The 3 Best Wireless Earbuds To buy in 2019

How we rate the Best Wireless Earbuds

Saying the first generation of wireless earbuds was a disappointment is a gross understatement. These buds were faced with so many challenges, and the biggest one of them was the poor connection between them and the audio gadgets, which made the entire experience too much of a struggle. The best thing that came out of these earbuds is that they laid the foundation upon which the new generation of true wireless earbuds will flourish.

The Bluetooth tech has grown tremendously while the audio drivers have also seen a massive improvement. This has resulted not just in better wireless connection but also on deeper and richer sounds. As of today, we have hundreds of wireless earbuds in the market, some of which are competing up there with the best high-end headphones.

This means that the problem is no longer on whether true wireless earbuds are worth your time and dime but rather which is the best wireless earbud that you can get within your budget? To answer this question, we’ve prepared a sample of some of the best wireless earbuds in the market today. This list features the top performers in our rigorous tests where we tried the earbuds for audio quality, comfort, their ability to stay fit in the ears, battery life, and overall performance. In the end, we came up with the following wireless earbuds that we believe offer the best features.

1. Jabra Elite Active 65T Alexa Enabled True Wireless Sports Earbuds

At the top of the list is the $189 Jabra Elite Active 65T Earbuds. Now, it doesn’t matter how much money you have to splash around, but if you are going to spend close to $200 on a pair of tiny earbuds, then they better be able to sort all your issues as far as music entertainment and making a call is concerned. And guess what, the Jabra Elite earbuds have done precisely that.

These earbuds are fitted with Bluetooth 5.0, which means that connection will be the least of your worries. And then we have the speakers themselves which are nothing short of brilliant. Expect to receive crystal clear audio through these earbuds. The drivers are engineered to offer just the right balance between bass and the highs. This works to ensure that you receive your music as it is with absolutely no downgrade in quality. In case you’re the kind of person who needs a bit more bass or treble in audio be it permanently or temporarily then you can take advantage of the Jabra Sound+ app to play around with the equalizer.

The active in the name of these earbuds stand for an active lifestyle because that’s exactly what these earbuds will support. If you always kick start your day on a treadmill in your garage, and you don’t want to shake the whole house with your $1000+ Soundbar then you can use the Jabra Elite Active 65T. These will give you the entertainment you need without experiencing the inconvenience that is sloppy earbuds. This has been achieved by the snug and secure fit designing of the earbuds that allow them to stay put in your ears as you push your body beyond its fitness limits. Of course, when this is going on a lot of sweating is bound to happen, and this is yet another department that these earbuds have you covered; the buds are IP56 rated which means that they are water and dust resistant.

The earbuds also pack a couple of sensors, including motion sensors that track your fitness.

When the earbuds are fully charged, you will get talk and music time of up to 5 hours. This is extended further to 15 hours by the included charging case. It’s also worth noting that 15 minutes of charge is enough to see you through 1.5 hours of use.

The Jabra Elite Active 65T serves you with all the three popular voice commands i.e., Google Assistant, Sir and Alexa. It all comes down to your preference.

Other Features

  • 4-microphone tech
  • IP56 rating
  • Rapid charge
  • Accelerometer’
  • Customizable equalizer

Verdict: An almost $200 asking price comes with lots of expectation, but the Jabra Elite Active 65T has proved that it is indeed worth it. We loved the audio quality, and the ability to interact with the equalizer was also highly welcomed. They are also weatherproof, and their snug nature makes them more than ideal for an active lifestyle.

2. Apple Airpods

Everyone knows about Apple Airpods and their crazy price tag, but not a lot of people know what exactly it is they have to offer. 

First of all, Apple Airpods are perhaps the best smart airpods in the market. These buds feature modern technology with various sensors which boost their performance significantly while also making them very easy to use on a day-to-day basis.

The Airpods are fitted with motion sensors that are quick to detect whenever they are taken off. This will then pause your music automatically. As a result, you get to save your battery, and the second you put them back on your music will automatically come on.

Another department where the AirPods outshine their competitors is on range, which is a staggering 100 feet! This is quite a lot, and of course, you need to make sure that obstructions minimized for a better connection. The fun part about having a range this big is that you don’t have to be carrying your phone to use them. You could easily have your iPhone charging in the living room as you make some sandwich in the kitchen while enjoying some pop music on your AirPods.

You’ll also enjoy the presence of Siri voice commands and the convenience that it comes with.

In audio quality, AirPods are not the best you can get, but by no means are they useless. We just found the quality not as premium as we’d expected from high-end earbuds made by a company such as Apple.

In terms of battery life, Apple AirPods gives you 5 hours of talk and music time, which is slightly less than what our top pick offers. On the bright side, the charging case gives you up to 24 hours of talk time before you are forced to recharge the case.

One challenge that some people face with the AirPods is getting them to fit correctly in the ears. 

Other Features

  • Lightning connector
  • Over 24-hours battery life through the charging case
  • Dual optical sensors
  • Motion accelerometer
  • Dual beamforming microphones
  • 100 feet range

Verdict: Apple Airpods are costly ($200), but they do perform pretty well thanks to a collection of excellent audio drivers, beamforming microphones and a variety of sensors that make using them a breeze. 

3. Samsung Galaxy Buds

Samsung Galaxy Buds offer premium sound with superb bass thanks to engineering genius from AKG. This makes sure that music passing through your ears is perfectly balanced for optimal enjoyment.

The earbuds are also packed with a dozen other features that make them one of the best earbuds of 2019. This includes Ambient Aware, a unique feature that allows you to control how much external noise is getting through to your ears. This comes in very handy, especially when you want to communicate with someone, but you don’t want to remove the earbuds completely. The mode is also useful especially when you are outdoors in a place where you need to be aware of your surroundings e.g., in not-so-safe public spaces and in traffic or any other place where your attention may be drawn.

To make sure that the buds fit perfectly, Samsung has designed the ear tip and wingtips to be adjustable. Everyone should be able to make the pair fit in their ears without any issues of discomfort or falling buds.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds offer 6 hours of talk time when fully charged. The storage casing also doubles up as a charging case, and this will offer an additional 7 hours to the buds. Therefore, Samsung Galaxy Buds offer the best battery life on a single charge as compared to the two earbuds discussed above, but it comes last when the charging case is taken into account.

Other Features

  • Quick Ambient Mode
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Splash resistant
  • Three adjustable ear tip
  • Works with Siri when used in iOS

Verdict: Samsung Galaxy Buds are the most affordable of the three earbuds. These buds look, feel, and sound like premium gadgets. For around $128, you get unparalleled performance in terms of audio quality, comfort, and compatibility, and that’s exactly why they earned a spot in our list.

The 3 Best Wi-Fi Extender To Buy in 2019

How we rate the Best Wi-Fi Extender

It’s really annoying when you have to struggle to stream a video or even refresh a page from a certain room in your house yet you’ve spent so much on a Wi-Fi connection. This is a very serious problem not just to the guys with big houses or multi-story homes, but it can happen to some people with smaller houses. And why is that? Well, it can be due to various reasons including a weak router or rather a weak signal coming through to your router.

To get yourself out of this situation, you need gadgets that can boost your Wi-Fi signal to ensure that every inch in your room is covered. This gives you more freedom to do your online stuff from virtually every part of your home.

If you are in the market looking for such a gadget, then you will realize that you can buy either a Wi-Fi repeater, Wireless range extenders, or a Wi-Fi network extender. What’s the difference between them and which one of them is ideal for you?

Wi-Fi Repeater

Wi-Fi repeaters are programmed to rebroadcast the Wi-Fi signal coming from the router. Repeaters are usually placed somewhere in the room where they will receive the Wi-Fi signal as it comes from the router and rebroadcast it to extend its reach in the house. This means that the quality of the Wi-Fi signal received by the repeater is not the same as the signal strength coming from the router. Repeaters are a good option for standard needs, but not if you need a strong Wi-Fi signal for streaming, downloading, or connecting multiple devices.

Wireless Range Extenders

Wireless range extenders are placed between the router and the region with poor signal. The extenders will grab the Wi-Fi signal as it comes and then rebroadcast it on a different wireless network from that of your router. Wireless Range Extenders have to be placed correctly for them to work properly. Poor placement means that they won’t receive enough signal, which will consequently affect the quality of the signal they rebroadcast.

Wi-Fi Network Extenders

If you are looking for a reliable Wi-Fi booster, then these are your best pick. Wi-Fi network extenders are designed to connect directly to your router where there’s a strong signal, and then they rebroadcast the signal in another room or floor. These extenders deliver a strong signal, consistently making your online gaming and video streaming experience effortless.

Top 3 Wi-Fi Extenders

1.NETGEAR Wi-Fi Mesh Range Extender EX8000

The NETGEAR EX8000 is not your typical Wi-Fi extender. The gadget doesn’t just fix dead zones in your home or office, but it makes sure that every gadget connected is receiving strong signals with speeds going up to 3000mbps! This is enough for all your multiplayer gaming and 4K streaming needs. The strength of the extender also makes it an ideal choice for every home/office with high demands for strong signal e.g., when there are numerous devices to be connected (up to 50). To that end, the extender offers three different bands to choose from. This reduces interference and lagging.

