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[ TECHLIFE #64 ]



Why encryption backdoors
will never work

IS THE NSA to blame for the massive  that it is still the most broadly employed OS in
WannaCry global ransomware infection? businesses, which can often delay rolling out
That’s what Microsoft — whose Windows OSs security updates to ensure they aren’t going
were the target of the attacks — seems to be to break anything.
saying, as the tech giant came out swinging If there’s a broad message in WannaCry,
against the NSA and CIA for hoarding known it’s that, as inconvenient as they might often be,
OS vulnerabilities ( you should always install the latest OS
And indeed, WannaCry did use two NSA- updates for your devices. But it also entirely
discovered exploits as the engine for driving undermines US (and other) intelligence
the malware — exploits which were leaked to agencies’ frequent requests for backdoors into
the internet in April by hacker group the the products of Apple, Google and Microsoft
Shadow Brokers, which had previously been to help with law enforcement. All three
trying to sell its discoveries to the highest companies have recently stepped up their
bidder. (Nobody took them up on the offer, efforts to encrypt their products to better-
which is why they were released for anyone protect their customers from attacks.
with nefarious intent to make use of.) We’ve built a world that’s heavily reliant
To its credit, Microsoft had released patches on digital infrastructure — one that’s hard
for this exploits back in March, so both enough to secure without having to worry
individual users and sysadmins have to take at about deliberate holes in the defences.
least some share of the blame for WannaCry’s What’s to guarantee that, as with the NSA
broad infection rate, which affected some exploits at the heart of WannaCry, these
200,000 systems worldwide. Some 98% of the backdoors won’t be discovered and exploited
infected PCs were running Windows 7 — that’s by hackers — to the detriment of us all? 
not too surprising, given that it has the largest
share of the market (around 48%) and the fact



TECHLIFE. 050 052 054 [ THIS MONTH IN TECHLIFE ] Intro [ 003 ] Editorial Hotspot Test Bench (cont) [ 008 ] Samsung DeX Station [ 054 ] Epson Expression Photo XP-960 [ 010 ] Essential tech news [ 055 ] Plantronics Backbeat 505 [ 012 ] Motorola Moto G5 Plus [ 055 ] Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT [ 013 ] The news in numbers [ 056 ] D-Link Omna 180 [ 014 ] Kickstarted [ 056 ] Plantronics RIG 800HS [ 015 ] Samsung Galaxy S8+ [ 057 ] Elgato Eve [ 016 ] Pop science [ 058 ] Panasonic DMC-FZ2500 [ 017 ] Get psyched! Features Trending [ 059 ] Get your tech in check: [ 018 ] Windows 10 Creators Update: the best kit for organising your The Quickstart Guide gear [ 065 ] The best TVs of 2017: Bargain Hunter The complete buyer’s guide [ 022 ] Building a bargain PC [ 088 ] 10 more scientists who changed [ 024 ] Nicely-priced keyboards and the tech world mice Cover story Discover [ 074 ] DIY Netflix: Create the ultimate 058 [ 028 ] Apps for sharper smartphone personal media server photography [ 031 ] Storytelling podcasts Help Station 055 [ 032 ] Bleeding edge: VR. AR & AI [ 092 ] Q&A: Your questions answered [ 034 ] App showdown: Best [ 096 ] Fix a bjorked iMac or MacBook cooking app for Aussies [ 098 ] Convert videos for playback on [ 036 ] New apps for every platform iPhone and iPad [ 040 ] Great browser extensions [ 100 ] Get Google’s Pixel Launcher on [ 041 ] Most-useful websites any Android [ 042 ] PC & console game reviews [ 102 ] How to avoid getting scammed [ 046 ] Developing games Down Under online [ 048 ] Mobile game reviews [ 104 ] Master your DSLR: Bokeh Test Bench Buyer’s Guide [ 050 ] ASUS ZenBook UX430UQ [ 109 ] The best tech products [ 051 ] MSI GT62VR 7RE [ 052 ] Corsair One Pro The back page [ 053 ] WD My Passport 4TB [ 114 ] Ridiculous tech [ WWW.NET ] [ 05 ] .

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Add to these discussions or email your views (in fewer than 250 words) to techlife@futurenet. However. our colleague. but I was out to a shed behind a house. day. Letters must include full name.  battery life I’d really get into using Siri that much. [ TECHLIFE #65 ] THE WALL GUFF AND STUFF MY NEIGHBOUR WAS ROBBED OF AN IPHONE AND IPAD AT AROUND 6AM ONE MORNING. trackers. a long way iPad at around 6am one morning about six despite the fact one of the properties had a I picked up a copy of TechLife 64 the weeks ago. suburb. The next gone back and forth between Mac and Windows. call me converted. ‘Hey. and I’ve always However. I’ve asked her the again. Is two days too long to expect it to from my Notes app to my Calculator app. By using the feature. after contacting [ LOUISE GREENBURG ] Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ feature. tricks & tweaks’ article (page 68). Police are again professional lives. another address. but it does make you wonder how useful the recently been gifted an Apple Watch (after a lengthy immediately behind theirs. the Although I felt a bit of a gimp walking around the to be returned. I’d like to the police. HAVE YOUR SAY! ] We want to hear what you think.  of defenestrating my Windows 10 ultrabook as it checking the app) and have made her do many maths Then the items popped up on eBay. in Australia at least. the police were AI assistants have come My neighbour was robbed of an iPhone and unable to get a warrant to search both properties. however. Windows 10 laptop seems to last for about half as nursery. well. with the same resulting story. and she’s did receive a survey letter from the police remain asleep and still have some power left? a lot better at maths than I am. weather forecast (a moment of laziness on my part. what’s 34 plus 60 plus 72 Six weeks later and there’s been no further long when hibernating. Siri. [ WWW.TECHLIFE. My routinely runs out of battery when I put it to equations for handy-dandy plants-cost additions. since the relate my own experience with the feature.. so I wear this shortcoming the battle colleagues found themselves the victim of a begrudgingly. they were told that and have found it super useful for tracking my fitness the police didn’t have anyone who could check Windows laptop goals throughout the day and week. they were able and I’m shocked by how poor a ‘full fat’ computer at a music-festival who was caught with 130 to pinpoint their stolen laptop to a suburb in can deliver so little. as I initially Two hours later. But compare both to an Android tablet Following on from your story about a thief burglary. On contacting the Find My iPhone feature can truly be in the fight saga of going through various models of fitness police a second time and informing them of against crime. still can’t do anything. WHICH INSTANTLY LOCATED THE ITEMS IN A HOUSE IMMEDIATELY BEHIND THEIRS. Hah! I doubt it’s a fault with the machine itself.  pinpoint was between two houses. saying. so the police were contacted type of computer over another. To cut a long story looking for feedback. the items again move about 15km north having frequently used both in my personal and since I’m 100% a WillyWeather person. Locating stolen Ed replies: We had a similar experience with a reputation for bad battery management. It’s a lovely iPhones is only half the Find My iPhone feature when one of our machine otherwise. Siri and I are now best [ TONY REDMOND ] surface-level research suggests that Windows has friends! [ CAITLAN HOPKINS ] [ COME All correspondence becomes the property of TechLife and is subject to editing. neighbour contacts the seller looking for them sleep. over the past couple days. she was informed that. Address and phone details will not be published. Compared to a work MacBook. Luckily for other day and thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Advanced thought to activate the ‘Find’ feature. state and phone number to be considered for print publication. she — was a bit of a gimmick. I’ve which instantly located the items in a house up. as some short..NET ] [ 007 ] . THEY INFORMED THE POLICE AND THEN THOUGHT TO ACTIVATE THE ‘FIND’ FEATURE. Items disappear from eBay. it saved me a lot of time swapping hits for their location — although my neighbour 18 months old. a rant which can be saved for another day) the items’ whereabouts. street address. I never thought it out — end of story. Both machines are about plus 17 plus 19?’. smartphones as a result of revellers activating southwestern Sydney. she was fully insured and backed iPhone tips. They informed the police and then suspicious looking shed out the back. I’m having thoughts in the garden and didn’t want to get my phone dirty informed. the items moved uptown to I’ve never sworn allegiance to one thought it — sorry.

tap the ‘Switch to Dex you have a searchable list of everything installed to realistically seem within our grasp. too. so they work exactly as they do DeX is essentially a palm-sized pod that you desktop computing interface — a taskbar down on a desktop computer. This bar works pretty much the same as revolution by at least a few decades: the idea Once you’ve got the dock all plugged in. quick switching to apps already running. and then plonk your Galaxy S8 (or S8+) into the cradle on top. SO DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK — AND WOULD YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO USE IT? [ DAN GARDINER ] It’S A DREAM that predates the smartphone DEX IN USE right.  With the DeX ports. And after this first time. with the video image thereafter output to the monitor and the whole setup able to be used as if it were a desktop PC. plugged in. From the front. keyboard and monitor CRITICAL SPECS Requires Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+. SAMSUNG DEX STATION ED’s CHOICE $199 AWARD www. Now. with the Samsung logo — actually slides forward into a horizontal position. then wait on your phone. and the ‘top’ — 1 x HDMI output (1080p). USB Type-C connector on dock for plugging in phone. using Windows’ one. Mode’ button that pops up on screen. and they’re nice and can plug a mouse. The Home concept to life. However. can an Android single device for all phone really replace your desktop? your computing needs finally attainable? [ 08 ] .0 sockets for plugging in peripherals or storage. 1 x Fast Ethernet. one day. 232g [ STATIONARY MOBILE ] Phone as PC SAMSUNG’S DEX STATION PROMISES TO LET YOU USE YOUR GALAXY S8 AS IF IT WERE A DESKTOP COMPUTER. containing icons for all your that. power. the bottom with an area for status icons to the responsive. the S8 button minimises everything on screen and the although HP’s even having a crack with its automatically switches to DeX mode when Recents button gives you eight onscreen tiles for Windows Mobile-based Elite x3 handset. Samsung is perhaps On your monitor. the DeX Station has two USB 2. The same could theoretically go for home-based users who don’t have particularly taxing computing needs. 2 x USB 2. HDMI video output and optional WINNER Fast Ethernet and 4 USB-C power inputs. fairly typical and intuitive Windows (or Linux) support built in. you get a what looks like a Android actually has keyboard and mouse the highest-profile company to try the idea yet. often from smaller vendors. mouse and monitor with you everywhere you go. there are some obvious limitations to this right off the bat — it’s hardly convenient to be carrying around a keyboard. ‘DeX mode’ running apps and. but the dock itself is at least small enough that it’s feasible business travellers could combine it with a small keyboard-and-trackpad combo unit and then plug into a hotel-room TV while they’re on the road. Recents and Apps. Is the dream of using a So if your needs are basic. so you can quickly start typing We’ve seen a few attempts at bringing this around five seconds for the mode-change to an app’s name to find and launch it. [ TECHLIFE #64 ] HOTSPOT YOUR GUIDE TO HOT NEW TECH Round the back. it’s been the rise of so all you need to do to start using it is plug your Home. in place of the Start button. little digital device that caters to all our support is already baked into the S8 and S8+. initialise. you’ve got they typical Android buttons for computing needs. we’ll all be able to have just one DeX is pretty much seamless. keeping the USB-C plug inside clean for travel or when 1 x USB Type-C input for it’s sitting on your desk. Click on Apps and smartphones over the last decade for that dream phone into the dock. the dock is fairly unassuming.

My Files) all let you resize fast-paced finger input (particularly swiping) running across the top and even support for them. so they can on a phone. meaning you’re fullscreen display mode. and ones that you might not Google’s Drive (nee Docs) suite of apps are the market. Phone notifications live down in the bottom right of the display. Games made for from its full-fat PC counterpart. and ‘close’ that sit on each app’s top bar) are and rescaled. with individual alerts popping up in small boxes as they arrive. The Google Play Store and And in case it needed spelling out.  Likewise. although it sadly didn’t your own range of apps. predictable. office docs and so on). however. The ‘phone’ app runs in its own small window and voice and audio are routed to speakerphone. a lot of video-centric apps sized apps in portrait mode across a standard version of Docs. oversized as to be useless. sans most toolbars and either aren’t built with responsive interfaces or 1080p display. only be used in fixed phone-sized windows. If your cloud-storage service means that it’s easy to cloud-based services. Also worthy of note is that starting or WHO’S IT FOR? Excel and PowerPoint come pre-installed on stopping DeX will see most apps close and DeX is far from perfect.   we found that our regular selection of Android app that we’ve talked about setting up in this Which apps work in which mode isn’t entirely apps was split roughly 50/50 as to whether they month’s superguide. computing needs are simple (web browsing. however. works great worked or not. Some Android apps only work in phone mode. With respect to the latter. These are quite nifty. and using them is identical to buttons. and you get a very lite And maddeningly. DeX lacks an exclusive two general categories: apps designed for phones for large-screen device use. for example. our favourite media centre and swipes. DeX — Docs and Sheets are another story. this could a paid Office 365 subscription in order to edit PERFECT MEDIA PLAYER? certainly replace a regular PC. then — although a lot both S8 models) also work remarkably well reopen with the change of mode — you need of that actually comes down to third-party in DeX mode. Our do not translate well to being controlled with a multiple windows — although you can’t install favourite newsreading app Feedly would only mouse and keyboard. Microsoft’s Office apps work HOTSPOT SCREEN DREAMIN’ particularly well with DeX. With lots of Android-based media players on many caveats. albeit with some pros and cons opening Drive apps in Chrome instead. however. You can even make and take phone calls in docked mode. You’re far better off resorting to didn’t detect that this was an option. The Sheets interface. we found that Android apps fall into the Android versions don’t correctly scale turn out that way. have a video just expand and fill the entire (which you can swivel into either portrait or While you can resized Drive apps so they run screen — the taskbar and any app window landscape modes — and apps that are properly full-screen. switch between devices. is so always visible. from using a mouse-and-keyboard vs a fingertip While this’ll vary from person to person. You can comfortably fit about four phone. so there’s no way to only — displayed in fixed. you do need email. rather than being anything to do interfaces. That includes Plex. fixed-size windows that can be flipped Gmail is one of the better-implemented Google apps for between portrait and landscape modes. ‘minimise’ responsive and can have their windows resized are still massively cut-back mobile versions. although with the ability to multitask on a full-sized monitor they’re not quite as essential as they are on a phone. it’s impossible to ignore that these borders and controls (like the ‘back’. it’s also in desktop mode — it’s almost indistinguishable Samsung’s core productivity apps (Gallery. we thought this might be one of discover until you’ve tested the device with conversely (and perplexingly) more miss — DeX’s stronger areas. any kind of extensions or add-ons. just like regular desktop ones. having heavily button-laden to make sure you’ve saved anything you’re Android apps. Internet. Chrome. meaning they’ll be displayed in small. whether the ones now running from your phone! you want to use are actually coded properly to be used in DeX’s desktop mode. The tie-in with Microsoft’s OneDrive working on to avoid data loss. with tabs Email. this is usually automatic. [ WWW. but there are any of your documents or spreadsheets. phone-sized windows essentially running the smartphone versions.NET ] [ 09 ] . for example. run in phone mode. APP SUPPORT What’ll make or break DeX for most people is Enjoy the mess of a traditional desktop — app support — specifically. and you can click a small arrow icon to bring up the full list.TECHLIFE. Microsoft’s Office apps (Word. as does Gmail and ABC iview. basically useless for gaming. although with with how Samsung’s implementation.

AUSSIE ISPS FORCED TO BLOCK A NUMBER OF KICKASSTORRENTS IN WHAT’S BEEN described as the biggest known ransomware attack in history. the ransomware program known as WannaCry even brought down the MULTIPLY? UK’s National Health Service Hospitals. the newer and widely-used AAC format offers more functionality than the MP3 and. In a column in The West Australian newspaper. [ HD ] HOSPITALS. In a worst-case scenario. in which he has urged telcos to do more ad-blocking software. allowing the hackers to demand Bitcoin payments in exchange for their websites that Australian ISPs are forced safe release. likens the treat to This ruling will allow rights holders to “the U. has recently made comments claiming that the job of protecting your digital its own ad-blocker into its Chrome interactions should be up to your ISP. Experts believe that this particular malware exploits a security hole in to block. President and Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft. Mr Tehan did not make any suggestions as to how ISPs might bear the costs [ SL ] of implementing this increased level of cyber security. including proxies and mirrors. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen”. and are this time brought to to avoid the hoarding of malicious vulnerabilities by government agencies. in which only products to stop their customers being infected with viruses”. For instance. [ HD ] [ NANNY STATE ] GOOGLE MAY INTEGRATE Australian Government wants ISPs to AD-BLOCKING DIRECTLY INTO CHROME protect public against online threats CLEANING UP THE WEB. The latest additions include an unpatched. rather than having to go through the same legal proceedings. [ GONNA CRY ] Leaked NSA hacking tool but the dropping of support for the format heralds a shift toward more advanced responsible for massive codecs in the field. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AMONG THOSE AFFECTED. While there’s currently Google Ads will be acceptable. they may signify the is that the tech giant wants get ahead of intention of the government. More likely no suggestion that these comments outline a plan for legislation. browser. this Tehan wrote that “we need to be able to trust telecommunications companies to protect could conceivably allow Google to create our information from threats” and that “the onus is on these companies to develop a monopoly on online ads. attention by a number of music labels.000 people affected across 150 THEM DOWN FASTER THAN THEY CAN countries. submit an affidavit in the future in order [ STEPHEN LAMBRECHTS ] to get any further domains blocked. [ HARRY DOMANSKI ] [ 010 ] . RELATED SITES an NSA-owned hacking tool dubbed ETERNALBLUE was stolen and used to wreak CAN THE RIGHTS HOLDERS SHUT havoc on a global scale mid-May. With over 200. Brad Smith. on this issue. the founders of the compressed audio format at the Fraunhofer Institute have ended its licensing for specific MP3 patents. Only time will tell. more efficient compression for better quality audio global ransomware attack at smaller file sizes. Google is planning to integrate Security. HOTSPOT NEED TO KNOW THE MP3 HAS ‘OFFICIALLY’ DIED. OR CREATING AN AD-REVENUE MONOPOLY? WHO SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ONLINE SAFETY? THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT’S Dan Tehan. Microsoft has array of sites associated with the popular issued a statement on its official blog asking for “a new Digital Geneva Convention” Kickass Torrents name. given the similar nature of comments made by Prime the uptick in users already adopting Minister Malcolm Turnbull in recent weeks. AS INVENTOR ENDS LICENSING NOT ACTUALLY ‘DEAD’ DEAD & CAN STILL BE CREATED AND LISTENED TO. including Windows XP. or whether they should be passed on to the end user — something which could make internet access costs higher for Australian consumers. In a mostly-symbolic move. most importantly. who’s the Assisting Minister for Cyber According to a report in the Wall Street Journal. You can still listen to and create MP3s freely. WannaCry takes files hostage by encrypting them on a user’s added to the ever-growing list of piracy machine. older versions of Windows. forcing them to shut their networks down and cease admission of new patients — even ones with serious conditions.S. In true Another cluster of domains has been ransomware fashion.

The solution. the scheme will see monitoring IF PASSED. and this [metadata you won’t even get basic security updates. The cited reason is Microsoft’s phone records without a warrant to investigate a leak from within the AFP. The extra revenue will be used to pay for satellite and fixed wireless services in the future. Qualcomm 8996 and AMD Bristol Ridge. existence of the calls in the first place. “This program IN LATE JUNE.. retention] policy. but the journalist wasn’t informed of the breach. call records If you’ve built a lovely new Ryzen or Kaby Lake ALL IN THE NAME OF INVESTIGATION. Prime Minister Turnbull has confirmed that the government is looking at the possibility of a laptop ban on international flights. it would be THE RESULTS DIRECT TO THE PUBLIC similar to the one that has affected inbound US flights from 10 airports in Muslim-majority nations. IT WILL HIT CONSUMERS hardware installed in roughly 4. Mr Turnbull mentioned the government was “working very closely with our partners”. the call records were accessed.” said ACCC chairperson Rod Sims.000 volunteer households around the country. will see the ACCC test and report on the typical speed and performance of broadband plans provided over the NBN. The statement was made in May. suggesting that..” [ SHARMISHTA SARKAR ] [ WWW.NET ] [ 011 ] . Lake. Commissioner Colvin stated that only chips alongside older versions of Windows. This move leaves you out in the cold. Commissioner Andrew Colvin defended the action. The breach “support policy. I want to underscore how important access to metadata is to police as a Boo. system. Windows Update informs you that you have unsupported hardware when you try to update. The BRMR will be based on a three-month pilot program that took place infrastructure. the Commissioner spirited.TECHLIFE. naturally.” We knew this was coming occurred earlier this year and an internal investigation was carried out. communications minister Senator Mitch Fifield has announced a new Broadband BROADBAND PRICES COULD RISE Performance Monitoring and Reporting (BPMR) program that will be funded by the federal AS AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT government and overseen by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission INTRODUCES TAX TO HELP NBN (ACCC). and checking that a month to superfast fixed-line broadband they receive what they are paying for”. THE ACCC PLANS TO MONITOR ISP’S NBN SPEEDS AND PROVIDE if Australia were to impose a ban. is an upgrade THE AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL Police recently admitted than an officer accessed a journalist’s to Windows 10. [ HD ] [ NO TRESPASSING ] Australian Federal Police admit WINDOWS UPDATES BLOCKED ON CERTAIN CPUS to illegally accessing journalist’s LATEST HARDWARE NOW KILLS WINDOWS 7 AND 8 UPDATES. but no disciplinary — last year. and stuck with Windows 7 or 8.10 “information will assist consumers in comparing and shopping around. Reportedly costing $7 million over four years. who promised an Not many people will be running the latest audit. not the content of the calls themselves — “Just the fact of the so adding support would be unprofitable. [ HD ] IN AN EFFORT to hold ISPs accountable for the quality of service they provide to customers. shortly after President Trump’s discussion with Russian [ DOBBER-INNERER ] officials pertaining to terrorist attacks NBN name and shame connected with laptops on flights. “I believe that the public should have full confidence in the police. further explaining that the Plans to introduce a minimum tax of $7. said. According to the ACCC. Microsoft said that Windows 10 action was taken against the officer. [ STEPHEN LAMBRECHTS ] admitted this will result in the costs being passed on to consumers.” But cutting off all updates does look mean- To allay public fear on the growing concern over metadata retention. would be the only platform to support Kaby saying he didn’t believe there was any “ill will or bad intent”. the program will kick off services is the latest in the government’s immediately with comparative data expected to be released to the public during the second attempts at subsidising the NBN half of the year.. [ CL ] fundamental building block of our investigations. HOTSPOT NEED TO KNOW AUSTRALIA CONSIDERING LAPTOP BAN ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS US-STYLE BAN ‘A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY’. While the tax will be charged to the service providers.. the government has in Melbourne in 2015. The matter was recently raised with the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Indoors and out.0 But more impressive is the debut of the inventive While what’s at the core of the new phone is simply one-button navigation. AWARD for those who like to have options. resembles that of the Google Pixel. it will likely mark a CRITICAL SPECS Android 7. [ G IS FOR GORGEOUS ] Budget EQUIPPED WITH MOTO’S HOTSPOT MOTOROLA MOTO G5 PLUS TURBOPOWER TECHNOLOGY. Equipped with Moto’s the bezels give off a glossy look and are complemented TurboPower technology.2-inch LCD screen @ you quickly tap the fingerprint scanner once. the new phone’s software more closely footage into Hollywood-calibre gold. strapped for cash but still want the latest Android 7. 15. theory. While detailed. a good amount of grip and avoids attracting The rear camera sensor in the G5 Plus is now 12MP fingerprints. that’s thanks to the new settings menu that back on the amount of noise present.4 x 1. one of them. offer a small. brushed metal on the back which provides in a total of 85 minutes. There’s also an app that is aptly muddled slightly throughout. this should boast accurate lighting and cut In part. You’ll also be able to shoot video in 4K at 30 frames While the previous iterations came with the Google per second.0. 3000mAh non-removable quick-charge battery.080 x 1. transitioning 0–20% charge in 15 minutes and was fully charged into soft.0 Moto promises all-day performance from its (aka Nougat) OS and an impressive list of premium 3. 16GB. 12MP and 5MP front and rear SoC and Adreno 506 GPU used by the G5 Plus cameras. it was features. octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 CPU. Adreno 506 at recent apps. most retailers. THE G5 PLUS WENT FROM beaut 0–20% CHARGE IN 15 MINUTES AND WAS FULLY CHARGED IN A TOTAL OF 85 MINUTES. BUT KEEPS THE NICE LOW PRICE. but this doesn’t magically turn your Now launcher. but during our testing.2 to f/1. however: if you’re from the Motorola store. the G5 Plus is the go. actually common for the phone to last longer than Available in Australia in ‘lunar grey’ or ‘fine gold’. Motorola’s G5 Plus is its latest ‘budget flagship’ G4 Plus. the G5 Plus went from nicely by the metallic effect on the trim.2-inch 1080p LCD. There are few places titled ‘Moto’. [ CAMERON FAULKNER & HARRY DOMANSKI ] REFRESHED FROM TOP to bottom (and on the inside. MOTOROLA’S LATEST AFFORDABLE PHABLET GETS BETTER DESIGN AND SPECS. then for inclusions like Google Assistant and GPU. albeit noticeable. its advertised runtime. speed boost over the too). The Australian models come with either a and it’s one that’s been redefined since last year’s G4 3GB RAM/16GB ROM configuration available from Plus — even though it perhaps didn’t have to be. the IPS display the aperture boost from f/2. but the overall ED’s CHOICE tweaks the colours of the screen.0 x 7. To look change in perception of the G series — if not for the 1.920. and also sports our results were shaky. — actually a step down from last year’s 16MP — but Sitting front and centre of the G5 Plus is its capable it’s now capable of better low-light shooting thanks to 5. $449 www. other inventive features like the one-button navigation onboard storage. 16GB or 32GB simple swipe left.motorola. 5. or 4GB RAM/32GB ROM exclusively The big picture remains the same. In vibrant than in Moto’s previous budget slow to focus with colours 41/2 the Google Assistant. More broadly. 155g [ 012 ] . the new Snapdragon 625 octa-core on the fingerprint sensor. a welcome step up over last year’s. tap and swipe right. $399.7. and captures WINNER was clearly readable and multimedia is a bit more larger 1. Going back is a design. a welcome feature camera performance was so-so. 3GB or 4GB RAM.4-micron pixels in each photograph.000mAh battery. unlocking some interesting features like where this phone shows its budget roots and this is MOTOROLA MOTO G5 PLUS ‘twist to open camera’ and ‘chop twice for flashlight’. To reach the Home screen. 32GB.

Experian posited that a large journalist Arielle Duhaime-Ross.TECHLIFE. Australians watch over a billion minutes of catch-up TV — a viewing feat that equates to 2. Just over half of the survey respondents claim there’s an unwritten rule that they need to respond to work-related contact out of hours. for a THE YEAR THAT ELON MUSK’S SPACEX PLANS TO HAVE GIGABIT-SPEED bit of context. According to a report by Vice investigative with 82% being ‘very satisfied’ and a further 16% just ‘satisfied’. Elon Musk’s space-exploration company. will launch a have get rewatched on their dedicated network of 4. THE KEY FIGURES DRIVING THE LATEST ISSUES AND TRENDS IN TECHNOLOGY [ HARRY DOMANSKI ] 67% AMOUNT OF AUSTRALIANS THAT WANT THEIR OUT-OF-OFFICE HOURS TO BE A ‘NO WORK EMAIL’ ZONE Two-thirds of Australian workers would like their employers to implement a policy that officially makes weekends and afternoons work-free times.98% HOTSPOT NEWS IN NUMBERS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION WITH APPLE AIRPODS 1. These satellites will be capable of SBS On Demand an obscene amount. BROADBAND SATELLITES OPERATIONAL the 25 free-to-air TV channels we currently In just two years’ time. SpaceX. [ WWW. and continue adding catch-up services such as ABC iView and to this network in phases for the following five years. products through the rigours of everyday use. of the customers surveyed. as low as 25–35ms — the current satellites have a latency of around 600ms — which rivals which aggregates all of these services into most land-based networks and even cabled data connections. left for days in order to test the long-term durability and safety of the devices when exposed to real-world use. a single location. and that a reasonably positive half a gallon (1.9 LITRES HOW MUCH FAKE SWEAT APPLE USES US-based research firm Experian has found that. The report shows a picture of the Apple Watch The news in numbers and AirPods suspended in jars of the faux perspiration. and will operate with latencies also via its own Freeview Plus app for TVs. where employees in companies with 50 or more staff can now ignore digital communications in their time off with no threat of penalty.9 litres) of synthetic sweat every day in order to put a range of their reception to voice assistants has helped exacerbate this boon.NET ] [ 013 ] . According to Freeview Australia. Apple uses influencing factor is how easy Siri is to use with the AirPods. 1 BILLION MINUTES THE AMOUNT OF CATCH-UP TV WATCHED BY AUSTRALIANS EVERY MONTH Every month. a massive 98% EACH DAY IN PRODUCT TESTING of respondents were happy with the performance of their Apple AirPod wireless earbuds. according to a survey from recruitment company Hays.000 years worth of video. Similar legislation was recently passed in France.425 broadband satellites from one of its Falcon 9 rockets. and producing connection speeds of up to a gigabit per second.

plus the buds also provide can be fixed to your bike handlebars or helmet.101 from 511 backers | RRP: US$289 While it might be deemed rather unsafe to FROM THE PRACTICAL TO THE QUIRKY TO THE DOWNRIGHT listen to music while wearing a motorbike helmet.000 Raised: US$81. As well as being worn on the wrist. The compact device has popped up on our radar. Boasting an “always on. the Beoncam taking a call.426 from 868 backers | RRP: US$299 While most houses probably have some Kul-U Pocket kind of doorbell (not your humble writer’s. which attaches to your is bringing something new to the table. this is a camera that aims to be able to capture important environmental sounds. dirt bike riders and other. so it seems fitting that this one like the dbell HD Live.000 | Raised: FOR EVERYONE OUT THERE. clipped to your clothes or a bag. we doubt there’d www. recorded footage and also check in on your making it super portable. CROWDFUNDING WEBSITES HAVE ALLOWED THE can happily tell you about SlimBuds. HOTSPOT KICKSTARTED! SLIMBUDS BLUETOOTH EARPHONES THAT FIT UNDER [ CROWDFUNDED ] YOUR HELMET.99 be many houses already sporting something Last | Goal: US$30. we compared a couple of portable heating | Goal: US$30. monthly fees to view your own videos and This system supposedly combines fan. Lots of things come along that you don’t immediately realise you incorporates a 160° wide-angle HD video need until after you get one — microwaves.000 | Raised: US$40. placed flush protection from wind noise. THERE’S SOMETHING A DOORBELL/SECURITY-CAM | Goal: US$30.spacemap. as well as online browsers. for example — but we were camera with a microphone. [ COOLIO ] ‘What the?’ crowdfunder of the month DBELL HD LIVE CLEARLY. much from the side of your head. they won’t pop out. you can remotely control the ice and evaporative cooling into one.576 from 720 backers | RRP: US$49. However. meaning [ CARMEL SEALEY ] they’re very uncomfortable or impossible to use while wearing a heavily-padded helmet. dbell. lots of motion sensors and night vision to create an “extra not expecting a portable air conditioning unit to be one of | Goal: US$40.SlimBuds. smartphones and cats. as well as do a bit of editing. You can adjust the temperature. as well as save in a stressful meeting. A waterproof housing important of all. attractive bit of tech. meaning you can have it going when you’re presenting even if you’re not at home. the Beoncam SlimRemote. tablet and PC. but enough people were wowed by the Kul-U to get it over the finishing line. Some CREATION OF AN AMAZING RANGE OF PRODUCTS. single-touch system” and powered by App makes sure you don’t drown out any a long-lasting USB-rechargeable battery. is also available for this tiny little camera. The audio is clear both while listening to music and whatever you want. The Kul-U works by sucking in home whenever you want. so we STRANGE.. The device is really small (for an air con unit) and is also quite light.000 | Raised: US$64. too. you to interact with a visitor at your door. and even placed around your neck like a pendant. THE AIR CONDITIONING UNIT FOR COAT POCKETS? though. Beoncam The SlimBuds. Plus. US$141. cooling you down from the safe haven of your coat pocket.774 from 546 backers | RRP: US$253 motorcyclists.kul-u. there’s no warm air and then channelling that air through a cooling system to then be spat out again. The dbell enables speed for a maximum of four hours. and most upon a table. and the companion Awareness a camera on your wrist. have been designed PUT A CAMERA ON YOUR WRIST. whenever you want. rejoice! The earphones come with the making them more affordable and portable than ever before. HERE’S A models of Bluetooth earphones stick out too SELECTION OF LATEST PROJECTS THAT PIQUED OUR INTEREST. 360° cameras are becoming increasingly popular as they shrink in size and also in price. It’s not the most there are companion apps for your phone. come to think of it). While on low. The Kul-U can run at high eye” on your front door. it’s almost completely silent. [ 014 ] . This surely has to be the epitome of portable — handlebars. however. Using the companion app. it’s not illegal in Australia. view and share footage. especially for being worn with helmets — www. Kickstarted! www..

8cm. This highlights one of the handset’s strongest features: the Super THE LG G6 IS A PHONE THAT AMOLED 1440p display is the best in the world TAKES THINGS BACK TO at the moment. the S8+ is power-efficient and makes it a little more fluffy and friendly. 12MP and 8MP front and rear cameras. ‘the next big thing’ — and it’s hard to deny that it’s a device that takes that slogan very literally. 173g A similar performance bump can be seen in to invest a lot of money in their phone. functionality of the predecessor. Mali-G71 MP20 GPU.2-inch AMOLED screen via microSD. octa-core Samsung Although the camera technically has phone than this. and AWARD disappointing and doesn’t have voice comes with fast-charging via the new USB-C capabilities. and that nearly bezel-less design is even more striking here than in the S8. Unfortunately. [ WWW. smudging it in the process. the Bixby AI assistant is still rather even with heavy photo and video use.3 x photos and less motion blur in general. despite Samsung going to the effort port. Still.349 www.0 Nougat operating system given the screen size). 64GB onboard identical specs to last year’s S7 Edge. hard to reach and next to the camera. pins. the 6.0 x 7.NET ] [ 015 ] . you’re not going to find a bigger. 4GB of RAM coupled with the speedy In short. including a pressure-sensitive Home SCREEN TO BODY WILL BE button. making it very easy to mistakenly press the lens instead of the sensor. enough to offer a day-and-a-half of battery life.2-inch display and big boost in storage. the latter two are unreliable enough to render them more frustrating than the video-capturing. 3. the scanner is — like on the regular S8 — off-centre. THE RATIO OF buttons. CRITICAL SPECS Android 7. Those couple of small gripes Exynos 8895 CPU. Its 6.2-inch Infinity Display takes up the vast majority of the front face. Inside.440 x 2.349 — $150 dearer than its regular-sized sibling. Samsung AND TO ANYONE USING THE has finally switched to on-screen bottom iPHONE 7 of mobile VR games. recommendation for anyone who is willing 0. 6. 16.0.500mAh non-removable and technology behind it offer better low-light power and efficiency make this an easy quick-charge battery. ED’s CHOICE however. 4GB RAM. and has moved the fingerprint scanner STAGGERING. top-of-the-line specs and an equally bloated price at $1. Samsung has really nailed the balance of having a big screen with a small handset. out brighter and with smoother stabilisation. with the video coming convenient. It also comes with 64GB phone when you’re paying this much money of internal space and expandable storage keeps the Galaxy S8+ from being flawless. iris scanning and face unlocking. and while you can also unlock your phone with passwords. Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface takes Despite a smallish 3. everything here looks and feels 41/2 Samsung Exynos 8895 chipset makes for nicely futuristic except for the illogically located excellent performance — this is a phone more fingerprint sensor and the (so far) absent Bixby SAMSUNG GALAXY S8+ than capable of powering the next generation voice assistant. BASICS.[ LIVING ON THE EDGE ] Edge case IS SAMSUNG’S S8+ THE BEST BIG ANDROID PHONE YOU CAN OWN? [ MATT SWIDER & HARRY DOMANSKI ] HOTSPOT SAMSUNG’S S8+ THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S8+ is. and being locked out of your $1. AND LARGELY DOES SO The biggest shift for long-time Samsung users WELL. and making the top and bottom bezels just thin strips. This sister product to the excellent Galaxy S8 we reviewed last month has a ridiculously sized screen.500mAh battery (at least WINNER Google’s Android 7. to the rear. capacitive ‘Recents’ and ‘Back’ keys. while also retaining the wireless charging of giving it a dedicated physical button. according to the marketing spiel. almost eliminating the left and right borders with a gently curved screen. Thankfully.TECHLIFE. THE SLEEK METAL AND is the removal of the home button and GLASS FUSION IS ATTRACTIVE. The S8+’s bigger size makes that scanner even more of a stretch to find. better @ 1. the chip aside.

getting and have the ability to pity them. proving humans aren’t our lives should keep coronary disease at bay and our hands on their digestive enzymes could reduce the the only intellectually advanced species on Earth.. down and clothes from wearing out. social development was conducted on a group of 34 building up plaque in our blood streams and causing Problem is. THAT’S HELPING SHAPE THE WORLD OF TOMORROW. have developed a clothes dryer than can get the job done in half the time yet. tighty-whities dry with sound This species is covered in a slime that ENOUGH WITH THE HOT AIR ALREADY! contains a peptide — urumin — which directly targets the H1 flu virus and kills Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. instead of propagating the idea of lowering fat in might be the answer. unknown why the peptide targets of conventional dryers — using sound. we’re utterly clueless as to how to get rid of adult great apes by researchers in Germany and the heart disease. keeping bills want. But some experts are now suggesting all that non-degradable stuff. The drum of this ultrasonic dryer can convert the specific virus. with help from General it. This little animal chows down on social intelligence to figure out what we (or other apes) our diets. but isn’t toxic to human cells. come flu season. While allowing these They’re able to tell when someone believes in a lie exercise) three or more times a week and less stress in worms near garbage might not be the answer. The dryer is also five times more efficient and produces less lint. but ‘milking’ this frog’s electricity into high-frequency vibrations that shake off water from fibres in the form skin could be the breakthrough we all of a mist. The wax worm caterpillar results revealed that our distant cousins have enough that. [ SHARMISHTA SARKAR ] Got the flu? You could consider travelling to South India and ingesting the mucus secreted by the bright-orange frog Your next clothes dryer could blast your named the Hydrophylax bahuvistara. with 22 beeswax and plastic bags quite happily. OUR APE COUSINS ARE MORE HUMAN DON’T BLAME THE BLUBBER: SATURATED CATERPILLAR ENZYMES COULD HELP THAN WE THOUGHT FATS DON’T CLOG UP ARTERIES GET RID OF PLASTIC WASTE An experiment for 16–18-month-old toddlers to study It’s been widely believed that saturated fats aren’t good. It is. INVENTIONS AND SCIENCE NEWS LICK THE FROG. PRINCESS. frog snot! THE LATEST DISCOVERIES. as Electric. eating ‘real food’ is the way to go. HOTSPOT POP SCIENCE [ I F&%$#@* LOVE SCIENCE! ] Pop science And the miracle cure for influenza is. minutes of brisk walking (or 30 minutes of moderate and the paste degrades plastic film. Mash ‘em up are thinking by observing gestures and expressions.. We’ve generated plenty of plastic waste over the years. amount of plastic junk that’s accumulated globally. maintain a healthy lifestyle. [ 016 ] .

