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Best Super Bowl TV Deals

Best Super Bowl TV Deals

Super Bowl Sunday is looming large upon us and everyone is now starting to have “Super Bowl Fever”. Because of this, a lot of people are looking for a large screen TV to make the viewing experience more exciting and worthwhile.

Since you have come across this article, we assume that you too are looking for a large screen TV for watching the anticipated Super Bowl 2019. Manufacturers and companies now have taken advantage of the demand and are now churning out TV deals for the upcoming Super Bowl season.

Thankfully, we are here to provide you with a list of the best Super Bowl TV deals. IN this list, you will find bang for the buck deals that are sure to provide you with top-notch products with prices that are greatly discounted.

Read on to learn more about these products.

In this article, we will feature the best Super Bowl TV deals in 2019. We will also discuss the things to consider when buying a budget laptop.

Top Super Bowl TV Deals of 2019

1. Samsung Flat 65″ QLED 4K UHD Smart TV (QN65Q8F)

While the Samsung QN65Q8F is a highly priced unit, it manages to be included in this article as one of the best Super Bowl TV deals of 2019.

With the Samsung QN65Q8F, you get to enjoy the upcoming game in ultra HDR quality. On top of that, you also get to indulge in its large screen which measures 65 inches.

To achieve HD quality display, it comes with Q Contrast Elite which cleverly controls the LEDs and manages the TV’s ability to resist reflection in order to produce better contrast. Through Q HDR Elite further, enhance the image output by pushing the vibrancy of colors and details.

It comes with an ergonomic design which also offers a clean and formal way of keeping the cables at bay.

It comes with an ambient mode which allows you to decorate the room with pictures or other short clips along with background music. It has support with Bixby assistant.

Things you might like:

  • Q Contrast Elite
  • 65-inch screen
  • Ultra HDR display
  • Ambient mode
  • Compatible with Bixby assistant

Things you might not like:

  • Screen too large for some

2. Sony 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (XBR65X900E)

One of the best Super Bowl TV deals is Sony X900E. This TV is definitely one of the best deals thanks to its discounts and price cuts. The Sony X900E manages to outperform almost all TVs in the premium segment thanks to its excellent display.

It comes with a 4K HDR Processor X1 which manages to churn out fast playback seeds and good clarity. It also shows high attention to detail and good color reproduction.

To make the image output pop out, even more, Sony integrated a local dimming technology which provides excellent contrast ratios despite poor or dim lighting conditions. IT also has the X Tended Dynamic Range Pro technology which further enhances the HDR capabilities of the product.

Things you might like:

  • Ergonomic design
  • 4K Ultra HDR
  • AI technology
  • Comes with the important ports

Things you might not like:

  • Too slim for some

3. Toshiba 43″ 4K Ultra HD TV (43LF621U19)

The next entry on our list comes from maybe one of the most underrated brands among TV companies, Toshiba. The Toshiba 43LF621U19 has a good balance of value for money as well as excellent specifications.

The shining feature about the Toshiba 43LF621U19 is its display. The unit is able to produce close to reality 4k output with a multitude of pixels. It has a clear display with a good contrast ratio and excellent color reproduction.

It comes with the Fire TV app which allows you access to over thousands of channels and streaming sites. It comes with voice control feature through Alexa. Through this, you can launch apps, search for your favorite channels as well as play music and many more.

In terms of connectivity, it comes with 3 HDMI ports, 1 USB port, and 1 composite input. It also has a port for Ethernet.

The downside of the Toshiba 43LF621U19 is its inconsistent connection with Alexa. There are times when the unit fails to connect properly to the smart hub.

Things you might like:

  •    True 4K panel
  •    Voice Control feature
  •    Good color reproduction
  •    Comes with the important connectivity ports

Things you might not like:

  •    Inconsistent connection to the smart hub

4. LG 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (43UK6300PUE)

The LG Electronics 43UK6300PUE is considered a “budget” TV. LG is a reputable company that produces excellent TVs and another device is a sure contender in any list of the best TVs.

The LG Electronics 43UK6300PUE measures 38.5” x 23” x 3.2” without a stand.

In terms of image quality, the LG Electronics 43UK6300PUE astounds through its Artificial Intelligence ThinQ feature. Through this, you can connect to your smart home hub efficiently and conveniently. It also has a voice control feature which is stable and reliable.

It has a true 4k panel which supports high dynamic range. It also has support for GDR10 as well as HLG. On top of that, LG chose to sprinkle in more features through its tone mapping technology.

The LG Electronics 43UK6300PUE delivers a rich and vivid image output that has accurate color reproduction and capable contrast ratio.

In terms of connectivity, it has all the important ports. It dons 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports as well as 1 ethernet port. It also has an optical audio output port and Audio Return Support for HDMI.

When we tested out the voice control feature, it was rather unstable and unreliable at times. Maybe LG could do some tweaking so that the next model can benefit from a more robust software for voice commands.

Things you might like:

  •    True 4K panel
  •    Supports HDR
  •    AI feature
  •    Good color reproduction

Things you might not like:

  •    Unstable voice control feature

5. TCL 43 Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (43S425)

Despite it being considered as a budget TV, it offers top of the line specs, not to mention excellent form factor and value for your money.

The TCL 43S425 measures 38.3 “ x 23 “ x 2.9” without a stand. If placed on a stand, the overall dimensions are 38.3 “ x 25” x 7.5”. The unit comes with access to over 3,000 channels for streaming. Aside from this, you get access to 450,000 movies as well as TV shows through the Roku TV app.

In terms of display, the TCL 43S425 rocks a 4K display panel. The display shows a decent contrast ratio as well as good High Dynamic Range. It also shows good color reproduction. It comes with a directly Lit LED display which further enhances the image quality.

The unit allows an overall refresh rate of 120 Hz. Because of this, load up speeds are fast and transitions are decent. However, we can see some motion blur especially in high-resolution videos.

In terms of connectivity, the TCL 43S425 comes with the usual ports. It has 3 HDMI 2.0 ports as well as 1 USB port. It also comes with a headphone jack, audio out port as well as an Ethernet port.

Things you might like:

  •    Affordable
  •    True 4K display
  •    Several supported streaming sites
  •    Comes with important connectivity ports

Things you might not like:

  •    Apparent motion blurring

While there are plenty of other TVs to choose from that would also provide you with an awesome experience, these are just a handful of great options – many at a great price – to enjoy as your new TV for the Super Bowl!

Super Bowl TV Deals: What to Look For

Before we get on to our list, we will first provide you with a short list of features and components that you need to look for with a TV fit to enjoy the Super Bowl. These features helped us come up with a comprehensive list of the Best TVs for Super Bowl

Picture Quality

One of the key features you need to look for in a TV is the Picture Quality. It is considered to be the holy grail in looking for a new TV. It is certainly one of the most important features or aspect of any TV.

In terms of Picture Quality, OLED TVs are still considered to be the best. However, these types of TVs do come with a hefty price. OLED TVs are a huge step up from a myriad of other TVs since most TVs only comes with LCD screens. OLED screens offer a more vibrant and vivid viewing experience.

Make no question, LCD TVs still provide a great viewing experience. However, if you opt for these TVs, make sure to buy one that comes with the local dimming feature. These TVs simply outperform TVs that don’t have this feature.

Moreover, pick one that comes with LED backlighting. There are those that come with LED light edges, however, they pale in comparison to those that are backlit.

Another aspect that affects picture quality, is the contrast ratio. To ensure a better viewing experience, pick one that has a high contrast ratio. This means that the TV achieves a wide difference between the blackest of blacks and the whitest of whites.

Color saturation is another factor that affects the overall picture quality of the TV. You need to buy one that has a good balance of the saturation of colors. If the picture quality is oversaturated, this can put a strain on the eyes and can look artificial. If the TV is undersaturated, the picture becomes dull and unexciting.

It also pays to buy a TV that has some sort of matte covering on the screen since they enhance the TVs capability to reduce the amount of reflection. This is important if you are placing the TV in an area that has poor lighting condition

Size

Another important aspect of any TV, regardless if it is for Super Bowl or not is the Size. Most people prefer ultra-large screens. However, not all instances do we need a TV that an entire soccer team can watch too.

The area where you place the TV is an important aspect when it comes to choosing the size of the TV. According to CNET, the best size for a TV is 54 inches. This size is enough for an averagely sized living room. In order to have a comfortable distance from a 54 inch TV, it must be situated at least 4.5 feet from the couch.

Pricing

Pricing is also an important aspect that you need to consider when buying a TV. Since we are coming close to the Super Bowl Season, more and more stores are offering bang for the buck TVs. Since the demand is high, more stores are putting huge price slashes for their TVs.

While you can always buy the most expensive TV in the market, it also pays to look for more affordable offerings that still give you all the important features.

HDMI Connections

The next factor you need to consider is HDMI connectivity. There are several kinds of TV connectivity, however, the one which is very important is the HDMI. Make sure to buy a TV that comes with several HDMI ports. Usually, TVs come with two ports but it always pays to have more than two ports. If you plan on streaming the game on the laptop and showing it on the TV, make sure that your laptop is compatible with the HDMI connector. If you have an older laptop, usually it requires an HDMI converter so that you can connect it to the TV.

Aside from knowing the number of ports, you also need to know whether the TV supports the newer HDMI connections. This is because a newer HDMI port can elicit a faster connection. Most 4k TVs come with the newer HDMI ports. A newer HDMI also elicits a more stable and reliable connection with any device.

Smart TV

More and more households have shifted to Smart TVs for many years now. Smart TVs are an excellent and convenient option for anyone who wants to reap the benefits of watching TV but with the ease of having to operate it as a laptop.

Smart TVs let you have instant access to Netflix and other streaming platforms. They are called Smart TV for a reason. When you plan on streaming the upcoming Superbowl Game on the internet, then a Smart TV is an excellent choice.

With this, you don’t need to connect the TV to a laptop via an HDMI connection. You just simply have to connect it to your home network and Voila! You are set to go. You can stream any show or any movie you like through a myriad of streaming platforms.

Do take note that if you want to invest on a Smart TV, you do have to be prepared to shell out some more cash as they come with a hefty price tag. Nonetheless, these smart TVs provide you with utmost convenience and accessibility you do not get with a typical TV.

Remote Controls

If you don’t plan on buying constantly a remote control because of the constantly damaged remote control you have for your TV, then make sure to pay close attention to the built-in remote control of your unit.

Some remote controls come with ton more additional features. These come from the new systems brought about by companies such as Samsung and LG. These additional control features make TV viewing more efficient and convenient.

Moreover, make sure to have remote controls that are backlit since they will come in handy when you want to watch shows or movies with the lights turned off. Other additional features that come with newer units include touchpads as well as gesture controls.

Design

TVs are basically considered as furniture as well. They can become the centerpiece of the living room or any room it is being placed. Because of this, manufacturers have stepped up their game in making sure their units are head turners.

Most new TVs nowadays rock and flaunt a thin form factor. LG has been churning out thin TVs for many years now. They are so thin that when you place them on the wall, they blend very well and look seamlessly as part of the wall. Thin TVs also are more ergonomic looking and flaunt both a modern and futuristic look. They certainly keep the monotony and generic looking TVs out of the park

Aside from the form factor, the TV you buy should come with better wire management. In the case of Samsung’s new offerings, they come with a compact and small input box in order to provide better wiring management.

Voice Control

The newest trend in most gadgets from TVs to smart home hubs is the capability of integrating voice control. These devices can be controlled through speaking to them. This capability allows for a more convenient and efficient way of taking command to your device.

In regards to smart TVs, they give you the functionality of controlling it via “push to talk”. In this case, remote controls have a built-in mic that records whatever you command. Through it, you can change channels or maybe search for certain TV shows.

Manufacturers are able to do this by integrating their TVs with Google Assistant. Through Google Assistant, not only are you able to do commands for the TV but you can also do tasks like ordering pizza or even playing games. Moreover, Samsung has integrated their TVs with Bixby digital assistant.

There are also some TVs that let you take control without the use of any remote control. They do this via Google home speakers or Alexa speakers. Most TV sets from different TV brands have already made this possible with Google Assistant as well as Alexa. These additional features offer great convenience and comfort to anyone watching TV.

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Best RGB Keyboards

Best RGB Keyboards

The keyboard has gone miles from being a dull beige computer peripheral to a more sophisticated and complex gaming tool. It is more than just a required device, and it is considered a desired weapon for the ultimate gaming experience. RGB keyboards revolutionize the purpose of keyboards in the gaming world. It transcends as both armament and ammunition to the gritty, competitive, magical, and incredibly fun gaming environment.

If you are into gaming, whether you’re a pro or not, look into RGB effects that tie into the game. While some marketing may trick you into having a spectacular lighting show on your keyboard with a tap of a key or when you unleash your special skills in the game, find something more meaningful, such as a feature in the game that allows for the RGB effects in the keyboard to align instead of a tedious keyboard remapping requirement. This will help you out with your gaming experience.

Other noteworthy points you need to look out for in an RGB keyboard would be the number of hues, software, community support and integration, mouse sync ability, USB hubs, and media controls.

These RGB keyboards will definitely not fail your expectations – a little bit if we are talking budget – but ups the notch in the RGB keyboard landscape.

Best RGB Keyboards of 2018

1. RIOTORO Ghostwriter Cherry MX Black Mechanical Keyboard

Outstanding is what best describes the RIOTORO Ghostwriter Cherry MX Black Mechanical Keyboard. It is the frontrunner RGB keyboard in the market today and one of the best-selling in the gaming niche. The RIOTORO Ghostwriter Cherry MX Black Mechanical Keyboard has a 1 millisecond response time, Cherry MX Black key switches, full n key rollover, and 100% anti-ghosting feature. It provides dual USB ports for connectivity and includes a dedicated media control plus a volume roller.