Setting up the NETGEAR EX8000 is also very easy. The extender has a dedicated WI-FI band that communicates with your router to improve signal strength. This means that you don’t require a lot of complex connection to link the extender to the router. Actually, it’s all a matter of getting the perfect location for placing the extender and pressing a single button.

Customizing the extender is also super easy. It comes with parental control that helps your children access the Wi-Fi safely. You can also take advantage of the NETGEAR Wi-Fi App to schedule the Wi-Fi.

The only major issue with the NETGEAR Wi-Fi Mesh Range Extender is the price. At $178, the extender is among the costly Wi-Fi boosters in the market, and this may limit the number of people that can afford it.

Other Features

  • 2500 sq. Ft. Wi-Fi range
  • Universal compatibility with all wireless routers, cable modem, and gateway
  • Wired Ethernet Ports
  • SPA/WPA2 and WEP security protocols

2. TP-Link AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender

The RE650 AC2600 is another powerful Wi-Fi extender that utilizes 256 QAM and 4-Stream tech to improve capacity and data stream to two Wi-Fi bands. This basically means that the extenders improve your experience as far as 4K streaming and gaming, and the best part is that you’ll be able to enjoy smooth gaming without downgrading your game’s settings.

One of the major challenges with streaming 4K videos, online gaming, or downloading huge files is that it tends to weaken the signal for other devices. Sometimes it even becomes impossible to load a page simply because someone is watching some 4K videos somewhere in the house or office. To save you from fighting your family member or coworkers, TP-Link has developed this extender with Intelligent Processing engine. The engine redirects Wi-Fi traffic to a dedicated processor, thus leaving the extender’s dual-core CPU free to handle other needs. As a result, all your devices will remain connected regardless of whether someone somewhere is downloading 89GB of Red Dead Redemption 2 or streaming The Grand Tour in 4K. The extender’s performance is further boosted by the 4 x 4 MU-MIMO.

To increase coverage, the extender is fitted with 4 high-powered antennas. These will kill all the dead spots in your home, making sure that every room and corner doesn’t just receive the Wi-Fi signal, but it gets a strong and fast connection.

The Wi-Fi range extender comes with Gigabit Ethernet ports. These can be used either to connect the extender to gaming consoles or smart TVs, or you can connect it directly to the router for a stronger connection.

Setting up this extender is also super easy. They’ve integrated an LED light which lets you know whether the spot you are placing the extender has a poor (red) or strong (blue) connection. The TP-Link Tether app gives you access to the extender’s settings, such as scheduling, guest privileges, and device management. The extender is also designed to be portable, and hence, you can move it occasionally depending on your changing needs.

At $108, the TP-Link RE650 AC2600 is a bit costly.

Other Features

  • Universal compatibility with all modem routers, access point, and Wi-Fi routers.
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi 1733mbps on 5GHz and 800mbps on 24 GHz
  • Beamforming tech improves signal in selected devices

3. NETGEAR AC1200 Wireless Wi-Fi Range Extender EX 6200

The NETGEAR AC1200 is the perfect choice for anyone who’s looking for an affordable Wireless Wi-Fi range extender. This gadget goes for just $70 and with it comes a powerful dual-core ARM A9 processor that delivers impressive Wi-Fi performance and a 700mW design with 5dBi external antennas that extend coverage to boost the Wi-Fi signals throughout your house. The extender also features AC dual-band Wi-Fi, which takes your internet speeds all the way to 1200mbps.

The EX6200 is also equipped with Beamforming+ that helps to improve the Wi-Fi signal in wireless devices. In case you need a wired connection, you can use any of the 5 Gigabit Ethernet Ports for enhanced speeds.

The NETGEAR AC1200 is also very easy to set up. You can do it through a simple push of a button, or you can utilize the highly-intuitive apps to set up and customize the extender.

The major downside with the NETGEAR EX6200 is the lack of a dedicated backhaul channel. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but it is an okay tradeoff for such an incredible and affordable Wi-Fi Extender.

Other Features

  • USB 3.0 port gives you access to the USB storage
  • Dual Band Wi-Fi; 5GHz and 2.4GHz
  • Universal compatibility with routers, ISP gateway or other gateways

Buying a Wi-Fi Extender

The above list features the best Wi-Fi extenders in different price points. We hope that you have gotten the appropriate extender that satisfies all your Wi-Fi needs while sticking within your budget. In case you are still looking to explore your options, then we’d advise you that you consider the following factors before settling for any one particular Wi-Fi extender:

  • Range
  • Speeds
  • Ease of setup
  • Design
  • Other additional features

The 3 Best Soundbars to Buy in 2019

Introduction to the Best Soundbars

TV displays have been getting really insane with each passing years. Not long ago we saw the rise of 4K televisions which took over the market with all sorts of display technologies from OLED to QLED. This has seen the size of a typical television reduce significantly. We’ve also seen a couple of other companies including LG and Samsung, release 8K televisions with crazy displays and super-thin bodies. While these TVs are gorgeous to look at, they do come with a number of issues, and the biggest one is on the quality of audio output. As TVs are getting slimmer, it becomes difficult for the manufacturers to fit good-sounding speakers. This is one of the reasons why we have also seen companies start to make a TV with a separate soundbar which also doubles up as the nervous system for all the connections. The perfect example here is Samsung’s The Wall.

Here is the thing though, it’s very easy for companies such as LG and Samsung to include a separate Soundbar in their high-end TVs but what about the budget 4K televisions. We’ve all used or at least interacted with the slim 4K televisions, and we all know just how terrible a big majority of them sound. What’s the point of watching crystal clear images on your 4K UHD screen if the sound you are receiving from it is scratchy and painful to the ears?

If you’ve found yourself in this predicament, then we’re here to let you know that there is a way out of it. What you need is a soundbar, and the good news is that there are hundreds of them out there. These come at different prices with different features, some of them packing even the best Dolby Atmos technology.

How to Choose a Soundbar

When you have hundreds of options to choose from, it is very easy to get overwhelmed and end up making the wrong choice. The funny thing is that you could have a really fat budget, but if you don’t know what it is you are looking for then you can easily find yourself with an expensive soundbar that is no better from your TV’s speakers! To save you from such losses and embarrassment, we’ve prepared a brief guide that’ll help you do informed shopping.

Subwoofers

We all know that some Soundbars come with subwoofers and they usually cost more while others are more affordable but without the subwoofers. This begs the question; how important are subwoofers and are they really a must-have? The answer is a resounding, yes! Subwoofers will go a long way towards delivering a lively and engaging entertainment, especially when you’re watching movies. Therefore, the question shouldn’t be on whether you should get a soundbar with a subwoofer or not but rather which subwoofer rating is acceptable! To this end, you will come across a myriad of great options. You can even decide to take a different road and purchase a subwoofer separately in case you find the soundbar you fell in love with doesn’t have the best subwoofer. Obviously, you will need to pay more for the best subwoofers, but the experience is usually well worth it, trust me.

While checking out the subwoofers, it’s important to check how they connect to the soundbar. Personally, I prefer subwoofers that connect wirelessly as they save me from all the hassle of cable management

Channels

I’m sure you’ve come across numbers such as “2.0,” “3.1,” and “5.1.4” while doing your research into soundbars. What the heck do the numbers means, you may wonder? Well, if you a soundbar’s specs read 2.0 then it means it has two channels/drivers (left and right side) and no subwoofer. On the other hand, 3.1 refers to three channels/drivers (left, center, and right) and a subwoofer. If you see more than 3, it means that the soundbar has more drivers probably at the back or top which are supposed to deliver a surround sound effect.

If you come across a soundbar with three numbers such as 5.1.4, the final numbers show how many drivers are dedicated to delivering the incredible Dolby Atmos Surround Sound. Everyone loves soundbars with Dolby Atmos, but not all of us can afford them so you may have to make some compromises here.

Connections

The idealSoundbarr should connect to your TV using just the HDMI. Some bars use optical which works fine, but they don’t produce quality sound as is the case with HDMI.

IR Sensor

One of the most aesthetically pleasing entertainment setups usually has a TV on a gorgeous TV stand with the soundbar sitting at the bottom just in front it. While this picture is usually pleasing in so many ways, it poses a serious problem when you want to control the Tv. That’s because with the soundbar sitting in front of it, it is difficult for the signals from your remote to reach the TV’s signal sensor. To solve this issue, most soundbars usually have an IR sensor which allows the signals to pass through and into the TV sensor. It’s best if you can get a soundbar with these sensors; otherwise, you’ll have to be creative on how you’ll set up the bar to avoid blocking the signals.