Afraid of calling there’s adrenaline to keep you upright and give adrenaline and cortisone into our system. But there’s a flipside to this — fear unleashes help you work past them. Brain scans have revealed that thing you’re afraid of will help you focus on chronicling your fears can help you feel better the amygdala — situated in the lower portion similar things that aren’t all that scary to you about them. Taking public speaking as an so that. when you’re facing your fears. reaction on occasions when fear is uncalled for.” [ WWW. hang up or tell you to get As author Mandy Hale put it. If breathing Scientists have long known that fear triggers anthropophobia (fear of people). despite being highly evolved. and that’s a great starting point to work on behavioral technique that alters the way the This activation triggers nervous responses. of oxygen our cells receive. Slowly the cerebrum can’t overwrite the amygdala’s * What’s the worst that can happen? increase the group size and see how you go. you through some of the scary moments life to release tension. or at fear in check if it’s holding you back from * Use calming techniques. [ SHARMISHTA SARKAR ] EVERYONE’S AFRAID OF something. when we were eaten by the likes enjoying life. brain with oxygen and make you alert and overcome it. causes the heart to thump. BE VERY AFRAID ] How to handle fear . It’s even connected to the yourself it might ruin your chances at down the process into small steps and tackle each hippocampus. or you could try hypnosis if you believe it — commonly known as the flight-or-fight be something you’ve talked yourself into.. try to figure didn’t do it for you. Every animal on hard to put into action. Here’s five steps that could help to breathe deeply and release the breathe slowly of sabre-toothed tigers. Terrified of public speaking? Imagine scared. If you suffer from and continue until you feel better. Play out you could say that being afraid is human. especially with deep. progressing in your career? Give yourself some one individually. your best and will deal with whatever comes event. then before a group of supportive friends. I guess GETTING OVER IT you’re still alive and life will go on. But it’s worth trying to keep the world won’t end. Talking to extremely useful when we weren’t at the top of certain group of people. THE SCIENCE OF FEAR that frightens you. someone you’re interested in romantically? you a boost of energy. been known to be effective against deep-seated skin to sweat and our minds to become ‘sharp’ It’s possible that whatever is scaring you could fears. one that was out if that’s a fear of men or women or a with the help of apps or a tutor. minutes in your head and you’ll begin to realise the planet has fear hardwired into the brain. or use a paper You need to be clear on what exactly it is bag if you think you’re about to hit panic levels. We’re often told least it used to. Neuro-linguistic programming (a of our forebrain — lights up when we’re afraid. getting over said fear. At the end of it all. effectively making don’t take your call. Exaggerating the outcomes of your fears could Remember. in turn. Being scared means you’re about to do everyone laughing at you. positive pep talk instead. Pinpointing the exact someone about what’s scaring you or even the food chain. really brave. Fear can be crippling. if and when it happens. if not completely sends your way. “It’s okay to be us energetic and possibly even superhuman. Use that to your which increases blood pressure and the amount What’s the worst that could happen? They advantage and be the hero you know you are. It doesn’t have to be dramatic — break responses to the fear. our * Be aware of what you tell yourself. Tell yourself you’ll do example.. response. but it’s catastrophic scenarios realistically for a few not exclusive to Homo sapiens. * Figure out what exactly you’re afraid of. if you’ve got to speak at an event The last thing you need to do is face your fears An active amygdala also triggers hormonal and you’re afraid you’ll mess up. jittery. something really. try yoga and meditation a primitive part of our brain. are you telling head-on. So take shallow breaths. if you’re preparing to give a speech at an the body can respond instinctively. might help.NET ] [ 017 ] . but it’s It’s easy to talk about overcoming fear. seated anxieties. For example. human mind learns and communicates) has which. if you’re faced with the same threat later. It’s a survival instinct — it keeps us alive. HOTSPOT GET PSYCHED: HOW TO HANDLE FEAR [ BE AFRAID.TECHLIFE. begin by practising before your family. but that could flood your but it’s possible to get past it. and get on with your day. the memory centre in the brain. lost. Unfortunately.WITH MORE THAN A BRAVE FACE.

WE TELL YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW. like the Good News Fairy that we Creators Update before it launched. Windows 10. if you have less creative 10 users all trying to download the rather hefty juice flowing through you than a heap of update all at once. or you about a new version of Microsoft Paint? And applies to people who play games and like to may have to wait weeks — even months — who still cares about 3D? We were as surprised stream and share their gameplay with friends before it appears in Windows Update. but with a beer away so impressed by this new app. which you can then use to with this release makes it worth downloading. but the number of tweaks. Microsoft is rolling out the With the update installed. or perform a clean install with the new on bolstering the creative aspects of However. to stop the millions of Windows Creators Update. your PC will let you know that remain where they were. So you might get the We know what you’re thinking: who cares to Surface and create digital art — it also Creators Update in the next few days. but with major com/en-us/software-download/windows10). However. [ MATT HANSON ] WHEN WINDOWS 10 launched in July 2015. What’s particularly impressive about download and install the Creators Update. Update Assistant web page (www. TRENDING WINDOWS 10 CREATORS UPDATE: ALL THE BEST BITS EXPLAINED Windows 10 Creators Update: all the best bits explained THE SECOND MAJOR UPDATE TO WINDOWS 10 HAS JUST DROPPED. it’s been a bit coy about how long this rollout additions is a new program called 3D Paint. we have 3D Paint. The and then your PC is updated with the Creators around the world as you read this. run acknowledged this by releasing two major it. it was met with acclaim — and also a fair Windows 10 still isn’t perfect. and now the The Windows 10 Creators Update is a free — so make sure you save your work first — Creators Update is currently rolling out to PCs download for every Windows 10 user. and await you? Well. and Microsoft appears to have definitely something worth celebrating. However. work (or any game progress) is saved. Microsoft has focused Windows Update do its thing. but 3D [ 018 ] . then let update your current installation of Windows As the name suggests. it still wasn’t a perfect operating and improving its operating system. the Anniversary GET THE CREATORS UPDATE the rest for you. Windows 8. which is latest version of Windows 10. head to the Windows 10 in a 3D space can be quite complicated. To manually download Windows 10 3D Paint is that the concept of creating models why you would want to. to come there is also the usual array of less glamorous are (think the Tooth Fairy. Of course. like its 2D counterpart (which usability tweaks to make Windows 10 an more glad tidings: there’s a way to manually remains its own separate program). Once downloaded. Your PC restarts a few times Update. then checks for the However. what cool new Creators Update. improvement over its predecessor. one of the most exciting to be a ‘Creator’. hit our PCs last year. amount of relief — because it was a marked free updates such as the Creators Update. artwork. shows that Microsoft is committed to evolving The tool downloads. at some point Update. (and arguably more essential) security and belly and faded Half-Life 2 T-shirt).microsoft. grants all-around better piece of software to use. fixes the update is ready to be downloaded and That website also allows you to download and new features that Microsoft has promised installed. 10. So it’s not just people who like to put stylus process will take. the Creators Update. The tool does updates for it: the first. update to the Creators Update yourself. and potentially breaking WHAT’S NEW? rocks. the good news is that Microsoft has a part of the internet. what new features rather liberal interpretation of what it means update to PCs around the world in waves. features you’ll be getting and how to use them. while all your files and settings Windows updates are rarely worth getting in the future. excited about. good news is that this means. we’re looking at how you can don’t have to wait for the rollout. it then click ‘Update now’. then select ‘Update Now’. All you need to do is make sure your an ISO image. so you simple tools for people to create their own In this article. which includes system. after meeting Microsoft to see and strangers across the internet. as you are.

notably have a 3D printer hooked up to your PC.NET ] [ 019 ] . but trust us: Microsoft’s own AR headset Hololens is a you’re playing a game and recording it in load up 3D Paint and have a play around — pricey proposition.TECHLIFE. are applications to be viewed in 3D. of course. game at hand when it’s the active. growing number of games — regardless of whether they’re UWP or Win32 — will see the feature automatically enabled. A new app. on normal PCs. which now supports 3D content. Microsoft keeps an internal list of games for this feature. and it is now heavily tells your system to reallocate CPU and you’re comfortable using them. The results. steadier frame rates than before. [ WWW. Plus. but powerful enough reality platform built by Microsoft on the on your keyboard brings this up). worried that people were getting their hopes up too high. so you don’t see major dips in and 3D animations. and others related to gaming. you won’t see much difference. as Microsoft claims. Under the name Update. Microsoft promising that it still cares about PC them. or added to VR and AR It means that you can create your own 3D full-screen application. if you model (or simply download an existing one). to give you hefty boosts to FPS — Microsoft was keen to various programs. So much so that Microsoft actually had to downplay expectations. ‘Windows Mixed Reality’. to make presentations machines. At least with the Creators gaming. the Mixed Reality frame rates. is something that a lot of us have heard many that aren’t absolutely optimised for and it is these technologies that have rekindled times before. Microsoft also announced the background — or you have another it may just be your new favourite application. Microsoft also warns that Game mixed reality — just like virtual and gaming. While system’s resources. while you’re playing. is included with the Creators Update were hoping — that Game Mode would browser. this is a mixed toggled from the Game Bar (‘Windows-G’ straightforward at first. and the default Edge web Portal. Of course. The idea is that if It’s difficult to explain in writing. There’s no word on how many games — Win32 or UWP — support the feature. it seems like Microsoft may be making packed with Titan Xp GPUs. which we’re told is updated more frequently than Windows itself. which used to be So what is Game Mode? It can be with the tools it offers appearing very called ‘Windows Holographic’. integrated into the Windows 10 GPU hardware resources to prioritise the These creations can be exported and viewed Creators Update. last year that it is working with a number of intensive task running while you play — Microsoft’s renewed love of 3D extends headset manufacturers to bring third-party Game Mode tells Windows 10 to prioritise beyond 3D Paint to PowerPoint (for 3D models AR and VR headsets to Windows 10 your game. and it to create some impressive 3D works once Windows 10 API. not boosting While 3D displays are now out of vogue. disabling Game Mode on a game is as easy as enabling it. Unlike what some people slightly less dull). while chasing the shiny Xbox bauble. to show you exactly what Windows 10 is strip down background apps and tasks and plays nicely with 3D files exported from capable of. A FOCUS ON GAMES stabilising frame rates. 3D Paint. and then easily place it into a real or virtual with games that particularly tax a given it’s incredibly easy to print off your creations. Paint makes the process incredibly simple. stress that the results are about SketchUp and. ahead of the launch of the Creators Update. so if you have an all-powerful rig Microsoft’s 3D passion. GAME MODE: TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE? Game Mode is perhaps the feature that Use the Windows 10 Update generated the most amount of buzz Assistant to manually download and install the update. A new Gaming section Both Universal Windows Platform has been added to the (UWP) and Win32 games support Game Windows Settings app Mode. but we get the impression that the number is enormous. such as Minecraft. world using a VR or AR headset. A select. Mode brings the most benefit to systems augmented reality — is the hot new thing.

good for the 3D printing scene. Granted. Clever. That’s where Remix. Microsoft settings from this window. and only hope it grows from here. which. Settings app. which helps your PC maintain gameplay. Paint 3D is genuinely one of the most impressive additions included with the Creators Update. In the Windows 10 hopes that. with built-in support for ebooks. background tasks and applications run. as well as Gaming settings page. there is a new addition: Gaming. Windows 10. rather than third-party software. While there’s a number of choose the frame rates and video quality. gameplay videos. by baking this functionality into without the ability to freehand in 3D. a wide selection of According to Microsoft’s own testing. When seeing it first-hand. The way in which Paint 3D solid frame rates as you play. creating three-dimensional pieces of art Edge has been given an truly is as simple as Microsoft overhaul. ‘mixed reality’ devices. [ 020 ] . Microsoft also argues com. should give you more yet offers the depth to please them as into more detail in the boxout on the right. it wouldn’t be Paint some positive moves. Microsoft’s online portal for sharing most talked-about feature is the new Game that. minimalist use of sliders and other toggles enables you to shift your creation’s position on either axis. and so many other fields further The Game DVR settings page enables you to ability to turn audio recording on (and off). you’re more likely to use its and thus comes the desire to share those This setting enables you to control many offering. such as Nvidia’s ShadowPlay. We go disposal. Naturally. Paint 3D is by no means a programs that enable you to record and share You can also set Windows 10’s Broadcast professional-grade 3D modeling app — videos. TRENDING WINDOWS 10 CREATORS UPDATE: ALL THE BEST BITS EXPLAINED PAINT 3D: GETTING CREATIVE As we mentioned earlier. the old Paint remains untouched. Mode option. You can also use your device as an ereader. Among the new Game DVR settings is the VR. it’s clear that this app has the capacity to allow for quite a bit of complexity. too. while other your PC will have more resources at its communicates how to create in a new dimension so easily for the average user. and don’t worry. Regardless. too. Oh. and you can add our creations to games. in turn. especially as it’s so easy to configure custom creations. Most of that simplicity comes down to how intuitively the app communicates three dimensions in a two-dimensional space. could do a lot of you can turn the feature on and off from the play games while recording. by using Windows 10 to record your these Paint 3D projects. In the Creators this is purely meant for the vast majority of Windows 10 users who would just like to dabble. preloaded creation templates — such as goldfish — will help newcomers out immensely. Of course. Edge is the least The Creators Update brings more compatibility with battery-intensive browser. and using tabs is now better than ever. down the road — such as being able to control how you take screenshots and record if you want to provide narration. Its and begin recording. aspects of how Windows 10 handles games. but consistent and stable frame rates when you they increase in skill. comes into play. You can also export anything created in Paint 3D as 3D-ready FBX or 3MF files for 3D printers. we’re already impressed with what Paint 3D can do. demonstrated at the update’s reveal event last year. Then again.

“blurring the lines usually end a browsing session with an between playing and watching”. Instead. the results. Edge should be less taxing on your specially tuned for the new Windows 10 via stream. night. it’s not quite enough for us simple in the Creators Update — all you need browsers side-by-side. By having almost no Microsoft has also thrown a lot of new perceptible pause between the action in the game. and community around. the reach of. In other words. if you haven’t already. this is a sign that. device’s battery. It lowers the amount of blue light your SO IT’S LITTLE WONDER THAT MICROSOFT IS SO KEEN TO GET INVOLVED. If you’re not too keen on Microsoft’s recent direction. many watching Let’s Play streams more interactive. Broadcasting via Beam is made incredibly staying power of the three most popular To be honest. as well as an Xbox Live account. While Firefox lasted just 7 hours. and while they aren’t as headline-grabbing as Game Mode and mixed reality support. for broadcasters. lasting TRENDING WINDOWS 10 CREATORS UPDATE: ALL THE BEST BITS EXPLAINED web browser. WITH TWITCH GAINING 100 MILLION is an effective and welcome feature for people MONTHLY UNIQUE USERS WATCHING OVER 2 MILLION MONTHLY STREAMERS SINCE IT who tend to use computers at all hours of the LAUNCHED IN 2011. 4 minutes Beam’s major claim to fame here. which means 9 hours and 17 minutes of streaming. WITH AROUND 241 BILLION MINUTES OF CONTENT BEING BROADCAST.0’ initiative. you’re broadcasting to Beam which browser could last the longest while viewers worldwide. Beam is a PC game streaming and when it comes to add-ons and extensions. That’s after creating a Beam account. in established services. unwieldy number of tabs open. You can also [ WWW. after all. Take Night Light. It is. toggles later. Faster than Light SDK”. Bar feature (which can be brought up by Creators Update. Once again.Update.TECHLIFE. for example — Microsoft’s answer to Night Shift on macOS Sierra. replete with its own streaming network via often skipping Microsoft’s latest browser. the broadcaster is playing and what the audience features at its Edge browser in a bid to make us sees. there’s no prizes for guessing called Beam. it dominated proceedings. It has done this by acquiring the Beam service last year. mode kicks in at sunset local time or activates For a start. so you can quickly and of Microsoft’s ‘Interactive 2. with the success of Twitch and other adjust the tone of the colour change. the broadcaster’s executions in-game to those that if you’re browsing the web on a laptop Microsoft’s Edge browser. through to more complex interactive elements. with popular ones on Firefox and Chrome Edge didn’t just. OTHER FEATURES There’s a load of other features included in the Creators Update. Of course. Microsoft Edge. You could now tell a broadcaster to look out behind them.NET ] [ 021 ] . Chrome managed a full is that it maintains sub-second latency from Edge as lightweight as possible. it has a few tricks up its sleeve. click the offering against Google’s Chrome and to Edge just yet. When implemented into a game. and it BEAM: TOOLS FOR BROADCASTING VIDEO GAME STREAMING IS INCREDIBLY POPULAR. easily switch between the ones you need. Microsoft has an uphill struggle to convince people to move from their preferred addition to the standard setting of whether the service to Beam. introduced as part currently open tabs. which you Given that Microsoft is keen for you to see played on Windows 10 with a new feature can then open and restore later. An acquisition recently made by Edge has often felt a little neglected which browser came out on top — yep. these features (combined with the low latency) will enable This is a great addition for those of us who viewers to be almost as involved in the action as the streamers themselves. similar to Twitch. which can play havoc with your internal clock. well. However. it has a focus on super low latency. as Microsoft puts it. though. which allows for broadcasting with virtually no latency. Microsoft has also worked hard on making before conking out. as good as the new features Beam wants to make ushered in by the Creators Update are. converted into a baked-in Game The company is looking to fix that with the a full 35% longer than Google Chrome. it makes conversations between the broadcaster and the audience even better. Microsoft is looking to seriously up ‘set tabs aside’. PC emits though its display. their addition definitely makes Windows 10 a much better operating system. Microsoft has released a minutes of streaming time before finally makes interacting that much more interesting. the firm. of them require you to be fully signed up to Microsoft’s ecosystem. rather than telling them. eventually notching up 12 hours and 31 doing in-game and your viewers seeing it To prove its point. then just a few clicks and Mozilla’s Firefox. just kept on chugging. you may not be a huge fan of this. of popular add-ons and extensions to Edge. this reduction in the time between what you’re before your machine dies. The test was a simple one: going in the right direction. which has been moments being displayed on your PC screen or tablet. includes a genuinely useful tab preview bar These range from simple soundboard apps (which allow viewers to trigger specific sound effects) that gives you a visual overview of all your that can be applied to any game. pitting its own Edge to make the leap from our trusted browsers to do is open up the Game Bar. by bringing a large number and a massive 77% longer than Firefox. and they’d react. also doubling down on the Windows Store and UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps for games. Night Light enables you to Update and the Xbox One. but it looks like it is definitely Broadcast icon. Classic Microsoft. battery test video comparison. only to find out ditch Chrome and Firefox. which should mean more time Creators Update. something Microsoft is describing as the “Beam within set hours. aforementioned support for 3D media. pressing ‘Windows-G’ on your keyboard). which is Microsoft speak for streaming full-screen video from Vimeo. it also Microsoft also plans for Beam to have a full suite of interactive elements for its streams. launched at GDC earlier this year. games saving open tabs as a collection. broadcasting platform. and integrating it into Windows 10’s Creators Even better. showing the calling it a day. edge the test either. As well as the three seconds later that they are already dead.

Saving money gets complex when there are world feedback from other gamers. mouse and monitor to replicate the desktop STORAGE WARS or buy. it’s important to spec correctly getting the desired performance from a laptop. compare prices. so you can drop in value. semi-portable. such those from metabox. SSD. better airflow and tiny lower-end PC will use less power. SPECCING A NEW computer can be a lot as they can look at the minimum specs of measure of THE CHEAPEST ISN’T ALWAYS THE BEST OPTION. by making it of fun. so we’ve resource for new builds is PC Part Picker productivity tasks. [ TECHLIFE #65 ] BARGAIN HUNTER HELPING YOU TRACK DOWN THE BEST TECH FOR LESS [ BARGAIN HUNTER ] Building a bargain PC WHEN IT COMES TO BUILDING YOUR OWN COMPUTER. For example. Or spend performance for your dollar. saving a bit used for its entire life. but a cheap PC isn’t necessarily check hardware compatibility and has a range graphics for the short term. or look at loads of real. Gamers will have a tougher time Those ultra-fast NVMe SSDs are rapidly awesome. can be custom specced much like advantages over a cheaper. Rather. which lets you play GPU in the future for gaming. their favourite titles. dropping in price but. it’s important to choose a CPU with inbuilt side of things. but want to splurge on a put together a guide to building a bargain PC. [ LINDSAY HANDMER ] It’s not just desktops that can be configured — many Aussie laptop vendors provide customisation options that can be affordable way to get the balance right for your needs. give little real-world performance people building or buying a computer that is com. We’ve tended to focus on the more affordable around with different builds. a It’s important to consider what a PC will be for easy installs. specific hardware just because it’s experience. (au. of Even a desktop. laptops can actually be great rather than less on 4 x 4GB. A big mistake we often see is but some models. not just what you want footprint PCs. another 2 x 8GB as an upgrade in the future. with a PCIe slot for later upgrades. slower SATA III simply too powerful for the job at hand. in all but some specific for your needs. A great you might need a PC right now for loads of different options to juggle. it’s about getting the most of handy guides.000 one. cases. whether it’s a For those who want something at least a little extra now to buy 2 x 8GB RAM chips $500 build or a $5. The right build can give you a [ 022 ] . right now. but also a big hit to the wallet. It’s well worth combining a main SSD the best deal on a $1.000 PC is not a bargain and a mechanical HDD is you expect large if a $500 machine would have done the same CHOOSE YOUR HARDWARE WISELY storage needs.pcpartpicker. as everything needed is included.2 SSDs can make job. As much as it can be tempting to drool over. easier to upgrade down the track. Cheaper M. but a motherboard a bargain. While the impact is relatively small. In such a case. Gamers have it relatively easy. KNOW YOUR PURPOSE It’s also possible to plug them into a keyboard.

com. Our go-tos for as many offer prices that include assembly. One of the best tech price comparison websites. THE OS CONUNDRUM Consider free alternatives such as Linux or even Chrome OS. so a monitor with a higher as wide a range of monitors — especially not bang-for-buck-oriented ones. PC. PC Part An often overlooked aspect to getting a great Picker is another great resource. AMD CPUs are a mixed bag. or use the advanced search to narrow the results WARRANTIES down to your state. Make It’s well worth learning how to build your own sort the problem — not just tell you to contact sure to take digital copies of your because it helps save money with the manufacturer. mobile app for Android and testing or even overclocking. Consider what the Australian law. your GPU and lodge warranties online if available.accc.and 27-inch models. tech are still Static Ice (www. as well as the overclockers. Viewsonic’s FreeSync. performance but needs expensive hardware included in the monitor and isn’t found on is enough to push frame rates beyond 60fps. gaming builds and FreeSync. [ WWW. but under SECOND HAND Websites such as eBay and Gumtree. might only have a 1 year warranty. Mentioned above. It’s not tearing. and gather dust — sell them on it’s still possible to upgrade eBay or search for second-hand older versions for free. it must last a ‘reasonable time’. which value PC is the to be had by comparing prices. 24.staticice. troubleshooting and upgrades down the DIY VS ASSEMBLY consumer guarantees and the retailer must involved if a retailer claims otherwise. Likewise. don’t forget to account for shipping. PRICE COMPARISON But even experienced builders shouldn’t Like any purchase. On any mid-range gaming PC. but it’s possible equipped 75Hz VX57 series monitors are worth a look. there are plenty of savings discount having their PC built by a including loads of generally excellent. For those wanting to include FreeSync in their next bargain build. refresh rate is needed. Don’t but don’t forget that Australia has excellent be afraid to get the ACCC (www. For example. includes price comparison. THE AMD ADVANTAGE While getting better. whereas the GPUs are That means it’s included on a big range of monitors. it’s hard to to help maintain a high frame rate without screen tearing or stuttering. That’s where adaptive sync technologies steps in. go past the ViewSonic VX57 forums. second hand typically gives much better bang for buck. sell off any old hardware when upgrading. but most PC builders will be using Windows. for no more Staticice also has a great and Getprice (www. Windows 10 is still the go-to Don’t let your old PC parts for most new builds. manufacturer offers in terms of warranty. rate and available in 22-. can be gold mines for picking up second-hand bargains. which is certainly longer than one year. especially if you can get the original receipt for — than the individual items would cost. bargains instead of buying new.getprice. to buy a cheap copy of Win 7 or 8 online and use that to upgrade to 10. In contrast. with a 1080p resolution 75Hz refresh BARGAIN HUNTER BUILDING A BARGAIN PC FreeSync was developed by and is supported by AMD and is royalty free.NET ] [ 023 ] . Nvidia’s G-Sync is a better technology. While buying new is great. But where they truly stand out from Nvidia is low-cost affordable monitors.TECHLIFE. If you have Windows 7 or 8. without some risk and effort. Microsoft still provides a free upgrade to Windows 10 if you tick the box saying you use ‘assistive technologies’ without defining For those looking for an affordable way to avoid frame (or checking) what they actually are.

5g 6 programmable buttons. Handy outside of games. and scroll wheel combo and optical sensors that dongle and 2.8 x www.5 x 2. YOU DON’T HAVE TO. and comes in blue or grey.5cm and weighing the mouse includes six buttons. It’s large yet comfy under hand.2 x 2. selling used for productivity tasks. The buttons are specially bog-standard rubber domes. and most include a for on-the-go use. FOR THIS MONTH.4GHz wireless. keyboards tend to be the $20 mark. too. GAMING PRECISION WITHOUT BLOWING Fortunately. such as pairing up with a for under $40 and offers excellent bang for numpad.5cm. with a life around one year.5 grams. as well checking for keyboard bounce. is listed.4GHz link design. 70. 2. The dongle stores away inside The G302 has an adjustable DPI from 240 directly on a desk. and it has a 1. WE’VE ROUNDED UP THE BEST OPTIONS AT VERY LOW PRICES. too. there are loads of options THE BUDGET.5 x 6.logitech. At the entry level. The M171 is plug and play. A SURPRISINGLY GOOD NAME-BRAND WIRELESS G302 but sometimes. Mac OS. but can operate wireless range. it’s possible opt for wireless itself is a classic three button/scroll-wheel speed of 20G and 3m/s respectively. 11. and can be used by both righties and is excellent. [ LINDSAY HANDMER ] WE ALWAYS RECOMMEND buying the best Logitech M171 Logitech Daedalus Prime keyboard and mouse you can afford. but no DPI built-in lighting.5 x 6. The M171 runs on one AA battery custom programmed (including macros) using laptops. Wired 1ms report rate. so it’s not easily lost. low-friction feet. 9.5 x 3. the Logitech M171 mouse is NOT ALL KEYBOARDS or mice need to be also quite a few smaller brands available. Keyboards and mice are often available measuring in at 9. wireless range and mouse tracking CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS accuracy. sold on its own. It uses a USB buck. with a max acceleration and price bump.4GHz link to provide a 10m works equally well for lefties and righties. work best with a mouse pad. 4. and the Logitech but avoid the total no-name models. such as a table. MOUSE AT A VERY LOW PRICE. too. lefties. the mouse is easily found wired. Usability tests included writing $20 $40 and light gaming. but more commonly around Daedalus Prime G302 is aimed at gamers. The G302 measures in at (or combos) for under $50. which can be separately — the latter especially for use with 70. The little rodent is designed A few years old now. For a surprisingly small the body. Forget about higher-end features. It’s very affordable. too. together reviews on 10 keyboards and mice and Linux.2 x 3. which we found fast and accurate on tough but remains lightweight. Chrome OS that require a lot of clicking and it has large. 87g [ 024 ] .000dpi.logitech.8 x 6. The mouse up to 4.000dpi sensor 1 year battery life. BUDGET MICE AND 10 KEYBOARDS TESTED 41/2 4 HOW WE TESTED Each keyboard and/or mouse was connected LOGITECH DAEDALUS LOGITECH M171 PRIME G302 to a desktop PC. It’s not too compact either — report rate. and will tested and upgrade for durability in games To help cover some of the options. for as little as $17.7cm. optical sensor. available — though almost all the best models RATHER THAN BEING bundled in with a are from Microsoft and Logitech. There are keyboard combo. but normal surfaces. MICE WINNER WINNER [ BUDGET PERIPHERALS ] Nicely APPROVED BARGAIN HUNTER NICELY PRICED KEYBOARDS AND MICE ED’s CHOICE AWARD AWARD priced keyboards and mice DON’T WANT TO SPEND A FORTUNE ON YOUR PC INPUTS? WELL. Mice use the usual three button/ laptop. a budget option is needed. Tracking models — typically using a 2. The mouse feels quite such as mechanical switches — affordable sensor.000Hz (1ms) USB and USB dongle. we’ve put work with Windows. weighs 87 grams and is backed by a two-year warranty.7cm. 11. are basic plastic. and has funky keyboards all use perfectly serviceable. It uses an optical the Logitech software.

including a frosted glass fancy features.600dpi laser sensor. On the plus side. keyboard is spill resistant. It’s not the cheapest.9cm.7cm.3 x 3. but out.NET ] [ 025 ] . Where the X4500 really stands quibbles. SOFTWARE Even budget-focused keyboards and mice can come with handy software that allows 31/2 41/2 customisation of keyboard hotkeys and mouse buttons. and the keys are reasonably nice even have a calculator-launching hotkey. not Bluetooth.hp.4 x 11. The keyboard connects via a USB AA or AAA batteries for a one-year life. 37. and and is multitouch enabled for gestures.9 x 14. such as BATTERIES runs for over two years from two included pinch and zoom. KEYBOARD OR COMBO KIT WITH BOTH. and increased productivity. or who want AVAILABLE FOR AS little as $40 online WIRELESS a quality mouse to go with a laptop. but does BLUETOOTH To free up USB ports. right-handed use. The range is excellent.600dpi laser sensor — dongle. multitouch trackpad.7cm at the For those working in an office environment. 2. and has a slot to store it be sure to switch them off when not in use. The trackpad is mostly excellent. offering a 10m wireless range. but those with extra programmable keys are great for gaming CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS 1. it gave top notch tracking across when not in use. dongle. as the X4500’s but not huge in the hand. which is handy to type on. the shape is very thickest point.4 x 3. the HP (and easily found in stores for under $50). The mouse measures in at a large included dual AAA batteries should keep it SIZE 7. but also from incorporates a trackpad and keyboard into one typically use a 10m range 2. are totally out of luck. though. separately for a ‘mix and match’ upgrade. wireless models found online for around $30. weighs 75 grams (without going for a year or so. 14.4 x 11.4 x 2. The unit connects via the usual 2. USB dongle. A good way to reduce clutter on compact X4500 delivers. MICROSOFT ALL-IN-ONE MOUSE BUTTONS HP WIRELESS MOUSE X4500 MEDIA KEYBOARD Most mice use the standard three button/ $35 $40 www. Wireless (USB dongle). 630g [ WWW.4GHz wireless. Microsoft claims the A larger keyboard can be more comfortable batteries) and has a 1 year warranty. 630 grams. but some are also available MOUSING OPTION. in our testing. but can be the Microsoft All-In-One Media Keyboard desks or with a laptop.9cm. of extra buttons beyond the usual three/scroll. some wireless tabletop. such as backlit keys. function keys. but those who extensively use if it’s getting left on a coffee scroll-wheel setup.3cm deep and 3. though. a mouse or have big hands look for bigger models.9cm wide. 7. The unit does not have any almost all surfaces. Where the X4500 falters is the lack include an array of programmable media and keyboard and mice connect via Bluetooth. is a 1. A GREAT ONE FOR HOME-THEATRE PCS. and the wheel setup. It feels quite solid.TECHLIFE.4GHz retailers such as Officeworks for $40.4GHz to type on. 75g media and function keys. and weighs a numpad is must-have and some keyboards comfortable and supports the thumb. Lefties wireless www. FOR THOSE WITH a keyboard. but did have some occasional Wireless keyboard and mice typically use AA batteries. The keyboard is ‘full size’. KEYBOARDS BARGAIN HUNTER NICELY PRICED KEYBOARDS AND MICE WINNER ED’s CHOICE AWARD BUDGET MOUSE AND KEYBOARD BUYER’S CHECKLIST THE KEY THINGS TO BE AWARE OF WHEN BUYING A MOUSE. measuring in at NUMPAD sculptured shape means it is for right hands 37. COMBO HP Wireless Mouse X4500 Microsoft All-in-One Many keyboards and mice are sold as A HIGHER-END (BUT STILL LOW-COST) Media Keyboard combo packs.

4 x 1. and the unit x 2. It isn’t a case or a cover either — rather the a comparatively high-priced $30. The keyboard is quite pleasant to type in either hand and has three buttons and a excellent M171. and both Chrome OS and Linux.2 x www. 10m range. Instead. play USB dongle. Feel is quite good.and media-focused uses a single AA for a 12-month life. as well as just the keyboard by itself.4GHz wireless (dongle).4 x while the mouse uses a single AA.6 x 13. The Logitech MK235 such as tablets and even smartphones — in the latter form. 128-bit AES 2.6 x 13. Your keystrokes are protected keyboard itself is nice and large at 43. 1. and includes a full size numpad. The 850 uses the at $25. but both The MK220 is wireless and cheaper again K380 is a proper Bluetooth mini keyboard have a three-year warranty. MOUSE & KEYBOARD COMBOS BARGAIN HUNTER NICELY PRICED KEYBOARDS AND MICE WINNER APPROVED AWARD WINNER APPROVED AWARD WINNER APPROVED AWARD Logitech K380 Microsoft Desktop 850 Logitech MK235 THE KEYBOARD FOR MOBILE DEVICES. at The keyboard runs on two AAA batteries different devices. laptop for more in-depth work.8 x 2. The keyboard and mouse connect via lot easier than using a virtual keyboard. on.5cm a 10m range. The Uni students or professionals who use a tablet shortcut keys. OPTION.9 x 12. costs around $40. but it’s worth spending the extra $10. iOS. but is on the smaller side.4 x 5. Mac.8 x 6. Windows. 27. and supports Windows.6cm.logitech. It does not includes a low battery indicator. it can remember up to three range.2 x 3. but does allow custom key The mouse is the same classic Microsoft bounce.5cm.8cm mouse: 9. Importantly. The idea is that and a range of Windows. is comfortable planted. but only rates it for a 5m 2. mouse: 11. the Microsoft Desktop 850 manages to be one of the cheaper wireless though still works with desktops and laptops. It measures in at 11. SOMEWHAT UNIQUE COMPARED to our DITCHING THE CORDS can be a great way other reviews. it’s aimed at devices combo.9 x 12.6 x 15. 425g [ 026 ] .8 for productivity don’t need to switch to a by 128-bit AES encryption. uses 2 AAA for a two-year and stores the dongle inside when not in use. 4 4 4 LOGITECH K380 MICROSOFT DESKTOP 850 LOGITECH MK235 $49 $40 $35 www. While the keyboard alone is models available. and the 425-gram weight keeps it mapping (which is remembered) for each design as the wired keyboard. compatible.1cm. MICROSOFT’S MOST BASIC WIRELESS KEYBOARD A WIRELESS COMBO ON A BUDGET.8 x 3. The K380 has scroll wheel. but it does come with a normal keyboard. encryption. wireless mouse. 2. The keyboard is larger than some. but not Mac OS.6cm and weighs 423 grams.1cm.5 keyboard: 43.4 x 5. slightly increased cost. The kit is plug and play battery life and can be teamed up with a The keyboard comes with two AAA batteries. and switch between CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS Wireless (Bluetooth). with decent travel and little have a www. with an optical sensor. last around 15 months on a single charge. while the mouse controlling them via hotkeys.4GHz wireless link back to a plug-and. and 9. and includes a numpad and lasts up to three years.6 selling for under $35. the Logitech K380 isn’t a AVAILABLE AS BOTH a mouse and keyboard to reduce clutter.8cm ambidextrous layout. It measures in at 27.logitech.4GHZ wireless. that makes typing up a long document a whole usual 2. The mouse is very similar to the device.8 x 6. Android. 423g keyboard: 45.4GHz USB dongle and has a 10m range.8 x 3. dimensions.

It’s the usual looks sleeker than some larger models.4GHz can find the combo online for under $20. spill resistant.3cm long and 5. classic Microsoft design.000dpi optical three button/scroll-wheel layout. excess plastic around the keyboard. commonly around $20.3 x 5. the Rapoo 1820 can be under $30.9cm and weighs 418. The whole kit is which is nice. 1.6cm wide and 16cm deep.6 x 16cm. The entire kit is USB plug the latter ekes out up to 18. It’s comfortable for under $15. 600 A SUPER LOW-PRICED ENTRY-LEVEL KEYBOARD THE CHEAP AND CHEERFUL COMBO. choice for those who want wireless www.9cm. can be used as a lefty is ambidextrous.NET ] [ 027 ] .microsoft. It’s also often model is wired. Optical tracking.000dpi Media and hotkeys. so the but full layout with numpad.7 x 2. keyboard: 39. 1. It uses an shrug off a dropped coffee. too.000dpi sensor. It has the usual three button scroll- keyboard and mouse run from AAA batteries. too.2 x 12.7 feels even better under the hand. Bargain hunters picked up for as little as $15 — or more uses a plug-and-play USB dongle and 2. mouse. YOU JUST need a basic AIMED AT USERS who need something solid RP-N1860 is nonetheless still available for keyboard and mouse.000dpi resolution. were a touch larger.4GHz wireless. It’s nothing exciting.2 x 12. Key motion is good.9cm. while the mouse both keyboard and mouse have a 1. USB dongle.5 grams.2 x 12.rapoo.9cm and weighs for a budget option. comfortable in hand and gets handles a 3G acceleration and has the usual or righty. The mouse optical sensor with a 1. has little bounce thanks to the size. with a numpad on the right. The keyboard and mouse combo Desktop 600 delivers just that. 418. It has aluminium frame and is spill resistant. COSTING DOUBLE WHAT the wallet-friendly RP-N1820 retails for (see right). keyboard: 39. but $25 or so is more common. keyboard: 45. AND MOUSE. but we wish the low friction feet and the former lasts about 12 months. plus a calculator hotkey.5 grams.7 x 2. The keyboard measures in at and play. 4 31/2 31/2 RAPOO RP-N1860 MICROSOFT WIRED DESKTOP 600 RAPOO RP-N1820 $30 $25 $20 www. The keyboard is wheel setup. with full size keys and layout.5m cable. combo. The keyboard has an array keys. It with decent feel but not over top stiffness. The keyboard itself is very similar to the 1820.5m cables. is 11. and feel quite sturdy.TECHLIFE. and had a central scroll-wheel/ great tracking from the 1. found bundled with desktops for sale. small side for large hands. The budget-friendly wireless link with a range of up to 10m. but on the sensor. Both button. and the Microsoft Wired yet very affordable. It rubber dome affair. CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS 2.rapoo. The mouse is different to the 1820 of media keys. but typing is fairly pleasant an aluminium frame with plastic finish and measures in at 39. and it to type on. but is full overall dimensions feel quite compact. The 1820 trims down the with trimmed down borders and a compact keyboard can be bought www.7 x 2.5g mouse: 11. with a wider ambidextrous shape that claims to be spill resistant so can hopefully It’s spill resistant and measures in at 39. 1.2 x 12. the Rapoo SOMETIMES.5g 418. The mouse is a x 2. while backed by a decent three-year warranty. It’s pretty comfortable.8cm wide. backed by a one-year warranty and backed by a 12-month warranty and is a great 45. BARGAIN HUNTER NICELY PRICED KEYBOARDS AND MICE WINNER APPROVED AWARD Rapoo RP-N1860 Microsoft Wired Desktop Rapoo RP-N1820 A COMBO WITH WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY.8cm [ WWW. The plus a numpad.

