers, parties or just listening to some music as you work or relax.
A few weeks ago, the iClever team sent me the BTS09 to review. I’ve been fortunate to review their Bluetooth speakers in the past and I’ve never been disappointed. With the BTS09, I think it could arguably be their best yet.
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