1. Samsung HW-MS650/ZA Electronics Sound + Premium Soundbar

The Samsung HW-MS650 is perhaps the best sounding soundbar in the market. It seems to have everything figured out as far as entertainment goes. By entertainment, I’m not just talking about movies alone but also music. ThisSoundbarr comes with bass that isn’t just deep, but it is also extremely clear, and with the dynamic treble, the sound output is nothing short of mind-blowing. What’s crazier is the fact that it doesn’t come with any subwoofer, yet Samsung has somehow managed to make the sounds resonate with utmost clarity and liveliness. The end result is a cinematic feel that will have you feeling like you are in Imax or a virtuoso theatre.

The soundbar also features a wide-range tweeter that fills up the room, allowing you to enjoy quality sounds from all parts of the room.

The simplicity of the soundbar isn’t just seen through the lack of other components such as a subwoofer, but also through how it connects to other devices. You can connect the HW-MS650 to your TV wirelessly through WiFi or Bluetooth. Just take a moment and imagine how neat your setup would look without all the annoying wires that run from your TV to home theatre system! The HW-MS650/ZA delivers all this without taking anything from your experience thanks to this incredible piece of engineering genius.

What more? The soundbar features smart Distortion Cancelling tech, which predicts audio distortions and cancels them before they even happen! The soundbar can also be controlled through the OneRemote that comes with the latest Samsung TVs. You can also connect the soundbar to your TV using an HDMI through the 4K pass-through for a true 4k experience.

Other Features

  • 9 speakers
  • 40Hz Bass response
  • Multiple Smart sound mode to choose from
  • Sound+ adjusts the settings of the soundbar to match with the movie or music genre you are playing
  • Sound+ allows you to stream music from your phone through a WiFi or Bluetooth connection
  • You can improve the experience further through sound + subwoofer or Rear Wireless speakers which are sold separately

2. Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar

The Bose SoundTouch 300 is an amazing choice for anyone who’s looking for an excellent cinematic soundbar. The soundbar supports both Dolby and DTS surround sound which delivers the immersive experience necessary for any movie. Sadly, the sound decoding of this soundbar is not the best when it comes to music. This may come as a deal breaker for all music lovers that are looking for a versatile soundbar. They do, however, offer you the opportunity to personalize the presets and readjust them depending on what you are listening to.

While on the subject of music, it’s important to point out that the SoundTouch app allows you to stream music from the Deezer, Spotify, and other internet radios. You can also listen to music from your phone by connecting your gadget directly to the soundbar via Bluetooth or WiFi.

Something else that the Bose SoundTouch 300 has going for it is looks; boy, this soundbar is stunning! It has a premium glass top with an elegant metal grille wrap-around. The soundbar looks and feels like a high-end gadget that’ll definitely add richness to your home décor.

Other Features

  • Works with Alexa voice control
  • 4K pass-through through HDMI
  • You can add Virtually Invisible wireless surround speakers and a wireless bass module for an even crazier experience
  • Audio room calibrations to fill your room with rich sounds

3. Sonos Beam Compact Soundbar

The Sonos Beam is an incredible smart soundbar. Even though theSoundbarr works with Amazon’s Alexa only, it does give you access to quite a lot of functions rendering a remote control useless. Through this voice control and the HDMI ARC and CEC Controls, you don’t just get to control theSoundbarr, but it also gives you access to basic TV functions. This makes using the soundbar and your general entertainment gadgets very easy. In case your television does not have HDMI ARC, you can still use the soundbar by connecting it via the included Optical Audio Adapter.

The soundbar can also be controlled through the Sono’s Application. You can stream music to the soundbar through this intuitive app. It also allows you to connect the soundbar to other Sonos speakers should you decide to add a subwoofer or other surround speakers in the future.

We don’t just love the Sonos speakers for how great they sound, but also for how easy they are to set up. You can set up the various speakers in different rooms and integrate them to the main soundbar over WiFi.

Other Features

  • 5 Amplifiers
  • Built-in Alexa voice control. Sonos have also promised to add Google Assistant in the near future.

The Best Wireless Router To Buy in 2019

How we select the Best Wireless Routers

Most people say that slow internet is worse than no-internet. We are part of the many people who share that sentiment. No one wants to stream a show and spend half of the time staring at the screen as the video is buffering. No gamer out there would ever want their missions cut short by poor connectivity.

Picture this; you’ve finally invested on a really good internet package offering excellent speed, but then you find yourself still struggling to keep your gadgets online simply because your router is not up for the task. The funny thing is that this is a prevalent issue, and most people would struggle with poor internet connectivity for quite some time before they realize that the problem is actually coming from the router. If you’ve decided to go through the sweet trouble of investing in premium internet connectivity, it’s only fair that you get an equally great router for you to get the best out of your internet.

What’s a “great router” though? The answer here is not as easy as you may think. There are dozens and dozens of wireless routers out there coming from all corners of the world. We even came across some routers manufactured by companies we’ve never heard of before. This should give you a picture of just how difficult it is to get the right router. For any buyer with no tech knowledge, getting the perfect router here will be almost impossible. Even for the guys with some tech background, sieving through all the routers available can be quite a hefty task.

To make your work easy, we invested the time and effort to go through a few wireless routers available today to try and come up with a short list. A list that is small enough for you to review and make a choice between the top of the cream in the wireless routers universe.

Before we even go further in this review, we would like to highlight that not all wireless routers are meant for everyone, thanks to capitalism. What are we saying by that? Well, we did come across excellent routers with premium features, but the biggest drawback was the price tag. Most of these routers are limited to guys who are planning on using them for commercial purposes. But of course, if you have a substantial amount of cash to spend on a router then by no means should you settle for anything less.

In this review, we have tried to include wireless routers on different price points. This should make it easier for you to get one that is affordable to you.

Top 3 Wireless Routers

1.NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router

NETGEAR is a renowned company with vast experience in the production of networking hardware. The company has dozens of wireless routers in the market, competing against each other and also against some of the best brands in the market.

The most interesting bit about this particular router is not the fact that it comes from an experienced company, but due to the sort of performance, it delivers while remaining affordable. For just $150, you will get premium features that were commonly found in other high-end routers.

First of all, the overall designing of this router is impressive. The stealth finishing and sleek corners more than earn it the name Nighthawk. It comes with three antennas that you can easily detach from the body.

Beyond its appearance, the router offers you speeds of up to 600mbps through the 2.4ghz band and 1,300 Mbps on the 5ghz band. As you can see, the speeds on both the two bands are really impressive. Match this router with an equally brilliant internet service provider and your online experience will never be the same again!

We also have to mention that we didn’t come across lots of issues in terms of slowdowns when testing and researching the gadget.

You’ll also love the AC900 for the simple fact that it supports OpenVPN. It also has a parental control feature.

While on the subject of controlling the router, it’s vital to point out that you can manage both the downstream and upstream of your connection through the Quality of Service feature found here.

The Nighthawk AC1900 can also be used with DD-WRT which allows it to run Linux-based third-party firmware.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • The 5 gigahertz band offers outstanding performance
  • Brilliantly designed

Cons

  • It feels a bit bulky
  • The 2.4 gigahertz band does not provide the best performance you can get

2. Google WiFi System 3-Pack Router

Calling the Google WiFi System, a router is a gross understatement. This unique system is nothing like what you see in the market every day. As the name suggests, this system comes in three identical units that are designed to deliver unparalleled performance.

The three units are shaped like small cylinders measuring 4.1 inches in diameter and 2.7 inches in height, and that’s it! Yes, there aren’t any long antennas or anything of the sort fitted to them. These measurements also show just how compact they are as compared to the bulky alternatives in the market. Google has gone further to give the units an elegant touch by finishing them with fresh white paint and a warm LED light that will bring exquisite ambiance into your home.

Installation of the system is a breeze. All you have to do is download a free Android app or iOS, connect your unit to the modem and power source, and scan the QR code on the unit. The app will then take you through the short process of finalizing the setup, i.e. setting up your network name and password and pairing it to the secondary unit. You can then label the secondary units in the app, and just like that, your system will be ready to use.

In the department of features, the Google WiFI system surpassed our expectations. The gadget comes with a 512MB RAM and a 710MHz quad-core processor, and the result of all this is an undefeated performance.

With the three units, the WIFI system is more than capable of serving an extra-large home of up to 3000-4500 square feet. If that doesn’t offer enough coverage, you can go ahead and purchase another unit that’ll expand it even further.

The unit has dual band WiFi of 5Ghz and 2.4GHz that is compatible with IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards. You can get speeds of more than 450mbps with the 5GHz band and 100mbps for the 2.4GHz band when you are within close proximity. When the whole system is running, you should be able to get even faster speeds with a bigger range. It also has Gigabit Ethernet ports, i.e. LAN and WAN. You can use both of these ports for LAN functions on the secondary unit.

Something else fascinating about this system is that you can control it using Google Home or Alexa voice commands.

Since it’s a Google product, you can expect seamless customization of the system. You can easily schedule the system on when it should be running and when your internet connection should be paused. You can also manage the smart lights and choose a particular device which can be prioritized to function at a certain bandwidth.

Here is the thing though, the Google WiFi system costs in excess of $250, which is beyond some people’s reach. This explains why we couldn’t rank it at the top as it seriously limits the number of people that can acquire it.