The RIOTORO Ghostwriter Cherry MX Black Mechanical Keyboard is made of trendy aluminum faceplate in stealth design. The overall aesthetic looks commanding and can outbattle any alien attack. It is one premium piece of gaming weapon that will surely let you outlive your opponents.
The RIOTORO Ghostwriter’s Customizable Prism RGB boasts its ultimate ammunition of RGB lighting and effects that give you the complete RGB keyboard experience. The Customizable Prims allows easy programming of each key with a wide variety of colors to choose from. It is a true RGB keyboard in a sense that you are able to program individual keys. On top of that, the RIOTORO Ghostwriter’s set up will not make you go nuts – it’s straightforward and simple. The RIOTORO Ghostwriter also comes with a 2-year warranty, already included in its price.

2. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

Don’t be intimidated by the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum’s expensive price tag. It is not priced that high without its due wins.

First, it is the offspring of the previously decommissioned Corsair flagship, K95 Vengeance. The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum ups its predecessor with Cherry MX Speed Silver switches. This allows the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum to have lesser actuation points as well as travel distance compared to the Vengeance.

Second, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum looks stunningly more badass than the Vengeance in so many ways. Its aesthetics deserve an applause for design elevation.
Third, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum uses a smooth aluminum cover, with options for gunmetal or matte black.

Ultimately, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum pretty much wins on every aspect for an RGB keyboard. The wide RGB colors spectrum offering is a given. And the Corsairs CUE (Corsair Utility Engine) remains to be one of the best and most versatile software for managing the features, capabilities and lighting for the Corsair keyboard and devices.

The bottom line is that the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is a more refined offspring of the vengeance with more power and functionality as well as a gold in the design aesthetics.

3. Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky

This keyboard is designed for gamers – especially its unique Razer Mechanical Switches. The switches promise tactile feedback as well as a superfast response. The Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard offers 16.8 million backlighting color options – pretty much the edge of the color spectrum maximum. This enables you to have endless programming possibilities and/or color assignments to the individual keys.

All of these can be customized using the Razer Synapse software. The customization is fairly easy allowing you to customize key lighting effortlessly as well as the ability to sync custom backgrounds to preloaded backgrounds. The Razer Synapse software is also considered a great and intuitive RGB keyboard software in the market today.

The Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard includes easy access media keys and 5 supplementary macro keys. On top of that, it incorporates a volume control and 10 anti-ghosting key rollovers. Other noteworthy pluses of the Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky is its 60-million keystrokes and an inclusive 2-year warranty at point of sale.

4. Alienware Pro AW768 Gaming Keyboard

This keyboard needs no introduction. It carries the Alienware brand, which is a towering pillar of the gaming world. The Alienware Pro AW768 Gaming Keyboard will not fail to astound you with its cutting-edge and unmatched aesthetics. Like many Alienware products, the Alienware Pro AW768 Gaming Keyboard is a head turner that will make you fall in love at first sight. The Alienware Pro AW768 Gaming Keyboard offers the premium in mechanical RGB keyboard specifications – brown MX switches and amazing RGB LED lighting, considered to be the most ornate among its contemporaries. There’s no doubt that the Alienware Pro AW768 Gaming Keyboard is the strongest contender in the mechanical RGB keyboard arena of this year.

At first sight, the Alienware Pro AW768 Gaming Keyboard will mesmerize you with its super slick, semi-shimmering, and impressive silver matte finish. The angular design and the under light running around its front edge will complete your spectacular space-age trance.

Smooth volume roller, Alienware switches, easy backlight customization, and supreme build quality complete the overall package that makes the Alienware Pro AW768 an easy choice for an RGB keyboard. It downright delivers an extremely fun experience, excellent features and performance, and superior value to both gamers and typists.

5. Corsair K68 RGB

Durability and excellent software are what best describe the Corsair K68 RGB keyboard. It’s known for its original Cherry MX Red switches and spill/dustproof build. But more than that, the Corsair K68 RGB keyboard competes head to head with more popular and expensive brands and models.

The Corsair K68 RGB has earned a credible reputation in its build receiving the IP32 certification, manifested by its high resistance. Throw in the anti-ghosting plus a full rollover that allows for reliable register and detection, the Corsair K68 RGB keyboard is not without due recognition against its more popular competitor brands in the gaming world.

And although there are areas for improvement, such as the plastic wrist rest and limited media keys, these are definitely not cause for worries for an RGB keyboard at this price point. Ultimately, what breaks the entire experience and pushes the Corsair K68 RGB forward to the top of the heap is its superb and excellent software, which enables you to easily program individual keys attuned to your gaming or typing needs.

6. Razer Ornata Chroma

What makes the Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard stand out from the tough RGB keyboard market is its price. Now, as one of the lower-priced RGB keyboards, there’s no doubt that the Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard would be the easiest buy based on a tight budget. It is a sinless, guilt-free purchase that will afford you of outstanding RGB keyboard experience.

The Razer Ornata Chroma RGB keyboard incorporates very unique and new switch design that offers great performance and keys recognition for typing and gaming needs. It has some few limitations that are not entirely recognizable unless you are a pro gamer, but it makes it up for a splendid typing experience. Now, you wouldn’t mind having those limitations really, with the terrific value it offers and at a super low price.

7. Logitech RGB G910 Orion Spark RGB Keyboard

The Logitech RGB G910 Orion Spark Mechanical Gaming keyboard competes at the higher range category of RGB keyboards. It doesn’t fail to deliver with its full RGB functionality offering. The RGB keyboard comes with enhanced individual key lighting that is easier to customize. And, it is claimed to be the fastest mechanical RGB keyboard in the market today. This claim is backed by its Romer-G mechanical switches that record superfast actuation that is 25% faster than other keyboards.

The Logitech RGB G910 Orion Spark Mechanical Gaming keyboard lets you program up to 16 million individual colors that you can customize through its topnotch software. In addition, Logitech added 9 programmable macro keys as well as G-keys as part of the features. Media controls are also included in the keyboard, and the whole 113 keys are anti-ghosting.

This RGB keyboard is also built for durability, having a lifetime of up to 80 million keystrokes. You can get premium and high-range RGB keyboard features with an amazing Arx control application that lets you access in-game data via tablet or smartphone without disturbing your gameplay.

8. SADES K10 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The SADES K10 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard doesn’t offer much customization capabilities for its backlighting, but it overcompensates through its other features, which will truly amaze you. Unless you’re a pro gamer, you don’t have much time to think about customizing all the available colors in the color wheel. That’s the main concept the SADES K10 Mechanical Gaming keyboard subtly tries to convey.

That said, it offers preset backlighting options instead. And its RGB LED color combinations are truly outstanding. It 104 keys have n-key rollover that prevents ghosting as well. The SADES K10 Mechanical Gaming keyboard uses Kailh blue switches that have, according to the manufacturer, faster responsive feedback compared to other types of switches.

Other noteworthy features of the SADES K10 Mechanical Gaming keyboard includes 7 multimedia keys, 5 additional macro keys, and 19 non-conflict keys. Durability-wise, the SADES K10 Mechanical Gaming keyboard has been tested to last for over 50 million keystrokes. All of that at a really good price. That surely is a bang for the buck!

9. Redragon K552 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Compact and economic, the Redragon K552 sits just within the best RGB keyboards in the market of 2018. It features Cherry MX Green switches, known for its relatively tactile feedback, medium resistance, and that ever-wanted audible click. This RGB mechanical keyboard comes with 6 preset RGB LED backlighting effects, 12 multimedia keys, double-shot injection-molded keycap, and Windows key lockout option.

Built with aluminum and ABS, the Redragon K552 is constructed to be durable. At its price, you can get this affordable RGB keyboard that is already compatible with all Windows version from XP and up.

RGB Keyboard Buying Guide

Aside from the multi-color backlights of an RGB keyboard, what is it really, and why is it so revolutionary and considered a technological feat?

Buying Guide

RGB Basics

RGB keyboards are those desktop or PC keyboards that have multicolor lights. These lights are customizable and to some varying degrees for specific functions and capabilities. RGB keyboards command a higher price compared to regular keyboards, and the technology from which RGB keyboards are based from goes a long way back.

The science behind RGB keyboards rests on the concept that embraces color techniques we traditionally know in a color wheel or color chart as well as the ability to program each color to a specific feature, function or capability. It uses the red, green and blue color representation or technique – commonly called as the ‘additive primary’ – following standard numerical color assignment from 0 to 256. Combining or overlapping the additive primary creates up to 16.8 million varieties of colors. If you want to do the math, that’s 256 x 256 x 256 (red, green, blue) equals 16,777,216.

Next question is: is it really necessary? What’s the highest possibility of using all 16.8 million colors when using a keyboard.

Well, that’s a more simplified way of asking about an RGB keyboard’s functionality. For starters, the multi-colored backlighting is hardly a feature. It is more of a need. Before, keyboards already come with backlighting and they use a cool backlighting to help one type or use the keyboard in dark-lit environment. When RGB keyboards came onto the scene, the need was more of an ability to program individual key color for an assigned function or feature. This is one thing that you also need to understand when buying an RGB keyboard because there are a lot of manufacturers who label their products RGB but without the ability to have individual key color programming.

You can expect, having the ability to program each key color over programming the entire keyboard or clusters of keys, would command a very high price. It is pretty much fair considering it is the most ultimate feature of this type of keyboard in the market today. That is also what you should be getting if you’re really serious about using an RGB keyboard.

What things to look out for?

All that said, what you really need to look out for when shopping for RGB keyboards is the Per-Key RGB or separate lit keys. This is the truest customizable RGB keyboard – it enables you to program each individual key. With each key programmable to a specific function and having a distinct color hue assigned to the key, the possibilities of programming many different features are endless – well, almost close to endless. This helps a lot in a gaming environment where each key has its own function or control and having a distinct light color on each key can somehow make or break the entire gaming experience. Plus, a potential victory of course.

On top of that, also look out for the capability to assign color schemes to a group of keys. Well, it may sound counterintuitive, but it doesn’t mean that having the ability to program individual colors to each individual key that you are going to do that all the time. There may be instances where that can be overkill. Having a distinct color scheme for a group of keys may make a lot more sense at some point or in most instances. So, having that kind of feature will come in handy.

On/off toggle for the lighting is also something very important. It is practical, especially if you don’t want to get caught by your boss goofing around while at work. This switch enables you to quickly shut down the RGB color backlighting on or off. It pretty much works like the F3 function key back in the old DOS days.

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Best Gaming Headsets

Best Gaming Headsets

Based on the rise in gaming, some refer to the current time as the “gamer’s era”. Multiplayer games such as League of Legends, Minecraft, and Fortnite have become more popular and other long known squad games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft have been popular for years.

These would require a headset with powerful features to be able to capture the background music, sound effects, and the conversation between your game-mates. The best gaming headsets that have high end features a few years ago would cost a lot but thanks to the numerous innovations accommodated nowadays, top-line headphones are within reach.

Yes, we have heard the same line over and over again: Choosing the right headset is a personal choice. However, we should not just depend on our personal preferences and opinion. We should also consider the latest technology and additional features being added to the gaming essentials to make the most out of what we’re spending on. The best gaming headsets will actually make an immense distinction in your experience with gaming.

Best Gaming Headsets in 2018

This list of the best headsets for gamers have the best reviews and the brands are already well known for the quality products that they have been producing for a long time. Pick any from the list to make sure that you are getting the most of your money!

1. SteelSeries Arctis Pro

This is a great headset for any gamer. The sound quality is clear and crisp, many can’t even tell it’s a wireless headset. It has this clear and precise surround sound because of its digital audio converter which also makes it very capable to be a great headset for music. With a comfortable fit, it can be worn for hours while gaming without causing discomfort. With its excellent bass and clear acoustics, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro is admittedly one of the best gaming headsets.

Features

  • Neodymium drivers which is of 40mm
  • Wireless/ via USB connection
  • 20 to 20,000Hz
  • Microphone is noise canceling and retractable
  • DTS headphones with 7.1 surround satellite speakers

Pros

  • Perfect headset despite being wireless, no garbles or muddiness which is a common downside to wireless ones
  • Attractive design
  • Very comfortable to wear because of its avant-garde headband, it keeps the weight away from your head and neck
  • Features can be customized, you can also connect this headset to your phone because it has an audio cable with a length of 3.5 mm
  • Long battery life: can survive over 20 hours, I have tried playing while charging it through a USB connection
  • Very durable, mine lasted for over a year

Cons

  • The headband becomes loose in the long run
  • The microphone is muffled
  • Expensive

2. HyperX Cloud Revolver S

HyperX Cloud is known for the quality but affordable gaming headsets and this still holds true with Revolver S. It has powerful speakers that produce clear sound. It has that extra bass that doesn’t interrupt the overall delivery of the headset as some low-end headphones do. It actually sounds great not only with games but also with music.

Features

  • Wired headset
  • The drivers are dual chamber neodymium which is 50 mm and made to provide low to high frequencies
  • The wire connection is analog and 3.5 mm long
  • It has a frequency response of 13Hz to 27,000 Hz
  • With microphone that is detachable and has noise canceling feature with in-line controls

Pros

  • Produces great sound that is clear and crisp
  • The headphones have an amazing build with comfortable padding that does not weigh you down
  • Very easy to set up
  • Even at full volume, the audio doesn’t muddle as what other headphones do

Cons

  • The cable is not detachable
  • The in line controls are not that durable

3. Logitech G Pro Gaming Headset

If you are a gamer that prefers function over style then this headset might be the one for you. It has got an amazing sound quality to offer not only for gaming but also for movies and music. It is available at a great price making it another treasure because of its good quality and affordability. I really like how slick its design is with its smooth and angled designs paired with its abundance of paddings made of leather. This headset is very comfortable even if worn for a long time. If you are on a tight budget then this headset is the right choice for you.

Features

  • Wired analog headset
  • Noise isolation is passive
  • Drivers are Pro-G
  • Detachable microphone
  • It has Dolby Atmos support

Pros

  • Very comfortable to wear for long hours
  • Minimalistic design, without the unnecessary floof
  • Precise and clean bass which I particularly like
  • Overall of good quality of the built and design
  • Budget-friendly headset

Cons

  • Not that competitive with other brands
  • The design is not that attractive
  • Bass may be heavier than what was normally presented
  • It gives me a hard time to distinguish the direction from where the sounds came from especially in game environments that are hectic.
  • The controls are strangely unnecessary

4. Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament

This popular headset is known for its very comfortable build with high-end sound production at a reasonable price. The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament actually has the best reviews among its other models of the same brand. Its 50mm drivers make it a powerful headset with a sturdy design that makes it a good improvement from its previous models. Turtle beach is already known for its affordable headset, this one might be their best.