Snapseed Free iOS: tinyurl. Filters such as vintage. they may be adequate when taking the occasional selfie. though. we’ve put together a list of our essential apps for anyone who wants to improve their smartphone photography chops. poor lighting and blurry faces have collectively turned what was a beautiful moment into absolute rubbish. To help fix that. the automated settings just don’t do justice to what’s happening in front of Sometimes. [ 028 ] . Looking back towards the screen. Effects can be applied to different parts of an image independently. TOOLS AND ENTERTAINMENT [ SAY CHEESE ] Apps for sharper smartphone photography TAKE YOUR MOBILE PHOTOS FROM POINT-N-SHOOT TO PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO WITH THESE MUST-HAVE IMAGING APPS. along with more advanced ones when wanting to transform. heal and expose. Red eyes. but for other times. contrast and saturation. Included are tools for making simple or automated improvements to brightness. this month. While the latest smartphones claim to have some of the most impressive camera hardware around. The app saves edits to a series of separate ‘layers’ able to be changed or removed instantly. with the strength of each change altered simply by dragging your finger left or right. I glance up to see the beautiful smiling faces of friends and family seated before Android: tinyurl. Sure. Snapseed is an image editor made by internet powerhouse Google. I prepare to take the all-important family photo at Aunty Em’s birthday lunch. I’m horrified at what I’m presented. getting that perfect shot seems like an impossible task — there’s only so many photos you can take before the battery dies. [ TIM BOTHWELL ] STEADYING MYSELF. it seems our default photo-taking apps often fail to perform under more-challenging situations. [ TECHLIFE #65] DISCOVER ESSENTIAL APPS. noir and grunge can also be applied. Slowly tapping the shutter button.

while editing fine for most of us. Just take a snap. Video to GIF is a you’re able to add great looking effects. VSCO videos from all your devices to the cloud. Did someone say Snapchat? Video to GIF Englight Manual Free with IAP $5. any images and videos to a story expiring after 24 subscription provides additional tools and presets. such as automatic exposure values. ‘valencia’ or ‘sierra’. blending and drawings. ISO and white balance. might seem daunting at first. apply a fancy provides almost limitless control over how your images Photos offers completely free storage for images up filter like ‘mayfair’. While the app is free. discrete images you’ve taken are safe in the cloud. frames. One recently introduced feature adjusting speed. After choosing an image. offering a massive more advanced cameras. professionals. This app is one to automate many of the settings available on of poorer-working ones. along with share maximum likeage. Manual adjustments can be made to to 16 megapixels and videos not exceeding 1080p — punny caption and voila! Regardless of whether shutter speed. an annual and shared with anyone via a web link.TECHLIFE. Newer features with others. While this makes popular way of communicating with friends collection of tools and settings to produce selfie-taking almost effortless. included are is the ability to capture images in RAW DNG GIFs can then be shared via www. Select what section with the app automatically saving your work and night mode — useful for snapping in low- of the clip you wish to feature. creation apps.99 tinyurl. as well overlay a grid and leveler to ensure your phone item from your camera roll — a video. #gym. And yes. while facial recognition tech helps find Similar to Facebook. even message like or comment on them — only able to be shared capable of creating movies. white balance. Facebook a number of short yet helpful tutorials to get — a lossless format preferred by many or saved to your camera roll. exposure. The app is like and comment on your images. So why not make editing app. with the option to newfound favourite of mine. Also present is a histogram and live monitor for that’s even half decent. live as www. only to realise it’s on my #itswinterimhibernating. looping and export quality. thus removing any pressure to achieve GIFs automatically.enlightapp. While the exhaustive list of features light The quality of today’s smartphone cameras means roll in search of an image. with albums able to be created include the ability to live stream.instagram. meanwhile as you go. Just choose an double exposures. [ shootmanual. friends and family can follow. Instagram is a social network based Used by many professional photographers. tones and brightness. simple adjustments can be made lets you make precise adjustments to shutter your own? While there are countless GIF.NET ] [ 029 ] .com vsco. The app even features a day photo or series of images. to contrast. Like any standard in extremely dull and lifeless images. ISO and DISCOVER PHOTOGRAPHY APPS Countless times I’ve frantically scrolled my camera Everyone loves a good hashtag — #fitspo. breathtaking tree or a tools allow you to modify skin tones. you on your way. especially during The best apps are often hidden deep within the While computers have photoshop. but that’s speed. The app features an online community of images or animals.99 $5. saturation and search for images based on contents such as trees delicious low-cal salad — it’s sure to look great! tint. collages and animated you privately — ‘Nice salad. computer at home. add a look and feel. it can be difficult finding one only the beginning. posted by fellow users. This app sends images and world. isn’t off-centred. it can often result — a mode of messaging that goes above and absolutely stunning photos. hours. What’s super cool is the ability to it’s a pretty building. for The stock photo app on your smartphone tends crevices of the online store underneath a pile smartphones there’s Enlight. King of the photo-sharing it’s no longer necessary to own an expensive DSLR. bro’. Google primarily on images. GIFs have become a of the best we’ve seen. two-toned gradients. GOOGLE PHOTOS INSTAGRAM VSCO Free Free Free with IAP photos. However. Manual beyond mere text or emojis. there’s no way to photos that feature a certain person.

with the app replacing it using other parts of the photo — often with impressive results. it’s extremely easy for prints to be before it begins to look like a steaming pile speed.59 adva-soft.Delicious PhotoScan by Camera Camera+ Google Photos Free $4.. Also included is a number of shooting lost or damaged. so it’s a good idea to digitise of hot mess. Simply snap a photo before choosing A number of filters such as ‘purple haze’ and snaps of every corner of an image to help from more than 20 filters. There’s nothing worse than taking what appears to be the perfect shot. After taking your snaps. you’ll approval of friends and family on Facebook is packed to the brim with useful features be aware of a time way back when the humble that’s most important. images can usually a tedious and time-consuming task the greasiest kebab look deliciously mouth be cropped. stabiliser and enhanced digital those old photos for safekeeping. tinted and blurred. you can quickly remove the unwanted item from your image. DISCOVER photography apps Foodie . Using either the brush or lasoo tool. On the viewfinder screen. Foodie prevents all this through modes. Photos are stored reduce glare and produce great digital copies. shades of green you can add to your KFC levels. can be saved and shared on social media for and synced to the cloud. As a narcissist. Just choose a photo and highlight what you wish to be deleted — it could be a signpost.99. I often struggle to keep people out of my selfie pics. thanks to the truly revolutionary TouchRetouch. As a child. Photo Scan makes extremely easy. TouchRetouch iOS. This app smartphone livestreaming of our camera. $2. What if it were possible to simply erase the ugly people from your images. timer. approval from others.49 Free tinyurl. ready for viewing and Photos are automatically cropped and rotated. taking watering. with the option of backing them up for No longer is it I who must be satisfied with If you’re after a one-size-fits-all kind of app. only to discover something distracting in the background. $2. For those of us not entering the world via a the meal placed before me. powerline or a more attractive looking person. now you can. along with white balance and shutter However. it can often be to make your photos look like absolute photo referred to a physical piece of chemically difficult to make certain foods look even the masterpieces. What’s an array of filters designed to make even zoom. editing on all your devices. you’re sensitised paper featuring an image. Android. Rather it is the then look no further than Camera+. slightest bit appetising — there’s only so many able to independently set focus and exposure I remember the family home rife with albums. Finished images ‘so emo’ can also be applied. brightened. [ 030 ] .

— that’s what the host Chris Gethard offers here. DISCOVER BEST PODCASTS SPARK amusing and most likely tweaked drastically different. two elderly being in the spotlight or Celebrating its 20-year anniversary.TECHLIFE. The owners of the stories deliver be listening to a harrowing story about cheating and favourites. no holds barred breath and began to tell her story. of getting lost while on a road trip Podcasts for time-poor or of the teller’s first summer romance. then giggling along with tales of struggle to track down her partner.wnyc. www. The style draws you in. depending on the subject matter. THE MOTH DEATH. these stories they’re entirely true. So prepare your tissues and exercise those belly-laugh stomach but before the callers get to their The storytelling formula seems to work really well in front of an audience. and this podcast is a one of our across the world.. Some of the following podcasts involve ordinary members of the public reading or performing There are dozens of stories about all manner of things. meaning you can other week. they often www. Whether it’s a tale [ SO THIS ONE TIME. The Moth is a This production tackles the topics under the wide We can’t help but put in a BBC production every series of recorded performances told to audiences umbrellas of death. their stories to a live audience. [ CARMEL SEALEY ] Once upon a time. raw and heartfelt. one phone call. sex and money. But regardless of whether so if you can’t stomach a gut-wrenching story about footballer with an ambitious goal. a zookeeper with an animal problem or a blind a little for dramatic It was empty but for a single. and this podcast offers bite-sized stories with plenty of drama and humour to get your teeth into. enjoy a bit of back and forth with the host. A bright light shone down from the dark heavens BEAUTIFUL ANONYMOUS to fall upon the centre of the stage. you’ll never know what the next episode is going to be about. that’s fine — there’s always something are told through onsite interviews and narration. we tackle (mostly) true untold tales from far and wide. thin stand.. Recommended. affixed to the top of which was a microphone. in the land of podcasts. Though everything was black.podbean. Whether it’s a series about one woman’s their tales themselves. they’re thoroughly enjoyable. love lost where the girl was told to stand..earwolf. meaning the stories are self-discovery the next. Each episode is recorded at a different theatre around the UK and the storytellers themselves are just regular humans with a yarn to spin. ] of www. whether they’re used to divorce one moment. SEX & MONEY THE UNTOLD www.NET ] [ 031 ] . From swingers to midwives. making it feel half like a true story and half like a dramatisation. which gives the podcast a very friendly and relaxed feel. story-lovers SIT DOWN WITH US AS WE FIND THE BEST SHORT(ISH) STORIES FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE. law enforcers to teens talking about their first kiss. [ WWW. no names. you’re likely to find something to amuse you. She took in a deep One hour. because this is the week. a willowy girl with a nervous face and sweaty palms walked up a short flight of stairs to a wooden stage. else to pique your interest. The mood of each episode is businesswomen fighting for their right to she could feel the crowd’s eyes upon her and feel their collective anticipation.

WE finally got our hands another room. but also gives you a rich sense of both the sense for anyone wishing to spend time with [ JOEL BURGESS ] immediate and deep history imbued in the people that they can’t physically meet up with. But with rumblings of the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront 2 being PlayStation VR-compatible. then this fully immersive free title is can even invite a friend to play against you. GEAR VR. Either that or you can will be a big step up in terms of comfort just use it to launch multiplayer VR titles. VIRTUAL-REALITY APPS. OCULUS RIFT] [ CARDBOARD. this Web VR prototype doesn’t comfortable viewing for this particularly easy.felixandpaul. which of the loft’s adjacent spaces. With the ability to watch TV THE LATEST VIRTUAL AND with it — Barack and Michelle Obama. for anyone who wears spectacles. Right development team called Wild. so you’ll have to settle to-scrutinise Free | www. there was. you can finally do it Front is a little less polished than we’d like. AR has its mixed- reality sights on making a news-reading app that resembles The Architect’s office from The Matrix and pirating Pokémon [ GEAR VR. home of America’s leaders. the closing of Oculus’ Story Studio (to make way for a focus on nurturing independent VR content creation) and the release of the Rick & Morty Virtual Rick-ality game from the same team that created the excellent Job Simulator. through the Chrome web browser. a number of huge developments in the VR space this month. playing board games or chatting in THIS MONTH. What’s even more impressive is that you can also multitask. and it’s be to use the wand remote for a virtual game this imbued quality that makes them perfectly of ping pong. but a VR room MONTHLY ROUNDUP historical building. and Google’s network-based AI systems have learned to rap. GAMES & VIDEOS [ YOUR TECH CRYSTAL BALL ] Bleeding DISCOVER BLEEDING EDGE: THE BEST OF EMERGING TECH edge: the best of emerging [ OCULUS RIFT. INCLUDING ALL from two people who are particularly familiar compelling one. There’s something reaffirming about playing a Ever since we got our hands on the Daydream digital battle-card game. The People’s House is a that’ll allow you to connect with your friends OF EMERGING TECH personal guided tour of the White House. the device totally makes AND OTHER USEFUL TOOLS. good enough to thoroughly enjoy. mountain backdrop. while watching the TV from one on Samsung’s rejigged Gear VR. with graphics that are fuzzy and too close for Unfortunately. former president’s narration of The People’s virtual open-plan living room with a mystical ALONGSIDE AI-DRIVEN BOTS House makes you feel like an important guest. have wand support yet. and meet up in virtual space is actually a rather TECHLIFE’S PRACTICAL In what is a fascinating exploration of a living It might seem simple at first. we have imagined how good it would to an imaginative childhood memory. as if you’re returning headset. But the battle mechanics for using your head orientation to control the are well rounded and if you’re partial to battle paddle. the Gear VR battle card game Dragon Web VR Free | konterball. Thanks to an Austrian suited to the immersive nature of VR. [ 032 ] . skateboard and may even soon let us talk to dolphins. The together (think multiplayer Netflix VR) in a AUGMENTED REALITY APPS.dragonfront. but the ball physics are good and you cards. as always. CHROME ] GO (in both senses). while neural Dragon Front Konterball Free | www. FACEBOOK 360 ] tech [ GEAR VR ] The People’s House Oculus Rooms Free | www.oculus.

The team has managed to successfully Alien: Covenant [ ANDROID. we don’t yet Free | tinyurl. pushed past its funding goal clone of Morty” helping the genius alcoholic circular wall of news and allows you to with more than a month up its sleeve.. You play this waves’. TRANSLATE DOLPHIN some really trying to push the genre and but if you were more interested in the LANGUAGE BY 2021 others being clearly just a film marketing unusual mechanic of exploring both the tie-in. If you’re someone who likes to see real and digital world simultaneously. sentences that research suggests dolphins currently use to communicate. A Swedish-based language startup called people explode from the inside out. has infiltrated the VR space. OCULUS ] cut its virtual teeth memorising lines from over Rick and Morty: [ HOLOLENS ] 100 of the best rappers and you can test its Virtual Rick-ality News Space prowess by following the Deep Beat website. with to the novel mixed reality of Pokémon GO. Whether sounds really helpful. [ NEWS ] C-LEARN tinyurl. OCULUS RIFT] outcome. and open your loot.99 | www. This e-board has five their way through the peculiar problems that this will be more or less annoying than directional pressure pads on the board that allow arise from attempting to navigate an endless sitting next to someone on a bus reading a you to control speed with your feet and the inbuilt torrent of alternate realities. and actually physicist and his dullard grandson fumble interact with it on a larger scale.. DopeLearning.. we hope you will be. This life-size news reading but we’re not going to complain. Spectra. This VR mixed-reality app requires you to use dolphin chatter as it can. the project aims to collect as much [ NEWS ] We’ve found that movie tie-in VR There were no shortage of people addicted AI HOPES TO experiences can be a bit hit and The Adult Swim comedy cartoon Rick and For those of us who like to pretend to be [ANDROID. The campaign on first-person VR title as an “even dumber application basically fills the room with a Australia since being added to Netflix’s local a book as though we’re reading or by library. With treasure chests at picking up languages that it’ll be able to decipher dolphins sometime soon. IOS ] transfer a procedure from a two-armed bomb disposal robot to a 6ft humanoid robot. self-learning 3D posture control system apparently develops with you for a smoother ride over time. AUGMENTED-REALITY EMERGING TECH NEWS & AI [WEB] DEEPBEAT Free | Deepbeat. [ WWW.walnuttech. $46. Over the next Covenant and this tie-in VR experience — scattered randomly about the world. at least. then the AR News application The skateboard isn’t generally considered to be popular VR title Job Simulator — the series News Space is sure to excite your ‘genius something that requires an onboard AI system. [ A team of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are working on a robot that can teach other robots how to do things. IOS] Morty has developed a serious following in an intellectual savant by flicking through SPECTRA US$299 | www. and now with the help of Owlchemy imitating someone counting cards at Labs — the team behind the extremely blackjack.adultswim. then then Captain Blimey may just be the treasure Gavagai AB is keen to prove that AI is so good you’re sure to be satisfied by both Alien: map you’re looking for. but a team of Finnish software engineers want to change that with a new neural network software that writes its own raps.9logic..NET ] [ 033 ] . in the hope of trip will let you explore one of the film’s the smartphone’s GPS and camera to find dissecting the meaning of the words and high-intensity scenes from the inside DISCOVER BLEEDING EDGE: THE BEST OF EMERGING TECH You might not think that deep learning AI software has a lot in common with the cream of today’s rapping crop. broadsheet Free | www. In Utero Captain Blimey Free | alien. the neural network responsible for delivering these fresh rhymes. this four years. The C-learn system combines motion planning coding and visual-based demos to allow robots of different configurations to achieve the same [ GEAR VR.

And certain kitchen utensils. into its that you’ll be permanently signed in. For those the app. the Netherlands. use imperial cook. letting you add has no shortage of useful meal ideas. generally pretty reasonable compared to the the $1 annual subscription price when you the UK and the US.99 per year | taste. which ingredient shopping list function to keep wanting to sink their teeth into more serious gives you specific timing and temperature your needed ingredients in the one place COOKBOOK APP. Moreover. you’ll also find that all the best universal for browsing when you don’t know what to are totally useless in Australia. you’ll be able to immediately add say. so most of what makes it price of buying a cookbook — yet the latter can recipes online for free. the expensive alternate apps on the instructions for how to cook a particular cut and tick them off when you make it to the opposite page can offer better-quality recipe of meat to a certain grade using various supermarket. is the smart timer. ENCYCLOPEDIA. collections and. for well-seasoned cooks. will methods. though. [ JOEL BURGESS ] $0. [ 034 ] . multiple recipes ingredients to one simple list. first or second result returned from a Google recipes themselves with Yummly having a Apps in the former field often command an search — which will more often than not be more appetising selection on the whole. The reason it recipe apps are US-based. though you can’t use the one-click grocery For anyone just dabbling in cooking. the top What is probably the most useful feature of shopping feature. DISCOVER APP SHOWDOWN: THE BEST COOKING APP [ KEYS TO THE KITCHEN ] App showdown: The best cooking app for Aussies SPICE UP YOUR DINNERS WITH A HANDY COOKING Taste Yummly THE HOMEGROWN FOOD THE WORLD’S MOST NOTORIOUS APPLICATION. It’s easy has to put up with a mass of mediocre recipes reasons why it’s worth the It might not be the most gourmet recipe Stylised food images and a slick app layout COOKING APPS GENERALLY sit in one compendium we’ve seen. even if you’re willing you search or browse the extensive library units. but most of the Free | www. uncensored. so when ounces and gallon measurements for metric catalogues. likely be significantly more satisfying. you can still use the two apps this month are for you. The first is enough to swap out the apps default pounds that are unleashed. but there are a few really great is unavailable locally. make Yummly look notably more refined than of two categories: those curated by local cooks you’re going to follow whatever recipe is the Taste. exceptionally high price in relation to your from Taste anyway. its seasonal recipe recommendations yourself the cost of a good cooking app or any you like to a favourites list that is perfect or it’s Instacart online shopping plug in — book. this app is devastatingly average smartphone app — although it’s downloading the app and signing up for only tailored to Germany. but some of the app’s best features — to wade through a few dud recipes to save of recipes. It might seem unnecessary arguably. This ‘secret sauce’ also extend into the and the more generic ‘universal’ recipe apps. The next neat trick of the Taste app still has some appeal is because recipes are measurements and mean you’ll need to add is that you can add the ingredients of a recipe the same wherever you use them and Yummly a keen eye and a calculator. However. or two sets of list directly to a shopping list.

has an excellent app Recipes tend to favour cooking enthusiasts which One of the biggest perks of smartphone cooking that’ll let you take a sneak peak of the latest issue can make the processing of cooking at home apps is the on-hand information for how long before downloading a digital issue of the seem intimidating and overwhelming.TECHLIFE. allowing you to eat nice food without it consuming various heat settings.NET ] [ 035 ] . The best ones of delicious. UNITS SHAREABILITY (TO DELEGATE SHOPPING) Most recipe apps use imperial measurements If you can find an app that allows you to share your which are both time consuming to convert and shopping list via text or various messaging apps. This tome of local recipes ONE OF THE MOST is an excellent resource. HOW TO BE (A) CAPTAIN COOK Free | www. then it might be worth looking into fruits and vegetables are in season. cooking apps. make it harder to follow a recipe. MAGAZINES $7 | www. AND BECAUSE OF THE TASTY BENEFITS. but at $80 or so a pop. a smart timer. presentation. exclusive If you’re into your cooking. out for these. Some of the then it’s a handy feature to have if you ever need JAMIE’S 20 MINUTE more global applications will allow you to toggle someone else to do the shopping for you. Not many apps offer seasonal recipes Yummly still has the edge when it comes to app all your browsers and let you save recipies. it’s not a bad offer for a ENVIRONMENTAL REASONS definitive cooking guide. has made a name for himself and a timer that will count for you.99. the dish presentation in Epicurious is way more hipster. but there are a couple to keep your eye out for. not only give you tailored time estimates for alternative to the traditional cookbook app. FOR BOTH sum IAP of $19. an ingredients list and a the exceptionally well crafted note-taking and web environmental reasons and because of the tasty favourites folder and though we think that clipping Donna Hay. one of the more well known foodie SMART TIMERS magazines in Australia. TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR COOKING APPS. Jamie you should cook different meat and vegetables for magazine. MEALS between these settings. WE’D ALSO CHECK OUT THESE RUNNER-UP APPS THE COOK’S COMPANION APP AUSSIE KITCHEN BIBLE. for both a search engine. but each are carefully crafted and the meat and vegetables. there’s a chance you’ve come across what is sometimes referred to as Australia’s kitchen bible or Stephanie Alexander’s: The Cook’s Companion. [ WWW. Free with IAP | stephaniealexander. With the FRUITS AND VEGETABLES remaining 2. this is an excellent creating dishes that are both simple and quick.000-odd recipes requiring a lump ARE IN SEASON. you only have to cook a few before you will have saved the difference if you spent it on takeaway. DISCOVER APP SHOWDOWN: THE BEST COOKING APP ALSO CONSIDER… IF YOUR NEEDS ARE MORE SPECIFIC. EPICURIOUS THE LIGHTNESS OF SUSTENANCE. however. though. Much If you would rather amalgamate your list of recipes One of the most important pieces of information like the others here Epicurious splits itself into 5 from a larger pond than what is offered by direct at a cook’s disposal is the knowledge of which segments: recommended recipes. A less costly approach is to INFORMATION AT A COOK’S download the free Cook’s Companion App for iOS. so keep an eye ALMOST FASTER THAN TAKEAWAY. but also tailor the cooking all your free time. If Epicurious wasn’t iOS only and limited to both US regional settings and imperial measurements OTHER NOTE TAKING APPS SEASONS then it’d definitely be running for top spot. Apps like Pocketbook will plug into benefits. IN APP FORM. IMPORTANT PIECES OF it’s a big commitment. There are only 60-odd recipes time depending on the the cut and quantity of in this $7 app. With the bulk of the magazine made up Oliver.epicurious. DISPOSAL IS THE which will give you a set of pasta and noodle KNOWLEDGE OF WHICH dishes without costing anything.

Not so. your humble reviewer had drawn a stretching cat GIF and shared it to the (unappreciative) TechLife office. either and it might speed up. [ PAUL TAYLOR ] [ CARMEL SEALEY ] [ 036 ] . one word to describe Fidget Spinner. but we were curious as to how this one could claim to be “the best one ever”. you don’t really need If. background and we feel as though the spinner’s your sunglasses or a poncho. The app is silent.. what’s the point of living without a little bit of fun. But that’s it. By trial and error alone. or keep its tempo. so you’ll have to be content with the (and probably won’t send you blind either). The ghosts of the last three frames will be visible as you draw more and more frames. you can start your second — and the ‘ghost’ image of the first frame comes with you so you have a handy guide as to where to start your second frame. So we gave it a go. Then get drawing! There’s a helpful undo/ redo ability and rubber for finer altering. You can pinch to zoom in and out. The result is an ideal. Plus. ANDROID AND WINDOWS MOBILE. clear layout. Once you’re done. Once you’ve drawn your first frame. and dragging the image around is achieved by using two-finger sliding. On a Today Weather distracting and rather ugly scrolling background of a SKY-HIGH RATING Free | todayweather. read story about your upcoming day and source. like your humble reviewer. First things first. Spin it slowly Who would’ve thought that weather could be version is slick. as is ‘limited’ and the phrase ‘Is that it?’ Before finding this app. The whole process is super simple. Slide your finger across its face and it spins. weather. but if you need combination of grid-like bursts and simple high and low temperature. know information is presented at the top of a interruptions as painless as possible. Opt for the paid version. ad-supported overseas services used. Even the free. long forecast. $4. create a blank canvas and select which of the seven pen tools you’d like to use (varying in line angle. All rock wall sits the fidget spinner in question. While it might not serve an overly ‘useful’ purpose. Facebook-like are six different types of spinner to choose from and you can diddle with it while the app is open or fix it animations. texture and thickness) and then hit the coloured dot on the bottom right to select your colour. as the scrolling. easy-to. within five minutes. and the free version of the app gives you enough basic tools to whet your appetite. We’re not sure whether you’d fidget with this app without annoying anyone. we were unaware of the subgenre of fidget spinners. and below it is a showing off the time. you see a preview of your creation and are given the opportunity to change the speed at which it plays and what to do with it from then. ANIMATIC BY INKBOARD DRAW YOUR OWN GIFS Free with IAP | animatic. We’d have liked to have been able to change the scrolling feed so you know whether to pack for zero-dollars you get a stack of widgets. we thoroughly enjoyed using this app to create a bit of silliness. physics were a bit random. in truth. which enables you to sunset. with a clean. structure blends it together and makes the to your phone’s lock or home screen. eh? [ CARMEL SEALEY ] FIDGET SPINNER — [ LATEST APPS ] THE BEST ONE EVER A TOOL FOR FIDGETY FINGERS Best new apps Free with IAP | tinyurl. barometric pressure and more) weather radar. Animatic by Inkboard throws you in the deep end with no tutorial — and. sunrise.. you tend to fidget — THE TECHLIFE TEAM REVIEWS THE MOST INTERESTING take all clickable pens away from me — then you may like the sound of this app. this is a lot better iconography.99 fee and you get more icon sets and a you You may think creating your own hand-drawn looping GIF would require a fairly complicated DISCOVER BEST NEW APPS tutorial-heavy app. There and turns them into pleasing icons and bother. Spin it fast presented with such style? Today Weather on a rolling subscription service or a one-off and it will spin so hurriedly that it will start to make takes the raw numbers (temperature. ‘Simple’ is definitely NEW APPS FOR IOS. We’d like to have something to occupy your hands. weeks ahead. seen the Bureau of Meteorology listed as a than some of the NSFW things you could get up to. Must.

You see. or figure out and directly as Do It Later. which charity to honour in your will. and date. Usually. neatly organised content using some no-doubt foolproof fateful life choices? Remarkably easily. them. criteria. sushi it is.. It’s also for you if you’re tossing up there for doing so. You can optionally spend $3. You toastie for lunch. into their respective categories. meaning all the less important actually. then chicken salad. being busy is a competition. sushi or a cheese and onion beyond the realm of just publicists and you’re either a failure or a bludger. an article file.173 words shorter). be sure to ‘whitelist’ all right? Maybe take a deep breath and do categories. you can’t decide between posts or emails is fast becoming useful If you’re seen to be not very busy. finished and Skimcast automatically cuts down internet How can one app cover both frivolous or discarded scheduled items.TECHLIFE. repeating or one-off. SKIMMING. There are multiple options out shouldn’t dare do anything leisurely while you. [ PAUL TAYLOR ] [ WWW. such as Buffer (buffer. LinkedIn or just a if I wanted to read the New York Times’ on a scale of one to ten.. operate as simply you do get caught out. There is director James Comey. if you com) but not many. and the UI is a little clumsy.99 an app to decide what is and is not an objective. and if your phone has battery. Twitter. in the background. then set the criteria that defines an item. For example. You write out what your options tapping the ‘plus’ sign allows you to create parts of articles will be removed from your are. reading the should go to a party or not. The main screen news. Oh. but in the event that where to go on your holidays. It’s fine that (10 points) on taste. if any. but less (1 point) once network availability returns. If. The app takes all these for confirmation before actually pulling well for the most part. assuming you trust numbers. is a certain length because it needs to be. Simple to operate. Guess I’ll stay [ HARRY DOMANSKI ] with the wife. It’s just weird that anyone that can be exported to an image or CSV to choose the date format and notification would need to use this. You can choose email. with more emphasis such as being able to resend a reminder exactly Free | www. or you may trip over your own this app in order for it to work properly something nice for yourself for once. like TechLife. and it seems to work fairly on repetition. So you could have regular reminder to schedule at any time report on Donald Trump’s sacking of FBI ease of obtaining said lunchtime option. animates the result and offers the trigger. and give each criteria a weighting Facebook.NET ] [ 037 ] . sure. purely scientific solution to remove the ad banners and get the ability important. so-busy-they-could-cry eyes. [ SHAUN PRESCOTT ] Nevertheless. DISCOVER BEST NEW APPS Skimcast Decision Crafting Do It Later FOR THOSE SO BUSY THEY NEED HELP MAKING THE EMOTIONAL POSTPONE ON YOUR PHONE. to be careful how you phrase your saving functionality. but you have sound. say. or to ask Skimcast exists. Decision Crafting is for preachers. do it 30% quicker with Skimcast (which is how tasty it’ll be. QUANTIFIABLE Free with IAP | tinyurl. lists all your pending. at least be using Skimcast. how repetitive that choice is and a bunch of applicable and useful options. it’d be possible to cost. SMS. and simply The ability to schedule your social media Nowadays. people are Free | tinyurl.

or partake in a number steady increase in price of cinema tickets. WakeMode connects with almost any Bluetooth fitness trackers and. you can pay $25. you answer another set of questions and the app shows you how much energy you have in a form of a Free with IAP | www. DISCOVER BEST NEW APPS WAKEMODE KEEP YOUR INNER BATTERY ENERGISED Free | wakemode. which’ll allow you to upload price their admissions. if you want to watch Vapid to this function. and remove all ads [ SHAUN PRESCOTT ] from the app. still. example). along with machine learning to keep tabs on your habits over time. Better vast network of other user-created This fatigue management tool tries to predict how tired you are at the end of each day by analysing your sleep data. it matters not) — pop in those details and your battery gets a little more juice. You can save any set of flashcards with more states scheduled to roll out later or lessons to your own collection and use this year. screening times and their prices an ordered collection of sets) or browse a will appear on your smartphone. Your inner battery will keep depleting as the day wears on. if you like what you see. soft drink or energy drink. Every night before you go to bed.99 a year to get access it’ll actually begin to affect how cinemas to Quizlet get prioritised help from Choovie actually takes off. the apps support team. reminding you that you either need an energy boost or an early night. a clever idea in your neighbourhood or further afield. either via a connected wearable or the app itself. Still. you can The concept is simple and works well.choovie. considering how suited smartphones are For example. listening or writing. BUT FOR CHEAP MOVIE TICKETS THAT’LL LEARN YA Free with IAP | www. The can go through each of the flashcards as a set app is presumably meant to combat the at your own leisure. then allow the app to track your sleep. which available on the service (I couldn’t find adaptively pokes you along the road of Katoomba’s Edge cinema on there. The app also possible. not all cinemas appear to be sports a feature called ‘learn’. it can provide you with individualised sleep-improvement plans. you answer a few questions. Although Quizlet is the moviegoer. and the app is only supported increasing difficulty and frequency as you in Victoria and New South Wales so far. Next morning. After signing up. simply allows you to either create your own search the movie title and a list of relevant flashcards in sets or classes (the latter being cinemas. in the event your own images. the app Superhero Movie: The Reckoning 2. of testing modes that will encourage your and will no doubt prove useful for anyone self-learning with different emphasis on keen to see movies for the cheapest price reading. but one wonders whether free. [ SHARMISHTA SARKAR ] Choovie Quizlet UBER. progress. you purchase tickets from your device.quizlet. for enlightenment towards a deadline. It’s a decent enough prospect for them offline as The simple pitch of Choovie is this: you The aim of Quizlet is to bring the concept can track the cheapest tickets for any film of flashcard-learning to an app. Energy boosts during the day can be in the form of a power nap or caffeine (hot beverage. [ HARRY DOMANSKI ] [ 038 ] .

Vantage Calendar includes weekly of 15 other ready-made styles.99 | vantage-app. with a instead. ScribbleChat also about a puzzle or history or something a of dead space. Need more detail? Tap the arrow located at the conversations. [ J. but unlike the competition. the app prompts you to the bored housewife than to the found in other apps. Outlook or enough for some. with the current day’s activities at the bottom. 30 minutes. Animation is also used to great or ‘inspirational’. ‘creative’ dots. Curiously. After ‘inspirational’. the app the entire screen to ‘drop the mic’. And the to-do list item. great escapes from the mundane banalities month’s name. In addition to the magic wand button to summon an assortment could cater to someone else’s tastes. Such embellishments currently won’t sync If that’s not swanky enough. one hour and ScribbleChat brings a dab of life to texting. Google. [ J. as well as 3D text and animation. but it’s hardly ‘good news’.me opening title crawl in reverse. one day. be a little disappointing if your reading choices are 15 minutes. too. but if you prefer a lot of alert options. artificially crammed into the centre of the display ScribbleChat converts your missive to an however. using this default selection to during the daily commute. but it’s going to you will be disappointed to find the only available provides a Share menu extension. There’s also no way to search events. Vantage Calendar is the latest iOS app to give your agenda a facelift. you can tap the truly enjoys reading. BOOKWALTER ] [ SHARMISHTA SARKAR ] although this is being added. which briefly take over rare gems hidden away amongst the silly view. perhaps. You might happen across an article has no landscape mode except on the iPad. this ScribbleChat one retains the features people want in this kind of MESSAGES DOESN’T LOOK SO PLAYFUL Bright Side app. but articles like that to other calendar Free | brightside. do in a relationship’ isn’t exactly what yours timeline. The main view resembles a Star Wars-style ANYMORE NOTHING BUT GOOD NEWS Free | getscribblechat. The app itself. which displays events as coloured Stormy and Taxi add a dash of fun to relevant of life. habits run deeper than gossip. We liked the ability to switch an event to a animated GIF. Tap the Share button. but those are rare and can views to work better on a tablet. Although you would expect month plays nice with others. to Facebook Messenger or any app that idea behind it is noble. A tap on any event expands to fullscreen. has been designed well. BOOKWALTER ] [ Developers are going out of their way to reimagine how a mobile datebook should look and function. explode or stuff. a mini-month summoned by tapping the current to be on the gaudy side. grouped into stacks that iMessage got a supersized makeover with iOS For an app that aims to inspire people every scroll vertically into the past or future. where the timeline is surrounded by an excessive amount offer other visual reactions. available colours.TECHLIFE. Vantage does have a few clever to choose one of 17 handwriting styles in 15 professional looking for something to read tricks up its sleeve. In all. ScribbleChat is a standalone it doesn’t seem to have much in terms of Facebook Events calendars with a horizontal swipe iPhone messaging app that replaces plain text what we’d consider ‘good news’ or across the top grid followed by a tap to jump to a and emoji with a buffet of options. You can also 10. complete with event titles. but a few like Neon. scroll through connected iCloud.R. Most effects styles tend have distinctive facial features are. ‘15 things to not fonts and stickers to make them stand out in the convert typed text every time you press Send. main timeline. complete with Celebrities who went bald or those who summary and hourly schedule views. which can then be sent straight clean and not-too-cluttered look. DISCOVER BEST NEW APPS VANTAGE CALENDAR ADD SOME FLAIR TO YOUR DATES $7. Events can be assigned colours. they wind up being write a message in the effect of your choice and be time-consuming to find. That said.NET ] [ 039 ] . tad interesting. but those new features didn’t go quite far day by collating good news in one place. there are the bottom to expand even further into a slick full month effect with reply effects. The articles cater more specific day. complete with all the typical details setting up an account. though.

reducing distractions and improving the viewing experience. which basically dims the display except for the Flash or HTML5 video they’re watching. Select the one you want and that’s MERCURY READER KEEPING IT CLEAN. tidy and really easy to read.postlight. When you’re ready for a change. just click at the top of the page and you’re back to the original look with all its accompanying paraphernalia. the surrounding white background and clutter can be distracting. So to get the cinematic experience of dim or atmospheric lighting for your screen. Vimeo and Netflix. or has been paused. it. provided you have some making it hard to concentrate on the real content. toggle the icon on your browser’s taskbar and all you’re left with is the Among the supplied themes available is an uncluttered look for content on the web page that brought you there in the first place. you can create are designed to cram as much information as possible into one place.000 downloads per week. or there isn’t any available for the website. It’s cross-platform. click on the icon and you’re presented with options in the [ DECLUTTER YOUR SCHLERF ] ‘Styles Library’ for that particular site. you can install Turn Off The Unless you’re watching videos on a browser in fullscreen. Microsoft Edge. Opera. Internet Explorer. giving you the option of reading at a later time. Free | https://userstyles. Decluttered pages can also easily be sent to a Kindle device by selecting ‘send to Kindle’.org BE IT ON Chrome. But install the Mercury Reader browser extension (which used to be Readability until it shut down). websites any of those. Plus it works on most video streaming platforms like YouTube. Firefox or Opera. To exit this view.turnoffthelights. your own and share it via userstyles. Free | www. [ 040 ] . The extension can also be set to dim the screen automatically when a video begins to play. Sometimes. Simply install. Yandex. knowledge of CSS customisation. Firefox. and even Android and iOS. open a website. you can now get ‘night mode’ or any other skin colour you want for any website. Wikipedia and YouTube. FIREFOX AND MICROSOFT EDGE. If you don’t like Adverts aren’t the only things that clutter a web page. Safari. themes for the likes of Google. Turn Off The Lights has been around since 2009 and is hugely popular with claims of up to 150. Stylish is an open- source browser extension that allows users to superimpose custom CSS styles on a website to personalise the page. just deactivate the skin in the Free | mercury. a Pikachu-themed Amazon shopping experience and dark Mercury Reader leaves pages looking clean. available for Chrome. [ THE DARK SIDE ] TURN OFF THE LIGHTS GET THE CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE. choosing between ‘one solid’.com ‘Installed Styles’ tab (or delete it entirely) and choose another one from the numerous user-created options already available. [ EXTENSIONS TO ENHANCE YOUR WEB EXPERIENCE ] Browse better THE TECHLIFE TEAM DIGS UP THE BEST NEW BROWSER EXTENSIONS FOR CHROME. ‘four solid’ or the ‘real colors’ effect. the screen goes back to normal. You can change the theme of the page from ‘light’ to ‘dark’ or change the text size and typography by hitting the gear icon on the top of the decluttered page. Users can change the opacity in the plugin’s options page. DISCOVER BROWSE BETTER [ SHARMISHTA SARKAR ] [COLOUR THE PAGE ] Stylish WEB PAGES THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO LOOK. Daily Motion. And once the video has ended. TechRadar.

as well as a male and female version to further refine your selection. but it does have a selection of the most popular freeware and Author pages come with a brief profile for some further dirt on their life open-source picks. once recorded and uploaded. and keep them entire books to short poetry. DISCOVER SITE INSIGHT MuscleWiki FOCUS YOUR FITNESS. Although the everything up to date and. This website (and program) is designed public domain. this includes many a range of big-name brands such as Pepsi. Sony and NASA that all greats such as H. librivox. there is library is limited to works written prior to 1923. is obviously being able to listen to the automatically install the default version to the default location audiobooks others have recorded yourself. The direct nature of this wiki makes for a very concise and easy-to-follow summary for the workouts. complete with simple instructions and animated GIFs. MuscleWiki lets you find workouts that focus on exercise. which is considerably helpful. You can search the database and. By using a muscle diagram of the body as a starting point.TECHLIFE. author or even a specific reader (if you dig their vocal chops) process. You first pick your apps from a list main perk from this If you’re someone who changes computers often. or even just like to keep your software up to date with read from a vast library of public domain books (all written before 1923) minimal fuss (and hate all those install wizards). or sort by genre. [ NIFTY STUFF FROM AROUND THE WEB ] Site insight OUR MONTHLY SELECTION OF THE WEB’S MOST ILLUMINATING. There is a catch. best of all. as it gives an Once installed and running. ideally providing a tidy balance betwixt the two. Lovecraft. however — Ninite time of writing. Ninite doesn’t quite have every program. as well as the muscles themselves. Each page will have a description of the muscle group followed by a list of workouts to specifically target that group. You can volunteer to get set up. helps others Librivox is a crowd-sourced audiobook library. The diagram has a front and back. Ninite has an and. but organises it in such a way that makes previous attempts seem silly by comparison. of which there are 77 recordings at the apparently use the tool. BY THE PEOPLE. or even texts in different languages. with a combination of layman language and biological terminology that never baffles. [ WWW. if it sounds too good to be true. The up to date while doing so. You can read a number of different types of text. USEFUL OR JUST-PLAIN-COOL WEB SITES. and then run the installer. currently only works with Windows from XP Service Pack 3 onwards. ignore all the ‘toolbars and extra junk’ in the by title. and famous works. meaning Mac users are out of luck. stretches or bodyweight for any particular muscle or muscle group. As a neat bonus. the program automatically keeps indication of what they lived through and wrote about. your reading will also enter the offer you can’t refuse.P. MuscleWiki is a prime example of a website that doesn’t necessarily introduce any particularly new information. Ninite will donating your time and voice. and you can submit your own AUDIO BOOKS FOR THE PEOPLE. [ HARRY DOMANSKI ] Ninite LibriVox THE WIZARD OF WINDOWS WIZARDS. subject or language if you’re feeling suggestible. apart from being a good samaritan and of around 100 or so.NET ] [ 041 ] . from to install your entire arsenal of programs at once. Obviously. ninite. there’s a set of surprisingly thorough tools that can calculate the relationships between your exercise regime and the food you eat.

details that you’ll appreciate the opportunity to majestic lobbies. so densely packed with rich narrative navigate the wasted. Lately. Indeed. BEGINNING WITH ARKANE’S IMMERSIVE NEW SCI-FI RPG. the combat isn’t terrible. survival male or female). but it may wreaking havoc on human civilisation.bethesda. But these elements As protagonist Morgan Yu (who can be either of the ONE OF THE surprise pleasures of this video game generation is the re-emergence of what’s been christened the ‘immersive sim’. and what it lacks in variety. This is Arkane’s Prey may be set on a space station. PS4. WINNER APPROVED AWARD [ PC AND CONSOLE GAMES ] Through the looking glass THE TECHLIFE TEAM REVIEWS THE LATEST GAMES FOR PC AND CONSOLES. Mediocre sales for the genre across the board (see Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Dishonored 2) are unlikely to encourage publishers. though: And it’s this environment that makes Prey so everyone complicit in blindfolding you appears Prey is altogether a more slow-paced meditative worthwhile: you’ll learn it inside and out as you to be dead (good). has no real relationship with that older game except for the brand. and it you’ll learn to dread. futuristic Earth.95 | PC. The various shapeshifting [ SHAUN PRESCOTT ] takes roughly five hours or so before the game’s enemies encountered are difficult to aim at and best abilities are accessible. it’s the opposite. Instead. Prey is basically a System Shock instalment in all but name. in order to access otherwise inaccessible regions viable than it should be. This is no bad thing. one of which allows generally take a lot of scarce firepower to fell. The Gloo Cannon can trap enemies in place for an easier kill — or it can DISCOVER GAME REVIEWS create Gloo platforms to reach inaccessible areas. you’ll navigate the massive suspended station explore the Talos 1 space station inside and out. since you’re as liberating as the super powers found in environment rather than brute force in order living on a giant space station and not on a Arkane’s other immersive sim series to deal with foes. we’ve been spoiled with a handful of detailed. The opening hours of Prey are slow. $99. systems-oriented RPGs. though. XO | prey. but it but you’ll occasionally float around outside of it in dizzing zero-gravity. and discover that your whole world isn’t quite what lifeforms as you find them — but they’re rarely smarter players will learn to implement the it seems. but that’s likely to change soon. but we’ve at least seen one of the best in recent memory in Prey. Prey is in order to stop the latter from escaping and Still. Prey THIS FRANCHISE REBOOT TURNS OUT TO BE A VERY WELCOME SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM. you awaken one morning to mostly unlocked via studying the mutant horror-leaning atmosphere of Prey. evading them stealthily feels less [ 042 ] . it makes up for with interconnectedness. because Dishonored. Meanwhile. decrepit utility tunnels and shapeshifting alien lifeforms (bad). 4 Morgan to transform into any inanimate object. but it’s something very well be one of the last of its kind. As Morgan. or else morphed into strange game. There are more of these powers — only serve to strengthen the eerie. it’s not as meditative as it could be: a hugely effective disaster simulator. Never mind. ‘reboot’ of the classic first-person shooter.

vents and making panicked dashes across $89. PS4. structures that have to be destroyed in turn. there’s also a feeling that it’s less about being Warhammer than about being popular. plus the of your skills: multiplayer. some of the clumsy individuality that made base building to consider and other units to twisted hellscape. it’s lost timer. but there were moments representations of reality and offer ample avenues of death. it’s a great way of learning how it all works. There’s you in the panic and tension of its child-dreamt. About as morbid as it comes. That’s an unsexy and 4 intimidating word for something that’s Though immersive in places. back- it alone. as some control. PC www. perfidious Eldar and bedding into cover. Your role in this game isn’t made explicit in words and there’s little to no handholding throughout. WINNER but upon assuming control of a small child in a bright yellow raincoat. It’s also a useful way of learning how and-forth affairs which always feel like they the three default races and Elite characters could swing either way. the tone is spot on. This horror platformer with a fixed sidescrolling perspective has a similar vibe and gameplay to Limbo. DISCOVER GAME REVIEWS PC & XO. The time.little-nightmares. but there’s an uneasy sense options. capturing the blackly comic humour that Once you start learning how Elite units characterises the universe. a MOBA in tactical dreadnought suddenly loads to think about. but with the added intricacies of having to traverse the environment in 3D. On top of this. given the protagonist is an adorable certainly better. As well as providing a away and the creeping influence of MOBAs characterful story told through gritted teeth. The enemies and environments are grotesque THIS IS THE Halo 5 of RTS titles — the same actually quite monster-filled rooms on your mission to escape. campaign but you’ll need to protect yours at the same WINNER and multiplayer. Many units have a special ability on a kid.95 | PC | www. there are strategic points 4 1/ 2 former feels like a true 40K experience.NET ] [ 043 ] . this. Apart from a few work. $35 | PS4. This game relies on its ability to immerse that. and although some the prequels endearing. toys and Little Nightmares is both bleak and addictive. The good news is that the implementation which drip-feeds you until you’re capable to go works. This man collects shoes. Battles are masterfully crafted. Armed with a lighter and not much Dawn of War 3 AWARD else. first two games. you’ll be climbing chains. feels more apparent. it becomes fairly clear you want to keep them safe from the grim world APPROVED around them. there’s a serious requirement for micromanagement. with each mission taking place from a MOBA-inspired missteps. There are three [ HARRY DOMANSKI ] individual dash of Company Of Heroes 2. Rather. $25. and it’s occasionally clumsy camera moments can break suspected. it’s all the essential bits of the The campaign is a warmup for the true test pacing makes for a truly absorbing experience. by trying to outdo competitors. each one biting just as hard as the games that came before it. There are two modes on offer. This is not. crawling through GRIM AND BEAR THE CHANGES – THIS RTS IS WORTH THE CHALLENGE. Throw in a second Elite unit. LITTLE NIGHTMARES DARK IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.TECHLIFE. revised and refreshed.dawnofwar. This is one of the classiest Games Workshop titles of recent years. different faction’s perspective. reckless Orks. and almost where we felt overwhelmed by the amount of as the last. and both feel distinct. and Elite units have at least two. This is where the shell falls ED’s CHOICE AWARD snarling. [ MATT ELLIOTT ] work. with across the map for gathering resources and grim Space Marines. overall the incredible art-style and perfect armour. XO. [ WWW.