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Compact and modern finishing
  • You can control most of the functions through the free up

Cons

  • You must have a google account logged in to use the system

3. NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk X10 AD7200 802.11ac/ad Quad-Stream WiFi Router

The NETGEAR R6700 is another insane router designed to offer the ultimate experience in terms of 4K streaming and VR gaming. No longer will your gaming experience be limited by Ethernet cables thanks to this beast.

This is what makes the R6700 router special:

It comes with three WIFI bands; 60GHz, 5.0GHz and 2.4Ghz. You will get additional 7 Gigabit Ethernet ports (1WAN 6 LAN) and 10 Gigabit SPF and LAN ports. You will also get MU-MIMO, i.e. Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output data streaming. Mobile devices should experience faster speeds thanks to the 160 MHz WiFi tech.

When it comes to performance very few routers can match the R6700. Actually, it’s hard to find one within its price point that could match the speeds of the various bands it offers, especially when in a same-room test. At 60GHz band, the speeds were up to 960mbps while the 5GHz and 2.4 GHz bands scored speeds of up to 550mbps and 100mbps respectively. You can also combine 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports to get up to 2Gbps!

With the 1.7Ghz quad-core processor, 4K streaming and online gaming feel so effortless; as it should!

In terms of design, the R6700 is not the most compact you can get. It features four antennas, and it’s also quite bulky.

Using the router has been made even easier by the NETGEAR genie application, which allows you to customize most of your home network functions remotely.

Sadly, the price of this router is on the higher end. At the moment, the NETGEAR R6700 is going for over $380. It’s quite a lot of money, but it’s definitely worth every dollar, especially if you are looking for a super-fast and reliable wireless router.

Pros

  • Installing and using the router is very simple
  • Impressive performance with insane speeds

Cons

  • It is costly
  • The signal cannot go through walls.

Final Thoughts

We can try and run away from the subject of price, but at the end of the day, the router you will get is only as good as the budget you have. To get a high-performance router that can penetrate through walls will require you to invest a considerable amount of cash. But then, you really don’t need a high-end router that will cost you a lot of money if your internet consumption is rather standard. With the above items, we believe that you can get an item that is within your price point. One that will offer you more than just the basic functions of a router.

The 3 Best VPN To Buy in 2019- Pro’s & Con’s

How to pick the Best VPN for your needs

So much stuff is happening online nowadays. The internet has become part and parcel of our day-to-day life. While this has significantly helped in making our life more convenient, it has also come with some serious concerns. Every time you go online, be it for some random research or just to stream some videos, you always leave traces of your activities. This may not seem like a big issue to you until you learn that this information can be used to monitor your online activities. It doesn’t matter whether you are checking out usual legal stuff or if you are doing some not-so-legal stuff, but no one wants to have people checking out their every step. This is where VPN or Virtual Private Network comes in.

VPN masks your identity whenever you go online. This gives you the freedom of conducting your online business with the privacy you deserve. How does this happen? Well, when you are using a VPN, your connection usually goes through many servers located in different parts of the world before your device is finally connected. Since your connection is bounced to various locations in the world, it becomes difficult for the government or anyone for that matter to pinpoint your location. This results in two key benefits; First, you are assured of privacy. Second, it gives you access to content that you could have otherwise been unable to access due to geo-restrictions.

Here is the thing though, if your gadget already has a malware leaking your data, then a VPN is in no position to shield you from online creeps. What you need is an antivirus to get rid of the malware for your VPN to theoretically guarantee your privacy.

The good news if you are shopping for a VPN is that you are not limited in terms of options. There are so many VPNs out there each one of them claiming to be better than the rest. Needless to say that a significant majority of them are just terrible. It’s also in the public domain that VPN is available both for free and at a price.

So, why would anyone spend their hard-earned cash on a VPN when there’s an alternative that comes at no cost at all? Here is my question to you; where do you think the companies offering free VPN get their financing from? There are so many issues attached to free VPN service providers that should never be ignored. Some of these providers rely on adverts to stay in business. We can all agree that ads are very annoying, and some of us are even forced to pay for services that can make our online experience ad-free. Secondly, some free VPN providers are believed to stay afloat by selling users data. Are you sure you still want to source your protection from free-VPN providers? There are a few companies that are known to deliver decent free VPN services with no strings attached. These are great, but unfortunately, they usually cap your limit to maybe 500mb, 2gb or 5gb per month. Also, they may limit your online experience as some of them do not support various streaming services, and they may also block torrenting. All in all, I’d always prefer going for a paid VPN where privacy is almost 100% assured. After all, that’s the whole purpose of getting a VPN in the first place.

Top 3 VPN

1. NordVPN

NordVPN comes at the top of our list for good reasons. To begin with, NordVPN, which is based in Panama, has over 5300 servers located in more than 60 countries across the world. In our research, we could barely come across any other VPN that had more servers than NordVPN. The vast number of servers does not just boost privacy and options to you as a user, but it also helps you to get around geo-restrictions. To lift geographical limitations, NordVPN also comes with a SmartPlay feature. This should help you access all types of content from across the world. You can also do some torrenting with NordVPN. A good number of their servers also managed to unblock Netflix.

NordVPN is designed with 2048-bit encryption and strong DNS leak protection. The double encryption puts together two servers to come up with an ultra-secure connection. They also offer various kill switches that are system-wide and application-specific. These switches significantly reduce the risk of your data ending up with the wrong people. Speaking of data, it’s important to note that NordVPN does not maintain any logs from its users.

Using NordVPN is also quite easy. They have user-friendly applications that virtually anyone can navigate with ease. The company also offers proxy extensions for both Firefox browsers and Chrome.

With NordVPN, you can connect 6 devices simultaneously. The VPN also runs on different platforms, including iOS, Android, ChromeOS, Linux, Windows, Mac, and routers.

NordVPN has different subscription packages. You can get a one-month plan for $11.95 per month or a 1-year plan charged at $6.99 per month. The best deal you can get here is from their 3-year plan, which is charged at $2.99 per month. If you are a new user, you can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee and try the VPN for a month to see whether it suits your needs. Payments can be made through PayPal, Credit Cards, or Bitcoin.

2. Express VPN

Express VPN is another incredible VPN service that offers excellent performance both in terms of speed and privacy. They have over 3000 servers located in more than 160 locations across 94 countries. They also boast of having over 30,000 IP addresses.

With Express VPN you’ll receive top of the line encryption (AES-256) and DNS/IPv6 leak protection, split tunneling and a kill switch to deliver ultimate privacy. The VPN also comes with various protocols, including IKEv2, IPSec, and OpenVPN. These allow the VPN to work with different platforms such as Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows, and Android. The VPN also worked with Blackberry devices. It also has a custom firmware that allows it to work with routers.

Streaming via Express VPN is enhanced through the DNS content-unblocking feature that works well with smart TVs and other media streaming devices. You can easily access content from Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, Hulu, VUDU, BBC, Spotify, and many other media outlets.

One major downside with Express VPN is that it can only connect to 3 devices simultaneously.

On subscriptions, Express VPN charges $12.95 per month for their one-month plan, $9.99 per month for their 6-month plan and $6.67 per month for their annual plan. They also have a hassle-free 30-day money back guarantee that should help you get your money back should you find their services, not at par with your expectations. Payments can be made in various ways, including Bitcoin.

3. IPVanish

IPVanish has over 1200 servers across 60 countries in the world with over 40,000 shared IP addresses. They offer incredible protection supported by AES-256 encryption. You will also receive unlimited P2P traffic and OpenVPN, L2TP/EPsec, and IKEv2 protocols.

The VPN supports up to 10 simultaneous connections. It can be used with devices running on Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac. It can also be used with Fire TV. The IPVanish applications on these devices are also very user-friendly.

Another brilliant thing with IPVanish is their incredible unlocking abilities. The VPN can be used to unblock US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and many other streaming platforms. They also allow for anonymous torrenting.

A one-month plan is charged at $7.5 per month, which is really high as compared to other VPNs. You could also subscribe to their 3-month plan that costs $6.75. The first three months are charged as $20.24. They also have an annual plan that offers better value at just $4.87 per month. Their 7-day money-back guarantee is really short compared to the competitors that provide a cover of up to 30 days.

Unfortunately, IPVanish belongs to a US-based company. This means that they can be ordered to release user’s personal information, which could then be shared not just in the US but also in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Also, there aren’t any kill switches on the mobile applications.

