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Pros

Weighs just 61 grams

Has a highly accurate sensor

Design is comfortable and aids performance

Cons

Lacks Bluetooth

Button configuration is dull

Has only one RGB lighting zone

Our Verdict

The HyperX Pulsefire Haste Wireless is arguably the best wireless esports mouse currently available, being incredibly lightweight and featuring a precise 16,000 dpi sensor that takes no prisoners in high performance games.

Best Prices Today: HyperX Pulsefire Haste Wireless

The HyperX Pulsefire Haste Wireless is built on the back of its wired counterpart’s esports pedigree, sharing all the same features, including a low vertical profile that relaxes your grip through your wrist, making it easy to perform wide, sweeping movements without feeling cramped.

This review is part of our best wireless gaming mice roundup. Go there to learn more about how we test wireless mice and to find reviews of other top contenders.

HyperX Pulsefire Wireless: Design and build

The wired version of the HyperX Pulsefire Haste made waves in the esports category last year, showing off a symmetrical design and a chassis that weighed just 59 grams. Thankfully, HyperX has made a wireless variant that does the original justice without compromising performance or ergonomics.

HyperX Pulsefire Haste Wireless gaming mouse in matte black.

Dominic Bayley / IDG

Measuring just 4.9 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches, the HyperX Pulsefire Haste Wireless sports a compact shape that fits just about any sized hand, being neither too chunky nor too long. Its slim body nestled into my hand snuggly, so movements felt quite precise. The low profile was also easy on my wrist—I found that I clenched a lot less while aiming, which improved my comfort.

HyperX Pulsefire Haste Wireless sports four PTFE glide skates on its underside and four extras come in the box. 

HyperX Pulsefire Wireless: Gaming performance

The Pulsefire Haste Wireless connects to your PC via a 2.4GHz wireless connection, providing a decent 1,000Hz (1ms) polling rate, which is the minimum you’d expect in an esports gaming mouse these days. In my testing, the wireless signal was consistent even in fast-paced games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. There was also no perceptible lag—which I find essential in wireless gaming mice.

Wi-Fi adapter for the HyperX Pulsefire Haste Wireless gaming mouse. 

Dominic Bayley / IDG

Sadly though, the Pulsefire Haste Wireless doesn’t come with Bluetooth functionality—a feature that can save your bacon if you misplace your dongle.

Dominic Bayley / IDG

Another good reason for the Pixart 3335 sensor is that it helps give the Haste Wireless a longer battery life— it’s rated for 100 hours. The Pixart PAW3335 is a low-powered version of the PAW3388, and its low-power consumption seems like a good fit for a mouse you’re likely to take with you on the road.

Playing with HyperX’s Ngenuity software

HyperX’s Ngenuity software, where you can personalize your preferences. 

Dominic Bayley / IDG

Here I easily changed parameters like the mouse’s polling rate and DPI settings, choosing between the supplied options, or in the case of DPI, adding my own settings. If you’re prone to lifting, you can even change the mouse’s lift-off distance, choosing between either low (1mm) or high (2mm)—which is a neat trick that can help keep you competitive.

Conclusion

The HyperX Pulsefire Haste Wireless is an excellent wireless version of the HyperX Pulsefire Haste, pulling out all the stops when it comes to performance, comfort, and style. At 61 grams it’s also one of the lightest wireless gaming mice we’ve tested to date.

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Samsung Uv Sterilizer And Wireless Charger Review

Since the Coronavirus pandemic spread around the world, there has been an explosion of home and office devices with UV lights claiming to disinfect everything from your gadgets, to keys, wallets, and even groceries. That does sound better and more convenient than using sanitizers and alcohol sprays on everything you own. So, when Samsung sent over its own UV sterilizer that’s also a wireless charger, I was definitely intrigued.

What’s in the Box

First things first, let’s take a look at what you get inside the box.

Wireless charger and UV sterilizer

User Manual (read this, okay?)

USB Type-C cable

You don’t get a lot of stuff here, but Samsung has provided everything you need to actually start using it. Given you have a USB power adapter that you can use, and I’m presuming you do.