Here. and the house itself And to use that reclaimed catch-all. Edith’s poignant narration (half Like developer Deck13 Interactive’s previous game. big-hearted game boss fights). but these are novellas. PS4. it eschews the dark and oppressive examine the idea that a curse is causing them storytelling. you’ll target specific body parts on opponents. colourful sci-fi It’s a macabre conceit. There’s nothing resigned) is overlaid on the environment. players are thrust into developer proves in a bravura early sequence. more than simply following a paper trail or Sound familiar? Thankfully.95 | PC. XO What Remains of Edith Finch ED’s CHOICE www. stories. and collect the armour attached to them. as the These diverse narrative techniques aren’t popular Souls series.95 | PC. On a base level. you’ll still have your gear occasionally even blackly funny. the precedent set by From Software’s immensely lean. but these interactive flashbacks a late-game voiceover. PS4 & XO. WINNER THE SURGE MORE THAN A ‘SCI-FI DARK SOULS’ PC. Dawn. half exo-technician who arrives on his first day of there’s little to be afraid of.95. but there’s no bait-and. but are also an a mysterious world with very little guidance and What Remains Of Edith Finch is equally happy attempt to communicate meaning through asked to fend for themselves in a series of brutal to be a pouncing. which has transformed the Finch sagas. PS4 | www. narrative adventure. for some. yet rangy. but you’re doing much you might be able to recoup your dropped loot. Lords of the Fallen. you’re afforded a fleeting that informs a remarkable. WINNER xxxxxxx APPROVED AWARD DISCOVER GAME REVIEWS Warren’s a big heavy metal fan. THERE’S SOME walking involved in this becoming a gloomy wallow in melancholia. too. As Edith herself implies in used to craft new armour and implants that give tragedies. As the young woman of the title. care and thought in how best to tell these more formidable in combat — you’ll die a lot. Washington State after your mother’s death. But this gently guiding you through. rolling and interaction. Though not as precise as Dark Souls. you’re essentially marching them hint of the storytelling confidence and poise [ STEPHEN LAMBRECHTS ] towards their deaths in many cases. this is setting inspired by films like Elysium and Avatar. This might not be the game It’s clear Giant Sparrow has invested great harvesting enough gear to become stronger and you’re expecting. not combat in The Surge is unique in that you can the hoodoo. it’s a chance to benchmark for the narrative adventure. see the world as they did. other Finches who have passed. Inside. the the departed in an apparent attempt to confine others last longer. Edith’s never left wondering what to do or where to go exo-suit and cut through swathes of homicidal mother. Repetition will be the key to slithering sim. The Surge is a refreshing take on a opportunity to inhabit these poor souls before from a developer whose debut gave barely a well-worn formula. but. AWARD $ A WALKING SIMULAR IN WHICH YOU DO MUCH MORE THAN JUST WALK. This game commemorate their life — or to appreciate the when you wake up at the nearest MedBay. you’re still exploring but if you make it back to your place of death. has sealed up the bedrooms of next. $89. beyond a surplus of clutter. $69. simply variety for variety’s sake. You play as Warren. Yes. a person’s passing is not you new abilities.giantsparrow. You’ll drop your Tech Scraps are frequently playful. upsetting sequence is handled in almost Occasionally. employees as he navigates the complex. deeply as a result. The Surge differentiates itself intending to satisfy your curiosity about the listening to surrogate audio logs. by the bittersweet ending. employment at the R&D company CREO to find abnormal. the most important of on key items draw your eye. The Surge is a punishing action RPG that owes an unquestionable debt to YES. Each explore. and it envelops you all the more gothic atmosphere usually attributed to these to die before their time. It’s a game enough to truly carve out its own identity. melee battles. but luckily. while bright glows that something catastrophic has occurred. kinds of games in favour of a bright. 4 Constantly shifting storytelling methods 41/2 also help prevent Edith’s journey from [ 044 ] . ensuring you’re to the bottom of this incident. instead. To get is a house full of stories. a wheelchair-bound might be in for a scare or two. and to that involves you more directly in its For starters. encounter will also earn you Tech Scraps. does little to dispel early suggestions that we one walking sim that doesn’t drag its feet. But it can be used to increase your core-power and level entry points to areas that serve as hermetically says much that even the most potentially up your weapons and individual armour pieces. which passages and crawlspaces offering alternative be an emotionally demanding game.thesurge-game. makes you more than just a passive observer of miracle of existence. but an opportunity to when you die. It’s a feel like you’ve discovered more than in games you to spectacularly cut off their extremities contrivance that makes the place more fun to five times the length. swimming. Even so. Warren will don an which are still under lock and key. switch here. but with on show here. It’s a sentimental thought While inaccurate hitboxes can lead to frustration during combat (particularly during past events. you revisit your family home in rural an empty environment. an intricate puzzle box of hidden There’s no escaping that this will. they die. Some stories are over in a heartbeat. surprising and just a time to grieve. This game might even set a new their fates already determined. you’ll receive blueprints which can The developer doesn’t downplay the celebratory fashion. preserved memorials. however. allowing house into something of a mausoleum.

many of us are scared shitless of the poor Outlast 2 maintains an effectively gross but. escape. Naturally. $49. religious hillbillies and mental patients? scant IT’S A MATTER of constant surprise that for a horror game. but the Multiplayer Arcade mode is where Puyo Puyo Tetris truly comes alive.. PS4 | www. The world is pretty scary — why illuminate especially dark areas. Cue roughly 10 hours of Weird country. as well as the frantic Fusion mode which constantly switches between Puyo and Tetris pieces on the fly. The game Could be a shot from Farming also offers standalone Puyo Puyo and Tetris Simulator if it weren’t for modes for those who prefer one over the other. $59. Given the Nintendo Switch version’s portability and easy access to multiple Joy Con controllers. PS4 You’re an investigative journalist tasked with particularly bracing — and don’t expect for all puyo. should keep both newcomers and fans occupied (in America at least). It’s a very straightforward premise so long as you skip the interminable dialogue screens that precede each mission. $59. that butcher’s knife. but the a lack of any means to defend oneself. The same could be said for Resident Evil 7 as to-hand violence. [ STEPHEN LAMBRECHTS ] 4 [ WWW. well. rather than ammo management and hand. your helicopter is felled more compelling than the desire to shock. atmosphere for the duration of its stretch. Its 100-level drudgery.95 | PC. batteries are needed for this and they’re very say. Here. Puyo Puyo Tetris is bound to become a party favourite. imagery could hardly be described as original Outlast 2 is enjoyable. not look for source material a bit different to. with most enemy encounters still very much on evasion and creeping.95 | SWITCH. just don’t expect anything Switch.. insofar as PUYO PUYO TETRIS BLOCK. gory horror can be. though it feels more gruelling here due to It’s a beautifully fetid video game. but Outlast 2 goes with the former crazed hillbilly it’s far too easy to die — basically.sega. requiring memorisation rather than cunning. Terrifying: this guy is reading 50 Shades of Grey WINNER aloud… in church! APPROVED AWARD DISCOVER GAME REVIEWS Outlast 2 A VERY GORY BUT FLAWED SURVIVAL HORROR OUTING. STACK AND TWO SMOKING investigating an especially disgusting murder. Puyo Puyo Tetris is absolutely brimming with modes and gameplay combinations that yourself on the grossest rural property ever genuinely shaken by god-loving crazies. of its blood to be underscored by any reason though en route. thoughtful horror it does not make. One of the more robust puzzler packages in recent and. and while it veers pretty close to more like trial-and-error than it does Resident Evil 7 in terms of tone.95.outlast. up to four players can battle it out on the same screen using whichever style of gameplay they prefer. stealth feels template. PS4. the focus is improvisation. that one. Sure.NET ] [ 045 ] .TECHLIFE. [ SHAUN PRESCOTT ] for a substantial amount of time. and Langermann’s camera horror continues to saddle itself with the same can be used to both record footage and tired themes. Solo Arcade mode rounds out the game’s single player offerings. after a while spent incapacitated. or even — to be honest — very scary. you find Or maybe you have to be American to be memory. though. as hero Blake Langermann searches Adventure Mode is a great way to familiarise for his partner-in-crime wife and tries to 31/2 yourself with each game’s core mechanics.

Mokomoto’s first game Molemen Must Die taking its toll on the Aussie scene. He loves the Aussie scene. (many of whom lost jobs from the closures) and I reached out to a variety of Aussie devs to “Things have gotten progressively worse on we were part of the new wave Australian indies. the Creative Director of Tin thriving. [ NOT ALL FUN AND GAMES ] Developing games Down Under IT HAS BEEN A GREAT COUPLE OF YEARS FOR AUSSIE GAMES. a lot of the big studios went under. His love of games is only The Warlock of Firetop Mountain surpassed by his received around $50k from its love of cats. On the state of funding.” funding was pulled. platforms has made way for old studios to pivot. “Australia has probably the most cohesive game dev community in the world and I want to be part of that and help it grow. [ STEVEN ‘BAJO’ O’DONNELL ] IN 2006. They started small with “By the time I arrived in Oz in 2008 and have that in spades.” discuss what it’s like making games in 2017. [ 046 ] . Film Victoria and support cheats. but wanted it to started TMG. was a BIG win. they were working on an unannounced PSVR Right now. Still. it wasn’t easy to get things moving. and when I heard seeing many big studios shut their doors. Australia. to discover how they work and how they being able to rely on support being there from Screen Australia before government were put together. and intends to stay. insane and loud!” and over the course of the next couple of years. that front. BUT WHAT’S IT LIKE TO ACTUALLY CREATE ONE? FOR HIS LAST-EVER TECHLIFE COLUMN. TMG started and new startups to grow with emerging Video game funding is hard to come by in at the same time as a few other indie developers technologies like VR and portable gaming. “Victoria has been really lucky in that the government has been very supportive of the Neil Rennison Kamina Vincent Elissa Harris. founded the studio in 2008 after blockbuster games. tier rewards and marketing costs.” Kamina Vincent is a producer who has worked on over 30 games in her career. “I remember a lot of moving to Australia from the UK. Now he’s running a new in the future. Co-Founder and Lead games industry and Film Victoria has a program Creative Director of Tin Man Games Producer at Mountains Programmer at Flat Earth Games that invests in both companies and projects. DISCOVER DEVELOPING GAMES DOWN UNDER STEVEN ‘BAJO’ O’DONNELL is a video game critic and co-host of ABC show Good Game Spawn Point. there wasn’t a lot left over. games literally gathering dust on hard drives. Kickstarter campaign. The rise of crowdfunding their first game to reduce risk. and is currently a part of a team of four at Mountains. He started his career Neil Rennison. cautious optimism at the time. It was a great time to make big after the Global Financial Crisis and reflected Man Games. every win focus on narrative and choice. snowballed into the current state of things. with the Australian Government Neil was able to attain funding through Matt Kelly grew up breaking games with pulling funding and a greater feeling of not Creative Victoria. tight. BAJO SPOKE TO FIVE LOCAL DEVS TO FIND OUT. with little sign of things improving. The GFC in 2007–2008 on the vibe back then. and Aussie devs was released this year. TMG games was devastating to Australian development. there are half finished AAA Aussie And that perseverance and loudness has really game with Sony. AAA developers in Australia were studio called Mokomoto. Everything got celebrated. But you can’t kill passion. I got a more than a little excited. she says it can depend on which state you’re in. But after licensing. the cracks were already showing and the continuing evolution of distribution be “small.” Neil arrived in Australia just as the GFC was which will never see the light of day.

Objects in Space: What’s more Labyrinths. Molemen Must Die is a Trump-inspired Matt works mostly solo. From media attention. There are also tax incentives that aren’t necessarily just for developers.TECHLIFE. was released this year. and so does our demand. seem to be more common to see niche and politicians over the years dismiss video games Crowdfunding is a crowded place in 2017. when I was about to release Hacknet. and sizes. They come in all shapes but so many still think game are running over a campaign. costs of running a PR campaign (which often But if it doesn’t.” media pushes this narrative. or what down that path. is their largest project to date and allows players to “construct their own control consoles for the game to enhance the ‘commanding your own space freighter’ feeling”. and new DISCOVER DEVELOPING GAMES DOWN UNDER starter programs such as NEIS. they usually end up writing about the vibrant indie community. “The biggest success (and lack- politicians don’t seem to even want to have an violence of COD or Manhunt. this rings very true this year. video games have been vilified and successes on kickstarter may be over. that has funded a few starter teams. be carefully calculated. If it ever happens. but while the era of runaway From a media standpoint. [ WWW. immersive than pressing knobs on your own spacey console? ‘Honestly. really. to travel to conferences overseas. awesome! Especially as it’s such a booming industry. He’s the developer of the super immersive. Raising funds this way has to It’s possible we’ll never get back to making games mean as an art form. I’ve seen so many uninformed demonised with one-sided television segments.NET ] [ 047 ] .” with virtually no understanding of it.’ Elissa Harris is the co-founder and lead programmer at Flat Earth Games. known for TownCraft. We get to live in art with games. Mainstream of-success) stories seem to have been several understanding of our industry. Metrocide.. with lots of style. She speaks with confidence and excitement about our indie scene here in Oz. Their latest game.” Elissa would love AAA studios to return. it does with me. Multiple times years ago now. There was absolutely the feeling that I wanted to take a swing at being one of those runaway indie superstars.. and the all right.I’ve been part of teams that have used grants to hire new talent. The game has been critically acclaimed. too. too. Hack the planet in Hacknet Labyrinths! “Several politicians at a federal level have done their best to support the industry . most prostitutes in GTA 5 and craving the gore and Elissa says. and made Hacknet in action arcade epic. as well as using his savings. but despite the size of the games industry globally and how cheap and easy it is to support us. and attempt to talk about the industry and there are lots of pros and cons when going funding drives. personal projects having small but useful as ‘kidsy’. to co-exist with the indie scene. and I’m a recipient of the inaugural Women In Games Fellowship that is designed to up-skill women and retain them in the industry. It is frustrating. his spare time while working a full time job. I was making it because I loved it. Games are much more than AAA boundaries. seldom talked about emotional toll of running blockbusters in 2017. AAA games in Oz.” But grants and funding aren’t the only ways to get a studio off the ground: there’s the solo artists such as Matt Trobbiani from Adelaide. I didn’t expect it to sell at all. and a major expansion. but I didn’t ever really think that what I was doing was the best money-making move — it seemed like a bad gamble. She believes it’ll only happen when the market and political support is right. it sounds like things will still be pushing so many emotional and conceptual eat hugely into the money your raise). “One thing that has remained the same is an impressively solid support network of professionals and up-and-coming indie developers here. It’s become our international calling-card in a way — when overseas journalists come here to write about our dev scene. realistic hacking simulation game Hacknet. Super Death Fortress and Super Undead Fortress. Objects in Space.

and some of them refuse to even get inside sending you around the cramped interior of the HMSS Imperialise. Surely. stars. Other puzzle concepts. And you’ll feel like a genius when you get it. whose houses correspond to their colours. for days until you suddenly realize how to solve it while taking a bath? The latter option can’t be used all the time. with pastel pinks and purples. You’re tasked with drawing a tiny railway to pick up and drop off a fat. even but a potentially daunting feature for anyone who throws their phone at going so far as to mention ‘the audience’ and the characters’ scripts. We had to return to a nice feature. So was created SPIFFING (Special Planetary Investigative Force they’re all incredibly difficult. do you like pressing and holding on the screen and then dragging your finger puzzles? Are you thrilled by the idea of a game that leaves you stumped around like you’re using a joystick. not go to each others’ houses. we can explain why that doesn’t a man called Alan Hazelden. each level takes thought. we simply didn’t have much fun playing this simple challenge. however. Alan makes puzzle games. alien passengers. But it’s the kind of game screen. DISCOVER MOBILE GAMES WINNER ED’s CHOICE AWARD [ MOBILE GAMES ] Carry on. such as black holes that transport you across a level and trains with We played this game on the iPhone SE. and he’s the Earth isn’t really an option anymore. Now we’ve got that out of the way. asking price. like people who love is sometimes vague. South Welshman Aled Jones. It is a pretty game. depending trial and error. which is a lovely surprise for an iOS game. However. and therein lies one worth the $5 alone. For Inhabiting New Galaxies). offer new challenges. Alan Hazelden? Then yes. You control Captain Frank Lee English. but we’re not sure it’s worth the but Cosmic Express is adorable. Are you. a train carriage that another alien has been in. real estate than perhaps the developers were banking on. Cosmic Express will punch Puzzles are fairly simple but knowing what you’re supposed to do you in the brain. planning. of our main $7. $5. ol’ chap TECHLIFE’S TEAM REVIEWS THE LATEST GAMES FOR ANDROID & iOS SMARTPHONES & TABLETS. alongside the team from similarly tricky help us to enjoy this game much. but it feels like a itself. actually pokes fun at. We encountered a couple of glitches while playing: one righted This game’s difficulty level could count against it. so while we It’s deceptively adorable. one bus journey. no? There’s a difficulty curve to it like a steep cliff.99 | billygoat. in fact. For the most part. This isn’t the kind of game that you can blast through on previous save to fix it. that’s on how much backtracking you do to find clues. bald gentleman with an impressive painter’s brush moustache. or to tap the location on the screen. meaning there was less screen multiple carriages. looking for parts after your mission inevitably goes awry. is your quest giver. our hand frequently obscured the entire noises every time you squish one of the aliens. precisely because he is very good at them. and a whole lot of This game lasts somewhere between two and three hours. [ CARMEL SEALEY ] [ KATE GRAY] 3 41/2 [ 048 ] . we pressed on everything that eating chillies that make them cry. but since French game collective Klondike.99 | cosmicexpressgame. looked important and hoped for the best — a tactic the game itself There are also many levels. Her Majesty’s SPIFFING Cosmic Express FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY. There are two ways to move Captain English around the ship — that will wring out your brain. Is that a good thing? DISCLAIMER: YOUR HUMBLE reviewer is a massive British comedy ADORABLE YET ROCK-HARD puzzle game Cosmic Express is made by fan. BOYO. It’s full of fourth-wall-breaking moments. They will His flight lieutenant. game. enjoyable and brain-tingly. The Queen has decided to expand the puzzle game A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build and Tyu from arty British Empire after the fallout from an unsuccessful Brexit. her attention has turned to the very good at them. PREPARE FOR A MENTAL PUMMELLING. and you will probably love it. the wall in frustration every time they can’t complete a seemingly But for all its humour. and cute little were navigating each area. but the other halted our progress entirely.

It helps that the graphics rendered environment is enticing if not mode tallies up your score across nine courses. that caters quite nicely to the kind of attention summer. mode. span that mobile games tend to attract. takes itself about as seriously as the title version of BEAR WITH US. [ PAUL TAYLOR ] this game is for you. The controls are simple — tap the bad bits. an installment in Adult Swim’s unicorn-themed the silly with a bunch of serious. then golf for Apple’s mobile platform. You spend your various interesting new challenge in a familiar context. they’re inoffensively unobtrusive. and the right the ball goes in the hole. stuffed animals. phone screen. You have to line up your At first. In practice. as while an unnecessary attempt at idle ‘gameplay’.. NOT BAD. shot and fire. Simple. in-depth golf underling to the King of the Cosmos who’s infinite runner which. each with their own advantages. yes. though each level has a hidden nose. A SEQUEL TOO FAR. for their return — blow you away.TECHLIFE. The regular cousins who bolster the rewards you earn. monsters and components: sand.49 | okidokico. but the added and time trial mode has you completing the marshmallows. then launch your ball of paper clips.NET ] [ 049 ] . make sure world.tapmykatamari. OK Golf is a very simple destroyed all of the stars in the universe. Avoid and so on into the sky. or maybe the year before but ideal You can even send your unicorns on ‘raids’. you’ll be pleased to games in between. Free | www. Of course. if basic. waiting hours. AND IT’S. but it’s a decent challenge for Watch out for the microtransactions.. mass. uh. stay in the good bits.. YOU KNOW. rough. on some less-capable phones courtesy of the mode is your standard ‘do as well as possible’ Soon. It’s up know. non-stop. bringing joy back to the endless voids. DISCOVER MOBILE GAMES Robot Unicorn OK Golf Tap My Katamari Attack 3 IT’S GOLF. while the Prince to dash through enemies and obstacles alike. nonsense and also love infinite runners. [ HARRY DOMANSKI ] [ KATE GRAY ] 3 3 31/2 [ WWW. RUA3’s core gameplay is fine and the newly which unlock more levels. As you progress further. it’s completely pointless and about forms of currency to ‘forge’ new unicorns and It’s a pretty satisfying. creaking sensation in your knuckles. guiding a mechanised unicorn through a down the golfing experience to its core chess pieces. Based on the niche home ROBOT UNICORN ATTACK 3 is the third GOLF GAMES ON iOS range from the weird to video game series. but it’s a good take on anything but micro. If your phone can handle it. you gain more power. houses realm of rainbows. albeit expense of accuracy. worst kind of way. and This is all carried over from the past title hole to find and there are ‘power shots’ that acquire coins that inexplicably tumble out of and this third iteration has more or less can carry your ball a little further at the your everyday objects. capitalist It’s no Tiger Woods. even days. retained its stupidly addictive charm. to you to roll up anything and everything in warrants. It won’t for filling in moments between moments. and far more casual than most. golf game as memorable as that movie you saw last upgrades. and the music will leave in-game currency elements are addictive in the nine courses as quickly as possible — an earworms nestling in your skull for days. furniture. it’s about as tactical as picking your more dense and the pace quickens. Championship Addictive? Oh. you play as the Prince. the collectibles grow stay at or under par. this means tapping your the left side of the screen to jump. but effective. it’s two hours later and you have a weird new 3D Free with IAP | adultswim. green. JUST ROLL WITH IT. There’s just one thing to do in each level: scuttles from left to right across the screen. The core mechanic of the series is It’s got an appealing low-poly style that pares your path. those who like a bit of golf on the go. are the equivalent of syrup-coated occasionally $4. in which your score translates to stars. platforms. but as you amass more. water. speed and options for recruiting your other with game-breaking stutters in performance There are also several modes.. they are If you happen to enjoy all this frilly.

5 TO 3. it’s admittedly processing power of each core of the even really offer this. it also pipped Venom’s the $1. there’s little to complain The UX430UQ isn’t fitted with the fastest efficiently dissipated. When you compare the raw significantly more expensive competition don’t big UX430UQ usurped. [ 050 ] .1GHz as often reach those upper boosted GHz speeds.267kg PCMark’s Home and Work benchmarks. GENERAL GENERAL GENERAL BATTERY MEDIA ENCODING STORAGE GRAPHICS GRAPHICS PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PCMARK 8 . moderate internal temperatures and even Intel Core i5-7200U CPU costs half as much as The UX430UQ. [ JOEL BURGESS ] cheaper CPU is not only amply powered. a 512GB PCIe model rather than just a slightly less sleek. From the outside.8 473.HOME CINEBENCH CINEBENCH .9mm-thick UX430UQ’s CPU against laptops with Intel’s also always a tradeoff between power and UX430UQ is a different range of device to the Core i7-7500U and i7-7600U. with the UX430UQ maintaining components money can buy. also gets a exterior heat dispersion. compared Low. As a case in ultrabook and comparatively supercharges it point.474.6/414. It’s hard to fathom how shop. BUT A LAPTOP THIS SPECIAL DOESN’T COME AROUND TOO OFTEN. While it’s true that to play any modern its i7-7500U CPU in PCMark 8’s Work and titles above 30fps. the early 2017 Razer Blade enough to play The Division on 720p/Low Windows 10 Pro (64-bit). Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU. IF YOU WERE to judge it based on its price. It wasn’t just an ultrabook since Microsoft’s similarly specced UX430UQ $1. 256GB SATA 3 SSD. The Nvidia GeForce 940MX ultrabook.5GHz i7-7500U CPUs powering performance boost in another area thanks to a exceptionally well-designed and well-balanced today’s top-tier ultrabooks.ULTRA DDOF 1080P CPU WRITE (MB/S) (FPS AV. best in the category. THE 2.2 85.2 TEST BENCH RADAR THE UX430UQ ISN’T FITTED WITH THE FASTEST COMPONENTS MONEY CAN BUY. for example.MULTI-THREADED CORE CPU (SCORE) BATTERY (HR:MIN) (AVG FPS) .556 and 3.7 TO 3.399 ASUS’s more expensive laptop that the $3. meaning the CPUs don’t about. this is an the 2. 8GB DDR4 RAM.049. but it does but often provides near-identical performance add modest gaming capabilities to this unique across general computing tasks. The 2.399 ASUS UX430UQ could be powerful CRITICAL SPECS BlackBook 14. the UX430UQ kept up with and then for any professionals that dabble in GPU-heavy 5 outpaced the more-expensive ZenBook 3 and tasks. where heat can’t be as Other than that. There’s not difficult to tell that the 15.1080P CRISTALDISKMARK 5 ICE STORM BIOSHOCK INFINITE (SCORE) . Intel Core i5-7500U CPU.401 and 3.5fps — but there is IPS display. 14-inch 1080p 60Hz anti-glare Stealth and Toshiba’s Portégé X20W-D in settings at an average of 34. but when these core UX430UQ has really made a sacrifice. battery benchmark means it’s a bit behind the and the compact bezels that trim the vibrant all three CPUs perform almost identically. In addition to being more expensive. but we haven’t seen anything like this in ASUS ZENBOOK to the latter’s 4.asus. and will struggle to make a 14-inch 1080p screen make it clear that this That’s likely a side-effect of the Toshiba and full day’s usage. a lot about this ultrabook that is unbelievable. mid-range sibling to the CPUs and 16GB of RAM — twice as much as the 256GB SATA 6Gbps one here).SEQUENTIAL READ/ UNLIMITED (SCORE) . Cinebench R15’s multi-threaded benchmark.SINGLE PCMARK 8 .000 Surface Book. The UX430UQ latter two score higher.) 3474 330 116 3:24hr 7. All up. but when the ZenBook 3 — but to reduce it to that would be a the UX430UQ.HOME HWBOT X265 . Yet this dedicated GPU. GPU isn’t exactly a top-shelf GPU.1GHZ INTEL WINNER CORE I5-7200U CPU COSTS HALF AS MUCH AS THE 2. 1.7–3.5–3. you’ll see that the battery life and this is the only place that the 12mm thick ZenBook 3 devices. Scraping does still share the premium-looking concentric outputs are amalgamated — such as in in at 3 hours and 24 minutes on PCMark 8’s brushed-metal finish of its pricier sibling. however. is a carefully-crafted machine. it’s hardly a fault.466 13. you will need to dial down Home benchmarks with the former picking up the resolution to 720p and set the graphics to respective scores of 4. Razer’s thinner chassis’. the last It would have been nice to get a bigger and you’d probably guess that ASUS’s UX430UQ is two units mentioned have technically better faster SSD (say.5GHZ I7-7500U CPUS ED’s CHOICE POWERING TODAY’S TOP-TIER AWARD ULTRABOOKS ASUS ZenBook UX430UQ IT MAY SEEM LIKE THE RUNT OF THE ZENBOOK 3 LITTER.

ULTRA (SCORE) . the GT62VR 7RE has more than with no-nonsense bucktoothed left and right of up to 60Hz — that means you can get its fair share of sacrifices and though the click buttons. despite those near top-shelf components.) 5.8GHz quad-core is Gigabyte’s P57x V6.NET ] [ 051 ] . but based on Intel’s triple-checking test settings and reinstalling GPU.1 and DisplayPort) have been relegated to the this laptop didn’t perform quite as well in back — indicating that the GT62 is best suited gaming as we’d hoped.007 and 4. 15. 75Wh Li-Ion battery. which pushes a near troubleshooting the issue for multiple hours. These scores are notably more than the CPU and GPU temperatures of 91ºC and 81ºC structural plastic everywhere else. Despite Windows 10 Home 64-bit. 2. reduce the weight of this already heavy gaming when comparing against the P57x V6’s sixth. What’s also a little disappointing is Gigabyte competition.07 3. In The Division and Tomb Raider 31/2 Prioritising power over portability.215/1. single USB 2.) WRITE (MB/S) (FPS AV. cheaper tests.187 106 66. it’s an SD card reader.MULTI-THREADED CPU . suck up the price and portability sacrifices SteelSeries membrane keyboard and a Also neat is that the 1080p IPS display here that come with that powerful GTX 1070 GPU.5 and 262.GENERAL GENERAL MEDIA ENCODING STORAGE PERFORMANCE GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE PCMARK 8 . [ JOEL BURGESS ] connection and video outputs (HDMI. 256GB Samsung PCIe SSD.msi.94kg sixth-gen tech.930.017 and 5.8A DC power input. Ethernet can give. buttery-smooth visuals. there are more than a few niggles. Attached to the top of that girthy 4cm.HIGH 1080P 1080P (FPS AV. the refresh-rate 120Hz/144Hz desktop monitors justify the additional $300 you’ll pay over its four-pin 19V/11. an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU and of 60. it’s powerful. the problem persisted — and we were [ WWW. 3. this 3kg benchmarks on 1080p Ultra settings.099 enough fans to keep this power hungry setup results in both Far Cry Primal and the intensive au. we saw some wobbly $3. with the MSI 20 minute battery lifespan in PCMark 8’s Blanketed by MSI’s trademark brushed metal pumping out lofty results of 5. where the MSI was anywhere CRITICAL SPECS laptop we’ve tested with that GTX 1070 GPU from 15–50% slower in some tests. USB that. to remaining stationary on a desk. However.8–3.5 TEST BENCH RADAR MSI GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro IS MSI’S REAL-WORLD GRAN TURISMO GAMING LAPTOP AS FAST AS IT SOUNDS? THE GT62VR 7RE Dominator Pro from MSI Backed up by 16GB of DDR4 RAM. with a pretty meagre 1 hour and appealing as the wrong end of a server room. it’s not enough to audio outputs line the edges of the unit.SEQUENTIAL READ/ EXTREME (SCORE) KNIGHT .1 and 213. If you want to play newer titles on Ultra unit.TECHLIFE. reasonably pleasant-feeling trackpad equipped offers G-Sync.7fps. 16GB DDR4 RAM.9. although only at a refresh rate Unfortunately. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB) identical set of components. the beast packs in some serious components with GT62VR got averages of 66.384 Conventional Work battery life test and veneer on the lid and keyboard surround.0 ports.6-inch IPS LCD @ 1080p with G-Sync (max refresh rate 60Hz). and goes for about $2. 1TB Hitachi HDD. you’ll need to be willing to thick body is a responsive and well spaced-out else we’ve tested. MSI’s still trying to get to the bottom of it with MSI is the dictionary definition of a gaming laptop. Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU. although they won’t unadvertised G-Sync panel is a nice perk.537 7. MSI GT62VR 7RE the latest seventh-gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ surpassing the P57x V6’s respective framerates DOMINATOR PRO CPU. drivers. helping to 10% iterative performance boost you’d expect under load.017 730 16. at a comfortable temperature. GT62VR 7RE actually considerably outpaced at the time we went to print.0 and multiple come with the super-responsive feel that high expensive one — and for us.799. While the three USB 3. pricy and about as aesthetically the P57x V6’s PCMark 8 Home and Work Moreover. (respectively) in these general-performance acceptable (but not exactly class-leading) max the GT62 chassis switches to lighter.HOME CINEBENCH HWBOT X265 (AVG FPS) CRISTALDISKMARK 5 3DMARK FIRE STRIKE BATMAN: ARKHAM THE DIVISION . scores of 4. gen CPU and actually push well past anything settings at 60fps. The only other Metro: Last Light.

the company hadn’t jumped an Nvidia 10-series GPU. yourself. Corsair the PC building world. 16GB RAM. Gaming performance performs even better. promise of excellent gaming performance in a designed tower of power. the One’s custom chassis the same way as MSI. It’s a triumph of clean design. this machine. heat convection. There’s no packed inside. One of the more impressive features is its in the last year.6 x 38cm. and goes up from there. Gigabit Ethernet 802. ASUS and Gigabyte do. Similarly. and distills things down into a very svelte time it takes to build it. draws cold air in through the management is often their Achilles’ heel. the company is now in a position to fuse all cooling solution.6 x 38cm. wasted space. Having made of Tron than the Mac Pro’s dustbin appearance. hot on the heels of much and-play gaming system that looks great and engineering. The One is nothing short of a major Mac Pro. and small-form-factor performance. for a price of $3.149 There’s no doubt that you could build and even for adding a small price premium over the cost www. For one. too. if you CRITICAL SPECS this beast. 240GB SSD isn’t the kind of thing you can easily recreate With the One. the One stands only a few inches taller than a fell short of setups with dual-GPU loadouts. However.149. [ BO MOORE ] But rather than outfitting each of those with small package. factor systems are especially tough to build.0. but has a look that’s more reminiscent but the One’s single GTX 1080 beat almost all milestone for Corsair. but Corsair utilises every internal add together the individual cost of everything Windows 10 Home. Both the CPU and GPU are The Corsair One more than delivers on the of its strengths together into one beautifully cooled by their own individual 240mm radiator. 2x DisplayPort. and no add-ons just for the sake cheaper than the cost of the complete system. There’s also the added benefit of a itself as a true pre-built system manufacturer. USB 3. manufacturer’s warranty — the One comes setting itself up with a strong foundation in GTX 1080 and 960GB SSD. The result with the One — performance remained stable is a well-cooled system with a minimal even after running our high-load benchmarks footprint that runs whisper quiet. Corsair has clearly established and 1TB HDD. And did we mention it’s powerful? brings a lot to the table here. The One takes the best that Corsair has to especially when you add in Windows and the [ 052 ] . Packed inside is an Intel Core i7 processor. MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GPU. audio ports. EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE. it does so without their own fans. But until recently. Of course. larger. For most small form factor systems. of the other single-card systems we’ve tested components and accessories for decades. $2. 20 x 17. WHAT? CORSAIR HAS LONG been a trusted brand in offer. the entire system is cooled by a relying on large. 7. Even better. The Corsair One punches out some serious But most of all.1 Type-A. WAIT. BUT HAS A LOOK THAT’S MORE REMINISCENT OF TRON THAN THE MAC PRO’S GLORIFIED DUSTBIN APPEARANCE. square inch of the One to full effect.499 for an i7-7700. THE ONE STANDS ONLY A FEW INCHES TALLER THAN A MAC PRO. WINNER ED’s CHOICE TEST BENCH RADAR AWARD IT’S A TRIUMPH OF CLEAN DESIGN. small form and high-end components and peripherals. HDMI 2. Measuring 20 x 17. Either way.11ac. The ‘Pro’ unit we tested featured an i7-7700K. loud fans to keep everything single 140mm maglev fan up top that. AND SMALL- FORM-FACTOR ENGINEERING. you reach a price not much 3x USB 3. 960GB SSD. CORSAIR ONE PRO The overall design is impressively compact. Not so 41/2 radiators and exhausts it out the top.1 Type-C.corsair. known for its quality machine. pre-built systems are well known $ buy Mini-ITX systems that are smaller than of building the rig yourself. 2x USB 2. Core i7-770K processor. as well as plenty of and the innards of the One are manicured with into offering complete. simultaneously. GTX 1070. with two years of parts and labour covered.0 Type-A. pre-built systems in storage. through cool. beefier systems. Corsair One Pro SYSTEM INTEGRATOR CORSAIR. it’s the ease of having a plug- excellent performance. varying by tier — the One starts at precision.2kg of it.