Features

  • Wired both USB connection and 3.5mm
  • It supports multiple platforms
  • 50 mm drivers making it  a powerful set of headset
  • Has a glasses relief feature

Pros

  • It is very much comfortable, the earpads are comfortably soft that you can actually wear the headset for hours
  • It has 50mm drivers which makes it very powerful and it produces high end audio, the audio is balanced because the sounds are clear and crisp from footsteps to explosions
  • Multiple platforms can be connected to the headset such as a mobile phone, Xbox, PS4 or any gaming console
  • It has an additional feature for gamers who wear glasses: there are extra spaces on the ear pads to prevent your glasses’ spectacles from pressing on your skin

Cons

  • However, it doesn’t have that digital surround sound feature
  • A bit expensive for my taste
  • Not that durable for me because it is built of plastic and I particularly don’t like its orange highlights
  • The bass it produces can be a little weak

The ideal headset for gaming should not only provide quality background music from the game but also transmit that precise sound of effects which will not distract you from communicating with team. Ensure that you have got the correct auditory system for your gaming equipment because this is of vital importance and a headset with top-notch quality will positively change your level of concentration to the game. This is of utmost importance especially if your career is at stake.

Buying Guide

Budget

As previously mentioned, high-end headsets several years ago are more costly than the quality headsets today. This is actually good news for today’s gamers. Actually, a lot of decent gaming headsets are sold at a price less than $200. Be wise and do not spend over $200 unless you’re looking for the a professional model.

For a budget of less than $100, it would may be better to opt for wired headsets as many decent wireless headsets start at a price of over $100. If your budget is between $100 and $200, great options would be headsets from Astro and HyperX.

If your budget is under $50, there are also gaming headsets of this price range from HyperX and Turtle Beach.

Quality and Type of Sound Produced

The sound quality is a vital aspect that you should never forget to examine first when shopping for the right headset. It should be able to capture the background sounds and effects for you to enhance your experience. Some speakers have LED lighting that light up for every audio effect such as explosions and gunfire. There are those who find this annoying, so if you belong with the latter, then it’s best to select a simple headset but it should still deliver well.

Do you prefer surround sound headphones or a stereo sound? There are literally lots of options for you! You can opt for a sound system that’s so immersive with a 7.1 speaker capability or you can opt for a Dolby surround system headphone setup with that 7.1 capability as well.

Specifically, a surround sound headset has numerous drivers on every ear pad, this allows various sound channels to function which means audio can be heard at different angles. This means the sound will be very sensitive to the direction also known as FPS games which goes well with games like Call of Duty because pinpointing where gunfire is from and the footsteps are is crucial. For games like this, a headset with surround system is appropriate because it provides positional audio.

Build Quality

The durability of the headset is another factor to look for in a gaming headset like anything else you will buy. Very durable ones will often be pricier and notice that the flimsy ones. One technique to use before buying a piece of a headset is to examine how the headband is connected to the ear pads. Steer away from headsets that use small screws at the back or headsets that are made of plastic which will break in the long run.

An ideal gaming headset would, of course, last for a long time despite the wear and tear. There are gaming headsets that may look amazing, but don’t be fooled, check first if these are built to last. Consider the type of materials used to make the headset.

Wired Headset or Wireless Headset

This is also another vital thing to consider in the world of gaming. While both have their own advantages and disadvantages, in the end, it all depends on you as to which will serve to your best interests. Many recommend wired headsets because you don’t have to worry about making sure your headset is charged or has batteries.. Headphones with low battery in the middle of the game are a hassle.

On the other hand, there are gamers who prefer a wireless one because they are using a console. Wireless headphones don’t have any problems with tangles. While there are headsets that need to be charged for hours, there are some that will only take an hour to be fully charged.

If you really prefer wireless ones, choose those with encoding of AptX. Headsets with AptX encoding will allow the sound transmission via Bluetooth without compromising the quality Finally, expect that a wireless headset costs more than a wired one. But of course, wired headsets are more convenient to use.

Comfortability

A common mistake made by people who buy headsets is that they have forgotten or ignored this aspect. Gamers often play for hours with headsets worn and comfortability is a huge factor to really remember when shopping for headsets. An intrusive gaming headset would be annoying and irritating wear, it would impede your concentration to the game and negatively affect your performance.

A headset should be made of durable materials, I know, and these materials should be lightweight. You don’t want to wear something so heavy on your head for hours, do you? This will only result in neck and ear pain. There are actually various fits for the ear: XXL, XL and L. Please, avoid headsets that will impede circulation.

Open Headset or Closed Headset

Closed headsets are different from open headsets because the former one has a solid covering the ear pad which is vital in filtering outside noise. The latter, have openings which is preferable for those who want to hear outside noise.

If you don’t want to hear anything else other than the game then the closed headset is the right choice. Open headsets, however, will have a less muffled sound but other people will also hear the output from your headset which is not a quality of a closed headset since it isolates the sound not only from the outside but the inside as well.

Microphone

A good microphone is a must-have for a gaming headset. We all know it is important to communicate with your squad or team as you work towards a common goal which is – to win the game. For you to be able to have a good teamwork you must have a good line of communication which should be without static or any disturbance.

I prefer having a separate mic than an inline one because inline microphones are annoying to hold or clip, these also get easily damaged and weaken in the long run. A cracking mic is a huge no-no in gaming. Avoid buying a headset with a mic that picks up the audio created by the speaker or even a mic that captures every single external sound. Choose a speaker that has a mic with noise canceling feature. This means the mic can filter out any outside noise and improves clarity.

Final Thought

Hopefully this list is of help with your quest in looking for the best gaming headsets. You may also opt to choose from other well-known headset brands are Asus, Sennheiser, Corsair, and Creative; they have a long-time reputation for producing quality products that will never let you down.

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Best Smart Home Hubs

Best Smart Home Hubs

Are you planning on creating a whole ecosystem of smart devices for your home? Do you already have several smart devices in your home but want to access all of them in one device?

Smart home hubs allow you to operate several sensors and smart devices in your home through this single device. If you are on the lookout for a reliable smart home hub, you are in the right place. In this article, we will feature the best smart home hubs to fulfill all your smart home needs.

What are the best smart home hubs in 2018?

There are several smart home hubs that you can buy on the market nowadays. Some of them take a more straightforward approach providing you with only the essential features. While some go the extra mile by adding some interesting features that will make your experience with it more convenient.

In this part, we will talk about the smart home hubs that offer the best value for your money.
Read on to know which of these hubs cater to your smart home needs.

1. Samsung SmartThings

From its humble beginnings as a crowdfunded product way back in 2012, the Samsung SmartThings has clearly gone a long way. Before being bought by Samsung, this product was already showing a ton of potential. When Samsung finally slapped its branding on the product, the rest was history and it became a favorite smart hub for several homes in the country.

The main selling point of the Samsung SmartThings is its sheer versatility and flexibility. We say this because it is compatible with a wide array of different platforms and interfaces such as Zigbee to Z-Wave.

The Samsung SmartThings can be used in two means. You can use the hub by itself. The hub has its own battery backup feature and can be plugged in directly to a router. Aside from this, you can also set it up with the Samsung Connect Home mesh router.

Moreover, you can buy several of these mesh routers and place them in different areas of your home, thereby enhancing the strength signal as well as the connection. It relies heavily on the cloud service of Samsung. In the cloud is where all data is kept and where the hub communicates with. Communicating with the Samsung SmartThings is also a breeze, thanks to its compatibility with Google Assistant as well as Alexa. Voice Control is accurate and responsive.

However, we hoped that this device is compatible with HomeKit or Nest Integration. However, since SmartThings is compatible with IFTTT, we hope there will be a workaround this in the near future.

In terms of the SmartThings hub app, you can make use of two different apps. These are the built-in SmartThings app and the Samsung Connect App. Making these two apps available can be complicated at times. Moreover, Samsung is trying to get everyone on board with the Connect app which is newer. However, there have been some compatibility issues with this app with non-Samsung smartphones. Another drawback of the SmartThings is its interface. Compared to the other smart hubs in this list, its interface is basically more complex and more intended for the tech-savvy users. Some features are not clearly placed on the main interface and you need to tinker a bit more just to get access to a certain feature.

Nevertheless, we still think that the Samsung SmartThings is one of the best smart home hubs available in the market. Flaunting sleek looks and a reliable operation, this product is still a worthy addition to this list.

Things you might like:

  •    Compact design
  •    Compatible with several platforms
  •    Battery backup
  •    Accurate voice control
  •    Easy communication with Samsung Cloud

Things you might not like:

  •    Complicated interface
  •    Application issues

2. Wink Hub 2

Being an heir to its excellent predecessor, the Wink Hub 2 provides the same build quality coupled with several more additional features that you will find very useful.

Unlike most smart hubs that rely on the cloud in order to operate a couple of functions, the Wink Hub 2 makes use of an in-house setup that allows you to connect to the home network directly, communicating with each other in simpler more stable ways.

The entire platform that the Wink smart home hubs are built to feature a wide array of functions making it one of the most holistic and versatile smart home hubs you can buy in the market. It is compatible with several other interfaces, these include Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, Google Thread, Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT among others.

In terms of form factor and looks, the Wink Hub 2 does not disappoint. It is one of the most compact and lightweight smart hubs available in the market. Stow it behind the lampshade or picture frame and you get a seamless setup.

You can connect the Wink Hub 2 over Wi-Fi at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The main selling point of the Wink Hub 2 is its list of automation which they refer to as “Robots”. This automation includes scheduling, alarm setup, music synchronization and a ton more. In fact, it can connect with its Nest Cam IQ which notifies you of some motion it detects when you’re not at home.

Moreover, it allows you to connect to Sonos speakers which play music whenever your doorbell is pressed and you’re not at home. The possibilities are basically endless with the Wink Hub 2.

Connecting the Wink Hub 2 is very simple also. With just a simple swipe or tap on the device’s app and you voila! You’re connected.

What we think is missing with the Wink Hub 2 is the battery backup option. This is somehow disappointing since other smart hubs within its price range offer this feature. As a result, you need to plug in the Wink Hub 2 in a socket at all times for it to function.

Things you might like:

  •    Sleek design
  •    Comes with several features
  •    Compatible with many interfaces
  •    Compact form factor
  •    Multiple function support

Things you might not like:

  •     No battery back up option

3. Securifi Almond 3

The next entry on our list is one of the most popular smart home hubs in the country. Thanks to its reliability and excellent form factor, the Almond 3 has been a favorite for several homes for the past few years.

It comes with an 802.11ac router which acts as a basic router or can connect with other routers thereby strengthening your home’s overall Wi-Fi signal. Doing so can blanket your house with over 4,000 sq ft of WI-Fi. If you plan on using the sole router it also achieves 1500 sq ft of Wi-Fi signal. It achieves fast download speeds soaring up to 80 MB per second.

Aside from the reliable built-in router, it comes with the smart hub that is compatible with the Zigbee platform. Aside from Zigbee, you can also connect with Z-Wave and other platforms. However, to do so, you must purchase a compatible dongle for the platform.

Compared to the above mentioned Samsung SmartThings, the Almond 3 is equipped with a more straightforward and easy to use interface. You get the typical Almond touchscreen which is unfortunately not as responsive as modern smartphones.

However, the Almond 3 makes up for it by providing us with a user-friendly interface. Moreover, it comes with a pop-out stylus that makes it easier to navigate through the screen. You have to switch between the built-in app and the touch screen display to start things up, which can be annoying for some.

The Almond 3 excels in connecting with other smart home products. For example, it works like magic when connecting with the Peanut smart plug, a sensor for doors and windows. Inside the hub, it is also equipped with a built-in siren that provides additional security.

Aside from the Peanut Smart Plug, it is also compatible with Alexa, Nest and Philips Hue. Ultimately, you can try and plug in any compatible device and the Almond 3 works seamlessly without any hassle. You can also setup routines and scenes to help organize how your smart devices work with each other.

You can do this through the interface. It does take some tinkering as it is not as simple compared to the other features provided by the smart hub.

Another caveat we noticed with the Almond 3 is the fact that we had trouble trying to connect it via the cloud in some attempts. However, when everything is set up and is connected to the cloud then everything works just fine.

Things you might like:

  •    Compatible with several smart devices
  •    Can connect with other routers
  •    Has built-in siren
  •    Fast download speeds
  •    Easy to use interface
  •    Compact and sleek design
  •    Pop out stylus

Things you might not like:

  •    Not so responsive touchscreen
  •    Occasional difficulty connecting to the cloud

4. Amazon Echo Dot

The next entry on our list is the Amazon Echo Dot. This is an all in one hub that lets you do several things at the convenience of your cozy couch.

The Amazon Echo Dot lets you enjoy the luxury of a smart home as it can connect with a myriad of smart devices. It can seamlessly sync with multiple devices throughout your home.

Plus, the Echo Dot also works great for checking the status of your most recent orders.

Things you might like:

  •    Installation services
  •    Top of the line specs
  •    Affordable
  •    Good build quality
  •    Easy to use interface

Things you might not like:

  •   Limited compatibility with other smart devices

These are the products that have made it into our list of the best smart home hubs of 2018. Smart home hubs are built to provide you with the utmost convenience and comfort.

Smart Home Hubs Buying Guide

Just like buying other gadgets, there are also some things to consider when buying a smart home hub. Because smart home hubs are built to provide you with sheer comfort and convenience at your home, it would be ironic to buy one that gives you constant headaches.

You need to look for several features and components for available smart home hubs so that you can narrow down your options to the best ones. Here are the things to consider when buying a smart home hub.

Voice Control

Voice Control is one of the features that set other smart home hubs above the rest. Not all hubs have this feature. Having one is certainly not a necessity but is very useful, especially when you don’t want to constantly stand near the hub and operate it through its interface.

