Gadgets

Owners of the ASUS ZenFone AR may be tempted to ask their friends and co-workers, "Do you even AR, bro?". Asking that question is a surefire way to solicit puzzled (and perhaps annoyed) looks, but once they see what the ZenFone AR is capable of, those dirty glances and quizzical faces will quickly morph into ones of excited curiosity, and maybe even jealously. That's because this whole augmented reality business is rather new, and the ZenFone AR is one of only two smartphones to support Google's Tango (formerly Project Tango) AR platform (Lenovo's Phab 2 Pro being the other). The ZenFone AR also... Read more...
Although the brand isn't very well known here in the U.S., Huami is actually the second largest manufacturer of smart wearables in the world. As such, it was only a matter of time before the Chinese manufacturer, which provides wearable technology to Xiaomi, made its way onto our shores. Huami and Xiaomi established their partnership in 2014 and have since sold over 24 million Mi Bands. Huami recently purchased Amazfit, an American wearable technology company. Amazfit was launched in 2016 and was quickly scooped up by Huami. They were best known for the Moon Beam and Equator fitness trackers,... Read more...
Internet privacy is kind of like a VCR or CD player, in that one day our kids will ask us “you used to have that?” It’s staggering how much of our online activity is tracked, catalogued, and used for a wide array of purposes, most of them related to commerce. But if you’re a dissident, journalist, someone who lives in a country where the Internet is restricted, or just want to browse the web without being tracked, your options are becoming increasingly limited. It’s likely the situation will only get worse in the future, as companies devise more sophisticated ways of tracking our every move online.... Read more...
Though it still hasn't grabbed consumers like some manufacturers had hoped, the smartwatch market is growing rather quickly, and a number of good options are currently available. For some users, price may be one of the key factors holding them back from buying a smartwatch. While many watches cost at least $250, and some can run hundreds of dollars more, ASUS’s latest ZenWatch 2 we'll be showing you here is available for as little as $129. Of course, any time we see a budget-friendly smartphone, laptop, tablet, or smartwatch we assume sacrifices were made to keep the price low. In the case of the... Read more...
In November, Amazon announced the latest addition to its hardware line-up, the Amazon Echo. The Echo smart speaker doubles as a digital assistant and home entertainment device. It’s an always-connected, always-available Siri or Cortana-like device designed for your home that can provide answers to common questions, play music, provide traffic updates, control your lights, read audiobooks, and much more. Because it’s tied to your Amazon account, the Echo can also be used to reorder products you’ve previously purchased from Amazon. Although the Echo was announced in November, it was available for... Read more...
At this point, it is clear that virtually all of the major mobile device manufacturers are laser focused on the wearables market.  While one could argue that the war for the wrist began a couple of years ago, most of the smartwatches that have shipped thus far have served only a small niche. Early adopters have peeked at the Moto 360, Samsung Gear, and Sony SmartWatch, but none have sold at a clip that would make the mainstream really take notice. To date, the smartwatch has been seen as a nifty luxury, but hardly a necessity in the way that a smartphone is viewed. Now that Apple's involved,... Read more...
ASUS recently refreshed its 7-inch MeMO Pad 7 tablet with Intel’s new Atom Z3745 Bay Trail-based processor. Having overcome its rocky start, the latest generation of Atom processors is building a reputation for power efficiency and computational chops. Despite its early days in ill-fated netbooks, today's Atom looks to be a good fit for tablets and smartphones and sports new-found graphics horsepower that is up to the task for these types of devices. We checked out the ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME176C, which comes in at a relatively affordable $149.99, in light of competing tablets in this category.... Read more...
LG’s new G Flex smartphone is the “world’s first curved flexible smartphone” according to the company. We’ve seen smartphones that have curved bodies before, but this is the first smartphone to feature a display and battery that are curved as well. LG claims the curved design of the G Flex is optimized for the average face to provide better call and sound volume quality. For users who are going to put the phone in their back pocket, the curved shape of the phone also makes it fit more comfortably. In addition to its curved form, there’s one other very... Read more...
I recently had the good fortune to sit down with David Drum, Research Manager at MOREnet and Google Glass Explorer, to get some hands-on time with the high-tech face computer that Google is testing in the wild. Over a cup of joe at a local coffeeshop, David gave me a chance to play with Google Glass for myself. The first thing I realized upon inspecting Google Glass was that I really should have put in my contacts that morning instead of my usual specs. Google Glass and eyeglasses don’t mix very well. Here’s a vote for Google Glass with pop-in prescription lenses. Wearable computing... Read more...
There are some interesting things happening in the tablet world. Perhaps the biggest development of all is that Apple's iPad family is finally starting to yield market share to the competition, and that's primarily due to the increasing number of affordable Android slates being pumped out by name brand manufactures. At first, pedestrian price tags were only attached to Android tablets in the 7-inch range, but more recently we've started seeing large slates come down in cost. One of the more intriguing options is the Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10, a 10.1-inch slate that streets for as little as $280, or... Read more...
If you've been waiting for the other shoe to drop in the tablet market, today is the day.  We're a few days ahead of Microsoft's Surface and Windows 8 launch on October 26th but the folks at ASUS (and other OEM partners) have been given the green light to let fly with their Windows RT tablet offering today.  Microsoft is allowing the wraps to slip off of their Windows RT operating system, a branding otherwise known as Window 8 for ARM-driven devices. And interestingly enough, it looks as if NVIDIA has a solid lock on Windows RT tablet market share, as not only Microsoft's Surface but... Read more...
Apple upped the ante in the tablet market with its Retina display found in the third-generation iPad, which offers a resolution of 2048x1536. Since then, some Android tablet manufacturers have followed suit by increasing screen resolution and providing a better display overall. Acer's latest Iconia Tab A700 is one such tablet that aims to deliver a more vibrant display than the majority of Android-based tablets on the market today. The Iconia Tab A700 features a 1080p Full HD Display with 1920 x 1200 resolution. Although the resolution isn't quite as high as the latest iPad's display, it's very... Read more...
Apple's iOS 6 is now available to download, and Apple has been quick to tout some "200 new features" over iOS 5. But of those 200, only a select few are noticeable to the end user. While a ton of stuff has been tweaked under the hood to enhance or otherwise modify the OS, not all of it is apparent to the end user. There are a few features, however, that are immediately apparent; here are our favorite new features that you'd be wise to check out. New Phone Dialer features- We mentioned this when iOS 6 launched, but it bears repeating: the new phone-related features are excellent.... Read more...
There are generally two types of iterative processes that manufacturers go through with respect to product development and refinement; there are feature and performance enhancements that result from market feedback and there are enhancements as a result of technology advancements and cost reduction (or both combined). When it launched in December last year, the Asus Transformer Prime was, in our opinion and many others, thought to be one of the best 10-inch Android slates on the market at the time.  That claim could still be made today, if it were not for the recent introduction... Read more...
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