Should I buy the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 Bluetooth Speaker on Ebony Friday?

The bottom line: The B&O Beoplay A1 is just a portable speaker that pops easily in to a bag or possibly a pocket. This little and mighty device is extremely lightweight weighing in just 600g. Regardless of this, it powers away 2x140w worth of amount and bass, this means the sound quality packs a punch compared to other similarly sized devices. Having its fashionable design and extensive battery power, the speaker makes a fantastic accessory with its ability to set up with other A1 products, can cause a miniature surround speakers to give your music a more substantial presence. If design can be crucial that you you as quality of sound, Bang & Olufsen may indeed perhaps you have covered with all the Beoplay A1 Bluetooth Speaker.

Pros: Great sound quality for the size, as much as twenty four hours of battery pack life

Cons:  No carry situation

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 Bluetooth Speaker: all you need to understand

Those that love a good all-round speaker quality with small emphasis on the bass will appreciate this trendy unit. Though some reviews mention that versus other speakers from Bang & Olufsen range, the noise is somewhat lacking crispness at greater volumes, for tiny presenter, it still has all ingredients for solid sound quality. 

The listening experience is further improved by its 360 degree sound technology, which disperses the noise equally in every direction. 

To profit from most readily useful sound, keep the speaker on 50percent amount; any louder and you will lose that crispness and clarity. Bass enthusiasts may also notice the sound stays distinct from low to mid amount but turns into a small distorted when the regularity range surpasses the top 60-24kHz, only a real deal breaker if you are a hardcore music fan.

The battery power actually huge advantage to purchasing this Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speaker. For a mellow, mid-range amount, it’ll endure around 24 hours, however that blaring away music at top volume can slice the play time down seriously to just 4 hours. However, it requires roughly 2.5 hours to totally charge – that’s pretty speedy. 

Features

As with many handheld speakers today, connection is achieved through Bluetooth synchronisation, which means that it may be paired to nearly every modern unit. Bang & Olufsen has gone that additional distance and included a key enabling one to move the text to the formerly paired unit – handy for those who have iPads, iPods and iPhones synchronised to it frequently. As well as playing music, these devices happens to be installed having integrated microphone to help you just take telephone calls too, a handy addition. Also regarding the face of the device it self is really a 3.5mm Mini-Jack and a USB-C for recharging, which may have both been subtly placed never to detract from its stylish design. 

Design

Admittedly, a good amount associated with the price-tag precipitates to the type of these devices, that was produced by Danish designer Cecilie Manz. With its aluminium and leather-based composition, it's not really a treat for the ears – the contemporary visuals shoot for a far superior design experience when compared with other competitor devices. 

Just as in any device-come-fashion accessory item, a variety of tints can be found. Using the contemporary colours including moss green, sand, tangerine and charcoal, you have the substitute for look for a presenter that calls towards individual choice. 

Overall, in the event that you’re after a portable presenter with decent quality of sound that majors on design, this 1 is really a winner. Browse the most useful costs at the top of the web page. 

Dell doubles-down with Ebony Friday discounts: 15% off XPS, Inspiron and Alienware products

Fancy a discount laptop computer or desktop computer from a top-tier maker? The good thing is that Dell is playing a particularly strong Ebony Friday hand in 2010, with all the company knocking 15percent off all its XPS, Inspiron and Alienware offerings.

Yes, meaning every device in these ranges costs 15% less, which can be more than dual the preserving that Dell offered on Ebony Friday this past year, once the merchant reduced services and products by 7per cent.

You are able to avail yourself among these Ebony Friday deals at this time by utilising the discount code SAVE15 when buying. As stated, this pertains to XPS, Inspiron and Alienware devices, although it doesn’t pertain to associated add-ons.

Another caveat is the fact that you are able to only use the discount up to a maximum of five devices (items of equipment) per order, as well as the offer is valid from today before end of next Monday (November 27).

Discounts regarding the Dells

Clearly there’s an enormous swathe of services and products that are reduced right here, therefore let’s highlight a couple of especially smart products that you may be tempted to purchase, that your code is applicable to…

Still hankering for lots more bargains? Dell has some a whole lot larger discounts regarding boil for Ebony Friday:

  • We’ve rounded up all the best Ebony Friday deals the following

Can I choose the Sony Bravia KDL40RE453 Full HD TV on Black Friday?

the underside line: you need to be able to find the Sony Bravia KDL40RE453 complete HD TV's cost paid down this Black Friday and that's a good thing. With HDR technology illuminating the brightest and darkest scenes, together with X-Reality PRO upscaling and refining pixels to reduce sound, audiences are treated to increase the dosage of display screen quality power to bring the superior image that Sony are well known for. If you’re buying a completely loaded HD television having an user friendly user interface, this is not usually the one, but for outstanding quality artistic and basic smart features this is simply not a poor spending plan purchase.

Benefits: Awesome display screen clarity, slim design

Cons: maybe not the best user interface

Sony Bravia KDL40RE453 complete HD television: Everything you need to know

If the watching experience is essential to you but spending plan is too, you can’t make a mistake with this particular Sony television. Reviewers price the immense display quality produced by the HDR and X-Reality PRO technologies to be significantly various if you're used to non-HDR TVs. To help raise the display power, the developers have actually added another element- Motionflow XR – which will keep action smooth by upscaling and refining pixels. This can help to improve fast-paced action scenes while the video gaming experience (but exactly what do expect from creators of the Playstation?).  