Design and Build

My first thought on looking at this device? Functional.

It doesn’t look remotely like something Samsung made. There’s no branding anywhere on this absolutely white box with an extremely functional design. Not to take anything away from it though, because there’s really no need for a UV sterilizer to have design flair.

However, seeing as this is something Samsung sees you using every day to charge your phone while sanitizing it, I would have liked it if it looked less like something you stole from a hospital near you. Like I said, it’s functional looking, and it’s not something I’d keep on my bedside table, partly due to the size, and mostly because that’s not the use-case intended for this device anyway.

To be fair though, this is a very well-built device. It feels sturdy to use, the lid closes shut magnetically for a firm hold, and there’s really nothing to fault as far as the build quality is concerned.

Also, I happen to be a sucker for devices without unnecessary branding, and this definitely checks that off the list.

Design-wise, there’s a single button in the front to activate the UV lights, an LED indicator to let you know when the device is done sterilizing your smartphone, and a USB Type-C port on the back to power the charger and the lights.

When you open this thing up, it looks even more like hospital equipment. The creamy-gray sort of color inside looks really meek, and the design elements used on the charging pad itself are quite uninspiring.

On the design front, Samsung hasn’t (and it didn’t need to) put too much of an effort here. The only issue with that decision is that the device looks less and less like something I want in my living room. And, sadly, that’s where you’ll probably be using it to keep it handy for cleaning your phone when you get back from the market, or work.

UV Cleaning

Since this is a UV sterilizer, I think it’s only fit that we discuss that particular aspect before we talk about anything else (read: wireless charging).

Inside the sterilizer are two UV lamps that emit UVC radiation (253.7nm) to kill 99% of bacteria. That’s an important wording, because if you’re wondering about COVID protection, that’s a virus. Based off some online reading, researchers have posited that Far-UVC radiation can kill airborne Coronavirus in about 25 minutes.

Moreover, even if it was, researchers estimate that it takes 25 minutes for Far-UVC radiation to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the Samsung UV Sterilizer only uses UV light for 10 minutes in one go. I’d recommend you go and read this research paper to learn more. You can also read the FDA FAQ page to learn more about UVC radiation and its effects on the Coronavirus and other viruses.

Still, it’s difficult to mention outright whether the Samsung UV sterilizer is a useful protection against COVID-19 because of the lack of research around UVC light of different wavelengths that can effectively kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

It can, at the very least, destroy 99% bacteria from the surface of your smartphone, or other objects that can be safely placed inside the box.

Obviously, without lab equipment, it’s impossible for me to objectively tell you how good the Samsung UV sterilizer is at doing its job. However, I am inclined to believe Samsung about the claim, since UVC light is known to disinfect viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

Obviously, you can open the case while the sterilization is on-going, and it will automatically turn off the UV lights.

Also, since this is UV cleaning, only the surfaces exposed to the light will be sterilized. That means for the most part, the back of your phone will mostly not be sterilized. However, you can always flip your phone over and keep it back inside to sterilize the back as well.

Wireless Charging

As for the other application of this device, it has a wireless charger built in, which can charge Qi-compatible smartphones at up to 10W. That’s not the fastest wireless charging speeds, even for Samsung phones (the Note 20 Ultra, for example, supports 15W wireless charging).

Still, it’s a good inclusion. It keeps your phone juiced up while you sanitize it with UV light. Plus, in case you’re wondering, while the UV treatment automatically ends after 10 minutes, your phone will keep charging afterwards as well, so you can leave it inside until you need it again and it will be clean and charged.

I used the wireless charger with my iPhone (needless to say I’m used to slower wireless charging speeds) so it wasn’t an issue. That said, if you’re using a phone with faster wireless charging, you might wanna use its dedicated wireless charger to actually charge the phone. The UV sterilizer is great for disinfecting your phone while charging it, but not necessarily as a standalone wireless charger.

Then again, that’s not Samsung’s primary objective with this device, so 10W is definitely a decent charging speed for it.