However, not all smart hubs with voice control are created equally. Some manufacturers just haphazardly slap it in their products without assuring a reliable operation. More often than not, these products just serve as a nuisance rather than convenience.

With that being said, choose one with a reliable voice control feature.

Wireless Protocols

Another feature you should look into is the reliability and compatibility of wireless protocols.
Unfortunately, not all products are compatible with one another.

When planning on buying certain smart hubs, make sure that they are able to communicate their wireless protocols with existing smart devices. Better yet, it is wiser to buy these smart devices and smart hubs in a package setup so you will know that they are compatible with each other.

Adaptability

Several smart hubs carry more features compared to others. Some smart hubs only work for certain common sensors such as doors, light bulbs, thermostats, and windows; other smart hubs are able to adapt and interact with other devices and appliances.

Some smart hubs allow you to control the music you are listening to or turn on the TV when you plan on watching your favorite show.

Smartphone App Functionality

A smart home hub should have an app that allows you to create a wide range of intelligent commands and rules for automation. When instructions are set-up in the app, you should be able to switch on/off or adjust your home appliances without lifting a finger.

Build Quality

Build quality is also one of the key features you should look into when buying a smart home hub. This also includes the design and form factor of the hub.

Since smart home hubs are usually placed in living rooms or areas where guests stay, there is a great chance that your visitors can see them. Because of this, make sure to equip yourself with a smart hub that does not only provide you with the essentials but also with good looks.

Operating System

A smart home hub’s compatibility with your phone’s operating system is also one of the factors you must consider. Not all smart home hubs are compatible with iOs devices, consequently, some are solely for Apple devices and not for Android smartphones. With this being said, make sure to check whether your smart home hub is compatible with your smartphone OS.

Ethernet

Several smart home hubs rely on their corresponding cloud to operate. To do this, you need to connect to the internet in most cases. Some smart hubs can be connected directly to your modem or router via an Ethernet cable while others make use of a WiFi connection.

Choosing which of the two you should buy is up to you. However, WiFi smart home hubs tend to be more expensive than those who need to be connected through a cable.

With that being said, we want the best for you. We want you to get the best out of your stay at home by giving you a list of the best smart home hubs you can get your hands on. We hope that you found the right smart home hub in this list that caters to all your needs.

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Best Car Phone Mounts

Best Car Phone Mounts

Have you ever been pulled over for constantly looking at your phone when driving? Do you find it annoying that you have to tinker on the phone with your hands when looking for directions for a certain place? If you answered yes to either question, then it may be high time for you to buy a mount for your phone.

Whether you are a casual driver picking up your kids after school or an Uber driver fetching riders from one place to another, phone mounts are extremely helpful and necessary. Not only are they useful but they are also required in some states.

If you are on the internet scouring for phone mounts then you have arrived at the right destination. In this article, we will feature what we deem to be the best car phone mounts.

Aside from the list of the best car phone mounts, we will also provide you with some background of the different types of phone mounts so that you find the best one that satisfies your needs.

What is the Best Car Phone Mount in 2018?

After scouring the internet for phone mounts, we have come up with this list of the best car phone mounts that you can buy in 2018.

1. Spigen Kuel AP12T Car Mount

The first entry on our list is the Spigen Kuel AP12T Car Mount. Spigen a well-known company that manufactures several accessories such as charging cords, cases as well as phone mounts.

The Kuel AP12T Car mount is one of the company’s high-quality phone mount. Along with the high-quality build of the Kuel AP12T is its good looks. This mount is one of the sleekest looking mounts you can find in the market nowadays.

While the Kuel AP12T looks great, it does not skimp out on functionality. It is capable of mounting phones in a secure manner. However, it can only mount phones in landscape orientation.

The Kuel AP12T does not harm or damage the aesthetic of your phone unlike other mounts because what keeps your phone steady with this product are reusable gel pads. These gel pads are able to adhere to flat or curved surfaces. It also has an internal TPU maternal to avoid scratches from your phone.

With the Kuel AP12T, you are able to easily install and remove your phone with one hand. To add more icing to the cake, it can support accommodation of a myriad of smartphones that come with a myriad of sizes.

Our main gripe with the Kuel AP12T is the fact that you can not reorient the phone into portrait position.

Things you might like:

  •    Durable build
  •    Internal TPU material to avoid scratches
  •    Sleek design
  •    Supports several smartphones

Things you might not like:

  •     Does not support portrait orientation

2. Nite Ize Steelie Dash Mount

The next entry on our list is the Nite Ize Steelie Dash Mount. This mount offers top-notch security as well as durability.

The Ize Steelie Dash mount is compatibility with a ton of smartphones whether it be Android or from Apple. To secure your phone into place, it makes use of a 3M based adhesive magnetic attachment. It is equipped with a socket that connects to the mount.
The flat surface of the mount also is equipped with the same adhesive magnetic setup which can adhere to any surface of the dashboard. It is a simple premise that does the job without all the unnecessary frills.

You can reorient the phone on the mount to your preferred position by maneuvering the steel ball integrated on the insides of the mount. This allows better convenience compared to the other mounts available in the market. With this, you get better viewing angles without the need to constantly adjust your plane of view.

The neodymium magnet integrated into the mount offers a stronger grip making it more secure despite driving through rocky terrain. The Kuel K40 offers a simple solution to your mounting needs.

We did notice that the company should have put in more effort when coming up with the design. Nevertheless, it is still a noteworthy product that deserves to be included in the list

Things you might like:

  •    Durable build
  •    Secure neodymium magnet
  •    Easy to use
  •    Flexible orientation options

Things you might not like:

  •     Uninspired design

3. Affordable Universal Car Windshield Mount

Yes, you read that right. The next entry on our list is named Affordable as it is when it comes to its price.

The Affordable Universal Car Windshield mount, as the name implies, comes with a price that won’t break the bank. The product can accommodate a ton of different smartphones with different sizes. It can even accommodate phones with sizes that range up to 6.1 inches.

It is equipped with a spring-loaded jaw which secures your phone in place despite passing through bumpy roads. This mount also has a 360-degree clip which allows a more flexible positioning of your phone.

It can support different orientations. If you want to look at your phone in landscape or portrait mode then the Affordable Universal Car Windshield mount can let you do that.
It comes with a suction cup that allows you to mount it directly on the windshield. You can also make use of the suction cup and attach it to whichever part of the dashboard.

This product offers good value for your money. We just wish that the product comes with a more durable build.

Things you might like:

  •    Can accommodate large phones
  •    360-degree clip
  •    Secure spring loaded jaw
  •    Affordable

Things you might not like:

  •     Subpar build quality

4. iOttie Easy One Touch

The next entry on our list is the iOttie Easy One Touch. Its everything you want in a car phone mount and more. To make things more interesting, this product adds a wireless charging feature on top of the usual functions.

The product can accommodate smartphones ranging from 2.3 inches to 6.72 inches. The added wireless charging feature can charge your phone up to 40 percent. It is also notably faster compared to the usual standard wireless charging.

However, in order to make full use of the wireless charging feature, your phone needs to support it. Only a few smartphones now can support wireless charging. These include the newly released Samsung Galaxy phones as well as those from Apple’s new lineup.

This is a very useful feature for the phone mount since you don’t need to purchase a separate car charger or constantly bring one if you already have bought one. It comes in handy when you are always on the go and are constantly using the phone while driving.

Aside from the wireless charging feature, the iOttie Easy One Touch is also equipped with a telescopic arm. This telescopic arm allows you to position your phone to your preferred orientation or distance. This is important since you need your full attention on the road and not on your phone.

This telescopic arm can extend from 4.9 to 8.3 inches and can pivot up to 225 degrees. Lastly, this mount can be placed on the dashboard or the windshield, whichever of the two you prefer. It allows a convenient use of the phone without skimping out on build quality.
If you want to get your hands on the iOttie Easy One Touch, you need to shell out a couple more bucks.

Things you might like:

  •    Excellent build quality
  •    Wireless charging feature
  •    Telescopic Arm
  •    Can accommodate several phone sizes

Things you might not like:

  •   Expensive

5. TechMatte Mag Grip

The next entry on our list is the TechMatte Mag Grip. This is one of the most durable and reliable vent mounts you can find in the market nowadays. Aside from providing you with the necessary functions of a car phone mount, it also boasts of a sleek and visually appealing design.

What powers the TechMatte Mag Grip is a neodymium magnet which is far more superior compared to what other magnetic phone mounts use. This setup allows for a more secure and reliable operation despite driving through bumpy roads.

It is also equipped with rubber holders so that your phones remain secured without damaging or scratching its sides. Moreover, it allows for a better flexibility. You can position your phone to whatever orientation you want. The mount makes these possible thanks to a movable base that remains the magnets inside remain in place.

The TechMatte Mag Grip also excels in providing a lightweight build despite donning a heavier magnet. Our primary concern with this model is the fact that it takes time to remove it from the air vent.

Things you might like:

  •    Neodymium magnet
  •    Flexible phone orientation
  •    Sleek design
  •    Easy to install

Things you might not like:

  •     Difficult to remove

6. Bestrix Universal Smartphone Car Mount

The last but definitely not the least entry on our list is the Bestrix Universal Smartphone Car Mount. This product has one of the most interesting designs which comes with both gray and orange colors.

The Bestrix Universal Smartphone Car Mount is a simple yet effective solution to your phone mounting needs. It delivers all the necessary functions while providing you with a visually appealing design

To use this product, you simply just need to attach it to the air vents via silicone clips. These clips are compatible with most car air vent blades. The silicon covering makes sure that the blades and the externals of your phone aren’t damaged.

The clamp it is equipped with can accommodate several sizes of phones. However, it cannot carry heavier phones since the weight is only supported by both the clamp and the air vent blades. Thankfully, you can reorient your phone to whichever position you prefer

Things you might like:

  •    Comes in two colors
  •    Fun design
  •    Silicon clips
  •    Easy to install

Things you might not like:

  •     Not for heavier phones

Those are the products that have paved their way into our list of the best car phone mounts in 2018. These mounts offer all the necessary functions but also add an interesting feature or excel in build quality to make them stand above the rest.

What are the different types of phone mounts?

Contrary to what most people believe, car phone mounts come in different forms, all functioning in different means. The types of car phone mounts include short arm bracket mounts, long arm bracket mounts, short arm magnetic mounts, long arm magnetic mounts, dashboard or windshield mounts, cup holder mounts and air vent mounts.

Each of these types has their own advantages and disadvantages. Read on to know more about each of these types so that you can decide which one suits your needs.

Magnetic Mounts

Magnetic mounts have been around for a couple of years already. When they first came out, people had their doubts and were skeptical about them. But over time, people have realized how convenient and effective they are.

The earlier produced phone mounts have weaker magnets which brought about several complaints from early consumers. However, manufacturers have learned from these complaints and later equipped their mounts with better strength and endurance.

Magnetic mounts came out a few years ago and initially, people were skeptical of them. But they have more than proven their worthiness in the crowded mount market. In the early days, some magnetic mounts used magnets that were weaker than they should have been and they got a lot of complaints.

Magnetic mounts offer an easier way to install and remove from the dashboard. Magnetic mounts also come with several sizes, therefore placing any phone size is not a worry. Place a case on the phone and the magnetic phone mount can accommodate your unit. Moreover, switching from one orientation to another is not a hassle with magnetic mounts.

As Uber and Lyft drivers are constantly on the go, magnetic mounts are more convenient when it comes to constantly install and then removing them.
Magnetic mounts may come in long and short arm versions. This variation in sizes allows you to achieve your preferred access to your phone.

Bracket Mounts

Bracket mounts are the first type of mounts that were released. They offer a simple yet effective means of securing your phone while you are driving. While they are the most commonly used type of phone mount, they have their own set of disadvantages.

In order to use bracket mounts, you need to constantly stretch the brackets when you are installing or removing your phone. While this won’t be a hassle for some, others will be annoyed by it for a while.

Because you have to regularly stretch the brackets in order to accommodate your phone, you need to buy one that has a more durable build. Equip yourself with one that is made of strong plastic or those with light metal. When it comes to metal bracket mounts you need to be extra careful because they can leave scratch marks when you are not being mindful when operating it.

One of the greatest drawbacks of bracket mounts is the fact that they can only accommodate a limited size for phones. This means that when you buy a bracket mount, you have to know the maximum phone size it can accommodate.

When it comes to versatility in phone sizes, magnetic mounts still take the cake. Bracket mounts also come with short or long arm versions.

Vent Mounts

Another type of phone mount is the vent mount. As the name implies, vent mounts are installed on air vents. If you want to maximize space on your dashboard or if you don’t want your phone taking a huge space on your dashboard, then vent mounts are good options.
Vent mounts are easy to install, just slip them onto the vents and you’re done. However, vent mounts block the free air flow and thus diminish the amount of air the inside of your car receives.

Moreover, vent mounts cannot accommodate heavy and large phones. If you are planning on using a tablet on the vent mounts then forget about it. Luckily, most vent mounts are durable, so if you are using an average sized phone with a small weight then you need not worry about it.

Vent mounts may come in magnetic or bracket versions. However, if you want to use magnetic vent mounts, you should be careful when removing them because they may damage the vents.

If you do use bracket vent mounts, the size of the phone is still limited. With this, you need to equip yourself with one that suits the phone you are using.

Cup Holder Mounts

The last type of mounts we are going to discuss is the cup holder mount. As the name implies, these mounts are placed on cup holders. If you constantly use your cup holders, to well, hold cups then you might be better of using other mounts.

The advantage of cup holder mounts is that they maximize your space in the dashboard without having to block any vent or display from your dashboard. They also come in a bracket and magnetic versions. Plus, they are easier to remove and install.

However, cup holder mounts are placed in an awkward orientation which is on the lower side of the dashboard. With this, you might need some adjustments so that you will not get distracted from watching your phone and simultaneously looking at the road.

There is also a possibility that the base of the mount cannot fit your cup holder. The good news though is that they come in a variety of sizes, so you can always find one that is a custom fit to your cup holder.