By having a 1080p complete HD max screen quality, there is nothing cutting edge within regards to visuals, especially if you’ve got ever experienced the caliber of 4K, nevertheless the LCD display still boasts a fantastic quality visual.

The style

Sony have held the appearance of this television since slim as you can while the frame is slim too, which really helps to produce the impression of edge to edge viewing. With less obstruction across the outside, you are able to pay attention to more immersive watching. The stand integrates polymer and metal to make a sturdy support the tv, although some owners are disappointed your stand isn’t pure metal like earlier in the day models. 

With that said, if Sony have compromised the stand materials to spotlight delivering a high quality image for great cost, we aren’t planning to whine too much. 

Features

You’ll find your entire best-loved apps including iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime packed into this television. But it's Smart features are this Sony Bravia TVs downfall, with apps being clunky and sluggish to set up, making this more of a great HD television but absolutely nothing more. That being said, having little persistence, the smart features are there any, when you can stay focussed sufficient to set them up. With USB ports, it is possible to connect within Amazon Fire Stick, view your favourite pictures and tune in to your favourite music tracks. You can find 2 HDMI ports to help you plug in your gaming system and DVD player, although a standard gripe usually three slots could be more useful. 

Overall, this television gets the great picture quality you’ll expect from a complete HD TV but is lacking the good quality Smart top features of its competitors.

Decided this is the one for you personally? View the very best Sony Bravia KDL40RE453 television rates near the top of the web page. 

Can I choose the Pioneer SE-MJ722T-T Headphones on Black Friday?

The bottom line:  If there’s some budget headphones that have been purposely manufactured to tap into the teenage market, the Pioneer SE-MJ722T-Ts will be the ones. Firstly, you only have to go through the blend of tan and white to think fashionista. And next, having been optimised to provide much, bassy noise, there’s one genre of music they’re exemplary for – which’s club anthems. Anybody who isn’t particularly fussy towards general quality associated with sound and at the purchase price they’re marketed at, you can’t be, will probably love these. For individuals who prefer to choose the patient instruments in their music, steer clear.

Pros: Padding on headband also ears, great bassy sound

Cons: maybe not balanced for different music genres

Pioneer SE-MJ722T-T Headphones: Everything you need to know

Thought has gone to the style and design of those headphones to bring a product that is completely optimised for its market. Pioneer are making no secret that these are made for playing bassy club classics perhaps not complex, multi-layered songs, and additionally they’ve positively styled them with teenager or young adult in your mind.  

Besides that, by having a 40mm cushioned driver device, they sit easily over the ear, although the cushioned headband featuring its ergonomic design guarantees to make sure that they’ll stay comfortable regardless of how very long you use them. At 420g, they’re not the lightest headphones available on the market, so it’s probably an excellent task they’ve additional padding. A few of that fat could possibly be down to the foldable procedure, which handily allows them to be folded away as a bag or perhaps a pocket.

Efficiency

As we’ve currently emphasised, these headphones are designed for deep base along with the capacity to create 6Hz to 40,000Hz, those club anthem songs will sound very good. If you’re not too fussy about the general quality associated with sound, they’re certainly not the worst available on the market and with a max level of 101db, cranking up the quantity shouldn’t be described as a issue. 

Pioneer have implemented a microphone into the cable to help make the change between playing music and taking phone calls easier. 

Extras

Also available in white, black and red and black colored, always keep an eye out for cost falls for every regarding the tints this Black Friday. If you’re buying decent set of spending plan headphones being comfortable to wear, you can’t fail with one of these SE-MJ722T-T Headphones from Pioneer – simply don’t expect miracles with regards to balanced noise. 

Must I buy the Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear Headphones for my Apple unit?

The bottom line: Bose headphones aren’t cheap, so the price of the SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear Headphones being slashed for Ebony Friday is a big deal. They’re tailor-made to set with Apple products for on-the-fly music and calls, and users have reported a great, balanced noise and secure and comfortable earbuds, nixing the need for the constant modification that may be a standard downside of other in-ear headphone models. The sealed acoustic design is noted by reviewers to complete an excellent task of eliminating outside noise, offering an immersive experience. But the 'maximised sound' Bose vow may come at a cost if you’re active a lot, with a few finding that the headphones picked up cable noise while running. Android user? Bose have actually developed a form of these headphones that works with Android’s mobile operating systems, so there’s you don’t need to pass up.

Pros: Control music and calls from the headphones, good isolation

Cons: Some users reported sound when moving around a great deal

Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear Headphones: all you need to know

Bose went for a rich, clear and balanced noise with these headphones and, if reviewers are to be believed, they’ve accomplished it. The drawback? Reports state they simply aren’t since loud as some previous models, so if you really like to rock out, that could be one thing to note. But’s the deep-sitting sealed design that provides the SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear Headphones the immersive listening experience Bose devotees rave about, and while there’s no active noise termination as in other Bose headphones, this does a great job of filtering down undesirable sound.

Wear

Ill-fitting in-ear headphones is irritating and sometimes even painful, so it’s reassuring that Bose have actually addressed the situation using their StayHear Ultra tips, which claim to “stay soft yet supply a stable fit." Once again, reviewers have given the guidelines the thumbs up, saying that they remain placed also through rigorous exercise, and their sweat and weather-resistant design makes them robust enough to stand up to frequent outside jogs, too. 

