One-star reviews, in addition to being the least helpful kind of review, are also the longest and the worst-spelled. Data journalism blog Priceonomics analysed 100,000 online product reviews and found that 40 per cent of one-star reviews have at least one spelling mistake, vs. under 30 per cent of five-star reviews.
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When Apple announced the iPhone X on 12 September 2017 you'd have thought they had made peace in the Middle East, cured all disease and made a decent DC superhero movie. But the reality is they simply released a new, very expensive smartphone. They skipped version nine, delivering the iPhone 8 and iPhone X that day. I've been using an iPhone X for a little while now and have found that it's a story of compromises as Apple lays the foundation for their next generation of smartphones.
Over recent weeks, I've been testing three different mesh network kits, the Linksys Velop, TP-Link Deco and Netgear Orbi. All three are competent but have different strengths and weaknesses. And while they all, more or less do the same thing - deliver wireless network access over a large are - they do differ in some ways. Here's where I'd spend my money.
TP-link has build a reputation for making great networking kit that doesn't cost an arm and leg. The Deco is their push into the world of mesh networks. Their three node kit is much like the Linksys Velop I looked at earlier this week in that it is set up using an app but it does differ when you get into the details.
Mesh network systems promise to increase wifi range without sacrificing performance as devices move further from the network core. They do this by using two or more access points that work in concert. Over the next few days, I'm going to look at three different systems; the Linksys Velop, Tp-link Deco and Netgear Orbi. Today, I start with the Velop system.
For over a year now, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles director Dave Green and actor Joe Cobden have been posting increasingly elaborate 12-second video reviews to Yelp. Along with some friends, they have made 41 videos about L.A. restaurants, often using special effects, stunts, and stop-motion, that recall the golden age of Vine.
While cloud storage has put a huge dent in the need for small storage devices to act as a kind of sneaker-net, there's still a place for external storage devices. When it comes to remote backups or moving large volumes of data, external hard drives are still very useful. With portable hard drives, reliability and performance are of paramount concern. That's why I've been looking forward to testing the Western Digital My Passport SSD and LaCie Rugged USB-C drives out.
iOS: When you're a few hours into your favourite tower defence game, an unwarranted pop-up can break your concentration and end a previously flawless run through a challenging level. Luckily, one of the many updates in iOS 11 is designed to curb the number of pop-ups and interruptions from app developers looking for positive feedback. The new option lets you rid yourself of the dreaded app rating request (or, as I like to call it, the beggar's box).
Despite the world being increasing paperless in some things, there are still times when paper is needed. Whether that's for providing clients or colleagues with reports, school projects or paperwork for banks or other "official" institutions the world still needs paper. The Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CM315z looks like your run-of-the-mill small office multi-function device but I think there's a little more to it.
Privacy and security should be at the top of mind for anyone using a computer. Generally, this means having a strong password or passphrase when you log on, possibly biometric security and 2FA as well, and encrypting data. But the hardware we use everyday can go a little further. HP's Elitebook x360 is an example of what can be done on the hardware side to protect your data.
A year after the disastrous Galaxy Note7, Samsung is back with another Note, its flagship big-screen smartphone that is the best it'll build in 2017. Welcome to the Note8 -- it's a masterpiece, an agenda-setting phone that's the first of a new breed of devices that could well replace your entire PC.
The Galaxy Note8 faces stronger competition than ever, but that's a great thing for you, the customer. It catches up to Apple and its competitors with an excellent dual camera, and it streaks ahead with the best screen of any phone ever. If this is the benchmark for top-end phones, I'm really excited to see what this forces everyone else to come up with.
Sifting between the well-priced gems and the scammy junk can be a difficult task when shopping online, so it's no wonder that most of us rely on product reviews to help us narrow down the choices. The most careful of us (read: Me) will even go as far as to see how many reviews something has to help determine how well-established and liked a given item is.
Wireless networks have been a great boon to businesses. Being able to connect to a network from almost anywhere using any device without being tethered by a cable has completely changed the way businesses operate. But when they don't work as expected they can be an epic pain in the butt to troubleshoot. That's where the NETSCOUT AirCheck G2 comes in handy. It can scan your wireless LAN and alert you to dead spots, rogue access points and sources of interference.
Back in April, I reviewed the Synology DS916+ NAS and was quite impressed. Since then, Synology has released a new NAS, the DS1517+, a five-bay NAS that continues to build upon storage as the cornerstone of the modern network. When I received my review unit from Synology, the packing slip described the DS1517+ as a "barebones server", rather than a NAS. And that's a more accurate description of the device.
It's been a few weeks since I finished my look at different Windows 10 systems, that culminated in buying a Lenovo Miix 510. Since then, I've been flipping between using Windows 10 on the Miix 510 and a desktop, a Mac mini, and an iPad Air 2 running iOS 11. I've added in a few days running an Acer Spin 7 to the mix and it's a great system.
The first router I saw was in the mid 1990s. The company I worked for was a very early adopter of the Internet, at least in the commercial world. After spending a couple of nights with the network manager and his technical support guy dragging Ethernet and coaxial cables through the office roof space we hooked everything up through a router that cost more than most of us earned that year. Today, more than 20 years later, a faster and more capable device costs less than a day's pay for some of us.
Synology's RT2600ac router, at a touch under $400 (if you pay full retail) lets you connect printers and external storage using USB, four devices over gigabit Ethernet, and wireless devices using 802.11 b/g/n/a/ac.
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is the second computer I'm looking at in my quest to find a new portable computer. This road test involved a few days at home and a road trip to Las Vegas. On paper, the XPS looked to be a great option. Although the price is over my budget, I was prepared to consider it as it offered a lot of benefits over my minimum spec.