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Best Wireless Keyboard And Mouse

Best Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

A wireless keyboard and mouse combo is a practical choice, whether you are into gaming, working or simply browsing through thousands of Internet pages every day. It’s great for portability, maneuverability and for making cleaner desk spaces. It is a versatile, economic and wise option for computer input peripherals.

Looking for a keyboard and a mouse separately takes longer, and you have to consider compatibility between the two peripherals. A wireless keyboard and mouse combo remove the compatibility issue out of the equation as the two are peripherals are designed by manufacturers to work as one. Moreover, wireless keyboards and mice combos have great additional and convenient features that work perfectly work together without having the need to program or configure each peripheral separately.

The Best Wireless Keyboard And Mouse In 2018

There are hundreds of wireless keyboards and mice combos that can cater to your needs – stylish, advanced, full of additional features, simple, basic, affordable. The options are almost close to limitless. Getting the best wireless keyboard and mouse combo that perfectly fit your needs can make your computing experience more enjoyable, convenient and easy. Take a look at our favorites to help you make your decision.

1. Logitech Wireless Combo MK520

The Logitech Wireless Combo MK520 is considered the best in overall features and aspects for a wireless keyboard and mouse combo. Its keys have soft round edges and are concave. The Logitech Wireless Combo MK520 will also impress you with its amazingly responsive keys that will assure you of lesser typos and more importantly, higher speed.

The keyboard comes with silicone dome switches, which supposedly performs quieter, but this Logitech keyboard combo sounds a lot noisier than expected. Not that it is a negative for its performance, in fact, it adds a better sense of feel when punching keys. On top of that, the keyboard feels perfect offering awesome comfortability, and with an additional unpadded palm rest as part of the package adds more ergonomic without sacrificing the wireless keyboard’s portable and slim design.

The wireless mouse, on the other hand, is ambidextrous giving great comfort for the hand. It is designed with a high arch and rubber side grips, making the overall mouse comfort experience superbly comfortable. Based on actual tests, the mouse in this Logitech combo performed with very high accuracy. More importantly, the mouse worked great on all types of surfaces – wood, denim, glass, etc.

Battery life for the Logitech Wireless Combo MK520 is about a year for one AA cell battery. Compared to its competitors, it sits at the mid-range, which is actually not bad for a performer brand and model. The Logitech Wireless Combo MK520 comes with a standard three-year warranty for the two devices.

2. Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000

The Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000 is one of the wisest buys you’ll ever have for a wireless keyboard and mouse combo. It comes with all the basic features and functionalities of a wireless keyboard and mouse that deliver to your basic computing needs. It comes with an ergonomic design and textured palm rest for higher comfortability. The pillow-textured palm/wrist rest assures you of maximum comfort over long periods of use.

The mouse is ambidextrous and comes with rubber side grips. While it comes with a click-free mouse wheel, which is not suitable and ideal for most gamers, the mouse performs agile, accurate and responsive for everyday computing use. Overall, the mouse’s shape, design, and size will work great on your hand in general cases.

The Microsoft wireless keyboard also comes with a helpful and convenient program shortcut keys that enable you to fire up your favorite and most frequently used software and application faster and more conveniently. The overall design of the keyboard is neat and professional, with adequately spaced keys to allow for faster and accurate typing.

The only thing that you need to watch out for the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000 is the connectivity issues if the combo is not set up properly. Other than that, it is an affordable wireless keyboard and mouse combo that offers all the basic keyboard and mouse functionalities.

3. IOGEAR Long Range 2.4GHz

If you are into budget wireless keyboard and mouse while still getting the needed performance and features, the IOGEAR Long Range 2.4 GHz is your best choice. Its reasonable price tag comes with high accuracy and versatility performance for both the keyboard and mouse.

The IOGEAR Long Range 2.4 GHz wireless keyboard uses silicon key switches, which performed very quietly during testing. This makes the whole typing experience effortless without much noise. In addition, the keys are concave and feel really soft, which generally reduces strain on the fingers. Some people don’t prefer it while some love the soft feel in every punch. Ultimately, it all boils down to typing preference. Although the IOGEAR wireless keyboard doesn’t have a wrist rest as part of the package, it still offers decent ergonomics and more portability. You can easily and quickly move around if necessary because it is very light.

One huge plus for the IOGEAR Long Range 2.4 GHz wireless keyboard and mouse combo is the mouse. It is super comfortable and super accurate. It easily gained an A-rating on the comfort category. The only problem is that it is only offered right-handed. Nevertheless, the mouse has 4-way scrolling, which allows you to change the cursor speed easily, making it very convenient. Furthermore, the mouse worked very well on any surface, such as glass, marble, and wood.

4. HP Wireless Elite Keyboard and Mouse Combo

The HP Wireless Elite Keyboard and Mouse Combo’s great advantage is portability. It is by far the best portable wireless keyboard and mouse combo out in the market today. It has chiclet-style keys and an excellently slim profile that makes it easier for you to slide in and out of your laptop bag.

The HP Wireless Elite Keyboard and Mouse Combo is perfect for travelers, commuters and those who are always moving with their keyboard and mouse. It is one great, portable and convenient accessory.

Both the keyboard and mouse are tested to be very responsive and accurate, making the combo a great choice for typists. Moreover, the keyboard has a shallow actuation point, which is just 2mm, allowing you for a lighter touch and lesser force when typing. This consequently results in better, faster, quieter, and more accurate typing. This makes the keyboard comparable to laptop keyboards.

The mouse in this combo is ambidextrous and performs very well on any type of surfaces, such as carpet, denim, glass, and wood. This makes the mouse a perfect portable and convenient mouse for travel. Some people might find the larger palm arch on the mouse a little bit uneasy, especially for those with smaller hands. Nonetheless, it is not a deal breaker.

The wireless keyboard and mouse combo are powered by using 2 AA cell batteries and connects to your computer through a USB dongle included in the package. You can also connect up to 5 different devices using one dongle if you use HP’s Link 5 technology.

5. Logitech Wireless Performance Combo MX800

Amazingly comfortable design is what makes the Logitech Wireless Performance Combo MX800 a great choice. On top of that, it will surprise with additional features you don’t expect from a typical wireless keyboard and mouse combo.

The Logitech Wireless Performance Combo MX800 is built for extreme precision and silence. It is exceptionally responsive, remarkably accurate and surprisingly quiet. The keyboard design is also very slim making it very light and portable. On top of that, the keyboard has an outstanding intelligent backlighting capability that auto-illuminates to enable you to work in dark-lit places a lot easier. The only thing lacking with the keyboard is an ergonomic and curved layout.

The mouse is large has an excellent restful design making your hands fully sit on it with ease. The only problem is that it is only offered right-handed and some people find the large size a bit strenuous. Also, the Logitech Wireless Performance Combo MX800 comes with a bit of a price. So, if you are willing to pay more for all these features, then you can never go wrong with the MX800 combo.

6. Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5050

The Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5050 aces it up with the best in ergonomic design. And, it runs its competitors by a mile. The keyboard in this combo comes with varied key sizes and a superbly comfortable wrist/arm rest. On top of that, the mouse in the combo is ambidextrous that will surprise you the moment you use it.

The keyboard is undoubtedly different from the rest of its class as it offers a beautifully curved design that aims for a close-to-perfect and better fit for your hands. It breathes and screams ergonomic effortlessly. What makes it more amazing are the large B and N keys that will definitely surprise you with lesser typos and a much faster typing performance. Moreover, the keyboard comes with a nice sloped wrist rest that will make your hand placement really comfortable. One noteworthy feature is the shortcuts printed on the many various letters. There are shortcuts that allow you to complete common actions, such as copy and paste, and so forth. There are just a ton of shortcuts the keyboard recognizes, which will help your typing experience a lot more convenient.

The mouse, on the other hand, is ambidextrous and fits comfortably with most hand sizes. The arch is designed to be moderately high and the size is not too big nor small. You can easily have a tight grip on the mouse, you’ll forget you’re even holding it while moving or maneuvering it around.

Both the wireless keyboard and mouse operates using two AA batteries but they both eat up a lot of power, giving you a shorter battery life, which is just about 8 months. However, battery replacement is a lot inexpensive, especially when you use rechargeable types. They’re also easy to find and are mostly available in all stores. The wireless keyboard and mouse work great on any type of surfaces, except for glass. This is just normal for laser type of mice but not at all a deal breaker.

7. Logitech Wireless Desktop MK710

The Logitech Wireless Desktop MK710 is perfectly designed for desktops. It has soft key switches and a long wrist cushion providing you with great relief for a longer period of use. Moreover, the Logitech Wireless Desktop MK710 combo has a longer battery life compared to the combos in this list and it comes with an LCD status dashboard, which is really outstanding for a permanent fitting at your desktop computer.

While the Logitech Wireless Desktop MK710 appears to be the bulkiest, biggest and heaviest keyboard in our list, it never fails to deliver on its promised features. It is not designed to be portable but the comfort it gives through its wrist rest by far gives it a wide edge. It uses silicone key switches and 1.75 mm actuation that result in quieter typing. The keys may not be spaced too generously but each key cap has a concave design that provides a better typing experience and reduced typing errors.

The mouse is only offered right-handed but makes up with a four-way scroll wheel, rubber side grips, and moderate arch. Even though it is not ambidextrous, the mouse has been tested to be extremely comfortable, working and fitting perfectly for most hand sizes.

The Logitech Wireless Desktop MK710 combo uses 2 AA cell batteries for power and has outstanding battery life, which can last up to 3 years from first use. It ranks as having one of the highest battery life among wireless keyboard and mouse combos available in the market today. On top of that, it comes with a standard 3-year warranty.

Wireless Keyboard And Mouse Buying Guide

There are some important things that you need to consider before deciding on a wireless keyboard and mouse, such as connectivity, ergonomic design, and battery life. Knowing these critical things can help you invest wisely in a wireless keyboard and mouse. Here’s a list of the important things to consider before buying your combo:

Main Features

Most keyboards today come with a variety of additional program hotkeys that enable you to open apps faster with one push. Other keyboards have built-in multimedia controls that enable you to adjust screen brightness, volume and so forth that allows for a more uninterruptible computing experience. There are other great key features that come with a wireless keyboard and mouse combo. Be on the lookout for these key features to help you better decide on your buy.

Type of Mouse

Mice nowadays come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs, and added buttons and functions. Not all mice are created equal. The important things that you should be diligent about would be mice with textured or rubberized grips that come with a contoured and ambidextrous design. This type of mice works best in longer periods of usage – this is great ergonomics. Another thing to keep in mind is the suitability and comfortability of the mouse to your hand – especially if you are right-handed or left-handed. Finally, one crucial element to consider is the size of the mouse and how it fits your palm – the smaller or the bigger mouse, the huge its impact to your gameplay or overall computing experience. Always keep in mind comfort and what best works with your hand.

Battery Life

Since wireless keyboards and mice combos rely on the power of batteries, scrutinizing the battery life of the model you are eyeing on is critical. Most keyboards and mice combos are powered by AA or AAA cell batteries. You can opt for models that come with rechargeable batteries or you can purchase the rechargeable batteries separately if you want to be more economical. But then again, you will have to recharge every time the batteries run out. There are also newer models that come solar powered – these are new technology wireless keyboards and mice that look convenient since you won’t have to use cell batteries. A couple of things you need to learn is that a typical wireless keyboard should last from a year to 3 years with one battery set and a typical wireless mouse should last from 8 months up to 2 years. However, all of these depend on how frequent you use the wireless keyboard and mouse, and what you use them for. Always weigh in on battery life and reliability for a wiser, regretless buy.

Shape and Design of the Keyboard

Keyboards come with a variety of shapes, designs, weights, and sizes. There are wireless keyboards that offer the best ergonomics that reduce wrist fatigue. Others come with generous spacing between keys but are also bigger in overall keyboard size – they normally eat up significant desk space. Some keyboards have avant-garde and futuristic designs that integrate ergonomics and functionalities as part of their deals. Whatever shape and design of the keyboard you are going to consider, always keep in mind comfort and durability – something that you can use for a very long period of time while you put a lot of stress onto it.

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Best Laptops Under $300

Best Laptops Under $300

In today’s modern world everyone needs to have a laptop.

Owning a portable laptop lets you do tons of things from browsing the Internet, connecting with other through social media, doing academic or work-related projects, watching movies and many more.

Fortunately, it doesn’t cost a fortune to own a basic laptop. Heck, if you have $300 on your hand right now, we can help you get a laptop that best suits your need.

While they may not be as outstanding as their more expensive counterpart, we can assure you that the laptops on this list are quite dependable when doing basic computing tasks. Some can even play some game titles that don’t require superior graphics cards.

The Best Laptops You Can Get For Less Than $300

1. Acer Aspire 1

The first entry on our list is from Dell. Boasting several excellent laptops from the budget to the premium segment, Dell has proven its footing in the

The Acer Aspire 1 may look like your typical laptop on the outside, but appearances can often be deceiving. While it may have a lackluster appearance the true gem lies in its functionality and portability.

Pros

On the inside, it packs a decent Intel Celeron N3450 quad-core CPU which can run up to 1.1 GHz and has onboard a 4GB of memory. Moreover, its 4810 mAh battery can last up to 9 hours and is perfect for doing computer related work continuously.

For viewing pleasure you have a 1920×1080 display spread over a 14-inch screen. It also has a front camera with a 640×480 resolution perfect for video calls. WiFi is also quite fast thanks to the latest 802.11 ac connectivity which can easily handle 30Mbps plus of Internet speeds.

This laptop is also quite portable and weighs only 3.64 pounds. The Aspire is also the most affordable laptops under the Acer brand and has a price of just above $200.

Cons

On the flipside, the Aspire 1 has a very low memory space of just 32GB. That is to say, you can’t store a lot of large files and programs in it. One solution to counter this disadvantage is by having an external memory drive, an SD card or even a flash drive.

While the screen is quite large, the color quality is a bit poor compared to its pricier competitors. Often, you have to find the perfect viewing angle or experiment on the brightness until you get it right.