Practicalities

These Apple-specific SoundTrue headphones, like their Android-compatible cousins, are engineered because of the mobile user in mind. The maximised sound aims to help make the best of each type of sound, including vocals, and drown out sound, which is often especially helpful for commuters. The capability of having the ability to make and just take calls utilising the inline mic, plus take control of your music from headphones, is a huge bonus, too.

If you want to hear your iPad or usage Apple musical whenever you’re on the move, or if you simply require a couple of light and comfortable headphones that allow you to make clear voice phone calls as well as tune in to your tunes, these come highly recommended. If you’ve settled in it, be sure to read the discounts above.

  • They are the most effective Cyber Monday discounts we've seen to date

Best gaming mouse pads 2017: the top mouse mats for gamers

Mouse pads are no longer simple fabric-covered foam squares, they are getting just as technologically advanced as internal computer components. Some include wireless charging while others are just standard pads with low-friction surfaces engineered for gaming.

In today’s market of brand names and knockoffs, there’s plenty of gaming mouse pads from which to pick. No matter if you’re a hardcore or casual gamer, this guide to top gaming mouse pads is sure to help you complete your setup – none are laden with unicorns.  

The Corsair MM600 doesn’t dazzle with lights like the MM800, but it does offer much more versatility than the higher-cost model. This dual-sided mouse pad keeps also its grip with rubber stoppers at each corner. It’s made from aluminum and, like most other gaming mouse pads, the Corsair MM600 features a low-friction surface that has been optimized for quick responses for gamers. 

The SteelSeries QcK is a budget mouse pad, but it’s one that does exactly what you want it to. The surface material has a high thread count for accurate mouse tracking and a frictionless glide. Meanwhile,  rubber base helps save it from slipping. It comes in several sizes and shapes, and is even available with lights on the higher-end SteelSeries QcK Prism.

The Cooler Master mouse pad may look simple, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be perfect for your gaming needs. It has a low-friction, cloth surface for smooth mouse movements. Rather than having built-in lighting and it comes in a neutral color gray to blend with any setup. While it’s not that tall, it has a good width with which to move a mouse around. 

  • This product is only available in the UK as of this writing. US and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the SteelSeries QcK.

RGB lighting is cool and all, but some gamers prefer having a seamless, unobtrusive desk surface. The ultra-thin – less than half a millimeter in height – Razer Sphex v2 is the mouse pad for such a gamer. Despite its thinness, the  polycarbonate surface is durable and optimized for laser or optical mouse gaming mouse control. We’ve picked out the regular size, but it also comes in a Small size variant. 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Razer Goliathus. 

The top of the Hiro+ is covered in a vulcanized silicone surface with a 3D structure to help increase your  gaming accuracy and speed. The base has a non-slip surface for steady mouse control, and the edges have been rounded for a smoother profile. Its surface is also coated to protect from water and grime, and makes for easy cleaning.

Is it a charging pad or a mouse pad? The Logitech G PowerPlay gaming mouse pad is both. Similar to wireless smartphone chargers, the PowerPlay creates an electromagnetic resonance over the surface of the mat allowing compatible mice to charge even while in use. As if that wasn’t enough technology, this mouse pad has an integrated wireless receiver with an one-millisecond report rate, automatic frequency interference avoidance system and end-to-end signal optimization, making it perfect for professional gamers.

The Razer Firefly RBG gaming mouse pad has been eSports tested to ensure gamer success. It boasts a micro-textured surface, focusing on precise controls for gamers. Razer even lab-tested the Firefly RGB’s coating to ensure it has the right reflectiveness for a quicker response rate. The Razer Firefly RGB also uses Chroma Lighting, with more than 16.8 million colors to personalize gaming experiences. 

The Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris isn’t just a mouthful, it’s a nifty gaming mouse pad, too. It uses a low-friction finish for quick and precise tracking across its surface. The MM800 RGB Polaris uses the CUE2 interface to sync its  lighting with your other peripherals and PC through RGB share. It’s also available in two top materials: Cloth and a micro-texture surface. 

The Scabbard is less mouse pad and more ‘gear pad’. The Asus Republic of Gaming (ROG) Scabbard pad can hold the laptop or keyboard and mouse. It has a non-slip ROG-red rubber base and low-friction Sheath woven surface for gaming control. They’ve even temperature tested the ROG Scabbard down to -30°C – but why you’d game in sub-zero conditions is unimaginable.  

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Roccat Hiro+. 

Unlike all the other soft pads and plastic surfaces in this article, the  MSI Thunderstorm gaming mouse pad is made of pure metal. To be specific, this mouse mat is made of  an anodized, hairline-surfaced aluminum piece with rubber stoppers. The hairline textured surface is optimized for mouse control and speed, while its L-shape allows it to be situated close to the keyboard. Flip it over for a micro-textured surface and the comfort of cloth. 

CES 2018: dates, registration, news and predictions for tech’s biggest show

We're almost all the way through November, but CES 2018 registration is still open for those who want to get a last-minute pass. It's important to note, however, that CES is a trade show, so you must have an industry or media affiliation in order to attend.