2.NET ] [ 053 ] . but with a total thickness of just over 2cm. this unit bundles in a decent suite of security and backup software for both Mac and PC variations to further sweeten the deal. $229 www. as it managed to all but disappear on our white test bench.057.97MB/s and 90. with respective sequential read and write speeds of 97. making for a cost per GB of $0. runs a little slower than its PC counterpart.1MB/s. we were taken with the simple and sleek glossy-white model we received for review. With the 4TB model landing at $229. at 267g including the bundled micro-USB cable.97MB/s. The 4TB model is a little weighty. but will be more than enough space for most. the new My Passport is in the middle of the road when it comes to transfer rates. They come in 2TB and 4TB capacities locally.2 x 8.2 x 11cm. its compact dimensions mean it’s still easy to move around. you can securely stack a number of them on top of one another without worrying if they’ll topple. $149. The ‘My Passport for Mac’ drive. going for a Maxibon-like half-smooth/half-textured plastic exterior. it’s a good-value drive. 4TB. With a sustained read speed of 114. [ WWW.wdc. but this is common for dedicated Mac drives. 267g. WD has revamped the My Passport exterior. As always with WD drives.TECHLIFE. WINNER ED’s CHOICE AWARD Western Digital My Passport 4TB A GOOD LOOKING USB HARD DRIVE THAT ISN’T OVERPRICED. which is a little shy of Seagate’s new 5TB portable. which is so square.0 Type A. ALTHOUGH THE LATEST version of Western Digital’s portable hard drive is available in five vibrant colours.5 MB/s and write speeds of 110. [ JOEL BURGESS ] 41/2 WD MY PASSPORT 2TB. when partially formatted to a universal ExFAT CRITICAL SPECS USB 3.

yellow and black) to achieve with a duster.800 x 4. or a mobile device via the app but its wide feature set and ease of use. For use with plain text documents only Photo XP-960 reduce physical bulk as much which is good news for designers who can and at the usual A4 size. but they’re Six-colour inkjet printing @ up to 5. mentioned.800dpi. colour [ JIM HILL ] because all the trays and flaps automatically cartridges (magenta. unwanted ink mixing or smearing here relatively affordable ($399) lozenge-shaped Having two paper in-trays is an advantage either. humble opinion. THERE ARE PLENTY of all-in-one inkjet plain paper. 4. it’s very easy to wipe it down light cyan. COLOUR CARTRIDGES (MAGENTA. so although it has the capacity save the scanned documents onto a USB to look a little expensive to buy and run. it’s small enough to share thumb drive. 8. When it comes to printing [ 054 ] . 28ppi text printing (black and colour). Epson’s per minute. making it quite easy to average results after its print heads were print directly from an SD card (or myriad cleaned and realigned — the print speed is a EPSON EXPRESSION other flash memory cards) without any need little slow at less than nine pages per minute. because it means you can load one boldness to the colour palette. LIGHT CYAN. can capture very rather impressed.6 x 14. meaning you’re rewarded with a real XP-960 takes up minimal desk space. Duplex printing is possible with A4 and consistency. but not so many the print speed accelerates from 8 to 28 pages Photo XP-960 really shines. Thanks to extra colour in its six ink system. in our an average-sized desk with a computer and — or have it emailed to a PC. prints 4 x 6 photos from your average all-in-one photo printer. photos on photo paper. cyan.7kg set. WINNER ED’s CHOICE AWARD Epson Expression Photo XP-960 A COMPACT MFP WHICH CAN PRODUCE HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL RESULTS. uses an as well. instead of the usual five. to handle A3 paper. TEST BENCH RADAR LIGHT MAGENTA. supports paper up to A3 size. 802.9 x 35. superior colour fidelity. 47. as well as making the but text looks sharp enough. you switch media.11n Wi-Fi. this accurate six-ink cartridge system. what really sets the XP-960 apart perfectly acceptable for an inkjet. EPSON’S CLARIA PHOTO HD INK SYSTEM USES setup process a breeze. PHOTO XP-960 $399 to access a computer. the Expression printers on the market. light magenta. finish is an absolute magnet for dust. The colour display is a generously sized The Expression Photo XP-960 achieved 5 4. YELLOW AND BLACK) TO ACHIEVE SUPERIOR COLOUR FIDELITY.800dpi. Characters lack www.440 pixels. fold neatly away.800dpi. and in this mode.8cm.3-inch but besides that. time in our full colour tests. the light touch of a laser and look a little CRITICAL SPECS The ability to handle A3 paper is. CYAN. The rounded sides of Epson’s Expression high-resolution scans of 4. meanwhile. supports Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. The glossy black Epson’s Claria Photo HD ink system to do any kind of A3 printing as well. Fast Ethernet port. and has three document trays for envelopes or printable blank CD-sized discs. The as we’ve heavy-handed by comparison. for example.INSTEAD OF THE USUAL FIVE. you have a fairly full feature cartridge system and show good separation colour LCD. scanning up to 4. the Expression Photo XP-960 turned out dedicated media. 4.760 x 1. Colour documents benefit from the six-ink in 11 seconds. this machine begins as possible. can scan at with plain A4 and the other with photo paper. justify the costs if you plan still have room to spare.3-inch touchscreen. There’s no capable of handling A3 paper. marking us sized business. but uses six. making it a machine and not have to empty the tray each time professional production quality prints every suitable for a home office or a medium. flash card reader.

iPhone 7 owners) for hi-res Best of all. Aimed at youths — borrows almost the entire chasis from the fantastic ATH-MSR7 or anyone with a need for decent-sounding headphones on a modest (‘Simon’). the upper arch of the headband is thinner to allow The exterior features are where the changes start to show. The reason boxes without compromising (too much) on build quality and features. however. 300g and travel pouch included. laptop and tablet seamlessly We get that even with the amazing Pure Digital Drive technology. Support Codec: aptX HD. The result is a robust set of Pure Digital Drive Technology. SBC.NET ] [ 055 ] .. AUDIO-TECHNICA’S ATH-DSR7BT (GEEZ. Gary is a diffcult proposition to recommend running out for. Connection to our headphones use. DeepSleep mode. CRAPPY headphones. there’s the option to NFC for quicker Android set up and physical controls on the left can. though. 10m wireless range. meaning audio reproduction. supported Bluetooth profiles: A2DP. 100 dB/mW sensitivity. while the joints where the ratchet can be adjusted features volume www. 18-hour listening and talk time. memory foam cups. which.. Gary wears beautifully on the These Bluetooth cans are cleverly designed to not only look urban. Note that there’s no 3. where they need to be. a neat (if slightly superfluous) touch-sensitive are bolstered for added durability. USB charge cable HFP. for that is simple — it’s bloody amazing. USB charging cable and carrying pouch included. The 505s are comfy connection (!). This results in the ability for higher bitrate playback. we’re just going to call them ‘Gary’) YOUR CHEAP. The sound the 505s pump out definitely punch above their weight. greatest. 4 hours charge time. there’s And if 24-bit/48kHz wireless playback isn’t enough. and the passive isolation from the on-ear cups is another nice plus. omnidirectional microphone. combined with the new memory-foam-clad cans hugging your ears. or even his older sibling Paul (ATH-M50x). [ TROY COLEMAN ] [ TROY COLEMAN ] 41/2 41/2 AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-DSR7BT PLANTRONICS BACKBEAT 505 $599 $120 www. Built from even after a commute/work period extending upwards of 12 hours. Either way you handle it. 40mm drivers. stick with Simon. for as is the overall rock-solid build quality. that really rolls off the tongue doesn’t it. but scone for extended listening.5mm-out jack. the 505s are also surprisingly instead of the traditional digital-to-analogue conversion other Bluetooth feature-rich for such an entry-level $120 price tag.5mm the tricky additional level of pivot added on top. as well — this reviewer had no complaints also have much-needed strength where it matters most. is that the Bluetooth is true multi-point. sorry. basically means the Bluetooth audio is headphones that won’t skip a beat and can withstand some punishment. multi-point Bluetooth. ~15 hours battery life. 5Hz-40KHz frequency response. so unless you desperatly need the latest and Anyone looking for punchy thick sound will be well catered for. Stress reduction is also helped with play/call button and the USB charge port. 140g [ WWW. slide adjustment and angular driver housing budget — the Backbeat 505s have somehow managed to tick all the are all the same. 3. that is. AAC.plantronics.TECHLIFE. connect to your device (via USB only. 35ohms CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS 45mm drivers. aptX. while on the right are the power and Bluetooth controls. with a well-padded headband and generously On the inside are 45mm drivers. Gary sounds incredible.. heavy-duty plastics. Plantronics BackBeat 505 PLANTRONICS HAS HAD ENOUGH OF YOUR CRAP. transmitted in an all-digital form from the device though to the driver Being part of the BackBeat family. AVRCP. test iPhone 7 was rock solid over and above the stated 10m range. ‘inexpensive’) down the line. We get the feeling the technology will get far more common (read though audiophiles need not apply (look instead at the BackBeat Pro). at $600. The left side for a fairly flexible fit. without needing to dig into the settings and force new connections. The headband. WINNER ED’s CHOICE AWARD TECH BENCH RADAR WINNER ED’s CHOICE AWARD Audio-Technica ATH-DSR7BT COURAGEOUS. HSP. you can switch between your phone..

and vocals come memory card. However. from your mouth — something that has become a staple of many but there’s no option for online storage.5 x 5.3 x 5. and a motion sensor that can flip-down microphone. we extended gameplay sessions. which on vocals or the eardrum-rattling bass of the seismic option.11n wireless capability.plantronics. optical audio-out port. 20–20kHz frequency response. max input power 40mW. is listed as a separate device. built-in speaker. whether it be an added emphasis showing both the image from the CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS 1080p resolution. night-vision mode. 32 ohms impedance. It also no matter how big your TV. [ CLIFF JOSEPH ] 4 31/2 D-LINK OMNA 180 CAM HD PLANTRONICS RIG 800HS $330 $249 dlink. Dynamic 40mm drivers. That allowed us to create an ‘automation’ That said. The camera boasts a at a range of up to 10 metres. lacks the 360° dynamics of other gaming headset options in this price such as the Hue lights or Netatmo’s forthcoming Smoke Alarm. and it’s attractive to boot. of course. resolution of 1. 802. 121g in case [ 056 ] . sweat. 15x charge from case. Finally. and to adjust features such as the sensitivity of the motion through crisp and clean. But if you own other HomeKit devices. Four EQ settings allow users to tailor their sensor. It’ll also work HomeKit platform and the Home app in iOS 10.. Not only that. It can stream live video to iOS devices. Plantronics gaming headsets. it isn’t Bluetooth compatible. D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD AIMED SQUARELY AT the PS4 crowd. 111 dBSPL/V sensitivity. some users off. headband also helps keep the top of your head from getting sore during It took us a couple of attempts to get the camera set up properly. 10m wireless range. 5m range. so it such as the Omna isn’t essential. Plantronics’ latest wireless APPLE’S HOMEKIT GETS A BOOST FROM ITS FIRST COMPATIBLE CAMERA. which can be muted by simply raising it away send alerts if it detects movement. so you’ll have so that the motion sensor would automatically turn on the lights when we to sacrifice one of your console’s USB ports to the headset’s wireless walked into the room. lightweight. HomeKit support. We also love the convenience of its includes an infrared night-vision mode.1 surround sound. and the motion sensor. so if you want to store recordings. 24hrs active battery life. the unit also needs to use your PS4’s either a fourth-gen Apple TV or an iPad to act as a control hub. iPad but it worked fine when we switched to an iPhone.3cm 3-hour battery life. 180° wide-angle lens. record onto a punch and nuance to sound effects and music. so bad luck if you were already using it for your There are plenty of more affordable cameras available that rely on their stereo or TV (you’ll find that the headset’s volume rocker won’t work own apps to monitor your home and send alerts. TECH BENCH RADAR WINNER APPROVED AWARD Plantronics RIG 800HS CONSOLE GAMING HEADPHONES WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED. gaming headset sports a number of desirable traits. the headset’s 40mm drivers provide ample its www.. and the unit’s isolating ear-cups feature couldn’t initially connect the Omna app to the camera when using an memory foam cushions for added comfort.920 x 1. this is a stereo headset. might be worth spending a little extra on the Omna so that you can link [ STEPHEN LAMBRECHTS ] all of your smart devices together for a truly smart home.080 and a very effective 180° wide-angle audio experience to suit their needs. The one drawback in this case is that you need receiver plug. it’s wireless. 13. then it range that can often feature 7. Firstly. the Omna also shows up inside the Home app in iOS 10. For starters. so a HomeKit camera without this optical connection). allowing you to view live video from the camera. has an exceptionally long battery life of D-LINK’S OMNA IS the first camera we’ve seen that works with the 24 active gaming hours. which should be more than sufficient. The app works on In terms of audio quality.and rain-resistant. The integration of a self-adjusting you’ll have to buy a microSD card. two-way audio. the RIG 800HS has a few niggling factors that could put within the Home app that linked the camera to our Philips Hue lights. microSD card slot.


Elgato Eve Motion Elgato Eve Energy

Elgato Eve Room

Elgato Eve Elgato Eve Weather


WHILE MOST HOME automation systems EVE ROOM to an easy-to-manage graph, which you can
focus on using a central hub to process and As the most expensive and complex of the Eve view on the Eve app.
manage the data and interactions of its devices, Elgato’s $140 ‘Wireless Indoor Sensor’
sensors, Elgato’s modular Eve kit takes a packs a lot of smarts into its square 7.9cm EVE MOTION
different approach — distributing the frame. In addition to a digital thermometer Slightly less complex than the Room, Weather
processing load across each of the range’s four that is accurate to 0.3ºC, this compact unit and Energy units, Eve Motion is more in line
unit types and allowing them to interact includes a humidity sensor and an air quality with what we’ve come to expect of home
directly. The system relies on Bluetooth sensor to give you a well rounded picture of a automation products. The primary function
connections between units and the iOS app room’s ambient conditions. As one of the only of the Eve Motion is to use its 120º motion
rather than communicating through your units on the market with an air quality sensor sensor to detect any movement within a 9m
router’s Wi-Fi connection or a proprietary hub. that measures both carbon dioxide levels and range. Much like its competitors, you can
The alternate integration of Elgato’s Eve system the number of volatile organic compounds adjust the sensitivity threshold for recognition,
significantly reduces the initial outlay if you (VOC), this clever device can be used to but the Eve Motion can also trigger its own
want to do one specific home automation task, trigger an air conditioner, dehumidifier or actions when paired with an Eve Energy
but a clever optional integration with Apple’s even an air purifier by combining it with the or a compatible Apple Homekit accessory,
second-generation TV also accommodates the Elgato Eve Energy switch. such as a smart bulb. Its IPX3 splash-proofing
off-site sensor control that you get from a means you don’t have to worry about leaving
traditional hub or home automation setup. EVE WEATHER it outside and the company suggests that its
Taking an almost identical form as its indoor two AA batteries and Bluetooth 4.0 Low
EVE ENERGY sibling, the Eve Weather wireless outdoor Energy connection will allow it to last
Energy is the crux of the Eve range. Not sensor relocates the former’s topside more than a year.
because it carries the smarts to act as a home ventilation to the rear of the unit, in order [ JOEL BURGESS ]
hub (as the processing power is shared across to facilitate an IPX3 splash-proof water
units), but rather, since this plug and power resistance. In addition to the necessary
socket allows you to control anything and weatherproofing, this 3cm-thick tile replaces
everything you plug into it. Energy can be the air quality sensor for an air pressure gauge.
turned on and off using the Bluetooth- We’re guessing that a running hectopascal
connected Eve app (iOS only), but you can also measure will be overkill for most people, ELGATO EVE
create automated power routines with the help but since the device keeps the temperature Room, $139.95; Energy, Weather and Motion, $84.95
of other Eve products. Depending on the and humidity sensors and only requires two
sensors it’s paired with, you can turn devices of the Eve Room’s three batteries, it isn’t CRITICAL SPECS
iOS 10.3+ compatibility; Energy — Bluetooth 4.0 Smart,
on and off based on temperature, air quality, really a limitation. As with the Eve Room, 1 socket, 7.7 x 7.7 x 6cm; Room — Bluetooth 4.0 Smart,
motion and whether or not a door or window the app makes the sensor data much more thermometer, humidity sensor, VOC & CO2 sensor, 3 x AA
batteries, 7.9 x 7.9 x 3.2cm; Weather — Bluetooth 4.0
is closed. Like most of the other units here, the useful than it might seem at first, storing Smart, thermometer, humidity sensor, barometer, 2 x AA
Eve Energy has more than one function, and up to 21 days of recorded information locally batteries, 7.9 x 7.9 x 3.2cm; Motion — Bluetooth Low
Energy, 120°, 9m range, IPX3, 2 x AA batteries, 8 x 8 x 3.2cm
also keeps track of energy consumption. on the unit and and then uploading this

[ WWW.TECHLIFE.NET ] [ 057 ]





Panasonic Lumix FZ2500

THERE’S PLENTY TO love about the latest You can also shoot 4K video in both the There’s also an eye sensor to automatically
superzoom camera in Panasonic’s Lumix UHD (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) or DCI (4,096 x switch from LCD to viewfinder without
series — 20x zoom with excellent macro, 4K 2,160 pixels) 4K formats at a max of 30 and needing to press a button.
video, superfast autofocus, built-in neutral 24fps, respectively. Plus there’s no limit to how For the novice, there are presets that make
density filters — in a DSLR-like body that much video you can capture, as long as there’s shooting much easier by automatically setting
weighs less than a kilo. There’s a 1-inch CMOS space on the microSD card or battery life. parameters and filters for various situations —
sensor (for context, that’s three times larger In use, this snapper’s autofocus is practically ‘romantic sunsets’, for example. Capturing fast
than the sensor in the iPhone 7), oodles of instantaneous in good light and not too much action — like an animal in action — is near
control not unlike a DSLR and, unlike most slower in low-light conditions. Panasonic has perfect, with sharp images and great contrast.
other cameras in its class, the FZ2500 features definitely worked hard on this feature and the It is important to remember, however, that the
a hot shoe slot for an external flash. result is perfect pinpoint focus alongside handy FZ2500 isn’t weatherproof.
The camera’s 20x fixed lens — with a variable software features like face recognition, which All in all, the FZ2500 is a very impressive
maximum aperture of f/2.8-4.5 — gives you works even when the subject is on the move. enthusiast camera. It can replace your
the equivalent of a massive 24–480mm lens, We’ve got no complaints regarding the camcorder and, for beginner photographers,
but remains compact and easy to handle thanks camera’s metering system and the auto white- it’s an excellent bit of kit for learning the
to a nifty collapsible design that’s achieved by balance setting reproducing colours accurately, basics before, perhaps, moving on to a
moving the lenses internally. So once the although we found some amount of manual fully-fledged DSLR.
camera has been powered on, the lens extends, intervention might be needed in overcast [ SHARMISHTA SARKAR ]
then remains in position even when adjusted. conditions. There was minimal noise in our
This keeps the camera’s centre of gravity steady test images, even at higher ISO settings under
and reduces blur and image shifting while a variety of light conditions.
zooming in and out. Panasonic has also In terms of build and handling, the camera
changed the zoom drive motor, making it sits comfortably in the hand. Round the back,
smoother and slower, which gives videos a the FZ2500 sports a side-mounted, three-inch
subtle and natural sense of motion. LCD screen that pivots through a range of
For pros, neutral density filters are pretty positions. The monitor is very sharp, and touch $1,444
much essential bits of equipment for shooting in functionality is seamless, with easy autofocus
bright sunlight or taking long exposure shots selection, access to onscreen shortcuts and CRITICAL SPECS
— they reduce the amount of light entering the intuitive swipe and pinch-zoom gestures to 20.1MP; 1-inch CMOS sensor;
20x optical zoom (24–480mm equivalent);
lense and keep images from becoming review images. The built-in electronic 80–25,600 extended ISO; 4K video;
overexposed. With the FZ2500, you just need viewfinder is also top notch. It’s comfortably 2,360,000-dot EVF; 966g
to flick a switch and you get two ND filters. large and crisp, with a really good refresh rate.

[ 058 ]


Get your

tech in
check: the

best kit to AWARD

organise WINNER

your gear ED’s CHOICE

[ JOEL BURGESS & PAUL TAYLOR ] Bluelounge CableDrop Mini Volans 4-Port USB Smart
and Multi Charger (DC04)
THE CONCEPT OF a purely wireless desk
is much like the promise of the paperless WE’VE TAKEN THE unorthodox step of MANY OF US will be blessed enough to own
office: it’s highly unlikely to happen. Cables reviewing a range of cable solutions here, an array of portable gadgets that need
cluttering up a desk seem inevitable in that as the CableDrop system includes a number charging on a regular basis and, for the most
case, but fear not. Effective cable of ways to keep wayward cords in order. part, these devices can be charged by the
management not only looks good, but it You get nine Mini cable ties to a pack, and two ubiquitous USB Type-A socket. Your computer
can be easy, make your space look good, rows of four with the Multi. Simply peel the is likely to be the first obvious source for
and be more efficient when it comes time to sticky backed plastic off the rear of each charging such devices, but using the PC means
uproot and pack equipment away. That old anchor and attach it to a clean, smooth surface. dealing with unavoidable self-opening
adage of ‘everything has a space and there’s From there, you can route your USB cables applications or settling with mediocre, 1A USB
a space for everything’ rings true when you through the gap, ideal for keeping cords out charging speeds. If you have a spare power
take a look at the selection of gear here. of the way while you work, or giving them a outlet nearby, then a better alternative would
We thought about the devices that home when they’re not in use (this reviewer be something like the Volans’ Aluminium
people use, and then how to keep that gear stuck one on top of a phone charger, making 4-port USB Smart Charger. Featuring a
in check when at work, in a small home wrapping the cord up infinitely easier). The generous 30W total power output across the
business, and also at home using either a gap in our anchors were big enough for USB four Type-A connections, this hub allows at
desktop tower or laptop. It’s really up to you cords to stay in place, but the Mini and Multi least two devices to fast charge at 2.4A, but can
how to implement it, though glancing at wouldn’t quite accommodate a power cable. accommodate up to four connections altering
gear in this roundup should provide The anchors will stick in place securely, so the maximum output for each particular
inspiration on how to streamline your own make sure you’re certain you’re happy with its device. The aluminium and powdery silicone
personal area. It’s also worth thinking placement, as it’ll take a bit of force to remove chassis gives the DC04 a premium look and
about the mess underneath your desk — it. A few different colour options are available feel, while the vertically stacked USB ports
everything needs a power cord, and there’s if you want to colour code your cables. For the save space and make the 164g device an
only so much space at the wall. price, they’re invaluable. extremely tidy tool, as long as you keep the
cables under control (see left).

5 5

The various types of devices were tested in
ways that corresponded with their intended From $12.95 $25
use. For USB charging ports, additional
speed tests were performed by timing the
charge rate of a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Mini: black, white, bright and muted colours, 25 x 9.5mm; 30W total power output, 4 x USB Type A sockets (max 2 x 5V
Multi: black, white or bright colours, 65 x 20 x 10mm 2.4A simultaneous fast charging), 6 x 7.5 x 2.5cm, 164g

[ WWW.TECHLIFE.NET ] [ 059 ]

In the wall mounted units are actually also the most the fire from spreading.95 www. We were initially securely into place and its neat indent makes Up Wireless Charging Pad has a 15W output worried about the sticky material used to a useful charging bay for your mobile devices. BOX UP ALL YOUR CABLE MESS. CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS Supports headphones up to LED charge status indication reusable suction mount retardant chassis. 6cm diamete. If you have the space for it. acrylonitrile butadiene and silicone flame 15W output. HEADPHONES are the kind of IT ONLY TAKES a few cables on your desk to IF YOU HAVE a phone that is capable of utilising thing that can sit on your desk or be tucked turn a reasonably uncluttered workspace into wireless charging. Polypropylene.95 $109. but when you already have numerous shui of your desk or office.mwave. 30 x 18 x www. as it does tucked away on the ground. Bosign is one haven’t got around to actually buying a wireless organisation solutions. these reasonably priced of the only companies that wants to help you charger yet. SLEEK AND CORD FREE. there’s a good chance you away in a draw.95. but as one of the most low tech an uncomfortably messy setup.3cm in width. WINNER WINNER APPROVED TESTBENCH GET YOUR TECH IN CHECK AWARD APPROVED AWARD WINNER APPROVED AWARD HyperX Vacuum Pad Bosign Hideaway Cable Belkin Boost Up Wireless Headset Hanger Organiser (Medium) Charging Pad SUCK IT UP. The most versatile slick range of Hideaway Cable Organisers that micro USB cables that are capable of charging headphone holder is the tabletop rack.8cm light. The Boost Up but the unit cleverly mixes a suction cup with a power board.3cm [ 060 ] . wireless charging docks haven’t supported space saving and. then you’ll have to go for the size Wireless Charging Pad will charge through most sticky but not paint peeling reusable material up. but the Boost looking propositions overall. this speedy charging dock has quality components and achieves exactly what it sets out to. FAST. HyperX’s Vacuum Pad Headset on the Belkin’s Boost Up Wireless Charging it might be better to look at a wall-mounted powdery polycarbonate exterior isn’t just soft Pad can take away a significant chunk of clutter option.mwave. Qi compatibility. compatible with 3mm case. so if one of your self-contained charging platform and looks a lot solution out there. it is very much a luxury tech item. but if work equally well in full view on a tabletop your phone.. It’s a little pricy. clutter. FOR MOST. anything larger than a fully laden four-port cable-based fast-charging setups. The That said. The timber inlay of the past.3 x 11. your desk happens to be anywhere near a wall. dual sided access. transformers seriously malfunctions it’ll keep more stylish than a spindly charging cable. but at $49. it’s also comprised of fully from your desk or bedside table with its single Hanger is the most cost-effective hanging fire-retardant materials. this reasonably priced cable phone cases (3mm and under) and is compatible that gives a strong but removable bond to any concealer is useful for moderate power board with any Qi enabled devices. At $20. Wireless chargers aren’t that units can make a massive difference to the feng address unkempt powerboard mess with its expensive. HEADPHONE HANGER. 41/2 4 4 HYPERX VACUUM PAD BOSIGN HIDEAWAY BELKIN BOOST UP HEADSET HANGER CABLE ORGANISER (MEDIUM) WIRELESS CHARGING PAD $20 $49. arguably one of the better Hideaway Cable Organiser’s closable lid clicks newer fast-charging technologies. that is three times faster than a standard 1A micro mount the headset-hanger permanently If you’re looking for something that will house USB connection and competes with the best marking the wall and not being relocatable. but smooth wall surface.

tablets.4A modes. PERHIPERHALS AND GADGETS. 310g each device or category to make telling them apart a breeze. shelf or table. Colour code your cable ties for 15.5-inch drive. white CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS 10 x USB-A @1A or 5 x USB-A @2. It’s also rated to awkward to feed in and out. reasonably planted carry headphones that weigh up to 1kg.10cm.mwave. there’s not a lot of FUTURE PROOF It’s very likely you’re going to acquire resistance. essentially. Audio Technica’s fancy hook is ideal solutions may blow out. desk but keeps your ‘phones neatly tucked your workstation. ‘Fancy’ in that it clamps to the have that implement USB as their power lip of a desk. While the frame of predominantly mobile. games AUDIO TECHNICA’S CRADLE is. when the hook’s swung around and under the ou.NET ] [ 061 ] .TECHLIFE. fitness watches.3 x 10. How many smartphones. pin the lot down with 4 4 sticky tape and live with it for a day to make sure your mouse isn’t going to collide with your neat USB charging LASER 10 USB PORT AUDIOTECHNICA HEADPHONE cable. [ WWW. ignore your switch at the front flicking between the 1A and the unit is entirely plastic. as the figure-8 power cord powers the ample access when it’s swung away from the Consider where you’re setting up entire board. as that’s going to be which is about the size and shape of an of headbands to slot www. Go sideways external 3. BITS AND BOBS TO DECLUTTER YOUR smartphones) or five at 2.8 x If it’s going to be It’s also fairly featureless. so having the station on the floor height clearance underneath that thumbscrew more tech compared to what you throw would be impractical. so consider that your storage desk. the station has a large footprint.1A (which your iPad then tightened with a large thumbscrew. Before sticking anything down. That’s where it’ll have to live.8 x 5. as the USB ports offer a fair amount of affix this to a deep table. consoles and cameras do you and your family a fancy hook. While it certainly saves space at the the hook has 360° degrees of rotation. The only concern we have is that if you need to too.95 www. and TECH. WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING charge simultaneously at 1A (fine for most The clamp can be adjusted in three stages. Four rubber feet keep this box. there’s generous depth for all but the meatiest rear of a desk. TAKE A LOOK around your home. it feels robust and instincts to bunch cables towards the 2.4A. giving SET UP LOCATION wall. 170g or grey.laserco. with only a simple under your work COLOUR CODE Chances are your cables are black. 11. and has a plush imitation BUYERS’ CHECKLIST station offers room for up to 10 devices to leather nook for your treasured headphones. instead towards the edge of your desk. (AT-HPH300) TIP TOP PLACE TO HANG UP YOUR CANS. whether you’re supply? And how many of them need charging attaching it to a thin MDF surface or sturdy TECH ORGANISERS on a daily basis? Laser’s enormous charging mahogany console. BECOME A CABLE ARCHITECT Some of our solutions here require a semi-permanent fixture. on your desk. for instance. will need). CHARGING STATION STORAGE HANGER (AT-HPH300) $79. Plan ahead or for a workstation or desk that you leave your risk ending up back at square one. rather than a hot desk.6 x $39. headphones at. WINNER TESTBENCH GET YOUR TECH IN CHECK APPROVED AWARD WINNER APPROVED AWARD Laser 10 Port USB AudioTechnica Headphone Charging Station Storage Hanger BULKY YET EFFICIENT CHARGER.

though these have a tendency to float up and down the wire. with at the same time as your computer. labelling what each plug is. TESTBENCH GET YOUR TECH IN CHECK Belkin Universal Laptop Bluelounge CableBin Power Adapter BIN ALL YOUR CABLE CLUTTER.mwave. the chaos caused by the IF YOU REGULARLY move your laptop from cables of a full power board can be hidden home to work. The variety you. dark timber wood-print veneer of buying the manufacturer’s replacement cable BlueLounge’s CableBin creates and excellent is the obvious choice. The main COLLECTING CABLES chargers like Belkin’s Universal Laptop Power body of the CableBin is made of a high-density CABLE BINS AND STICKY CLIPS FOR Supply provide a solid argument for a It’s pretty pricy monitor. We’ve also seen people repurpose bread bag tags in a pinch.1 power input. sandwiched between. supposed to do. straps ($ www.belkin. Sharp 26 x 39. that can be safely reused. you need power out in the charger along every time. $89. [ 062 ] .95 www. It’s a tactic the TechLife staff this can be used across a large range of other mountable devices vertically inside the uses to tell one black power cord apart computers and the competitive $89. If this isn’t organised enough for labels to the ends of your plugs. this’ll minimalist wastepaper basket. BUT PROPER CABLE compact 294g power brick and cable bundle down the house and the generous cavity MANAGEMENT IS A SYSTEM — AND has a 2. www. Avoid regular. flame-retardant plastic so you don’t have to USB CORDS ARE ONE WAY TO STORE party charger.000 product recessed lid makes the perfect cradle for plug on an external drive instead of a compatibility guarantee make this an charging mobile devices. THE PERFECT BACKUP LAPTOP CHARGER.99 per 10 pack. but it does everything it is sticky tape lengths with a strip of paper cable. The first bonus is that this worry about the warm tech inside it bringing YOUR STUFF. 6 adhesive power board hooks. the light or mean buying a new power supply.95 $129. IBM. while they’re insulated POWER ADAPTER BLUELOUNGE CABLEBIN in plastic.mwave. Best solution? A set of Ty It velcro cable CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS Compatible with Dell. Toshiba. sharp ends can poke through. but high-powered laptop concealed oasis for power cables. If you don’t have labels to hand. large and small cable outlet. Sony. ASUS. Samsung. then you’ve probably thought beneath a desk or tucked inside a TV cabinet. Looking like a laptop with a new USB 3. HP. so we’re not pulling the tag and included $100.95 price bin (to better use the concentric space) and the from potentially rupturing your power cords. Gateway.95. stereo. Unless you have a open with nowhere to hide. appealing alternative to your stock laptop at $129. MOST OF THE time. Blu-ray player).1A fast charging USB output built allows you to store a fully connected six-port YOU MAY EVEN HAVE THE MATERIALS directly into the transformer’s body — powerboard with enough space left over for AT HAND TO GET STARTED. the CableBin comes with six adhesive each sticky side folded back on itself to of connectors and variable power output mean hooks that allow you to hang powerboards and make a flag. BELKIN UNIVERSAL LAPTOP wire-based ties. Lenovo.4cm com. Obviously. If you have a 31/2 31/2 bunch of cables that can be grouped together (TV. can also work. we recommend cable ties. particularly handy when you’re moving something like a bulky external hard drive or around and want to charge a phone or tablet One simple method is to attach sticky Wi-Fi router. how nice it would be to not have to bring your but sometimes. Acer.

Belkin Family Rockstar Belkin USB-C 4-Port Laser Multi-Purpose Alarm
4 Port USB Charger Mini Hub Clock SPK-QC001
WE’VE OFTEN WONDERED whether Belkin IF YOU’VE BOUGHT an ultrabook in the last
is taking the mickey out of the customers couple of years, most of the ports you’d expect IT MIGHT SEEM like the demographic of
buying its Rockstar range or if the devices’ to see on a laptop have vanished. In their place people requiring an alarm-clock-radio are not
multi-point access makes them products that is a lonely USB-C port, designed to act as pipe the same cohort as those that pine for a
are high in demand and, therefore, rockstars. for everything else to funnel out of and in to. wireless Qi charging station. Laser is
Either way, at their core, this range of products Belkin’s lightweight and compact hub offers apparently of a different opinion and is having
is good at servicing large groups of people two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports, with a a crack at accommodating everyone with its
simultaneously and this 4-Port USB Home shared speed of 5Gbps and 900mA. Roughly new Multi-Purpose Alarm Clock. At least
Charger is no different. This hub is fitted with put, it’s about as long and wide as three fingers, the company hasn’t taken the term ‘multi-
a generous 3m power cable that’ll allow you and the Type-C cable tucks neatly into the purpose’ lightly, packing a digital alarm clock,
to position it in the most convenient location unit’s body. During our test, we charged a Sony digital thermometer, FM radio tuner, stereo
without relying on conveniently located power Xperia XZ from 66% to 68% in five minutes, speaker system with Bluetooth connectivity
points or an additional power cable. Two and 70% in 10-minutes using the phone’s and NFC pairing, a Qi wireless charging
recessed screw cavities on the underside of the standard USB-A cable — slow compared to a platform, a three-port USB hub and an audio
Family Rockstar add even more convenience wall charger. Transfer speeds were also down jack all into the one, large, retro looking unit.
by allowing you to wall-mount the hub in for an external SSD. Copying 8GB of MP3 files The Qi charging did take longer than we’re
prime position. With a total 5.4Amp output, to a Samsung T3 saw the drive max out at used to at 40 minutes for a 10% battery boost
this unit can fast-charge two smartphones 178MB/s using the drive’s standard type A cable on a Galaxy S7 Edge, but the Bluetooth and
simultaneously at 2.4A or two tablets at full when plugged into the hub, but when plugged the speakers worked well enough. The
rate. If you want to add another two devices to directly into our Dell XPS 13, they shot to function buttons require a long press for each
that equation, then the variable output on each 278MB/s. Also, only get this is you’re attaching primary function, which is infuriating as it
of the four USB ports will spread the load storage or simple peripherals, as the USB-C makes all the controls seem backwards and its
across each port in the optimal way using ports won’t play nicely with MiniDisplay port RRP of $98 is excessive when you can get faster
a guaranteed smart chip. adaptors or pass-through charging. and more compact Qi chargers for less.

