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Author Archives: Tyler Lacoma

DirecTV Customers Offered iPhone 6s Free Until June 30th

iPhone 6s

A sort-of free iPhone…and some sizable discounts on other purchases.

Do you really, really wish that you had an iPhone 6s for the summer? AT&T has some good news for you – you can get one for free, just by signing up for DIRECTV.  But before doing that I recommend that you educate yourself to the correct satellite provider and read our DISH vs DIRECTV comparison.

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3 Top Rated Gaming Monitors

Asus MG279Q

While gaming processors and GPUs get a lot of attention, your gaming monitor is still very important when it comes to your experience: If you haven’t upgraded to 4K yet – or have been wishing for a larger screen or better customization options – then allow us to introduce the best gaming monitors of 2016.

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Three 4K TVs that Cost Less Than $1000

It’s the dilemma of every entertainment system owner out there: You really want a display upgrade, but you can’t pay thousands of dollars for it – and if you’ve checked the latest, fanciest TVs available these days, you know they are well over thousands of dollars, especially when it comes to big new features like 4K.

The good news is that 4K TVs are finally growing common and prices are falling. The even better news is that we’ve searched the very best 4K TVs of 2016 to find those under $1,000, so they can fit both your living room and your wallet!

Before we begin, here are two important points to remember:

  • Screen Size: Look we love 4K resolution, but it does have a screen problem. On smaller screens, you really can’t tell the difference between a lot of pixels and a whole lot of pixels. The bigger the screen, the more 4K matters. It’s a good idea to get a screen that’s at least 50 inches to benefit from 4K: After all, if you can’t tell the difference then why bother paying more? Also remember that the distance you sit from the TV is also important when it comes to resolution.
  • HDMI: Remember that you’ll need HDMI 1.4 or HDMI 2 port for wired connections on your 4K TV. Early HDMI standards don’t support 4K, so you won’t get a 4K picture, end of story. Other port options won’t support it either, so you have to be careful on this point. Wireless streaming directly to your TV is a different matter: Make sure you have plenty of bandwidth!

Hisense 50H7GB2 – $550

Hisense 50H7GB2

If you really want to save money, this model is absolutely your best bet: We haven’t seen any other 4K TV with such a low price, and we probably never will again. This 50-inch screen includes a 120Hz refresh rate and plenty of outputs, including four HDMI ports. The backlighting is pretty simplistic and may decrease the quality of bright images, but at this price you can live with the knowledge of all the money you saved – it’s a fair trade, right?

Vizio P552ui-B3 – $1,100

Vizio P602uiB3

Okay, so we’re cheating a little bit on this one, although we will note that the 50-inch version of this TV is well under $1,000 so there are options to save even more money. The great thing about this TV – in addition to its wireless capabilities – is the 64 active LED zones, a feature that tends to provide better backlight for clearer contrast. Otherwise extra features on this TV are sparse, but as we like to say, what do you use your TV for anyway? With so many features provided on receivers, set-top boxes, and consoles, most people just need a few HDMI ports and great screen quality – and that’s what you get here.

Sharp LC 50UB30U – $750

Sharp LC 50UB30U

This 50-inch sharp TV increases LED backlighting yet again with a full array, which means the enter screen is backlight instead of just the edges, a feature that also tends to provide clearer, brighter images and so is usually worth the extra money (unlike many of those super special tech “features” that are just branding language). The refresh rate, however, is only at a native 60Hz, which may disappoint some hardcore gamers. Inputs include two USB ports and four HDMI ports, which should be plenty!

The Top 3 Home Theater Projectors Money Can Buy

Epson PowerLite 5030UB

Ah, the mighty yet often underutilized home theater projector. Yes, even the best projectors of 2016 do need a certain amount of space, a clear line of sight, and a screen to project on – but you may be surprised by just how many problems they solve, especially when compared to traditional HDTVs.

If you’ve been hemming and hawing over the right setup for your entertainment system, and you definitely know that you want a bigger screen, we suggest you start with the best home theater projectors of 2016. Some of their benefits may surprise you – especially if you’ve been dreaming of a movie-theater experience in the comfort of your own home.

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3 of the Best Bluetooth Speakers

Logitech UE Boom 2

With Bluetooth speakers came the ability to play music effortlessly over the air, via simple streaming from your phone, in a small package that you can take nearly anywhere. If you’ve taken a look a Bluetooth speakers you may have noticed that they tend to have high prices and come with limited battery life – their two big weak points. However, the very best Bluetooth speakers are available for affordable prices, and come with welcome features that improve battery life and give you more opportunities.