[Update: We could be in for an early look at the Samsung Galaxy S9 at CES. Notable leaker Evan Blass has the intel that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus could make a cameo at CES 2018. That would be big news … even if the design of the new phones isn't.]

If you go or are simply keeping tabs from home, one of the first press conferences to look forward to is the one hosted by LG. The venerable gadget maker will offer a sneak peek at innovations across its product lines during the press conference, which takes place at 8am PT on Monday, January 8. TechRadar will be there live to bring you all the latest!

CES 2018 is right around the corner. Las Vegas, Nevada will once again play host to the biggest consumer technology expo on the planet. Companies from around the world will descend upon the giant halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center and other locations on the Strip to show off their wares and innovations. 

CES, which stands for the Consumer Electronics Show, has admittedly lost a bit of its luster in recent years as hardware manufacturers have opted to hold individual press events scattered throughout the year to unveil new products, rather than elbow for exposure during a massive conference that's filled to the brim with press conferences and booths. 

Big show: 184,279 people attended CES 2017

But that doesn't mean CES 2018 won't be without must-see gadgets, futuristic cars and sneak peeks at innovations that could change the tech world as we know it. Au contraire – next year's show could bring as much excitement as ever.

The official CES 2018 dates are January 9 through January 12, though, as was the case last year, two days of media-only news conferences take place on January 7 and January 8. TechRadar will be at CES from beginning to end, delivering must-see news and hands-on reviews direct from the show floor. 

Read on for the latest news and rumors surrounding CES 2018, as well as our predictions for what some of the top manufacturers will bring to Las Vegas early in the New Year. 

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The biggest consumer technology show on the planet
  • When is it? CES 2018 dates are January 9 through January 12, but there are media-only news conferences taking place on January 7 and January 8
  • What's on show? Everything from ultra high-res televisions to connected fridges to laptops to electric cars

Google at CES 2018

Will a new Google product join the family in Las Vegas?

Yes, dear reader, you read that correctly. Google is apparently planning quite the presence at CES 2018 with a large booth and eight hospitality suites to showcase … well that's the question, isn't it?

As spotted by Chrome Unboxed, Google Inc. will have a big, standalone booth prominently positioned in the outdoor Central Plaza of the Las Vegas Convention Center. This is in addition to the eight suites Google Hardware has reserved at the Aria hotel. 

While Google is typically present at CES via third-party hardware partners that house its various operating systems and the Google Assistant in their goods, Google is coming out from behind the curtain during next year's show, and it's doing so in a big way. 

This could mean a couple of things. One, it seems highly likely that Google wants to give conference-goers an up-close look at its newest products, including the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones, Google Home Mini smart speaker and the new Daydream View VR headset. The whole Made by Google product family is poised to take a Vegas vacay, if you ask us.

But what's also possible is that Google will showoff something new considering it's going all out when it comes to exhibiting. As Chrome Unboxed speculates, we could be in for new Chromebooks to follow up the widely well-received Google PixelBook. We could even see Chromebooks that take on a whole new form factor, such as ones that transform into tablets with detachable screens. 

Whatever Google has planned, this is an exciting addition to the CES 2018 lineup. When the major players come to Las Vegas, there's usually good reason to pay attention.

Samsung at CES 2018

Samsung is always a big focus at CES, generally with good reason. The tech giant typically unveils a number of devices (not counting its updated line of smart washing machines and dishwashers), and sometimes shows off hardware that's a little bit out there. 

Two years ago, it was a bendable TV. Next year, it could be a bendable phone. 

Some whispers are circulating that the Galaxy X, Samsung's rumored foldable smartphone, could debut at CES 2018. 

As Forbes notes, the timing would be a bit odd since, unlike MWC, CES isn't a major phone show. However, it would also be a prime opportunity to show off a completely new device to an international audience. Samsung did unveil the Galaxy A3 at CES 2017, so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to go for a repeat.

What's more, Samsung originally debuted its bendable display tech at CES 2013, so it'd be fitting to unveil the culmination of five years' of development in a consumer-ready phone at this coming CES. 

Samsung's mobile boss has said the company is targeting a bendable phone launch in 2018. Unveiling the Galaxy X in early January could be the first step towards a full-blown release later in the year. 

A new rumor also points to the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus making a cameo appearance at CES. What that means exactly isn't clear, but we could get an early look at the new smartphones before their official release later in the year.

In addition to the potential new Galaxy phone unveilings, we expect Samsung to announce new wearables, either on its own or in partnership with others, new Galaxy Tab tablets, new laptops, and, of course, new TVs. There's a good chance Samsung will update its QLED TV tech to the next generation (and maybe go for a new name, like QLED+).

Sony at CES 2018

In recent years Sony has used CES to focus on its audio and office lines, unveiling devices like new headphones and cheaper 4K projectors along with its newest Bravia TVs. 

The Bravia range always impresses and Sony's other goods are top notch, and so far there's nothing to indicate Sony will deviate from this script very much. We expect the next line of Bravias to feature OLED screens, which the Japanese firm only this year started producing again. 

And, listen up, audiophiles: there's a good chance we'll see a new high-res turntable from Sony at CES 2018. We'll find out all during Sony's CES press conference, which takes place at 5pm PT on Monday, January 8 at the Sony booth.

LG at CES 2018

Last year, LG unveiled what might possibly have been the thinnest OLED TV ever at CES. If you don't remember the OLED W7 Signature Series TV, take a minute to watch the video above.