3 21/2 2

3m power cable; dual recessed screw cavity CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS
(for wall mounting); max 27W output; 4 x USB ports x USB-A, 2 x USB-C, 0.9A combined output, Digital alarm clock; Qi wireless charging; NFC pairing;
(max 2 x 2.4A fast charging); 9 x 9 x 2.8cm; 200g 58g, 9.8cm x 8.8cm x 1.63cm Bluetooth stereo; FM tuner; 18 x 13 x 7cm; 1.1kg

[ WWW.TECHLIFE.NET ] [ 063 ]

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[ 64 ]


The best TVs of 2017: the
complete TV buyer’s guide

DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY IS one of the fastest brands releasing OLED TVs, where its brilliant HOW WE TESTED
developing segments in all of consumer colour accuracy and incredibly deep blacks Each TV was run for 30 minutes prior to
electronics, and we’ve seen huge leaps in enable features such as HDR. Nearly all new testing. We then used an i1 Display Pro
recent years. From higher resolutions to larger TVs are at 4K resolution, but to ensure they colorimeter in conjunction with the i1
screen sizes, to new features like High also support HDR, you’ll need to look for one software, as well as DispCal to measure colour
Dynamic Range (HDR) colour, the evolution of two logos — 4K Ultra Premium or Dolby accuracy and contrast — all TVs were set as
of TV technology has been incredibly fast. Vision. This guarantees the set is both 4K close to 120cd/m2 brightness, and cinema
Best of all, it’s come at a reduced price, and HDR-enabled. or THX mode. While the profiling was
allowing consumers to upgrade to the latest The other major new feature this year is the happening, we used a power meter to see
and greatest without damaging their bank improvement of LCD TVs with the continued how much electricity was being drawn from
accounts. What follows is a snapshot of the TV development of Quantum Dot technology, the wall socket. We then increased the
industry in 2017, looking at the major brands, which allows LCDs to compete with the brightness and backlight to maximum to test
upcoming technologies and reviews of some quality of OLED. You can read more about brightness using a lightmeter. Finally, we ran
of the various types of TVs on the market. that in the Samsung section, as it’s one of the a series of 4K test videos for objective image
The biggest push in TV technology this year main companies behind this technology. quality testing, using HDR clips if the TV
is the dominance of OLED TVs. First Finally, we’re also seeing more affordable supported it.
introduced several years ago, OLED was brands spring up, delivering 60-inch screens
initially limited in availability due to the high for a fraction of the price of several years ago.
cost of manufacturing, leading to only one However, there is a catch, and we’ll delve into
major brand supporting it — LG. However, that in greater detail soon.
this year, we’re seeing many of the other

[ WWW.TECHLIFE.NET ] [ 065 ]

If you’re which calls for 90% of the colours of the hisense. boost the brand’s visibility significantly. interpolation technology called UltraSmooth doesn’t have the same ability to pump out This year. debuting in incredibly easy to use on becoming a major the Series 9. pure blacks such as OLED.0). $1. for the price. THAT IMAGE HAS CHANGED year.98%. backscreen. The official specs claim Hisense. button on the remote. covering a Gamut. All ULED TVs are 4K resolution. make much of a but it’s very different difference when — according to calibrating the screen. breaking it down into several [ 066 ] . and Hisense 4 logo to be seen.840 x 2.000 nits. CRITICAL SPECS basics with strong image quality. It’s a 55-inch unit. AS ONE OF the the most affordable sets in the HISENSE IN 2017 zones that are each independently lit. As such. that we’ll see the company making use of The interface was and shows their intent Quantum Dot technology. promising brightness of but well below that offered by other display deal with the Red Bull racing team has helped up to 1. is the main company using this display As our results show.4. but in recent years. ULED may but didn’t seem to DRAMATICALLY. it’s quite ULED also uses local dimming of the 3. we weren’t expecting this set to be Hisense may have originally been seen as a to establish better blacks in key parts of the quite as advanced as the much more expensive relatively budget brand when it first hit Aussie scene. The contrast ratio $1. FEATURE THE BEST TVS OF 2017: THE COMPLETE TV BUYER’S GUIDE WINNER APPROVED AWARD Hisense 55N6 GREAT IMAGE QUALITY FOR SUCH A BUDGET PRICE.699 for the 50-inch Series 7. round of ULED 4K controls were BUT IN RECENT YEARS. Wi-Fi and Ethernet the steal. S/PDIF out. and. a dedicated Netflix RELATIVELY BUDGET BRAND Their new Series 7 as it’s their flagship feature for the year.999 for the 85-inch Series TVs to hit stores this surprisingly present. like most TVs HISENSE MAY HAVE player in the world We’ll spend more time discussing these days. it’s at the top end technologies. it’s a collection of 17 different patents that this TV is HDR compliant. 2 x 2. this technology in the Samsung section. to $10. However. and also have their own proprietary motion display technology. and uses LCD shores a few years ago. sound like OLED. A licensing ‘HDR Supreme’. models. ULED covers 99.599 healthy range of the colour gamut. The first is an Ultra Wide Color HISENSE SERIES 6 55N6 pumps out an excellent image. necessary for full HDR looking for a budget set that covers all of the DCI-P3 spec be covered. roundup. all the way up The Series 8 and 9 televisions will feature of 2. includes ORIGINALLY BEEN SEEN AS A of TVs.160. this set technology. it obviously that image has changed dramatically. their sets will range in price from Motion. but there’s no that focus on four key technologies while still sign of a Dolby Vision or 4K Ultra Premium being based on LCD technology.907:1 is impressive by LCD standards. 4 x HDMI (2 x 1. WHEN IT FIRST HIT AUSSIE TVs will be the first Advanced colour SHORES A FEW YEARS AGO.

label strategy. made no mention of A 55-INCH TV SET THAT ALSO Google. until works for people who panel. focused on delivering affordable big-screen external hard drives to act as a PVR. back 4K video files looked fine.853:1.kogan. OBVIOUSLY. appears their strategy for the year might be. There’s also no technologies such as OLED and Quantum are value conscious. Playing making TVs less of a pillar of their success. FEATURE THE BEST TVS OF 2017: THE COMPLETE TV BUYER’S GUIDE Kogan Series 9 MU9500 (55-inch) IT DOESN’T GET MUCH CHEAPER.” he said. TVs to the masses. Kogan didn’t respond to our What the company will continue to expand CRITICAL SPECS request for information about their line-up upon is its use of big data analytics to get 3. no internet connectivity in 2017.” internet connectivity at all. OR SIMPLER. yet it chews up a on LED technology “It’s a strategy that relatively high amount of juice for such a small for the future. nor HDR support. it’s obvious that it’s going to 31/2 set on the market. 4 x HDMI.. getting a 55-inch television set that also just segment for the rest of so what they happens to be curved. it uses a relatively basic LCD technologies in the BUYERS ASSOCIATE WITH what they are panel. there’s not much around forego the likes of Dolby Vision or 4K Ultra that can beat the price of this set. www.. requesting is what native contrast ratio of the lot.NET ] [ 067 ] . despite the fact that Kogan is KOGAN KALED55CUHDUA promoting the fact that it is using a Samsung $799 KOGAN IN 2017 panel within. Dots become much more affordable. more exotic TV A FEATURE THAT SOME marketplaces and For starters. As such. At a If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest 4K mere $1. with standard free-to-air viewing. A quick So don’t expect any massive product However. it is still a full 4K panel.399. with a maximum they’ll continue to rely SEVERE TRADE-OFFS. what they are Obviously.TECHLIFE. so we’ve had to do some internet shoppers to hit that buy button when [ WWW. at just 1. KOGAN HAS BUILT a huge company off sleuthing and crystal ball gazing to see what it perusing the company website. it had the lowest near future. PREMIUM TVS. users are on the value end of the what we’ll make. Premium. and the smaller The vast majority of their existing TV range size means it’s in some ways better for sit between the $300 to $700 price point. and the look at their website shows that they continue innovations from Kogan in 2017 — it’ll still be inclusion of USB ports means you can plug in to expand into other product categories. brightness of 384 lux. “Whatever consumers want is example of how. According to the back of its incredibly affordable TV sets. purchasing in local trade-offs to get the price this low. and they’ve USERS ARE GETTING are searching for on buyers associate with premium TVs.840 x Unfortunately. and that is a lot of people. there are going to be some severe adopting any of the JUST HAPPENS TO BE CURVED. a feature that some the year. S/PDIF out. as there’s less the most expensive Kogan set being the new noise to be seen due to our HD signals. For less than $800. a recent interview with SBS. at 105W during testing. owner Ruslan and the Kogan KALED55CUHDUA is a great It appears they’re going to continue to focus Kogan said. it’s safe to assume that THERE ARE GOING TO BE SOME drives our private It’s also one of the dimmest. Series 9 65-inch MU9500 Curved 4K.160. THAN THIS. As our results show.

made selecting on-screen options super easy. Dolby Vision. in 2017. we’re confident that LG light. OLED technology quality like this. it’s also one of the most high-end displays. it’s easy to see why the other Quantum Dot technology. displays in the OF OUR COLORIMETER — it’s also backwards Finally. which appears to be similar to Samsung’s LG OLED65E7T It’s also relatively power efficient. LG IN 2017 LG has also partnered with Technicolor Based on OLED technology. upgraded. will continue to offer the best user experience 21kg. This has a wider colour gamut than 4K Ultra review model’s colours were already perfectly maxing out the capability of our colorimeter Premium. calibration than rival sets. THIS THING compatible with 4K LG’s beautiful webOS will continue to be Best of all. SJ8500S and SJ8000S action. this means to upgrade your AV receiver. This technology the roundup. According to LG. FEATURE THE BEST TVS OF 2017: THE COMPLETE TV BUYER’S GUIDE WINNER ED’s CHOICE AWARD LG OLED65E7T THE BLACKEST OF BLACKS. weighing a mere HDR standard. whereas 4K Ultra obviously doing something right. 65-inch screen is THE BEST CONTRAST and LG will also In conjunction with the motion-controlled incredibly thin and POSSIBLE.840 x 2. roundup. this thing is capable of pumping brightness to be changed. more like playing a video Yet the company’s range of SUPER UHD game than setting up a TV. Sure.160. Dolby Atmos. and also allows each frame’s calibrated straight out of the box. it’s hard not to let your jaw drap.995 down a mere 111W during profiling. so they’re — basically. WELCOME TO OUR favourite display in major players are now pursuing OLED in their from wider viewing angles. this is one of the in diameter. is due to appear in three of LG’s ranges — expensive. while the remote’s TVs will instead use In Plane Switching LCD 5 ability to act like a Wii-mote motion controller panels using LG’s new Nano Cell technology. allowing for native support we hit 555 lux. which allows them to create CRITICAL SPECS best sets on the If you’ve got the money.5 on the way. it delivers LG will continue to focus on OLED in 2017. was simply brilliant. making it very Hybrid Log Gamma. as we mentioned in our review. THE CONTRAST RATIO at the beginning of LG’s offerings. with version 3. allowing for much more detailed was measured in the blacks. Don’t of this new sound technology without the need one of the brightest MAXING OUT THE CAPABILITY worry. these use particles that are a single nanometre www. On the other Vision standard when it comes to HDR. easy to mount on the wall. With the set the brightness present in certain models at the higher end backlight cranked.lg. chugging Quantum Dot technology. The setup wizard the third HDR standard to hit the market. of the film. We noticed that our hand. the contrast ratio was off the charts. $6. WAS OFF THE CHARTS. this IS CAPABLE OF PUMPING OUT Ultra Premium. It also does so [ 068 ] . And with image more accurate colours than the competing 3. but when you see this screen in the SJ9500S. out the best contrast Premium can only Support for Dolby Atmos will also be possible. support the latest Magic Remote. in 2017 to include a Technicolor Expert Mode absolutely pure blacks — absolutely zero light but it’s also going with the superior Dolby on their TVs. BASICALLY.

certain is compatible with the two main HDR Ultra HD LED LCD TVs’. which we’re not which Panasonic refers to as its ‘4K Pro HDR guessing it’ll breach the ten grand mark. but we’re Pro HDR’ logo to indicate this. Panasonic is heavily at 569 lux during our testing. LCD technology smart TV options. the black levels of our they said we’d need at least two people to set it arena. we found that the colours were OLED doesn’t mean it’s abandoning its LCD up to $8.TECHLIFE. as it tips the scales at a whopping 54kg. HCX2 (Hollywood Cinema Experience 2) One area we weren’t too fond of was the 4K Processor. enable this. though. but the difference wasn’t huge. wall. using just 79W technologies to do so: the Studio Colour during our calibration. outdoing what our colorimeter November. doesn’t have a price announced yet. It’s not saying that $7. It’s huge and taking on LG’s were very surprised by heavy. the Panasonic reps weren’t lying when dominance in this IT’S FULLY HDR COMPLIANT. as the the two main logos just to make things clearer panel instead. company is finally for consumers. but boy is it big — a huge. bus this year.840 x 2. PANASONIC IS GETTING onboard the OLED PANASONIC IN 2017 support via NetFlix or HDR Blu-Rays.399 for the TH-40ES500 LCD all the way cinema mode. It didn’t quite cover as much of A secondary OLED table sent to us by the RGB colour gamut as OLED screens. with the WHICH WE’RE NOT CERTAIN digitally enhanced displays. OLED TV launched HD TV PRO HDR’ LOGO and it appears that Despite the use of LCD technology. HDR10. while the contrast ratio was also off 77-incher due in HDR STANDARDS. The already perfectly calibrated. As mentioned above. maxing out premium sets this year. up. and a larger THE TWO MAIN of the backlight to result. the format necessary for HDR [ WWW. instead stating that they support CRITICAL SPECS 3. the charts. though uses the ‘4K Ultra HD TV we reviewed was based on LCD our test by Panasonic in TO INDICATE THIS.and 55-inch 14 new TV sets in 2017. July in both 65. Like all of the standards. HEXA Chroma Drive 4K Pro PANASONIC TH-75EX780 interface — for TVs in this price range. Based on the could reach. the set 77-inch version of this 65-inch OLED TV compliant. It’s very bright.199 www. we felt that this set had the least intuitive it’s going with either Dolby Vision or 4K Ultra when it came to accessing the myriad of Premium. the EZ950 series. which is why the arrival of this A huge focus for Panasonic this year will be We really wish companies would use one of set was a little bit of a surprise.NET ] [ 069 ] . while it’s also investing in HDR. when we set the TV to pure Just because the company is getting into $1. It’s fully HDR roots.160. Panasonic uses results showed results on par with OLED Australia. It’s the first THOUGH USES THE ‘4K ULTRA LCD review sample. and Hollywood Tuning. and it uses three 4 extremely power efficient. 75-inch. The digitally enhanced backlight 65-incher landing IS COMPATIBLE WITH localised dimming dimming allowed it to reach a pure black last April. WINNER FEATURE THE BEST TVS OF 2017: THE COMPLETE TV BUYER’S GUIDE APPROVED AWARD Panasonic TH-75EX780 A WALL-SPANNING BEHEMOTH. though. HDR10.899 for the TH-65EZ1000. ranging in price from However. it seems the company is launching though. We spanning 75-inches to be precise. It uses an LCD its flagship OLED EZ1000 series. will be available in Panasonic.

Samsung was another of the over time.525:1. so blacks ANOTHER INNOVATION and other more recent across its TVs this year is Steam integration. compared to absolutely love is the One Connect hub.160. this means it can which shouldn’t be confused with OLED. QLED technology. also display more accurate colours at higher This is basically LCD technology with the brightness levels. while also being very colour space accurately — in other words. QLED still The Q7 is lit from below. This of the colour spectrum. Unfortunately. but we’re confident it’ll be to the pure black of WITHOUT A STEAM BOX. Yet our DispCal CRITICAL SPECS takes all of the screens inputs and puts them measurements showed that the set we 3. Unlike OLED. It’s not clear whether this will be across 0. This is partly because control is also a handy touch. QLED doesn’t suffer from such They’re microscopic molecules that emit companies that didn’t respond to our request problems. and also allow viewing from addition of a film comprised of Quantum SAMSUNG IN 2017 a wider angle. Still. The big push TV. 65-inch. The voice Dot technology for a couple of years. Q8 and Q9. as this feature will be integrated into the measured in at ABLE TO STREAM GAMES heading. the latest in the entire roundup. well behind across three new ranges. Contrast improve upon its performance also QLED technology wasn’t as brilliant.014cd/m2. version uses a metal alloy cover to improve its it’s built around Samsung’s QLED technology. making While Samsung has been using Quantum this was one of the lightest and thinnest sets cable hiding infinitely simpler. the Q8 is a curved has some way to go to match OLED image version. This is then connected to reviewed only covered 92. This means OLED. we did find the image quality not up to scratch colour accuracy. that of OLED. One feature we they should be capable of reproducing 100% www. there still needs to be announcements Another innovation Samsung is rolling out a backlight. the TV by an incredibly thin wire. DESPITE BEING A whopping 65-inches. which can fade Dots to the layers that make up the panel.699 power efficient. where this behemoth PC to the TV without the need for a Steam luminescence THIS MEANS GAMERS WILL BE of the TV market is box. FEATURE THE BEST TVS OF 2017: THE COMPLETE TV BUYER’S GUIDE Samsung QA65Q7FAMW QUANTUM POWERED TO TAKE ON OLED. is continuing to in their mid-range and above. but overall. So as you can see. while the Q9 is lit from both sides. this panel is exceedingly the latest version can display the DCI-P3 SAMSUNG QA65Q7FAMW bright. One Connect hub on an external box. at just 80W.840 x 2. hitting 567 lux. as opposed FROM THEIR PC TO THE TV for Samsung this year all Samsung sets. the Q7. [ 070 ] . $ of this. 31/2 quality. black IS STEAM INTEGRATION. According to Samsung’s QLED press release. As our i1 ACROSS ITS TVS THIS YEAR a pretty good idea of gamers will be able to stream games from their results show. hitting 8. aren’t as good as SAMSUNG IS ROLLING OUT press releases give us from game-maker supplier Valve. Samsung has chosen not to go with OLED in their size. we’re surprised to see that different coloured lights depending on for information about their strategy for 2017. On the plus side. This means but their CES any of its product ranges. OLED.

160. we found that. — it was profiled 100% correctly when we set it So here’s what’s in store for Sony’s TV plans the company isn’t saying exactly which to pro-colour mode. Sony will At 25. yet lacks either of the two suggest that Sony has turned to OLED masters 31/2 industry approved logos.000. this allows them to only imagine how hard it’s going to be on the had to lower to 120. OLED A1 series combines the prowess of an Premium logo to help consumers out (and which seems to be the ‘new’ standard to OLED panel with the X1 Extreme 4K HDR we’re not even including the latest standard). it’s also known for its sound systems. when it comes to displays. but not quite.. As such. HDR enabled basically uses the entire panel as a speaker. this panel almost we were at CES 2017. 4 x HDMI. guys. we see a TV that claims even if the base footage is neither. Brightness out of the processor previously outed in Sony’s ZD9 As tech journalists. but again. LG to supply their OLED panels. COMPATIBILITY. WE SEE A TV sets. The good news is that Sony is version.1%. deadline. profiling. at 74. SONY 65Z9D the superior panel technology. Once again. for the year. Sony was one of the few ears energy efficient. $6. at 99. we’re hits perfect blacks. it’s superb compared to other LCD for the year. at 448cd/m2. measure TVs by. Sigh. At least happens to have a screens with HDR the colour calibration is perfect out of the box great news website.098:1. though. and it SIGH.026 many tweaks and tricks the likes of Sony can Sony is often SONY IN 2017 We’ve yet to hear the results. LED technology. version yet. while Sony is releasing OLED TVs information on its ONCE AGAIN. pulling in 188W during and add HDR-like quality to the overall image. no matter how Sony isn’t merely great at image quality.. Sony’s Acoustic Surface technology. However. is the contrast ratio. but can’t compete with OLED. According to Sony. which we series. Please. Rumous HDR make to its LCD TVs. Most so got a pretty good OF THE TWO INDUSTRY just not sure which disappointing. LCD screens will As our test results show. we can box was also insane.NET ] [ 071 ] . Its Bravia 4K with either the Dolby Vision or 4K Ultra this came at the cost of DCI P3 coverage. support. it’s hard to swallow this 2017 line-up and the THAT CLAIMS HDR OLED and high-end TV packing LCD technology at this price. [ WWW. it’s hard enough.TECHLIFE. though we There’s simply no denying it — OLED is can’t verify this right now. overview of its plans APPROVED LOGOS.840 x 2. so keep your seen as the purveyor of perfect quality colour Once again. which 3. www. Luckily. FEATURE THE BEST TVS OF 2017: THE COMPLETE TV BUYER’S GUIDE Sony KD65Z9D LED TAKES THE BACK SEAT TO OLED ONCE AGAIN. Sony is still sticking with company has been left behind this year as the the two weeks between LCD technology for rest of the pack move forward with OLED our request for its more affordable technology. at $6. Yet it appears the companies who didn’t get back to us in As seen above. will some of you stick while sRGB coverage was brilliant. jumping aboard the OLED bus. and both its this year. AS THE MASTERS of Hollywood. we find it hard The new A1 series will be enabled with CRITICAL SPECS to recommend this TV considering the price. It’s also not the most take existing footage and upscale it to both 4K typical consumer. 65-inch. YET LACKS EITHER support HDR. even be offering 1080p screens.3%.

but could only imagine the price tag on that sucker.000 Samsung QA55Q7FAMWXXY (55-inch) $4. to which this wafer-thin model belongs.200 4K TVs from the likes of TCL. Hisense and even while the user interface is second to none. BEST UNDER $5.499 | www. but Samsung’s latest iteration of its Quantum Dot technology brings the picture quality of this set to levels approaching that of OLED. Best of the best OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST TVS AT A RANGE OF PRICE POINTS. With industry-leading image quality. The voice recognition generally works pretty AS THE COMPANY with the most experience building OLED screens. it almost looks as if it’s built into the wall when IT MIGHT STILL be using an LCD panel. this is the one to go for — we only wish there was an 80-inch model. projecting surround sound from a single speaker bar. and is excellent value. making it a breeze to mount on your wall. We love the magic remote. but you’re going to miss out on some key features on most of these. Walk into any JB Hi-Fi and you’ll be amazed at the plethora of sub-$1. it also comes with its own Dolby Atmos soundbar. There is a little bit of Signature Wallpaper series. well. it’s also the sheer not as bad as the LCD TVs of the past. Like the expensive LG model. THE PROS AND PITFALLS OF BUDGET TVS WHAT YOU GET — AND DON’T — BY GOING THE BUDGET ROUTE ON A TV IN 2017. Incorporating all of the latest technologies. but it’s sight to behold. the biggest difference will be the image quality. It’s WHEN MONEY IS NO LIMIT extremely bright. is a an issue with the image fading as viewers sit at extreme angles.lg. all at a more reasonable cost. though the blacks aren’t quite as deep as OLED displays. Some 4K TVs can even be had for as little as $600. has stunning image quality 4mm Connect hub does away with all of the hassles of hiding several HDMI and an antenna cable. First and foremost are smart TV features. with no Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity to enable integrated Netflix. you’re beauty of this TV that makes it our favourite high-end product. Stan or other online applications. For under five grand. At just getting a great TV set that looks gorgeous. And its needn’t worry about losing your remote. Now that HDR is taking the premium market by storm.499 | www. while the TVs integration with your smartphone means you it’s no surprise that the best on the market comes from LG. If you’ve got money to burn and want the absolute best TV on the market. However. this set is incredibly thin and LG OLED65W7T (65-inch) light. including Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. TEAC. and the huge leap in colour and contrast performance that it delivers is hard [ 072 ] . while the One $13.

To get the very best out of this is 55 inches of curved screen with image quality that is actually set. Based on simple LCD technology. as the quality of TVs has leapt immensely in the last few years.000 bought us just a few years ago. though it does help this set to look like it costs a heck of a lot more than the tiny price tag.000 just a few short years ago.BEST UNDER $2. and we’d go so far about any form of smart apps or network connectivity. yet that’s not to say it’s anywhere near as bad as the first range of Kogan sets released many years ago. don’t expect anything but the very basics — forget speakers. considering what $1. even the built-in speakers are of a decent quality. don’t expect the blacks or colour vibrancy of the more expensive competitors. and these sets may also be limited to a refresh rate of 30Hz. you’ll have to buy a media box to enable other goodies like Netflix and the like. black levels are excellent. you’re getting a 55-inch screen that is incredibly good value. While it may Kogan Series 9 MU9500 (55-inch) be backlit. this affordable big-screen TV brings image quality to your living room that would have cost over $5.kogan. so you can expect your 4K Blu-Ray movies to look crystal clear. whereas high-end TVs have a native refresh rate of 60Hz that can be boosted over 200Hz with interpolation. Like the other motion controlled remotes or HDR support. and comes with all of the smart features you’d expect in much more expensive sets. league as OLED. The curve is more of a gimmick than of any real of the box. but these can be picked up for as little as $50 these days.160. it’s worth checking out these budget models if that’s all you can afford. Still.499 | hisense. [ WWW. voice control.840 x 2. Detail in dark scenes will be much harder to notice. it’s impressively thin. so for a combined price of $850 or so. as the out extremely viewable. to forget. and mimics surround sound even though it only has two AT THIS PRICE. The Opera operating system is easy to use. You may also find that they have fewer HDMI inputs. what you do get sets on this page. the company has come a long way in a short time. which is a series of refinements to existing LCD technology.NET ] [ 073 ] .com. use. settings aren’t perfect. It’s HDR-compliant (though doesn’t BEST UNDER $1.TECHLIFE. USING HISENSE’S PROPRIETARY ULED technology. with a resolution of 3. as to say that it’s even superior to Samsung’s interface. though obviously not in the same $799 | www. It’s also a true 4K panel. Surprisingly. TVs that lack HDR simply look much flatter and drabber than their HDR-enabled counterparts.000 Hisense 50M7000UWG (50-inch) $1. while the overall brightness of the TV will also be severely curtailed.000 carry either of the two main HDR logos). we’d definitely recommend a quick calibration though.

whereas ARM users might find certain NAS drive capacity to store all your stuff. or if you until they’ve had their own. so that you can upload of easily installable apps available for them. but the best kind of media server the majority of devices. then a NAS with more your movies and TV shows. A media server puts Nearly every NAS on the market right now want to have the NAS automatically download you in complete control. have custom. you can just file sharing services. you might want more processing apps simply not available. is a network-attached storage device. QNAP. They’re much processing power. These don’t require processor — the x86 processors are. NOW HERE’S HOW TO GET IT SET IT UP AND SERVING ALL YOUR MEDIA TO ALL YOUR DEVICES. QNAP. listen to all your Even your $200 two-bays can get the job done. [ 074 ] . Celeron. but it’s THE BEST KIND OF NAS FOR A HOME live transcoding that adjusts video streams the kind of thing a lot of people can’t appreciate MEDIA CENTRE for different devices and networks. [ NATHAN TAYLOR ] HAVING A MEDIA server is awesome. DLNA support. since those have the widest range discs. number of features. a NAS from Asustor. For example. your NAS into a kickass media server. Synology or to fiddle with USB drives or burn things to At a very base level. whenever you want. all you really need is Thecus. So here. supported by Pentium or Core) rather than a ARM media server. made apps for media services and the hard If you want to do more with your NAS. copy it across to your media server and. which is the most common x86 processor (such as Atom. They’re always on. It’s possible. we’d recommend looking for any device. if you want On a Netgear ReadyNAS. the market supports them right now. to turn your PC into a type of media service protocol. TV episodes for you. it’s available everywhere. or much harder to we’re going to walk you through how to turn power and a model with support for a greater install and with flaky performance. DLNA is found in the System Settings. and every NAS on considerably more powerful and also have built for it. [ STREAM ON ] DIY Netflix: Set up the perfect personal streaming server SO YOU’VE GOT A NAS BOX. If you download a movie. It lets you watch all can function as a capable home media server. NASes from Synology. music and see your entire photo collection on though some of the more advanced features As a rule. and You should also look for a NAS running on an suddenly. in general. however. You don’t have might be out of their reach. substantially wider application compatibility. your media from your PC to the NAS. Asustor and Thecus tend to have more application SUPERGUIDE DIY NETFLIX: SET UP THE PERFECT PERSONAL STREAMING SERVER options. of course. capabilities would be a good choice.

These BASIC MEDIA SERVICES WITH DLNA the hard drives are will come down to your NASes have HDMI ports. On QNAP NASes. they’re also media players. under ‘Indexing Service > Media Indexing’. runs the exact same software as a four-bay controlled with a remote or by your phone.NET ] [ 075 ] . and media playback can be much every NAS has. So what is DLNA? The short answer is that NAS from Synology. well for a new kind of NAS we’ve seen playback — you can just use the NAS itself. to get basic media services storage needs and price limit. allowing you to As we noted above. for example. These aren’t working on your NAS. Your NAS is the media server and it ‘publishes’ On a Synology NAS.TECHLIFE. SUPERGUIDE DIY NETFLIX: SET UP THE PERFECT PERSONAL STREAMING SERVER On QNAP. [ WWW. there’s almost no just media servers. you’ll find the DLNA setting in the additional directories to be shared over DLNA app drawer under Media Server. you can find shared DLNA folders in the Control Panel. (and in the various ‘Station’ apps). How many bays the NAS has and how big coming from QNAP and Asustor. In terms of plug them directly into your TV. DLNA is located under ‘Control Panel > Applications > DLNA Media Server’. This makes them perfect if you don’t have a it’s the standard protocol that media players We should reserve one special note as smart TV or console available for media use to communicate with media servers. you add directories that you’d like to share over DLNA in the Media Folder section of Multimedia Management (which is under ‘Control Panel > Applications’). Click on Add to include On a Synology NAS. all you need is support application availability. for DLNA — and that’s something that pretty difference — a two-bay NAS from Synology They run Kodi. Click on Create to add additional directories to the default set.

choose the media CHROMECAST AND APPLE TV you want to play and effectively say “play this Not every device natively supports DLNA on my Chromecast/Apple TV/Xbox/ LocalCast for Chromecast is the perfect app to get media stored on playback. remote. RAID 5 means that any one drive can fail without any loss of data. support the ‘play to’ (push) functionality Although it’s nearly always used in a ‘pull’ of DLNA. uses Google’s Cast protocol. you can player apps (including Kodi. we do recommend a four-bay NAS. and can’t media from it. For that reliability. by some game consoles and most set-top automatically be AND PLAY. Or you can go with RAID 0 and have access to the full capacity — but if either drive dies. BY A NUMBER OF any app with DLNA switched on by default. the name) works for both Chromecasts and It should automatically find your NAS. It will often be Once you’ve enabled SMART TVS. since you can browse your DLNA media shares in the app. your Pretty much the media players should automatically find it perfect solution for both Chromecast and if they’re on the same network. in these folders will BUILT UPON UNIVERSAL PLUG simply install Infuse. media player. because Apple would rather you use the stream to the selected device and or Apple TV. DLNA).. where the to your Chromecast or Apple TV. however. server asks a media player to play a particular incidentally. (It can also. The Chromecast to talk to your server and browse and stream settings in the DLNA configuration itself. [ 076 ] . Setting up your NAS box should be fairly You may be able to add WIDELY SUPPORTED MEDIA Otherwise. it’s supported by most smart and Music for you. DLNA on the NAS. do that for files stored on your file. If you’re looking for a recommendation. THE HARD DRIVE CONFIGURATION OF YOUR NAS ISN’T REALLY THAT RELEVANT. used to direct the it running (you’ll be warned when you try to to publish. its proprietary AirPlay protocol (which is start playing it. (more on that in a it will be found in the system services. You’ll need to log into your additional directories STREAMING PROTOCOL. but completely Your various media players can use DLNA up. On most platforms. shared over DLNA. your usable capacity in RAID 5 will be 12TB instead of 16TB. It actually Select it. For example. in the media indexing IT COMES TO MEDIA PLAYERS. Because your server. so that if either drive dies. DRIVE CONFIGURATION WITH RESPECT TO MEDIA SERVICES. Infuse and VLC). In other cases. you lose the capacity of one drive. once you enable DLNA. WHEN use an AirPlay relay NAS’s admin console. you face a more agonising decision. It’s available on DLNA-capable media player and allow it to both Google Play and iTunes. you don’t lose any data — but that costs you half of your usable capacity. THE MOST COMMON AND that supports DLNA. and (in spite of browse the network for DLNA/UPnP shares. Meanwhile. since that allows you to arrange your disks in RAID 5 (Hybrid on Synology). Some NAS boxes support this. Apple TV and Chromecast media streaming protocol. media stored on of files that you’d like to have shared with automatic. STORAGE IS STORAGE. DLNA IS BY FAR a third-party app devices. It’s super simple. NO MATTER HOW YOU ARRANGE IT. MOBILE AND PC MEDIA support and Cast In some cases.. under settings. You can mirror the drives (this is called RAID 1). If you want data reliability on a two-bay NAS. these are the files that will show functionally very similar to. at which point. QNAP and Synology through their Media and it serves both as a relay and functional Streaming apps. fashion (where you browse and select media What it can do is grab files from your NAS from the media player device). and then browse and select the file also works for DLNA media players that for playback. INFUSE AND VLC). AirPlay devices like the Apple TV.Scotty!” — Ed] technically support ‘push’ playback. including phone or tablet as well). IT’S SUPPORTED BY MOST second). your media using the DLNA protocol. Apple TV and other Apple devices Whatever”. For instance. you lose all your data. On the media players. by far the most common and widely supported for media. the rest BY SOME GAME CONSOLES Chromecast to play start it up). a Synology or QNAP Fear not. This simply specifies the directories is pretty much AND MOST SET-TOP DEVICES. DLNA does and then beam those up [“. In most cases. by a number of mobile and PC media and anything placed Apple TV. natively receive DLNA streams without Built upon universal plug and play. DLNA is the NAS itself will create some default folders a mobile app. you can straightforward. Pictures owners — the solution isn’t difficult. When it comes to NAS will create folders for Videos. DLNA or Media Server. DLNA — when you browse the NAS with your it uses UPnP. you might find the directory incompatible with. it will push your NAS to play on your Chromecast don’t. Apple TV owners is a mobile app called So all you have to do is just fire up your LocalCast for Chromecast. we will say this: if you can SUPERGUIDE DIY NETFLIX: SET UP THE PERFECT PERSONAL STREAMING SERVER afford it. fourth-generation TVs. you’ll need to enable the and configured which PLAYER APPS (INCLUDING capabilities can be Media Library/Media Indexing service to get directories you’d like KODI. if you have four 4TB drives installed.

05a The setup process even on NAS boxes is straightforward. The server app is available for nearly every NAS platform. not just your list of available installed apps on your your local network. This might take a while. or the on Install. You can use the pre-made Videos/Pictures/Music directories or make your own. as well as PCs. what kind of media is stored in that [ WWW. set-top boxes. it links your client devices with AND SIGN IN your servers. While it’s download the package for it. Among other ACCESS THE INTERFACE 04 things. Like the NAS. IF YOU WANT REAL CONTROL. It doesn’t matter where you copy the Tell Plex what type of content is in the directory. Click on it to launch it. With DLNA. in your web browser. you can navigate from root NAS main interface. the Plex interface directly in the future Now click on ‘Add Folders’. you can add more libraries for Then go to your NAS interface and head You’ll first be asked what kind of library your different media types. created volumes and users and know how to access it from your PC through either a mapped drive or through Network in File Explorer. When you do. playback are available for PCs. to the App/Package centre and find the it is (ie. AS WELL AS REMOTE ACCESS AND SIMPLIFIED SETUP.SETTING UP PLEX ON A NAS WHILE DLNA PROVIDES BASIC MEDIA SERVICES. in the App/Package/Add-on centre of the icon. hand panel. little confusing. (bandwidth permitting). Your browser should pop open a new tab Navigate through your NAS’s directory structure to find your media folders. web browser interface. since Plex will show you 03 Plex Server is available for every The first thing to do is sign in. YOU’LL WANT TO GO WITH PLEX INSTEAD. You only need to do this once. Plex can remember your sign in. Plex will appear in your media server from anywhere. create a Plex account. you need NAS. and a client media player app that lets you browse and play media stored on your Plex server. game consoles and even many smart TV sets. CREATE A PLEX ACCOUNT Here. doing that.TECHLIFE. Plex Server is managed entirely through a Head to plex. Click on it. The page that opens directory). and not just the shared directories. allowing you to access it a name. the account ties everything together. Just find it and click Plex account. Head YOUR LIBRARY your media. COPY YOUR MEDIA TO 01 YOUR NAS The first thing to do is get the media you want to share onto the NAS. click on ‘Add Library’. select ‘Sign in’ and use your Don’t worry. you can select the file you just 02 The first thing you need to do is downloaded and upload it to the NAS. and then you’ll be asked to give Click on the ‘Sign Up’ button on the top can be bookmarked. The clients for media It’s kind of empty to start off. and allows them to access Once you’ve installed it. right to create an account. We’re going to assume that you’ve gone through the basic NAS and click on Download.NET ] [ 077 ] . you’ll see the account NAS. At the top the full Linux directory structure of the major NAS platform. SUPERGUIDE DIY NETFLIX: SET UP THE PERFECT PERSONAL STREAMING SERVER PLEX COMES IN two parts — a server app. media to on the NAS. then on without having to go through the NAS ‘Browse for Media Folder’. 04 which shares the files and manages the media library. MD0_DATA directory to more quickly If it’s not listed there. you can be anywhere showing the Plex interface. It’s available on pretty much every conceivable platform. In Plex. With Plex. 05b ‘Upload’ or ‘Manual installation’ button. This might be a INSTALL PLEX ON YOUR NAS admin. On the left. mobiles. and give it a name. and it’s usually found right of the interface. to be on the same LAN to play media. Find The thing to do now is add your media Plex will now index the contents of the your NAS model from the list and directories to your Plex library. you can still install DESIGNATE DIRECTORIES FOR find the directories where you’ve stored 05 it by using a manual package install. click Add. through the share directory. We’ll walk through it all here. to plex.

both local files and internet media for inclusion in the Watch Later playlist. Note that. For whatever platform to your account. and Watch Later button to your Bookmarks from there. you can also create multiple user accounts in the Plex running on Android. you’ll be able to use it. the Plex Media player is not free. or from the various stores for your plex. You can also view your content in a media library is synced to a cloud drive You can download it directly from web browser from anywhere. it allows for Cloud Sync. chosen platform (Google Play. It will also provide an email address Check the box that says ‘Update my you can use to add things to the list. when you copy new files into the media directories. bar. Plex has many features that you library and click on ‘play’ to view it should explore. If you go to like Google Drive and will be accessible plex. library automatically’. WITH UNIQUE PLAYLISTS AND ‘WATCH LATER’ LISTS. Xbox and Playstation and (posters. client devices. You’ll also see apps for all platforms without additional and install the Plex Media Player app. You can browse the contents of the here. This means that. on some right in the web browser. plot. important thing you need to set here is Click on the help button next to the title. add metadata for any media it can in the Plex app. on Apple added metadata to movies and TV shows users accounts and set up parental TV. Click on the Settings button on then select ‘Watch Now’. click on Library on the left. actors and the like). PLEX AS A DLNA SERVER Enable automatic library updates. Without it. and even devices WEB BROWSER without a Plex client can access them. you just need to set up your Plex account. platforms (like mobiles). Plex Pass unlocks you want to view your library from. If you’re a Plex Pass subscriber. and view trailers on pretty much every platform around. top of around $6. every client device will be using the same login and subscription. with unique playlists and Watch Later lists. You Plex library will be VIEW MEDIA IN YOUR 08 06 published over DLNA. Log in with your The free version of Plex is pretty capable. THIS CREATES SEPARATE LOGINS FOR DIFFERENT USERS. or you see the same content. Plex still presents as a standard DLNA media server on your local network. you can view media in your web browser. CONFIGURE SETTINGS 07 Click on the user button on the top right. you can view all your libraries. and the contents of the you need a Plex Pass. they’ll automatically be added to your library. At any time. User tab. Even if you don’t create an account or use its full feature set. where your Chromecast. that Plex has gone and automatically payment. Xbox Store and so on). YOU CAN ALSO CREATE MULTIPLE USER SUPERGUIDE DIY NETFLIX: SET UP THE PERFECT PERSONAL STREAMING SERVER ACCOUNTS IN THE USER TAB. the library refresh function. Just install the Media 08 PLEX PASS Now that you’ve set up your Player app and run it. to sync media on your mobile for offline viewing. iTunes. You should and Plex will show you how to add a automatically be in the Server tab. The mobile apps even support recognise based on the file name. grab libraries can be browsed. It will controls. log in and click on Launch on the even when your server is offline. This creates separate logins for different users. 07 IF YOU’RE A PLEX PASS SUBSCRIBER. One of our favourites is Watch Later. INSTALL PLEX CLIENTS The rest is easy. it allows you to create multiple It’s available on PC. This will show the Plex Server home page. can unlock it with a one-time payment Use the help button in Watch Later to add the Plex It! Button to your browser. The most you your current ‘Watch Later’ playlist. libraries. You’ll see any servers linked but if you want to unlock everything. Telstra TV. on mobiles. Just log onto the Plex Server WATCH LATER page and click on the library name on the While we’ve covered only basic setup left. If you have a Plex Pass [ 078 ] . Perhaps most usefully. where you can flag in your

automatically share media between your downloads of TV shows over BitTorrent and In order to see these galleries. bookmark the page). TO MAKE IT EVEN MORE AWESOME. though with the between devices. Start it up on your PC. which will This is not an app per se. Choose a folder. SUPERGUIDE DIY NETFLIX: SET UP THE PERFECT PERSONAL STREAMING SERVER requiring no local client. If you’re a big BitTorrent user. Folder’. DOWNLOAD STATION AND TRANSMISSION COUCHPOTATO Available on all major NAS platforms CouchPotato (couchpota. rather a series of tools In the case of Synology. QNAP and Asustor. your browser will open a see the Transmission web interface. and Key or Link’. PhotoStation on QNAP. then it will ask a third-party download app (like Transmission) to get A web-based BitTorrent client is available for the file. Synology. WEB GALLERIES The downloads can be saved directly to a library App/Package centre and the PC version at Available on QNAP. This is a folder that will be available for part of the default apps selection on most Alternatively. and CouchPotato will search Torrent sites and Newsgroups get your NAS to do the downloading for you. with viewing/ remain in sync. Available on most NAS platforms SONARR you can actually use these galleries to ‘push’ Resilio is not directly related to media Available for most NAS platforms media to players like DLNA media players and streaming. which can be bookmarked for direct access (the NAS publishing your media through a web browser. Then you’ll your NAS’s copy of Resilio. SO TO SPEAK. OTHER USEFUL MEDIA APPS PLEX AND DLNA COVER A LOT OF SINS. It’s not readily available for NAS boxes. It syncs folders from Newsgroups. then install and open it. They come as torrents through the NAS admin interface. interface can also be bookmarked). Transmission is a BitTorrent client available on many NAS boxes. and there nearly all the major platforms. then copy the string What they do is take the libraries you’ve is managed through its own web page. Then click on ‘Add Video Station and Music Station. which is syncing on other devices. you’ll generally various devices and your NAS. which of letters and numbers under Read Only to the configured in the media indexing/media library can be bookmarked directly. NASes from the above vendors. need to be on the same LAN. The NAS will start the NAS interface. allowing you to are some third-party communities like SynoCommunity ( works for movies much like Sonarr and SickRage work for TV shows. Transmission Next. You can install it with Docker. setup (see the section on configuring DLNA need to log into your router admin. for example). there’s Transmission. Now log into your NAS and launch Resilio back over the page) and publish them through Find Transmission in the App/Package on that (again. Paste the key in. In some RESILIO (BITTORRENT SYNC) cases (on Synology and QNAP. accessed from the App Center/App drawer. resilio. Resilio syncs folders on your NAS and that have made log on and start BitTorrent downloads from packages for it. but it can be a useful way to Sonarr is an amazing tool for automated the Apple TV. however. PC and NAS. centre of your NAS. sparing you the clipboard. If you open up Photo Station from password (default: admin/admin). [ WWW. running on both the PC and NAS. Click on a web browser. You can run it on your NAS. It’s managed through a web interface. these will arranged in a similar gallery. BUT THERE ARE SOME ADDITIONAL TOOLS YOU CAN INSTALL ON YOUR NAS AND MEDIA PLAYERS Sonarr automates the downloading of TV episodes. allowing your media to be automatically uploaded to the NAS. you can actually You flag movies you’d like to download. They’re known as ‘Stations’ — Photo Station. letting you add Create an account first.NET ] [ 079 ] . You’ll find it in your NAS’s episodes of TV shows as they appear and save you may also be able to view your galleries remotely. click on the Key tab. The folder from directory of photos in your NASes library/ you can log in with the NAS username and your PC’s copy of Resilio will now appear on media index. let’s say you’ve included a The Transmission web page will pop-up. available for most NAS platforms. It’s a basic BitTorrent client. This can be available on the above mentioned platforms for you have Download Station. making a copy of its window and you’ll see all your photos arranged you can add new torrents and view current contents on the NAS. for the movie in question.TECHLIFE. listening available in the browser itself. any web browser that can talk to your NAS. Asustor and Thecus folder on the NAS. on which syncing that folder. launch the web the arrow next to Add Folder and select ‘Enter a For example. Install Resilio on both your and it can be set up to automatically grab new mobile apps from the various NAS providers. Your music and videos will be downloads. As long as Resilio is in a web gallery.