That said, I did test the charging speeds with the new S21 Ultra 5G. I placed the phone on the wireless charger at 15% battery, and in 30 minutes the phone went up to just 24%.

Samsung UV Sterilizer and Wireless Charger: Should You Buy?

All things considered, the Samsung UV Sterilizer and wireless charger is definitely a handy device to keep your smartphone clean while also charging it. True, there are doubts in my mind about the efficacy of the UV light in killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, at the very least, it will rid your smartphone of bacteria like E. Coli and others.

Buy the Samsung UV Sterilizer and Wireless Charger (Rs. 3,599)

Buddyphones School+ Wireless Headphones Review: Hear To Stay

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Being a parent is stressful in normal circumstances, but the rise in remote learning has added new wrinkles to what we deal with (and to our faces as we deal with things). As a father of two children under 4, I already had anxiety about my kids’ mental well-being, social skills, and healthy habits before having them attend class virtually added a previously unforeseen circumstance: noise-induced hearing loss. And while hearing loss may sound benign compared to other ailments, the consequences can be severe, including difficulties like learning problems, delayed speech, communication struggles, and social isolation. Because online learning looks to be part of our lives for the foreseeable future, and headphones seem an unavoidable tool to let families “go to work” while kids attend classes in the same home, hearing loss has been on my mind while the ONANOFF BuddyPhones School+ Wireless headphones have been on my child’s head. Designed specifically to protect hearing by capping decibels, these headphones for kids have offered safety without leaving fun, handy features behind. Here are my thoughts on helping kids up their focus without upping the volume.

What are the BuddyPhones School+ Wireless headphones? 

The BuddyPhones School+ Wireless headphones are some of the latest kids’ headphones developed by ONANOFF, a company founded in Iceland that has been making purposeful kid-friendly products since 2010. Organizations such as the Journal of Pediatrics, World Health Organization, and American Osteopathic Association, among many others, have reported a rise in hearing loss in children and teens as a result of prolonged headphone/earphone use. BuddyPhones are designed specifically to keep kids entertained and parents at ease by offering volume-limited listening. 

The BuddyPhones lineup includes models ranging from $30 to $100, including the travel-friendly, everyday wired BuddyPhones Explore+ headphones; the wireless, waterproof BuddyPhones WAVE; and the wireless, active noise-canceling BuddyPhones Cosmos+. The BuddyPhones School+ Wireless headphones are a Bluetooth-equipped version of the wired BuddyPhones School+ classroom headphones and fall in the middle of the pack alongside the similarly wireless BuddyPhones Play+ but with a detachable beamforming microphone built for those remote-learning video calls and a “StudyMode” that hones in on people’s voices, among other classroom-focused features.

The BuddyPhones’ design

The BuddyPhones School+ Wireless headphones are built from durable, BPA- and phthalate-free plastics. ONANOFF says its school headphones are kid-proof and the company backs registered pairs with a two-year warranty. My daughter certainly wasn’t overly gentle with them, casting them aside onto the coffee table and floor, and I can report they survived. Inside that plastic are 40mm drivers—the same size as many adult pairs—with a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and distortion of 3dB at 1mW 1kHz. 

On the rear of the left earcup is a switch to turn “StudyMode” on or off and on the rear of the right (the ear where the mic attaches) are three control buttons. It’s worth noting that there’s a built-in mic, so the boom is optional but optimal to help focus on your child’s voice during online lessons (or during treat requests).

Also included is a detachable 4-foot auxiliary cable featuring “BuddyLink”—an inline 3.5mm output that lets a second pair of headphones connect and share one device—which comes in handy when using devices without Bluetooth or when the battery, rated at an ample 20 hours, runs out. In addition, you get a 9.5-inch USB-C for charging said battery, as well as a cinchable, soft travel bag for compact storage when the BuddyPhones are folded. 