Verdict

Overall, the Acer Aspire 1 is a nifty piece of equipment. It functions quite well for a notebook, especially if you are browsing the Internet. While the memory storage and the processor speed were quite a bummer, there are lots of bright spots on this computer as well. If you want a laptop without having to burn your wallet, this one’s definitely on top of the list.

2. ASUS Vivobook E403NA

Classy is the best word to describe the ASUS Vivobook. With its premium-looking chassis and boasting perhaps the best performances in its class, it deserves to be on this list. Buyers who are looking for an inexpensive laptop with some computing muscle must consider this laptop.

Pros

A full HD display spread over 15.6-inches screen with a 1920×1080 resolution already speaks a lot about the Vivobook. Throw in an Intel Celeron Dual-Core Processor which can run up to 2.4 GHz and we’re talking business. For the clincher, it also has a 4GB RAM and a decent 64 GB storage. If that doesn’t make you interested in this thing, we don’t know what will.

Despite all those heavy hitting components, this laptop is still portable and weighs only 3.3 pounds. Viewing pleasure is also guaranteed thanks to its high resolution and clear sounding speakers. It also has an integrated HD webcam, in case you want to make a video call. Its keyboards are also not cluttered, which is great for typing. Battery life stands at 14 hours, according to its manufacturer.

Cons

There are very few misses with the Asus VivoBook and many of them you could easily live with. It’s a bit bulkier than the others on the list. The touchpad is slippery which messes up your clicking accuracy. The webcam also has a low resolution, which is not much of an issue unless you constantly use Skype.

Perhaps the only true issue here is the VivoBook’s price which is on the ceiling of our $300 cap. However, if you think about it that few extra dollars are worth all of the extra computing power this product have.

Verdict

You’ll definitely consider buying the VivoBook for many reasons such as having a stylish look, great display, and an even better performance. It does have minor issues but all of that is negligible with just how well-built this thing is.

3. Dell Chromebook 3180

Chromebooks are quite popular as a grade schooler’s laptop. Because of the demand, many PC and laptop manufacturers came up with their own version of this basic portable computer and Dell is no exception. But can a laptop meant for students, be just as good for adults?

Pros

Much like every other product in its class, the Dell Chromebook 3180 is a budget-friendly unit. It also has the usual specs such as an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, 32GB worth of hard drive and a slightly better 4GB RAM. The main difference, however, its operating system is Google Chrome which makes it less vulnerable to malware.

The design is very basic, but you can rest assure that the product is built tough and MIL-STD tests could easily prove that. It’s so durable that it can even survive a 4-foot drop into concrete! The keyboard is snappy and the touchpad got the sensitivity just right. Battery life is also acceptable at 8 hours of moderate usage. Moreover, this laptop doesn’t heat up as fast and can maintain comfortable temperature even for long periods of time.

Cons

While streaming videos are quite fast in this laptop, it doesn’t deliver an enjoyable color quality. The sound volume from the built-in audio is also too low. Add to that the 11-inch screen size and you can tell this is not the best device to watch movies.

The storage space is also too small that you can only install a few programs and files. Many of the apps that are exclusive to the Google Chrome platform can only be accessed if you are online. The webcam is also grainy and dark which is to say you won’t be using this laptop for video conferencing.

Verdict

Overall, the Dell Chromebook 3180 is a laptop that can be used not only by students but also by not so picky adults. It’s a great laptop you can carry as you travel because of its portability and durability. At a price point of $200, it’s still a great bargain.

4. Fusion5

How small can a laptop go? Perhaps the Fusion 5 can answer that given that this is probably the smallest notebook we have come around. It’s also one of the cheapest out there in the market and the specs aren’t too shabby as well.

Pros

The Fusion 5 is very portable and only weighs about 2 pounds. It’s equipped with an Intel Bay Trail Quad-Core processor and has a 2GB RAM. Storage space stands at 32 GB SSD with an option expanding it up to 128GB. Screen size is only at 10.6-inches but has an IPS full HD 1920×1080 resolution.

It also has a 5,800 mAh battery which allows 6-8 hours of continuous use. Furthermore, you have all the connectivity ports such as mini HDMI, USB 3.0 port SD card, and an 802.11 WiFi. The touchpad is also quite good at its job of getting accurate clicks. Build quality is okay and definitely over-delivers in terms of its price tag.

Cons

At just under $200, the Fusion 5 is a great deal if you can overlook some of its issues. The built-in speakers have a sub-par sound quality and sometimes emit a white noise when playing songs or videos. Keyboards are also stuck too close to one another that it’s not good if you want to type fast.

Additionally, the charger’s cord is too short that you need to be close to an electric outlet if you want to use the laptop while it’s charging. There are also some issues with the quality and performance of some components particularly the chassis.

Verdict

The Fusion 5 is a no-frills laptop that does the basic computing task. You may get hooked by its incredibly low price, but please also consider if you are okay with some of the qualities you have to sacrifice. If you don’t mind the small screen size and cluttered keyboard, then it’s your best bet of finding a decent, easy to carry the laptop.

5. HP Stream 11

It’s cute with a candy-colored exterior, but is the HP Stream just as attractive to adults as it is for kids?

Pros

The vibrant colors and cartoonish design of the HP Stream make it stand out. However, liking it or not is more of a personal choice for the user. It does, however, pack a 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of hard drive memory. WiFi comes with the updated 802.11ac and has a Bluetooth 4.0.

The Stream also has an 11.6-inch screen with 1366×768 resolution. Not the best in the bunch, but the quality is still tolerable. The audio is surprisingly good and loud enough for you to hear even a few meters away. Keys are large and well-spaced which is good for typing. The touchpad is responsive and quite accurate as well.

Cons

The quality of the screen is not cutting it for a great viewing experience. If you love old washed up movies, then that’s almost the quality you will get. We are of course a bit exaggerating, but video quality really needs some improvement.

Other than that it also has an outdated USB 2.0 port, heats up quite fast, and a sharp front lip which is some of its biggest drawbacks.

Verdict

Buying the HP Stream really is just a matter of taste. Sure you have an above-par laptop for a borderline $200 price tag, but you also have to live with some of its issues. If you got kids, they will surely love this one.

6. Lenovo Ideapad 120S

Until a couple of years ago, Lenovo was considered the world’s largest PC maker. They are known to make affordable quality products across all PC segments. One such example is the Lenovo Ideapad 120 S which comes in two screen variants- an 11-inch and 14-inch.

Pros

The first thing you will notice about the Ideapad 120S is its premium look with its smooth screen finish and sleek design. It runs on an Intel Celeron Dual-core N3350 processor with 1.1 GHz output and has 2 GB RAM which is enough to let you multitask when more than one application is open. Battery life is also acceptable at 8 hours straight. Another nifty feature is the Type-C port which is compatible with most charging devices.

The Ideapad 120S screen has a 1366×768 resolution with anti-glare technology. The keypad and trackpad are also wonderful and very responsive.  It’s got your basic connectivity ports such as HDMI, USB 3.0, card reader, Bluetooth and the latest in Wifi connectivity. Both variants are also very portable, easy to store and weighs about 3 pounds.

Cons

However, the Ideapad 120S also has a fair bit of issues. With only 32GB of storage space to work with, it limits the number of applications and files you can save in the laptop. A 2 GB RAM isn’t also cutting it when you are running demanding programs such as video editing tools like Adobe Photoshop.  Hence, you are stuck in doing only the most basic computing task.

This laptop also isn’t for gaming as it lacks the hardware to support many of the latest video game titles. You can run flash games and other low-resolution games from a decade ago, but that’s about it. The webcam’s resolution and the sound quality from its built-in speakers leave much to be desired.  

Verdict

There is a saying that you usually get what you paid for. Same could be said with the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S. It has great value, looks stunning, and just does whatever a basic laptop could do. If you just want a laptop for writing or watching movies in your spare time, then this laptop fits the role.

7. Samsung Chromebook 3

You may know Samsung as the mobile phone giant that it is. However, the Korean manufacturer also has their own line of affordable laptops one of which is their version of a Chromebook. We’ve talked about how these Google-powered laptops are particularly well suited for grade schoolers. The Samsung Chromebook 3 also functions as such, although even better.

Pros

Even though it’s made of plastic, the Chromebook 3’s build quality is surprisingly good. The “metallic black” frame looks classy especially when paired with an a11.6-inch screen with 1366×768 resolution. The 259 nits display is much brighter than most of its competitors and is perhaps its best characteristic.

Doing all the tough work is a 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron processor and a 4GB RAM. It also has a 32GB hard drive which is pretty standard in this segment. The Intel HD Graphics 400 is also quite capable of running 2D games, and some 3D titles. Audio is also decent and loud enough to be heard across a small room. Battery life is also much longer at 10 hours.

Furthermore, it has one of the best webcams in the class which has a 720-pixel resolution which is great for video chatting or taking selfies. It also doesn’t heat as fast and has a decent temperature cap of 95-degree Fahrenheit.

Cons

With all of the perks of the Samsung Chromebook 3, it’s hard to believe that it’s an under $200 laptop. However, it also has several drawbacks that come along with its build. First off, it’s limited by its Chrome OS. The bottom of the laptop also warms up although not to the point that it can be uncomfortable.

The speaker’s quality is also a bit muddy. Some of the key placement is also quite troublesome particularly the backspace which sits below the power key. As such, you may accidentally shut down the laptop with one wrong keystroke.

Verdict

Overall, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is one of the best options you have for a low-cost laptop. With crisp display, decent computing performance and a stylish look, it definitely is worth your hard earned money. Whether you’re buying this for you or your kid, it’s definitely a great bargain.

Conclusion

Owning a laptop doesn’t have to mean you are emptying your purse or pocket. There are inexpensive yet still quality alternatives in the market that can satisfy your needs or of the person you are giving it to. It’s even astonishing to know that there are many laptops in the under $300 territory that does more than what to be expected of a low-cost laptop in terms of its performance, features and overall reliability.

In a world where almost everyone needs to own a laptop, what is important is not necessarily to have the top-of-the-line products. Often, just a basic laptop is enough to carry out tasks related to school, work, or for your entertainment.

Consider This Before Buying a Low-Priced Laptop

It’s important to note that the manufacturers of these affordable laptops tend to cut cost to keep the unit’s price low. As such, they have to sacrifice the quality and performance of one or two of the laptop’s hardware components. It could have a lower tiered processor, smaller resolution, less storage space or other minor drawbacks.

Thus, it’s imperative beforehand to know your purpose of purchasing the laptop. If you want it primarily for viewing movies and streaming videos, you may want to go with one with a larger screen. On the other hand, if it’s going to be used for work you may want something that has faster processing speed and better RAM.

When choosing among these laptops we advise you to focus on one or two components only. Then, consider if you can settle with less of the other features.

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Best GTX 1080 Ti GPUs

Best 1080 GTX Ti GPUs

Being a gamer or a designer or even just a regular user, it is annoying when you don’t get the best of your content. While most blame the overall resolution of the screen, most of the time this is caused by a lackluster graphics card.

If you already have your own graphics card and still are not satisfied with the quality, then maybe it’s time you think of an upgrade.

The 1080 Ti graphics card is exceptional when it comes to providing quality performance as well as cooling management. In this article, we will feature the best 1080 Ti graphics cards that cater to your graphics-intensive tasks.

What are the best 1080 Ti graphics cards in 2018?

The market is full of graphics cards. Out of thousands of selections, 1080 Ti graphics cards remain to be the gold standard in terms of providing sheer speed and power, especially when it comes to gaming. Luckily, you don’t have to stick to a single brand to purchase a 1080 Ti graphics card.

There are several manufacturers that churn out their own version of the graphics card. Here are the ones that stood out for us amidst a sea of 1080 Ti graphics card that was released in 2018.

1. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini

Starting our list is one of the best graphics card offerings by a brand named Zotac. Although relatively new to the industry, the company has produced high-quality computer parts which made them comparable to other well-renowned brands. The company first had its humble beginnings in 2007. Now, they are one of the stable manufacturers of Nvidia graphics cards.

As the name implies, the Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini is intended mini in size. It is in fact, one of the most compact version of this efficient graphics card. The form factor might be small and compact, but the company managed to fit in all the important components which include the dual fans which are effective in keeping the temperature at decreased levels.

This product can fit most computer rigs that are available in the market.

In terms of design, the Zotac GTX 1080 Ti mini sports a minimalistic look. It opts for a dark grey color which is complemented by detailed accents in the form of strips which are found on either side of the GPU. It has a white LED light and also flaunts the logo for Zotac.

Moreover, the Zotac mini is equipped with a metallic backplate which improves the overall cooling capacity of the already efficient cooling fans. Aside from this, the backplate which houses the GPU protects it from physical stress and damage.

In terms of connectivity, the Zotac Mini houses 1 HDMI 2.0 as well as 1 DVI D. Because of this, the GPU can connect effortlessly with a high-resolution monitor and TV. It consumes only a meager 250 W when used and required a PSU rating of 600W.

In terms of overclocking capacity, this product is simply limited and we noticed some sort of noise is produced when the cooling fans are running. But it is not that loud or unbearable when
being used.

Things you might like:

  •    Small power consumption
  •    Compact form factor
  •    Sleek design
  •    Metal backplate
  •    Can connect to high-resolution screens

Things you might not like:

  •    Limited overclocking capacity
  •    Noticeable noise from the cooling system

2. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition

The next entry on our list is yet another high-quality offering from Zotac. This time we will talk about the previous’ bigger sibling, the Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 ti AMP edition.

Compared to the previous model mentioned, the Amp edition simply amps up the size as well as performance in a somewhat similar setup. This graphics card makes use of the same cooling system which keeps the heat at bay.

In terms of looks, the amp edition does not steer too far from the mini edition. It dons the same dominant grey color that is accented with sleek stripes to make things interesting. What’s missing is the white LED lighting.

It also has an identical metallic backplate which houses the majority of the GPU to keep the internals safe from physical stress and damage. One thing that significantly differs from the mini version is, of course, its size. It’s simply larger.

This GOU is clocked at 1569 which offers fast speeds and performance. In fact, you can boost it to 1683 MHz. It has a power consumption of 270W and has a PSU of 600W.