Factors to Consider when Buying a VPN

  1. How many connections can it support simultaneously – Most VPN providers will allow you to connect between 3 to 5 gadgets. The exact figure here will vary depending on the specific service provider involved. Typically, providers will charge you slightly more to have more gadgets connected. It should be noted that the ability to connect several devices simultaneous does not mean that a single VPN account can be used by different users. Sharing a VPN account can easily lead you to trouble.
  2. How many servers are available and how well are they spread out – The more the servers, the more the options for you as a user. However, having hundreds of servers does not necessarily translate to better performance. Also, when the servers are well-spread out to different regions in the world, you should be able to go beyond geographical limits and enjoy more shows and services across the globe.
  3. Does the service provider keep logs on your online activities – In the last couple of years, we’ve seen VPN service providers get into trouble due to retaining logs on users’ online activities. You need to read through Terms of Service of a provider to understand the policies regarding the logs collected by the provider. Ideally, the right VPN provider should collect as little logs as possible, and they should be disposed of as soon as possible, i.e. when you end your session.
  4. Price – Make sure that you are fully aware of the pricing policy of your provider. Don’t go for a company with a low initial cost after which they will charge you hefty fees that you weren’t aware of. Also, avoid extremely cheap providers because there’s always a catch.
  5. Ease of Use – The ideal VPN should give you a smooth experience. Get a VPN with user-friendly apps. Little things such as creating a fav list of servers will also come in very handy.

The Best Mechanical Keyboards To Buy in 2019

How we rate the Best Mechanical Keyboards

It’s very easy to assume that any keyboard is as good as any so long as you can still type and submit your reports or assignments on time. However, not all keyboards are the same. Yes, they may all get the letters to appear on your monitor, but the ultimate typing experience is more than just getting letters to the screen. Gamers will tell you that a single difference on the type of keyboard they use can be enough to stand between them and a championship.

This brings us to the rather popular type of keyboards known as a mechanical keyboard. What makes these keyboards so popular and are they really worth the extra few dollars you’ll spend on them?

Mechanical Keyboards Overview

If you spend a lot of time on a keyboard gaming, writing codes, reports, articles, or any other pieces, it’s vital that you invest on a proper keyboard. Mechanical keyboards pack a variety of features which may seem minor, but they contribute to a hassle-free typing experience.

For instance, mechanical keyboards usually accentuate the keys. This means that the keys are brought closer to your fingers, and this will benefit you in various ways. First, you’ll no longer have to bottom out the keys. A light touch will be enough to register the keystroke. Secondly, since the keys are closer and registering keystrokes is faster, your typing speed will increase significantly. Finally, accentuated keys don’t just bring the keys closer to the fingers, but it also helps to separate the keys. If your typing precision with the crowded dome-switch keyboards is already above average, then you can expect even better accuracy with mechanical keyboards. This will keep typos on the low, thus reducing your work significantly.

Another reason to love mechanical keyboards is their sturdy nature. These keyboards are made with durable materials that will remain functional for a very long time, regardless of how frequent they are used. This is one of the reasons why mechanical keyboards are also very popular in gaming because the rapid and constant pressing of keys makes sure that they do not die on the users prematurely.

Finally, most of us love mechanical keyboards for the simple, satisfying feeling that we get when using them. They don’t feel clumsy or mushy like the dome-switch keyboards. Pressing a mechanical keyboard has an authoritative vibe which can get very addictive, making it impossible for you to move back to other traditional keyboards and why would you ever want to go back anyway?

With that in mind, here are the best mechanical keyboards of 2019:

  1. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The Corsair K95 is designed to deliver the ultimate PC gaming experience. It features a sleek design which feels as brilliant as it looks. You will also get a wrist rest with a smooth finishing that will deliver the comfort you need desperately to dominate the Battlefield. You can also detach the wrist rest in case you feel like it is standing in your way or when you are using the keyboard for other regular duties.

The 100% Cherry MC key switches make it possible to perform quick functions or fast typing without missing even single keystroke. The 1.2mm actuation has also improved typing speeds dramatically.

With the Corsair K95, you’ll never have to worry about killing the keys due to intensive gaming and typing. That’s because the gold switches are incredibly durable, making sure that you get full value for your money before you are forced to go back into the market in search for another keyboard. Durability is supported further by an anodized aluminum frame.

The Corsair K95 features backlit keys with a wide variety of vibrant colors to choose from. Apart from choosing the color for each key, you can also adjust how bright they illuminate. They also provide interesting animations that will keep your keyboard attractive.

Corsair K95 comes with two USB 2.0 ports and 8mb profile storage. You also get hardware macro and lighting playbacks. The 6 programmable G-keys can be configured to deliver complex multi-key combos or a single keystroke.

Drawbacks

The keyboard is quite bulky.

2. Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2

Razer is a very popular producer of gaming accessories, and the Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 is one of their best gaming keyboards today. The keyboard features “Green” mechanical switches that produce an audible click whenever the keystroke is registered. This, together with the tactile bumps, makes it easier for gamers and typists to know when a keystroke is registered. In case you feel like the click is too much for you due to too much typing or for any other reason, then you can switch up for the silent “Orange” and “Yellow” switches which deliver the tactile feeling without the sometimes nagging click.

The overall designing of the keyboard was done with comfort and durability in mind. The mechanical switches are strong enough to deliver 80 million keystrokes. The keyboard also features an ergonomic detachable wrist rest for enhanced comfort to sustain you through long gaming marathons before fatigue sets in.

The Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 also comes with five dedicated macro keys with an audio & USB pass-through port. You also get a microphone input and audio output ports. The keys can be programmed using the Synapse desktop software.

The keys are individually lit and can be customized into 16.8 million different color options! This is more than enough to personalize the keyboard and keep it looking fresh with new colors every once in a while.

You will also get 10 key anti-ghosting which allows you to execute 10 commands simultaneously. This will come in very handy, especially among professional gamers.

Drawbacks

The BlackWidow Chroma V2 does not have any media keys. This is not a deal breaker as such, but for a $145 mechanical keyboard, we expected the media keys to be included.

3. Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 is a brilliant gaming keyboard that’s designed to elevate your typing skills. Not only is this keyboard one of the best in terms of features offered and ergonomics, but it is also a very good-looking one. Plug this keyboard in, take a step back, and you will watch the gorgeous RGB backlighting bring the keys to life. The keys can be customized into multiple colors with unlimited options to choose from. All you have to do is use the iCUE software to configure the backlighting to fit your preferences. The same software will also help you do some macro programming and synchronize the lighting of the keyboard with other Corsair devices, including fans, coolers, etc. 

The Cherry MX switches used here make sure that nothing is taken away from your experience. A single switch can sustain up to 50 million keystrokes! These switches rest on an anodized aluminum frame which is more than capable of handling intensive typing. You’ll also love the fact that the K70 comes in different switches ranging from Blue, Brown, Red, Speed to Silent. Everyone should be in a position to get the feel and experience that aligns with their preferences.

The keyboard is also engineered with 100% anti-ghosting which ensure that your gaming or typing speed is not hampered. You will never have to miss out or press a single key twice because every press will be registered.

You’ll also get a USB pass-through port to hook your mouse or headset and 8MB of inbuilt profile storage. Volume wheel and media controls are also included.

Drawbacks

The keyboard can only be connected through a cable. This may pose flexibility challenges.

The Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000

How do we rate the Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000?

It’s difficult to imagine anything going for less than $1000 being termed as cheap but believe or not the $1,000 price point is perhaps as affordable as it gets as far as gaming laptops are concerned. PC gaming is very expensive, and we can even mention a couple of expensive gaming laptops that go for over $3,000 which is crazy, but it’s the price you have to pay to get the best graphics, refresh rates and so on that you require to run the best of games. Sadly, not all of us can afford to spare more than $3000 to get the very best gaming laptops, and this is where you have to get smart. This means compromising a bit to get a laptop that is within your price range without sacrificing so much in terms of specs and overall performance. The good news is that at $1000, you can still get decent gaming laptops as we are going to see in a short while.

But before all that, what are some of the key factors that you must consider even when you are struggling to stay within your budget?

Factors to Consider when Buying a Budget Gaming Laptop

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

You can compromise on so many things when looking for an affordable gaming laptop, but the GPU isn’t one of them. This is the component that processes the graphics of games you’ll be playing. It helps to process the images, animations, and everything else you see and interact with a game. Any serious gamer has to play some graphically-intensive games once in a while. With a poor GPU, your entire gaming experience will be ruined.  You may find yourself downgrading the quality and specs of a game just so you can get it to run in your laptop. Even worse, you might find yourself incapable of playing certain games simply because your system is not up for the task.

Therefore, to future-proof your gaming system and get the most immersive gaming experience, you have to make sure that you are getting if not the best, then an above average GPU. Unfortunately, GPUs go hand in hand with pricing. For instance, laptops with Nvidia’s GeForce GPUs are likely to cost a lot more (for obvious reasons) as compared to systems using other GPUs.

RAM

RAM is just as vital as the GPU. Remember that your game loads onto the RAM, which means that the speed and size of your RAM will directly determine how well the game runs and the overall performance of your laptop. It’s for this reason that we encourage all gamers to get the best RAM they can get their hands on. For instance, with 16GB of RAM, you can expect even the most intensive of games to run smoothly in your system. An 8GB RAM will also perform reasonably well plus it’ll save you quite a lot of cash, but it may get overwhelmed considering how “heavy” games are becoming nowadays.

CPU

Of course, it would be nice to get Intel Core i7, but we understand that not everyone would be in a position to get GeForce GPU, 16GB of RAM and Intel Core i7 within a single unit. If that’s the case, then you can sacrifice a bit and go for the Core i5 which will still get the job done despite the fact that it won’t perform as brilliantly as its bigger brother.