Decorative stickers help your child customize the BuddyPhones for work and play. Our tester went through several options joyfully. Andrew Waite

Setting up the BuddyPhones 

The BuddyPhones are no different than other wireless headphones when it comes to connecting: hold down the center button on the right earcup until you find the headphones listed in your smartphone’s Bluetooth panel, then select them. The range is rated at 20 meters (65 feet) and I only started to hear the feed interruption when I walked out the front door with my phone in the back of the family room. Once connected, that same center button controls play/pause as well as answering phone calls, and the plus/minus buttons above and below it handle volume or changing tracks if held longer. The center button also turns the headphones on/off when held five seconds or longer. But that’s not the setup your kids will care most about. Stickers help put the “fun” in functions. The headphones come with dedicated space on the earcups and four designs—my daughter went with pink stickers featuring rulers and staples, a nice fit for a pair of classroom headphones. 

The BuddyPhones’ key features

An ambulance rushing by blares its siren at a dangerous 120dB. By contrast, a whisper conversation caps at about 30dB. Most of our day happens in between, but we can’t always control where in that range environmental sounds hit. With the BuddyPhones, however, at least you can select between three sensitivity modes, 75/85/94 decibels, so long days of school instruction, and any loud unexpected interruptions, don’t take a toll.

SafeAudio 

The SafeAudio feature lets you select the BuddyPhones’ maximum output by pressing and holding the “plus” and “minus” buttons together for two seconds. Three LED lights on the right earpiece signify your selected level. 

“ToddlerMode” is the one that tops out at 75dB—a level that’s easily safe for the entire school day, assuming lunch and recess breaks are included. Surprisingly, even in this mode the BuddyPhones deliver an acceptable sound that doesn’t require straining to hear––so long as you’re in a fairly quiet space. I tested them by listening to “The Daily” podcast and a New York State Writers Institute webinar, figuring journalists and authors discussing their work was probably even quieter than teachers addressing a class. My daughter also reported no trouble hearing a silly YouTube video. 

The 85dB “KidsMode,” meanwhile, adds some energy, while still remaining at a level safe for an hour or two of listening. And the top, 94dB “TravelMode” makes your child’s favorite music listening as rich and detailed as they could want in a starter pair of on-ear wireless headphones. For curiosity’s sake, I put the BuddyPhones in TravelMode, pumped up the volume, and blasted some pop tunes. The beats in Katy Perry’s “Birthday” were punchy, the horns hit the right notes at the higher end, and Katy’s vocals were clear throughout. All-in-all, the sound wasn’t as immersive as a pair of adult ANC wireless headphones, but it’s an unfair comparison. A pair of adult noise-canceling headphones like the Skullcandy Hesh ANC can pump out more than 99dB, while models like the Sony WH-1000XM4 can reach 105dB. 

StudyMode

The BuddyPhones also has a function called “StudyMode,” which is designed to isolate voices during playback to make them sound clearer than other noises. Truthfully, I couldn’t detect a huge difference between regular and StudyMode, but I’m supportive of anything meant to help kids focus—no matter how minute. And a sliding button on the right earcup of the headphones makes switching in and out of the mode very easy. 

Music to our ears

Beyond using these headphones to listen to or watch school lessons and/or Mom-and-Dad-approved content, the BuddyPhones comes with a two-month subscription to Mussila. Designed by professional music teachers, the app is a great introduction to reading and playing music. Similar to the popular ABCMouse learning app, Mussila has a learning path that guides you through its curriculum with a mix of lessons and games. But it’s way more fun than that makes it sound. The games have kids doing everything from playing notes on a small piano on the screen to identifying which instrument makes what sound. I haven’t read sheet music since my days playing second fiddle (I played viola poorly through high school), and I found the games asking me to identify which notes correspond to the music being played an engaging refresher. Though my daughter was technically too young for the app—while the headphones are 3+, the Mussila app is for kids in elementary school—she was able to play the musical instrument memory game and tap the screen when the musical notes scrolled by at slow tempos. In addition to the music lessons, the app also lets you play music by tapping the notes on the scrolling sheet music (similar to “Guitar Hero,” though this app uses real music staff). We played “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and an Icelandic folk song. You can also create your own music by dragging letter notes and quarter, half, and whole notes into a colorful grid. 

The BuddyPhones’ boom mic can come off when it’s time to jam out. Andrew Waite

So, who should buy the BuddyPhones School+ Wireless headphones? 