The good news is that those worthwhile Bluetooth speakers are out there. If you’re looking for a speaker that you can set up at parties, take out to the pool, or haul on a camping trip – then we’ve got the top picks you need to look at and a variety of recommendations for the best Bluetooth speaker 2016 based on our reviews.

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Our Top 2: Best Radar Detectors

Top Radar Detectors

Save money and time with our top radar detector picks.

A radar detector sits quietly on your dashboard, using its instruments to provide information not just about radar signals, but about many different road and traffic conditions. They’re valuable auto tech devices for many kinds of drives, but when the time comes to actually buy one, many people don’t know what they’re looking for…which is why we’re here to break it down for you.

Radar detectors sense not only radar lasers and frequencies, but also traffic lights, road conditions, and even driver behavior, depending on the model. The more advanced versions come with iPhone apps and are equipped with GPS for an even more comprehensive look at road around you. Notable features for top models include the ability to filter out false positives, an alert if it looks like you’re getting sleepy, real time traffic updates, and of course detailed maps and information on radar hotspots and detection.

When looking at what to buy, focus on the readout screen and any associated apps or car accessories, because this is how your information is relayed, and you want it to be clearly legible while you are driving. You should also look at the radar detection quality – radar signals function on a number of different bands, and a good detector will search for all types of radar in use on the streets at a handy range. After that, the extra features are largely about personal choice. Truckers may enjoy the many add-ons, but they may not be necessary for the average driver. Let’s take a look at a couple strong candidates for our best radar detector list.

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Our Top 3: Best Chromebooks

Top Chromebooks

The best 3 Chromebooks

Chromebooks are a special category of ultrabooks designed with Google’s Chrome OS. Contrary to some assumptions, that does not mean they are produced by Google – there are actually a few different brands that work with Google to produce them – and does not mean they are connected with Android (Chrome OS is really more of an advanced version of the Chrome browser).

What is a Chromebook? A lightweight, slim little laptop that is designed to keep both costs and size small by focusing on cloud-powered activities rather than storage space. That means you need to expect plenty of Google Docs and Dropbox, and less access to traditional software like Microsoft Word.

Still interested? Then be sure to watch the specs carefully: the best Chromebook in 2016 come in an array of different speeds, hard drives, screens, and other features. In many respects shopping for a Chromebook is like looking for any ultrabook…except the prices are much lower, and the hard drive is less important. Pay particular attention to batter life when possible, Here are some of our top picks.

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Our Top 3 Pick: Best Standing Desks

Top Standing Desks

Gain more energy and brain power with these standing desks.

Standing desks are growing more popular as people try to find ways to stay healthy while working – and burn a few more calories, too. For people who are interested in trying out the new fad, the first step is, of course, buying a standing desk. Here’s where the trouble begins…and where Gadget Review is standing by to help out.

There’s a surprising amount of variation in standing desks, which can be used in a variety of spaces and for many different purposes. Even the basic standing desk with a flat top and traditional supports can be augmented with gadgets like cable holes, holders for your iPhone or iPad, and more.

Another key point is if the desk is stationary, or can be adjusted to multiple levels for different people. Stationary desks are far less expensive, but may not work in an office setting, and cannot switch back to a sit-down position when necessary. Among the adjustable options, the best standing desks have electronic systems that move the desk and remember various heights, although this will tend to raise the price even higher.

If you are short on room but still want a standing desk, there are smaller cool furniture solutions to fit nearly anywhere in an office or entryway, solving your problem and saving you space. Here’s a look at a few of the best standing desks around, and just how they differ.

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Top 2: Best Gaming Laptop

Top Gaming Laptop

Go any where and game any where with these best gaming laptops.

We’ll let you in on a poorly kept secret: gaming laptops are more interesting and powerful than ever before. The best gaming laptop of 2016 proves that you can go mobile without sacrificing too much gaming power, no matter what you prefer to play. And thanks to the latest laptop computer inventions, such as new mobile ports for high-end GPUs, performance and display quality has never been better.

Power and durability are, of course, important when searching for the best gaming laptop. You’ll have to sacrifice some weight to get everything in one package, so we also suggest considering a gaming laptop pack or case that can hold everything easily. As always, features specifically devoted toward gaming, like a powerful but quiet cooling system, are worth buying as welll. When it comes to storage, a hybrid or SSD is your best bet, but you will have to pay more for the privilege, so start saving up. Check out our electronics reviews for more information.

As far as the screen goes, don’t even think about going below HD – and if you have enough to spend, 4K gaming laptops are now readily available. While most gaming laptops have acceptable keyboards with solid design and customization options, you may want to take a look to make sure the setup is to your liking before buying.

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