SSD

A slow SSD results in longer load times and dents the overall gaming experience. Ideally, you should have a hybrid drive or a fast SSD for the files used frequently and a slower but larger hard drive for all the other files and are used less frequently. This enhances the entire experience making sure that everything is running smoothly.

If budget is an issue, we’d recommend you to go for a faster SSD which you can then upgrade in the future and even get an external drive later on. This makes sure that your current experience is not compromised, but instead, you get to enjoy your games as you save up for a better experience with upcoming games.

Other factors that you should also consider include:

  • Battery life
  • IPS display
  • Portability (if you’re planning on carrying the laptop around)

1. Acer Aspire 7 Casual Gaming Laptop

Why Should You Buy it? Mention anything it is you need in a gaming laptop, and the Acer Aspire 7 Casual probably has it. Talk of powerful GPU, CPU, Display, and anything else. Acer has brought all these items into a single unit, and the best part is that they won’t milk you dry since the laptop costs just $920. It’s also the perfect choice for anyone who’s looking for an incredible gaming laptop that can perform equally well in other daily functions. To that end, Acer made sure that the laptop has a slim body for easy portability.

The Acer Aspire 7 is fitted with the 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor. This works side by side with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU. Even though the graphics card is not the best you can get, it stills performs very well facilitating the smooth running of all the best graphic-intensive games such as Battlefield V and Assassins Creed Odyssey. We have to put it out there that since the 1050 Ti is not the most powerful card, there is a possibility that it might not run newer upcoming games. As of right now, though, there is perhaps nothing this little beast cannot run.

The laptop comes with an 8GB RAM, which is really the best you can get at this price point. The laptop’s performance also gets a significant boost from the included 128Gb SSD. There is an additional 1TB HDD of your other storage needs. If you find the HDD too small for your needs, you can swap it with a bigger hard drive through the easy-to-access door to the HDD compartment.

Acer has also thrown a few extras to improve the overall performance and use of the laptop. For instance, logging into the laptop is as simple as scanning your fingerprint. The screen is a 15.6” Full HD IPS display (1920 by 1080). While the sound output features engineering genius from Dolby Audio premium and Acer’s TrueHarmony.

Other Features

  • Dual digital microphones for crystal clear audios
  • USB 3.1 Type-C delivers up to 5Gbps data transfer speeds
  • 2*2 MIMO wireless tech boosts data processing
  • 4GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 7-hours battery life

2. Lenovo Legion Y520 15.6” FHD Gaming Laptop

Why Should You Buy It? The Lenovo Legion Y520 is another incredible gaming laptop that can have you exploring the open world of Days Gone for the most part of the night and wake up the following day to use the same laptop in preparing a report for your professor. What makes it stand out, even more, is how it features some of the best features any average gamer would ever need while still keeping the laptop at a very reasonable price.

The Legion Y520 features 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300 that delivers as much as 3.50 GHz. The processor is further enhanced by the 8GB Ram and the additional 128GB SSD while the primary storage is a 1TB hard drive.

The laptop is fitted with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti which is an old graphics card, but it still performs pretty well even with some of the latest games. You should expect the performance of this graphics card to drop slightly when playing more demanding games on ultra.

One of the repercussions of intensive gaming is overheating. To solve this issue, Lenovo has strategically placed the vents and fans to facilitate the continuous flow of air in and out of the laptop. The fans are also located closer to the processors and the graphics card to ensure that the performance of the laptop does not drop. If you require intensive cooling, you can activate the Extreme Cooling shortcut in the Lenovo Nerve Sense to keep the processors cool.

Since Lenovo made this laptop with versatility in mind, they were keen to design the laptop in a thin and lightweight nature to improve portability. That said, the laptop is just 25.8mm (1.01″) thick weighing only 2.5 kg (5.3lbs).

The major downside with the Lenovo Legion Y520 is that it offers between 3 to 4 hours max of run time.

Other Features

  • 15.6” FHD LED Lit Display (1920×1080)
  • Red backlit keyboard
  • Lenovo Nerve Sense allows you to customize the laptop and record your gaming
  • Two 2W Harman speakers are engineered with Dolby Audio Premium for an immersive gaming experience

3. ASUS TUF Thin & Light FX504 Gaming Laptop

Why Should You Buy It? If you are looking for a gorgeous gaming laptop that can double up for other official or entertainment purposes, then the ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop is a great option.

The laptop runs on 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300 and 8GB of RAM. This delivers excellent performance for most of the standard games and an above-average performance when playing slightly demanding games. The 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive does a decent job of boosting the speeds and performance of the laptops. However, you are likely to struggle when playing the most intensive games on ultra, and you’ll probably have to reduce the settings to get them running smoothly.

The Asus TUF uses the GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. The card is good enough to keep most of your games interesting, but you won’t find the visuals as vivid and impressive as they are in other high-end gaming laptops with a better graphics card.

The laptop is also ergonomically designed to support its versatility. The keyboard, for instance, is perfectly designed for comfortable use whether you are gaming or working, and it is also strong enough (20-million keystrokes) to remain functional even after prolonged gaming. Its overall construction is also sleek and sturdy enough for durability. It can easily fit into your backpack just in case you have official duties calling or if you are going for some serious group gaming with your colleagues down the block.

On the flip side, Asus was very economical in terms of ports. The laptop comes with only 7 connections i.e., three USB ports, One HDMI, Power port, headphone jack, and one Ethernet port, all of which are located on one side of the laptop.

Other Features

  • 8GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM
  • 15.6” FHD IPS Display
  • Gigabit wave 2 Wi-Fi delivering up to 1.73Gbps
  • 256GB SSD M.2 SATA
  • 4-5 hours of running time

The 3 Best Gaming Headsets To Buy in 2019

How we rate the Best Gaming Headsets

Headphones are an integral part of every serious gamer. It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional gamer or just doing it for fun, but with a good set of headphones, your gaming experience gets a major boost. You see, it’s in the fine details that things are usually interesting. Whether you are trying to coordinate an attack in a single multi-player game or if you simply want to get more from your single-player Call of Duty missions, a top-tier set of headphones will make sure that nothing is taken away from your experience. High-quality headphones are also very exciting to have in those adventurous, open world games such as Days Gone. Personally, I cannot imagine having waited all this long for The Last of Us Part II and do injustice to the game by playing it through mediocre headsets! Proper headphones totally transom your surrounding immersing you into the game which allows you to hear every single detail from a flying leaf, a breaking twig to the deafening sounds of assault rifles. This, my friends, is what gaming is all about.

So, what are some of the best gaming headsets in the market? The good news is that there are so many options to choose from. The better news is that there is virtually something for everyone, whether you have a fat or tight budget. The sad news is that everything comes down to how much money you have to spare. This means that to get the best headsets that tick every possible box, you’ll have to spend a good amount of money. This will also allow you to get versatile headsets that you can also use for other purposes. With a tight budget, your options are a bit limited, but you still have a good number of affordable headsets to choose from.

Everything considered, here are the top 3 gaming headsets that are designed to deliver the ultimate gaming experience:

1. SteelSeries Arctis 7 Lossless Wireless Gaming Headsets (2019 Edition)

Why should you buy it? Well, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition is the best gaming headset in every possible way. It’s really as simple as that, and this is not just based on our tests but also on the vast user-reviews of all the gamers who use these headsets on a daily basis.

These wireless headphones are perfectly designed for both PS4 and PC gaming. The audio quality is excellent with zero interference and ultra-low latency. However, PC gamers are likely to get more from these headsets than their counterparts courtesy of the 360-degree DTS X v2.07.1 surround sound. The clarity here is unbeatable thanks to the S1 speaker drivers, and the best part is that it delivers even the finest of details which means that you are not just playing the game, but you are actually living it.

In case you are into trash talking your opponents on FIFA19 or any other game then the Discord-certified ClearCast Microphone will give you the perfect opportunity to do so. The microphone offers studio-quality clarity with optimal noise cancellation making sure that your conversations and surrounding is not inconveniencing your opponents.

In terms of designing and comfort, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 also performs very well. It features airweave ear cushions that are not just ideal for keeping your ears cool, but they also help to eliminate pressure points. The suspension band designing is also well thought-out to blend with a typical head’s contours. In summary, you can expect to wear these headphones for prolonged periods without experiencing any discomfort issues.

The headset comes with a rechargeable Li-ion battery that can last you through 24 hours.

Feature

  • Easy-to-use audio controls
  • On-headset ChatMix dial that you can use to adjust the chat and game volume
  • You can wire the headsets and use them with other non-USB audio devices
  • Vast personalization features
  • Can be used with various apps including Spotify and Discord

2. HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset

Why should you buy it? The Hyper Cloud Alpha Gaming headsets present high-quality audio clarity with all the essential features at a very reasonable price, making it an affordable yet decent option for everyone on a tight budget.

We also found the HyperX Cloud Alpha quite loud, but the good news is that the bass is perfectly balanced to make sure that overall clarity remains top notch.

