Are today's laptop prices starting to worry you? If you have a laptop that's about ready to hum its last and need a replacement, there are inexpensive and dependable computers out there…if you know where to look. We're specifically talking about Chromebooks, those lightweight laptops that run Chrome OS and come with much cheaper specs than the average mobile machine. Even the best Chromebooks are limited in some ways: Because they can only run Chrome and have very limited storage, most of their work needs to be based in the cloud, on the web, or on more simple apps. However, if you don't need to run any demanding programs or save up a lot of data, they can be a very effective solution to your laptop vs. wallet problem. Here are several of our top picks for the best Chromebooks and why they shine.
Toshiba Chromebook 2 - $400
It's common to expect not-so-impressive specs on a Chromebook, so when one of these computers actually has impressive features, it's worth talking about. This Toshiba Chromebook 2 has a particularly great HD, 1080p screen: At around 13 inches it isn't huge, but it is bright and beautiful, and makes this Chromebook an entertainment device in its own right. The other features include 4GB of RAM, a Core i3 processor, and only 16GB of storage, so remember to take it easy and stream your entertainment instead of downloading it.
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, a role-playing game released for mobile platforms last fall, initially struck me as a game I could skip without a second thought. It had the appearance of a cheap cash-in meant to capitalize on the launch of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Although I'm not generally not the sort of person to write off a game for being free-to-play (some of my favorite games don't cost a dime to start playing), there's something about the combination of that business model, mobile, and a major franchise that made me assume it was not worth so much as a download.
I was wrong.
Sonos has introduced the second-generation Play:5 wireless HiFi speaker, and we bring you our full Sonos Play:5 review in this episode.
A lot has gone into the redesign of the new Play:5, which you'll notice sports a curvier look and does away with the awkward handle that was found on the original model. On the inside, you've got a collection of six drivers with dedicated amplifiers behind the grille.
Being a smart speaker, the Sonos Play:5 integrates with the rest of the Sonos HiFi wireless audio system. It connects to your home network by way of the Sonos app, and from there, can stream music from just about any source you can think of--whether it's a streaming music service, podcasts, or files stored on your local network.
The new TruePlay feature allows you to accurately and automatically tune the sound of the Play:5 to be optimized for its placement in the room that you're in using an iOS device, and it really works.
Check the video for the full Sonos Play:5 review - if you're looking for a smart speaker that packs a serious punch when it comes to sound and features, this is the one to get.
You can pick up the Sonos Play:5 now.
I got a look at the HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 OLED notebook during the Showstoppers event at CES 2016, and it was one of the most surprising laptops I got my hands on during the show. As you'll see in the video, HP put a lot of effort into developing a PC that is both gorgeous and multifunctional. The end result is a 2-in-1 notebook that can be used in a variety of orientations (standard laptop, tent mode, tablet mode, and reverse mode,) with Bang & Olufsen sound, and a gorgeous OLED touchscreen display.
I chat with Mike Nash, Head of Customer Experience at HP, about the Spectre x360 line, including the model that sports that fantastic OLED display and incredible ash gray finish, in this episode.
You can pick up the HP Spectre x360 laptop now.
If you talk to DJs both old and new about the Technics 1200 turntable, you'll quickly realize just how legendary the deck truly was. Last year, Panasonic revived the Technics brand, and customers the world over had one question: "Where's the 1200?" Passionate fans even went to far as to sign petitions to let Panasonic know that they wanted to see the iconic record player make a triumphant return. At CES 2016, they got their wish, as the Technics SL-1200G and SL-1200GAE were announced, and they've been improved over all of the previous models.
As many folks know, we're big fans of headphones here at Gear Live. We live in a portable world, with portable entertainment available at our fingertips, and we wanna make sure we have great sound when we are on the go. At CES 2016, Panasonic's Technics brand showcased a pair of headphones that may have been the best I've ever heard - the Technics EAH-T700.
If you've been an early adopter of smart home technology, you've probably recognized just how cumbersome it all can be. As cool and futuristic as the devices themselves are, it gets old having to jump in and out of multiple apps in order to turn on your smart lights, lock your smart lock-equipped door, set your security system, manage your thermostat, etc. In fact, the average home has over 100 devices that can potentially connect to the Internet, as I learned when Panasonic told me about its Ora technology that looks to power the smart home of the future.
We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2013, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2013!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
Star Wars Battlefront PS4 Limited Edition console unboxing! This isn't our typical unboxing where I explain the product in detail, unfortunately, as we had a mishap early on in the video that I needed to take care of, as you'll see. Still, Darth Vader shines here in all his glory, emblazoned across the box of the limited edition Playstation 4, as well as right on the PS4 console itself. The bundle also includes a custom Star Wars PS4 controller which you won't find anywhere else, as well as a hard copy of Star Wars: Battlefront.
- Star Wars Battlefront Deluxe
- Star Wars Battlefront Standard
- Star Wars Battlefront standard bundle
- Star Wars X-Wing Pilot Headset
- Darth Vader Headset
You can order the Star Wars Battlefront PS4 now.
TiVo just pranked a movie theater full of people in order to show off its new TiVo Bolt DVR! I flew down to Boulder, CO to be a part of the #TiVoSurprise event, where people were invited to see a screening of the James Bond 007: Spectre movie at the local Cinebarre. Near the end of the movie, commercial interruptions started happening, and people grew more and more upset at each one, with metal popcorn bowls and glass bottles getting thrown at the screen! Finally, TiVo came out and revealed the prank, and as a reward for hanging in there, everyone in the theater went home with a free TiVo Bolt with a one-year subscription included. It was very cool, and very funny to witness. Check it out in the video, and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!
You can pick up the TiVo Bolt now!
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