If you’re looking for a pair of homeschool/study/smartdevice headphones for your child, or are hoping to get them interested in music lessons, the BuddyPhones School+ Wireless headphones are absolutely a sound choice. Of course, there are many other options when shopping for the best headphones for kids spending their days in the virtual classroom. For budding audiophiles, you could consider something like the Puro Sound Labs JuniorJams, which cap output at 85dB while delivering a balanced sound. Meanwhile, for a cheap pair of SPL limited kids’ headphones, the Mee Audio KidJamz 3 wired headphones sell for less than $20, while the JLab JBuddies Pro Wireless offers cordless listening for less than $30. 

Still, for a set of kids’ headphones with mic truly geared toward hearing safety, the BuddyPhones are some of the best headphones tailored for kids’ educational and entertainment needs. Creating child-safety-conscious technology isn’t just a marketing ploy for ONANOFF—it’s built into the Icelandic company’s mission statement. Buying from a socially responsible company, which has won awards for its safe sound and has donated learning tools to underprivileged kids, provides great peace of mind. Getting the BuddyPhones School+ Wireless headphones for a child staring at screens for learning and leisure allows parents to check off at least one thing from their overwhelming list of anxieties.

Steelseries Aerox 9 Wireless Review: A Premium, Function

Pros

18 easily programmable buttons

Weighs only 89 grams

Quick and responsive

Dual Bluetooth 5.0 and 2.4Ghz wireless

Cons

Some buttons on the side grid are hard to reach

Our Verdict

The SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless is lightweight and quick, and includes plenty of customizable options for serious MMO/MOBA gamers. It’s one of the best mice we’ve tested.

Best Prices Today: SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless

The SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless is a rare find among gaming mice in that it has 18 programmable buttons but weighs just 89 grams. These two factors alone should delight gamers—especially MOBA and MMO players looking for more buttons to deploy commands and macros. Even better, the Aerox 9 Wireless backs this up with a quick 18,000 CPI sensor and dual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The secret sauce to its lightweight design is a honeycomb-mesh covering that runs almost the entire length of the mouse. Apart from keeping its weight in check, this design also gives the Aerox 9 Wireless a futuristic look, and provides a brilliant birds-eye view of the flashy RGB lighting inside.

The Aerox 9 Wireless is also extremely comfortable—as long as you use a palm or fingertip grip. If you’re more of a claw-grip player, this mouse probably isn’t for you, since its punctuated top can be a little awkward against your fingertips.

This review is part of our best wireless gaming mice roundup. Go there to learn more about how we test wireless mice and to find reviews of other top contenders.

SteelSeries Aerox 9 design and build

Opening the box, my first impression was that the mouse is fairly large, but has a minimalist profile. There are no fancy curves, flaps or flares like you might see in other gaming mice.

The 18 buttons seem very well placed for one’s fingers. Apart from the two main ones on the top, there’s a button that’s easily reachable by your middle finger at the top-center behind the mouse wheel. This button lets you cycle through five different CPI profiles that adjust the mouse’s sensitivity levels.

The mouse wheel itself has three buttons in one, including both left and right tilt buttons, but the main body of buttons is a grid of 12 located on the left-hand side. This grid is accessible via your thumb and is colored gray, which contrasts nicely with the mouse’s black matte aesthetic.  

The Aerox 9’s top mesh design will be familiar to gamers who’ve used the similarly designed SteelSeries Aerox 5. If you haven’t, you’d be forgiven for thinking it compromises functionality. This is simply not the case. Despite its plenitude of holes, the mouse is remarkably sturdy. The top mesh didn’t move an iota when I tested it, holding its form during intense gameplay.

The SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless boasts a honeycomb top that helps the mouse achieve its 89 gram lightweight design.

Dominic Bayley/IDG

The RBG lighting is also a winner. It’s internalized in the mouse body, but it’s no less impressive than in mice that have external RGB lighting. It’s split into three pyramidal zones, which produce some dazzling effects as the light ripples around the mouse’s inner circuitry.  