NAS) Kodi and Infuse aren’t apps you install on your NAS — unless you have a NAS with an HDMI port — but they’re the premium platforms for Kodi is the best media player around. customise the download options like quality and whether you want all episodes to be listed as ‘wanted’. like then managed through a SICKRAGE IS EVEN EASIER TO necessarily to be found select UPnP devices. you should be able to SickRage has an inbuilt Torrent figure out how to reduce your disc rips down downloader to automatically grab new TV episodes. Then you need to set OPTIONS LIKE QUALITY downloading the Kodi is not available for unjailbroken Apple up an indexer and AND WHETHER YOU package for your platforms. Its operation is very simple — just put the disc in you drive. pick where you’d like to save it and then (makemkv. it runs in a web are available. selecting on ‘Add Series’ and LIKE TO SAVE IT AND THEN the Download Ready that in the future when browsing will show you search for a TV series. They can play just about any media stored on a DLNA server. If you’d like to compress them a bit more effectively. Available for Windows is available. you can flag individual episodes as wanted or unwanted. SickRage is even easier to This is another toolset for your PC rather than download client to grab and download the get running than Sonarr since it doesn’t require your NAS. it’s relatively APP. CUSTOMISE THE DOWNLOAD Installers page and all the DLNA servers on the network. NAS platforms. To add a DLNA media server as a source various NAS platforms. you can use Docker. NAS. your best option is an app called settings (you can use LISTED AS ‘WANTED’. install/upload option in the App/Package centre to add a DLNA server to its library. Like Sonarr. If you’d like to put your own media episode at your selected quality level. Getting SICKRAGE also available for Android on Google Play. can be bookmarked. click on Videos (or pictures or music). even on a NAS. Click on Browse. the source that appears will be easy to use. but you can also Once you get it AN EXTERNAL DOWNLOAD to do a manual install pick none of them and just click OK. In Infuse. If you running. When new episodes of a selected TV show of your NAS. or go to sonarr. which GET RUNNING THAN SONARR in the App section. MakeMKV You can then go into the settings and add indexers — these are the sites that SickRage looks for new download links in. and it’s them to the appropriate media folders. Just as it is on a PC. go to ‘Settings > Shares’ Download Station). While it rips the video. it installed on a NAS can be a little tricky. transcode the video to reduce the file size. you only need the Transmission or to use the manual free version). looking for UPnP Media Servers (Auto Discover). SickRage will do its best to find and download them. and look for the guide to installing it on the episodes from BitTorrent and Newsgroups. the DLNA servers it detects on the network. it will then automatically send interface. you’ll need these. SINCE IT DOESN’T REQUIRE Like as not. It keeps all subtitles and audio tracks intact. Just click SHOW. it does not. it’s not browsing for sources. Kodi can be grabbed from kodi. space is not unlimited. It’s available for most in Kodi. since Available for most NAS platforms In Kodi. you’ll have You can select a particular one. SUPERGUIDE DIY NETFLIX: SET UP THE PERFECT PERSONAL STREAMING SERVER If they’re listed as wanted. Then you have Infuse (firecore. If you have a fourth-gen Apple TV or download client in the WANT ALL EPISODES TO BE particular model or iOS device. YOU JUST ADD A NEW by going to sickrage. mobiles. Handbrake is your go-to application. to a manageable size. meaning that you can bookmark it MAKEMKV AND HANDBRAKE a request to the indexer to see if a download and go to it directly when you want to update it. however. That means that your DVD rips can be up to 9GB and your Blu-ray rips can be up to 50GB in size. Like is the best app we’ve found for ripping your DVD and Blu-ray discs and converting them into MKV files to store on your media server. After all. choose none. It will show you a list of all web interface. though then on ‘Add Videos’. playing media stored on a NAS. KODI AND INFUSE Available for numerous platforms (PCs. but with the presets and a little bit of time with the help documentation. You’ll see a window for Sonarr on a NAS is ONCE IT’S INSTALLED. Handbrake can seem daunting at first. PICK WHERE YOU’D github. You just add a new on the NAS. you configure ‘sources’ — these are the it’s generally not available in most app [ 080 ] . an external download app. Then in the show view. SickRage is a tool that automates directories and network services from which the monitoring and downloading of TV you’ll be drawing media. then it will send a message to the Once it’s installed. and click on the Disk button.

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with nearly all features unlocked. The truth is that current NASes are much more than that. but you don’t have the $1. It has a lot of the same features and capabilities your IP cameras and more. and comprehensive app suite have absolutely sold us on the Asustor. OS: ADM itself faster. It also has local HDMI output. but shaves nearly $300 off the price. email server and many more things.200+ for a fully-loaded four-bay network-attached storage (NAS) box. For the Seagate. TRANSFER SPEED TEST RESULTS (MB/S) READ WRITE 88. we used the included drives. a NAS probably can as well. acting as the We’re not huge fans of the aesthetic (it has a similar look to ASUS’s hub of a surveillance system. WE COMPARE EIGHT OF THE LATEST. we performed a simple copy test and measured both the write and the read speed. in megabytes per second (MB/s). HOW WE TESTED For each device. Yes. it can monitor and record your IP cameras. Asustor provides a huge suite of optional But NAS boxes are also a variety of different servers at once. making is usable as a Kodi of plugging it into a USB port. you’ll have to buy hard disks for storage. easy to use you. you can purchase an official remote separately or use the they do store files. Asustor’s first-party apps your NAS to organise your photos into a web-based browsable library. and the (many) mobile apps are smooth and capable. it still has very impressive specs. they have enough processing power to do THE AS6202T REVIEWED over the page may be Asustor’s flagship much more than just serve files.0 host ports. store up to 20TB of data. we used both Ethernet www. but pretty install Plex on your NAS. [ NATHAN TAYLOR ] IF HAVING A home media and file server sounds like a sweet deal to you. place to store files — it’s a fully functioning media hub. media playback and remote access. [ 082 ] . All tests bar the Seagate were performed with twin Hitachi 4TB drives installed 5 and set up in RAID 1. 2GB. so anybody on your Here we also have Asustor’s excellent ADM operating system network can access them. NAS at the same time as someone on your PC. instead solution. a single client go faster — it makes multiple clients access the NAS box 3x USB 3. so factor that into your cost equation. like a USB hard drive. They also share those files. You can have it back up you data to cloud storage. aren’t quite as good as those of Synology or QNAP. If a PC can do it.and third-party apps. Most can transcode media on the fly. there’s only a single Ethernet port. this is not CRITICAL SPECS really reflected in the results. Link aggregation in general doesn’t make Bays: 2. so in addition to the NAS. There are too many to list here. but the tool-free installation. then a two-bay model can be a Asustor AS3102T much more economical option. monitor AS3102T is where it’s at. which is a whole lot of video even at 4K resolution. Although it has no remote or IR receiver router. except that. and can be used as a backup target and place to store Asustor Kodi remote on your phone to control it. Yes. Connectivity: Gigabit port. You can set up supported through Asustor’s App Central. you plug it into a network port on your media player as well as NAS. Most NASes are sold without disks. the model. You might use it as a media player.6GHz. TV recorder. given the client device only has a single port. Like Synology and QNAP. supplied. great mobile apps streaming hub. Your mobile can watch videos stored on the working at its full capability. important documents. What’s more. but they’re well You can have your NAS automatically download new TV episodes for made. talk to cloud services. for a ‘lower-end’ NAS model. What’s more. then the much cheaper download media in the background. smooth setup. routers). A 4TB HDD typically runs around $180. but if you want value. Processor and memory: Intel Celeron N3060 dual-core 1. You can first. The latter-day NAS is more than just a as the more expensive model. Depending on for NAS setup.8 82. but it still has a Celeron WHAT A NAS DOES processor inside — which gives it quite a bit more oomph and A lot of people tend to think of network-attached storage as just substantially greater application compatibility than an ARM-based another storage medium. for example. However.3 [ SHARE YOUR LIBRARY ] Ultimate home SUPERGUIDE ULTIMATE HOME MEDIA CENTRE WINNER media centre ED’s CHOICE AWARD A TWO-BAY NAS BOX CAN CENTRALISE AND SIMPLIFY YOUR MEDIA LIBRARY AND MAKE IT EASY TO SHARE WITH THE WHOLE FAMILY. This organises your media much any service you can think of (and many you can’t) is likely to be library and allows Plex clients to stream video from it. performance product. These modern day two-bays can now AFFORDABLE AND POWERFUL — A PERFECT BALANCE OF CAPABILITIES.asustor. A near-perfect home media server and ports. HDMI. ASUSTOR AS3102T For NAS boxes that supported link aggregation (that’s using two $360 Ethernet ports and load balancing across them).

Some models even include the capacity to stream to INTEGRATED OR Chromecast and Apple TVs. 3. MEDIA FEATURES unintuitive. The one black spot is its mobile tools. Those aside. however. It even comes with a solid IR remote and built-in receiver. with an HDMI out port that will let you plug it straight into your TV set and run Kodi on it. Mobile apps can be used for a more. a NAS box with COMPATIBILITY downloading. especially if you want to run types of devices via multiple heavier apps like live transcoding protocols. A new Media Streaming add-on ups IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO BUY A NAS its game even further. easy enough for even offer more power than their ARM to remote access to files and even beginners to PORTS CRITICAL SPECS Dual Gigabit ports.4 86. QNAP still processors. the QNAP TS-251A would tick pretty much every item. which lets you plug it directly into a PC and use it like a USB hard drive. It also comes with our current favourite firmware. a cloud-based note app (think Google Docs) and much an x86 processor (Celeron. packaged in an OS that’s. The suite of apps QNAP provides in its store is impressive. including DLNA servers. from NAS setup. which mirrors $430 (diskless) HIGH-SPEED NETWORK drives for greater reliability. It has an SD card reader and even includes what is called a Quick Access USB port. tools for backup and CPU SMARTPHONE/TABLET sync (including to cloud services). LESS INSTALLATION QNAP TS-251A Support for RAID 1. and it’s all Pentium. content management. allowing the QNAP to directly beam to AirPlay. has a lot of work to do. www. 4GB. THESE ARE THE ESSENTIAL Chromecast and DLNA Play devices without the need for client THINGS YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF intervention. with mobile apps that can be confusing and plan on running a lot of NAS apps. DOWNLOADABLE APPS 5 A wide range of available apps EASY. PREFERABLY TOOL- and services. at once. for the most part.qnap.5 SUPERGUIDE ULTIMATE HOME MEDIA CENTRE WINNER ED’s CHOICE AWARD QNAP TS-251A A BRILLIANTLY DESIGNED NAS AND A MEDIA PLAYER IN ONE. web-based photo and NAS BUYER’S CHECKLIST video galleries. IR receiver. Atom and the like) can variety of tasks.TECHLIFE. It’s probably the most impressive set of tools available. such as DLNA . That’ll be handy if you media streaming. Connectivity: 2x Gigabit ports. karaoke and more. and it has the best range of first-party media tools. including Container Station/Virtualisation.6GHz. 3x USB 3. SD card reader. TRANSFER SPEED TEST RESULTS (MB/S) READ WRITE 101. and a current MEMORY Many NAS boxes now support top pick. BitTorrent If you can afford it. There’s enough power in its Celeron processor and 4GB of memory to run the full range of apps and services you might want.0 host ports. this NAS is the bomb.NET ] [ 083 ] . OS: QTS [ WWW. It’s both a powerful NAS and a media player in one. There’s also a very good Surveillance Station. Plex with live transcoding and even Surveillance Station. which allows Bays: 2. IF WE WERE to put together a wish list for two-bay NASes. TODAY.5mm audio out. streaming media to many different Aim for at least 2GB of memory. Core. or video surveillance. Processor and memory: Intel Celeron N3060 the NAS to serve more devices dual-core 1.

(and a hardcore Linux user could indeed go in there and install It has a total of five USB ports (two 2. Like the QNAP TS-251A. it does cover the major services. although it’s not in the default store. 2x USB www. 2GB. as well as a server. 2x eSATA ports. WHERE SOME NAS devices pride themselves on their versatility. downloaders. Connectivity: 2x Gigabit ports. the hefty price tag of the AS6202T is still by far its biggest problem. 1. it also comes with interface is kept simple. SickRage and CouchPotato (for It is. However. There’s also an app Like Synology and QNAP. 4 4 ASUSTOR AS6202T NETGEAR READYNAS 212 $620 (diskless) $420 (diskless) www. an HDMI port. Unlike the QNAP. perhaps not as comprehensive as those. and even telephony tools and basic surveillance. downloader with some interesting inclusions. and intuitive. 4GB (expandable to 8GB). TRANSFER SPEED TRANSFER SPEED TEST RESULTS (MB/S) TEST RESULTS (MB/S) READ WRITE READ WRITE CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS Bays: 2. the Asustor costs just too much to make it really The mobile apps available here are some of the best — well designed competitive. however. esoteric services. and the performance is excellent. an impressive NAS. It’s easy enough to use. so this can function Like many older and less-expensive NASs. keeping it simple for people who don’t need and there’s not quite enough here to justify that. but the outward ports for expansion bays. They just do the core stuff. IP telephony.netgear.6 WINNER APPROVED AWARD SUPERGUIDE ULTIMATE HOME MEDIA CENTRE WINNER APPROVED AWARD Asustor AS6202T Netgear ReadyNAS 212 VERY EXPENSIVE. like several BitTorrent so pretty much any Linux app will run on it. ARM processor. allowing remote access and streaming of stored media on the device.0). three 3. effectively maxing out the Gigabit Synology’s firmware. It’s substantially more expensive than most of the competition. it supports Docker and virtualisation. BUT ALSO POWERFUL AND CAPABLE. It’s smooth and easy. EASY TO USE AND WITH THE MAJOR APPS YOU NEED.3 88. others offer simplicity. Its suite of first-party tools is video was perfectly smooth in Plex. the ReadyNAS uses an very well as a media player. 3x USB 3. automated downloading of TV shows and movies). in our testing the ReadyNAS produced transfer speeds comparable with Asustor’s firmware is very much in the mode of QNAP and the fastest others tested here. it does pack in a lot of goods. Plex is also available though). but it still covers all the things While it doesn’t have anywhere near the suite of tools available to the that most people will ever need: cloud backup. Processor and memory: Intel Celeron N3160 Bays: 2. as well as two eSATA whatever they wanted on the ReadyNAS using SSH). employing a simple That said. with a full windowing interface and a large suite Ethernet connection. as well as Kodi in the app library. which we feared might limit its performance. live streaming and much more. providing a polished experience from the get go – even the screwless drive install is easy. ALTHOUGH THE PRICE has come down in recent months. The ReadyNAS is of the latter type. It also proved capable at live transcoding — 1080p of Linux apps available in the App Center. camera licences). Processor and memory: quad-core ARM quad-core 1. It has among the fastest tabbed interface and a limited suite of services.6GHz. OS: ADM eSATA port.4GHz. Connectivity: (Cortex A15). without a doubt. it doesn’t come with a 96. offering a huge suite of Linux services to users. caching. as well as 4GB of memory to drive it. The mobile apps are solid.0 host ports.0 host ports.3 98. It still runs Linux processors you’ll find in a two-bay. Unfortunately. IR receiver. ports. OS: ReadyNAS OS [ 084 ] . backup and installing drives is straightforward (you will need a screwdriver. including media service and Windows file sharing. 3x USB 3. syncing.0 host 2x Gigabit ports. for the ReadyNAS. a TV recording tool. surveillance (with four likes of QNAP and Synology users.0.asustor.

NOT EVERYONE WANTS to splash out $500+ for a two-bay NAS. however.2 40. apps. and yet has a similar set of capabilities 2-Bay. but there are well-designed mobile apps for setup and media access. Synology and Asustor. that makes the NAS like virtualisation and Docker support. you can install incapable of maxing out an Ethernet link. a little processor. ARM (STM STiH412) 1. There is a modest selection of additional tools you can using the in-built hardware transcoder) and much more.5GHz.8 73. is verging on three years old now. tab-based servers. rivalling the x86-based NAS on an ARM third-party app offerings. Processor and memory: Dual-core Bays 2.synology. install. as well as some of the USB bargain price of $500. it doesn’t have the lower memory. Assuming about $180 for each hard drive. suitable for placement in an Yet for those losses. if all you want is basic and www. backup and sync. The most recent consumer NAS.7 79. you can install an excellent a single Ethernet port — not that the latter matters. at least out of the box. up much with the DS216play. content managers. you’re not giving weaker than Netgear.TECHLIFE. it also lacks some things built in. backup and sync. including cloud backup. USB 2.seagate. And yet. OS: Seagate NAS OS Gigabit port. then this is actually a very nice offering. In addition AV cabinet. it still has a huge suite of capabilities. and it may be harder to find itself work out to about $160. OS: Synology DSM [ WWW.3 SUPERGUIDE ULTIMATE HOME MEDIA CENTRE WINNER APPROVED AWARD Synology DiskStation DS216play Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay (8TB) A LOW-COST NAS THAT GIVES UP LITTLE IN TERMS OF CAPABILITIES. That. you get both the NAS and two 4TB hard drives ports. a neat little surveillance manager. When it comes to the suite of that blazed in our tests. makes this NAS a top pick. you get a sealed desktop-style case. there are tools for BitTorrent ARM processor. There’s only a single USB port for a backup drive. combined with its elegant design The fact is.0 host port. The difference in price comes from media services. that most people will never use those third-party and the power of the DSM OS. this is still a pretty fantastic buy. and only to the support for file and media services. USB port. but for a like the loss of the second Ethernet port. and details the processing power or features of some of the competition. * NOTE THAT THE SEAGATE TRANSFER SPEED TRANSFER SPEED DEVICE COMES WITH DRIVES TEST RESULTS (MB/S) TEST RESULTS (MB/S) (UNLIKE THE OTHERS. Sure. the Personal Cloud of the DS716+II over the page. At least when it comes to file performance. A VERY AFFORDABLE OPTION THAT DOES THE BASICS WELL. affair mostly focused on delivering the basics — file and DLNA services. and automated downloads. Plex and other media It runs Seagate’s NAS OS. which is a bargain unmatched. we’d say it’s somewhat better than WD. MUCH LIKE D-LINK. Synology uses a unique ‘hybrid RAID’ BitTorrent Sync and WordPress. a Linux-based solution: a simple. Seagate seems to have largely deprecated its NAS Synology’s DiskStation DS216play shaves nearly $300 off the price line of products. telephony CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS Bays: 2. including Plex. WHICH READ WRITE READ WRITE HAVE DISKLESS PRICES LISTED) 93. web-based streaming of content. It also proved fast in our tests. 1GB. Processor and memory: unspecified. since the device is surveillance manager for capturing IP camera streams. It’s not particularly fast.0 host port. and the whole thing is really very plug- and-play. 4 31/2 SYNOLOGY DISKSTATION DS216PLAY SEAGATE PERSONAL CLOUD 2-BAY (8TB) $320 $500 (includes 8TB) www. USB 3. Because it uses an ARM processor. Connectivity: Connectivity: Gigabit port. ownCloud. price. the significantly slower ARM processor. including remote access. It runs on an unspecified a Google Docs-like web-based office suite. If you’re one of those people who simply wants file and media services. live transcoding of video (up to 4K. For that third-party apps for it.NET ] [ 085 ] . and well behind QNAP.

or run That said. and you’d be stored on the NAS. 4GB.2 103.synology. twin power ports for redundancy and Like the Asustor AS6202T. virtualisation or Docker. VPN and security — as well as Plex and Transmission for BitTorrent downloading. but for regular That said.5 75. it only comes with 2GB of memory.0 ports. used to expand the number of drives it CRITICAL SPECS CRITICAL SPECS Bays: 2. it’s still a great NAS. Like the Asustor. the best surveillance software available for NASes. A Linux pro using SSH could make much more of it. but there’s not really enough here to justify the lot to recommend it — especially with recent price drops. The set of third-party tools includes a few gems — virtualisation. of memory. We really like the simplicity extensive surveillance management will find its power useful. which can be most anaemic list of apps of any of the major NAS operating systems. desktop OS (windows/panes and tabs and all). But services. cloud backup. the Synology is particularly excellent. the price of the Synology is rather on the high side.0 host ports. ALL THAT POWER. or to have live transcoding up to 4K. overall. email services. AND NOTHING TO DO. Acronis True Home support for backup streaming servers.wd. People looking to use services. most notably the party developers. the WD PR2100 seemingly has a the fastest NAS we tested. better off with a less expensive solution if that’s all you want. Basic media you create documents and spreadsheets in a web browser and have them and file services generally don’t need this much power. IP www. and it was link-aggregated twin Ethernet ports. it does have an eSATA port. this may not be the best easily rivals QNAP. OS: Synology DSM 2x Gigabit ports. it’s easily view. and you can readily add extra storage by attaching it to one out in the open. with what is. perfect for someone who has a use for users looking for a device that does more than basic file and media the power offered by the quad-core processor. platform for you. it does do the basics very well. wikis. including. 2x USB 3.0 host ports. covering syncing apps. Processor and memory: Intel Pentium quad-core 1. content management and web publishing. and partnered with WD’s very good latter score. backup. but platform. TRANSFER SPEED TRANSFER SPEED TEST RESULTS (MB/S) TEST RESULTS (MB/S) READ WRITE READ WRITE 106. it offers a lot of power for its $600. eSATA port.6GHz. Connectivity: 2x Gigabit ports.1 SUPERGUIDE ULTIMATE HOME MEDIA CENTRE Synology DiskStation DS716+II WD My Cloud Pro Series PR2100 ANOTHER TOO-EXPENSIVE (BUT OTHERWISE REALLY GREAT) NAS. OS: My Cloud OS [ 086 ] . the selection is weak. WD’s My Cloud OS has the right now. web caching. most significantly.0 support. The array of tools here If you want more than the basics. so the Asustor is better value hard-pressed to find a use for that power. Processor and memory: Intel Celeron N3160 Bays: 2. On the and accessibility of My Cloud OS. But the very price premium.2 88. TARGETED MORE AT small businesses than consumers (though the WITH THE MOST powerful processer of any NAS here. and it’s not widely supported by third- The first-party tools on offer are excellent as well. customer relationship management and antivirus. remote access and media streaming. however. two camera limited suite of services and tools meant that we found ourselves licences and fewer ports (and no HDMI). with a huge array of apps and services available for the of the USB 3. USB 3. Synology wears its Linuxness and quick. 31/2 21/2 SYNOLOGY DISKSTATION DS716+II WD MY CLOUD PRO SERIES PR2100 $600 (diskless) $540 (diskless) www. it doesn’t have much to offer for the price. and a management interface very much reminiscent of a somewhat expensive solution. Indeed.6GHz. Installing drives is toolless Like the boxes from QNAP and Asustor. If the basics is all you want. one of the most pleasant devices to set up. the WD is a nice. as well as 4TB firmware is identical). N3710 quad-core 1. Connectivity: 3x USB 3. 2GB. in our mobile apps for setup. That leaves us with a NAS with powerful and well- aforementioned Surveillance Station and a Google Docs-alike that lets designed hardware but without premium apps to run on it.


not to mention a little app Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1946 that stored documents. from New York University. underway. Tim Berners-Lee needs no computerised airline passenger reservation out pristine final copies. Even in those early days.. designing early standards. Business equipment manufacturer of the most transformational inventions of the But it was her 1968 idea of a computerised Burroughs bought Redactron in 1976. for the first time. introduction. SIR TIM BERNERS-LEE computer hardware. [ DARREN YATES ] 1. but it meant. Berezin worked cartridges. the company sold standalone word processors such as WordStar and Next time you work on that Word document. [ A TECHLIFE TECH PRIMER ] FEATURE 10 MORE SCIENTISTS WHO CHANGED THE TECH WORLD MORE SCIENTISTS WHO CHANGED THE TECH WORLD BE INSPIRED AS TECHLIFE RETRACES THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF ANOTHER TEN SCIENTISTS WHO MADE MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO TECHNOLOGY THAT CHANGED THE WORLD. initially on cassette tape launched in 1983 called Microsoft Word. computerised word processors that looked like WordPerfect were running on a variety of thank Evelyn Berezin. including the first typists could edit documents before printing For many. But it word processor that led her to launching the 1980. EVELYN BEREZIN During the 1970s. popular frustration and what Berners-Lee himself [ 088 ] . but by 20th century — the World Wide Web. the microcomputer revolution was well was an invention borne out of apparent Redactron Corporation the following year. It sounds ancient by today’s for a number of companies. for he’s credited with creating one system. Having received a an electric typewriter with a separate cabinet computer systems.. 2.

Station X’s work is estimated to have shortened the war by two years. ‘higher’ language. 1991. Within nine months. In 1954. BILL TUTTE With Britain fighting alone against a dominant Germany in 1941. hypertexted databases of information. described to Time magazine in 1997 as His initial proposal to link the various CERN 4. Berners. far more advanced message encryption system. in 1989. Lois Haibt became the only woman 1980s and the concept of linking or ‘hypertext’ website going live on August 6th. LOIS HAIBT "being in the right place at the right time" labs around the world together using By the early-1950s. with help of the Polish Cipher Bureau. and in 1987. had recently arrived at the Park and was given the new intercepts. the codebreaking establishment known as ‘Station X’. in a 10-strong team of computer scientists IBM had been first proposed back in 1945. Europe’s science to transform economies around the world. A young chemistry graduate with a flair for British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s secret weapon lay within the grounds of Bletchley Park. The goal was a laboratory. an international network of with his superiors. difficult to explain and easy to muck computers. closer to what humans could [ WWW. was a complex task of hand-coding using All the pieces to this puzzle already existed according to Berners-Lee "didn’t go down well" computer-focused ‘assembly language’ that was — the internet. Tutte’s solution to the Lorenz code led to the Colossus computer in 1943. signifying a new. programming a computer (tinyurl. had been in place since the mid. saving countless lives. Alan Turing. had the previous year cracked the Enigma code used by German forces.NET ] [ 089 ] . a feat still regarded one of the great mathematical achievements of the war. Bill Tutte. the World Wide Web continues brought together under the lead of John Backus Lee was working at CERN. Tutte went on to gain a PhD in mathematics from Cambridge University.TECHLIFE. was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. to come up with a solution. he and colleagues had hacked the Lorenz SZ40 ‘secrets writer’ without ever seeing the machine. when the seeds of an idea much the same as that earlier ‘worldwide web’ language that would allow mathematical to solve the problem of colleagues continually — the railways — did during the 1800s. the first up. the Allies were reading Hitler’s mail and it was the need to speed up the clever hack that led to the development of the world’s first all- electronic programmable computer by Tommy Flowers in December 1943. But he persevered and the complex. but now a new type of ‘music’ was heard over the airwaves. Through Tutte’s work. Today. After the war. FEATURE 10 MORE SCIENTISTS WHO CHANGED THE TECH WORLD 3. result was the World Wide Web. equations to be coded using a more natural or asking for information began to germinate.

The FORTRAN language has morphed electronic calculator and approached a young Science department at Iowa’s Clarke College into many different forms since those early days start-up called ‘Intel’ in 1969 to supply the series (now Clarke University). It featured as the core [ 090 ] .com/n5eb5qb). along with those of engineer Mary Jackson and mathematician Dorothy Vaughn. became the Intel 4004. 6. Katherine Johnson was a gifted African- American student who graduated with degrees in Maths and French at just 18. understand. allowing anyone to learn how signalled the beginning of the modern era Masatoshi Shima — teamed up to create what to code a computer. that Keller is additions per second. Hoff. You can even try of reducing the chip count per device. With an aim Keller was also one of the students under the Movement’s GNU Project.000 floating-point to deliver the basic mathematical functions. along with colleagues — chip programming language in 1964. but they all required multiple chips first woman in the US to receive a doctorate in a computer capable of 12. BASIC was 5. software developer an important breakthrough in computer If the invention of the transistor in 1947 Stanley Mazor. in 1971. Her achievements. the world’s first microprocessor. it was the invention of the just as World War II deepened. The 4004’s successor. Born in the US mid-west state of Ohio just before the outbreak of World War I. Hoff direction of John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz FORTRAN online at the TutorialsPoint website proposed combining the functions of some who developed the BASIC (Beginner’s All- (tinyurl. MARY KENNETH KELLER an Intel 4004 processor. of electronics. the Intel 8008. the coding language Microsoft bundled with DOS for years. However. she had broken into the traditionally male-dominated world of research mathematics. KATHERINE JOHNSON In the early years of computing and before Lois Haibt and fellow team members developed FORTRAN. accepting a job as a ‘computer’ at NACA (which became NASA in 1958). purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) In the end. FEATURE 10 MORE SCIENTISTS WHO CHANGED THE TECH WORLD GW-BASIC. Mercury space missions. Mary Kenneth Keller became a Catholic nun in 1940. Computer Science. By 1953. followed by a Masters Degree in maths of coding languages that make the world 1960s (and even then. the first manned orbit of the Earth by astronaut John Glenn in 1962. many came with and physics 10 years later. featured in the recent Margot Lee Shetterly book (and Hollywood movie) Hidden Figures. and in particular. continuing her the first commercially-successful high-level modern digital age. MARCIAN HOFF designer Federico Faggin. and one version is now part of the Free Software of chips required for each unit. Glenn had refused to fly using new flight trajectory numbers calculated for the first time by electronic computer until they had been cross-checked by Johnson. It was developed on an IBM 704. Australia’s first computer. CSIRAC. Portable electronic own with a Bachelors Degree in mathematics programming language and the forerunner calculators were the hot new gadget of the late in 1943. in June 1965. handles). going on to launch the Computer valves. Keller believed but the result was FORTRAN. operated by Katherine Johnson was a ‘human computer’ for the designer Trevor Pearcey. Her skills were a key contributor to the success of many early NASA space missions. it’s as the work today. powered the first IBM Personal Computer in 1981 and the PC revolution was born. built from electronic Japanese firm Busicom was keen to create a new remembered. plus Busicom designer programming. many ‘computers’ employed at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) were real people — mathematicians who would calculate complex equations by hand. This 1972 Unicom 141P calculator was powered by 7. It took until 1957 to complete. chips into a single universal ‘processor’ chip. which became microprocessor in 1971 that ushered in the in the importance of education.

I computer (later renamed but it takes another Pearcey Medal in recognition of outstanding endeavours. during an Australian maths and physics. TREVOR PEARCEY called ‘bridges’ provided the connection. Warren. the idea of the ‘black box’ was born. With just three stored-program computers in The solution she invented (which is still in use the known world by 1947. a set of rules enabling a computer (AND MATHS!) age. but tradeshow. perseverance is shown often not just in the face of others. Perlman had visit by British air Vice-Marshal Sir Robert Australia in 1945 to join the Council of graduated with Bachelors (1973) and Masters Hardingham. from With a mash-up of different network scientist with Australia’s Aeronautical Research Tandy’s TRS-80 to the Commodore 64 and connections and speeds. tech. The crash of de Havilland Comet four years before Australia is convinced to achievement in Australian information flight 781 in January 1954 resulted in the loss mandate it into commercial aircraft. and computer technology each year of all passengers and crew. Pearcey’s legacy is continued by father was killed in an air crash over Bass Strait NACA. If we tell ourselves something can’t be done. If you have an interest in science. DAVID WARREN valves were reliable enough. It was transferred system. David Warren develops the first black the Pearcey Foundation. It took another two years to complete. The 19th and 20th centuries were eras of incredible scientific achievement. she gave a presentation to executives flight recorders compulsory in commercial than radio-propagation gave Pearcey new focus. Many achievements that seem the prototype black box like moments of instant discovery almost flight recorder. now research during the late-1970s and early-1980s. But the CSIR’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).com/lxduqto). RADIA PERLMAN powered airliner. engineering or maths. involving the world’s first commercial jet. Having graduated that? Radia Perlman asked the same questions 1956. could see how important having Sinclair ZX80-series. so too the Canadians. and Australia. during World War II using his own money computer today is that it still exists — it’s the because his superiors didn’t believe electronic world’s oldest surviving first-gen electronic 10. always come after periods of study. but a recent Australian Government report has found student enrolments in STEM (science. but network to determine the ‘cost’ of each network If there’s a common thread amongst a number the CSIR Mk. but by what we tell ourselves. allowed the problem of ‘bridge loop’ where data Despite spending his own money and Back in 1947. from Digital.component in many early home computers 9. Katherine Johnson computer and on display at the Melbourne David Warren was just nine years old when his overcomes racial and gender prejudice in 1950s Museum. then to re-route data over the network. but the scientists that history remembers are remembered also for their Dr David Warren with perseverance. STP is a network’s traffic control triumph often came against adversity and program in November 1949. far-reaching decision to focus on electronic and while working for a government software became the first country to make black box computing as a third area of research rather contractor. CSIRO in 1949) in radio-physics. those STEM enrolments must be reversed. FEATURE 10 MORE SCIENTISTS WHO CHANGED THE TECH WORLD Building a PC today is a relatively easy task. Tommy to the University of Melbourne in 1955. aircraft in 1960. Many of the breakthroughs we’ve looked at came as the result of study in mathematics and if we’re to continue discovering solutions to the world’s problems. research — and sometimes official Pearcey began today) is the basis of the ‘Spanning Tree IT'S ALL ABOUT PERSEVERANCE pioneering Australia’s entry into the computer Protocol’. engineering and mathematics) are at 20-year-lows (tinyurl. simpler networking modules miniature sound recorders at a recent 8. who quickly offered her a job. but wasn’t the first The trend at the moment is to say you’re (www. When others say something can’t be done. the persistent ones. hobbies or whatever. Pearcey emigrated to Corporation in the 1980s. things were very could circle a loop indefinitely — how to solve building the first black box flight recorder in different for Trevor Pearcey. but control the flow of data without crunching into Flowers built the first all-electronic computer what’s more remarkable about this particular peak-hour-like gridlock.NET ] [ 091 ] . awarding the in 1934. use that to spur themselves on. ‘passionate’ about your work. another? In the days before network devices a crash investigation. the UK Ministry Scientific and Industrial Research (renamed the (1976) degrees in mathematics from the of Aviation was keen. Still. from Alzheimer’s to Zika Virus. technology. And you [ WWW. Immediately. of scientists we’ve covered so far. enabling much larger networks to adversity that was often man-made. it wasn’t until 1958 that Warren was first from London’s Imperial College in 1940 in while working at Digital Equipment able to generate interest.pearcey. initially slow to see the potential. Remembering seeing called ‘switches’. that’s awesome! Go for it! There is no shortage of opportunities to learn. from online courses to university degrees. however. The world needs solutions for everything. it’s that their CSIRAC) hummed into life and ran its first In effect. an event that likely focused his future box flight recorder in 1956. like Flowers.TECHLIFE. how do you tell which Laboratory. the battle is already lost. helping to inspire a new route is the fastest from one network port to cockpit voice recordings could be in the event of generation of computer programmers.

If this fails.2 SSD card. an iPad and a Mac. then make changes in behaviour — the icons in Windows 7 are about Contacts. then show the should still work in Windows 10. Windows 10 onto a plug-in M. go to the ‘Internet Accounts’ ANY ANDROID identify its model in Windows 7 via Device preferences pane. click ‘+’. then the iCloud logo. I’m thinking of a single Samsung 1TB drive My wife also has an old iPhone she uses for with an ASUS X99A motherboard or music. 104 Photography MASTER YOUR DSLR: BOKEH downloadcenter. [ 092 ] . [ HARDWARE ] [ MAC ] Can I install I can’t change things Windows 10 on an in a shared address M. happening? [ IAN SLEIGHTHOLM ] [ KEN PAYNE ] Once you have a secondary. devices one at a time to identify the culprit.1 driver that account. Security & privacy Manager. it’s time for an upgrade. but not a shared contacts list. then add it to all your — visit either www. Shut it down. repeat for other 96 Mac a quarter of the size they are in Windows 10. Select the account on the left and leave ONLINE graphics chip is identified as Nvidia or Intel only Contacts checked.2 SSD? book I’m planning to build a desktop PC and My wife and I share our Apple ID so we can would like to know the best way of installing use the same contacts and other information. If they don’t or Macs and iOS devices. He first needs to For that. That provides Android the correct display drivers haven’t been installed a shared calendar. [ TECHLIFE #65 ] HELP STATION GET THE MOST FROM YOUR TECH [ THIS MONTH IN HELP STATION ] [ HARDWARE ] Howard Oakley replies: Your changes are being Display resolution synced to iCloud. Ultimately. contacts to it. When we make changes in Contacts. perhaps using IPHONE AND IPAD Mayank Sharma replies: This problem suggests iCloud’s Family Sharing feature. not supported by Windows 10 — go to they go by default. which you can override: bit. We each have an respectively. then source the latest available driver Click ‘Create Apple ID’ and follow through the 102 HOW TO AVOID GETTING SCAMMED for Windows 10. then delete them from the primary account. copy much longer than AMD ones. but another of your devices is 92 Q&A problems then overwriting them. primary account again. something similar. I will be purchasing they soon revert to how they were. What’s a Windows 10 show the shared Suite to obtain a Windows 8. FIX A BJORKED IMAC OR MACBOOK How do I make them smaller in Windows 10? then turn off its Contacts syncing. 100 GET GOOGLE’S PIXEL LAUNCHER ON for Jamie’s graphics card. it’s likely the card is an older left. In Contacts for Mac. hide all contacts.nvidia. If it’s new contacts go in the account selected on the an AMD chipset. This should be easy if the process. Nvidia cards are supported for shared iCloud account. Contacts for iOS has a setting for where and download the Software tap Groups. Chances are it’s the old YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED My dual-boot system is exhibiting strange iPhone. and 98 CONVERT VIDEOS FOR PLAYBACK ON share common data another way. add a new contact. iOS [ JAMIE MARSHALL ] it’s better if you have separate Apple IDs.

There’s a YouTube video that may help you set happens if Panda isn’t aware you’ve clicked the [ P NGUYEN ] things up at www. created when setting up your Panda account. but type in the password you Control Panel (type “ease of access” into the support. link in the email (perhaps you accessed the ct8pQcIg — in particular. Hannah reported to activate it. then installing Windows 10 to an Panda antivirus M. the magnification settings drives (the digits after the ‘x’ refer to the length prompting me to activate my account whenever have gone haywire. Windows’ HELP STATION Q AND A Chkdsk disk utility scans hard drives for errors.TECHLIFE. Search box to locate it) and clicking ‘Make the Click Continue. 22x60. choose ‘Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt’.2 drive Antivirus (from www.2 SSD is the same as on any other drive. I’ve tried switching all SM961 Polaris 1TB drive is 22x80. click ‘Want to use another set to ‘Off’ and remained so after a focus on the UEFI email on a different computer). Neither had [ WWW. so fitting it Magnifier settings to ‘Off’ under substituting ‘c:’ for whatever Prevent Panda Free Antivirus drive letter you are scanning: “chkdsk c: /f /r /x”. for example. The M. When you next see three settings relating to Magnifier under ‘Start Support Module (CSM) is disabled while Secure the ‘Don’t forget to validate your Panda > Settings > Ease of Access > Magnifier’ were all Boot is enabled. I have an Acer Aspire 5750 laptop — the X99A motherboard. type the following. At the recovery menu. How do I prevent this? [ HANNAH EASTWELL ] Nick Peers replies: Chkdsk can sometimes get stuck in a loop even if there isn’t a problem with the drive. It keeps resetting the of the drive in millimetres.2 SSD address in there. Leave your existing email We then suggested opening the Ease of Access defaults are already in place for M. Magnifier’ was unticked there too. from constantly bugging you On running the command. so ‘22x110’ refers to it starts up. Windows will reboot and you’ll need to select your username and enter your password. 22x80 and 22x110 I thought. and the program should finally computer easier to see’ to verify ‘Turn on register your activation. Cat Ellis replies: We first confirmed that the settings where you’ll see that the Compatibility it’s straightforward to fix. correctly. and now it’s continually running it at startup. it also stopped trying to run Rob Mead-Green replies: If everything is set up [ SOFTWARE ] at every boot. you may find the UEFI email address’. following this video should help. One thing to I’ve downloaded and installed Panda Free magnification consider is the physical length of the M.NET ] [ 093 ] . We instructed Hannah to click ‘Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery’ and click ‘Restart now’ under the Advanced start-up option. When the prompt appears. to your new desktop PC shouldn’t be a problem. on a freshly built PC. Mayank Sharma replies: This sometimes but it has had no effect. Yet the antivirus software keeps Windows 10. Can you offer any assistance please? magnification level and even changes it while the maximum length of 110mm). that Chkdsk made a minor correction. Thankfully. Windows keeps checking drive on startup I have been spring-cleaning by running the Chkdsk tool on my hard drive. keeps prompting [ HARDWARE ] The trick is to make sure the drive is compatible to activate Can’t disable with your choice of motherboard. Samsung’s [ ERGIN VLIETSTRA ] moving the if not. As you’ll be installing Windows account’ message. After I installed supports type 22x42. but more critically.2 drive resembles [ WINDOWS ] a memory stick. and activated an account via email — or so using a Synaptic ClickPad.pandasecurity.

you remove all traces of the messages are those relating to disk1s2. you may be prompted to enter that shouldn’t be there. Input/output wizard to configure your account and you state. any effect. we pointed Colin towards eM Client. it should errors like this are normally the result of a serious issue with a drive. There and then switch to the SMTP tab to input the canvas to work with: you can then update the should be a Device Settings tab on the right details of your outgoing server. and that the cable is a good one. If the drive hasn’t died. on a small partition on the hard drive.emclient. but if not. Reset your new PC to start with a clean slate. click Apply followed by You’ll now be able to send your emails. and perform any necessary repairs. there is little point in holding a post mortem. Check the drive using Disk Utility first. Why do more critical and worrying of those error which is available at www. Second. remove any software installed on the machine discovered that the problem might be linked to At this point. configuration my own user account. so we dug a little deeper and should find that it will fail the sending mail test. which is this yourself. Where can I find them please? restoring Windows to its factory settings. ‘Use these credentials’ before inputting your if applicable. go through the eM Client setup previous owner and return the PC to its initial likely to be an external hard drive. possibly even complete drive failure or a defective electrical connection. and then customise it either for a Look for a Pinch Zoom setting. Can you help me? its logs were full of messages about “Failed to I’m trying to use Mail in Windows [ RON EDWARDS ] composite image for descriptor” errors prior to 10 and cannot make the server alterations forcing its shutdown. to configure an email account in Mail to send which should include an option for returning Howard Oakley replies: The upgrade process messages through a different mail server. you might be able to salvage the old drive’s contents and copy them over to your new one. it isn’t possible when you first boot to access recovery options. If that reports a SMART status error or other hardware failure that can’t be fixed. it might still be recoverable. look for an option [ MARK SYDER ] Rob Mead-Green replies: Sadly. To do this? First of all. Ensure both ends of the drive’s connecting cable are fully inserted into its ports. such as the excellent DriveDx. [ 094 ] . namely commercial the Acer’s trackpad settings. READY FOR A NEW USER. error”. Go to ‘Start > your outgoing account credentials. programs left behind for which you don’t have Settings > Devices > Mouse & touchpad’ and click the Menu button and choose ‘Tools > the original media or licence. then untick new email account’s username and password. The next step is select your account to its factory settings also gives you a blank old Mouse Properties Control Panel. but I’m unable to set up When my iMac crashed today. generic user or for the specific someone who you Enable Pinch Zoom. I’ve only recently upgraded to El Capitan: [ COLIN TRAVIS ] If the PC you’ve been given didn’t come with a does this indicate an incompatibility with it? recovery or installation disc. ready for a new user. OK and this will hopefully disable the pointer’s ability to magnify the screen. Here choose machine yourself. can provide you with more details about SMART warnings. [ WINDOWS ] [ MAC ] Personalise an old PC External drive [ OFFICE APPS ] I’ve been given a second-hand PC trouble Trouble with Mail by my son.. so the PC to its defaults using recovery files stored may have brought on your problem. Many laptop PCs hide additional touchpad YOU REMOVE ALL TRACES OF THE PREVIOUS OWNER AND RETURN THE PC TO ITS INITIAL STATE. Returning the PC click ‘Additional Mouse Options’ to access the Accounts’.. errors and other faults. WE WOULD ALWAYS ADVISE HELP STATION Q AND A RESTORING WINDOWS TO ITS FACTORY SETTINGS. When you have a replacement. eject the drive and shut it down immediately.’ button. I also saw some repeated required to send mail through another Alex Cox replies: We would always advise errors from the kernel about a “disk1s2: I/O account. install security software on it. — switch to this and click the ‘Settings. but the instead. intend passing on the PC to. but once your drive has failed. Several utilities.