We must also mention how comfortable these headsets feel. It features award-winning memory foam that is designed to readjust according to the shape of your ears. This makes sure that your ears are covered properly with sufficient pressure to block you from external noises without causing any discomforts. You can even go a whole day of The Division 2 without getting any aches in or around your ears.

HyperX Cloud Alpha is designed with an aluminum frame which doesn’t really feel very premium, but it gets the job done nonetheless. The frame is also very sturdy, and hence, you can expect the headsets to remain stable and functional for a very long time.

Something else really brilliant about these headsets is vast compatibility. While some gaming headsets-including our top pick above is limited to two or less gaming platforms, the HyperX Cloud Alpha headsets can be used with PC, PS4 Pro, PS4, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox One, Mobile and all other platforms fitted with a 3.5mm port. It can even be used with Nintendo Switch.

With the headset also comes a detachable microphone with excellent noise cancellation. Since it is detachable, you can unplug it and use the headset for your regular music needs.

Features

  • In-line audio controls
  • 65 ohms impedance
  • HyperX Dual Chamber Drivers
  • Multi-platform compatibility
  • Detachable braided cable
  • Signature HyperX comfort

3. HyperX Cloud Revolver S Gaming Headset

Why should you buy it? The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is a superb choice for everyone who is looking for the best-wired gaming headset in the market. It offers a premium feel with vast features while remaining easy to use and very comfortable to wear.

The HyperX Cloud Revolver has to be the best-wired gaming headset in the market for very good reasons. It offers three types of connections that include dual 3.5mm, 3.5mm, and a wired USB. With these three options, the headset can be connected and work perfectly with virtually every gadget out there. The best part? You won’t need to download any drivers or software to get it working. All you have to do is plug it in, sit back and get into some serious gaming.

While all the connection types have the excellent audio quality courtesy of the stereo mix, users of the USB connection are likely to get more from the headphones thanks to the control dongle and inbuilt sound card which comes with features such as EQ settings and Dolby 7.1 virtual surround sound.

The HyperX Cloud Revolver S has generous padding to eliminate pressure points. Combine this with the auto-fitting headband, and you will get to enjoy comfortable and prolonged gaming sessions. The overall designing is quite sturdy, and hence you can expect to use the headset for a long time before you’re forced back into the market for a replacement.

Features

  • Detachable mic with background noise reduction (Discord certified)
  • Comfortable memory foam
  • Closed ear cups to reduce external noises
  • Vocal equalizer modes allow you to switch from gaming audio setup to movies, music, and streaming
  • Clippable audio control box with backlit buttons for easy controls

Buying a Gaming Headset

In coming up with the above picks, we subjected a good number of gaming headsets to several tests to see how well they perform in terms of audio quality, comfort, and overall performance.

In audio quality, we used the headset with various games to see how well they captured the different game’s atmospheres. We tested the headsets with some of the best adventure, action, and shooting games, and the above three headphones came out on top. We also used the headsets to watch movies and listen to the music of different genres. This helps in knowing how reliable the headsets can be for other purposes.

Gaming is a fun experience, and it is very easy to get carried away and even find yourself spending the entire night in front of a monitor. This means that you need to take care of yourself to avoid experiencing discomforts; after all, gaming is supposed to be a fun experience. Well, not unless you find yourself 3-nil down barely 20 minutes into a FIFA19 match. There is no fun in that, and the easiest way out is to close the connection :-). Anyway, taking care of yourself means getting the most comfortable headsets possible. This means extra padding with the best memory foam. We also look into what the frames are made of and how well they fit with various head shapes.

While checking ear padding, it’s crucial that a headset tries to block as much noise as possible from the outside world. This helps in immersing you into the game with less distraction.

Microphones are also very important. The gaming headsets must have excellent microphones with noise blocking capabilities. They must also produce quality audio for better communication with your colleagues and opponents.

Finally, we go a step further to check the additional features that come with the headsets. For wireless headsets, we always check on battery life and range to see how convenient and practical they are. We also investigate the compatibility of the headsets with various gaming platforms. Ideally, you should get a headset that you can use with all the various consoles you can get your hands on plus a PC.

The Best Smartwatch To Buy in 2019

How we rate the best smartwatch

Remember when watches were all about telling time? Like the only reason that you would check your wrist watch is just to see whether it’s finally time to clock out of your 9-5? Those were days when things were simple until tech companies started to change everything we knew about watches.

The concept of a watch being able to do more than just telling time is very exciting. However, not everyone is fascinated by these developments. Some people still want that elegant but straightforward analog watch whose sole purpose is to read time and perhaps tell what day it is. The truth, however, is that the smartwatch universe has been getting really interesting, thus pulling in more and more people. Even the biggest corporates including Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and other companies are now committing serious resources and fighting each other on who can develop the best smartwatch.

For the buyers, this competition is good news. The simple reason for that is that in the end, there will be more options to choose from. But then this results in another unexpected challenge; how do you know which one is the best? Just because a gadget is coming from Apple or Samsung doesn’t mean that it is actually the best. In fact, there are some brilliant smartwatches out here that are not even made by popular brands. If you are less interested with the brand name and more interested in what the watch actually has to offer, then you would get down to the unique features of the smartwatches in question.

So, which are the best Smartwatches in the market at the moment?

Top 3 Smartwatches

Finding the best smartwatch can be very challenging. This has been made even more difficult by the significant variation in prices. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, you can get a rather basic smartwatch or an extremely sophisticated one with lots of apps and functions. In this review, we covered the best smartwatches in terms of performance and compatibility.

1. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Smartwatch

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that one of Samsung’s Gear series smartwatches is at the top of our list. Samsung has been making incredible smartwatches over the years, and Gear 3 is perhaps the best one yet. This watch combines years of expertise with modern technology to deliver fantastic performance that can barely be matched by any other smartwatch in the market.

Looking at the external design, you’ll realize that it is a premium device. It looks, feels, and definitely works as a premium watch. Sadly, the price tag is also premium, but it all makes sense given the sort of features that it packs. As at the time of this review, the watch was going for over $235. This is higher than most of the other smartwatches in the market today. However, when you unpack the watch and start using it, you will realize that it is really worth the price.

One concern most people had about this watch was the operating system. Most smartwatches in the market today operate on Android Wear. It’s a very common OS that everyone is familiar with, but most importantly, it offers vast applications and compatibility options. Unlike these smartwatches, the Gear S3 runs on Tizen, an Operating System from Samsung. While the system is not the hardest to work with, it is very challenging when it comes to the options you get in terms of apps. This is perhaps the biggest challenge about the Samsung Gear S3. The good news is that Samsung is constantly releasing upgrades which improve its functionality and compatibility with other devices. For instance, you can now create Spotify playlists and save them offline. You have a 4GB storage at your disposal for all of that.

Something else amazing about this smartwatch is the display. Samsung smartphones have a brilliant display, and so do their watches. The Gear S3 has amazing animated displays that you’ll find very pleasing to the eye. The interface is also very intuitive. I personally enjoyed interacting with this smartwatch, and there are very few alternatives that I can compare it to.

Pros

  • Excellent display
  • Premium build quality
  • Resistant to extreme temperatures, dust, and water
  • Features lots of activity trackers and sensors
  • You can use it with voice commands

Cons

  • The options when it comes to applications is minimal

In summary, if your budget for a smartwatch is between $230 to $250 and you are willing to compromise a bit on apps, then the Samsung Gear S3 is your best pick.

2. Samsung Galaxy Watch

The Samsung Galaxy Watch is arguably the best smartwatch in the market at the moment. This smartwatch packs everything right with the Gear Series, and then Samsung has gone a step further to increase the apps, battery life, and a dozen other features. The Galaxy watch is more than just a basic smartwatch. It is a statement.

The Galaxy Watch comes in two sizes of 46mm and 42mm. The 46 smartwatch is available in only one color (silver) while you can get the 42mm galaxy watch in midnight black or rose gold. The size and color, but one thing are consistent; build quality. The Galaxy watch retails at $350 (which is a lot), and the overall feel and appearance of the watch have a premium vibe to it.

The Galaxy watch also comes with interchangeable straps. You can easily change your overall appearance by merely switching one strap with another. 

The galaxy watch more than impressed us when we got down to the functions and features on offer. First of all, the smartwatch is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. This allows you to pair the watch with all the popular smartphones via Bluetooth. It can be paired with Android devices with Android 5.0 or higher (1.5Gb Ram and above) and iOS 9.0 and above (iPhone 5 and above).

One of the biggest selling points of the Galaxy Watch is its battery life. The bigger watch is fitted with a 472mAh battery while the other one is 270mAh. When the batteries are fully charged, both of these smartwatches should go for days before you are forced to recharge them. When the time for charging the smartwatches comes, you should be able to do so conveniently through WPC-based wireless charger.

The Galaxy Watch has an internal memory of 4GB and a 1.5Gb RAM.