In terms of connectivity, it dons the same 1 HDMI port and 1 DVI-D port setup from the mini version.

Things you might like:

  •    Quieter cooling system
  •    Capable overclocking capacity
  •    Sleek design
  •    Good build quality
  •    Can connect to high-resolution screens

Things you might not like:

  • Consumers more power compared to other models

3. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 GAMING

The third entry on our list is another reputable partner of Nvidia. For years, they are one of the key producers of Nvidia graphics cards. In this part, we will feature the highly capable EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 ti FTW3 Gaming.

EVGA is known to produce graphics cards that eke out higher clock speeds compared to the other models sold in the market. The FTW3 dons a sleek yet minimalistic design which signifies how the company prefers to prioritize power overlooks.

It flaunts a design that is reminiscent of webs. This distinctive design also allows the unit to have
better airflow management. The design though can be to uninspired for some but we admired how the company preferred to focus on function as well as performance than the design.

Because of the more efficient airflow management of the GPU, the FTW3 manages to achieve higher overclocking capabilities. The FTW3 is equipped with 3 DisplayPort, 1 HDMI port and 1 DVI-D port. It can support a connection to ultra-high definition screens without a hassle.

The GPU is clocked at 1569 MHz which can be boosted up to speeds of 1683 MHz.

Things you might like:

  •    Excellent airflow management
  •    Sturdy build quality
  •    Powerful clock speeds
  •    High overclocking capabilities

Things you might not like:

  •     Uninspired design

4. Gigabyte AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition

Another model worth of being called one of the best 1080 ti graphics card of 2018 is the Gigabyte AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition. Gigabyte, a company that is perhaps very familiar to consumers across the globe has been manufacturing high-quality products over the years, this is one of several.

Gigabyte AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition is one of the most powerful and speedy GPUs available in the market right now. It can handle most graphics designers or gamers intense needs from a GPU.

The GPU excels in providing excellent airflow management thanks to its triple fan setup. Despite its small and compact form factor, the GPU is able to fit in three fans to effectively provide an efficient cooling system.

One thing that sets the Gigabyte AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition from the others in the market is its VR link capability. Moreover, it is equipped with an HDMI which is conveniently placed in the front for easy access and connection to a VR screen.

In terms of design, the Gigabyte AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition has a sleeker look than its contemporaries. It boasts vibrant orange strips along with its grey dominated build. It is also equipped with RGB fusion.

It dons four strips seamlessly placed on the front which resembles an X pattern. The logo is placed on the center which is also backlit. Basically, the design screams “cool” from the get-go.
It has three DisplayPorts and impressively, three HDMI ports. The GPU can be connected to ultra HD screens without any worry.

It has a GPU Clock of 1607 MHz which can be boosted up to 1746 MHz. With all these specifications at hand you might think that it requires a ton of power but apparently, it only consumes 250W.

If you want to get your hands on the Gigabyte AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition, you might need to shell out a couple more bucks as it comes with a hefty price. What you do get with this expensive price tag is top of the line specs and quality

Things you might like:

  •    Triple fan system
  •    High overclocking capability
  •    Low power consumption
  •    3 HDMI ports
  •    Sleek and gorgeous design
  •    Can connect to ultra HD screens

Things you might not like:

  •   Expensive

5. MSI GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO

We now reach the end of our list. What better way to end it with another excellent offering. This time, we will talk about the MSI GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO.

Having a TRIO on its name, it implies that the product makes use of a triple fan cooling system. Because of this, the product excels in providing excellent airflow management, thereby translating to a more stable operation.

These fans are made of high-quality Torx 2.0 material. They also possess double ball bearings which are responsible for proving efficient airflow without the unnecessary noise.

It comes in a compact form factor and fits almost all computer cases and motherboards. It flaunts a sleek yet understated design which is reminiscent of most MSI GPUs. It dons a dominant black design with grey outer streaks. It also has red accents that embellish the neutral look of it.

The backplate it is equipped with dons an RGB stripe as well as an MSI logo which is backlit. The GPU clock speed is 1544 MHz which can be boosted to 1683 MHz.

Things you might like:

  •    Top notch cooling system
  •    Quiet operation
  •    Sleek design
  •    Excellent build quality

Things you might not like:

  •    Lower clock speeds

What To Consider When Buying A Graphics Card

The market is surrounded with several graphics card, however, not all of these produce the same gaming prowess and build quality. Because of this, you need to narrow down your options so that you can weed out those that aren’t simply up to the gold standard.

But how do we know which ones offer better value for you? To answer that, we will provide you with a buying guide that tells you which factors or specifications you should be considering when buying a graphics card. Here are the things to consider:

Cooling System

As you already know, graphics cards often take a beating when used for long periods of time. Without being careful, they can overheat and result in damage. Because of this, make sure to equip yourself with a graphics card with some sort of efficient cooling system.

Graphics card cooling systems can either be through the air or liquid cooling. However, we suggest that you buy one with air cooling.

Liquid cooled graphics cards are typically more efficient. They save a lot of space on your gaming rig and they can keep the card cool for longer periods of time. However, they do come with a hefty price tag and they are generally limited in the market.

Air cooled graphics card also do the job as good as liquid cooled ones. There is only a slight difference in the attained temperature between the two. These type of graphics cards also need a bigger space because of the built-in blower fans. Make sure you still have enough space to accommodate the complete setup on your gaming rig.

Air cooled graphics cards often come with two types of air blowers. They could either have a dual or triple fan setup.
Dual fan blowers are generally cheaper and of course smaller. Triple fan setups are surprisingly quieter. This is because the higher number of fans would mean a smaller velocity requirement for each of the fans to cool the heatsink. A noticeable noise is only experienced when the graphics card is overworked.

Moreover, since there are more fans running, triple fan setups have a better heat management, leading to better overall cooling. With that being said, triple fan graphics cards are generally a better choice compared to dual fan cards.

Size and Form Factor

Much like any other component of a gaming rig, you also need to consider its size and form factor.

Since you are placing the graphics card in your gaming rig, you need to measure the required minimum length that fits perfectly. 1080 Ti, regardless of its manufacturer, usually fit a Midi Tower case. However, there are also those that require additional space that diminishes the HDD rack size.

The graphics card’s width is also a huge factor as this may affect how it fits on the motherboard. Because of the large heatsinks, they are equipped with, the graphics card can span up to three slots on a motherboard. Keep this in mind, especially if you have other components to install on the motherboard such as extension cards.

Hardware Compatibility

Another important factor to consider is hardware compatibility. To allow the graphics card to work efficiently, it needs to be compatible with the motherboard, CPU as well as the power supply.

When it comes to the motherboard, assessing compatibility is rather simple. The only thing you need to look into is whether the motherboard is equipped with the PCI 3.0 that goes with the card. Because this is the usual setup for most motherboards, normally, newly released graphics card are compatible.

In terms of the CPU, the key factor you need to consider is its power. The CPU should be powerful enough to allow the graphics card to run to its full capacity. A weak CPU can cause bottlenecking which is a term used in the IT industry which means holding back a full capacity of a certain component.

GTX 1080 cards, regardless of its manufacturer would need an Intel Core i5 processor. Anything older or less powerful than an Intel Core i5 will tend to bottleneck the 1080 ti graphics card. Adding more GPUs to your gaming rig would mean that you also need to ramp up the required processor speed. In this case, you might need an Intel Core i7 or a Ryzen 7, anything more powerful than an Intel Core i5.

Lastly, the setup’s power supply is another factor you should look into. Most graphics card require a certain amount of power to function properly. For example, the required PSU power a 1080 Ti needs are at least 600 Watts. A more demanding setup and frequent overclocking will also require a higher PSU power.

Manufacturer

Much like any device or any product for that matter, the manufacturer’s reputation is a huge factor. Leading the graphics card manufacturers is Nvidia. They churn out the most reliable graphics card aside from providing top of the line power and speed.

Different brands have their own approach in manufacturing their graphics cards. They put their own stamp on it and cause them to stand above the rest in terms of a few aspects. The specifications that usually differ from brand to brand are the clock rates, cooling system and of course, design.

It is best that you equip yourself with a graphics card that is manufactured by a reputable brand- one that can offer great value for your money aside from delivering quality build and specifications.

Connectivity

Each variation of the 1080 ti graphics card is equipped with the usual ports for display, HDMI as well as DVI-D. Some models are equipped with only one of these ports. So how do you know which type of port you should prioritize?

DVI is the most dated type of port out of these three. Graphics card with this type of port usually has trouble connecting to modern types of monitors. DVI technology does not have access to 4K or ultra High definition displays and can only support 1080p monitors. Moreover, DVI ports do not have the capability of transferring sound.

Manufacturers often integrate their graphics cards with DisplayPort and HDMI. They remain to be the standard for most graphics cards nowadays. DisplayPorts are the go-to connection for monitors while HDMI ports are preferred if you want to connect your gaming rig to a television.

More often than not, most graphics cards have both of these ports. In terms of support to higher resolution and refresh rates, DisplayPort fare better. The difference is actually very minuscule when it comes to the output of the two ports.

HDMI configurations also come in two setups, these are the 3x DP/1x HDMI as well as the 2x DP/2x. Choosing which of these two you would prefer depends on your gaming requirements.

If you plan on working on three monitors then it is also required that you have three DisplayPorts. These ports are very important if you want to have the gain your graphics card’s full potential.

Those are the models that best fit the accolade of being one of the best 1080 Ti graphics cards of 2018. Make sure to check out these cards so that you can satisfy your intense gaming or designing needs.

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Best Laptops For Programming

Best Laptops For Programming

We know that there are a lot of laptops for programming in the market nowadays. With so many options, it’s getting more and more difficult to find the best laptop among them all.

Thankfully, we are here to alleviate your burden as we discuss to you the units that made our list of the best laptops for programming in 2018. Read through the reviews of each of the products and maybe you will be able to find the best laptop that suits your coding needs.

What are The Best Laptops for Programming in 2018?

1. Apple MacBook Pro 15”

The MacBook Pro (Mid 2018) is Apple’s answer to every programmer’s demands. As expected, Apple produces one of the fastest performing laptops coupled with a gorgeous display which also comes with a heftier price tag.

If you are more used to the Mac OS ecosystem, then the MacBook Pro is definitely the best choice for you. Under the hood, it is powered by a hexacore Intel Core i7 processor. Doing programming tasks with this laptop will be a breeze thanks to its speedy processor.

In terms of display, it dons one of the most gorgeous looking screens. It has a 15.4-inch retina display with a resolution of a whopping 2880 x 1800 pixels. That’s more than enough eye candy for doing programming tasks.

It employs a 512 GB SSD for its base unit and 4 TB SSD for the higher end model. We believe that 512 GB is enough for coding, but if you want a faster laptop then go for the higher end model. Coupled with this is a 16 GB RAM for the base unit and then 32GB for the higher end model.

The MacBook Pro is close to perfection if it weren’t for its jaw-dropping price. However, if you have several bucks to spare and want to buy a highly capable laptop with a gorgeous design then this one is perfect for you.

Things you might like:

  •    Speedy hexacore processor
  •    Gorgeous retina display
  •    High RAM size and SSD
  •    Sleek design
  •    Durable build

Things you might not like:

  •    Expensive

2. Toshiba Portege Z30-C1320

If you’re not a huge fan of Apple/Mac products, the Toshiba Portege Z30-C1320 is a solid option. Toshiba is one of the most prominent brands that have gained the trust of programmers across the globe. The Portege Z30 is a testament to the company’s effort to provide fast running laptops coupled with a good set of specifications.

Under the hood, the Toshiba Portege Z30 is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor that is clocked at 2.5 GHz. By the processor alone, you get the notion that the Portege is one beast of a programming laptop. Programming and testing code will be a piece of cake for this laptop.

The laptop also features a large 512GB SSD coupled with an equally huge 16GB RAM space. In terms of display, it flaunts a gorgeous 13.3-inch screen with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels.

When it comes to connectivity, the Toshiba Portege has managed to include several connection ports including a VGA port, fingerprint reader, LTE modem as well as GPS for location tracking.
Those features are hard to find at laptops of this price range.

Probably, the best feature of this laptop is its battery life. The Portege has enough juice to last you 11 hours of usage on a single charge. This will come in handy for programmers who are constantly moving from one place to another or if you are in a location outside your office where the chance of having an electric outlet is uncertain.

Our only caveat of the product is the rather flimsy input peripherals. Don’t get us wrong, they are decent enough and are durable but for this price, we expected more. Nevertheless, this laptop is still one of the best laptops for programming today.

Things you might like:

  • Speedy processor
  • Large SSD and RAM
  • High-resolution screen
  • Equipped with several connectivity ports
  • Has several additional features
  • Superb battery life

Things you might not like:

  • Does not have the best input peripherals

3. Lenovo ThinkPad E470

Hailing as one of the representatives from Lenovo’s ThinkPad series, the E470 boasts an excellent form factor and decent specifications at a reasonable price.

One of the key features of the ThinkPad E470 is its 7th generation Kaby Lake Processor (Intel Core i7 clocked at 2.7 GHz). Knowing this, we expect the laptop to perform well in running programming tasks and loading up codes.

It features a 14-inch anti-glare display that features a 1920x 1280 resolution. The screen produces good viewing angles and accurate color reproduction. It also protects your eyes from prolonged exposure through its anti-glare technology. For its GPU, it is powered by an Nvidia
GeForce 940 MX.

It is equipped by a decent 256 GB SSD coupled with 16 GB of RAM to help boot those codes faster. To add icing to the cake, it flaunts a spill-resistant keyboard as well as Lenovo’s signature TrackPoint. With this, you need not worry about accidental coffee spills as you burn through the night doing your programming tasks.

One of our caveats with the ThinkPad is its meager battery life. The battery only churns out 8 hrs of use on a single charge which is still decent. But we wanted more from a programming laptop with these awesome specifications.