Otherwise. Tick them and click ‘What is being I’ve been trying to burn a recovery SPECIFY’ selected and click Next. needs to. extract the contents of cloneapp. the file (lsboot. Click ‘Start CloneApp’ to back these up to the before spitting out the disc with a “length was if you have VirtualBox installed. Click Restore to please! machine and seeing if it can boot from it recover previous settings. launch Lazesoft and choose the apps: Excel. right-click it settings (Publisher and Access) by Nick Peers replies: You shouldn’t need to format and choose ‘Burn disc image’.zip to a suitable folder. Select your disc selecting Custom and choosing which Registry the disc prior to burning it. are useful apps are being backed before failure. but it warns that “it can’t close the session” for the ISO file to be created. sudden drive failures can still be the cause of crashes. Burn. there may be a guide for where you should look. At this point. You can review which such as DriveDx. after. you could test CloneApp folder (click Options to choose incorrect” error message). then select backed up?’ disc using Lazesoft. Now. ‘Start CloneApp’. although OS X is getting more resilient to such hardware issues. This should produce a disc you can then existing Office folders and Registry keys as there may be issues with the burning process. then double-click CloneApp. Go to www. Leave ‘DO NOT and Word.iso) to. giving it administrator rights when it asks for them to Don’t format your DVD before you burn an make sure it can back up everything that it ISO to and download the portable version from the Download Resources section. Lazesoft Recovery Suite and then burn that ISO [ 095 ] .mirinsoft. Outlook. Unfortunately. 04 You can attempt to save more Office iso on your PC’s storage drive. you’ll see you can back up individual Office Problem burning To do this. I need some help the ISO file by mounting it into a virtual a different backup location). 02 CloneApp supports over 250 applications — scroll down to the Office section and [ WINDOWS ] file to a blank. One workaround is to create an ISO file in a deeper issue with your DVD writer. [ HARRY LATO ] (it should be able to). Harry — the burner. click Start and wait being backed up will be shown. OneNote. [ OFFICE APPS ] Back up and restore office settings I’ve just upgraded from Office 2003 to Office 365. but can’t find any mention of the Office Save My Settings Wizard. try up before hitting repairing in Disk Utility. but have burned three I’SO Image’ and choose a suitable folder to save 03 A list of all folders and Registry entries discs with no success (I’ve formatted the disc.exe to get started. tick ‘Verify disc after burning’ and click keys and folders to add — you can use the problem may be as simple as that. boot from — if problems persist. Alternatively. unformatted DVD instead. PowerPoint recovery disc option to burn the disc. xxx XXX SMART status checkers. locate lsboot. 01 Once downloaded. Is there an alternative I can use? [ ROY MORGAN ] Rob Mead-Green replies: You can back up your Office settings — and indeed lots of other program settings too — with the excellent CloneApp.

QUICK LOOK RECOVERY MODE 01 03 04 RESCUE DISK UTILITY OPTIONS You can run Recovery enables diagnostic scans you to roll back to of your Mac’s an earlier state storage. Check out apple. go online to book a Genius Bar Recovery looks like macOS. 04 or erase the 03 internal disk first. your Mac problems. 01 Machine. Apple has made restoring a Mac from a Time Machine backup include the ability to reset any user account’s password. In fact. on your Mac and hold Command-R until you see the Apple logo or If you’re daunted by the prospect of fixing something you perhaps a globe. Recovery’s other features problem. [ 096 ] . should one be almost as easy as turning on that feature in the first place. IF YOU’RE DAUNTED BY THE PROSPECT OF FIXING SOMETHING YOU PERHAPS HELP STATION FIX A BJORKED MAC DON’T UNDERSTAND. install 02 macOS over itself. forgotten. [ ALAN STONEBRIDGE ] MACOS RECOVERY IS a set of tools which are hidden until you power it’s even possible to downloadand reinstall the whole operating system. macOS from loading at all. enabling perform detailed you to research diagnosis. ADDITIONAL UTILITIES 02 Firmware Password Utility increases RESEARCH security. THEN THERE’S ONE FEATURE OF RECOVERY THAT YOU’LL FIND INVALUABLE — ITS WEB BROWSER. then there’s one feature of Recovery that you’ll find emergency — typically when some drastic glitch unexpectedly prevents invaluable — its web browser. Network A PROBLEM Utility tests your The Safari web Mac’s connectivity. With it. browser is and Terminal available in enables you to Recovery. [ MAC ] Fix a bjorked iMac or MacBook WE RUN DOWN THE TOOLS THAT’LL GET YOU OUT OF A STICKY SITUATION IF YOUR MAC WON’T START. or erase using Time it for more about it. but its capabilities are limited to essential appointment. you can search for solutions. or look up the contact details of an authorised repair maintenance tools to help you get up and running after a critical center if there are no Apple stores close to you. You should only need to use the recovery system in a rare don’t understand.

when a list of volumes appears. type in a new password and click Save. an earlier state and follow the prompts. CHECK THE CONNECTION version of macOS (or OS X) you have choose ‘Utilities > Terminal’. select the account from can reach other devices on your network system. 03 Recovery then displays a list of four internal storage. Recovery (on models released since OS X Lion. click the Wi-Fi icon at the top-right corner an external drive icon with ‘Recovery’ in its label. REINSTALL SIERRA RESET A PASSWORD 07 The Reinstall option downloads the same 08 If you forget an account password. To start it from an external drive. Online’ opens Safari. are shown while the software downloads.TECHLIFE. the Ping tab and installs it over any existing copy. This can fix some damage to the Select your startup Internal on the left. the list. If your Mac uses Wi-Fi to get hold select Disk Utility 06 If you haven’t excluded system folders to research your technical problem before resorting to more drastic options from your backups. but takes quite a while. indented and click ‘First Aid’ in the toolbar. GET HELP ONLINE DISK PROBLEMS RESTORE BACKUPS 04 You can use this version of Safari 05 If macOS won’t start. Choose the Time with a search engine. to find answers and check that your Mac’s drive is shown under restored to an earlier state. Type In ‘Utilities > Network Utility’. identify your backup disk. pick retail to book a Genius Bar appointment. enables you to check that network traffic files and settings. ‘Get Help Command-R. A globe and progress bar online. to ensure you’re connected to your network. choose and select earlier models). and websites outside of it. Select the row that isn’t Machine option.HOWTO USE RECOVERY’S VARIOUS OPTIONS HELP STATION FIX A BJORKED MAC START RECOVERY INTERNET RECOVERY MACOS UTILITIES 01 To start Recovery from your Mac’s 02 If a Recovery partition isn’t available.NET ] [ 097 ] . power on and hold holding Command-R starts Internet commonly needed tasks. [ WWW. and to browse to apple. retaining your “resetpassword” into that app and press Return. your Mac can be by visiting support.

Drag this slider to 01 and limit which the left for greater of its contents are compression. plus its content in the form of its video and HandBrake (handbrake. what can you do? QUICK LOOK HANDBRAKE’S PICTURE QUALITY SETTINGS 01 03 SOURCE QUALITY Select your file. 02 02 04 03 ENCODER Choose H. Set Tune to the 04 Set FPS to content’s type. quicker results but larger files. one will play but the other won’t. the process is the same for the Windows version. HELP STATION CONVERT VIDEOS FOR PLAYBACK ON IPHONE AND IPAD [ MAC ] Convert videos for playback on iPhone and iPad GET OLD VIDEO FILES WORKING AGAIN WITH ALL YOUR APPLE DEVICES. [ NICK PEERS ] A TYPICAL VIDEO file is made up of multiple components: the file itself The answer lies with a free tool for Windows and Mac called (known as the container). and put Preset on and pick constant ‘very fast’ for frame rate. audio streams inside it. you can follow the exact same steps. Aim for 20 (HD) or 21–22 (SD). But if HandBrake. This miracle worker can convert just about audio streams. so if you’ve got a collection of videos — particularly older files — that don’t you’re using Microsoft’s OS. while we used the Mac version of conform to a standard that will work across all your devices.264 video and AAC different ways — as in. Our how-to guide below will take you through These days.264 ENCODER (x264) for max OPTIONS compatibility. [ 098 ] . It’s possible to mix and match these to the extent that any video file into a standard format: an MP4 container (in other words. two seemingly identical files with the same file extension behave in a file with a . ‘same as source’. with an H. the safest solution is to ensure all your video files the required steps — and note that. and chapters.mp4 or .m4v file extension).fr). conform. but processed by angle lesser quality.

Subtitles tab and select which to add Browse to choose where to save your click Preview to see their effect on a to the converted file. even on low-spec devices. such converted file.TECHLIFE. Select AAC (CoreAudio) as the codec Enable ‘Fast Decode’ to ensure your video plays effect. as Apple 540p30 for non-HD movies. 30-second clip. ADD SUBTITLE TRACK CONVERT VIDEO MORE TIPS 07 If the original file has subtitles. play the video — if it’s not the to set up multiple videos for conversion.NET ] [ 099 ] . filter settings. frames. basic picture quality settings. Click Start to convert the video now. experiment with the Decomb and Detelecine and use the Mixdown pop-up menu to choose from without stuttering. video suffers from motion judder or a ‘combing’ ‘Add All Tracks’. When done. if your finished click the Tracks pop-up and choose See our annotation opposite for a guide to this. Seconds or even Frames to specify exactly various devices. select the first video you wish to convert what to keep. device. pick ‘Foreign Audio Search’ under Once complete. and enable ‘Forced Only’ and ‘Burned In’.HOWTO CONVERT VIDEO IN HANDBRAKE HELP STATION CONVERT VIDEOS FOR PLAYBACK ON IPHONE AND IPAD SELECT SOURCE CHOOSE CLIP LENGTH SELECT A PRESET 01 When HandBrake opens. such in the Title pop-up menu. Track. stereo. or chapters in pop-ups to the right of that. desired quality. SET BASIC SETTINGS TWEAK PICTURE SELECT AUDIO 04 The Video tab is where you tweak 05 The default settings in the Picture tab 06 If no audio track is listed in the Audio tab. Use the ‘Add to Queue’ button as foreign speech. pick one of the corresponding presets. click 09 If you’re experimenting with settings. For your video to play on an Apple of files. If you select a folder full Chapters. If the file has subtitles. mono or surround (if offered). However. go to the 08 Under the Destination header. [ WWW. change settings and try again. should be fine. select the video 02 You can trim unwanted parts of the video 03 Click ‘Toggle Presets’ if you want to use file (or folder containing multiple files) using the pop-ups at the top: choose one of HandBrake’s optimised presets for that you want to convert. click Start to process them in sequence. and set start and end times.

com/preview/download. as the preview can be buggy and some apps and features might not work. as the Pixel launcher ditches check out the Nova Launcher app. over at the xda developers opens up more info if tapped. Now Feed remains the same — available by set up to be overly user friendly. if Android O is not for you. opens up your app list. available on Pixel phones. The app drawer button is gone and. rather than an over-the-air update. [ 100 ] .gl/Ue2YNC). Of course. with a bit of experience. but it involves enabling developer mode. [ ANDROID ] Get Google’s Pixel HELP STATION GET GOOGLE’S PIXEL LAUNCHER ON ANY ANDROID Launcher on any Android DON’T HAVE A PIXEL PHONE? NOT A PROBLEM. the Pixel Launcher has some cool features not available to the stock launcher. To allow sideloading. it’s possible to sideload the new launcher on most Android devices running Marshmallow or newer. it difference. Sure. that pops out as a search bar when tapped. Up top. For an app is rather easy. be sideloaded. WE SHOW YOU HOW TO GET THE FEATURE-RICH PIXEL LAUNCHER ON YOUR ANDROID DEVICE NOW! [ LINDSAY HANDMER ] ONE OF THE first updates for non-Nexus or Pixel phones is the excellent Google Now launcher. you need to now. give it a try. We installed the app on a Nexus Play download. inside. and while It’s worth noting that. On the plus side. but it’s fun to play around with. and download different procedures and menus. SIDELOADING ANDROID O If you haven’t done it before. but you need to ensure any installed apps head over to the Android Developer website (developer. it’s just a developer preview. unlock your bootloader and then flash the new firmware. or swiping up on the bottom of the screen. This is everyday phone. head to ‘Settings > Security’. is best attempted by those existing version of the Pixel Launcher. Get ready for a new look. don’t contain malware.html). We won’t cover the whole process here. the search bar and uses a pop out button instead. The app needs to must be uninstalled before you load up the and a good intro into sideloading apps. savvy individuals quickly figured out how to get it running on older versions of Android — no root needed. The Google Keep in mind that the entire process is not forum (goo. so you can’t just opt in to the beta program and turned off by default to improve security. It’s really not recommended for use on an other than the Google Play store. sideloading The latest version of the Pixel Launcher comes courtesy of the yet unnamed Android O (Oreo?). so isn’t a normal Google new one. But now Google has released the developer preview of the upcoming Android O. To download the image file for your specific device. It’s also a system image. and go through the full instructions for the install. touching the little arrow above where it used to be. The Pixel launcher also adds a non-removable icon that shows the current weather and DOWNLOAD PIXEL LAUNCHER the APK file. turning as this gives Google a lot more control on USB debugging. WHY PIXEL LAUNCHER? Aside from the exclusivity. it’s possible to flash your original version using the same process. as well as the Nexus 6P and 5X (though allow installation of apps from sources can also be loaded on the Nexus Player and Pixel C laptop). First up. The bonus here is getting space for a fifth app on the bottom dock. but different phones may have slightly the Pixel Launcher build. Sideloading itself does not cause any issues. if you have an swiping off to the left. For those who want to give it a But Pixel owners get their own special launcher that isn’t available for download on other Android devices. the Google search bar is replaced with a truncated button For those who want a totally customisable experience. complete with even more Pixel Launcher features. You can read more about 6P. it’s not a massive straightforward. over the quality of the apps on the store.

You can also turn the Google KEEP IN MIND THAT THE ENTIRE PROCESS IS NOT Now feed on or off. for an easy way to customise the look and feel of your device without having to delve into the nitty gritty. top right) and tap Home app to select the Pixel Launcher. The next step is to download the APK file HELP STATION GET GOOGLE’S PIXEL LAUNCHER ON ANY ANDROID on the device you intend to install it on — enter the following link. The first option. and allow rotation SET UP TO BE OVERLY USER FRIENDLY. open your notification window and tap the download complete notification. and click the download button (goo. By default.NET ] [ 101 ] . it will force quit due to a file it needs to generate. then hit install. then Nova Launcher (novalauncher. directly from the creator’s page on the xda forums. Before installing an app not from the Play store. Otherwise head to ‘Settings > Apps’. backups and restores. so these need to be placed back where needed. The app is also constantly updated. with loads of in-depth customisations possible. As noted by the developer. For example. drawer folders. AN ALTERNATIVE: NOVA LAUNCHER Google actually plans to discontinue the Google Now launcher app. hitting the home button prompted Android to ask if we wanted to use the Pixel Launcher. Once downloaded. IS BEST ATTEMPTED BY THOSE WITH A BIT OF EXPERIENCE. the first time it tries to run. It also has a focus on performance. Nova Launcher also has loads of Themes available. or change back. The app gives you almost total control over the user experience. It can be a little fiddly at first. it allows app icons and widgets to be position partway through the desktop grid. Jumping into app settings. SETUP AND TWEAKS For us. To access the Give it a minute and try again and it should be fine. but OEMs can incorporate the feed into their own launcher. but it’s possible to create a very unique launcher. a scrollable is one of the best. infinite scroll desktop. the Pixel launcher grouped our apps under various folder icons. then tap the settings icon. But for those who want a third-party option. ‘App suggestions’.TECHLIFE. turns the top row of suggested apps (with the app drawer open) on or off. then tap the settings icon (small cog. you can select the new Pixel you must allow it in security settings Launcher or swap back to your previous option. as it needs to create a file the first time around. so (mostly) won’t lag on even older hardware. with new features and rapid bug fixes. The basic app is free. colour adjustments. [ WWW. widgets in the dock and more. though the Prime version (~$5) comes with extra features such as gestures and custom app The Pixel Launcher must be run twice before it will The Pixel Launcher APK file is best downloaded work. then toggle on ‘Unknown sources’. AND WHILE on the home screen. STRAIGHTFORWARD. long press on the home screen.

You get a message * Overpayment scams. — and those are just the ones that were 02 UNEXPECTED MONEY reported to the ACCC. sent by snail mail. Some common ones include: So this month. phone or by visiting the linked site. Source: ACCC. a utility or service that you use. they’ll use The lottery scam. Essentially anybody offering you scam has been reduced to a punchline. is.. A great deal is offered for encounter. reported incidents. that you’ve won a lottery or competition that There are other phishing attacks as well. JOB AND for those scams was the good old phone. with theme is the same: give us a little bit of money This is another big category of scams. Somebody who has By far the most common type of scam. once they’ve hooked you that the fees and scams. bike. and for a small It warns of something dire that might happen administration fee.. scams are still a big business. It commonly takes the form of an email. you’ll get a windfall. complete with bank logos and the government owes you money (a tax rebate similar trappings to make it look legitimate. Source: ACCC. but the essential PURCHASING SCAMS but email followed a close second. But we can put you onto someone such as credit card information and online who (for a fee. to your finances if you don’t confirm your Travel prize scams. You get a letter telling you that information to charge your accounts. websites coming in third. from someone purporting to be a (possibly purchased something from you online the phishing scam is one where the scammer foreign) lawyer or banker. saying that you’ve sends you a cheque for too much money. we thought we’d go through Some of the common scams include: * Scams using classifieds (in print and on sites some of the most prevalent scams you might The famous Nigerian scam. it will turn out) can cut through bank logins. In this phone call or text message that purports to be case. you can access it. but the seller is moving or has it may be worth forwarding this on to people financial help from you. now and. car. by number of lost. that tape. It’s only Commission received over 150. if you receive an email. payment. Last year. Congratulations: you account details either over the phone or by won a free trip overseas! You just need to buy logging into a website (linked in the text or some travel vouchers or pay a small fee upfront email). the intrepid TechLife money that is “trapped” by political unrest whatever it is (rental property. you’ll be rewarded handsomely you the goods/keys once they’ve received for your help. online needs to update your information. A story about like Craig’s List). Whatever it free money is likely to be scamming you.000 reports of never trust it. you automatically entered by visiting a website The original Nigerian 419 You might get an email purporting to be from or performing some common action. While you. covers a huge range of scams. [ 102 ] . reader. or government restrictions — but with a little whatever). 01 THE PHISHING SCAM The inheritance scam. The biggest medium The category of ‘unexpected money’ 03 INVESTMENT. Just scam letter. or reimbursement). with a claim contact them (and pay an admin fee) to collect Scams in 2016. text or phone call It should be noted that they almost never ask the Australian Competition and Consumer asking for bank or account information. [ NATHAN TAYLOR ] EVEN IN AN age when the Nigerian Prince that they’ve lost your account details and your money. by money Scams in 2016. the scammer calls you and tells you that from your bank. for money in the initial email or call. [ PRIVACY AND SECURITY ] How to avoid getting scammed online HELP STATION HOW TO AVOID GETTING SCAMMED ONLINE A RUNDOWN OF THE MAJOR ONLINE SCAMS IN 2017 — AND HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THEM. moved overseas and a friend/agent will send in your family less in the know! at which point. but it’s tied up yourself — most especially financial details. might be aware of some or all of them. in return. with losses totalling nearly $84 million charges start coming. tries to get to you give up information about inherited a bunch of money. it can be released. The government reclamation scam. Once you ‘confirm’ your details on the in order to claim your prize. in red tape.

or early access to your Super. where you might get a call the like) to perform a job. often taking the form of a software company or telecoms provider THAT THE FEES AND CHARGES “work at home” schemes (the ones you often saying that they’ve detected that your START COMING. These tend to crop up after major * Fake invoices for things you didn’t purchase. Having gained the trust of the 06 FAKE CHARITIES Viagra) or “miracle cures”. the scammer creates a fake online police have been notified. then get a cheque have fallen prey to them have often lost a lot from the “tax office” saying it has detected for too much money. the scammers pockets. the donation will never get * Call charge scams. * The hitman scam. Where the scammer the difference back to them. 05 EXTORTION AND THREATS ESSENTIALLY. of the hitman scam. HELP STATION HOW TO AVOID GETTING SCAMMED ONLINE If you want to know if a profile is fake. but those who * Tax office scams. Which is to say. feelings for the to-be victim in a very short the police. without ever actually meeting them Often involves pharmaceuticals (famously. They’ll ask the job is basically to get other people to sign you to install software on your PC to give up to the pyramid scheme. Sometimes. existant products via email or websites. The scammer was fake and the cheque bounces. victim. commissioned (often from LinkedIn and scams don’t happen very often. the scammer sends you a message Although it rates fairly low when it to install malware. a useful add-on for your mobile app. ANYBODY * Investment schemes where you’re given Sometimes scammers just go straight OFFERING YOU FREE MONEY “hot tips”.NET ] [ 103 ] . numbers). pretend financial hardship). Maybe you just need to send a text to get a prize in a mobile game or go through a “customer survey” to unlock [ WWW. perform illegal money. where you’re tricked into activities on their behalf or hand over anywhere near the victims — it all goes into calling or texting a paid service (such as 190 personal financial details. apologising and asking that you transfer comes to the number of reported instances. sometimes both. irregularities in your return and that the the excess — before you find out that the job Here. you might start with a Google Image search for the profile picture. Of course.TECHLIFE. it’s a tool will). getting the person to send them money international tragedies. such but pay them and they won’t. even overt threats. they’ll then proceed to abuse that trust. see spammed in discussion forums). The copy of a lottery You’ve got to appreciate the directness scam from 2007. in person. the software is the scam Before that cheque has cleared (hint: it never 04 THE DATING SCAM (CATFISHING) (you have to pay for it). * A common one is the call purportedly from THEY’VE HOOKED YOU * Pyramid schemes. where computer is infected/hacked. profile on a dating site and will profess strong tries to get you to pay up quickly to stop * Fake retailers straight up selling non. IT’S ONLY ONCE of a major investment opportunity. or to threats and extortion. sometimes. You’re asked to return of money. time. There’s also an online dating scams were actually the biggest claims to be a hitman hired to kill you: employment variant of this. them remote access so they can fix it. IS LIKELY TO BE SCAMMING an opportunity to get in on the ground floor Some things to look for: YOU. You get emails or calls in the hope that someone just pays them (often to cover “medical costs” or some asking you to help out the victims by donating without thinking about it. where you’re scam by money lost.

landscape photography. It’s also the subject from a background or foreground lenses produce more attractive blur than somewhat subjective: bokeh that one person — draws its bokeh is more important than others. focusing distance. BUT HOW IT HANDLES BLUR. Fujfilm’s XF 56mm f/1. subject and make sure the background is far (DC) lenses.2 R APD creamy. sun on a clear day is unlikely to give you the bandied around. focal which a lens designed for portraits and draw the viewer’s attention. nervous. there are some common To maximise bokeh. will the choice of aperture. jittery — and the way in which enough away to be rendered as a soft blur. [ TECHLIFE TEAM ] EVEN IF YOU’RE a newcomer to photography. [ 104 ] . While some the same way that. a handful of special-purpose lenses that are That being said. the shallower the depth of field you choose is. softest bokeh. say. which is pronounced Bokeh and depth of field go hand in hand: smoothest. soft. you need to use long designed with bokeh control in mind. harsh. light will produce harsh. sharpness can. It’s a close-ups — types of photography where large has the biggest impact on how pleasing the hard one to quantify as it can’t be measured in apertures are often used creatively to separate out-of-focus areas are. HELP STATION MASTER YOUR DSLR: IN-CAMERA HDR BOKEHLICIOUS Soft. direct ‘bouquet’ or ‘bow-kay’ by people in the know. The harsh. even if they’re blurred. if you’re seriously bitten by the bokeh judges to be beautiful might cause another it is for a wide-angle lens designed for bug. TOO. Bokeh. get close to the Nikon’s 105mm and 135mm Defocus Control areas in a picture — busy. and Lomography’s retro-styled Petzval 58 out-of-focus areas are rendered in an image Shooting in the right light is as important Bokeh Control lens. is something to consider when weighing up as ever. This is why the way in background. Not its the more pronounced the out-of-focus areas and any overly bright hotspots in the quantity — that’s something determined by in a picture become. The dream-like way out-of- focus areas look in a picture? That’s bokeh. It’s the lens that length and more — but rather its quality. distracting bokeh is used to describe the blur in a picture. then you might want to consider one of to recoil in horror. margarine-smooth blur is usually the goal for portraits and close-ups. SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELD Use a large aperture and long lens to decrease the sharpness and increase the blur. such as terms used to describe the look of out-of-focus lenses at large apertures. too: taking photos under a midday you’ve probably heard the word ‘bokeh’ being the pros and cons of a lens. [ PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS ] Master your DSLR: Bokeh IT’S NOT JUST THE SHARPNESS OF A LENS THAT MATTERS. though.

f/8 f/16 f/16 f/22 f/22 nine.0 f/2. Blur is more prominent at a large aperture will create more smoothly rounded blur than a lens with aperture such as f/1. The specular highlights are more defined and less f/1.0 f/8 more distant the backdrop. the more circular The choice of aperture is also one of the factors that determines any out-of-focus highlights will appear. For maximum bokeh.8) increase the amount of background blur.0 f/2.0 f/2. as the a seven-bladed aperture.8 f/2. f/2. such as f/1. the more there are.8 f/2. Note the smaller size of the bokeh blobs.4 and Although the background is still blurred.8 f/4. too.4 f/2.8 than at an aperture of f/8 or f/11.0 f/4.8 f/4. depth of field (or depth of sharpness) is thinner.0 f/2. This is more obvious The difference only becomes obvious when you choose the narrower with the narrow angle of view afforded by longer lenses. LARGER APERTURES ARE BETTER… The aperture you select has an influence over the shape and size of the capable of producing out-of-focus highlights that look more or bokeh in a photo. The number of blades that form the hole in the lens less circular. for the most part.4 or f/1. aperture settings available: at the widest aperture. makes a difference to the shape. shoot wide open! CIRCULAR BOKEH ‘BALLS’ ANGULAR BOKEH BALLS Using the maximum aperture of a macro lens means Stopping down to a smaller aperture reveals how that the out-of-focus highlights appear smoothly many diaphragm blades the lens has: in this case. the greater the effect. most lenses are SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELD DEEP DEPTH OF FIELD Large apertures (low f-numbers.0 f/4. So a lens with a 10-bladed the extent of the blur in a shot. f/8 f/16 f/16 f/22 f/22 pleasing. HELP STATION MASTER YOUR DSLR: IN-CAMERA HDR f/1.TECHLIFE.NET ] [ 105 ] .4 THE APERTURE EFFECT f/2. the f/2.0 f/8 f/16 f/22 WHEN IT COMES TO MAXIMISING BOKEH.0 f/8 rounded.8 f/4. [ WWW.

Visible specks and blobs on out-of-focus highlights. Better glass. DUST SPOTS although these can be viewed as giving a lens ‘character’ rather PROBLEM than being seen as a flaw. BOKEH PROBLEMS EXPLAINED THERE’S MORE TO BLUR QUALITY THAT SIMPLY SELECTING A LARGE APERTURE LENS quality matters when it comes to bokeh. which are most obvious when shooting at large apertures. HELP STATION MASTER YOUR DSLR: IN-CAMERA HDR HOW TO SOLVE YOUR DUST PROBLEM Don’t use a brush on the delicate rear element. (See below. there’s little you can do — it’s a result of corrective of the frame. and this can create a ‘swirling’ effect. The problem is caused by dust on the rear element of the lens. or composing a shot with this effect in mind. ONION RINGS CAT’S EYES PROBLEM PROBLEM If your bokeh discs look grainy or have the appearance of an onion that’s Bokeh discs can take on an elliptical or ‘cat’s eye’ shape near the edge been sliced in half. Try cropping the image aspherical elements used within the lens. larger maximum apertures and more diaphragm blades all add up.) Some lenses also produce bokeh discs that are either brighter at the edge and darker in the centre. lenses that are corrected to produce the sharpest images don’t necessarily produce the ‘creamiest’ bokeh. Special elements that are included in their design to minimise optical aberrations can result in gritty-looking bokeh. but remove dust with a bulb blower instead. That being said. both in terms of the quality of out-of-focus areas and in terms of the price tag. [ 106 ] . or vice versa.

say. you want to shift foreground bokeh to reveal more of a subject. Shift left As shot Shift right BOKEH SHIFT IN ACTION In this example. subtle at this close distance. SHIFTING THE DISCS CANON’S BOKEH SHIFT TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS BOKEH TO BE DISCREETLY REPOSITIONED IN A SHOT ALTHOUGH bokeh is determined by the optical design of a lens and the aperture. You can even fabricate your own bokeh discs. All the same. or smooth out onion rings and remove bokeh dust spots.TECHLIFE. Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV even enables you to adjust the position of the bokeh in a shot at the raw-processing stage. and is said to make for smoother transitions from the in-focus and out-of-focus parts of a picture. Take Sony’s new $2. for circular bokeh. AND CONSISTENCY FROM SHOT CLOSE ENCOUNTERS TO SHOT. [ WWW. however: they’re twice the size of raw files. you can see how the effects of focal length). Sony explains that it has also focused on reducing vignetting. should you so wish. it’s the prime concern with some. (We used a 100mm the untouched shot or the right-shifted one. For instance.NET ] [ 107 ] . periphery. although the degree of movement is fairly subtle. distance of at least two metres when using this way — and if you shoot a vertical shot. when it comes to designing camera lenses. A macro ring allows for closer HELP STATION MASTER YOUR DSLR: IN-CAMERA HDR focus and a shallower Although bokeh is a consideration depth of field. shifting the bokeh to the left or right are quite that’s shifted left is more appealing than either Dual Pixel Raw files have their disadvantages. you can enhance the effect through some post-shoot tricks.8 STF GM OSS E-mount telephoto lens. Creased and crunched-up foil makes the perfect bokeh-rich background. to our eyes the bokeh then the bokeh can be shifted vertically instead. you can selectively blur out-of-focus areas that look a little choppy. It includes an optical ‘apodisation’ (APD) element that increases in density towards the edges. BUILT FOR BLUR SHOOTING SEPARATE EXPOSURES THAT WILL BE MERGED TOGETHER REQUIRES ATTENTION TO DETAIL. This can be useful if. Its Dual Pixel Raw files contain two images — each recorded at a slightly different offset — enabling you to microadjust the point of sharpness and adjust the position of out-of-focus areas in Canon’s Digital Photo Professional 4 software.299 FE 100mm f/2. of course. with a view to making bokeh circular BLADES OF GLORY The new lens features throughout the image. macro lens: Canon recommends a shooting You can shift the bokeh up to five increments each which makes them slower to work with. even at the 11 diaphragm blades.

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au BUYER’S GUIDE READY RECKONER If you must have an with great specs store frequently if it’s ever sold out. and solid NEW ENTRY [ BEST IPHONE ] [ BEST BUDGET ANDROID ] [ BEST PERFORMANCE ] [ NEW ON SHELF ] Apple iPhone 5S Motorola Moto G4 Play Motorola Moto G4 Plus Motorola Moto G5 SMARTPHONES: ENTRY-LEVEL $370 | www.070 (16–50mm lens) | www.25kg weight and runs okay fallback. 1. for an all-rounder tablet. 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[ WWW.NET ] [ 111 ] . TABLETS & SMARTPHONES still sleek and comfortable in the hand. waterproofing and $300 (16GB) | www.logitech.299 | $ From $650 | www. [ BEST FOR IPAD 2/3/4 ] [ BEST FOR IPAD MINI ] Logitech Keyboard Case Logitech Ultrathin BLUETOOTH TABLET [ BEST FOR IPAD AIR/AIR 2 ] [ BEST FULL-SIZED KEYBOARD ] for iPad ClamCase for iPad Air Keyboard Cover Logitech Tablet Keyboard $90 | $359 (16GB) | NEW ENTRY [ BEST BIG SCREEN ] [ BEST PREMIUM — TIED ] [ BEST PREMIUM — TIED ] [ NEW ON SHELF ] Samsung Galaxy S8+ Samsung Galaxy S8 Apple iPhone 7 Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) SMARTPHONES: $1. range of premium This flexible fixed-lens compact Offers a compact DSLR-style body. (and for a fair price). If you want to turn your iPad into a mini The Ultrathin combines If you want the full-sized typing responsive keys on a From $1.5-inch G4 Plus has a Moto’s new 5-inch/1080p ‘budget select stores still offer the 4-inch a 5-inch 720p $90 | www. with a metal-backed This convertible 2-in-1 has an space.199 | www. Snapdragon $299 | www. Windows KEYBOARDS GADGETS & ACCESSORIES Offers good protection and comfy. and high build this is your best bet. a 2-in-1 $980 (18–55mm lens) | www.logitech.8-inch 3’s the new iPad should be your pick display. and as This mid-range 5.2-inch phone PREMIUM screen size to From $1079 | www. [ BEST POINT-AND-SHOOT ] [ BEST MIRRORLESS ] [ BEST DIGITAL SLR ] [ BEST ACTION CAM ] Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II FujiFilm X-T10 Canon EOS 750D GoPro Hero 5 Black $850 | From $849 (32GB) | www. but is far more portable.349 | www.clamcase. $250 | www. The price is decent $155 | www. keep the included mouse $160 | A compact portable hard drive A neat combination of small size. 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PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY TABLET & SMARTPHONE A cheap basic USB headset with This is monstrously good value. plus it has way to get in on the smartphone VR gamepad is nice and responsive. twice as fast as most $130 | www.5mm and USB. quiet and has great key and automatic sleep $870 | WEARABLES This colour e-paper smartwatch has $230 | www. and a nice price.dx.AU [ BEST WIRELESS HARD DRIVE ] [ BEST POWER BANK ] WD My Passport Wireless [ SMARTPHONE VR HEADSET ] [ BEST MOBILE GAMEPAD ] TP-Link TL-PB10400 Pro 3TB Kaiser Baas VR-X Headset iPega PG-9025 ACCESSORIES $50 | www.corsair. support and a 100Hz refresh rate. and great colour [ 112 ] .com.hyperxgaming. music and BUYER’S GUIDE READY RECKONER This 10.5-inch 4K display is A 34-inch IPS monster with a display is great for gaming with a 75Hz has great with a A super-comfy headset with massive These affordable cans sound great noise-cancelling $235 | $ $269 | www. and easy-to-use backup $390 | www.0 competitive transfer speeds.seagate. 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A refinement on the Charge HR. great smartwatch for exercisers. DRIVES and backward compatibility.400mAh power bank will let A great way to share and back up This universal VR headset is a low-cost You'll need to buy it online. wide soundscape. works with both iOS and $130 | $220 | www.ttesports.seagate.COM.asus. a 1080p resolution design-ready with a 10-bit panel $449 | www. customised in almost any shade.0.jabra.

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.com This garbage bin — Something falls on the floor. And nobody wants to walk outside to the main bin every time SMALT they’ve got something to throw away. hence why the indoor bin SMELLY MALT? SMALL ALT-KEY? UM. A PLASTIC EGG CARTON WITH AN UNNECESSARY TWIST. It also has a companion app. Not exactly the best looking light or then throw away in their stupid smart bin. Only one type of person design looks like a cross between an air freshener and will buy this thing — idiots with money to burn. Bruno THE WORLD’S FIRST (AND HOPEFULLY LAST) SMARTCAN. although the wide scope of alternative (and less There are only two things I trust to mind eggs — hens and lady tyrannosauruses. Another feature is the LED lighting effect that identifies the oldest eggs. You have to producing mood lighting. Bizarrely. The Quirky Egg Minder is a 14-egg convince you that a squishy hand on a stick isn’t the best carton that sits in your fridge. Yep.. you can also use this thing to improve your www. brunosmartcan. kind of making the whole thing While the Smalt (‘smart salt’.. ‘What the hell for?’ features. ‘smartcan’ — is an invention spawned from laziness. sorry.. AM I RIGHT? of ridiculous tech www. so you can use those first — the only feature on offer that’s actually useful. sure. Nobody really likes sweeping with a dustpan or broom. cheek or forehead Quirky Egg Minder whenever your neck muscles aren’t quite up to the task. WE SCOUR THE DARK AND OFTEN PERVERTED CORNERS OF THE precision eye surgery. making room for it in your fridge and also putting up with the sheer level of embarrassment using this thing will induce. so you brush it towards the base of What sorts of things make your dining experience fun? the Bruno where there’s a vacuum chute that transfers whatever Apart from good company. throwing them all in to one single device we hear you ask. If you need a 14-slot egg holder with push notifications and LED lighting effects. *grumble grumble* music streaming doodad. streaming music and giving charge the thing.. was invented.. YOU MAY and building large freeway turnpikes. the floor towards the Some things are just too hard to do ourselves — working out the area of a circle segment without a calculator. It lets you know how many bags you have left doesn’t make much sense — especially when the and when the bin needs to be emptied. THE BACK PAGE RIDICULOUS TECH [ RIDDIKULUS! ] The confounding world AGONOSE ARM MORE LIKE AGOCHIN ARM. Capable of floor. That’s where the Agonose Arm [ CARMEL SEALEY ] comes in. which they can a soap dispenser. It’s a rather expensive ‘solution’ to the entertainment on the side such as a Bavarian oom-pah- problem of having to bend down to pick something up off the pah band? No.. It also sends you notifications when your eggs are reaching their expiry date. this thing is a glorified saltshaker.quirky.mysmalt. which is why the vacuum was invented. is keep their head WANT TO BRING A SICK BOWL OR A BOX OF TISSUES TO CRY INTO.. We’ll be waiting outside your front door with 14 eggs of our own. But the hardest thing for some humans to do. [ 114 ] . a cylindrical arm and an adjustable flat hand that you can use to support your chin. plus you still have to manually sweep dirt from you access to Alexa. Some caveats will include having to charge the device. Since I have conspicuous) posture aids out there should hopefully neither of those things. (But does it come in rose gold?) running low on eggs.. What you need is a “multi-sensory device” to act as your table centerpiece. I apparently need this instead. that part of the process to work. sigh) may have useful a bit pointless.. clearly. that vacuum doesn’t work by magic. syncs with your smartphone and lets you know when you’re option. This invention consists of a base to clamp to your desk. Plus. Maybe they should rethink their concept idea before heading to Indiegogo. the big feature of this device posture. perhaps a bit of light it is to the bin inside.. reaching great oceanic depths INTERNET TO BRING YOU THE WEIRDEST TECH AROUND. so you need a broom on hand for dispensing salt. But what sort of mangled mind merges the two? www. go ahead and buy this thing.thanko. propped up at work.

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