Being able to peer inside and see all that circuitry unnerved me a little at first, since I often keep a cup of coffee just inches away from my mouse pad and was a little concerned about spillage. But according to SteelSeries, the internals are protected by an IP54-rated Aquabarrier, which helped put my mind at ease.

One surprising benefit of the unique “open top” design was that my hand got less sweaty on hot days. Without a solid lump of plastic beneath it, the extra aeration proved very comfortable in extended gaming sessions.

SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless Performance

SteelSeries has armed the Aerox 9 Wireless with its highly capable proprietary 18,000 CPI TrueMove Air sensor, which includes 400 IPS tracking and 40G acceleration. Admittedly, it isn’t as quick as the Razer Naga Pro’s 20,000 DPI optical sensor. Still, it’s proven itself worthy in other competitive SteelSeries gaming mice and it performed well in my tests.

Trying out the Aerox 9 Wireless in Call of Duty: Black Ops, it felt light and easy to move. The sensor had no problems keeping up with my rapid hand movements, be they long or short. The mouse’s tracking also seemed highly accurate, and pinpointing targets was a breeze. Plus, the solid, high-shaped top provided plenty of stability in my palm grip when I needed to make repetitive movements.

Helping the Aerox 9 glide smoothly across my desk are PTFE glide skates on the underside. There’s one in the front and back, as well as one around the mouse’s sensor. These worked like a dream, even when I wasn’t using a mouse mat.

The honeycomb design gives the Aerox 9 extra aeration, making it very comfortable in extended gaming sessions.

Dominic Bayley/IDG

The main buttons felt comfortable, too. They have a contoured center that cradled my fingers perfectly in a natural grip. However, they aren’t the widest of buttons, and gamers with large fingers may prefer a little more room here.

To test the side grid of buttons (which are without mechanical switches), I mapped commands in an old favorite MMORPG, Gloria Victis. On the whole, the grid was a pleasure to use and greatly simplified my gameplay. The majority of buttons were easy to find and responsive. However, I did find myself having to stretch my thumb out to reach for buttons 3 and 6—this despite SteelSeries having neatly arranged the buttons in three clearly defined lines. Still, this was never a major problem that affected my gameplay.

On the upside, the grid buttons are quite firm, so you’re unlikely to trigger them by mistake when you don’t want to.

Aerox 9’s dual connectivity includes both Bluetooth 5.0 and 2.4Ghz wireless options. As a laptop reviewer, I found this functionality incredibly useful for jumping between laptops. I could keep the dongle inserted for gaming in one rig and use Bluetooth while writing a review on another. You will need to make sure your laptop has a USB-C port to plug in the Wi-Fi dongle, though.     

The SteelSeries Aerox 9 is rated for 150 hours of battery life, which is a decent amount of time that won’t see you rushing to plug it in every time you play. The caveat is that that battery life is the maximum when RGB lighting is switched off, so expect it to drain down a lot faster when lighting is activated.

SteelSeries GG Software

If you typically find yourself spending time customizing a gaming mouse, make it this one. With so many buttons to map, the Aerox 9 Wireless can be a game changer in MMO/MOBA games where you seldom have enough. Conveniently, the 18 buttons can be assigned commands or macros at the level of the SteelSeries GG app, rather than having to fiddle around within each game’s controls menu. This will save you a heap of time.

For Gloria Victis I mapped out commands for Interact, Kick, Display Map, Sheathe/Unsheathe Weapon and Bandage Ally, and I still had many more buttons left over that I could have programmed in. This took just two minutes but made a world of difference to my gameplay.

Here we see all the programming options for mapping buttons to Gloria Victis.

Dominic Bayley/IDG

RGB lighting zones, mouse sensitivity and responsiveness can also be quickly changed in SteelSeries GG. For mouse responsiveness, you can fine tune and adjust the polling rate and the mouse’s acceleration or deceleration to find a desired setting.

SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless: Should you buy it?

The SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless is an ingeniously designed wireless gaming mouse that features 18 programmable buttons but weighs just 89g. The mouse’s extensive button options, quick sensor and dual connectivity should make it a highly attractive mouse for both competitive and casual gamers, especially MMO and MOBA gamers who can map commands and macros all day long. We can’t recommend it highly enough.