At CES 2018, look for LG to go for broke once again with its TV tech, which we'll almost certainly see unveiled during its January 8 press conference at 8am PT. Though these screens are flat out expensive, you can't deny how visually stunning they are. To put a number on it, CES 2018 should play host to LG's next-gen 8-series OLED screens (B8, C8, G8 and W8).

LG also used CES 2017 to unveil some low- to mid-range phones, including the LG K10 2017 and LG Stylus 3, so we could be in for a few LG mobile surprises.

Rounding out LG's offerings are likely updates to its home appliances (no brainer), 4K Blu-ray player, gram laptops and even its smart helper robots.

Dell at CES 2018

Dell gave TechRadar an early preview of its next XPS 13 laptop ahead of CES 2018, showing off the 13-inch Ultrabook's incredibly thin design and pleasing aesthetics.

The laptop now features three USB-C ports, a Micro SD card slot, an Infinity Edge display and two colors – Alpine White and Rose Gold. 

Since a new laptop is typically Dell's big reveal at the the show, the big news about the 2017 Dell XPS 13 we can expect at CES 2018 is its full spec sheet, release date and price.

Car makers at CES 2018

Observers are keenly aware that CES has transformed into something of a car show in recent years, and CES 2018 will only continue the trend. 

Fisker, for one, confirmed to The Street that it will reveal its newest electric car at next year's show. Called EMotion, the new car will cost $129,000 (about £98,000 / AU$165,000) and ships in 2019. Despite its high price, it's expected to at least put Tesla on notice, especially since the EMotion has a reported range of over 400 miles.

Though its fortunes have turned for the worse, Faraday Future could look to recapture some of its early buzz with a big announcement at CES 2018. Toyota also impressed with its Concept-i self-driving car at this year's show, and the likes of Ford and Hyundai are sure to show up.

But it won't necessarily be full-fledged cars we see unveiled. Rather, deeper integration with smart speakers, like the Google Home and Amazon Echo, as well as the digital assistants in our mobile phones, could be what car makers have planned.

And everyone else

Of course, this is just a small taste of the hundreds of companies that will be present at CES 2018. 

Other firms we expect to make a splash include Asus, Dolby, HP, HTC, Huawei, Intel, Lenovo, Nikon, Nvidia, Panasonic, Razer, and so much more. 

Who knows? We could see the next generation of HTC Vive, a gorgeous snapper from Nikon and new phones from Huawei. 

Speaking of, Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu is scheduled to deliver a keynote address on Tuesday, January 9 at 2pm PT at The Venetian. Huawei is a company on the rise, and Yu will discuss Huawei's strategies around connectivity, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and smart devices. Chances are, we're in for a product reveal or two.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich will deliver a keynote address on Monday, January 8 from 6:30pm PT to 7:30pm PT at Monte Carlo's Park Theater. From the sounds of it, Krzanich's keynote will focus on next-gen tech, including AI, 5G connectivity, self-driving cars and VR.

Nvidia has sent out save the dates for its CES 2018 press conference, scheduled to take place on Sunday, January 7 from 8-9:30pm PT at the MGM Grand. Nvidia always kicks off CES with an action-packed keynote, and we expect next year's edition will be no exception as it dives into AI, self-driving cars and high-powered GPUs.

And a new addition to the upcoming show is the CES Sports Zone. Here, game-day tech will take center stage, from gadgets that boost athletes' performance to the latest in fan-experience innovations, including AR and VR. If you're into sports and tech, or just fitness in general, the Sports Zone will definitely be worth keeping an eye on.

The possibilities are endless, and we'll keep this page updated as more news and rumors about CES 2018 roll in. 

Best baby monitor: great baby cams and smart camera alternatives

Becoming a parent is a wonderful, exciting experience. It’s also an anxious time. Anything at all that can help relieve you of the anxiety that something might happen to your baby when they aren't right by your side is welcomed and the baby cam is the ultimate device for this. 

Not only does a decent baby cam give you peace of mind, it also helps you understand your baby’s habits and gives you that little bit of freedom – so you can be away from your baby but also know they are within eye- and earshot. 

For years, however, the baby cam category was a tired one – filled with cameras that offered grainy footage of your baby that’s postage stamp size and, well, just not very good. 

Things have vastly improved, though. Thanks to the relatively new introduction of smart cams in the home, the choice of baby monitors has vastly expanded. While these aren’t dedicated baby cams, and you should always consider using them alongside – rather than instead of – a traditional baby monitor, they offer a viable solution rather than a substandard one. 

This buying guide is a mix of traditional baby cameras and smart camera solutions. Each camera in this guide has been tested on one of TR’s honorary babies both in the day and the night, at long and short distance in a house. 

Here’s our pick of cameras to keep a watchful eye of your bundle of joy. 

Philips has a long history of supplying monitors and the uGrow smart monitor is top of the quality pile. Both in the dark and in the day the picture was crisp and detailed. Unlike other monitors, though, the picture comes through a dedicated app on your smartphone. 

This was simple to install and does make sense considering that you are more likely to have a phone or tablet on you than remembering to take a separate monitor with you wherever you are in the house, The app also comes with some choice medical advice to help you with your baby. 