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Incredible display
  • Can be used with voice commands
  • Vast compatibility

Cons

  • Some people found the charger annoying
  • They could have done a better job with the Bixby

3. Apple Watch Series 4

If you are an iPhone user looking for a smartwatch, then the Apple Watch Series 4 is hands down your best pick! This Apple series features some of the best smartwatches from iPhone and their latest gadgets ticks every box.

With this watch, you get a bigger and better OLED screen. It’s insane how great this display is, but then again we are talking about Apple here so you shouldn’t expect anything less.

Another benefit of a bigger display is that viewing notifications and navigating through the various functions of the watch has become even easier. The watchOS 5 system perfectly completes the smartwatch. It’s highly intuitive and very easy to use. The overall performance of the watch has received a significant boost through the impressive S4 dual-core processor.

In the department of sensors and trackers, the Apple Watch Series doesn’t disappoint. You will have access to heart rate sensors and GPS. The heart rate tracker also has an ECG feature that monitors the risk for atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rate). This should issue you with early warnings to help you seek medical assistance on time. The watch is also programmed with a fall detection feature that will prove very useful in case you take an impact.

To make your fitness life more fruitful, Apple has included several workout plans for the watch. You will also receive motivational notifications to boost your commitment towards your fitness goals.

The major issue with the Apple Watch Series 4 is the battery life. When compared to the Galaxy Watch, the battery here looks like a total joke. After a full charge, the Series 4 can only give you 18 hours of use! That’s really poor, and the only way you can extend the battery life is by turning on the power-saving mode which switches off all functions except the time.

Pros

  • It is very lightweight
  • It has a brilliant display
  • The screen is also quite large
  • Accepts voice commands

Cons

  • It’s expensive. At the time of this review, the smartwatch was going for over $400
  • It has a terrible battery life

Smartwatch Buyers Guide

Like we mentioned earlier on, price is a significant issue when shopping for a smartwatch. For instance, in our top three picks, the cheapest smartwatch goes for slightly over $230, which may seem affordable to you, but it could be beyond some else’s reach. So, how do you make sure everyone is catered for? Simple; what people need is a buyer’s guide highlighting the crucial factors or features that you need to look into when purchasing a smartwatch. This is vital for everyone including guys with a bigger budget because unless you know what to look for, you can easily end up spending a considerable amount of your money on something that’s well below the desired standards.

With that said, here are the crucial factors to consider when buying a smartwatch:

  1. Sensors and Fitness Trackers – The ideal smartwatch should have as many sensors and trackers as possible. It’s worth noting that to get the best and most sensors will probably require you to dig deeper into your pockets.
  2. Media Playback – This should bring entertainment closer to you.
  3. Voice Commands – It brings convenience to your life.
  4. Customization – The ability to customize a smartwatch in various ways is essential. You should be able to personalize a smartwatch with different faces from different developers.

The Best Earbuds To buy in 2019- Complete review-

How do we rate the Best Earbuds?

Earbuds offer an incredible opportunity to enjoy high-quality music from virtually anywhere in the world. Even though most earbuds don’t match the quality and overall performance of top-tier headphones, they still perform relatively well plus they are less bulky, more affordable and offer excellent flexibility. This shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that all headphones are better than earbuds. That’s not correct. There are quite a lot of earbuds that offer excellent sound quality that beats over half the headphones in the market. Take the Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, for instance; the earbuds are designed to fit in your ears perfectly to block as many outside noises as possible. This provides the room for the high-res speakers to deliver unbeaten clarity into your ears. When placed side by side with some of the expensive headphones in the market today, these earbuds can comfortably put the headphones to shame. 

The earbuds industry is just like any other in that to get the very best you will have to part ways with a considerable amount of cash. Therefore, guys with a big budget will have more options to choose from. If you are operating on a tight budget, your options will be a bit limited, but the good news is that there’s still a couple of decent picks at your disposal.

We have tested and tried dozens of earbuds from different price points. We then picked the very best earbuds that come highly recommended for various reasons as you are going to see.

 1. Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Headphones have, for the longest time beat earbuds when it comes to noise canceling. A lot of earbuds have tried to improve on this department, but none of them could really do it as well as most headphones do. The Bose QuietComfort 20i has completely changed that. These buds are designed to rival the best full-sized headphones as far as noise reduction goes, and the best part is that they beat more than half of the headphones in the market at the moment. The buds utilize Bose’s ANC technology, which cancels all the unwanted noises coming from the outside world.

Of course, there are moments when you would want to be aware of what’s going on around you. It would be a significant inconvenience if you would have to remove the earbuds altogether for this purpose. It’s for this reason that Bose has also programmed an Aware Mode into the earbuds. This allows you to hear what’s going on around you without taking off the earbuds, and neither will you have to switch off your music completely.

Noise canceling is crucial but not as vital as audio quality is. I mean, of what use would an earbud be if they completely shielded you from outside noises just so they can bust your eardrums with scratchy and unclear sounds? Bose QuietComfort 20i features exclusive Bose technologies that produce warm sounds with excellent clarity. The Sound may feel a bit too digitized once in a while (depending on the audio format), but for the most part, the audio quality is usually superb.

The external designing of the buds is also well thought-out. They feature comfortable Stay Hear+ tips that secure the buds in place, allowing you to move and engage in other activities without worrying about the buds coming off. They are also very comfortable to wear even for prolonged periods.

The Bose QuietComfort 20i comes with a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that offers 16 hours of use. The earbuds can be recharged using a USB cable which is also included in the package. Take note that its wired connectivity allows you to use the earbuds even when the battery runs out.

They also come with an inline remote that allows you to control your iPod, iPhone, or iPod more conveniently.

Verdict: For around $249, Bose QuietComfort 20i have arguably the best noise-canceling ability of any earbuds in the market at the moment. The sound quality is also excellent, and they are super comfortable to wear. It, therefore, goes without saying that the QuietComfort 20i is well worth it.

2. Jabra Elite Active 65t Alexa Enabled True Wireless Sports Earbuds

If you are looking for the best sounding and most comfortable true wireless earbuds, then the Jabra Elite Active 65T is one of your best picks. True wireless earbuds are slowly making their mark in the market. We’ve already seen numerous companies release various true wireless earbuds, including Apple’s AirPods. From all these choices, the Jabra Elite Active 65T comes out victorious not just due to the flexibility that comes with having no wires but also due to how remarkably they perform as far as comfort and audio quality goes.

The sound quality is simply incredible. The earbuds produce perfectly balanced Sound with a punchy bass response and equally great treble. The audio output has received a significant boost from the excellent noise cancellation.

On a single charge, the Jabra Elite Active 65t will give you up to 5 hours of use. This isn’t much, but the good news is that the earbuds come with a charging case that gives you an additional 10 hours. The best part? The charging case is a supercharge that can give you 2 hours of use after just 30 minutes of charging!

The earbuds are also fitted with motion sensors. These are very useful, especially among fitness enthusiasts who are looking for earbuds that offer more than just entertainment. With the three different ear tips, everyone should be able to get a good seal whether they are just listening to music while undertaking regular tasks or if they are engaged in workouts and other physical activities that require a firmer seal.

The Jabra Elite Active 65t earbuds support different smart assistants. You can interact with the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Siri to access various settings of the earbuds and other gadgets. The Sound + app from Jabra also allows you to personalize the earbuds by customizing the equalizer.

Finally, we have to mention that the Elite Active 65T is IP56 rated. These protect the earbuds from dust and sweat. As a result, you can work out with the earbuds and use them under unfavorable weather conditions without worrying about their performance or durability.

Verdict: Jabra Elite Active 65T is made for everyone who’s looking for high-quality earbuds for both regular and active use. They’re water and dustproof, which helps to increase their durability significantly. They also produce dynamic treble and superb bass, yet the best part is that you can personalize the buds through the equalizer. Everything considered the Elite Active 65T is your best pick if you are looking for true wireless earbuds.

3. 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Earphones

The 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Earphones are the best choice for everyone in need of excellent earbuds within an affordable price range. For less than $80, you will get these little beasts which feature solid construction, ergonomic design and top-tier audio quality which left us wondering how exactly the Chinese based company, 1More, managed to pull this off.

1more partnered with a Grammy award-winning sound engineer, Luca Bignardi, to fine tune these earbuds for accurate and precise sounds. The earphones incorporate three drivers; a dynamic driver and two balanced armatures. These work together to deliver powerful bass and dynamic highs for the ultimate listening experience.

The ergonomic design of the earphones makes sure that nothing is taken away from your experience. First of all, you will get to choose between 9 different sets of ear tip sizes. This makes sure that everyone gets something that doesn’t just fit but one that is also very comfortable. With the size, you shouldn’t experience any issues of the earbuds falling off your ears and neither will you feel any discomforts.

With the earphones comes inline remote control that can be used to select songs and adjust the volume. You can also take calls through the control, and the MEMs microphone makes sure that the person on the other end of the call hears you clearly with no background static.

As an extra, 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Earphones will come with a beautiful magnetic clasping traveling case and an equally attractive storage case.

Verdict: The 1More Triple Driver earphones are hands down the best affordable earphones you can get in the market today.