Soundpeats Truepods True Wireless Earbuds Review: Top Quality

The Breakdown

DESIGN

85%

SOUND

90%

COMFORT

80%

BATTERY

80%

VALUE

90%

Today, we’ll be checking out the latest SoundPEATS TruePods which now retail for around . Will they be able to deliver a good value for the money? Let’s find out in the full review!

SoundPEATS TruePods True Wireless Earbuds Review: Top Quality Specs & Features

Latest Bluetooth 5.0

Advanced touch control

Dual mic in each earbud

20 hours extended enjoyment

Biological diaphragm enhanced sound

Packaging

The SoundPEATS TruePods come in a very simple black packaging. Once we lift up the top we quickly have a look at the earbuds case, inside which we find the earbuds themselves. Aside from the two primary tech pieces we also find an USB charging cable and a spare pair of eartips.

Design

The design of the two earbuds is certainly not super innovative or revolutionary. They are indeed inspired by Apple’s AirPods but they definitely aren’t a clone. The design is much more squarish and most noticeably they’re black; no white option here. There are touch controls to turn them on and put them in the various modes. Finally, there is an LED on each earbud which can blink white or red depending on the current mode (pairing, paired, charging).

Sound Quality

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The earbuds feature a clean and crystal clear sound, they’re also relatively loud when volume is set to the maximum. Meanwhile basses are still very present and strong, probably also due to the good sound isolation provided by the eartips. Overall a very enjoyable music listening experience. Same can be said about other type of audios like talks, Youtube videos and whatnot. We’ve never any issues with the sound quality provided by the TruePods.

Moving onto the microphone side, the audio appears to be pretty clear. The dual mic system definitely helps reducing outside noise, thus it’s possible to actually make a call in most environments.

User experience

The earbuds by SoundPEATS bring a top user experience. With that we mean you never noticed they’re more affordable than big brands’ counterparts.

Once you pair them with your smartphone, they will always pair automatically when you take out the main (right) earbud. You then take out the left earbud which pairs with the right one and you’re ready to go. It’s all pretty simple and straight forward.

Touch controls make it easy to use them as well. You can double tap the right earbud to pause/play music, double tap the left one to activate Google’s Assistant (or Siri on iOS). Meanwhile if you hold the button you can switch previous or next song. There are also other functionalities you can learn directly on the user manual.

Battery

It’s really hard to quantify how good battery life is on these earbuds as every time you stop using them, you put them in the charging case which of course brings them back to 100%. Either way, we believe the 20 hours battery life claim by the manufacturer is actually accurate. That means you would get 4 hours with the earbuds on one charge, while the charging case provides an additional 16 hours of autonomy.

Finally, SoundPEATS smartly decided to provide the charging case with an USB Type-C port. So, you’ll never struggle looking for the right side to charge it back up, a real improvement in “quality of life” over microUSB equipped options.

Conclusion

The SoundPEATS TruePods are a very valid option in their price range. We could even go as far as saying they bring much more quality than you’d expect for what you pay. So yes, we definitely suggest you check them out if you’re actually looking for a pair of high quality TWS earbuds.

You can learn more or purchase them over on Amazon US at this link.

BUY SoundPEATS TruePods True Wireless Earbuds

Lenovo Y40 Review: An Understated 14

Lenovo isn’t the first name you think of when you’re considering a gaming laptop. Alienware or Razer, maybe, but not Lenovo. The Y40 might change your opinion. This machine delivers great everyday performance, a GPU that’s good enough to game at the display’s native 1920×1080 resolution, and a classic Lenovo keyboard.

Measuring 13.7 inches wide, 9.8 inches deep, and 0.9 inches thick, and weighing 5.4 pounds (with the AC adapter; 4.5 pounds without), the Y40’s form factor is neither chunky nor thin-and-light—just all-purpose, all the way. That said, it’s a bit more stylish than the norm, with tasteful red accents highlighting the sides of the keys, setting off the speakers from the keyboard desk, and delineating the right/left button areas on the touchpad.