We didn’t find the medical information that enticing but it’s good to have it in one place. We did have the occasional issue of monitor dropout which was frustrating but certainly not limited to this device. Reconnecting didn’t take too long, however, and it was only a few times we experienced it – mainly when it thought our Wi-Fi signal wasn’t strong enough. 

It’s worth also noting that if the screen of your device goes off then you will have to log back into the app. It doesn’t take long but is an inconvenience. If you don’t have particularly strong Wi-Fi then don’t panic as the device will scale up or down the images to your broadband speed. 

Image quality was on the whole excellent as was sound – both were HD and some of the best we experienced on test. It is pricey, though, but you are getting a lot for your money – including things like temperature and humidity notifications, talkback functionality and medical advice. 

The BT Video Baby Monitor 6000 was the quickest to set up in our tests. Out of the box it’s simply a case of 'plug and play' which meant we had our device up and running  in a matter of minutes. This is a baby cam with a dedicated monitor – the screen is a large five inches – which is a little too chunky for our liking but does a decent job in the picture and sound stakes. 

We did find the footage a little grainy compared to others on test but it’s only really noticeable when you get close up. Battery life lasted around 10 hours in our tests after a full charge and the ability to tilt and zoom the camera from the monitor is a welcomed one. 

There are a few gimmicks on board that we would avoid. It does come programmed with lullabies but they’re not that soothing, coming across more like a phone ringtone than a sleep mechanism. 

There’s also a temperature gauge and talkback functionality, all of which worked fine in our tests. It’s not the best-looking device on test – dare we say it, it all looks a little baby like, but it’s price is good, especially for the tech you get. 

One for the UK crowd, the Motorola MBP44 is a John Lewis exclusive and it looks like the retail giant has something of a hit on their hands. In terms of looks, the Motorola MBP44 is similar to the more expensive MP855 but the screen size is a touch smaller at 4.5 inches and the big reason for the price difference is that you don't get the Hubble app compatibility which offers streaming to a phone or tablet. This isn't missed, though, as the 4.5-inch screen is decent and offers a nice vista of baby. 

The camera is clear and bright and the infrared works really well. The chassis of the camera is a decent small size, so is malleable enough to fit in most of the crevices of your nursery and the universal mount is a great addition. The remote pan, tilt and zoom is warranted but we didn't find ourselves using it that much. 

There are a few gimmicks on board – we didn't think much of the soothing lullabies and our baby seemed non plussed by them as well but the room temperature functionality worked well, as did the two-way talk functionality.

We never noticed signal dropout in our house, despite the monitor using the 2.4GHz band and it was certainly loud enough when our baby wanted to let us know they were awake.

Motorola has done it again with the MBP44 – it's an easy to use, nice looking baby cam setup and one that does more than it should for its price.

The Motorola MBP855 is for those that don't want to lug a separate monitor around with them wherever they go. Sure, there is a 5-inch monitor that comes with the camera – and it's one of the clearest pictures we had on test – but the key to this setup is its access to Motorola's Hubble app. Here you can view what your baby is doing on a smartphone or tablet.

It streams 720p footage and when it works it's great. The stream is clear and it gives you a lot more control than the monitor does. The feed did drop out on us a few times, though, which is not ideal given you want 24/7 access to footage of your child but it was more likely our Wi-Fi connection than the technology on test. The good news is it took just seconds to get back up to speed. 

Installation of the camera and the app was a cinch and it's a good-looking bit of kit, we really liked the gold trim. The icing on the cake is the inclusion of a Star Grip accessory. This allows you to put the camera pretty much anywhere around the cot – ideal for those whose nursery decor doesn't usually play ball with a baby monitor setup. 

Two way voice was nice and clear, infrared crisp and, as always, the room temperature display was an added bonus.

Motorola MBP855 review is one of the most well-rounded smart baby monitors we tested.

The Tommee Tippee Digital Sound and Movement Monitor was something we paired with the Motorola MBP18 when our baby was very young. The reason for this is that there’s no camera with this model. That’s something you may want to consider before purchasing this one. But if you are happy without the visuals, then this is a fantastic device that monitors movement and sounds an alarm when no motion is detected. 

Because it is a motion sensor, it’s a little tricky to install. There can’t be any hanging wires as they have to be taut for the sensor to work properly. The device comes with plastic wire tracks that you can use to guide and tighten the wires. These go under any mattress you may have, alongside the rectangle pressure pad. We put this under a Sleepy Head in a side cot and it worked fine. Once everything is installed – it took a while on the first go but we were a dab hand by the end – the device does offer the ultimate in peace of mind.

There are a few caveats, though. The monitor clicks, seemingly in time to the heartbeat of the baby – and it’s quite loud. This can be turned off but as it’s kind of the point of having this monitor, we recommend you don't do that. You do get used to the sound but it is quite audible. And when the clicks stop, which happens every so often, we did find ourselves anxiously waiting for them to start again. 

Then there’s the false alarm issue. Occasionally the alarm sounded, even though everything was absolutely fine. This was usually because one of the wires had come loose, so it may have been shoddy installation on our part but it is worth bearing in mind. When the alarm does sound, then it is simple to reset the device. 

A movement monitor isn’t for everybody, but they are very useful for first-time parents who are worried about leaving their baby alone in a room and want something more than visual reassurance. 

The Tommee Tippee Digital Sound and Movement Monitor also comes with a temperature gauge and the audio – which was crisp in our tests – is two way so you can communicate with your baby if you need to. 