Things you might like:

  • Kaby Lake processor
  • Spill-proof keyboard and responsive trackpad
  • Large SSD and RAM
  • Anti-Glare Screen Technology

Things you might not like:

  • Average battery life

4. HP 255 G5

HP’s mid-range business laptop makes an appearance on our list. Thanks to its capable processor and excellent features, it deserves to be considered one of the best laptops for programming.

The HP 255 G5 is a reliable, fast and no-nonsense laptop that flaunts an attractively low price tag. Under the hood, the laptop is powered by an AMD A6-7310 processor. This processor is capable of doing usual programming tasks with little to no lags.

In terms of its screen, it has a 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. This is rather low, however, you don’t always need a high resolution when all you see are codes most of the time.

When it comes to storage, it’s also no slouch since it has a 1 TB HDD storage.
Our main concerns about the laptop are the measly RAM size as well as the HDD hard disk.
More and more manufacturers have converted to SSD hard disks than HDD storage due to faster loading speeds. We wished that HP has made use of the latter.

The RAM size is also small compared to the other laptops in this list. Thankfully, you can always do an upgrade if you plan on doing highly intensive programming tasks.

Things you might like:

  •    Affordable
  •    Capable processor
  •    Big display
  •    Large storage space

Things you might not like:

  •    Still uses HDD
  •    Smaller RAM size

5. Microsoft Surface Pro

The last but definitely not the last entry on our list is the Microsoft Surface Pro. This laptop is perfect for those who want a highly capable laptop as well as an excellent tablet for extra convenience.

In terms of portability, the Surface Pro excels thanks to its removable screen which functions as a tablet when removed from the dock.

Under the hood, it is powered by a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7 processor. This is one of the fastest processor employed by laptop manufacturers. So expect a smooth operation with the Surface Pro as you do your programming tasks.

In terms of display, it flaunts a 12.3-inch screen with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels coupled with the PixelSense display to provide a more holistic viewing experience.

It dons a 512 GB SSD with a 16 GB RAM to help boot codes faster without any lags.

Our main caveat with the Surface Pro is its average battery life. Nevertheless, we still consider it as one of the best laptops for programming.

Things you might like:

  •    Doubles as a tablet and a laptop
  •    Portable
  •    Capable processor
  •    High-resolution display
  •    Large SSD and RAM

Things you might not like:

  •     Average battery life

So there you have it, those are the units that made it into our list of the best laptop for programming.

As a programmer, having a reliable and efficient performing laptop is a must. The last thing you want to do is purchase just any other laptop by impulse and then get constant headaches because of its slow performance and weak build.

It always pays to do some research before buying a laptop especially when you are in the field of programming. With our list, we hope that you were able to find the best laptop that suits your programming needs.

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Best Headphones with Mic

Best Headphones with Mic

Whether you are an audiophile or working in an office that requires constant communication with your clients, chances are; you need a reliable headphone with a built-in mic.

While there are several options to choose from in the market, not all of them are created equally. More often than not, you may encounter or use a headphone with subpar build quality, and worse, a muffled mic.

If you are on the lookout for an excellent and reliable headphone that lets you do your work and enjoy your music without any hassle, you are in the right place.

In this article, we will feature a list of the best headphones with a mic. These products offer excellent sound quality while also not skimping out on the audio output from the microphone.

What are the Best Headphones with a Microphone in 2018?

There are several headphones with mic that abound the market nowadays. However, you should veer away from cheap headphones. This is not to say that all headphones from the budget segment are worthless, but most of these cash grabbing headphones belong in the aforementioned price segment.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones

The first entry on our list is from the ever-popular brand when it comes to audio devices and components, Bose. In this case, we considered the Bose QuietComfort 35 as one of the best headphones with the mic on the market right now.

The Bose QuietComfort 35 is made of a sturdy plastic body while also donning metal speaker plates and arms. This build quality helps the headphone plow through external stresses and survive constant wear and tear.

Having comfort as part of its name, it surely delivered in this department. The headphone comes with comfortable over-ear earplugs that provide comfort even with long usage.

Equipped with its own active noise canceling technology, the Bose QuietComfort 35 conceals noise to provide a more holistic and crisp audio output from the mic. The headphone also makes use of noise rejecting dual microphones for call making.

As a result, the audio output is loud and enough and crisp without all the unnecessary hiss and annoying background noise. Moreover, the QuietComfort 35 also features mic monitoring which lets you feed some of your voice back to you so that you can adjust your volume to the most appropriate level.

Other features included in the package are Bluetooth connectivity and Auto off feature.

Our only gripe with this headphone is the fact that the battery cannot be replaced.

Things you might like:

  •    Crisp audio output
  •    Bluetooth connectivity
  •    Auto off feature
  •    Good build quality
  •    Active Noise Cancellation

Things you might not like:

  •     Battery cannot be replaced once damaged

2. Bose QuietComfort 25

Making another entry on our list, Bose once again proves why it’s one of the best companies when it comes to headphones. IN our list, we will feature the older Bose QuietComfort 25. While its newly released sibling, the QuietComfort 35 is equipped with excellent specifications, the QuietComfort 25 also has its own set of advantages.

As expected, the product has its effective Active Noise Cancellation feature which helps execute unparalleled audio output without all the unnecessary hiss and noise. Unlike its newly released sibling, the ANC featured can be turned off with a single click of the button located at the right portion.

Moreover, unlike the QuietComfort 35, the battery can be replaced. Simply put in 3 AAA batteries whenever they die out. Some people prefer this over the built-in battery which cannot be replaced once damaged.

The QuietComfort is made with high-quality plastic for its body while the arms and hinges are built with cast zinc. The over-ear pads are comfortable even for long periods of use, that is why it is called QuietComfort. However, we encountered a slight pressure on the ears due to the
Active Noise Cancellation function.

When it comes to sound quality, the Bose QC 25 ultimately delivers providing a lively and crisp output across all frequencies.

However, do note that the mic does not work directly on the PC port. With this, you need to make use of a headset splitter to make this possible.

Things you might like:

  •    Capable ANC feature
  •    Crisp and vibrant sound output
  •    ANC can be turned off
  •    Replaceable batteries
  •    Good build quality

Things you might not like:

  •    ANC can be inconsistent
  •    Microphone does not work directly on PC

3. V-MODA Crossfade M-100

The next entry on our list is the gorgeous looking V-MODA Crossfade M 100. In a sea of mundane looking headphones in the market, the V-Moda Crossfade M-100 stands out due to its sleek and elegant look. Along with this elegant design is a slew of good specifications.

The V MODA Crossfade M-100 is made with high-quality plastic. The headphone flaunts large hexagonal earpieces, a look which is rare for most headphones. The earpieces extend into the padded Steeflex headband which provides comfort even with prolonged use. Moreover, the speaker plates can be detached and can be redesigned with your own customized logo.

The headphones also come with two detachable Kevlar-reinforced cables. These cables can endure extreme stress and wear and tear. One of the cables is composed of a 3 feet SpeakEasy cable which is compatible with most smartphones or gadgets that has a 3.5 mm port.

The other cable is a Shareplay cable which works as a daisy chain two headphones or can be connected with an external mic.

The built-in mic produces excellent audio output that is well detailed, crisp and with just the right amount of bass. The microphone is also tailor-made for better speech recognition. However, active noise cancellation with the mic is just average compared to the others on this list.

Things you might like:

  •    Well balanced audio output
  •    Sleek design
  •    Good build quality
  •    Dual cord system
  •    Comfortable earpieces

Things you might not like:

  •    Inconsistent Active Noise Cancellation

4. Sony MDR1A Premium Hi-Res Stereo Headphones

The next entry on our list is the Sony MDR1A Stereo Headphones. Sony has paved its way into almost every aspect of technology in today’s market. With their lineup of headphones, they excel in providing good build quality and exceptional audio output.

For years, their headphones have been well known for providing a balance of refinement and restive audio. Because of this, their headphones are a favorite pick for audiophiles across the globe. With this, the Sony MDR1A is another contribution to its array of excellent headphones.

One of the best selling points of the Sony MDR1A is the comfort it provides. The MDR1a is perhaps Sony’s most comfortable headphone to date. In terms of design, they revamped the once rounded ear cups and turned it into race track oval shaped ones. The earcups also don a plush padding that sits comfortably over your ears.
They are also very lightweight, even more, lightweight than the compact V Moda M100 with a difference of 8 ounces. As a result, the headphones look slim and sleek when used. To add more icing to the cake, Sony made use of metal highlights on the earcups for added aesthetic appeal.

More on the comfort department, the earcups of the sit conveniently over your ears and adapts to the shape of your head. Because of this, passive noise cancellation is made possible.

Another worth noting feature of the MDR1A is its detachable cable. The package comes with two cables. One of which is a traditional OFC cable and the other one is equipped with an in-line microphone and remote.

As of the moment, the controls are more customized for Android users and no word yet from the company, if they will update it to accommodate iOs users.

The passive noise cancellation of the in-line mic of the cord is not as efficient as the ones seen in other headphones that make use of active noise cancellation. In our test, we still heard some background noise while playing songs.

To compensate with the average microphone performance, Sony has set their eyes on providing an exceptional audio experience. The MDR1A is considered to be a high-resolution headphone.

With this, you can expect booming bass output, smoother mids and crisp highs. In our test, the headphone lives up to its promise providing audiophiles an excellent listening experience.

Things you might like:

  •    High-Resolution Audio Output
  •    Comfortable earpieces
  •    Unique design
  •    Good build quality
  •    Comes with two cables

Things you might not like:

  •    Does not have active noise cancellation
  •    Not compatible with iOs platform as of the moment

5. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless

Closing the list with a loud bang is the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless. For years, Sennheiser has been a favorite for audiophiles across the globe.
With the release of Sennheiser Momentum 2.0, they have generated quite a stir in the headphone market thanks to its excellent features and good build quality which are to be expected from Sennheiser.

The Momentum 2.0 carries over the same DNA that consumers loved from its predecessors. Along with this, Sennheiser added in some upgrades that enhanced the overall listening experience of the headphone.

The Momentum 2.0 dons a ground-breaking design flaunting despite the thin headband. The product boasts supreme comfort, which surpasses its predecessor. The product is given more comfort value thanks to the leather covered paddings.

Contrary to what most manufacturers do with their earpieces, the Momentum 2.0 flaunts a racetrack oval earpads compared to the more conventional, rounded earpiece. As for the headband, it has a ventilated strip for better heat management despite prolonged use.

The arms of the Momentum 2.0 can be folded and be placed in a carry pouch. Weighing only 9.2 ounces, it is considered to be one of the most lightweight headphones that you can buy in the market now. The package comes with a single cord which can be detached. The controls are placed on the right side of the headband and can be easily reached.

Thanks to its incorporated NoiseGard ANC technology, the Momentum 2.0 renders a clean audio output while low-frequency noise is efficiently omitted. It is worth noting that the ANC feature can only be used on wireless mode.

In terms of connectivity, the product can be connected via Bluetooth and NFC to other devices that are within 33 feet of range. The Momentum 2.0 also excels in battery life, offering up to 22 hours of use on a single charge.

To provide better mic output, the Momentum 2.0 makes use of VoiceMax technology. As a result, the mic produces a crisp and rich speech recognition, especially during calls. To further omit unnecessary noise from the background, the headphones are equipped with dual built-in microphones. They help cancel background noise from both the caller and receiver.

Moreover, it also has mic monitoring which lets you hear your own voice at a low volume so that you can adjust the intensity of your voice during calls. This is quite useful since noise canceling headphones tend to cut off your own voice.

In terms of audio output, the Momentum 2.0 provides a rich and well-balanced output. The elements of the sounds are well balanced and not overpowering each other. Bass is loud and powerful enough but held back a little to make room for sparkling treble.

More so, the audio output is set on a soundstage scenario which mimics the experience of hearing your favorite artists in an arena or an intimate setup.

However, if you want to get your hands on the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0, you might need to pull up a bit more cash as it comes with a heftier price tag. Nevertheless, the Momentum 2.0 is surely one of the best headphones with mic that you can buy with your hard earned cash.

Things you might like:

  •    Rich, well balanced audio output
  •    NoiseGard ANC Technology
  •    Comfortable design
  •    Superb battery life
  •    Excellent noise canceling dual microphones
  •    Bluetooth and NFC connectivity
  •    Groundbreaking design

Things you might not like:

  •     Expensive

Buying Guide

While choosing a headphone is definitely not rocket science, it also pays to research and looks into features that make up for a good and reliable product. Here are the things to consider when buying a headphone with mic.

Audio Quality

The first and most important aspect you need to consider is the headphone’s audio quality. Having an accurate and crisp audio is crucial when buying a headphone. During calls, you would not want to annoy the other person for constantly asking him or her to repeat what she said. The sound output should be clear and crisp enough for you to understand what the caller is trying to relay.

For audiophiles, audio quality is the most important thing they look for. Buying a headphone with subpar sound output would make no sense for an audiophile.

Microphone Quality

As important as the sound you hear from the headphone is, a clear output from the microphone is also another important aspect one should not overlook.

Some headphones make use of dual microphone systems as well as noise cancellation. These two features are vital additions to the improvement of the overall sound output from the microphone. With these two features, you can relay information through the mic without all the unnecessary noises and muffling.

Build Quality

Aside from the two mentioned above, you also need to consider buying a headphone with mic with good build quality. Headphones constantly suffer from bumps and even occasional wear and tear, with this you need to buy a product that can withstand all these physical stress.

There are several headphones that are built with cheap plastic material that easily breaks whenever they are used heavily. However, there are also those that can suffer all these damages inducing situations without even a hint of destruction.

Extra Features

Extra features help enhance the overall experience with the headphone. They also help users have access to several modes or connectivity in a convenient and fast way.

Some of these extra features include Bluetooth, Active Noise Cancellation, Mic Monitoring, Volume controls and several others. All these help users navigate through whatever content they are consuming or listening in a faster manner.

Budget

The last but definitely one of the most important aspects you need to consider is your budget. If you are satisfied with a reliable headphone that does all the necessary features then a headphone with mic from the budget segment can suffice.

However, if you want more durability and longevity, not to mention several other features from your headphone; then you might need to shell out a few more bucks to make this possible.