Red accents are scattered all over the Lenovo Y40’s design, from the sides of the keys to the speaker grill and USB ports. 

Our eval Y40 (Lenovo’s model number 59416787) arrived with an Intel Core i7-4500U, 8GB of DDR3/1600 memory, an AMD Radeon R9 M275 GPU with a 2GB frame buffer, and a 256GB SSD. It costs $950 and is available on Amazon, (but not from Lenovo’s site). Lenovo sells the similarly configured model 59423035 for the same price, but that is equipped with the slightly different Core i7-4510U. Less-expensive versions start at $749 and feature the same discrete GPU.

Lenovo’s Y40 can’t swing with the big-boy gaming laptops, but it definitely doesn’t embarass itself. And it costs a whole lot less. 

The Core i7, the discrete graphics, and the SSD helped our test unit earn a more-than-respectable WorldBench 9 result of 67. Not surprisingly, given the discrete GPU and dedicated graphics memory on board, its gaming scores were good, too. While it didn’t equal the marks of its big sibling, the Y50 (which is outfitted with the more powerful Nvidia GTX 860M), the Y40 did manage playable frame rates in the high 30’s and high 40’s in 1080p tests. If you want to game at 60fps and higher, you’ll need to dial the resolution down to 1024×768. But at this price, that’s excellent performance.

You’ll need to dial the graphics down a bit if you want to game at 60-plus frames per second. The Y40 was more than twice as fast at 1024×768 than it was at 1920×1080.

Battery runtime for the Y40’s 54-watt-hour unit was 5 hours and 14 minutes, not too shabby given the configuration. That’s measured while everyday computing chores are being performed, not gaming; you’ll want to be plugged into an AC outlet for that.

The Y40 delivered excellent battery life for a gaming machine. 

Getting to said battery entails the removal of no fewer than 12 screws before you can pull off the bottom of the unit. The Y40’s design further complicates this process with screws whose insertion angles follow the rounded contour of the shell, rather than remaining perpendicular to the horizontal plane of the unit. I quickly realized why most vendors choose the latter approach when I stripped a soft screw head while trying to insert it only slightly off-kilter. User error, to be sure, but it shouldn’t be that easy to get wrong.

Using the Y40 for writing and general business was a pleasure. The keyboard, though short-throw, had nice aural and tactile feedback, and the touchpad was a solid with butter-smooth response—it was a world of difference from my recent experiences with the Dell Latitude 14 5000.

Lenovo’s well-earned reputation for building excellent keyboards is preserved with the Y40.

The 14-inch, 1920×1080 display—being non-touch with a matte finish—is less prone to glare than many laptop displays you’ll find these days. The bezel surrounding it, however, is glossy and prone to such. That can be distracting. But the display rendered 1080p movies and games to good effect, and that’s what really matters.

One caveat is that you have a lot of pixels in a relatively small amount of space, which apparently confused either Windows or the graphics driver. The fonts in some applications, such as Device Manager, were badly anti-aliased. This is a software/driver issue, though; it’s not the fault of the display.

The sound through the Y40’s JBL speakers was acceptable. Spaciousness increases dramatically if you use Windows Media Player’s WOW effect (or similar), which means the speakers are decent. But bass response is minimal, even with TruBass (or similar effects) enabled.

Inputs/outputs

The thin chassis meant Lenovo had to use a drop-jaw Ethernet port. But this one feels very sturdy and unlikely to break. 

Perusing the BIOS, I found the always-on charging for the USB turned off. This is done to extend battery life, but it’s a pretty handy feature to have off by default. I was in the BIOS to change the function key behavior back to the old-school norm of not having to press the FN key in conjunction with the F4, F5… keys to achieve the desired effect. Old habits die hard.

All told, Lenovo has done an exceptional job with the Y40. It has the Lenovo-ness (simple design, great input ergonomics) that has won the company legions of fans, it’s fast, and it games well enough for the average player. There’s not a lot more you could ask for in a 14-inch laptop in this price range.

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