Smart baby cam alternatives

The Nest Cam IQ is a sophisticated and well-made security camera that has built-in facial recognition technology. It’s not a dedicated baby cam but as it is one of the most advanced IP cameras we have ever seen, it can certainly be used as such.

Despite it being a Nest product, you don’t need any of the other Nest accessories for it to work. 

Using it as a baby cam also means that you don’t have to pay the high subscription fees – these are only really needed if you fancy recording footage of your baby sleeping. Footage from the Nest Cam IQ is superb, it’s 1080p and the best quality we found in our tests. 

All footage is viewed through a smartphone/tablet app so there’s (obviously) no dedicated monitor.

Yes, it’s pricey but this is a fantastic-looking, premium camera that works well as a baby cam but has the bonus of also being a security cam for when your little one grows up and no longer needs constant monitoring.

Again, the Hive Camera is not a dedicated baby monitoring system, but it does a decent job moonlighting as one. 

The two essentials for baby cams are decent video-streaming capabilities and two-way audio – the Hive Camera is brilliant at both of these. 

The streams is HD quality (and there is a night vision mode) and we didn’t notice any dropout in our tests and the two way audio worked well, the camera’s mic picking up many nuances of our baby trying to get to sleep. 

It’s solidly built, too, and has a fairly small footprint, so can be placed pretty much anywhere in a nursery. If you did want to save any footage for posterity, you can have up to 16GB of expandable memory, thanks to a microSD card slot.

And when your child gets order, this smart cam is also a great security device – offering such things as a barking dog and police car alarm that you can set off if you see that someone has entered your house.

The D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD Camera is currently being sold in the Apple Store which gives you an idea of what kind of product this is: it’s a premium-looking device that’s packed with smart smarts. 

It works with Apple HomeKit, which means that it will seamlessly interact with your Apple products, and it also works with Siri. Its HD video feed can be watched on a smartphone or tablet, while the night vision the camera offers is superb – thanks to some hidden LEDs powering its nocturnal functionality. 

It’s so good that the camera can get five feet away from the baby and still pick their image up with no worries. The camera also has an 180-degree field of view which is one of the most expansive we tested. 

It’s a great-looking device, one you wouldn’t mind having on your mantelpiece. Its silver finish may not fit the decor of a brightly colored nursery but it’s discreet enough to be put on a shelf and a brilliant 5x zoom means it doesn’t have to be situated too close to the cot to work. 

Footage can be recorded on a microSD card but this doesn’t come in the package, while the accompanying Omna app is full of functionality. This isn’t a dedicated baby cam but it acts as a very good one, offering everything you need in one of the best-looking packages on test. 

It’s also got Apple’s seal of approval, which isn’t easy to get. If you are an Android user, though, you can still use the camera as D-Link has recently updated its software for Android compatibility, pinch to zoom functionality has also come to the app.

Of all the cameras on test here, the Somfy One is perhaps the one better suited to being a security cam. It’s packed with features that will catch intruders in the act – including smart sensing capabilities, video surveillance, intrusion detection and a rather loud alarm. A lot of these features can be used to help monitor your baby, though, just maybe not use the alarm. 

Everything is controlled by the Somfy Protect app, where you have the option to turn the camera completely off when not using it and can zoom in and out when necessary. The picture is crisp, HD (180p, 30fps) and wide angle so you can get most of the cot in the view and there is the option to record footage from the camera straight on to your smartphone and 4x zoom and clear two-way audio on board. 

There is a motion-detect feature too, which is great for those who no longer need constant monitoring of your baby. The camera jolts into action when any movement is detected – so if your baby is tossing and turning and getting a little restless, then you can check as to whether or not you got go up and tend to them. 

The camera is an all-in-one system so is a lot larger than the other cameras on test – it’s a great-looking device, however, and one that has won a Red Dot award for its looks. Again, this should only be a purchase if you want a camera system to last beyond monitoring your baby. The prime focus for the Somfy One is to protect your home. 

Disable that rather loud alarm, though, and what you have is a very capable but perhaps over specced baby cam.

OnePlus devices won’t support Project Treble, Android’s easy-update feature

Google's Project Treble makes it easier for Android owners to upgrade their devices to the current version of the mobile operating system, which likely means that the lengthy waits Android users have endured while manufacturers roll out their own updates may be a thing of the past.

Yet that won't be the case if you own a OnePlus device, at least for this year. In an AMA held yesterday on the OnePlus forums, representative Adam Krisko confirmed that none of the company's currently released devices support Project Treble. Nor will they in the future.

"We are not currently supporting treble and do not plan to for these devices," Krisko said.

This may come as a surprise this late in the game, especially after Google made it clear in May that any new devices that ship with Android Oreo installed will have to support Project Treble. Unfortunately, even OnePlus' most recent device – the recently released OnePlus 5T – runs on Nougat.

Aside from the Pixel, Android doesn't operate in a closed system like Apple's iOS, so users of devices from manufacturers like Samsung are often forced to wait weeks or even years for the companies that make their chips to approve the operating system updates for the device.

Treble, though, only updates the parts of Android that don't directly invoice the chips, making it easy to bypass this lengthy approval process. We explain it in greater detail here.

Half-baked

Google's own first-generation Pixel proves that it's possible to get Project Treble even if Oreo was installed later, but for whatever reason OnePlus is declining to support the service.

On the bright side, the same AMA confirmed that OnePlus is actively preparing to get Android 8.1 Oreo on the 5T, so maybe updates won't take that long without Treble, after all.

Unfortunately, the timeline given for this update was merely "later."

Best SSDs 2017: the top solid-state drives for your PC

For what seems like forever now, whenever anybody brought up data storage, they were referring to hard drives. However, the future is now and there’s a better, faster and stronger way. The best SSDs, or solid state drives, will invite you to a world free of the sluggish weight – and wait – of mechanical drives. No more spinning disks, no more slow data transfer rates. Today, it’s all about drives that can process files in an instant and are even more durable than ever. It’s the age of the SSD.

Whether you’re looking to shorten the load times in your favorite games, or you just want your OS to boot up without having time to go fly a kite, the best SSDs can make your PC feel like a fresh system. These SSDs come in two major form factors: PCIe M.2 (or NVMe), which are speedy, enthusiast-grade drives for people who want blazing speeds at any cost, and SATA III, which is for more everyday consumers who want a noticeable performance boost without paying the premium that enthusiast hardware inevitably comes with. 

No matter what reason you need an SSD for, neither how big or small your cash reserves are, we have found 11 of the best SSDs available to buy today. Every drive on this list has been considered carefully with expert knowledge, so you know that they’re all worth your hard-earned cash. Plus, with Black Friday deals here already, you’re sure to find some great SSD deals,t oo. So, sit back, relax and check out all of these amazing SSDs while envisioning your faster, more streamlined tomorrow.

What’s more, different SSDs take advantage of various flash technologies as well – Intel’s 64-layer 3D NAND being one of the latest – making the whole space very fragmented in terms of speed and, in some cases, even capacity. Lucky for you, we’ve tackled the whole nine yards, having scaled numerous examples of just about every SSD you can buy in one article.

This is the top SSD on the market, and with good reason. It's astonishingly fast, with up to 3200 MBps read and 1900 MBps write speeds. That's due to the PCIe interface, which allows light-years faster speeds than the already extremely quick SATA interface. On top of that, it's available with up to 1TB capacity. And it only requires 5.7 watts of power when active and a mere 1.2 watts when idle. 

Kingston's HyperX line-up is aimed squarely at gamers. Its headsets are known for being much higher quality than their price might hint at, and HyperX customer support is excellent. Its line of SSDs for gaming computers come in an M.2 form factor, but are also available with a half-height adapter that plugs into your PCIe like any other expansion card.

The NVMe standard is designed to maximize the strengths of solid-state drives, and the Samsung 960 Pro takes full advantage. With an M.2 form factor and ridiculous read speeds of up to 3500 MBps, these SSDs are already enticing, but the fact it's available as large as 2TB is incredible. All that storage doesn't come cheap, but if you need lots (and LOTS) of fast storage, it's definitely worth it.

If you're looking for plenty of options, the Toshiba OCZ RD400 series of drives come in 4 sizes and three different form factors: M.2, M.2 2280, and add-in card (AIC). Not all sizes are in all form factors, so if you're looking for a fast 1TB drive, make sure you have room in your computer case. 

This M.2 SSD from WD comes with a 5-year warranty and boasts some pretty excellent read/write times, up to 2050 MBps read and 800 write on the 512GB model. Great for installation or OS purposes, but unfortunately the available sizes don't leave a lot of flexibility as far as storage is concerned.

If you want to save a few bucks, but don't want to sacrifice too much in the way of performance, the WD Blue SATA SSD is a great compromise. It nearly maxes out the bandwidth of the SATA 3 interface with its read/write speeds, and you can find the 1TB model in the wild for a pittance. 

The U.2 standard allows for bigger SSD capacities and uses your computer's PCIe x4 slot to send all that data back and forth. The Intel 750 series includes a cable so you can mount the drive in the bay on your case and still plug it into the PCIe slot on your motherboard.

The Crucial BX300 isn’t the fastest SSD you can buy, but it is affordable and chiefly reliable to boot. Sold in three different sizes, this SATA drive is aimed at users still hanging onto older desktops and laptops that might want their PCs to boot up at a rate more analogous to their phones. Plus, it’s a better performer than the pricier MX300, thanks to MLC NAND.

If you need an SSD that will last into your next computer, the HP S700 Pro has just what you need. Its life will far exceed its warranty, offering up 2 million hours of use and up to 650 terabytes written. This is one SSD that's in it for the long haul, but the SATA interface will slow things down somewhat in the read/write department, which technically helps it last even longer.

Booting from an SSD is a life changer. Seriously, if you're loading your OS from a hard drive, you're doing it wrong. The difference is night and day. This PCIe SSD from MyDigitalSSD is an excellent choice for booting up, with a good price and solid performance. It only goes up to 480GB, but if you're just using it to run your OS, that's way more than enough.

Unless you have a laptop or desktop computer that employs the USB Type-C Gen 2 interface, you might want to reconsider your interest in the Samsung Portable SSD T5. Otherwise, with read/write speeds of up to 540/515MBps, respectively, this external storage device does its best to keep up with some of the more modest PCIe players, and the result is superb.

Read the full review: Samsung Portable SSD T5

  • If you wait until Black Friday, you ought to find some stellar SSD deals

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article